Category

Lifestyle

Meet My Daughter Maple and a Lesson I Learned That Might Help You

By | Fabulous Over 50, Health, Killer Kurves, Lifestyle, Mindset

I am writing this 21 hours after my wife Tessa gave birth to a girl, who we named Maple.

Tessa was in bed, and at 10 pm her water broke. We called her dad to come over to spend the night with our 19 month old son Bo. Once he arrived we headed off to the hospital and Maple was born at 11:30 pm, only 3.5 minutes from the time Tessa started pushing.

The experience of the first day with a new baby is so much different the second time around. There is a familiarity.

Maybe you can relate to taking home baby #1 and leaving the hospital asking yourself the question, “What am I supposed to do–they can’t possibly be just letting me take this human home and expect me to keep him/her alive?”

Everything is new, it can be uncomfortable, scary. After Bo was born, we lacked confidence in our own ability and questioned whether we were doing things the “right” way.

We wished we could have spent a few more nights in the hospital under the expert guidance of the nurses and doctors, but nope, there we were bringing a human back home.

Fast forward to today and it is so different. Changing a black tar diaper didn’t phase me, cleaning up puke twice didn’t even make my blood pressure rise, and swaddling/holding Maple felt so natural.

What changed?

Experience.

I have spent the past 19 months immersed in being a dad.

So how can this help you?

At the Transformation Center we mostly work with people who know they need to work out and become healthier but they are scared for one reason or another.

The fear most likely comes from the unknown and not knowing what to expect or how they are going to do.

The magic happens when someone joins DESPITE the fear, DESPITE the scary unknowns and puts his/her trust in our expert trainers, and the programs and systems that we have created.

There is no other substitute for just jumping in and doing it.

Tessa and I took dozens of hours of hands-on baby classes, read books, listened to hours of podcasts on parenting, and talked with so many friends, but until we actually brought that baby home, very little of it mattered.

We learn as we go.

Action builds consistency.

Consistency builds familiarity.

Familiarity builds confidence.

Confidence gets results and the positive feelings associated with it.

That is why those who never take that first step, who never get past the contemplation stage to taking action, are the ones who are guaranteed to fail.

Those who tell themselves: I will start tomorrow. Next week my schedule will get better. I will be more motivated next month. I am going to wait until I retire to start taking my health seriously.

These are just stories we tell ourselves that keep us away from the results in our life that we want and deserve.

The beauty of having a baby is that nobody is truly ready for that responsibility. But once we bring that baby home we have no choice. We figure it out, and it all works out.

I wish we could have Maple home already. There is a confidence that comes with familiarity and I want that for you when it comes to your health!

Keep moving,

Dustin Maher

PS We have our next Killer Kurves and Fit over 50 sessions starting soon. Contact us if you are done putting off this area of your life and ready to take action. I look forward to hearing from you.

What’s Possible in Just 5 Months???

By | Behavior Change, Health, Killer Kurves, Lifestyle, Mindset, Nutrition, Transformation Center

People sometime ask how I can work so hard, be so persistent, and be so passionate about what we do.

Simple… every bone in my body knows what we do at the TC matters and makes massive personal transformation.

At this point it’s not about me anymore but rather our incredible staff of 20 at the TC and all the courageous clients who play full out.

Below is the story of one of those clients, Swanson, who has had an amazing transformation inside and out over the past 5 months in Sweat Fit and Killer Kurves.

Check it out here –> https://madisonbootcamps.com/killer-kurves/

Take it away, Swanson!

“It is now towards of the end of the last week of my K2 session. I worked with Mary and Brent in K2 on Mon/Wed nights. They are super amazing, fun, supportive and encouraging. Thank you both so much for all you do! Love you guys and love my Mon/Wed night people! You guys rock!

It has been a very insightful, fun, challenging and exciting journey over the past 12 weeks. I first joined the TC in Feb 2019 and started with Sweat Fit for two months and lost 25lbs. Then finally I was able to transfer to K2 in April 2019 when it opened again. Upon finishing K2, I’ve lost 30lb additionally. In total since Feb, I’ve lost a total of 55lbs over the course of 5 months.

                                                                     

Although Sweat Fit and K2 have truly been life changing for me, K2 is a little special to me because it really opens you up to face your vulnerabilities. Every week at the end the work outs, we have meditations and group discussions on the weekly readings from the K2 journal guide. I felt that’s where it really helped me and where I really grew. It really opened my mind to really reflect on things and that’s what motivated me to work harder not only in the gym but outside of gym—the daily choices I make.

I followed the K2 journal guide. I used the recipes and learned to control my portion size. I drank lots of water and planned my daily meals/snacks. I read labels when buying foods. My only sweets are fruits. I’ve learned to work with my setbacks and always start right back again. I give myself 1 hr a day to be active/workout for self-care. I made sure I always showed up to class, took what I learned from the weekly lessons/discussions and apply them where it’s needed. The more often and consistent you continue healthy habits you learn, the easier it will get. I’ve come to a point where I don’t have to think about what I’m doing or forcing myself to do something anymore. It is now a routine and I enjoy it.

Through K2, it has just helped me grown so much not just physically stronger but mentally as well. I’ve gained so much knowledge, courage, self-love, strength and endless support through this program. It has truly been an enlightening journey. Looking back I can still remember how I felt when I first thought about joining. I was nervous, afraid and self-doubting, but I knew I wanted to lose weight and even more I wanted to be healthy. I knew I had to take that first step and start taking a chance on me. I am so glad now that I did. You will never regret loving and taking care of yourself. You also will never really know your true capabilities and strength until you try. You may be surprise at all things you can do that you thought you couldn’t.”

Swanson Savaan Thao

********************

Here were some questions and answers I asked after her first two months in Sweat Fit before starting Killer Kurves.

1. How long have you been coming to the TC?

I first joined the TC in February 2019 and have been coming in for 2 months now.

2. What has been your experience so far and specific results you have achieved?

My experience so far at the TC have been great and challenging. I haven’t exercised for many years and being overweight at 220lbs and 5 feet tall, coming in on my first day to sweat fit was nerve wrecking. However, the trainers and everyone were so friendly, helpful and encouraging that I never once felt out of place. Day 1 and the first few weeks were the hardest. I remember how hard it was just to do jumping jacks or a push up. However, week after week, I slowly started to feel stronger, able to do more of the exercises and noticed an increase of flexibility. Within these 2 months along with healthy diet changes, I’ve lost a total 25lbs.

3. What were the biggest nutritional changes you have made to lose the 20 lbs?

The biggest changes I’ve made with my diet was cutting completely off junk food/processed foods, soda, sweets, and eating out. I switched my regular carbs to all whole grain carbs such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole grain bread. I’ve also incorporated healthier fats like avocado, nuts, chia seeds, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil into my diet. When I’m craving for sweets, I eat fruits. If there are days, I’m craving for something, I just make a healthier version and keep the portion small. I watch my carbs intake, eat moderate protein and increased my veggies along with drinking lots of water daily. I’m also using MyFitnessPal app to help journal my foods and calorie intake. It helps keep me on track.

4. What are you most excited about for the next few months?

I never expected to lose weight nor enjoy exercising so I’m excited and curious to see how I will feel in the next few months continuing with Killer Kurves. I’m excited to learn and grow at the TC to meet a stronger and healthier me.

5. Anything else you would like to share?

The unknown and changes can be scary because it is intimidating and scary. I remember a quote that resonate with me, in taking my first step to take care of my health “If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” Don’t be afraid of failing before trying or afraid to fail. Take that first step, keep going and keep trying, no matter your pace, with time, you will eventually get to where you want to be.

~Swanson Thao

Answer to WHY it is so hard to stay consistent…

By | Behavior Change, Food For Thought, Health, Lifestyle, Mindset

In my most recent post, I shared a story highlighting the importance of our peer group in defining what is “normal” to us. Click here if you missed it.

Today, I want to dive a bit deeper into WHY the people around us can so strongly influence our actions and the way we live our lives.

First, check out this video (below), which recreates and explains a famous behavioral science study on social conformity.

You can also find a short video about the original experiment here, which goes into more detail about the different ways in which this plays out.

I’ve written a lot in the past about the social circle you surround yourself with and the social norms of our society and how they are so important as to whether you live a healthy life or not.

The above video, showing the various types of conformity, tells us part of the reason WHY it can be so hard for us to keep maintaining lifestyle changes after the initial burst of motivation has left us.

You see, we have a human desire to be part of a group and to conform to others around us, even when we know it isn’t right.

If our lifestyle changes but our community doesn’t, then there will be a clash between the norms of our social group–our community–and our new healthy habits.

Over time, it’s going to be really hard to hang onto those healthy habits if they are at odds with the lifestyle habits of those in our social group.

Let me share an example with you. Maybe your friends drink a few glasses of wine on a regular basis and they seem just fine so you convince yourself that it is ok to do the same thing, because it doesn’t seem to be bothering them.

Or… 

Maybe you know it isn’t the best for you and you want to say no, but you know that your friends are going to give you a hard time and make fun of you, so you conform to what they are doing.

The alternate scenario can also be true.  Most of my close inner circle doesn’t drink any alcohol.  If we all go out to eat and someone who would normally order a glass of wine or a beer sees us only ordering water, their tendency is to not order alcohol.  Many times they will say, I don’t want to feel like the only one who needs to be drinking.

This is a simple example but could be carried over to any area of life. Emily, the TC Manager, shared how her co-workers at her last job would regularly get together for drinks after work. It was a crucial part of the team bonding at her old job and it was what most of her social circle did.

After joining the TC as a client, she started to expand her social circle and to find people who wanted to meet up for a run or a bike ride, instead of a drink. 

Now that she works here, team bonding happens when Emily and many on our team get together for tough workouts, lol. And she joined a triathlon team, meeting more people whose lifestyle matched her own.

This is why the Transformation Center will continue to grow even though there are so many ways a person has to get in shape. In our daily lives, we have endless information and really great tracking software but until we change our environment and community, we will constantly be battling human nature.

Human nature almost always wins.

We strive to build that healthy, supportive environment and community here at the TC and in our programs. Like the study showed, even one person on your side can make a big difference on making the right or wrong choices so at the very least, find 1 person to be on your side who can support you.

So, I ask you… Does your peer circle motivate you to be healthier or sicker?  

Think about that, then click here to visit the final installment in our Transform You 2020 series.

What’s Your Normal??

By | Adventure, Behavior Change, Health, Lifestyle

Welcome to Week 4 of our Transform You 2020 series, where we’re diving into how the environment and community around you can shape your beliefs and your future. (Click here if you missed the final post in Week 3. And click here to find the second installment on the topic of environment/community.)

This story is from a few years ago, but it still stands out for me as a vivid example of how the community around you impacts your perspective on things.

A few years ago, I climbed Longs Peak, a 14,250 plus mountain in Colorado. The 15 mile, 5,500 vertical feet climb is listed as a 12-14 hour round trip.  I had just gotten off the plane and had not yet acclimated to the altitude, which made for an even more challenging hike.

I got up at 2 AM and started the journey with headlamps on.

Past the 13,000 foot mark, the wind was blowing in excess of 30 mph and the 1-2 foot ledges with 700 foot sheer cliffs below became very scary.  Thankfully, I made it up in 5 hours but was overcome with altitude sickness at the top and had to descend after spending only one minute at the top.

Once I descended past the treacherous parts, I had a 5 mile run downhill.  My total time was 8 hours. Not bad considering that this was prior to my Ironman journey, so I didn’t run or do tons of cardio at the time.

Why do I share this story with you?

Depending on what your experience is, depending on your peer group, depending on your circle of influence, you might look at what I did and say one of three things.

  1. You are crazy, I could never or would never want to do that.
  2. That sounds cool, I would love to have the opportunity to do that!
  3. Yeah, that’s an awesome hike. You should come join us–we’re going to attempt to climb 10 14ers (14,000 ft mountains) in 24 hours!

(Side note, check out https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=18686 for an amazing trip report from a Michigan guy who climbed 10 of Colorado’s 14ers in a day!)

I will make some generalizations here but this is what the thinking of these three types of people might look like…

The first group probably has never hiked, hasn’t exercised very intensely for many years, and has low confidence in their ability to get in shape.  They don’t know anyone personally who does activities like this and so they just don’t understand.

The second group is most likely quite active, they have achieved many of their fitness goals throughout the years, and have had experience pushing their bodies past levels of comfort.  They have friends who go on active adventures and are looking for new ways to push themselves. I would put all of my clients who have been with my program for at least a year in this category.

The final group would be long-distance hikers and climbers who have access to mountains on a regular basis.  They are part of hiking clubs or groups and they read and study about hiking. They are endurance athletes that surround themselves with friends who are also high level athletes.  For them, my climb up Longs Peak was just child’s play. They have moved on to bigger and more challenging things.

I am using hiking as an example here, but this type of thinking can play out in any area of your life, fitness or otherwise.  What your peer group considers “norm” is generally what your norm will be, as well.

This is what really scares me about our world today.  Society’s “norm” is now to be 30 lbs overweight, to sit most of the day, to use food to celebrate almost everything, and to eat and drink to numb the pain and conflict life can bring.

It is no wonder our world has so much sickness, disease and depression.

I want to leave you with one final story.  I had just run/walked the final 5 miles of my Longs Peak journey.  The feeling I had at the bottom was of pure exhaustion and joy.

Right at the end, I finished with a guy who I saw on the way up.  I started chatting with him. He was a physical specimen of peak fitness.  I discovered he lives in Boulder, about 36 miles away.

He left his house at 2 AM, BIKED 36 miles, ran/walked Long’s Peak in 5:15 (almost 3 hours faster than me), and was getting ready to bike back to Boulder.

In shock, I told him he was crazy and that I was incredibly impressed and inspired.

He smiled and said, “it’s not crazy when everyone else you know does it too.”

He was right. His peer group does things like that on a regular basis and what I considered crazy, unbelievable, and incredible at the time, is just an ordinary day to this guy and his peer group.

Now that I am deeply involved in triathlon and endurance sports, my peer group has evolved. I’m now around people who exercise 2x/day and for whom a 20 mile run or a 100 mile bike ride is no big deal. It’s shifted my view of what’s normal yet again.

So the question is, what does your peer group look like?

What do they do on a regular basis?

Are they healthy?

Are they positive?

Are they happy?

If the answer to these questions is no, and you want to be active, healthy, positive, and happy, I would like to challenge you to start to shift your peer group.  This doesn’t need to happen overnight, but a shift in peer groups will be necessary if you want to live the life of your dreams.

Your peer group—the community that you surround yourself with—is my fourth pillar of success.  It will make a huge difference in your ability to make and stick with changes in your life.

Throughout the years I have received hundreds of emails and messages from people who feel alone and isolated.  They don’t have the support they want and need to live the healthy, happy lives they deserve. They don’t have a peer group that is inspired to make each day as healthy, and positive as possible.

That is why the Transformation Center team works tirelessly to find creative ways to build communities that support each other and keep each other accountable, motivated and inspired.  Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to live a happy, healthy life.

If you are local to Madison, WI, we encourage you to come and check us out. If not, find a group or a place in your area that embodies the values and traits that you want in your life and join them.

You have two choices, you can continue to do what you have been already doing and expect to get the same results, or you can take a leap of faith and try something new. That leap of faith might just change the trajectory of your life.

It is your choice to make.

We are committed to supporting you when you are ready to take that leap.

 

Struggling with motivation and consistency?

By | Food For Thought, Lifestyle, Mindset

My wife and I are getting ready for our second child and this pregnancy has been quite a different experience for both of us.

With the first, everything was new and exciting.

Tessa loved being pregnant.

There was the fascination and excitement as Tessa’s body morphed into a new shape.

Each week we would find out what size vegetable our baby was and what biological functions were being created during that gestational week.

Then there was the baby room prep and making sure we had all the “stuff” for baby’s arrival.

Time flew by and each week built upon the last as our excitement grew.

Hospital bags for both Tessa and myself were packed weeks and weeks in advance of our due date.

But this time around it hasn’t been quite as exciting. We haven’t marveled quite like we did the first time around, at how Tessa’s body is changing, again preparing to birth a little human.

I haven’t been checking in to see what size vegetable the baby is this week.

This pregnancy is more like a necessary means to our desired outcome, to bless Bo with a sibling and for us to open our hearts to another tiny human.

Before I go on, please don’t take this as us being ungrateful. We are so incredibly thankful that we can conceive and seem to have a healthy growing baby. We are experiencing so much gratitude and we are grateful beyond words every day for this blessing and journey that we are on.

I am, however, even more excited about the baby’s actual arrival, because becoming a father has far exceeded my previous expectations.

The same thing happens in our fitness journey.

I see it in my own life and the lives of our clients at the Transformation Center.

There is an excitement and newness of starting a new plan, joining a new program, and meeting new people.

The body might start to feel better quickly. Clothes fit a little looser and energy is high.

But then when it no longer becomes new, it is no longer as exciting.

I see this happen as soon as week 3 in our programs. Our staff talks often about ways we can help people get past the 3-4 week hump.

For some it happens much later, but everyone will experience this at some point.

Unlike a pregnancy, which has a finite amount of time, living a healthy lifestyle never has an end.

So what can you do to stay motivated?

Here are a couple ideas for you:

  • Find the beauty in each day, in each meal, in each workout.
  • Make things fun. Connect with a workout buddy and plan to hit the same classes together. Find forms of exercise that are fun. But keep strength training in the mix, even if you don’t love it at first–it is so critical to our overall health and injury prevention. And most people come to love it eventually… having great trainers and fun workout buddies makes the time fly by. 
  • Remind yourself why you are doing it. We all have our reasons, but keep these at the forefront of your mind.
  • Sign up for an activity or event that will require you to specifically train for it. This is why I keep signing up for races.
  • Keep learning. Learn new recipes, try new types of exercises, try a new hobby or skill. Learning keeps things fresh and ensures we are always growing.

So if you are struggling with motivation, realize it’s normal.

Things will ebb and flow.

But those who win are those who are the most consistent. It becomes a non-negotiable in their life.

We are here to help, whether you are a current client struggling to find motivation, a former client who has fallen back into bad habits, or someone who has been shy of starting their journey.

Reply to this email and let’s chat.

Keep moving,

Dustin and TC team

Lose Weight and Gain Health By Avoiding These 5 Foods/Ingredients

By | Food For Thought, Health, Killer Kurves, Lifestyle, Nutrition

There are many articles written about what specific foods you should eat to lose weight and/or improve your health. There is truth to all of that, and I do like the idea that by filling your plate with the right foods, there will be less room for the unhealthy ones.

But I want to take a different angle and share with you what I believe are the top 5 foods/ingredients to avoid or reduce for the fastest weight reduction and health improvement.

Sugar: Eating less sugar will almost automatically cause weight loss and reduce bloating. Make sure to still get a few servings of fruits each day, but reducing processed sugar will have fast results.

Enriched Wheat: By avoiding this, you will dramatically reduce your intake of processed carbs, which again will reduce bloating, water retention, and body fat.

Fake sugar: Even though these contain zero calories, they increase your sweet tooth and many studies suggest that they have long term negative health issues. Sucralose will be the most common fake sugar, but if something tastes sweet and there is zero or very low sugar, it either has a fake sugar or is sweetened with a more natural zero calorie replacement like Stevia.

Low fat: Anything that should naturally be higher in fat should stay in its natural form. Fat doesn’t make you fat and fat can fill you up, help with hormone levels, and can keep blood sugar levels stable.

Vegetable oils: Because it has the word “vegetable” doesn’t mean it’s healthy, lol. In fact, these fats are very unstable, creating a lot of free radicals in our body and are just really bad for us. They are highly processed. Staying away from vegetable oils will naturally reduce your enriched wheat and sugar intake, because they almost always all come together.

If you look at this list, it can pretty much be summed up by not eating processed food. The more man has played with it, the worse it is for us.

I know this list is easy to look at but hard to actually implement.

Why?

Because this “food” is convenient, tastes amazing and is everywhere we turn. Our society celebrates it and consumes it without giving it a second thought.

If you are looking to lose a significant amount of weight, we are now opening up our next 12 week session of Killer Kurves, our most effective and comprehensive lifestyle program that teaches you the steps it takes to tweak your habits to those of more healthy ones.

If you have a BMI of 30 or greater and are ready to make a change, then Killer Kurves (K2) could be the right fit.

Click this link to learn more and watch a short video and then fill out the contact form and one of us will contact you. -> www.madisonbootcamps.com/killer-kurves

If you have a BMI less than 30 and are looking to lose weight, we have an amazing program for you too. Just reply to this email and we can chat more about your options.

Keep moving,

Dustin Maher and TC Team

PS Our 12 week K2 program is only offered 4 times a year and most of the time slots sell out quickly, so check out the link now and get your spot reserved. www.madisonbootcamps.com/killer-kurves

My Best Advice On How To Make A Transformation

By | Behavior Change, Health, Killer Kurves, Lifestyle, Mindset, Nutrition, Strength, Transformation Center, Transformations

We have a new Killer Kurves session starting this week and I just shared with them my best advice on how to make the most of the next 12 weeks.

I wanted to share it with you too because I think the messages are applicable to whatever journey you are on. So here it is:

I have been thinking a lot about the 12 week journey you are about to embark on and I am so excited for you and what is going to happen, even though you probably have no idea.

In Steve Job’s famous interview he says (paraphrase), “It is impossible to connect the dots when at the present time, it is only when looking back can you see the path taken.”

K2 will be a dot that will send you in a path towards more of everything you want in life.

People join because they want to lose weight, but they stay because of the strength, confidence, and friendships they form.

That is why 85-90% of those who complete our first 12 week session continue on as an alumni.

My advice to you as a trainer for 15 years and 7 years into the Killer Kurves program is as follows…

-Believe and trust in the process. There is no challenge or barrier that someone else in our program hasn’t overcome before.

-You are not weird, messed up or more broken than anyone else. As humans we all have major challenges, short-comings, and flaws. We are all different but the same.

-Show up. Make attending your sessions as high of a priority as a doctors appointment. Make it a non-negotiable to the best of your ability.

-Open up. You might feel guilt or shame for things that have happened in your past. Again, we all have stuff in our lives. The more you can open up and share, the quicker the transformation.

-Keep an open mind. Don’t tell yourself you aren’t a runner, don’t like vegetables, or can’t do pushups. These thoughts place limiting beliefs that manifest themselves into truths. Stop them now and replace them with empowering, supportive thoughts.

-Embrace others. If you don’t have a supportive environment at home, work, or other places, that makes things hard. So it’s even more important to connect and build relationships within your K2 groups. They can help you overcome a lot of negative influences in your life.

-Enjoy the journey. It’s not a race. A race has a start and a finish. You are on a journey that will continue for the rest of your life. While short-term goals are great, don’t forget the long-term focus.

-Don’t underestimate the power of small changes…. Increasing your water, increasing your vegetables, reducing sugar, getting an extra 30 minutes of sleep. These play HUGE roles in the way you feel.

-Pursue progress, not perfection. The more “perfect” you try to be, the more stress it will cause and the more likely it is that you will give up all together. Make it a goal to be trending towards being fitter, stronger, and healthier each week. Again small changes throughout the day yield huge results long term. You will have bad days, weekends, and even maybe a bad week or two, but get right back on track and don’t feel guilty.

-Always keep improving. This especially goes for alumni. Even if you have reached your ideal/goal weight you shouldn’t just now coast. Set other goals—it might be a strength goal, an event goal, or an endurance goal.

-Have fun. You might like to exercise or maybe you have hated it your entire life. Either way exercise can be fun, and doing it with others makes it even better.

-Finally don’t take yourself too seriously… because nobody is watching and we ALL have these moments. Maybe you will trip over your own feet in warm up, or pass some gas during Russian twists, or roll off the ball during back extensions. Just laugh it off and continue on.

I could say a lot more but this is enough for now.

I am so proud of you for taking this step. In the 7 years of this program I have never heard one person say, “I regret joining K2.” They only regret not starting earlier.

If there is anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to ask. You may not see me physically during all your workouts, but I keep in close contact with the trainers to make sure we are supporting you the best possible way.

If you find yourself ready to make a change, contact us ASAP.

Visit https://madisonbootcamps.com/killer-kurves/ to learn more.

How to Stop Emotional and Behavioral Sabotage with these 10 Mindset Habits

By | Behavior Change, Food For Thought, Health, Killer Kurves, Lifestyle, Mindset

Thinking of making a TRANSFORMATION for LIFE? You know you want to change and you know it’s going to take real commitment on your part to do it.

Are you in the right MINDSET to get you to your goals and keep you there for life? Here are my TOP 10 MINDSET HABITS to inspire and keep you on the road to success even when life gets difficult. It is often the behavioral and emotional sabotaging we do to ourselves that takes us off course.

Speaking of transformation for life… this week I announced the opening of our next 12 week Killer Kurves weight loss and lifestyle program. If you have 40-200 lbs to lose, this could be the program you are looking for.

Click here to learn more and apply ->-> http://madisonbootcamps.com/killer-kurves/

Habit #1 – I fully forgive myself and others.

In order to be successful at major lifestyle changes, you must forgive yourself & others in order to move forward, focused on your best possible future. Forgiveness is powerful; it will feel like removing a heavy weight from your heart. Without all that pain, shame or fear you have been holding onto, you will be so much lighter, ready to take action, ready to make real lifestyle changes and open up that space for optimism and determination to keep moving forward toward your best life.

Habit into Action

“Adopt a mantra that you say to yourself the moment that a guilty memory or feeling arises. The following phrases are particularly effective: “I’m not that person anymore;” or “My attention belongs in the present;” or “I am not here to suffer anymore.” Choose the appropriate phrase and repeat it, without fail, every time you feel guilty. In this way, you are not only telling yourself the truth, for you aren’t the person anymore who committed a past misdeed, but you are also giving your brain a new, more positive input. This will help to wean it off the old wiring that keeps messaging guilt long after guilt is deserved.” – A suggestion from Deepak Chopra, The Huffington Post

Habit #2 – Exercise is a gift, not a punishment.

If you are serious about a physical transformation, you must change your mind about exercise. Exercise is a gift you must give yourself, in some way, every day. Moving your body can no longer be a punishment for poor eating choices. It is a true gift to your heart, mind, muscles and more that will keep “giving” the rest of your long life. Will it still be hard, physically? Yes, it should be if you are doing it right. Will it be so much easier when you have the right attitude about it? Yes, definitely. You will push yourself, lovingly, into workouts you never knew you could do.

Habit into Action

Make exercise an enjoyable experience. Work out with friends. Don’t know anyone in class? Introduce yourself and strike up a conversation with a friendly face. Do the exercises that challenge you, but bring you energy, not drain you of it. Buy new shoes and a workout outfit. Set your alarm with some soothing or inspiring music to get up early and get your workout in right away, before you can make any excuses to not do it.

Habit #3 – Food is meant to serve my body.

Your nutrition will affect every aspect of your life and will improve your chances at any type of transformation. To be successful for life, you must change your mind about food. When you decide to view food as an energy source to serve your body, your choices will reflect your physical needs: slow-burning carbs for extended energy, muscle-building proteins for increased strength, healthy fats to keep you satisfied, vitamin and mineral rich foods to support a strong immune system and healthy body functions. You will no longer choose artificial and convenient foods. You will no longer reach for food to soothe a feeling other than hunger.

Habit in Action

When you eat, ask yourself the following questions. “How will this food serve my body?” “How will it give me energy?” “Will it make me stronger?” “Will it make my body function improve?” and “Am I actually hungry or am I bored or trying to avoid some feelings?” If you aren’t sure of the answer, Google it. There is so much nutritional information at our finger-tips, it is much easier to make better choices.

Habit #4 – I will no longer compare myself to others.

Any transformation will come with doubts. Maybe you’ve lived a certain way for more than 30 years. The best way to quiet those doubts is to stay focused on moving forward. You must keep your eyes on your own paper, stay in your lane and decide how YOU will measure YOUR success. You can no longer use others as a ruler to judge by.

Everyone is doing their best, all the time, including you. Your best can only be appreciated when you judge it against your best, yesterday. Our bodies, our lives, our relationships are all different and can’t be compared or judged as successful or not, since we don’t know all the facts about everyone else’s situations. You do know the facts of your own and you can take full responsibility for the actions and the feelings you have about their outcomes.

Habit in Action

If you wear a wristwatch or bracelet (if you don’t, put a rubber band on your wrist or ask for a Fit Moms For Life bracelet), any time you find yourself comparing, feeling inferior, feeling superior or being judgmental of yourself or others, switch the band to the other wrist. You might be surprised how often you switch.

Habit #5 – Stop compiling problems

Successful people have problems too. They just have a great skill of tackling problems or obstacles one at a time. It is easy to get overwhelmed and not address easily solved problems, because we’ve added them up with all the rest into something that seems insurmountable. Successful people look at problems separately, objectively, and they consider them challenges, not problems. Each hurdle can then be added to your “proud” list once you have solved it.

Habit into Action

Ask a trusted friend or partner to listen to a single obstacle or problem that has been on your mind. Don’t have someone to talk to? Ask a friend in your workout group or your trainer. You don’t have to ask for their opinion on what you should do, but you will find that as you are explaining the problem out loud, alone (meaning without all the other problems you have swimming around in your head) and without emotions, you will have made that problem seem to be less of a problem, more of a challenge and certainly manageable all on your own. It will be a lightbulb moment – try it.

Habit #6– Speak and think only in truths.

On the transformation journey you must decide you will no longer generalize and you will speak and think only in truths. How often do you hear yourself say, “I always fail” or “I never get it right”? Are those statements REALLY true? No, you don’t always fail. You have successful moments all the time, every day. You can no longer generalize about yourself or others. If you are only speaking in truths, it might sound more like … “I didn’t lose all the weight I wanted to, but I did lose inches off my waist and made several new friends.”

Habit into Action

Be mindful and totally aware of generalizations when you speak and think today. Focus on it all day. Any time you think or speak a generalization, quickly write it down in your phone or on a notepad. At the end of the day, take those generalizations to a friend or family member and ask them if they are true about you or your situation. If you don’t have anyone to chat with, ask yourself and be totally honest. Are those generalizations fully TRUTHS? I bet not. It will really improve your attitude and enthusiasm.

Habit #7 – Busy is not better.

Successful people have learned that busy is NOT better. Our culture tells us to judge our lives by the quantity of things we can accomplish in one day. To what end? We are a sick, stressed out, malnourished, overweight population that continues to get sicker. Reject that thinking and judge your life by the quality of your time. Create space around your activities to make memories and relish in the small pleasures.

Habit into Action

Sit down and write down your three most time-demanding activities and decide what needs to go or can be decreased. Do you need to cut down on your hours at the office or in the car carting kids around? Would the kids be okay if they only played one sport and one instrument? Could you reduce your social commitments for FREE time, just for you and your family to enjoy the fun of daily life? Boundaries can and need to be set in a positive way to protect this precious time. Your life needs to be manageable and you need to create space for self-care now—there is no time like the present to take action.

Habit #8 – Expect more of myself and others.

Visualize yourself transformed. You know what you want and in order to get there, you must raise the bar for yourself and others. When you make commitments to yourself and others, you hold them, even if it’s not “comfortable”. Kick “comfortable” to the door and continue to challenge yourself in all kinds of ways. Be brave. Take responsibility for how you treat yourself, others, and how others treat you. Set an achievable short-term goal today. As you do, you will inspire others and you will begin to expect more from them too. Make this a monthly habit.

Habit into Action

Work some accountability into your transformation. If you want to get more serious about nutrition, try food journaling or pre-packaging your week of meals/snacks. Sign up for an achievable exercise challenge or be vulnerable to enough to say you’re sorry or ask for an apology from someone concerning an incident you might be feeling bad about. Sign up for a seminar or class that will help you learn more about your specific goals.

Habit #9– Reduce screen time.

Find a way to reduce your screen time. It’s NOT just our kids who are addicted. Studies show that our sedentary lifestyle is as dangerous as smoking.

Habit into Action

Instead of watching a family flick on Friday night, head out and take the dog for a walk. In the winter, you could shovel the neighbor’s drive or bundle up and go ice-skating or sledding. In the nicer weather, enjoy a fire pit in your back yard or explore a new park. Get out a board game or take a drive to a neighboring downtown to check it out.

Do NOT take your phone, iPAD, computer or TV into your bedroom. Facebook ISN’T THAT interesting and is not worthy of risking your health. Up late surfing for deals? No more – shop during the day and GO TO BED!

Habit #10 – If I need help, I can ask for it.

This transformation is a big deal to you. Those who love you most will understand and be there for you. All you have to do is ask for help if you need it. These are real lifestyle changes that are difficult to start and even more difficult to maintain. Reach out to family or friends who have been successful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ask them to support you in your efforts. If you don’t have anyone in your circle to ask, you will have to find a mentor, or coach, a stranger in class for help. People are more willing to help you than you think. Just have the courage to ask.

Habit in Action

Ask your partner to join you in your new pursuits. Ask your partner and kids to support your choices, join in the fun of making new healthy habits and be okay with getting rid of the old. Ask a friend to watch the kids while you take an hour to exercise/cook/or learn a new skill. Ask a trainer how to modify an exercise you don’t feel comfortable doing yet. Ask a teacher for extra help or a respected mentor to grab lunch and give you their best advice.

These types of habits are what we focus on and discuss in all our programs at the Transformation Center. So if you are already part of our community, continue to dive deep into these areas. If you aren’t yet, what are you waiting for?

She Regretted Quitting

By | Food For Thought, Health, Lifestyle, Transformation Center

The other day I received an email that came through the contact form on our website.

It was from an awesome woman who had done a 21 day challenge with us a little over a year ago.

She loved it, but thought the membership price was too high.  So for the past 18 months she tried to find something cheaper that got her the results and experience she had in the few short weeks she was with us.

She couldn’t find it, and said she is at her heaviest now and regrets ever stopping.  She realized that the ultra-low-cost fitness options out there just didn’t work for her, and that our membership rates were totally worth being fitter, leaner, and surrounded by a community of like-minded people.

So she came back and committed to 2019!

The $10/month Planet Fitness, $50/month YMCA, or the $1000/month personal trainer may very well be a better fit for you than what we offer at the Transformation Center.

It depends on many factors and when I meet with someone and it becomes clear that we aren’t the best fit for them, I will always refer them somewhere else.

At our current membership rates of $150-$250/month (depending on the program), we are able to provide much more personal attention, customization, accountability, and support than most other options out there, except for one-on-one personal training. But we are about 20% of the cost of one-on-one personal training.

The crazy thing is we haven’t really raised our rates in 12 years.  Even when we were just working out at the park years ago, it was $149-$199/month for the large group bootcamp and $390/month for small group training.  So, despite our expenses skyrocketing, we have been able to keep rates unchanged or reduced.

Our rates allow us to pay our trainers and staff 50%-100% more than most other fitness places, which is one of the reasons why we have the best staff around and turnover is so low.  Our trainers can make careers out of it, instead of it being just a hobby.

I just felt like sharing this to hopefully help you in 2019 to figure out what is the best fitness option for you.  There has never been a time in history when we’ve had more fitness options than we do now and it can be overwhelming to figure out what is best.

If you aren’t completely satisfied with your fitness, health, energy, etc. and are looking to get the guidance of professionals, in an environment of awesome people all striving to do the same, then I would encourage you to CONTACT US.

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: https://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.