Category

Strength

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.

I Conquered My Fear Of Water And Swimming…

By | Behavior Change, Challenge, Fit and Fabulous Over 55, Fit Moms for Life Six Week Challenge, Strength, Uncategorized

This past weekend, I decided to go out and conquer my fear of water and swimming. One year from now, I will need to efficiently swim 2.4 miles for Ironman.  I have never been able to make it further than down and back at a pool, and haven’t treaded water for more than 2 minutes. That is why attempting to swim across Devil’s Lake, 1.2 miles terrified me.

With the support of a SUP that stayed near me. I was able to make it all the way across in a very slow and inefficient 71 minutes and only threw up 4 times during the swim.  I was unable to front crawl, so I spent the entire time laying on my back, flopping. I will probably use a few different swim coaches for the next year because I know this swim will probably be one of my hardest challenges.
 
The other day, I was sitting in my office at the Transformation Center working and eavesdropping on a handful of women in their 60s who had just finished their workout. The one woman was telling the other ladies about her epic hiking trips out to the mountains. The other ladies were inspired and they began to talk about possibly doing a trip either together or with others, and starting off with a smaller hike because of the confidence they have been getting through our Fit over 60 training program.
 
This made me think of my mom, and three years ago, she agreed to hike a 14,000 plus foot mountain in Colorado because it was what her kids wanted to do. This was the furthest thing from her comfort zone or personal desire. My mom did make it to the top having given every ounce of her energy and strength.  Seeing my mom climbing hands and feet at the top and saying, “only for you kids,” is a memory I will always cherish and it brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it.
 
Why am I sharing all this with you? My favorite health book of all time, Younger Next Year, (yes, in many ways more favorite than my own book) calls these sorts of activities “kedging.” The authors define “kedging” as planning a vacation or event that will require some training and some mental and physical pushing. I believe that these types of challenges will result in some of our biggest breakthroughs in life.
 
You might be a mom with three small kids, feeling like you have no time for yourself and your body is a larger, stretched out version of before and struggling to feel confident and beautiful. Set a challenge that scares you and find the necessary people and expertise to make it a reality. The confidence you will gain can catapult you to the next level in any part of your life. You might be a woman in your 40s watching your parents age and wondering how to avoid facing some of those same health challenges as you get older.  You want to be able to get down onto the floor and play with your grandkids and avoid taking tons of meds or dealing with severe daily pain.

Set a challenge that scares you and find the necessary people and expertise to make it a reality. The confidence you will gain can catapult you to the next level in any part of your life.

You might be a woman in your mid 50s and have put on 30lbs of fat all around the midsection from the big “M” word.  You hardly recognize the body that you were just 5 years ago and wonder if your best years are already behind you. Set a challenge that scares you and find the necessary people and expertise to make it a reality.  The confidence you will gain can catapult you to the next level in the next phase of your life.
 
You might be a 65 year old newly retired woman who has seen her energy, strength and balance deteriorate rapidly over the past few years and are concerned what life will look like 10 years from now if this continues. Set a challenge that scares you and find the necessary people and expertise to make it a reality. The confidence you will gain can catapult you to the next level and reverse many of the “natural” experiences of rapid aging.
 
These are the type of clients that I and my incredible team of trainers work with both in Madison at our Transformation Centers and bootcamps and online through our home DVD programs each day.
 
Within the next week, I am going to share with you a story of a woman who lost 80 lbs and set a massive goal for herself.
 
Now that kids are back in school, we are looking for a few women interested in becoming Fit Moms for Life Leaders and obtaining massive results (physically and emotionally), while helping other women do the same. Join us for a special live webinar to learn more on Wednesday, September 23 at 7:30 PMCentral.  Click here to reserve your spot! Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and help others do the same and your life will never be the same.  Learn more about leading here:  http://www.fitmomsforlife.com/lead_now/

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.

Get Fit and Help Support My Little Brother Who Just Had a Stroke

By | Fit Moms for Life Six Week Challenge, Health, Six Week Challenge, Strength, Transformation Center, Uncategorized

I want to first start by thanking each and every one of you who have shown incredible love and support to myself and my entire family over the past several days.  I feel so blessed and loved.  The Joy “Fit Moms” Maher Scholarship has raised over $9,000, which is just amazing along with the over 1,500 fb messages, emails, 150 plus cards, phone calls and texts that we’ve received.  Our family will get through this and you have a lot to do with it.
 
I can’t wait to start sharing with you more recipes, exercises and mindset information soon, but today isn’t that day.
 
I have kept it quiet with most everyone but my TC staff and a few close friends and family, but two days after my mom died, my littlest brother Eric, who lives in Madison, woke up without being able to control his eyes.  He was very dizzy, couldn’t walk and in a bad place.

Stroke

That day was spent in the ER where the doctors did many tests, including an MRI, but couldn’t figure out what was going on.  He was sent home and spent the next 3-4 days laying down with his eyes closed.  Miraculously, he was able to stand and function the day of the celebration of life for my mom. He seemed to be on the mend.
 
Two days ago, I received a call from him that his eyes were bad again and he had numbness and tingling down his left side of his body.  I had to help him walk to the car to take him to the ER. My dad immediately drove from MN to Madison to be with Eric and me.
 
To make a long story short, they just confirmed with another MRI that he had a stroke in his brain stem. Quite ironic, considering this is similar to what my mom died of.
 
Fortunately, this one is smaller, and we hope and believe he will make a full recovery.  The doctors (there have been many working on him in both MN and Madison) are shocked and confused why a seemingly healthy 25 year old would have a clot that would reach the brain stem and are definitely concerned as to what caused it.
 
My brother has been under so much stress and I know he is stressing over the large medical expenses he is racking up.  Fortunately, he has insurance but it is that high deductible kind.
 
My goal has always been to add 100X more value to your life than I would ever ask in return and I just asked for donations for my mom’s fitness scholarship so I don’t want to ask for donations again.
 
Instead, I want to offer you my #1 weight loss and lifestyle program, the FM4L 6 Week Challenge for $10 off and 90% of your investment will go directly to pay for his deductible and additional expenses, which I estimate to be at $5,000.

FM4L_Template3

This program has helped people from around the world lose weight, lead a healthier family, get stronger and overcome many health challenges. This program was very near and dear to my mom’s heart, in the early days of the program, she would personally call up each person who ordered it.
 
My goal over the next three days is to raise the $5,000 and surprise him when he leaves the hospital so that he doesn’t have to worry about the medical bills.
 
->-> Click here to learn more about the 6 week challenge. <-<-
 
Enter promo code: ERIC and receive the $10 off.
 
For those of you who don’t want/need the 6 week challenge but want to help Eric out, I have set up another GoFundMe page (I really hope this is the last one I need to set up) and you can donate there.  Besides the small fee they take, 100% will go to my brother’s medical bills.
 
->-> Click here to donate at GoFundMe. <-<-
 
If you are in Madison and decide to donate via GoFundMe, please stop by the TC and grab any workout DVD I might have as a thank you for your generous donation.
 
Thanks again for being part of my life, please don’t feel sorry for me, or my family. Life can be beautiful and life can be challenging for all of us.  Challenges only make us stronger. I can’t wait to see what the weeks, months, and years have to come for me and for you.

 

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.

 

Lessons From Having Just Completed 10,000 Pullups

By | Challenge, In-home workouts, Lowerbody toning, Mindset, Strength, Uncategorized

A few months back I wrote in this newsletter and posted on Facebook that 100 days from now I will have completed 10,000 pullups, 100 each day for 100 days. I am proud to say I completed this with near perfection.  The only slip up was one day I forgot and went to bed with 20 to go.  Waking up the next morning I realized it and did those plus that days 100.  ->-> Click here to watch my pullup video on my personal Facebook page <-<-

This in many ways was one of my toughest challenges I have ever put my body through.  It was so tough because of the grind of 100 consecutive days.  It didn’t matter if I was traveling, working 18 hours, had a nagging injury, or so on, I had to get it done. No excuses, I did it. Why… Because I try my best to live up to my word and my commitment, both to myself and to you.  I publicly put it out there to the world, which in turn gave me extra support and accountability.

On day 94, it was 9:30 at night and I was completely exhausted.  I hadn’t done any pullups and had no desire to do so.  Instead, I decided to take a 2 hour nap on the couch and wake up at 11:30 pm and do my 100.

I have had many trainers, clients and friends ask me how it was.  I will give you a few pros and cons.

2015-07-06_1150Cons:

  1. My lats (major pullup muscles) became severely overtrained starting around day 25 and never really recovered.  It became nearly impossible for me to raise my arms completely up because it felt like they were going to rip from the bone.  The first 10 pullups each day made me want to cry it hurt so bad.  This is why we trainers say don’t lift similar muscle groups on consecutive days.
  2. The daily grind of the challenge decreased my desire to lift and workout the rest of my body with weights.  I am embarrassed to admit it, but I hardly lifted during the three months.  I have trained hard in stair training and biking though during this time.
  3. I lost the joy of pullups because it became a chore and a burden.

2015-07-06_1149Pros:

  1. When starting the challenge I could do 14 pullups in a row at 190 lbs and 6’5.  I can now do 29 straight pullups at the age of 32.  A couple years ago, I trained hard in pullups and did 21, so I am blowing those numbers out of the water.
  2. It forced me to be extremely disciplined each day regarding the pullups.  I would have to seek it out and be very intentional.  It became a non-negotiable in my life to go to bed having done 100 pushups.  It became part of who I am.
  3. My back, biceps and grip are extremely strong right now, and despite the fact that I didn’t lift much else my body looks very fit and strong.

This experience has given me confidence that I can set a seemingly overwhelming goal for myself and achieve it.

Now it is your turn…

What goal or challenge would you like to set for yourself? ->-> Reply and let me know by clicking here and commenting on the video on Facebook. <-<-

People are asking me if I will continue doing a 100 pullups per day.  Definitely not, but I also don’t want to stop the momentum I have gained.  One idea I have is committing another 100 days to 150 pullups/day 3X per week.  This would allow me to progress, but have those important days of rest.  Not sure if I am going to do this yet, I look forward to getting back into a more normal weight training routine again.

Thanks for all your support, I couldn’t have done this without you.  During the last month, I wouldn’t start my pullups until 9 pm, because I dreaded it, but with your help I didn’t give in.

Do this 1 thing if you want to keep losing weight!

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

Do your clothes and the scale seem to be on a perpetual yo-yo?  Consistency exercising and eating healthy is tough. For the month of July, I am committing to sharing a 1-2 minute video with you.  It might be an observation I made that day or a conversation I had, but each will end with a short question.

Today, I am focusing on how we can stay consistent with our workouts.

Since about 95% of my readers are on Facebook, I am going to use that platform because it is easier for you to share a video to your friends who might need a daily pick me up.

Are we Facebook friends? Add me ->-> http://www.facebook.com/dustinmmaher

Please note, this is my personal profile, not my public page.

Around 7 AM each day, I will be posting a short, thought provoking video, so check back often, share your answer in the comment section and let’s create a 31 day movement in July.

Add me ->-> http://www.facebook.com/dustinmmaher

Speaking of movement, we are still accepting applications for our next Killer Kurves session which starts July 13th.  If you are within driving distance of Madison and have about 40 lbs or more to lose, this is a “must-do” program. ->-> Click here to learn more and register. <-<-

Also, we just wrapped up a 42 day bootcamp program with 65 new clients, and the results were so staggering that we are launching another one July 7th.

->-> Click here to register if you are not a current client and have less than 40 lbs to lose. <-<-

July can be a crazy and hectic month.  Let’s stay focused on our big picture health goals by making those small positive decisions each and everyday.

 

Video of the year (must watch)!

By | Balance, Challenge, Health, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Strength, Transformations, Uncategorized

I want to thank my client Mary, for sending me this video you are about to watch.  I think it is the most inspirational video I have seen this year. Maybe it is because of her age, or her struggles with depression, acid reflux, panic attacks, and anxiety, or maybe it is because of how she is making a difference in her community.

Carve 8 minutes out of your busy life to watch this.

At the very least, your soul will be warmed and you will smile.  This might be, though, the moment where you make a decision that will alter the future decades of your life for the better.

It might be the day you commit to starting or restarting your journey to having the healthiest and fittest body possible.  Not so that you can walk on stage in a bikini, but a body that can serve you for the rest of your life.

If you are fortunate enough to be in Madison, I have some upcoming free workouts and workshops.  This is the best place to start.

->-> Click here if you are over 50.<-<-

->-> Click here if you are under 50.<-<-

You can also fill out a short application and I will get back to you asap.

->-> Click here for application.<-<-

For those of you outside of the Madison area, I have created a 6 week life changing program that can get you on the path towards a lifestyle of health and wellness. ->-> Click here to learn more. <-<

You can do this, I hope her story inspired you today, you can be better, I can be better, we can be better.  Let’s do it.

This made me really sad…

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

I had an exciting and sad experience.
 
Let me explain…
 
I love playing frisbee golf.  It is like golf but you use special discs and throw into chain baskets.  I have been playing for about 5 years and have my entire family hooked on this sport. I try to play 3-5 times each week.

A few years ago, I got my first “ACE”, a hole in one. Last week,  I made #2. I couldn’t find anyone to go with so I was alone on hole #4.  A 250 foot shot over about 25 foot high trees, which blocked the basket I am aiming for. The throw just scraped over the trees.  It seemed like it was a good shot.  Then I heard the best sound in disc golf… chains! I sprinted around to see if my disc just hit the chains and bounced out or actually landed in the basket.
 
DiscIt had stuck in the basket!
 
There was a girl at the top of the hill by the hole and she saw the whole thing.  I didn’t have anyone else to celebrate with and as I am running to the basket to get my disc in excitement, I exclaimed to her, “did you see that?  I made a hole in one.” In a mean and nasty tone she replied, “who really cares?” That instant, my joy turned into a little bit of sadness.  I was sad there wasn’t anyone around to celebrate who appreciated the accomplishment. A few holes later, I came up to a group of guys who were playing. They asked how the round was going and I got to tell them about my ace.  They were all excited for me and we had a little mini celebration.  I felt a bit better. Then, when I got back to my car, I sent a voice text to my 3 disc golf buddies who usually play with me and we celebrated over text.
 
This got me thinking…
 
The power of the Transformation Center and Fit Moms for Life community. Chances are you have made some small and big “wins” toward reaching your health and fitness goals.  Like me, you probably want to share that success with others. But do you have people in your life that will truly (and genuinely) appreciate the success or progress you are making?
 
That ace of mine wasn’t nearly as special as if all my disc golf friends would have been there to see it and celebrate it with me.  Fortunately, I could still let them know after the fact. But you might not have that positive support, you lose five pounds and you are excited and tell your husband, and all he says is, “you will probably gain it back next week.”   
Or… You are out with your girlfriends and you brag that you ran 1 entire mile without stopping and one of your friends says, you are going to probably hurt yourself if you keep running. Or… You kicked the nasty soda habit and your coworkers make you feel stupid for drinking water when you go out for lunch.
 
These comments and lack of support are toxic towards your long-term success. PLEASE find a community of like-minded people who you know have your back and will be genuinely happy when you have success, even if it is as small as passing up the drive thru on the way home from work. I am here for you. Take action and find yourself a community.

I was wrong.

By | Balance, Challenge, Flexibly, Health, Strength, Uncategorized

This weekend, I am headed to Phoenix, AZ for the Function Aging Institute.  A fitness conference bringing the brightest minds in the world together who look to serve those 55 years old and above. It happens to land on my birthday (June 13th), but spending my birthday learning practical ways to help you improve the quality of your life is a pretty awesome way to spend a birthday if you ask me. I turn 32, and it has given me an opportunity to reflect back on the past 10 or so years of my personal workouts and the workouts I provide to my clients.
 
Back in my early 20s I would consider my workouts to be “bodybuilder” type workouts (although I never achieved massive muscle gains).  I would lift as heavy of weights as possible for 8-12 reps, 2-3 sets, most days of the week breaking my body up into “parts” and avoiding cardio like it was a toxic virus. While there was nothing inherently wrong with this type of training (and a lot of things right) it didn’t give me the same results as I am seeing now.
 
Call me old, but I am now more focused on WHAT I can do, rather than HOW I look. Don’t get me wrong, I still have some vanity and want to keep a 6 pack as long as I can, but HOW I feel and HOW I MOVE has become much more important.
 
I came across an old pic from 10 years ago (left) and a pic that was taken last week (right).

1_a_dustin

You can see in the pic from 10 years ago, I was a little more muscular, definitely had a bigger chest, and maybe a bit bigger arms. But looking back now, I wouldn’t consider myself to have been in great shape.  I could hardly run more than a couple blocks, my cardio was so bad, my legs were very weak (I skipped leg days), and my balance and agility weren’t great.
 
Fast forward 10 years, and I can MOVE better and FEEL so much better.  My joints don’t hurt anymore, I have much better endurance, and my resting heart rate is lower.  I am better at sports then when I was in high school and college, and I am more well rounded. I certainly can’t bench press as much as I use to, but I realized unless I am crushed under a car or trying to show off and do push ups with a girl on my back, it doesn’t really matter whether I bench press 200 or 300 lbs.
 
Why am I sharing all of this with you?
 
I encourage you to shift your focus from what your body looks like, to how it feels and moves.  Our bodies are our most valuable vehicle. When we move it the right way (exercise), and fuel it with the right foods, it will take us to amazing places and not limit us in the future.
 
I have created an online 6 week program that gives you the EXACT done-for-you workouts (you still need to do the workouts of course), and eating plan that I use and my clients use to get a body that looks great, but more importantly, moves and feels great. ->-> Click here to learn more. <-<-
 
If you are local to Madison and over the age of 55 and are looking to feel and move better our sold out program is now accepting 5 new clients.  Click here to learn more and to apply if you feel like you are a good candidate.

Do These Exercises if You Sit A lot…

By | Behavior Change, Body Assessment, Health, Lifestyle, Strength, Uncategorized

If you are like me, and most of North America, you sit.
 
A lot…
 
Studies are now showing that all that sitting leads to early death.
 
But another problem is looming…
 
Very poor posture, neck and back pain, and lack of movement and mobility.
 
In today’s short video, I would like to share with you a couple simple exercises you can do at home or at work to counteract all this sitting.

How a Mom Overcame Divorce, Back Surgery, Multiple Jobs and High Risk Pregnancies to Get Her Life Back

By | Behavior Change, Killer Kurves, Mindset, Moms, Mothers, Strength, Uncategorized
I love hearing stories from everyday people, just like you and I, who have decided enough is enough and have done something about it. Andrea is about to share her story.  She just completed 10 weeks in our Killer Kurves lifestyle weight management program. ->-> Click here to learn more and join her next week as we kickoff our new 12 week session <-<

Take it away Andrea:

I have always been an active person, but also a person who has struggled with my weight since adolescence. I grew up in a family that did not encourage my participation in sports (other than skiing). My parents were also overweight when I was younger. They were also a bit old fashioned and seemed to feel that sports were for “just for boys”.  
 
After growing up on the East Coast, I moved to WI in 1998. I had just received my masters degree and took a teaching job at a smaller town just outside of Madison. In 2000 (at the age of 28), I got married (even though I knew deep in my heart that making my marriage work would be difficult). At the time, most of my friendships I had established in WI were with colleagues at work.  
 
 In 2005 I began a weight loss journey and by 2007, had literally run off 70 lbs.  At that time, I began to have trouble with my back and sciatic nerve. I lost sensation and motion in my legs and feet. By the time I was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital, my sciatic nerve had been pinched off by my L4/L5 disc and I was in need of emergency back surgery. I was rushed to the operating room and concerns that I would have permanent nerve damage were high. That same week, I also finalized my divorce. Both of these events were turning points in my life….for the better! I was pain-free and in control of my own life again. Sure, stress was high – I was working multiple jobs to make ends meet, but I also felt confident and HAPPY! I began to date and met a wonderful man who I married in 2007. He had also lost a significant amount of weight (165 lbs) and was training for his first Ironman Wisconsin race.  (He has now completed 2 of these!)
 
Due to the nerve damage from my back injury, it took me about a year and a half to recover. I did return to running and was able to keep the weight I had lost off until 2010 and the birth of my first child (at the age of 37). I was considered a high-risk pregnancy and also became preeclampsic. I gained a significant amount of weight back during the pregnancy and struggled to loose it after my daughter was born. It only became harder after maternity leave when I returned to work as a teacher.  Just when I began to make some progress, I found out I was pregnant again. During this pregnancy I was also diagnosed with preeclampsia and was put on bed rest for 5 weeks.  After I gave birth, my recovery seemed much slower and I made little progress loosing the weight I had gained. My girls are close in age, and my maternity leave was much shorter.  
 
My daughters are now 5 years old and 3 1/2.  In January I turned 42 years old.  After my 2nd pregnancy I felt more anxious and found myself worrying about my health and whether I would live long enough to see my daughter become adults.  During this time, I tried to run the weight off several times – but struggled to maintain the running consistently. I also found that the demands and workload associated with teaching was growing, making it even more difficult to find time to take time for myself. Even I was able to run consistently, I didn’t seem to be loosing much, if any, weight.  I joined another weight loss program, and although the education piece was helpful, I still struggled to fit in the actual exercise. This past summer, I decided to run my daughters to daycare when they went there twice a week. It was 4.2 miles round trip. Still I did not lose any weight and (after rolling my ankle at the end of the school year) began to have increased pain in the heal and arches of my foot.  However, I also wasn’t feeling well. I was tired all the time and one of my biggest concerns was that I felt like I was in a “brain fog” all the time.  I didn’t feel like I could think clearly. I worried that I was becoming diabetic and was also fearful that I too would have complications from heart disease like other members of my family.
 
I ran one time in September. Then….I gave up.  I was tired of failing. I would learn to love myself and the way I looked. I could overcome the self-esteem issues I was having. The fact that most days, I was so unhappy with the way I looked that I didn’t want to leave the house.  I’d get over it, right?!
 
I decided to do a Google search and see what types of workout and weight loss programs were out there. I had done one of your outdoor bootcamps during the summer of 2013. I enjoyed the workout but was not a big fan of the early morning hours.  When I read the Killer Kurves description on your website, I was immediately interested. I emailed Shelly and after 3 communications, I found myself signing up for K2!  
 
I was nervous and excited when I signed up! I did not want to fail at another exercise/weight loss program! Yet, I knew I needed to a clean slate – something new! I was also joining K2 mid-session so I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up.  I feared I would be overwhelmed trying to balance motherhood, work and now the K2 program. Would it be added stress? Would I stay committed?
 
The biggest obstacle was just committing to something new – putting myself out there.  Leaving the house and joining a group of people I had never met before was out of my comfort zone.  My social anxiety was high….but I knew it was the right thing to do.
 
I enjoyed my very first workout at K2 and every workout since! The time of the evening and Sunday sessions worked out well. My husband was extremely supportive and full of encouragement.
 
I have been with the K2 program for 10 weeks and have lost about 9 pounds. I have lost 1.5 inches off my arms and legs, and just over an inch in my waistline. At my annual doctor appointment last weight, my weight is the lowest it has been in 4 years, my blood pressure was in the normal range (opposed to borderline).  Blood work showed my glucose and cholesterol also in the normal and appropriate ranges. Even more noticeably, I have more energy!!  I was bringing a travel coffee mug of coffee to work each day along with a small thermos full. I had been drinking every drop and still felt tired.  
 
During the first week of K2, I noticed I was returning home after work and my thermos was still full – I wasn’t reaching for any additional cups of coffee!  Overall, I have decreased my sugar/carb intake and am working on adding protein to my diet. In addition, I am managing stress more effectively. My confidence is increasing – the outgoing and determined woman that I knew has started to return!  
 
I still have a long way to go on this journey, but for the first time in a long time I feel like I am in control. Even when I chose to “indulge” in a “treat”, it is a conscious choice done in moderation – rather than something I am unaware of – as if on autopilot.  For the first time in a LONG time I feel as if, “I’ve got this”.
 
I have decided to keep my journey fairly private at this point. People are just beginning to notice that I have lost a few pounds.  My husband is extremely supportive and is on board with me. He would also like to lose weight and my work at K2 has been motivating him to exercise, eat better and prepare healthier meals for our family.
 
I have a strong sweet tooth and I love carbs! Before K2, I had very little self control – I would eat these foods until they were gone! K2 has motivated me to decrease my sugar intake, limit carbs in my diet and increase protein. I have added the protein collagen to my diet and have been able to decrease caffeine. I am working toward increasing my water intake as well.
 
That being said, I am still working toward my nutrition goals and eliminating prepackaged “easy and convenient” foods from my diet.
 
I absolutely LOVE the K2 program and would tell my friends to DO IT! There is no other program out there quite like this one. It provides both the nutrition/education piece and the workout all in one hour, making it very efficient and effective – perfect for anyone with a busy schedule! The trainers and other K2 participants are very supportive and can understand/relate to all aspects of this journey.  K2 is worth every penny!

-Andrea Nichols

Thanks so much, Andrea, for sharing your story! If you live near Madison and would like to join Andrea in our next Killer Kurve session that starts next week, sign up now or reply to this email if you have questions. ->-> Click here to learn more. Killer Kurves is for men and women who have tried it all and realize the futility in fad diets, pills, and extreme ways to lose weight and know it comes down to making some lifestyle changes.  That is Killer Kurves. It is a 12 week group for making small life-style tweaks so that you can live the healthiest, and highest energy version of you. ->-> Click here to learn more.