Tag

motivation

Has anyone told you that you have changed?

By | Behavior Change, Health, Lifestyle, Mindset

Change…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evolving can be a lonely road.

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

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

How do we combat this?

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

We also need to put on additional life vests.

What do I mean by that?

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

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

Let Me Guess…You Are Sooo Busy and Don’t Have Time

By | Behavior Change

Let Me Guess…You Are Sooo Busy and Don’t Have Time

I am on hour 15 here at work (I did take a 45 min swim break in the middle of the day to recharge). I also trained 5 sessions today and spoke with over 15 potential clients who reached out to me, interested in the Transformation Center.

I keep thinking I am going to hear something different, something that is going to shock me, or take me by surprise.

But I don’t…

After thousands of conversations with people about their health and fitness there are basically two types of people: the action takers and the excuse makers…

Listen, we are all different in many ways.

But there is one way where we are the EXACT SAME…

We each have 1,440 minutes each day and can choose how to spend them.

It is amazing how many creative ways people come up with to justify not finding 30-45 of those minutes to exercise and build strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Time is the #1 excuse of course.

If our former presidential couple, the Obamas, found a way to exercise just about every day, can’t we?

Heck, I feel like I am SO BUSY sometimes taking care of 450 plus clients, my friends, family etc, but I am certainly not doing anything crazy like running our country.

Having limited time only shows a person’s true priorities.

If you have been around me much, you’ve probably never heard me say the words “I don’t have time,” because it is one of the most cringe-worthy statements to me.

Instead, I will often say something like, “I am very busy right now doing something that is of higher priority to me, so I will pass for now” or, “Ask me again in a few weeks.”

That way I am being truthful to myself and to the person.

If someone is going through some serious life challenges and chooses not to exercise because they are choosing other things over it and being ok with that, I can’t argue with that.

But…

And I am biased here…

There are VERY few things I believe should take priority over our health and, in particular, our exercise.

It affects every aspect of our lives in a positive way when we do it, and in a negative way when we don’t.

So what my dedicated clients tell me is that they actually have MORE time each day when they make the time to show up at the Transformation Center.

Why?

Because they have more energy, think clearer, and are more focused on the tasks at hand, plus they can generally handle emotions better.

I am not trying to make you feel bad, but I am hoping this at least gets you thinking and asking two important questions.

1. Do I value my health, fitness, energy?

2. Does how I prioritize my time align with my health, fitness, and energy values?

If not, I encourage you to take MASSIVE action. Don’t just take small action, take large action and feel better in a matter of days.

What Motivates You?

By | Behavior Change

What Motivates You?

Mike Fohner, cross country running coach, tells this story about one of his students:

Last year, one of my young cross-country runners was fully content walking up the hills and avoiding physical exertion to the maximum extent possible. I tried all sorts of tactics and motivation techniques…to wits end. Even my “walkers club” (post practice sprints for those that walk during practice) had no effect. One meet, this runner unexpectedly knocked 3 minutes off her best time, to which I gave a look of amazement to her parents. They smiled and said, “Well…she didn’t walk…so I guess we owe her ten bucks!!” So it appears that money is an effective motivator for all ages!

The statistics
Brace yourself. According to Rod K. Dishman, Ph.D., director of the Behavioral Fitness Laboratory at the University of Georgia, nearly 50 percent of people who begin an exercise program drop out within the first 6 months. The question is, “Why?” What is it about sticking with a fitness routine that causes so many people abandon it?

The answer? Motivation. They don’t want health and fitness badly enough. It is a simple fact of human psychology that if we want something badly enough, we’ll do everything we can to get it.

Your challenge is to find out what motivates you to get serious about fitness and stick with it.

Unlocking your motivation
Mike Fohner’s student found that money was the motivation she needed to push her out of her comfort zone and into a commitment that she previously hadn’t been interested in.

Bryan Reece found a different motivation. Told by his doctors that he was minutes away from a heart attack, Bryan decided to fight back. Even though he had not been in a gym in 30 years, he turned his life around and eventually became a finisher in the Arizona Ironman competition. You can read his story in the book, You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World’s Toughest Triathlon by Jacques Steinberg.

You do not have to be part of that 50 percent who quit. You can stay committed and finish strong. It is all about finding what motivates you personally.

Here are some possible motivators for you.

1. Do it for your health. Consistent exercise and healthy eating are the two very best things you can do for your health. You will develop a strong, healthy heart, reduce your chances of many cancers, prevent diabetes, keep a sharp mind and resist dementia and avoid many of the common ailments that come with aging. It is possible to age without decay, and the key to this is exercise and eating well.

2. Do it to look better. Appearance isn’t everything, but most of us care how we look. A strong and healthy person just looks good. And it isn’t all physical. Your demeanor will change as you develop the confidence that comes from the discipline of fitness. You will appear more energetic and confident because you will be more energetic and confident!

3. Do it to relieve stress. Really! It isn’t a cliché. Exercising really does cause physical changes in your brain and nervous system that result in feelings of calmness and well-being. In fact, you may get so hooked on the mental benefits of exercise that you will crave it!

4. Do it to be strong. If you have never done focused weight training, then you have no idea of the total transformation that you will feel after just a few weeks. There is nothing like bending over to pick something up that normally results in discomfort, strain and even pain, only to find out that it is a piece of cake! By getting strong now, you reduce your risk of age-related falls and fractures because you have the core strength and balance to keep yourself stable.

It is worth taking the time to discover the powerful motivators in your life. Don’t worry about ‘bribing’ yourself: do what it takes to get yourself moving. Find out what makes sweating worth it. Find out what you want more than that brownie. Your health is at stake; in fact, your very life is at stake. It’s time to transform yourself.

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

By | Challenge, Health, Lifestyle, Mindset, Uncategorized

“Know Thine Own Self…”

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

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

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

Why am I sharing this all with you?

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

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

Having my coach will:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good words to live by!

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.

 

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.

 

This Short Video Made Me Smile and Cry at the Same Time

By | Balance, Behavior Change, Fabulous Over 50, Fit and Fabulous Over 55, Flexibly, Health, Mindset, Uncategorized

I recently attended the Functional Aging Summit in Phoenix Arizona.  Nearly 200 of the top professionals from around the world gathered to discuss training, nutrition, and psychology around helping transform the quality of life for baby boomers and beyond.

One of the presenters shared a very short video that had me smiling and crying at the same time; I am not sure if I have ever experienced that before.

*** PLEASE DON’T READ BELOW UNTIL WATCHING VIDEO ***

Why did I have tears in my eyes? I saw a woman who was 78 experiencing EXTREME joy and LIFE.  It showed a woman laughing like a child, and being 100% present in the moment. This is what I want to be like in 40 plus years… Are you fully living?  Do you have daily joy and laughter in your life?  I know I could certainly have more.

My goal as I age is to THRIVE rather than just SURVIVE.

Presenter after presenter shared sobering statistics of the extreme lack of health and over medication in those over the age of 50 in America today.  Chronic pain and other diseases are the norm instead of the minority. It broke my heart. The health care system is so broken (you already knew that) and focuses over 90% on treatment of symptoms rather than prevention in the first place.

A phrase that was repeated over and over again to us was the wave of the future is “Upstream Preventative Healthcare.” What we have been doing is only going to make things worse, we need to be PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE. You and I don’t have another day to waste. We NEED to start TODAY to move more, sit less, eat more natural foods, and reduce the processed crap. Only then can we begin to fully THRIVE instead of SURVIVE.

 

 

Lessons Learned from Fitness Workshop (controversial)

By | Balance, Behavior Change, Fabulous Over 50, Fit and Fabulous Over 55, Uncategorized

Last weekend, I took several of my trainers to Milwaukee for a fitness conference focused on transforming those from age 55-95 years old. Our instructor was a fitness expert out of Florida, go figure, and we learned so much when it comes to helping people age as awesome as possible. You might not be 55 or older yet, but chances are you have family members who are, and if we are blessed, we all will see the “golden” years for ourselves.

Here were some of my biggest takeaways:

As we age, we are less able to process protein.  For example, if a 25 year old can process 50 grams of protein, someone older could only process about 20 grams!  The take-away from this is to consume higher level of protein all throughout the day.

Five-ways-baby-boomers-can-stay-healthy-as-they-exercise-The American Heart Association recently took away their claim that 1 glass of red wine is good for the heart. Little to no alcohol is best as we age.

-Our thirst mechanism doesn’t work as well so staying hydrated and drinking enough water throughout the day is essential.

-The first thing to go fitness wise with age is power, so training for power becomes essential to maintain high function.

-Brain plasticity (the ability of the brain to create new neural pathways) was believed to end at the age of 35, but the latest research now shows that brains can still lay down new neural pathways into their 60s, 70s, and 80s.

-Memory and brain issues arise mostly because there is lack of blood flow to the brain, slowly killing off certain parts.  Exercise and proper eating promote increased blood flow to the brain improving memory and function.

-Our diaphrams are responsible for inhaling and exhaling and get significantly weaker as we age.  Focusing on deep diaphramic breathing will increase blood flow to the entire body, including the brain.

-Falls occur in those who have the weakest INTERNAL core muscles, hips, and glutes. Focusing on stabilization exercises are so important.

Aging is inevitable, but the quality of those later years are highly determined by what we do each and everyday now! Our Fit Grandparents programs at the Transformation Center has grown so quickly we are having to hire more and more trainers.  There is really no other programs in the area like what we are doing.  I am holding a a few more free exercise workshops next week. –>-> Click here to learn more. <-<-

I have been receiving requests from all over the world to create online/dvd programs for those over 55 years old. I plan on working on this over the summer.

Speaking of protein, our Hydrolyzed Collagen is now back on Amazon after having been sold out for the past few days. The joint pain relief, stronger hair and nails, and weight loss stories I have been hearing have been incredible. ->-> Click here to order yours right now. <-<-

Your questions answered…

By | Challenge, Fit Moms For Life DVD, Fit Moms for Life Pledge, Fit Moms for Life Six Week Challenge, Health, Uncategorized
I’m still blown away by your great questions, comments, etc. I thought I’d take a minute to answer some of the most common questions I’ve been getting.

When will the live coaching calls start?

The live coaching group will meet on Tuesdays, starting on May 19.  Emily will reach out to participants to set a time for the calls that works for the greatest number of people.

What will the coaching be like and how will it help me succeed?

We are purposely limiting the size of this coaching group so that Emily can give individual attention to everyone who signs up.  She will be asking you about your goals for the program and how she can best help you, so it may look a little different for everyone.

At a minimum, there will be weekly group calls, regular email/text check-ins, food journal review, etc.  Our goal is to give you the tools and the accountability to help you really make the most of the program over the next 6 weeks and get on track for life.

I am very out of shape and nervous to try an exercise program. I have seen infomercials for workouts that seem really hard.  I am afraid of hurting myself.  Will this program work for someone who has considerable weight to lose and hasn’t exercised in over a decade?

Yes!  Having worked with so many people, we have perfected the art of creating workouts that are gentle enough for the beginner yet challenging enough for the avid exerciser.  The secret is in variable resistance, and exercise modification and progression.  We have people needing to lose 200 lbs doing the workouts.

What equipment will I need for the workouts?

Two workouts are body weight only.  The others only require a set of hand weights (8-15 lbs) and a stability ball (55cm-65cm).

If you are ready to start your own transformation, and get an incredible level of support to ensure your success, click here now.

It’s almost time…

By | Balance, Behavior Change, Flexibly, Health, Mindset, Six Week Challenge, Uncategorized
As I mentioned last week, we are just about to release a new, free video training series on why relying on willpower alone to make a change will never work. Every week, I meet with people who are thinking about joining our programs, and I hear this all the time: “Dustin, I’ve tried lots of things and nothing has worked.  Why would it be any different this time?”

I get it—your confidence is shattered by having tried and failed so many times.  You feel as though you have no willpower, so why would you bother trying again. But the truth is that the diets, fitness programs, etc that you may have tried didn’t teach you how to guarantee your success.  They didn’t teach you how to bypass the need for willpower. Because relying on willpower alone never works. Even as a fitness professional, I have no willpower when it comes to certain things.  If there is a bowl of M&Ms or a bag of chips in my house, I will finish it… guaranteed.  I am a finisher.  =)

So that’s what prompted me to develop a short video series to teach you some tips and tricks that you can use to bypass the need for quite so much willpower. We use many of these strategies with clients in our local programs and our 6 Week Challenge, and they work.

That’s why I wanted to share them with you, to help you on your journey to be a happier, healthier, fitter version of yourself. We’ll release the first one this Thursday, April 30. Please invite friends or family to join us in this training. They can sign up here:  www.fitmomsforlife.com/willpower

We’ll send you an email each time we release the next video in the series.

I hope these help you take the next step on your journey.
Thank those of you who took a moment to respond to our short survey about what you wanted us to cover in the training–your input has been invaluable.  Thank you!
If you didn’t have a chance to respond but want to do so now, there is still time. Click here for our short 2 question survey.

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.