Lessons learned from having my engine blow up on the interstate

By | Body Assessment, Fit Moms for Life Pledge, Health, Killer Kurves, Mindset, Mothers, Uncategorized

This past weekend, I had planned on going home to see my family.  My sister was flying in from Colorado and it was going to be the first time we were all together since my mom’s unexpected death. On my drive from Madison to Minnesota, my car started to act up and it got bad.  I pulled over and my car was smoking and it wouldn’t start.  I got a tow into Tomah and got the news my engine blew up and I would need a new engine.

After everything I have gone through this summer, between my mom and my brother’s stroke, this news didn’t even really phase me.  I just smiled and said, “ok”. At this point, I could have been stubborn and told the garage to fix it no matter the cost. I could have rented a car and drove to Minnesota to see my family and then kept the rental car for the next 10 days while they repaired my car.

CarBut I did something I am trying to do more often when I feel like I could use it… I asked for help. I posted on Facebook asking if anyone had a flat bed trailer or any connections to a local mechanic near where I broke down. I received a message from a guy I have never met but spoke with on the phone and he recommended a mechanic friend that was about 20 miles from me. Next, I called my dad and he hunted down a good used engine to replace mine.  Then, I had to figure out how to get the remaining three hours to MN to see my family.

One of my awesome clients, Karen, just happened to be leaving Madison in the morning and agreed to pick me up on her way and bring me back on Sunday.  I spent Friday night in a little motel that I am pretty sure was rented out by the hour. 🙂

On my way back to Madison, I received a call and a guy had a nice Lexus SUV waiting for me in Sparta, the town where my car was now getting fixed, and I could have the SUV for as many weeks as needed.

The lesson I want to remind you of is, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Yes, we should be a person that is constantly trying to add to the world and not take away, but sometimes life throws us curveballs and humbly asking for help is the best thing we can do for ourselves AND it also allows others to be blessed by helping out.

Bringing it back to fitness and health, it is ok to admit that you haven’t been successful on your own. You haven’t failed.  You aren’t a bad person.  It just wasn’t the right fit. You might need more structure or community, that’s all! I am here to help if you need it.

If you really want to join one of my training programs in Madison, but can’t quite afford the entire membership investment, we are still taking applications for my mom’s scholarship. ->-> Click here to apply <-<  Send an e-mail to dustinmaherfitness@gmail.com with a little background and your goals and I can recommend a program I think is best for you.

If you are in the Madison area and looking to lose 40 or more pounds and get personally coached by trainers who have lost 50-150 lbs themselves, then Killer Kurves is the program for you.  Our next 12 week session starts Oct 5thand we have limited spots still available in our morning and evening classes. ->->  Click here <-<- to learn more and email me if you have questions.

Do you want to transform the lives of other women while changing your own more than you thought possible?  Do you want to build authentic, rewarding relationships, while getting increased accountability for your own journey?  Want to earn a little extra cash on the side? Join us THIS WEDNESDAY for a live webinar on what it means to be a Fit Moms for Life Leader–>Click here to register<– We are looking for a few women to help us change the lives of many others–we hope you join us!

5 Foot, Mother of Two Goes from 210 lbs to 166 lbs and still losing (winning)

By | Behavior Change, Challenge, Fit Moms for Life Pledge, Health, Mindset, Transformation Center, Transformations, Uncategorized
Every story I hear from a client inspires me to push harder in my own workouts and in my own life.  I would like to introduce you to Mallory who has been at the Fit Moms Transformation Center for just over 3 months.

Don’t let her small stature fool you, she is a mom on a mission and it has been awesome to see her journey.  Check out her story below and then I will come back at the end with a couple observations.

Share a little bit about yourself and your background with your health and fitness.

IMG_6599 I’m a Pediatric RN, mommy and wife. I grew up in a large family on a small farm in Northern WI. Money was tight growing up and therefore our diet resembled my parents budget. My mom did her best to make healthy meals with what she had. We had a garden and raised our own beef. I learned that meals needed lots of meat and very little green stuff, as my dad referred to it as “cow food” or “grass”. My mom always attempted to have a vegetable and/or fruit with every meal despite my fathers view point. After leaving the farm I married my high school sweetheart Nick and we brought two beautiful boys into the world. He has loved me at my heaviest and through this whole health journey. 

I was moderately active all the way through high school but always struggled with keeping weight off. At 17 I became the manager at a fast food restaurant and increased my poor eating habits. After high school I became lazy, it was easier to eat out then cook. Also whenever I was stressed or upset I found comfort in food. The stress of nursing school and the birth of my first son Gavin brought me to the heaviest, and it was eye opening. I was sitting at 210lbs on my 5ft frame. While looking at our beautiful family picture I only felt shame. In the summer of 2012 after graduating from nursing school I decided it was time to lose the weight.

My husband would ask to do active things and I would make excuses, I didn’t want to be the fat girl with the good looking guy. Physically active things always seemed to come easy to him and I often felt left behind. I made my first goal to just keep up with him. If he was walking fast into a store instead of saying slow down, I tried to keep his pace. This was not an easy feet! I then learned of Couch to 5k and surprised Nick by telling him I downloaded the app and was going to run a 5k. He was supportive right away and joined me. We ran our first 5K spring 2013! I got down to 170lbs by the end of the summer and also found out I was pregnant with my second son Corbin. I gained back most the weight while pregnant and at six months postpartum had made it to 180lbs only to gain back 10bs while breastfeeding. That’s when I heard of Dustin’s Santa Slim Down/Pay to lose challenge, I watched the video about the challenge multiple times and finally built up the courage to tell Nick that I was going to join a community that I had never heard of, drop $150 and go to boot camp. At first he seemed more skeptical then me, but quickly became the supportive husband he has always been. I started the challenge November 30, 2014 weighing 190lbs. And now on March 9, 2015, 100 days later, I am down to 166lbs! 

Where was your life before being introduced to my program?

I had hit a wall and was becoming more frustrated with my weight. I looked back on the summer of 2013 and wondered if I’d ever be able to do it all over again. I honestly was feeling depressed. I had seen many mothers lose the weight after having a baby with just breastfeeding. I didn’t lose, I gained! It is crazy how intensely hungry you are while breastfeeding. 

How did you hear about my program?

 I heard about Dustin’s program through a Facebook post on the No Excuse Mom’s Madison’s page.

As you were in the program what were you enjoying?  What were some of the challenges you had to overcome?

I love the community. All of the people I have met and worked out with are encouraging, helpful and friendly. IMG_6561Dustin and the trainers are excellent, I have never felt as if I didn’t belong there. The workouts are intense but the feeling of achievement at the end is worth the burning muscles. At first I had to overcome the little voice in my head telling me I was crazy. On day two when I couldn’t sit on the toilet or walk stairs I was convinced this was the biggest mistake ever… Ouch! But the pain went away and only strength remained, strength I honestly thought I never would have. I can do a real push up now and I actually don’t dread burpees.

How is your life different now than it was before being introduced to my program?

I have energy and I feel good in my body! I have found myself holding my head higher. My diet has changed and so has my families. We buy fruit and veggies in bulk and limit sweets and added sugars. I’ve been cooking more meals at home and packing my lunch for work so I know what I’m eating.

How has the reaction been with your friends and family.  Do they treat you differently?  Do they try to sabotage your results? How have you handled all of that?

My family and friends have commented on my weight loss and most of it has been positive. I have never taken compliments well so it’s something I struggle with. My family does point out when I eat an unhealthy snack but I know that having a cookie on occasion is not going to ruin what I have accomplished. 

What is your eating like now?  

The movie Fed Up was an absolute eye opener, I watched it with my husband during the challenge. Within a week we got a babysitter and went on a shopping mission to change the food we keep in our home. We read labels and discussed our overall goal for not only our health, but the health of our boys. We aimed to buy more fresh produce and limit all added sugar. This has been a huge positive change for my family. It has been great having my husband and I on the same page about what we are feeding our family. 

A typical day for me:


  • 2 eggs poached
  • Greek yogurt
  • Banana or cup of berries
  • Water


  • Lean turkey breast
  • Colby jack cheese slice
  • Cut veggies with dill dip
  • Apple
  • Skinny pop
  • Water with lemon


  • Sautéed green beans and mushrooms
  • Chicken breast
  • Quinoa
  • Water


  • Dried apple slices
  • Fresh fruit
  • Almonds with raisins and a table spoon of dark chocolate chips
  • Water

Lastly your best friend comes up to you and is considering joining the program you were just on.  What would you say to them?

Come with me and see what it’s about, the community speaks for itself!

I think the coolest part of her story was the support and excitement her husband had as she began her journey.  Spousal support is the most powerful support you can get, and Mallory is blessed to have it.

Like just about everyone who starts one of our programs the first week is brutal and your muscles hurt to the touch, but let Mallory remind you it is only a temporary pain and will only last about a week.

Lastly, even though she was bigger starting out, she felt comfortable, safe, and not judged.  This is radically different than many places she could have gone to start her journey and what makes the TC and the Fit Moms for Life worldwide community so special.  Women supporting each other.

A short rant

By | Behavior Change, Challenge, Health, Lifestyle, Mindset, Transformation Center, Uncategorized

I love to share my thoughts, meals, and favorite wellness articles on Facebook. Are we Facebook friends yet? No? >>> Click here to request friendship >>> Click here to join my community page >>> Click here to join the Fit Moms For Life FB community

I recently went on a bit of a rant on Facebook and it went a little viral and was shared and viewed thousands of times, so I wanted to share it with you here, too…

Warning! Rant ensues…

We have had record numbers of clients flocking to our Transformation Center the past month, which has been so awesome. But, I have also had a handful of conversations with others who have stopped coming because of the lame excuses of: it is winter, it is cold and dark outside and just too hard to get out of bed.G etting your butt out of bed in your warm cozy house is hard?


  • Fighting cancer is hard
  • Raising kids on your own is hard
  • Losing a loved one prematurely is hard
  • Going through a divorce is hard
  • Watching your parents’ health decline is hard
  • Losing half your net worth in the stock market is hard

Don’t tell me the 5 seconds it takes to get out of bed in the morning, put your workout clothes on and get in your heated car is hard. Remember everyday you DON’T exercise is like taking a handful of depressant pills. I don’t care if you agree or disagree – I know I am right. 

I care about you!

Do This ONE Thing To Get Faster and More Consistent Results

By | Behavior Change, Fitness Modeling, Mindset, Uncategorized

I am having a great time in NOLA at this internet marketing conference I’m attending to learn how to communicate my message in a more impactful way. There are over 500 men and women who have seen incredible success (financial, emotional, and otherwise) at this conference. The tickets just to attend this conference are extremely expensive, but I was blessed to be one of the main speakers a couple years ago and now receive life-time free tickets to this conference.

Why am I sharing this with you?

dream-big1I am surrounded by men and women who are doing massively positive things in the world and helping so many people. Being in a room where I am one of the smallest businesses, having a relatively small reach compared to others in the room is very powerful in a positive way. Sure, I could compare myself to them and get down on how much further ahead they are than me, but instead I choose to talk with them, feed off their energy, and learn what they did to help more people. Their success becomes the “norm” and I no longer question whether that level of success is possible. I know now that the more I associate with like-minded people and follow their formulas for success; it’s only a matter of time before I achieve the success and reach they have attained.

The same thing is true in fitness. When I competed in the fitness modeling world 2014-02-24_1451championships, having a six pack wasn’t the norm, it was an eight pack. 🙂 Just being around those guys from around the world in the locker room made you want to train harder and eat cleaner. I can only imagine how fit I would be if I had them as my workout and accountability group day in and day out.

This is also the phenomenon I noticed early on in my career – my one on one clients weren’t reaching the same level of success as those of my clients training with groups of 10-40 people. Having a trainer is great, but it doesn’t really put you in a peer group and provide the opportunity to feed off of each other’s successes. It is one thing for me to share a personal success with one of my clients, but it is a whole different thing for another client to share a success with her workout group or partner. Success breeds success. We don’t want to be left out in the results game.

For this reason, when we launched our now sold out (we will eventually open up more spots), personal training program, we intentionally placed the clients into groups of 3-4 women, linking clients with similar goals. This group will become each of their biggest cheerleaders, while the trainer is there to guide and push each person along their own journey.

Let me give you a couple more examples of ways to up your game in all areas of your life by associating with other successful, like-minded people:

  • If you want to be a better knitter this year, join a knitting group with very experienced knitters and your skills will undoubtedly increase.
  • If you want to write fiction books, contact some of your favorite authors and ask them some questions, or join a local book-writing club with more experienced writers than yourself.
  • One last example from my own life… I love ping-pong. I have played since a young child and started off playing on our make-shift table which was a 4X8 sheet ofCOURAGE plywood on two sawhorses. I got as good as I could with the players I had (my family), took a few lessons here and there, and then became a ping pong leader in college. Each step of the way I would improve a little bit, but it was only when my practice partners and my competitors were better that I really saw massive improvements in my play. When I played with players who were below my skill level, my skills actually got worse. My level of table tennis didn’t really skyrocket until I joined the TT club in Madison, which consisted of many of the top players in the state. I remember the first 3-5 months… I hardly won a match. I might have been able to keep up with the bottom 20%. But I kept practicing, trying to play better and better players. In a six month period I went from the bottom 20% to about the top 70-80%. There are only a few guys that I can’t beat there at all, and most everyone else I can either split or win every time.

The only reason I got better was because I surrounded myself with better players. The principle is universal. Surrounding yourself with people you want to be like (in any area of life), requires vulnerability and courage. What will happen if I am the worst one there? Will everyone think I am weird or stupid? These questions have run through my mind and everyone else’s mind that have made the decision to overcome mediocrity and strive for excellence. Push past the doubt and discomfort and you will achieve transformation and success you never thought possible!

You’re Worth The Time, Effort, and Dedication!

By | Body Assessment, Mindset, Nutrition, Transformations, Uncategorized

The stories that pour in about how the Fit Moms For Life home workout DVDs, eating plans, and support humble me daily. Jane is another incredible woman who has fought past demons of self-image, eating disorders, and self-infliction to come out the other side an even more amazing version of herself.

I am especially proud and excited that Jane has started the next part of her journey which is becoming a Fit Moms For Life community leader and starting her own local support group.

Jane, I can’t wait to see what life brings you and your family, you are truly one selfless mom, wife, and friend!

Jane’s story:

Natasha 4I’ve always been into working out and watching what I ate. The problem is that from the age of 7 until a few years ago (about 26 years old then), I struggled with anorexia and bulimia. I spent most of my teen years in and out of hospitals and rehab treatment facilities for it. I was stuck in this cycle of diet, starve, binge, purge, exercise to death. I was very thin and very malnourished. I was never overweight until after I had our first daughter. While pregnant with her, I started out thin and then let myself (for the first time ever), eat whatever I wanted.

I gained 65 lbs.

I went from a size 1 to wearing my hubby’s baggy sweatpants. Talk about feeling gross and frumpy! I almost never looked in the mirror. Not even when I brushed my teeth. I never wore makeup. This self loathing was the deepest after each birth of our children, and only got worse. I struggled with wanting to be healthy and starving myself skinny. My thoughts were very black and white: eat everything or eat nothing.

In 2012 I stumbled across the fit moms website. I have no clue how I found it (but thank you Google!) Our daughters were 6 & 4 and our son was about 7 months old. I had actually lost the baby weight after having him but somehow let myself gain weight to a terrifying 210 lbs. when I had spent most of my life being between 85 and 130  lbs, I cried. I bought the Fit Moms for Life book and read it cover to cover. I reasoned that I couldn’t afford the monthly program and therefore that was not my rock bottom. I was eating better, but it wasn’t until my birthday this year that I found rock bottom.

May, 29, 2013: my doctor called. I knew he would be calling about my labs for my thyroid. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease when I was 17 but after a thyroid storm that almost killed me they gave me radioactive iodine to ablate it. So I was supposed to be on a hormone replacement (synthroid). I had not been able to afford it for six months. My thyroid level was off the charts but that wasn’t all. He told me I needed to come in immediately. My husband and kids waiting in the waiting room as my doctor told me that my severely out of control thyroid was wrecking havoc on my organs. My heart, liver, kidneys, vitamin levels, cholesterol, etc., every lab came back abnormal and he said that if I don’t make changes, I’ll die soon. To change he said to take my meds everyday (he gave them to me free), and I needed to get healthy. Now.

I cried. A lot. And then my awesome hubby told me I could order my fit moms monthly DVDs and we would make it work. I don’t know exactly how much I weighed at the time, but I was around 215. And a size 14/16. To my own surprise, I’ve stuck with it! I really like seeing real moms who’ve had success with fit moms doing the workouts with me. My favorite parts are always strength training and core. Cardio is never going to be my favorite, but I treat it like ripping off a band-aid: suck it up and get it over with!

The challenges I faced were all internal. Do I deserve to do this for myself? My kids need me every minute. Negative self talk: I’m never going to lose the weight, why bother? But I did it anyways.

I am now 172lbs. Not my ultimate goal weight but considering I started in June officially, that’s 43lbs lost. It’s what I’ve gained that’s been the real game changer. Confidence,Natasha 2 ambition, determination, a go-getter. I want to help everyone I can get healthier. My sister joins me in working out & I signed up to be a local group leader. Most importantly I’m happier and a much better mother. My kids get the best of me more often, which is pretty important since we homeschool! My daughters are now 8 & 6 and our son is 2. They like to pull out their yoga mats and join me while I get fit and healthy. We talk about the importance of being strong and healthy especially since they’re in sports!

When I posted my before and after to my Facebook account, I started getting messages. I had been posting about my meals and working out but the photo put it in perspective. REAL changes were happening! So many wanted to know what I was doing, how I was doing it.

Food wise I have always eaten good, however I also ate junk. Portion sizing was a huge culprit. I needed to eat normal amounts instead of stuffing myself full of empty calories. I try to eat protein every meal and eat a mostly paleo/primal diet. My stomach feels way better! I have “cheats” also, but I don’t officially call it that. This is my life. If I want nachos, fine. That does not mean that I throw out my whole day or week (as I had done in the past). Keep portions in check and eat healthy far more often. I also advise getting creative in the kitchen. I just found out I have two new favorite veggies: spaghetti squash and asparagus. Who knew?!

I’m fighting eating disordered thoughts, and health problems. I’m a busy homeschooling mom of three, a wife of almost 10 years and an entrepreneur with two businesses. You can do this. You deserve it and you need this. You’re worth the time, effort, and dedication.

Get yourself healthy and fit…then pay it forward.

Jane Manka

PS: Dustin, thank you for saving my life.

True Transformation

By | Behavior Change, Body Assessment, Fit Moms For Life Book, Mindset, Transformations, Uncategorized

Last May I received an unsolicited email from Ava.  Ava and her fiance Walter, just hit their one year anniversary with our Fit Fun Bootcamps.   Her message communicates very well what a true transformation looks like.

It isn’t just about one thing like exercising consistently, losing weight, eating better, changing your mindset, being happier, or inspiring others…It is ALL those combined and more. When a person sees true transformation, their old self in a way dies and a new self is born. That is the goal each of our trainers have when working with clients. It isn’t just about delivering a workout that will leave the body shaking (anyone can do that), but it is to inspire each person to transform into a better version of themselves. (We all can improve to be better!)

Here was her email…


I saw your post about getting ready for the summer…and I realized that Walter and I just hit our 1-year anniversary of bootcamping! This, together with your birthday reflections, got me to reflect on my own life, especially the last year.

We ran the hill yesterday and I remembered my first day… I was one of the youngest people there and…. I was one of the last ones up the hill. Honestly (sorry if this sounds inappropriate), seeing women who are *much* older than me, mothers and wives, some of which could be my mothers, chasing me up the hill was one of my biggest motivators last year!!! In my head, it was *me* who was supposed to be more fit than any of them… but I wasn’t. It was hard to grasp the fact that I am nowhere Juneclose to where I should, and could, be.

Last year I wasn’t able to run for more than 0.5mile. Three weeks ago I ran a 5K. None of my summer clothes fit anymore – none. I can deal with loose shirts, but can’t do anything about all of my shorts/pants being too big. Belts don’t help anymore. I haven’t been wearing my engagement ring lately because it falls off my finger and I’m afraid I will lose it. I track my food, eat better and feel better.  I am healthier, feel healthier, and I feel fit and confident. A lot has changed. I changed. I don’t know how much of my change has to do with the change of my lifestyle due to bootcamps, the community building in your programs, or how much of it is just because I am older and more mature. I think all of these contributed to who I am today.  I am far from the person I was a year ago. I can stand my ground more easily, I stick by what I feel and believe more firmly.  I don’t get involved in relationships and friendships that are not reciprocated anymore. I learned to walk away from things that don’t help me grow, and walk towards things that I want and need. I am less emotional. I feel more… defined.

Walter tells me that I grew balls lately – hahahahaha. My relationship with him changed a bit too. I am more appreciative of him, of who he is, of how much we “fit” together. We’re getting married in a few weeks and I have never been as sure of this relationship as I am now. It feels great 🙂

Having Walter as a partner and future husband has been incredible. He has always been the optimist, the happy guy, my better half. Always inspiring, always positive, always joking, always making me smile. He has supported me in ways that I cannot describe. But for some reason I didn’t see all of him and his full character until recently. He laughs that I became a mini-Walter lately. The transformation that happened to me was long overdue and I owe a lot of it to him also. 🙂

The community of your clients is inspiring. I’m sure that I am not the only one who gets to reflect on their own life by observing and seeing other people’s stories and struggles. People tend to think that they received the short end of the stick, which makes us unhappy and wanting more and more of what others have. We are not as appreciative as we should be for what we do have and we all have a lot.  We just need to open our eyes and start seeing the good in our lives. I definitely have opened my eyes. I appreciate what I have much more than I used to. I started caring more about my friendships and also grew closer with my friends…. It feels good to feel needed and appreciated. Being called an inspiration and a best friend inspires me to be more.  I feel grateful to hear I was the only one that came through in tough times and I was the only one who remembered something important.   Friends have stated they don’t know how they will repay all of the support I’ve given.  Friends tell me that I made them cry (in a good way), because I sent them an inspirational card which they very much needed at the moment, and my gesture kept them going and believing. It feels good, Dustin! 😉 

I grew closer with my family too, although it has been harder since I think my family doesn’t see my change as positively as I do. I have a family of complainers and pessimists. When they see me happy and optimistic, even at the worst moments, they tend to think that I just don’t care about them or the situation in question as much as I should. Well, that’s one thing that I still need to work on. 🙂  I am proud of my aunt who took a turn in her life and started working out and eating healthy. I gave her your book a few months back and she called me crying after reading the intro stating that every word of it is so true but she failed to realize it before. She started with your FMFL DVDs, then she found a local bootcamp in Chicago and she works out 3 x week. She hates burpees btw, but she says she is really good with pushups.  I think you two would get along very well. I am hoping they visit us this summer and I will bring her to your bootcamp.:) 

Alright, so much for one-year-reflections. I am looking forward for the years to come. Well, for now I am looking forward to the next 7 weeks since I need to get those arms & shoulders in shape for the wedding!

I hope to see you at Elver!!


If you aren’t happy with where you are at physically, emotionally, or relationally, take the chance on yourself and click here now to join the Fit Moms for Life 6 Week Challenge.  Or, if you are happy but want to take it to another level, or if you are just feeling in a little workout rut, our programs are for you!


I Choose You!

By | Behavior Change, Mindset, Uncategorized

you1I really enjoy weight loss shows… This past one was with a 23 year old from Wisconsin who had only 1 arm and he went from 410 lbs to 193 lbs in a year.  As I watch shows like EBM and Biggest Loser, I am struck by the fact of how much hope the person receives when they find out they have been selected.  It is like they have a new lease on life, the opportunity to get their bodies and their lives back.

The funny (or not so funny) thing that these people believe is they need a trainer like Jillian, Bob, or Chris Powell, to help transform them.  In reality everything that those trainers teach them could be learned for free online, or found in my Fit Moms For Life book, or free in my 500 plus blog posts.

Maybe you are just hoping and wishing for a miracle. Wanting something or someone to fall from the heavens and give you the road map to follow.  It isn’t a road map you need my friend, as much as the confidence to believe in yourself that you are capable of succeeding, and that you are capable of greatness.

If you watch the episode of this kid, you will see him stare fear in the face on a number of occasions and continue on.

Sure I would love for you to attend one of my programs, or invest in my DVDs, but none of that really matters unless you believe in yourself and you are going to recognize that there will be times fear is very intense, but it is in those times that you must acknowledge it and push past.

That is what I believe the best trainers and instructors in the world do, they help you to believe in yourself when you don’t believe, they help you to stare that fear down in the face, and celebrate together when you push past it.

So I choose you!

I choose you because you are destined for greatness.

I choose you because you deserve to live out your wildest dreams.

I choose you because if you don’t do it who will?

I have seen too many people from all walks of life overcome incredible challenges and transform to let you be any exception to the rule.

Go out there and choose yourself!


By | Behavior Change, Blog, bootcamps, Core Training, Fit Moms For Life Book, In-home workouts, Uncategorized
Today I want to share with you a story of Wendy, although she lives in my town, I have yet to meet her.  Her story reminds me that all it takes is some correct information followed by massive action.  Wendy, like many moms just didn’t know the right way to healthily lose weight and be healthier.  I am humbled that some words in my Fit Moms For Life book, and some of my workout videos was the start of a 67 lb weight loss journey, but more importantly, a beautiful mom of 4 kids finding herself and discovering that being overweight her whole life wasn’t something she had to live with.  Wendy I can’t wait to meet you soon and give you a big hug.  Your story has inspired me, and I know thousands of others who will read this.

Wendy before at over 200 lbs

Here is her story…

“I am 31 years old and a mother of 4 beautiful kiddos (ages, 10, 10, 5, and 3).  For as long as I remember I have considered myself “big boned” and seriously believed that I was just built bigger than other women.  I had come to terms with that and found a way to be happy with my body at the time.  Exercise and healthy eating was a foreign language to me too.  I never really understood how it worked and I never gave 100 percent to finding out either.  I have pretty much struggled with my weight since middle school.

My oldest 2 girls started to participate in a program called Girls on The Run last year (2011).  They were learning about positive thinking, healthy food, and finding inner strength to overcome obstacles.  Watching them finish their very first 5K last November was very emotional for me.  I was proud of them but, mad at myself for not being able to (or wanting to) complete that first 5k with them. I stepped on the scale at the beginning of this year (2012) and was 221 pounds.  I was mad that I let this happen.  How did this happen?  I didn’t even notice that I had put on that much weight.  I still feel embarrassed at times even now after losing the weight!  This year (2012) was going to be my year and I was going to take back my body and not let the chaos of my life to be my excuse.  My mom was also diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time which was pretty hard for me to deal with emotionally.  I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything I possibly could to be healthy and to be able to fight off anything that I could possibly have to deal with one day.

Click the book to buy it

I started to do a little research on eating better and basically the first 2 months of weight loss for me was trying to figure it out.  I started to add some cardio but, after a month I was not seeing any results on the scale or in the way my clothing felt.  I got an e-mail from Groupon with an offer on Dustin’s bootcamps and decided to read a little more about Fit Moms For Life.  I ordered the FMFL book and the Got Core video and started to put what I was reading in to action.  I had to schedule myself to be at the gym 3 days per week after work just to make sure I went.  My husband works nights so this was not always easy to do with all of my kids and then with my oldest 3 being active in sports and extracurricular activities after school.  I decided that I was not going to give up my gym time though.  I had spent the last few years worried about getting everyone else where they needed to be and never worried about how I was feeling or if I was taking care of myself.  My 3 gym visits (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) each week consist of weight lifting and burst training.  I spent the other days doing the Got Core video, playing Zumba on our Xbox Kinect with my children, and running.  Sundays are usually my rest/cleaning days.

Wendy Before and After Losing 67 Pounds

I used the My Fitness Pal application on my phone.  Everything I ate, every time I worked out, every pound I lost I entered in to my daily journal there.  I also spent a lot of time journaling in a notebook about how I was feeling or if there was anything particularly hard for me that day.  I wrote personal goals for myself outside of just the obvious weight loss goal.  Sometimes it would be something as small as: read a book with the kids every night this week or to get one room cleaned each night during the week.  Other times there would be goals like: be able to do 50 pushups continuously in the next 90 days.  These types of goals helped me to motivate myself and they also taught me that I can achieve almost anything if I put my mind to it.

I also started to run with my daughters this year (2012) when they started the  Girls on The Run program again.  This was to be their 3rd time running a 5K in this program and there was no way that I was going to let them do it again and just stand by as a spectator.  I wanted to share that moment after crossing the finish line with them.  I also wanted to be able to encourage and motivate them as we all ran together.  I completed my second 5K to support Girls on the Run on November 10th with both of my daughters.

To date I have lost 67 pounds however, I am still hoping to lost another 10 to 15 pounds and am still working hard to tone my stomach.  Now that I have lost most of the weight I do have a harder time staying motivated at times.  I have found that by talking to others about my goals and challenges I face that I have been able to do a pretty good job still making it to the gym and eating healthy.  There are people that tell me “you better not lose any more weight” or “you are too skinny”.  I  just have to remember that this is my journey to be a healthier me and what other people think does not matter.  I can’t tell you how much losing this weight has changed my outlook on life.  I have energy after work now!  I don’t just sit on the couch and watch television any longer.  I am able to control my emotions at home and work a lot better too.  All of the extra energy I have now allows me to keep up with my energetic kids!”


Example Meals:

Day 1

Breakfast: yogurt, granola, berries (strawberries/blackberries/raspberries)

Snack: Banana

Lunch: Turkey Sandwich on whole wheat (onion, spinach, avocado or laughing cow cheese), Apple

Snack: Popcorn (plain)

Dinner: Grilled Chicken, Broccoli, half of a Sweet Potato


Day 2

Breakfast: Oatmeal, Banana

Snack: Orange

Lunch: Salad (Spinach, Onion, Turkey, Walnuts, String Cheese, Vinagerette)

Snack: Apples and Peanut Butter

Dinner: Grilled or Baked Fish (Halibut, Cod), Asparagus, half of a baked Potato



Who say’s it’s not possible to be “hot” at 50? – Part 2 of 2

By | Behavior Change, Fit Moms For Life DVD, In-home workouts, Nutrition, Transformations, Uncategorized

In part one I told my transformation story. Now I am going to talk about how changing my eating habits helped me to get the resultsClick here to read part one…

Donna Before

One big lesson I have learned is that nutrition plays a large part in the results that you get. Eating 5 small meals a day works really well for me. Just when I start to feel hungry, it’s time to have another meal. I try to eat healthy 70% of the time.  I still have my treats…but only in moderation. Well, most of the time. 🙂

Steel cut oats are one of my favorite things for breakfast. I have come up with several different varieties. Some of my favorites are pumpkin/walnut, apples (or raisins)/cinnamon and Cocount. Or,  sometimes I just add ground flax seed. Another great breakfast  that I enjoy is this one that Dustin recommends. I also like toasted Ezekiel bread with natural peanut butter in addition to eggs.  Read More

What It Takes To Get Insane Results

By | Behavior Change, bootcamps, Transformations, Uncategorized

Girls after a sweaty workout

You are in for a treat today.  I was able to pull a couple of Fit Fun Bootcampers off to the side after a workout and have them share with you the attributes of success.  Learning from those who have been successful is one of the quickest ways to getting to where you want to be.  So whether you are looking to lose 100 lbs or gain 10 lbs, this advice is priceless.


Here is some of their advice:

Crystal: Be consistent with your eating, drinking, and exercise.  Surround yourself with positive people.  Share with what you have learned with others.  Click here to check out Crystal’s awesome blog and incredible insights.

Crystal Before

Brandi: Journaling what you are eating, surround yourself with positive people.  Keep water intake high.

Brandi Before

Jennifer: Community of positive people who will push you.  Do today’s work, focus on today.  Get rid of the diet food (lean cuisines), cut out process foods.

Jennifer Before

Vanessa: Strong social support at home with husband.  Consistency, when you mess up, get right back on the wagon.  Structure, plan everything and record your numbers.

Vanessa Before

Elizabeth: Be kind to yourself, and focus on being healthy, don’t be hard on yourself.  Eat more protein.  Be a role model for your kids.

If you are looking for a home fat loss program that is similar to the program that these women are doing, I highly recommend checking out my Ultimate Body Transformation Program that includes all my DVDs, 3 eating plans, tons of audios, and phone coaching.  Click here to learn more.

Question of the day:  What attributes do you find to be successful?

Discover How Lynn Lost 61 lbs Through Fit Fun Bootcamps

By | Behavior Change, MamaTone, Mindset, Transformations, Uncategorized

The before pic that started it all

Today I am happy to share with you a great story of a mom named Lynn who lost 61 lbs.  Lynn has been coming to Fit Fun Bootcamps for over a year now I believe and she has quietly been transforming her body in amazing ways.  Lynn ins’t the loudest person in the group, but she has a soft, determination about how that I really love.  It seem like each month I have to reset my image I have of her body, because it is always changing. 🙂  Lynn does a great job sharing her story with you below.  I think it is great that her husband is so supportive of her and her choices she is making.  Lynn has bought into my system of training and eating and she will never be the same.  Are you ready?  One note: MamaTone is pretty much the exact same workout as my Fit Fun Bootcamps, which are similar to all my different DVD programs.  The only difference is that is it during the middle part of the morning and we provide childcare.

Picture me, 33 years old, in the jeans section of a department store, 3 months after the birth of my second son. I have already lost the 30 or so pounds I gained during pregnancy or so I thought and I start trying on pants. The smallest ones I can fit into are a 22. A 22! I’m depressed. I leave with one pair of 22’s. I have to wear something. I am not the first or last mommy to have been in this position.

Picture me, later that month checking facebook. My friend posts a picture of me pushing my older son on a swing at the park. I don’t even recognize myself. I’m really depressed now.

Lynn smokin 61 lbs lighter and many sizes smaller

I decide things need to change. I decide to start with what I can do. I decide I’m going to need many partners to help me get through this journey. My first partners are Bob Green and his book The Best Life Diet and Leslie Sansone and her Walk Aerobics DVDs. I start paying attention to what I am eating and make small changes as Bob’s book suggests. I weigh myself and I am 190 pounds.

It’s 5AM and I have just fed the baby, I decide this will be my work out time. The 3 ½ year old is asleep and the baby usually takes a cat nap after his feeding. I place him in a bouncy seat and pop in a DVD. I don’t think I even bothered to put on a pair of shoes that first day.

Now, if you knew me at all, you would know that I am all about truth. My mother refers to my proclivity toward frankness as “graphic”, a perfect description. I start marching and side stepping and instantly I notice that I can feel the globs of loose fat and skin moving up and down with me. I am uncomfortable and embarrassed. How did I let this happen? Luckily, it was just me, my sleeping baby and Leslie in the basement and so I persisted. I got up faithfully every morning and did a DVD. Sometimes I made it through, sometimes one of the boys woke up and I didn’t, but I persisted. And every day, Leslie told me that I was making a good choice. Every day, she told me it didn’t matter how big I was or how long I had to exercise (a mile, 2 miles, 3 miles), I had made a good choice. I needed to hear her say that every day as my fat was flapping up and down.

Fast forward several months and I have lost many pounds. My next partner turns out to be Fleet Feet. I had treated myself to real shoes a few months back and was put on the Fleet Feet e-mail list. I read about their No Boundaries beginning running program. Previously, I had always been interested in running but didn’t feel I could do it. I was a great walker, but as soon as I tried to run, I overheated, got a headache and felt like I was going to die and would quit. That would all happen in about the space of one minute out on the trail! I e-mailed my husband and told him I wanted to join this running group and asked if he could come home early every Wednesday and wake up early every Read More


By | Behavior Change, Fit Moms For Life DVD, In-home workouts, Mindset, Transformations, Uncategorized

Karen's Arm At 53 years old!

I am very excited to share this story with you.  I think it will touch and inspire you, especially those who are in their mid 40’s and older.  When Karen sent this to me I got goosebumps.  I am very thankful that the 1 hour I spent with her changed her for the rest of her life.  I am so proud of Karen for APPLYING the knowledge she learned and living it out 24/7.  I am also so excited for her to become a certified trainer (that will bring the number of my clients, who would have never dreamed of being a trainer, who have gotten certified to 6) so that she can share the truth and what she has found to be life-changing.  When meeting Karen 18 months ago, I had no idea that she had just lost her father.  The pics she sent me were incredible.  If I were to describe Karen the first time I met her (and the only time), I would describe her as frail, brittle, and a little emaciated, it also seemed like a little bit of her life had been taken from her… I am sure that was from the recent passing of her dad.  But these pictures show an amazing 180, she is an incredibly toned and lean post menopausal woman who is determined to live life on her terms.

So check out her story!

What does age 53, “the empty nest”, climbing a 60 ft tower and Fit Mom’s For Life have in common? For me it means I am standing at the crossroads of a new stage of my life that is both exciting and scary at the same time! My “baby” will be heading off to college this next week and our house will be empty. All of this has prompted a great deal of soul searching as well as personal reflection that makes me realize it’s time for “Me”.

When I look back, the events of my past have all led up to where I am now and to where I am heading. The pivotal point began back in January, 2009 when I met Dustin for a personal training session at our home. I had just lost my father and my husband surprised me with a personal training session with Dustin. I remember thinking, “how nice, but how is one session going to help me”? I was wrong, it only took one session of an intense total body workout, complete with nutritional education and body measurements that totally changed the way I workout and live my life. It’s been a totally new way of fitness! No more steady state cardio or wishy, washy weight training where I just ” hit or miss”. There is a goal, a plan and a commitment. Dustin was just putting the finishing touches of his 12 DVD Fit Mom’s For Life series so I signed up. I have all 12 and each one gets progressively more challenging. I now have a beautiful series of personal training dvd’s that I can incorporate into my other weight training and cardio workouts.

I recently sent Dustin a few pictures of me showing my biceps. I didn’t have any signs of a bicep when I first met Dustin, so I showed him what doing the Fit Mom’s For Life DVD’s, strength training,cardio burst training as well as eating clean has done for me! At first I didn’t think I “fit in” because the mother’s where of young children, but fit mom’s for life doesn’t have an age limit nor does developing muscle strength have an age limit! I plan to continue to lift weights and incorporate clean eating and along with burst training for as long as I am able. I have no end in sight! In fact it’s just the beginning. I have signed up for a ACE Personal Training Prep Course at UW Madison to see if my love and passion for health and fitness might be a new journey for me to pursue. I will never know unless I try!

Karen doing a 1 Arm DB Row

How does the climbing tower fit in? On July 3rd, I scaled the side of a 60 ft climbing tower at Camp Lutherdale. Before I took the zip line down, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and with a leap of faith, jumped into this new stage of my life! It’s a new day and a new way!

It’s amazing how “things” happen for a reason. I do believe things happen for a reason and there are no mistakes!


Question of the day:  What questions do you have for Karen?  Do you have specifics on motivation, exercise, or nutrition?  She would love to answer your questions.