Tag Archives: #lucky13fitness

Need some MOTIVATION???

2 Nov

Motivation.  What does it really mean? It is a word that is often used by trainers, teachers, coaches, and parents, amongst others to describe the act of stimulating someone to act in a certain way.  In my world, the word motivation refers to providing people with a reason to live their lives as BEST they can by making healthy choices.  I provide my clients (as well as friends and family) with reasons to eat whole, nutritious foods & stay active and fit through exercise.  I provide them with statistics, knowledge, exercise programs, recipes, stories, encouragement, and other resources so that they may learn and make their decisions.  It is my passion and my job to provide all of these things on a daily basis so that my clients may live their BEST lives possible.

But let me tell you, it is not always easy to keep a person motivated (including myself…I am a human, and am completely fallible regardless of my job).  Motivation is easily done when a situation is optimal; there are no true obstacles, the risk is minimal and the sacrifice is almost null.  When things get a little sticky, maintaining a solid level of motivation becomes MUCH more challenging.  But it is precisely at this critical time when motivation is key.  This is where I have found that the reasons, or MOTIVES, (get it MOTIVation??) for each person make all of the difference in the world.  Working toward a goal for another person’s satisfaction will never be a successful journey.  Sacrificing time, energy, and money to meet the goals that someone else believes to be important will produce one thing: resentment.  As a motivator, I realize the importance of digging into the core of each client’s being, finding what makes them “tick”, learning why they have chosen their goals, and personalizing my encouragement to make it meaningful for each person.

Motivating from this very individualized standpoint makes it much less likely that a person will give up when the going gets tough.  Instead of walking away as soon as they face difficulty, they will be reminded WHY they signed up for the challenge in the first place.  They will pause and remember the MOTIVE from within that has kept them at this journey day after day.  And they will find the strength, courage, and will to endure even the most formidable challenge because they know the end result is of their own choosing.

So, you see, the key to motivation is that in its most effective form, it comes from within.  Those outside sources- teachers, trainers, coaches, parents, friends, quotes, blogs, songs- are only helpers at delivering the message.  Think about who you consider to be the Top 5 motivators in your own life…. do they know you? Are they aware of your goals, your dreams, and the reasons behind them?  Chances are, they do.  Continue to let them be a reflection of your bravest self, and lean on them as a reminder that you never have to do anything alone.  But most importantly understand that their words, actions, support, and motivation will be most successful when you accept them as the support to your own fire within.

MONSTER Monday Workout Challenge: my results

20 Sep

Yesterday I posted a blog post outlining a workout that I did with a personal trainer friend of mine.  We lift together once a week and this week she brought me a workout called the “Filthy Fifty” which I later found out was created by Crossfit Boston!  IT. WAS. A. BEAST.

The one word we kept repeating during the workout: humbling. This workout was absolutely humbling to two people who consider themselves to be fit!  We managed to give a smack down to every muscle group in approximately 18 hardcore minutes of working out.  We did slightly deviate from the exact way Crossfit executes the workout.  In true Crossfit format, one person performs all exercises in succession w/o stopping while their partner times them; we took turns on each exercise and timed each other.  We also subbed out jumping pull-ups with body weight rows, skipped Burpees, and did box jumps w/step down.  These things were all done to accommodate my ankle which I’m dutifully nursing back to health for my half marathon.  Even with our substitutions and modifications, the workout was NO JOKE.  We were exhausted at the end, and at the same time we felt GREAT.  It was such a great sense of accomplishment!

Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think!!!

components of fitness: do you treat them equally?

14 Jul

There are several key components to fitness- cardiovascular exercise, strength/resistance training, flexibility- and everyone naturally gravitates to their favorite.  Some people love to do cardio; they want to run, bike, or swim for every workout and have little or no desire to do much else.  Others would gladly spend every day in the weight room, and consider a workout filled with lifting heavy to be a success.  Still others can be found in the group fitness rooms and private studios practicing Yoga and taking Pilates (and other similar) classes.  Personally, my poison is running.  For me, nothing compares to logging mile after mile and ending it soaked with sweat, enveloped by a Runner’s High.

 No matter which component we like best, most of the time we pay so much attention to one area that we end up neglecting other components of fitness.   You know what I’m talking about.  You could do your exercise of choice all day long, but it might take a friend and a large sum of money for you to consider doing the other things you don’t find to be “fun”.  We are all guilty of it. And we dont always realize how detrimental this is to our overall fitness level, and ability to perform at our best.

One of my favorite quotes that I write/say/think about often is “That which we resist persists.”  I apply it to so many situations in life, and this one is no exception.  The components of fitness which we ignore, put off, and neglect are those which will persistently find their way back into our lives.  Don’t like resistance training?  You won’t get that nice firm, toned look you’re going for….toning muscle means you need to HAVE some in the first place.   And that means lifting weights.  Loathe cardio workouts?  No matter how heavy you lift, nothing can replace the myriad benefits of raising your heart rate.  Don’t be surprised when you can’t make it up a few flights of stairs without huffing and puffing.   Can’t be bothered with stretching/flexibility?  Your range of motion, ability to move, and lift properly is going to be severely compromised.   When we ignore ANY component of fitness we are allowing ourselves to work in an inefficient manner, and ultimately are putting ourselves at risk for injury.   As if that’s not reason enough to start diversifying, giving attention to the less “fun” parts of fitness will make you better at what you love to do.   When I started incorporating more flexibility work into my routine, I was amazed to find that my running stride improved and I was even able to take some time off my mile. 

Bottom line: the core components of fitness are each important in their own right.  Each serve a unique purpose and all complement one another.  We may prefer one over the others but we owe it to our body to be creative and find a way to incorporate them ALL.  Sign up for a class, get a gym buddy, buy a pass to a Yoga studio, etc.    Give yourself a new challenge!

What component of fitness is your least favorite?  How do/will you incorporate it into your routine?

summertime sloth syndrome?

6 Jul

Snow; sub-zero temperatures;  sunset long before the work day ends; layer upon layer of clothes; waiting 15 minutes while the car warms up.  All the tell-tale signs of the dead of winter.  The world goes into hibernation as the temperature drops, and the desire to hit the gym or pavement drops with it.   WHY am I talking about the Winter Workout Blues in the middle of JULY on a 90 degree day?!  Well, because I think some of us experience a summertime version of the Winter Workout Blues- the Summertime Sloth Syndrome.

What is the Summertime Sloth Syndrome?  It sounds a little something like this: Its hot…no, its H-O-T….10 minutes in the sun and it’s a sweatfest.  And did anyone mention the humidity?!?  For some people it can be just as miserable as the snow and bitter cold of winter.  We get fatigued from being in the sun and the thought of exerting any extra energy to work out is nauseating.  All we want is to be inside the A/C or on the beach with a breeze and a cold beverage.   On top of all this, summertime is vacation time.  Whether its a weekend getaway, an extended trip, or even just a bunch of “staycation” BBQs, there’s always something to celebrate during the summer.  And all of this hearty eating and drinking can derail us from healthy habits.   Put all these factors together and Voila!, Summertime Sloth Syndrome (SSS).

How can we beat the dreaded SSS?  Its time to get creative and incorporate exercise into things that are FUN.  Working out does not always mean treadmill sprints, lifting dumbbells, and being confined to a gym setting.   Think about what you like to do, and then add an exercise twist!  If it’s too hot for a run in the neighborhood, try biking or rollerblading along a river, lake, or pond!  Hit the beach per usual, but this time bring your TRX suspension trainerand get a GREAT workout in the sand!  More fun can be had at the beach: play Frisbee, Nerf Football, or have races in the sand!  Want to be even closer to the water??  Go kayaking, water skiing, wake boarding, or tubing!  On a day that’s overcast and a little cooler, go for a long walk or hike.   No matter where you are, there’s always a workout waiting to be discovered.  Get creative, people!!!

This summer there are NO EXCUSES!  Don’t give in to SSS!!!! Reclaim your healthy habits and make your workouts FUN this summer!

What about you? How have you made your workouts fun this summer??

“cheat days”- we all have them

1 Jul

I get into conversations with people ALLLL the time about my diet- what I eat, what I don’t eat, and how I manage to “eat so healthy all the time!?”   I get asked questions like “Don’t you ever crave cookies or cake??”, “How can salad be so satisfying? Wouldn’t you just rather have pizza??”, and “Oh come on, eating so healthy can’t be that satisfying!”.

Truth is- yes of course I crave sweets and other “forbidden foods”;  while I absolutely truly love salad, sometime I DO want pizza; and eating healthy IS satisfying but I fully admit that I have my “cheat days”.  I break the rules every so often- I eat candy, cake, cookies, hamburgers, french fries, nachos, and maybe even some Munchkin donuts!!  Not all at once of course; but in small bits and on an infrequent basis.  Yes you read that right- I sometimes eat the food I consider to be JUNK!    And I do it because its only human to have cravings and equally as human to allow myself a treat every once and a a while.

I truly believe that it is because of the occasional treat and “cheat” that I am otherwise able to keep a healthy diet full of whole, REAL foods.  95% of the time I eat unprocessed foods that came directly from the ground, a tree/vine, or an animal.  I am aware of what I choose to eat and drink, and I compliment my healthy eating habits by exercising regularly and maintaining a generally healthy lifestyle.  Because this is the case 95% of the time, I allow myself to enjoy and splurge the other 5% of the time.  The key here is that the splurges are the EXCEPTION and not the rule.  Save them for special occasions- holidays, birthdays, important dinners, etc.

With the 4th of July holiday weekend here, it will no doubt be a time where we are surrounded by tempting foods at parties and BBQs.  Whether its potato chips, double chocolate brownies, BBQ ribs, cookies, ice cream cake or anything else that makes you salivate, don’t restrict yourself to the point of being miserable.  Instead do the opposite- plan to indulge during this special occasion.  Pick your favorite treat and allow yourself a small portion of it.  Be sure to take your time eating it- don’t shove it all in your mouth at once.  Enjoy each bite, savor the texture and flavors and really let it be an experience.  It’ll satisfy any cravings you’ve been having, and you’ll be less likely to binge on unhealthy foods in an unplanned way.

Food is delicious and fun.  It is made to be enjoyed so do just that!  All foods can be enjoyed in moderation and even the fittest, most health-conscious person can “Cheat” once and a while!

Have a HAPPY and safe 4th of July!!!

pre/post workout eating

1 Jul

Recently a Lucky13Fitness fan posted on the Facebook page asking me to write about the specifics of pre/post workout eating.  I thought it was a GREAT idea for a blog post!  So, here goes- my take on pre/post workout eating.   [Now, I MUST say that this is just that- MY take- and should be read as such.  Additionally, this is a basic outline that can be altered to meet individuals’ specific dietary needs/requirements.  Remember, not everyone’s needs are exactly the same, so its important to take the information supplied and use it in a way that works for you!]   Alright, here goes:

Pre-Workout

As a general rule, pre-workout food should consist of carbohydrates, a little fat, and some protein.  The main source of energy for the body comes from carbohydrates so you should NOT be afraid to consume this important food group, especially before working out!  Depending on the way your daily schedule unfolds and the time at which you workout, the pre-workout food could be a significant meal (400-500 calories) or a smaller snack (100-200ish calories).  If you are having a meal, make sure it is consumed at least 1 hour before your workout, so that there’s plenty of time for digestion.  If its a smaller snack, you can move it up to 30 mins before your workout.  There is a bit of trial & error with how close to your workout time you can eat.  Ideally you want to eat as close to the time of your workout as possible WITHOUT feeling ill!

Some of my favorite pre-workout snacks are:  apple & natural nut butter;  1 slice Ezekiel sprout bread toasted w/nut butter and sliced banana; greek yoghurt w/granola; 1 slice Ezekiel sprout bread with 1 string cheese; homemade smoothie w/1 cup milk and 1 banana or other fruit.

Post-Workout
It is absolutely IMPERATIVE to eat after a workout.  I have talked with so many people who think “I just worked out SO hard and burned ALL These calories.  The last thing I want to do is go ingest them all again! I’m not eating!”  I promise you, that’s not the way our bodies work.  After a workout, our bodies are depleted of glycogen stores and we are in somewhat of a starvation mode.  The main purpose of the post-workout meal is to stop protein breakdown, start protein resynthesis, and replenish glycogen stores.  Basically we need to give the body food to replenish itself, and build lean muscle.  And the sooner it happens, the better.  Immediately after and up to two hours post-workout is the key time to eat.

The question becomes: how much do I eat after I workout?  What if its late, and its right before bed? Do I eat a snack or a full meal?  The answer is- it depends.  People who work out first  thing in the morning will have a small pre-workout snack, and then can eat a proper breakfast when they are done.  If your workout takes place in the middle of the day after lunch, a post-workout snack will do the trick.  Those who work out later in the evening may have a small mid-afternoon snack before the workout and then should have a proper dinner afterwards.  People are often wary to eat a meal close to bedtime, but it is my belief that to omit a meal entirely is more detrimental.  A meal consisting of lean protein, some carbs, and veggies is a perfect thing to have after a workout, even if it’s an hour before bedtime.

Some of my favorite post-workout meals/snacks :  milk or greek yoghurt with cereal; egg whites w/spinach, tomato, mushroom and part skim mozzarella; apple with natural nut butter; grilled chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread.

The bottom line is this: there is no single “correct” way to eat pre/post workout.  Aim to follow key principles outlined here and tailoring them to meet your dietary needs, and schedule.  If you find it overwhelming or difficult, try meeting with a personal trainer or a registered nutritionist and talk detail about a specific plan for YOU!

June Newsletter

6 Jun

The summer is finally here! After all the rain, gray days, cold spells and yucky weather, I think the sun is finally here to stay!
The days are longer, people are a bit more laid back and the vibe is just so chill.  At the same time, summer always brings me a new energy- a positive mental state that has me smiling and putting extra pep in my step.  I can’t help but be in a great mood on a gorgeous, sunny day.  No more bundling up and shoveling snow just to get out of the house.  Just slide on flip flops (or running shoes!) and go!! Its instant happy!
This energy undoubtedly transfers from my daily activities, to my job, to my relationships, and to my workouts.  I am in a positive state of mind, and ready to give 100% in everything I do.
The key is to keep it that way as much as possible, and maintain a healthy balance.  When something gets you off track, and sours your mood, stop and take a deep breath.  Think about how much ACTUAL irreversible damage this person/thing is causing your life.  Is it WORTH getting so upset about?  Stop and look out the window, let the sunshine warm you, and  breathe in new air.  Try as hard as you can to keep the negative energy OUT of your life.  Summer should be about being HAPPY and having FUN!

BADONKADONK BONANZA 2011
If you have not yet experienced my version of outdoor bootcamp, you are MISSING OUT.  Take your fitness to another level by participating in a SWEATFEST 1hr workout that will get you in shape. I promise.

Physically it will challenge your strength, endurance, flexibility and agility.  Mentally it will help you to push  past your comfort zone, break through your supposed limits, and achieve goals and expectations…it’ll make you dig DEEP to bring your BEST.  Most importantly- it will be FUN!  Your fellow Bootcampers will provide both motivation and a little competition to get you going in high gear!!  Show up once a week for an hour and BRING IT, and I promise to do the same.
Spots are limited and WILL fill up fast so email me at lucky13fitness@gmail.com to reserve your spot today! Come sweat it out with me!!!

What You’ll Get: Badonkadonk Bonanza- a 1hr per week Bootcamp-styled group fitness class that will get your BADONK tight and your life right, emails from ME to help keep you on track to meet your goals, the valuable motivation from your fellow bootcampers.
Where You’ll Get It: Nunziato Field, 22 Vinal Ave., Somerville, MA, 02143
When You’ll Get It: Sunday evenings 7-8pm ALL SUMMER LONG!!!
Cost: $25/session.  Pre-register for a month and SAVE $5 per session. Get 4 sessions for $80!!!

How much a month do you spend on new clothes? food/drinks? makeup? jewelry? lottery? $80/month on your health and wellness is WELL worth it!!   Make the commitment to yourself and get results you DESERVE!

Stay Connected with Lucky13Fitness
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for exercise tips, healthy recipes, a whole lot of motivation, and DISCOUNTS on Badonkadonk Bonanza enrollment!!!

In The News
This past weekend I completed the Renegade Playground Challenge in Loudon, NH.  It is a 5k run with 25 crazyyyyy obstacles to conquer. Think mud, monkey bars, ladders, crawling in/around ropes, swamps, etc.  It was CRAZY!! It was most definitely a huge challenge and I was excited and proud to cross the finish line with my fellow Renegades.  This race is along the lines of the Tough Mudder, and Warrior Dash.  They are all incredible goals to work toward.  They give you a reason to train, and to push yourself FURTHER!  If you aren’t already signed up to take on a similar challenge this summer, i urge you to get a couple friends together and DO IT! It is so much fun!

SCHEDULE/TRAVEL
Lots going on this month!
I am teaching THREE Bootcamp sessions per week:

Wednesday evenings 6-7pm – Beacon Hill Athletic Club, Brighton
Thursday Noon-1pm- Beacon Hill Athletic Club, Brighton **NEW**
Sunday evening 7-8pm- Nunziato Field, Somerville

Travel- This month I am lucky enough to travel to China! I am very excited for my first trip to Asia, and can’t wait to share stories and pictures with you when I return!

June 20-29th- gone to explore Asia…

BUT Badonkadonk Bonanza WILL HAPPEN!!!  My friend and wonderful fitness colleague Paige Crowther will be leading BB on Sunday June 26th. Paige has been a veteran of BB and is FULL of motivation and energy. I have full confidence that she will lead an amazing camp!!!!

Subs for Wed/Thurs bootcamp at BHAC are TBD. I will let you know as soon as I find out!

WORKOUT WITH ME!!!
Whether you like the energetic environment of a group fitness class, the helpful motivation of working out with a friend or two, or the individualized attention of 1:1 training, I’ve got what works for you!  Let’s make 2011 your year- email me at lucky13fitness@gmail.com and lets get it startedddddd!!!!
Doesn’t matter if you live in Boston, Braintree, or beyond, we will make it work!!

MUSIC IS FUEL FOR YOUR WORKOUT
Every newsletter I include music that helps to get my Badonk in motion during my workouts, and share it with you!  This month, I’m giving you a track that will keep your sweatfest going!!!

Marry The Night- Lady Gaga

This song, and actually the whole album are GREAT for working out.  She’s gotten some flak for this record but i LOVE it.  It gets me into a great groove on a long run.  Enjoy!
Persistence. Determination. DREAM IT, THEN DO IT!

Much love,
Michelle

“To be your best, you gotta bring your best”