Willpower.

I’ve discussed willpower A LOT lately. I’ve heard several comments, “Can you just force me to not eat it?” “Can you slap it out of my hand?” “Can you make me not do that?” “I don’t understand your willpower.”

Ummm. NOPE.

I am not the sweet personal trainer/nutrition expert that is going to let this go. So, the real question here is WHY CAN’T YOU MAKE THIS DECISION FOR YOURSELF? I just totally hollered at you. I sorta apologize.

When I get a new client, the first thing we do is disect some of the real issues with their eating and workout routines. Are you in pain and struggling to keep things consistent? Can you not say no to certain foods? Are you eating foods that are harming you instead of helping?

I will give you fair warning here: I am not going to sugar coat this AND I’ve had a coffee, 2 dark chocolate squares and an energy drink (sugar free of course) this afternoon so SHIT’S about to get real.

I might be the best trainer and nutritionist on the planet but you will not succeed unless you do it for yourself. Period. I can even come and cook your meals and feed them to you but if you want to cheat, you will. If you want to look a certain way, then go work on that. Hire someone that knows their stuff and guides you through it. (I might know someone.)

If someone wants to hire me to tell them “what to eat at every meal”, I never accept them as a client. Now, I can teach you how to do it for yourself and teach you the proper proportions for your goals and so on. And I can guide you through your struggles to where you are the happiest person on Earth.

One of my favorite clients of all time is a long haul truck driver. He drives for 10-12 days at a time, 12 hours a day. He tries to get a hot meal every 3-4 days. All other meals are prepared by himself in the truck with an occasional fast food meal at lunch. We broke it down to one thing - his anxiety with choosing foods correctly to meet his needs. Now, what kind of nutrition coach or person would I be if I stopped this awesome guy from eating whatever he wants every 3-4 days when he stops for a hot meal? Um, no. You eat a good meal! And let’s keep the “other” meals in check. This guy rocked it all. He meal prepped for his truck. He made better decisions when stopping for breaks. He kept in touch with me daily. If he had a moment of panic, he reached out. The result? He learned what worked and what didn’t for his unique needs. He learned how to put foods together in a way that helped him. He lost around 12 pounds in 2 months. He felt tons better. I actually could hear the “happiness” in his voice when we spoke. Not once did I slap anything out of his hands or demand that he stop something.

The difference is that he was ready to listen and willing to give it a good effort. I am beyond proud of him and I hope to meet him in person one day! Yep, he is an online client. He works strictly with me via his phone and computer.

Back to my questions above.

Are you in pain and struggling to keep things consistent?

  • Okay, this is easy for me because I deal with this exact issue every single day. I run a large autoimmune program and have many clients that are dealing with autoimmune issues. I myself have several autoimmune diseases that I am treated for. There is NO nice way to say this but chronic pain sucks ass. It truly zaps energy and your mind. I am fortunate to have figured out a way to somewhat control my mind during the day and allow the pain to sorta take a back seat. Now, that is not always ideal and if you don’t know your body extremely well, you might hurt yourself even more. I never allow my pain “to completely disappear” either. As in, I don’t take so many pain killers or substances to where I can’t feel the pain. I am in the gym 9 hours a day, lifting weights for clients, teaching classes, demonstrating moves and so on, if I think a joint is fine (because I can’t feel it) and do something directly on it, then I will injure it further. It’s a vicious cycle. I have just learned to manage the constant pain. My best advice is to do something everyday no matter what. Big or small. A small stretching routine on your “bad” days will help you tomorrow. Or a solid weight lifting routine on your “good” days is helping those joints tremendously. You just have to readjust your plan and be flexible. Whatever you do - don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay if you can’t do what you planned. You are doing the best you can.


Can you just force me to not eat it?

  • My answer is always - NO. I can’t make anyone do anything. Trust me, I know. Nor do I want to. I’ve told this story a zillion times in my writings. I had a client that was very close with his 80 year old ailing grandmother. He would visit on the weekends and help her with chores and such. All she wanted to do was bake his favorite cake. Every single weekend. He was mortified that he had to eat this cake every single weekend and ruin his goals. After some talking, I realized that he was baking the cake with her, helping her measure and it was his all time favorite cake from her. They would sit and talk and laugh while baking. My simple response - “You’re going to give your grandmother this. She is sick and her last wish is to bake something for her grandson. You are going to show up and eat that damn cake. If in 5 years she isn’t around, you would give anything for a piece of that cake.” So, we readjusted his calories for the week to include cake! He did 10 minutes of extra cardio several times a week to account for the large amount of cake! Eat the cake people! Just adjust somewhere else. If you truly have an “issue” with something, then slowly drop it. Or drop it cold turkey and never pick it up again. My dad did this with french fries. I suggested he eat them once a week but it just fueled his desire for them, so he cut them completely out. This is an internal item within you. Make up your mind and prove to yourself that you can do it.

Can you slap it out of my hand?

  • See above. I can give you the tools but I can’t make you do anything. But, trust me when I say that I would like to slap some people occasionally.

I don’t understand your willpower.

  • This is an easy answer for me. I want to feel and look my best so I make the decisions to be stronger than food. I have no desire to put crap into my body and feel bad afterwards. I prefer to feel better. Like I said above, I know my body very well and I make the decisions for my body so I choose good food. If I make a bad decision, I don’t worry about it. Tomorrow is a new day and I get right back on track.

Willpower is a decision from within. Either you have it or you don’t. Now I can show you the ways and give you the tools but you will never succeed until you are truly ready. The good thing? It gets easier and easier over time and with practice!

So, what will you choose to change today? Leave me a comment and I look forward to watching you grow and succeed!

Love,

Molly

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Dear Sugar - are you a friend or enemy?

OH, the gigantic sugar debate. It’s one of the most controversial topics in the nutrition and fitness world. A close second to supplementation. Or Crossfit. For the love of everything, don’t mention sugar and your Crossfit workout at the same time. Don’t. Do. It. Ever.

My nutrition licensing company puts us “Pros” in a group with the new students studying for their license 2x a year. The questions they ask us are interesting. Stupid maybe. Insightful sometimes. But if the sugar debate is ever brought up, hold on. It’s like watching the finale of Games of Thrones with the actors fully dressed while they throw 100 tons of sugary snacks at you. You look this way and laugh and then the other way quickly. You brace yourself for being attacked at some point while snacking on something for shear comfort. It’s the best. And Heaven forbid one of them challenges one of us. It might be the highlight of my year. Before you get defensive for the “new, poor kids”, they end up smarter and among the world’s most elite coaches.

After all that. I do have mixed reviews personally. I have studied tons of “diet” plans, the effects of sugar, the need for it, the need to not have it, all the above. Soooo, about eight months ago my stomach decided to change yet again. If you don’t know, my stomach is the stupidest thing ever. It loves Mangoes. It hates Mangoes. It wants food. It refuses food at all costs. It changes constantly and that’s because of my disease. I decided to start doing some further research. I knew things were off again and I needed to find the culprit. I eventually narrowed it to SUGAR. Yes, I eat healthy and am very deliberate with what goes in my mouth. However, sugar had a big part of my diet. Mainly in drinks and sauces. I rarely eat cakes and cookies, etc.

Five months ago, I was on a trip to a tropical island. No, sweet tea to be found. No, juices. Well well. Guess today is the day. I dropped sugar cold turkey. I attempted coffee, which by the way is disgusting. I tried vodka, that helped a little. Water it is then. Five days in and I was rocking it like I never thought I could. I mean, I did eat 2 brownie sundaes from a local restaurant and I regret nothing.

However, the test was to be when I made it home. My kids were sending texts like, “Are you sure you want to come home? Dad is taking care of us good.” The thing about me is that I have INCREDIBLE willpower and I will do whatever the Hell I want just to prove a point to myself. So, almost six months later and I am still rocking it. I have dreamed of McDonald’s sweet tea a few times and stood in the cabinet ready to lick the sugar jar, but stop judging - I’m rocking it.

I’m writing this to tell you what happened after all that. The “crash” wasn’t bad at all. I promise! I’m not just saying that to try and entice you over to the land of natural, awesomeness. It wasn’t bad.

MY TOP effects from cutting sugar

  • I instantly cured my insomnia.

Now that’s a weird one for me, because I never drank or ate sugar past 3 pm. So, I assumed that it wasn’t bothering my sleep patterns. I usually go to bed after 1:00 am and I was asleep by 11:00 pm most nights after cutting my sweet best friend loose.

  • My stomach stopped bloating and hurting constantly.

I’m not joking, I could eat 2 bites and within minutes, look 6 months pregnant. My friends think it’s funny, but it is pure misery. I could eat one thing, even a bite and be in terrible pain for days. Plus I could never really track what was causing the issues. Again, my stomach is phenomenal at changing and disguising itself.

  • Apparently I am more alert.

My assistant commented that I have been on top of my game lately. I am putting out content and crap right and left. AKA, I am making her do more. Maybe I can keep the momentum. Maybe she can too. Maybe my assistant now needs an assistant.

  • I don’t have the dreaded crash.

Working in a gym is unique for sure but if you see a bunch of trainers walking on the treadmill or having a planking contest, first off they are bored and second, they are crashing hard and trying to stay with it. In other words, we are pulling for some endorphins to kick in somewhere. We are a crazy breed and will do anything to not crash. Even a planking contest. I have had zero crashes. Zero. I’ve hollered a few times but let’s not call that a crash.

  • I have lost 8 pounds and toned up.

It’s not a secret in my field that sugar goes straight to the mid-section and sits there no matter what. Okay, not always but the majority of the time. I know some trainers that eat pounds of candy everyday and have -5% body fat but they are the exception. A typical person with a normal diet full of sugar and processed foods will generally carry extra weight around the middle. It’s the worst possible place to carry extra weight yet it’s hard to break that habit. See my habit blog post HERE.

Anyway, I have lost 8 pounds already. In full disclosure, I did start a new program at the same time. Which actually was designed to get me working out twice as LESS than I was. All while correcting some major issues and allowing my body to adjust to more recovery. Yes, I have my own trainer. He’s awesome. Like next level awesome. Not my level of awesome, because I am awesome but in the sky awesome. I never really doubted him, but I did for a split second think, “Good luck pal.” Again, 1 week in and I’m toning up and my ass was sleeping. Take out the sugar the next week and I was well on my way to the next level. You get the point. By the way, if you want to follow him - which you should, he is at @fitnessjonestraining.

NOW WHAT?

WELL..I’m not really sure. Jk. I know what’s next. For me, I methodically took ALL sugar out and then slowly began adding it back to see where my sweet spot was. (<—- That’s the best sentence I have ever written. I’ve clearly had WAY too much pre-workout with NO SUGAR.) Seriously, I began adding back natural sugar to see how much would bother my stomach and so on. I have managed to find a fairly good place. Now, like I said above - my stomach is possessed. I’m constantly trying to find things that help it. I could write a full book about it.

I do suggest that you find what works for you and stay in that area no matter what. Don’t let extra sugar creep back in. Keep it down and you won’t miss it! I do believe that a zero sugar diet is almost impossible. It can be done and I’ve seen it and coached clients through it but it is wildly hard. Especially if you love fruit. Or life in general. Like when my daughter makes chocolate chip cookies from scratch using mainly organic ingredients. My sweet, loving motherly ass is eating a cookie. And I’m going to like it and not worry about the sugar! Balance people. Side note - I bet the tyrannical Crossfit people wouldn’t eat their child’s cookie. Sorry Crossfit friends. I still love you.

I will leave you with an example. I do enjoy organic Kombucha. (Steer clear from the ones with tons of ingredients and crap. Trust me.) The one I am currently addicted to is pictured below. It has organic cane sugar with 4g per 8 ounces. I drink about half a bottle a day, so I get a measly 4g’s of sugar per serving. BUT it is FULL of other ingredients that benefit me tons. Like, live probiotics, ginseng and black tea. Just 1 of those store bought frosted sugar cookies that I will come out of nowhere and slap directly out of your hand has 22 grams of sugar. PER COOKIE. So, my 4 grams is nothing.

You get the point. I am here to help as well. I do this all day everyday and I will not shame you if you eat 10 frosted cookies. I will slap them out of your hand if I see you though. Reach out if you are needing some help with sugar or anything else with your nutrition. Or fitness. I’m your girl!

Love,

Molly

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Chicken Stew

A new fall recipe for you! This time it’s an amazing chicken stew that’s healthy and tastes delicious. Chicken stew has many benefits such as being high in protein and vitamins. It boosts the immune system which is especially beneficial if you’re sick!

Even if you aren’t sick, chicken stew is an amazing option if you’re wanting to have soup. My mother makes the best soup EVER and so did my Granny so I have always loved any type of soup. It’s actually 98 today and I just ate chili. I know..

Enjoy!


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Strength 101

New workout program is HERE. I am beyond excited. Chad knocked it out of the park with this one. What is it?

A solid 4-week strength program that incorporates weights and is designed to target a specific muscle group each day for building muscle. Each day has a cardio session and a core workout added as well as the strength portion. The program slowly builds your strength as to not injure or overwork your muscles. It’s easy to follow and will explain everything that you need.

Chad spent several years designing programs for our fitness facility and people loved his workouts! They loved the ease of the program and the results that starting showing almost instantly. This program is NO different! It is designed to be done anywhere that you are comfortable. Take it to the gym or grab some weights and do it in your living room. All you need is a few sets of dumbbells and space.

Head over here to get your hands on it!

Enjoy,

Molly

Say HI to the new guy!

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Yep, there is a new guy around here. I’m excited to officially introduce my new adventure!

M & C Fitness is officially launched and international! So, meet the new guy! Chad Johnstone. Chad has worked with me for awhile and recently suggested some new ideas. After a ton of thought and discussion, we are partnering and opening M & C Fitness! I will be running the US division and he will be situated in Wellington, New Zealand. How exciting is that!

My businesses are booming and Chad is the perfect fit to take some of the slack! We have worked as a team the past year or so managing our local clients and the dynamic has worked great. Chad is a certified personal trainer and extensively trained in Kettlebells and group fitness. He has developed numerous courses that are a huge hit locally. He has also developed 5 brand new programs that will launch this week on the website. They are fantastic and designed to be done at home or the gym. Chad will be available for consults via Zoom and can assist with ANY fitness need that you might have.

We have also launched our brand new APP! Now all you have to do is click the app and we are there to train you. It’s a wonderful tool and we are excited about that the most. We can train you from anywhere and help our clients more efficiently. Want to work out at 2 a.m.? No problem. Just click and we are there with the exercises and instructions. Now we can holler at you from anywhere in the world! It’s heaven for a trainer.

Our sales page is up and I will link it below. I know what you are thinking.. Why should I choose M&C Fitness? That’s easy. We are both very knowledgeable, spirited and dedicated trainers and coaches. We have 15+ certifications and specialties between the two of us. We have studied countless journals and programs to stay on top of the fitness field. And that’s hard to do! We also have a combined 28+ years in the fitness field. But.. the big thing is - YOU GET TWO TRAINERS! We discuss our clients and make sure that we are giving them what will move them successfully forward. We discuss your goals and needs. Our method has proven successful over and over again. Our clients are happy and thriving in their fitness journey. It’s because your goals and needs are our goals and needs to.

If you have a set back as one of our clients, we come together as a team and develop a new plan to reach your goals. If you have a huge win as one of our clients, we come together as a team to celebrate. It’s that simple.

Yep, Chad and I are located on opposite sides of the world but that doesn’t mean you won’t get us both! When you decide to sign on as a client, we evaluate your needs and goals and go from there. We are very comfortable with our own strengths and weaknesses. Honestly, you might be a better fit with Chad. I’ll step in occasionally to check on you and help Chad if he needs it! Or vise versa. We each have unique talents and specialties and we respect each other when it comes to that. I can teach you to lift an Atlas stone with success but why would I? Chad has developed a kick ass Atlas stone program and taught many guys how to lift properly and succeed with a 220 pound stone! He’s the Atlas stone expert.

Rest assured that we will make sure you are succeeding on your fitness and nutrition journey!

What’s the first start for you? We suggest subscribing to our email list. You will get tons of cool info and offers!

Join our list here: COOL LIST

If we can help you or you just want to say hi - drop us an email or say hi over on social media too.

Much Love,

Molly

P.S.- Sales page - HERE

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Happy Red, White & Blue Day!!

I love this day, every year! My favorite part, THE FOOD! Am I right?

After working with Molly, I’ve become better at fueling my body properly, so I decided to copy her (my favorite thing to do) and use her yummy recipes to complete my perfect 4th of July dinner.

To start us off we will have a yummy avocado summer salad. If you like avocado you will love this, it’s easy to make and even easier to eat. It’s not published yet, so here you go:

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Now for my main course! I have decided to make Herb-Crusted Pork Chops, also very easy to make and a good source of protein.

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For sides, I will make roasted asparagus and zucchini. Seriously ya’ll, these two sides only take 10-12 minutes in the oven. I am going to add Parmesan Biscuits to complete my awesome meal. Those are my favorite part!

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I know what you are thinking, there is no way you can make a fun, healthy dessert without it being fatty and delicious..WRONG! I am making a Watermelon Sorbet, yes, it tastes just as incredible as it sounds. Try it out! Or save your leftover watermelon and try it this weekend!

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That’s it, an easy peasy 4th of July dinner plan for the fam! You don’t always have to eat junk food for it to be a good meal. Replenish your body, trust me, you will be a better you.

Also, don’t forget your workout! One of our newest trainers, Malcom Merriweather built an awesome 4th of July workout for you!

Molly has TONS of recipes on her Pinterest site! Search for Molly Blomeley Fitness!

Happy 4th everyone and stay safe!

Love,

Hannah XO

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I'm the sidekick, Hannah!

Lia and myself.

Lia and myself.

Hey ya’ll, my name is Hannah, AKA Molly’s sidekick. Molly asked me to share with you what we call 9 months and counting..

I run the corporate fitness center here in Vance, AL with Molly. Molly is running around crazy and I guess you can say that I am the one that holds “the fort down.” I manage all the staff, payroll, group fitness, make sure Molly doesn’t lose it, etc.

Let’s discuss my biggest job recently- Helping my sister, Lia with her pregnancy.

How was the pregnancy? Any complications? Sickness?

Disclaimer: Lia already worked out extensively.

Molly designed a nutrition program for Lia to follow through her pregnancy along with her doctors normal recommendations. This seemed to have made Lia a bit more comfortable and reinforced a positive body image. Lia is beautiful and embraced the whole pregnancy body!

During the 1st trimester, Lia focused primarily on eating fish, dairy, lots of nuts, a balance of green veggies, and lots of water. Lia’s infatuation with Starbucks was the first thing to go but after a week, she felt more alert than ever.

Molly and I started Lia on an intentional fitness program that helped her maintain her fitness level as her body adjusted to the new life growing in her! Now called, Baby Eli.

Some of those workouts included light yoga/pilates, low intensity cardio, and lots of use of the handy dandy exercise ball. On a side note, Lia maintains this regimen alleviated her morning sickness and reduced her tiredness.

“Growing” into the 2nd trimester, Lia started to have a lot of discomfort and pain in her abdomen. After consulting with doctors and running multiple tests they concluded that nothing was wrong with the baby or pregnancy, this was just part of the baby growing and her body adjusting. Working full-time, the discomfort became a distraction at her job so she discussed it with Molly, and they broke down her diet, exercise plan and the vitamins she was taking. Molly decided to revise her diet to include more beans, fruits and lots of leafy greens to supplement the prenatal vitamin, which was effecting her system terribly.

As it turns out she was right, Lia stopped taking the prenatal vitamin and the pain disappeared, but all her levels were completely maintained by her new diet. Her doctor was fully aware of everything as well.

Exercising during the 2nd trimester has physiological advantages as your body gets used to supplying more oxygen and nutrients to you and you baby. In addition to her existing workout plan, Lia added the elliptical as a safe way to incorporate more cardio.

“Rounding” out the 3rd trimester, Lia reevaluated her diet and exercise. We upped water intake to support the baby’s growth, added more fruits, maintained veggies, added more protein and fiber. This added roughly 300 more calories per day, which did not cause Lia to gain unnecessary weight.

In the home stretch, we modified the workout to include more pelvic floor exercises, which supports internal organs and the baby. (It also gets “things” prepared…”) We added squats in a relaxed position so that gravity would naturally open her pelvis. We also encouraged Lia to get extra exercise time at home by walking her three dogs. In other words, Lia completely rocked her pregnancy.

By following this fitness and nutrition plan, we were able to take the labor out of the delivery. Lia had a very easy labor and delivery and was up and moving almost right away. In fact, a few days after the baby she looked like she never even had one.

Molly and her new business partner, Chad have started a new fitness program for busy moms where Lia and baby Eli are the main models! You can follow their journey on Molly’s Facebook page and Instagram. Lia has had zero issues getting back into her fitness routine either. We are all VERY proud of her and of course, now we are excited to get Eli active one day. Here’s to my sweet sister and her allowing me to “practice” on her!!

Love,

Hannah

Turkey Mexican Salad

Happy June everyone! I have a new recipe that’s filled with flavor and spice. This salad is so yummy and perfect for this hot summer weather. It doesn’t take much time to make, and it’s perfect for the whole family. Check it out!

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I actually really liked this recipe and I hope you do as well. It’s loaded with protein and veggies as well. I look forward to seeing how you enjoy it!

Love,

Molly


















How To Choose Your Healthy Habits

Everything about breaking and picking up habits is hard. First, you have to recognize that your habit is bad, which is often the easiest step to accomplish. Second, you have to make a conscious decision to change your ways. Most people have woken up and said “You know what? Today is the day!” But very rarely has today been “the day.” So that brings us to the hardest part of all of the habit-breaking steps: actually implementing it into your daily lifestyle.

We’ve all tried to break habits and failed miserably at one point or another. Breaking and adopting habits is a part of being human. I gave up soda one time (for 2 weeks) in 2003. My friends still bring it up. People want to do better for the most part. But failing is also a part of being human. How can you choose habits you know you can stick with? Should you implement all the healthy habits at once? Or take it nice and slow? Read my quick tips for choosing your habits and keeping up with them:

Recognize your good habits:

There are very few people in this world who don’t have good habits. Even if you think you don’t, I assure you that you do. For example, maybe you think you drink wine too often (everyday perhaps?), but you only drink a glass or two a night. A good habit is to wait until the nighttime to have your glass! It’s also a good habit to only have one or two glasses!

Recognizing your healthy habits means you recognize that you have it within you to change your ways. By understanding that you are able to make a change in your life, you gain more confidence and determination when choosing to change yourself.

Maybe make a list of the habits that you’re proud to have. Or if you’re not in the mood, just stop right now and think of one good habit that you possess. For example, while most of my friends put extra salt on their food, I don’t and I’m happy about it (no matter how bland food can taste at times!)

Think about the habits that make you feel bad:

After deciding what you’re already good at, it’s time to take a step back and acknowledge what you don’t do so well. Everyone on the planet has bad habits, even the healthiest and most on-top-of-it person you know! (AKA, midnight eating over here.)

There are a lot of steps in the habit-making/breaking process, and the most daunting can be picking the habits that you should work on. Most people overthink this step! You know what makes you feel bad about yourself. These things are the first things you should choose to change. Hating on yourself for not drinking enough water is barely a way to live your life. Drink more water already.

What do you think about everyday? Maybe it’s the intense guilt you feel when you buy an overpriced and oversugared coffee every morning. Maybe it’s the stomach ache you get after eating a carton of ice cream even though you know you’re lactose intolerant. These bad habits should never stand in the way of your happiness or daily life. Buy the lactose free ice cream and eat away.

Familiarize yourself with the types of habits:

Many different websites and papers like to break habits into psychological or sociological groups. While these can be helpful, I’ve found that sometimes they can be overwhelming. So I’ve compiled a small list of different habit groups that I could think of that might help you choose your habits:

  • Exercise and Diet (ex. losing/gaining weight, getting active, etc)

  • Health (ex. taking your medicine, avoiding an allergy, etc)

  • Motor Habits (ex. swearing, rocking your foot back and forth, etc)

  • Spiritual (ex. praying, attending service, meditating, etc)

  • Mental Health (ex. releasing feelings, seeking help, spending too much time online, etc)

  • Sleep Habits (ex. sleeping well, sleeping for correct amount of time, etc)

  • Social Habits (ex. the way you interact with others, spending time with others, etc)

I know there are plenty more but it might help to choose a category that resonates the most with you and then focus on that.

Recognize your incentives:

Incentives, or things that entice you to do what you do, are super easy concepts and learning about them can help you understand why you do the things you do and why you should or shouldn’t.

There are three types of incentives: economic, social, and moral.

Economic incentives are pretty straight forward. They have to do with gaining money or material objects. For example, a pretty good economic incentive for not buying a coffee everyday is that you’ll save hundreds of dollars in the long run. Or limiting you credit card debt is a good economic incentive as well.

Social incentives involve doing things based off of what others will think of you. For example, most people base their looks (like their hair, clothes, presentation) off of what other’s will think. Many people choose to lose weight due to social incentives because they believe that their weight changes the way people see them. You be you and be happy regardless. As my mom would say, “Who cares what someone else thinks.”

Moral incentives are slightly different. They involve choosing to do something based off of your concept of right and wrong. Moral incentives can be the main reason a person chooses to change their habits. For example, drinking a liter of soda per day is something everyone knows is wrong, especially for their body and well-being. Yet, we guzzle tons everyday. I love when I walk into the cafeteria at work and my clients start stashing soda everywhere.

By knowing what makes you want to pick/drop a habit, you are more likely to stick with it. For example, if your doctor tells you to start taking a heart medicine, you will probably do it and then stop for awhile. But if your doctor tells you to start taking a heart medicine because you might die if you don’t, that’s a pretty strong economic, social, and moral incentive to start taking your medicine. Interesting story here: I refused a certain medication for months. My Rheumatologist was all over me. I had been in the hospital and just couldn’t recover. My main concern was that I had to sign that I would not get pregnant again and I wasn’t ready to be officially done. Plus, who gets to decide that for me? Not you, Mr. Rheumy. This goes on for months and I was getting sicker and sicker. Mr. Rheumy was not a happy camper. I’m sitting in his office and he brings it up. I of course start rambling and he listened for as long as he could. He leans over and gets inches from my face. “I no longer care what you think. I’m going to save your life and you need to realize that. So, back down. If not, find a new doctor.” Well well. Guess who saved my life. Multiple times and still is 13 years later. Now we are like an old married couple.

My team. Vanessa Hill, CRNP and Dr. Winn Chatham. Both are at UAB in Birmingham, Alabama.

My team. Vanessa Hill, CRNP and Dr. Winn Chatham. Both are at UAB in Birmingham, Alabama.

What can you afford to do about your habits?

Habits require A LOT of effort, time, determination, and sometimes money. It’s important for you to understand how far you’re willing to go to stick to a habit or else you might get burned out. For example, you might really want to run a marathon in a couple of months, so at the beginning of your training, you say you will run for one hour each day in order to prepare. However, you forgot that you have a huge project coming up at work and that your daughter has theater rehearsal every weeknight and that your friend asked you to feed her cat every other morning. This poor planning will result in you coming home one night, exhausted, and telling yourself that you can afford to skip one day of running. But then you do it the next day, and the next, until it’s the morning of the marathon and you haven’t practiced at all.

While this might have been an extreme case, it still serves as an important reminder to cater your habits towards your lifestyle. Let’s face it, most habits are hard to stick to. It would be hard for anyone to run an hour a day, regardless of their job, family needs, and/or prior commitments. But those things on top of your already-hard goal spells out absolute disaster.

Another example is choosing to go completely vegan for a month. For average people, it can be incredibly difficult to get a full stomach while going vegan, especially if they don’t have the money to spend on bulk fruits and veggies or the time to spend planning out their meals. Now if you are a planner, then you start chopping those veggies.

If you really want to stick to your goals, choose habits that aren’t completely impossible. Understand your lifestyle and day-to-day commitments before deciding on a habit.

Understand what it takes:

Habits are super hard to make and break. That’s why they have such a bad reputation. By understanding the effort, determination, and time that goes into making yourself better, you will actually be able to stick to your goals.

Understand that you might fail a couple of times, but getting right back up and finishing what you started is a sure-fire way to become a happier and healthier you. Stay tuned for the “Great sugar detox of 2019” that I’m currently smack in the middle of.

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What is my ending comment: It’s simple. Take care of business people. You only have one life. Live it great and FOR YOU. Listen to the professionals if you need help. YEEESSS!

Love, Molly

The Mango Meltdown

It’s summer! And what do I think of when I think of summer? Fresh fruit! Specifically? My favorite: mangoes.

Also, my oldest, better known as the picky, I’ll eat only chicken (not from Publix or with sauce or fried weird or with something on the outside) and cheese (only natural, not processed or white) child, actually will eat a Mango. It’s like the sky opened up and threw me a bone for once.

After doing some quick research, I learned that mangoes are the most popular fruit in the world! And for good reason. Not only do they taste great, but their versatile and healthy, making them an iconic summer staple. While mangoes can be in season during most of the year due to different strains, they really peak in the summer months. Last summer, I went to Mexico with my two besties, also known as health bloggers and health weirdos and a vendor walked by and hollered, “Mango on a stick?” We just looked at each other. “Duh Mexican guy.”

And so what does all of this make me wonder: what are the nutritional values of mangoes? Here’s a quick guide for the best fruit of the summer.

Mango benefits:

  1. Hair and Skin Health: Mangoes contain lots of Vitamin A, which helps in the sebum production that keeps your hair and skin shiny and moisturized. It also contains Vitamin C, which helps collagen production and builds the structure of the cells.

  2. Bone Health: Mangoes have lots of Vitamin K, which low intake of is an indicator for bone fractures.

  3. Heart Disease: Mangoes have potassium, fiber, and many vitamins that ward off heart disease. For example, to reduce symptoms of hypertension, doctors say to decrease sodium levels and increase potassium levels.

  4. Digestive Health: The fiber and nutrients in mangoes help you to avoid stomach issues.

  5. Diabetes: For Type 1 Diabetes, fiber helps lower blood sugar levels. In Type 2 Diabetes, fiber improves blood sugar, lipid count, and insulin levels.

  6. Cancer Prevention: Mangoes have proven to help certain cancers, including breast, prostate, and colon.

  7. Macular Degeneration: The antioxidant zeaxanthin filters out harmful blue light rays and plays a protective role in eye health.

With all of these amazing health benefits, mangoes are a staple of the summer diet. Healthy, nutritious, tasty, and juicy; what can’t mangoes do?

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Enjoy your Mango! And if you can eat one that was just picked and put on a stick while sitting in a chair at one the world’s top beaches - you freaking do that!

Love, Molly

The Supplement Situation

I understand the appeal of supplements, really, I do. My attorney will get mad if he don’t see this: I am NOT a doctor NOR am I giving you medical advice. There you read it.

Every day you might hear about the different nutrients you need. You need this to sleep, this for your knees, this for that, that for this. It can be overwhelming.

Then you have to wonder if you’re getting enough of these nutrients in your diet. Maybe? Maybe not? Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you have a deficiency.

So what sounds like the easiest way to get your fill?

Supplements seem like the clear answer. They promise flowing hair, clear skin, weight loss, healthy guts, and more. Here’s a list of the most common vitamins and supplements:

  • Vitamin D: Antidepressant and energy-stimulant.

  • Magnesium: Nerve and muscle function.

  • Calcium: Bone health, blood clotting, heart.

  • Vitamin C: Artery health, connective tissue, and good skin.

  • Omega-3: Healthy hair, eyes, brain, and nails.

  • Probiotics: Aid in digestion and immunity.

But do they really work? Are they worth your money?

For hundreds of years, doctors and scientists believed that vitamins were the key to treating sicknesses and diseases. They prescribed huge doses of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and many more in last ditch efforts to cure everything from the common cold to cancer to heart disease. However, after many years and many studies, these scientists were proven wrong, indicating almost no evidence that supplements can treat or cure any diseases.

For example, Vitamin C has been proven to only cure scurvy and Vitamin E does nothing.

Other vitamins have mixed effects. For another example, Vitamin B is commonly taken by pregnant women to reduce neural diseases and increase the health of the baby. However, other studies show that Vitamin B increases the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. So what should you believe? Well, it’s a little more complicated (and way more scientific) than that. Basically, Vitamin B aids in growth of cells. This means it’s good for pregnant women and children because they’re constantly growing! But for adults, this is unnecessary and can be harmful!

So basically, supplements are way more involved than you might think they are. What works for one person can be absolutely detrimental for the next.

So why are supplements not as helpful as you might think? The answer is actually quite easy. A long time ago, it was very common for most people (especially the lower/working class) to contract diseases caused by not getting the right nutrients. However, in today’s day and age, the most common diseases are NOT caused by nutrient deficiencies. Obesity, heart problems, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and more are caused by other problems and cannot be cured by vitamin supplements.

There are two types of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins (Vitamins B and C) need constant replacement in the body because excess amounts are quickly expelled. For example, if you eat too much Vitamin C, your body will keep what it needs and flush out the rest. But excess fat-soluble vitamins (aka Vitamins A, D, E, and K) are stored in the liver and fatty tissues, meaning they are flushed out of the body much slower than the others. Basically, too many fat-soluble vitamins in your body could become toxic easily, which is why you have to be super careful when taking supplements you might think you need.

With this being said, supplements can be helpful to certain people. Here’s a small list of people who may need to take supplements: But remember, everyone is different. Consult with a doctor before you make any sudden changes to your supplements or diet.

  • Pregnant/Breastfeeding: Folate or other neural vitamins

  • Vegans/Vegetarians: Vitamin B12, Iron, Calcium

  • Individuals who do intense training or exercise

  • Anemic: Iron supplements

  • Other health problems: Do your research before choosing what’s right for you

  • Elderly: Many supplements can help, including Vitamin D or Omega-3

So while most don’t need to take supplements at all, they’re essential for certain individuals. Make sure to do your research and talk to a doctor before doing anything!

And the point is: DO YOUR RESEARCH. I get SOOOO frustrated when I see people at the gym in their supplement store t-shirts sucking down 5 different pre-workouts, vitamins and so on. “The cashier at the vitamin store said these were good.” My response is the same. “They said cigarettes were good 100 years ago too.” or “Does the cashier have a medical degree by chance?” or “How much did you spend? It was a lot wasn’t it?”

DO YOUR RESEARCH and if you need something to supplement your already awesome diet of healthy vitamins and nutrients, then you go for it!

Enjoy your day and step outside for some awesome Vitamin D.

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Love,

Molly

Finding Contentment

Contentment is a mental or emotional state of satisfaction maybe drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind.
— Wikipedia

I started the journey to find “myself” or happiness or whatever the hell it might be 5 years ago. Let me just start by saying that it is not easy. Nothing in life really is easy but with me, more so. I’ve come to understand that my life will always be somewhat harder and I don’t fight it. Mostly. I still wonder and complain about how hard things seem with me but generally I have accepted it.

I’m not talking about true hard stuff. Like, death of a loved one or loss of all my worldly possessions. I fully understand that my life could REALLY be hard and that I am blessed.

Things in my life just don’t ever seem easy. I am excited, commenting on the beautiful weather while staring at a flower and I’ll get stung by bee. That’s okay. That bee needed to sting something.

So, how can I help you find contentment? I’m not really sure but I’ll try to make some valid points. Or, I’ll just talk about myself and you’ll feel better instantly or laugh. My best friend told me once that I just have to choose to be happy. That I just have to be happy no matter what. I thought he was being an ass truthfully but years later, he was right.

Find something happy in everything.

My work environment is crazy for me. Like stupid crazy. My staff just cruise along happy and mainly free from worry. I’m proud that I built that for them. But for me, it’s crazy. I actually go and sit in my car to get work done. I go home to complete reports. I spend 4+ hours a day in the weight room training clients, so that takes up most of my time. I speak at an event every Monday. I’m just freaking busy. But I get to do a job that helps people. I can make my own schedule and have fun while I’m doing it. I’m also really good at what I do, so I am fortunate to own a company that allows that. See what I did there? I found some happy things in my life. Oh, I almost forgot - I make money. That helps right?

Here are some HAPPY points in my life:

  • I have a long time client that has went from running constantly to years of not being able to run because of severe injury. She was desperate when she came to me. Three months later and she started back running. Six months after that and I literally can’t get her to stop running. She just floats on the treadmill and occasionally looks over at me.

  • Another client has come back from a severe knee surgery 3 years ago. The injury caused several other issues and we have corrected them all. She works a very stressful job but has stayed consistent. She will stop her meetings, come workout with me and go back to work. She also broke a rib several months back and that caused serious pain. She only missed one or two sessions. It was a brutal recovery but we adjusted and worked through it. She believes in me and I believe in her.

  • I also have the best assistant I could have ever found. I can leave and I know the facility is being cared for. My staff is currently all wonderful as well.

I could go on and on here but I’ll move on.

Finding contentment in fitness.

Now my fitness journey is a whole new ballgame. Fitness has been a part of my life forever. My family was very active and I never laid around at home. Ever. My brother and I would walk 2 miles to a community pool every day during the summer. We would steal several quarters from my dads change bucket and buy a generic soda and that’s all we cared about. We would swim for 6+ hours a day. My mom would swing by after work and honk the horn until we came out to go home. Then we would have soccer or gymnastics practice. We actually had a soccer field in our front yard. A real field, with nets and everything. At one point, we all four played on a different soccer team. Even my mom.

So, being able to move and live life fully is vital to me. When I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease 13 years ago, I was teaching aerobic classes and never really stopped. I cut back at one point but continued on. It’s just important to me to never stop. Now over the years the pain has increased steadily to the point that pain controls my life somewhat. That’s not going to stop me though.

My friends laugh at me constantly because I do stay injured. CONSTANTLY. That part sucks! Once I devise an awesome plan for myself, I get injured. I’ve learned to laugh and just not make plans. I’ll make a plan in my head and try to trick myself into not knowing I have a real plan. Ha. It works.

So, how do I stay in shape despite all that? I do something everyday. Something. Anything. Sometimes big. Sometimes little. I also constantly readjust my fitness. I’m currently starting (yesterday!) a new strength routine so the previous month I did mainly cardio to prepare. Now, keep in mind that I only count exercise that is above and beyond my usual routine. My body is use to throwing weights around for my clients and doing certain types of classes each week. My body is use to standing up and sitting down 5 million times a day. I will add 5 minutes everyday for a week then back off. If I watch T.V., I will add core exercises. I know - you can think I’m weird. I am weird. But I also live this life and I want others to understand that. I’m actually 6 pounds heavier than normal and I am uncomfortable at times, but I’m okay with that. I can’t be perfect. No one can be.

How to find contentment when things are off.

I’m not going to lie and tell you that I am good with having an extra 6 pounds right now. However, I am fine with it. I know… I truly am. I’m happy with things right now. I am still strong and able to do things that I want. NOW.. I would not be happy if I had a photo shoot this afternoon. Or if I had to work in a bikini all day. I would do it and own it, don’t get me wrong, but I might be a tad uncomfortable. Yes, I am aware that I just said two different things, so which is it? I am confident and I own my body and all that comes with that. All 6 pounds of it. How did I get to that place? I am doing the best that I can and I know that. That’s where you need to be.

You are an awesome person that is busting their ass to improve. You work. You have wild kids. You do laundry. You grocery shop. You work out at some point. You keep relationships going. You keep things alive like pets and those wild kids. You need to give yourself some credit. Your mindset is preparing to improve. I mean, you are here reading this aren’t you? It’s time that you own what’s going on. Now, make that plan. Whatever the plan is - do it. Prove to yourself that you can. Because you can.

Be happy with yourself even if it is holding 50 extra pounds or can’t lift 10 pounds because that body is what is going to move you forward. 200 pound Molly is the same 150 pound Molly. 200 pound Molly is the one that decided to make those changes and lose those 50 pounds. So, be happy that you are moving in the correct direction.

Look forward, not back.

Yep, the past is back there, not up here. The old you might not be able to run a marathon, but the new one might can. I’ve seen it first hand! The old you might pass out climbing several flights of stairs, but the new you won’t. The old you might consume tons of sugar, but the new one doesn’t. (My current life this week BTW)

Be happy and take that first step and I promise you won’t regret it.

Take a few minutes to decide what changes you want to make. Then tell me what they are. Now, someone else knows and I will relentlessly stalk you until you reach your goal.

Love, Molly

P.S.- Here’s a picture to help you!

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Exercising with an Autoimmune Disease

Having an autoimmune disease is tough. 

I mean, people know it's tough, but they don't know just how tough. 

With an autoimmune disease, you have to take in consideration everything, from what you eat, to how much you sleep, to how you exercise, to how to do your best without actually feeling your best. Doing too much or too little can make a huge difference in your day-to-day life. And that's why exercising is hard when dealing with autoimmune diseases.

First off, autoimmune diseases are finicky as hell. Too much sleep? You'll feel like crap the next day. Too little sleep? You'll feel like crap the next day. You ate dairy today? You'll feel like crap tomorrow. And to make it worse? Everyone is different. What works for one person with Lupus might not work for next. What works for someone with Celiac's probably won't work for someone with Hashimoto's. Therefore, people with autoimmune diseases can find it extremely difficult to find a balance.

And like always, what else is extremely hard for those with autoimmune issues? You guessed it, exercising. 

Exercising with an autoimmune disease is hard. I won't sugar coat it. Like everyone else, you really should exercise to feel healthy, but going to the gym might cause horrible flare-ups that don't really seem worth it. 

So what is a flare-up? In simplest terms, a flare-up is an outburst of many symptoms at once, normally caused by overexertion, poor sleep, stress, or almost anything else that affects the body in a weird way. And there's only one way to know whether or not something will cause a flare-up: trying things over and over again. 

So the only way to know that you're exercising way too much? To try and then see what happens. And then do it again but tweak it a little. Then again. And again. And probably again. This may seem like a daunting task but with time and effort, you can learn what your body needs to feel good and avoid flare-ups. 

Without further ado, here is my guide to exercising with an autoimmune disorder.

TAKE TIME TO WARM UP

You can't just jump into a workout! 

This is true for EVERYBODY! Not just those with autoimmune disorders. When you're exercising, your muscles are breaking down old muscle in order to create newer and stronger muscle. Then, the body starts to break down fat so it can have enough energy to remake this muscle bigger and better. When you warm up before a workout, your brain signals to the rest of the body to start preparing to work. For example, your heart rate gets quicker, which increases the blood flow into your joints and muscles so they have enough energy and elasticity to work out. This is why you're at risk for an injury when you don't warm up beforehand!

So what does warming up look like for someone with an autoimmune disorder? 

It's pretty simple. Just take five to ten minutes before your workout! Here's a list of my favorite (and effective!) warm-ups!

  • Stretching

  • Walking

  • Light yoga

  • Small, achievable movements

LESSEN THE FREQUENCY

Those suffering from autoimmune disorders generally should not work out as frequently as those who are not. A super common way that flare-ups occur is overexertion.

If you have a disease that affects muscles, bones, and joints, this is a big point! Exercising affects these areas the most, and if you overdo it, you could be left feeling swollen, stiff, and achy in the morning. 

However, exercising affects your entire body. For example, when you exercise, your body spends the energy it was using to aid digestion to build muscle and break down fat. Therefore, digestion is slowed down on occasion. To someone with an autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive system, this can really be a problem. 

But also exercise is important, right? You can't just stop exercising. To continue with the digestive system, exercising helps build muscle that can more easily aid digestion. Therefore, it's very important to exercise. 

What's too much exercise though? It depends (I know this wasn't the answer you were looking for!) and it takes time to learn what your body considers too much or too little. The only way to know for sure? Trial and error.

Want some tips to help you start?

  • Limit your workouts to a couple of days a week. If this doesn't seem like enough, do light stretching during your rest days.

  • Give your body time to rest. Autoimmune diseases wreak havoc on the human body. You don't want to have to worry about healing from exercise AND your disorder.

  • Know your body! Autoimmune diseases are often all lumped together, however, they are all so different. Do your research before you overdo it.

  • Listen to your body! If you're working out four times a week but feeling horrible every day, try lessening your workout days to three times a week and so on.

ONLY DO LOW IMPACT WORKOUTS

Don't listen to people who say that high-intensity workouts are the only workouts that have results. Some people can run ten miles, some people can lift fifty pounds of weights, some people prefer doing handstands in yoga. Exercising is exercising. Your body will appreciate any effort you put in!

With that being said, those with autoimmune diseases shouldn't judge themselves based on other peoples standards. Your joints might work differently than other people's or your stomach might be super finicky. When you do high-intensity workouts, your body increases cortisol (AKA the stress hormone), which can cause flare-ups and hurt your joints and muscles. If you only walk on the treadmill for fifteen minutes, your body will notice it, whether you can physically tell or not. Exercise is always better than no exercise. Always.

So have you thrown out the societal idea of high-intensity exercising? Great! Want to know my favorite low-intensity workouts? Here they are:

  • Light yoga

  • Pilates

  • Low-intensity weight training

  • Walking on the treadmill

  • Low-intensity stationary biking

Now, where should you start? Pick a workout and stick to it for a week and see how you feel, then adjust.

DON'T WORKOUT FOR TOO LONG

I know what you're thinking. Could this be any vaguer?

The truth is this: having an autoimmune disease sucks and it takes time to learn how to make it suck less. Therefore, you have to spend weeks, months, years, on perfecting your day-to-day habits. And another truth? It might change (even after all that hard work!) But there's nothing you can do but try and try again. 

With that being said, you (again) have to listen to your body on this one. Like I said previously, the main cause of flare-ups is overexertion. If you work out for too long, you might seriously feel it the next day. So instead of focusing on duration, focus on consistency. Twenty minutes a day adds up to about an hour of exercising if you do it only three times a week. And if you continue it the next week? And then the next? Your body will thank you, big time.

Not to mention, the longer you work out, the more likely you are to get hurt. At some point, your body won't be able to take it anymore, and you could pull a muscle, break a bone, or tear a joint. With those with autoimmune diseases, this can be a big deal. Hurting a muscle can ensure it will never heal or be right again. So the best thing to do? Avoid getting hurt. How do you avoid that? Limit your work out durations to something you know your body can handle.

So, here are my tips on figuring out the right duration for you:

  • Start at fifteen minutes a day, including your warm up. Do this for a week. If you feel the same (or hopefully better!) after the week is over, bump it up to twenty.

  • Take adequate breaks when you're working out. A twenty-minute work out can be bumped up to twenty-five minutes if you take five one minute breaks in between. 

  • When you do take breaks, drink plenty of water and make sure you're giving your body time to cool down properly.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

But wait! Isn't this what this whole article has been about? Yes!

I've said it before (many times) and I'll say it again. Listen to your body! The only way to make sure you're doing what is right for you is by keeping track of how you feel. If you've been hurting more lately, maybe ease off a bit. 

It can take a while to get to know your body. But it is well worth it in the end.

There are three main ways to alter your workouts and make sure you're doing what's right for you:

  • Duration

  • Consistency

  • Intensity

Monitor these and hopefully, you'll be feeling better in no time!

What else can you do?

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Eat well

  • Get adequate sleep

  • Warm up before workouts

I hope you enjoyed this article on how to exercise with an autoimmune disorder! Want to know even more? Check out the rest of my blog or feel free to comment down below! I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

Love, Molly

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Give Me A Beet.

When I think of vegetables, beets are never the first thing on my mind. In fact, I would probably think of twenty other veggies before even remembering that beets exist. But all that has changed. I recently read an article in Taste of Home Magazine about the red vegetable, and I’ve got to say, I’m hooked.

Before we get into the benefits, we have to understand the different types of beets. Sugar beets are often used as a sugar cane substitute in many food brands and food types. Typically, red beets are much sweeter than golden or white beets, which often taste more like turnips or carrots. 

So why eat beets? Here are 5 reasons to give beets a try:

  1. Lower blood pressure: Some studies show that drinking one glass of beet juice can lower blood pressure in just a matter of hours. Some say this is due to the nitrates in beets which help relax blood vessels.

  2. Lower risk of heart disease: The betaine and folate found in the beet are proven to reduce the amount of homocysteine in the blood which in turn reduces the risk of heart problems, strokes, and artery damage.

  3. Energy and stamina boost: Just like with blood pressure, the nitrates in beets help increase oxygen intake and improve circulation. One study claims that those who drank a glass of beet juice prior to a workout could exercise for up to 16 percent longer than those who didn’t!

  4. Daily source of vitamins and minerals: Beets contain Vitamin C, fiber, potassium, manganese, and betaine (a nutrient that protects organs and prevents inflammation).

  5. Cancer prevention: The nutrients that make beets that juicy red color (mainly betacyanin) are also responsible for protecting against cancer cell growth.

What can’t beets do? And what’s listed above is just the benefits derived from the root, or the bulb at the end of the beet plant. The leafy green part at the top of the beet however, have more iron than spinach, and are proven to boost bone health and ward off Alzheimer’s Disease. So don’t throw away the leafy part of the beet, or you’ll really be missing out. I bet you could make pesto with it! 

So let's not beet around the bush, instead let's try the amazing Beetroot and Garlic Hummus recipe I posted below! Happy beeting!

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Meet my Staff!

Holy crap! Can you believe I have had my business open for over a year and a half now! It seems unreal. It was such a challenge to get to opening day that I may have missed a few months! It’s okay now though and we are plugging along like a normal, happy family. Everyone is finally talking to me without being scared that I will start hollering. Oh come on, I only holler occasionally.

I have people ask me all the time about my staff, so I thought I would introduce you to them! They are a great mix of backgrounds and personalities, which is vital for this business. If you didn’t know, we are a corporate wellness management firm that manages programming and an onsite facility for a large manufacturing company.

We don’t just sit around and work out all day. We produce multiple events yearly, from a golf tournament, 5K walks, weight loss challenges, we teach 20+ classes a week and we maintain a facility with 1000+ members. We are busy! And we LOVE it! We truly are a family and enjoy being at work. That makes a huge difference in our lives!

Meet my staff and see the signs I made for each one at our birthday party:

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Hannah Fitch

Front Desk Manager/Assistant Director

Hannah is my go to person. She pretty much does everything for our onsite facility. She is a super sweetheart and fits in perfectly in my environment. She has also just started studying for her group exercise certification. She is like a sponge and just watches and listens to everything I say. Which can be bad or good. Bringing her on has been one of my best decisions! She has recently completed her Piyo Live certification and started teaching regular classes. She is crazy smart and has started questioning my moves and ways. I love it! Let’s just hope that she doesn’t start cussing like me though!

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Evan Menzel

Front Desk

Evan is awesome. He started with me years ago and is a hoot to have around. He is an instructor at several local universities and is my resident Biologist. He is the "knower of all things" and if you EVER need an answer - find Evan. He is also a great friend of mine and has talked me off several ledges before. He also is a fantastic cook! I have been known to lie and steal his leftovers. Also, do not go to his house if you are scared of snakes. 

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Folonda Wynn

Front Desk

When I moved to the area 13 years ago, I started working at a facility and Folonda worked there. Years later, she started working for another company at Mercedes and we met again. Then - she asked me about a job. And here we are. She works the notorious night shift. The one that has swallowed and broken every other person that has tried it! Even the college kids that feel they are invincible and only work one day a week. They cave the fastest! Folonda asked for that shift and would leave this job and walk next door to her full time job. She then went full time for me and ALSO still works her other full time job! We have bets when she actually sleeps and no one can figure it out. She is the sweetest person alive, even at 3 am. She rarely complains too! She has always believed in me and I will always believe in her!

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Thomas Hall

Front Desk, Running Coach

Here is an actual picture of my relationship with Thomas.

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Thomas is one of my favorites! He rides bikes, runs a million miles a year, works for MBUSI, lives 9 hours away and does a zillion other things every.single.day, so he is a WILD SOUL. He’s like my male version. I never really know where he is. He’s somewhere, living his best life. He started as a running coach and now works the front desk when he needs a nap. If you need to run or a good conversation, call Thomas.

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Brooks Smithson

Front Desk

In this business, we often call on favors. Trust me, we keep track of our owed favors. Two different people called and said they had someone to work for me. It was Brooks. I said no both times. Both kept telling me that I would love him. I gave in and fine, I love him. He was actually the first employee to work for MB Fitness! I even paid him out of my pocket for 2 months. He is an engineering student at The University of Alabama and is a great guy. He is remarkably smart and will do anything to help out. Like the time I asked that he take the diameter of a pink ball and see how many I would need to fit in a pool. He did it very enthusiastically.

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Rick Clementz

Group Fitness

Rick started coming to classes years ago and quickly became an instructor. He works for MBUSI as head legal counsel and has a huge family, but still manages to make me a priority. He truly is one of my favorite people. I have sat across from him numerous times with personal and business issues and he has always helped me. He was one of my biggest supporters here at Mercedes and for bringing MB Fitness onsite. He is a wonderful person, father, attorney, friend and staff member. I will always succeed with Rick beside me.

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Darla Rhodes

Front Desk

Darla is freaking adorable. I met her on her first day of kindergarten when I dropped off my daughter, Annabelle. They were fast friends and have managed to stay in touch after 6 years and different schools. I have always called her my other daughter and when she wanted a summer job, I said sure. She is a hard worker and super sweet. We have also found out that she is amazing at event planning! A huge perk in this business!

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Shane Booth

Front Desk

Shane is a team member here at MBUSI and was interested in working for some extra hours at the facility. He is adorable and always ready to work. He loves to work out, play golf and enjoys time with his son (who accompanies him sometimes to work). I love having Mercedes staff work for me because they are dedicated and always professional. That is Shane!

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Josh May

Yoga and Group Fitness Instructor

Josh started coming to my yoga classes years ago and he would always ask me the most detailed questions. I would answer him and just give him a look. He would smile and walk away. After about 2 million questions, I finally said - “Why don’t you look into getting certified?” He just smiled and said he might do that. And he did. Twice. We began teaching together and he has now taken over the yoga classes here at the MAC. He is a great guy and a huge asset! He also works for MBUSI full time and has two beautiful daughters.

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Chad Johnstone

Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer

What can I say about Chad? He is the guy that I said I would NEVER hire and here we are. He works for MBUSI full time and was a member with a sole mission in life to annoy me. Here we are. He is very passionate and an excellent instructor. I do have to walk by and thump him on the head occasionally but that’s okay. He also LOVES to spend my money on the latest cool toys for the facility. He has an adorable family with two small daughters and still manages to work out constantly. He is an avid runner, Kettlebell trainer and weight lifter.

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Annabelle Blomeley

Website Design, Writer and Front Desk

Yep, Annabelle is my adorable oldest child. She does a lot in the business. She works the front desk some but mostly works behind the scenes. She is my content writer, website design and graphic designer. Yep, she does all that and WAY better than most. She attends the Alabama School of Fine Arts and will graduate this spring. She is the one that will discuss the most random things and research things that I’m sure she shouldn’t be. I’m sure her plans are to overthrow me at some point and take over completely. I’m actually fine with that.

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Jeff Morrison

Group Fitness Instructor

Jeff teaches all kinds of classes for me! He began as a member and started teaching a few of our Beachbody programs. He works for MBUSI full time, loves to run and bike and enjoys teaching. He is also a big softball dad and seems to travel to Disney at least 100 times a year. We share a love of cats, so I will randomly get a video of his babies playing!

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Kyle Warram

Running Coach and Non Staffer

Kyle is the only staff member that is not a staff member. We treat him like staff and he gets all the perks of being a staff member, but no one knows why. Joking, I made him a running coach so he could have a “title.” Kyle helps run our running program and the gear up towards our marathon each year. He also runs our internal systems for MBUSI. He works full time for MBUSI, loves power lifting, running and has a large family that he provides for. He is a sweet guy that also enjoys spending my money. You rarely see him without Chad somewhere near.

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Eric Watts - Personal Trainer

Eric is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. We rarely see each other with his busy work schedule. He works for MBUSI full time as well. He is a fantastic trainer and loves to run obstacle races in his spare time. He has a big family and somehow manages to juggle his crazy schedule too!

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Jessica Wantman - Front desk

Jess started as my intern several semesters back and decided to stay on. She is freaking adorable! She immediately fell in love with group fitness and is currently studying for her license. She is my Piyo lover and a whiz at music and choreography. She is a student at The University of Alabama and I hope that she stays on for awhile!

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Josh Kimberly - front desk

Josh is my little energetic, happy guy. He also works full time at MBUSI and occasionally works the front desk for me. He met his beautiful wife while working out at the MAC! I see her more now than him! Come see me JOSH. Like tomorrow.

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abbey payne - nutrition intern

Abbey is my newest intern. She is freaking adorable. She is specializing in nutrition and has been a huge asset in my nutrition business. She is like a sponge and sits down and soaks up everything I say. I look forward to seeing where she takes herself in the field! She already teaches group fitness classes and is hoping to gain her personal training license soon.

Gracie Springer - virtual assistant

Gracie is my Virtual Assistant and does things in about a tenth of the time that it takes me. She has literally finished things before I even completed my sentence before. She is a fantastic with research too. She is luckily staying close for college!

Adrienne avery - Group fitness instructor

I met Adrienne when I contracted with a local school system to train their teachers after school. We immediately became friends and she is one of the most fantastic humans alive. She has helped me through some of my darkest and most desperate times. Me and my girls slept on her floor for months when we didn’t have a place to go! It never phased her and she was always happy to have us. She is one of the facilities favorite instructors too. She can teach most anything but her specialty is TRX. She is currently a stay at home mom to two little girls and seemed fine when I told her that she couldn’t teach anymore unless she brought the babies for me to hold. So, most Fridays I get some baby time. I love it!

So, there is my wonderful team! It has been a challenge for me but I wouldn’t change a thing. Especially with this team above. I keep pushing for my girls and this team! I may work wild hours way past bedtime but that’s ok. It’s a small journey and I am proud to be on it. Thanks for all your support and dedication! As always, if you need me or one of the team members above - let me know!

Happy New Year and we wish you much success in your health and fitness goals!

Much Love,

Molly

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Diet Breakup Podcast with Tiffany DeLuisi

Hey guys! I am excited to share my recent guest appearance on The Diet Breakup Podcast. I have gotten to know Tiffany through several online avenues and I have always enjoyed her style. She is a wonderful blogger and runs a successful podcast, so when she asked if I would make a guest appearance, I gladly agreed!

As many of you know, I don’t always share my story. I don’t lie, but I also don’t freely give my story up. Until recently. I have been working on a HUGE project and have started sharing more. It has actually been very rewarding and freeing for me. And like me, Tiffany started her career as a health coach and then was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. It took her in an opposite direction but she has thrived in her new “role.”

It was a pleasure to talk with her and I hope you enjoy listening. Maybe you will find something out about me that you didn’t know! Which is probably a lot! Okay, I admit that I am private and hold back!! I’m working on it!

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Here’s the link to listen: https://www.tiffanydeluisi.com/episode-27

You can find Tiffany DeLuisi on Facebook and Instagram @tiffanydeluisi.

If you are interested in my latest adventure, check out more information here.

Thanks again for your support!

Love,

Molly

Autoimmune Nutrition and My New Adventure

I started working with a wonderful business coach awhile back and she immediately asked the one question that I had been avoiding, “Why don’t you discuss your disease?” And to be true to myself (lol) I piped back with a sarcastic answer.

Truthfully, there’s no real reason. Other than that I hide most of the time and live a double life. I keep my worlds separate for a reason. It’s hard to be the ‘face of wellness’ for a very large company while something is trying its best to kill you.

I do help tons of clients with autoimmune issues and I do share my journey with them. I just don’t walk around with a shirt on explaining my disease. That’s also because I no longer speak publicly as an advocate. I use to speak to groups and even congress about how to live with an autoimmune disease. I do get asked to speak on fitness and nutrition often and I always decline. Why? Because living with a disease is hard. It actually sucks ass. It is a very tough mental game where you always have to be on. And that requires YOU. You aren’t going to make a decision about your well being while sitting in a room with 40 other people. It’s a commitment that you make to yourself and a decision that you have to come to ALONE. It’s very personal.

Now once you make the decision to get help, I am your girl! I live it daily and understand the delicate issues.

Back to where I started! So, my coach and friend made a great point and I may have listened. It took 6 months but I finally did. The more I dove into my new secret project, the better I felt mentally. I guess finally opening up IS beneficial. Yay me for figuring that out. So, I started writing a course on autoimmune nutrition and how to implement that into your life. I did tons of research, spoke with countless patients and began “testing” the program on myself. I had already made myself a nutrition plan a year ago and was feeling and looking better but things could always improve, right? So, I started testing it all out. I was eating certain things A LOT that I deemed a trigger food for me and my disease. Who knew that cauliflower would cause such issues? With my nutrition license, I was very familiar with foods that cause inflammation and so on, but looking deeper at the specific foods was an eye opener.

If you’re struggling with an autoimmune disease, learning to understand your body can be hard, but it can be done! Follow along with me and we can do it together!

Love, Molly

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