Fitness

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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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

5 Ways To Move More

Part 2 of my new series is here! Yay! Super simple today. Just move more. 

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I know it might not be that simple. I have trained numerous clients that were severely sick and all we could do was move a little more each day. Sometimes, walking to the bathroom a few more times each day was all they could manage, but it was something. So, I always made sure that they JUST moved more. Here's my tips for this post:

1. Find Something That You Enjoy. This is a big one. I would rather go to the dentist (no offense to my dentist friends) than to run on a treadmill so I avoid treadmills as much as I can. I need music too. So, I enjoy group classes the most. I love outside activities too so outside I go. If you prefer calmer things, go towards yoga or one on one personal training. If you need motivation, find a friend or trainer to keep you on track.

2. Be Realistic. This one is for my chronically ill friends. Be realistic with what you can do. I am in incredible shape (or I tell myself that at least) but I will never be able to complete a full marathon. I have excuses, like I messed my knee up at 13, surgery at 17 and I have never been able to run on it. I have accepted this. I would love to run, but it's okay that I don't. If you want to master a triathlon - no problem. But, don't plan on doing it next month. Work yourself into it because you don't want to fail or get a nasty injury. I truly believe that we can master whatever we want, but be realistic at first. 

3. Be Patient. Just like I said above, things don't happen overnight. Be patient with yourself. You aren't failing if you are moving forward. Make a plan and how you can get to it and start walking towards that plan. So many people aren't patient and give up a month in when they aren't finishing the marathon in first place. It takes time to master skills! Move more and you will get there!

4. Try New Things. OMG, try it already! I surround myself with adorable, go getter friends and we are always trying things. Why not? We've traveled across the country to a hip hop convention (we stood out like sore thumbs and were asked numerous times if we should be in the mothers tent) and had a blast. We've driven to Atlanta to dance. We had a German friend that had never water skied and all she wanted to do while in the states was to ski. Found us a boat and we skied all day. She had a blast. One of us wanted to try Aerial Yoga so off we went. (It's wonderful by the way.) There was also the time six of us decided to try a Horizontal Conditioning (it's a real thing!) class from the creator of the program. We walked in all confident and about 20 minutes in, we were being shown up by several 9 months pregnant women! We had a fantastic time but she kicked our asses! 

5. Consult a Physician. Always check with your doctor before starting something new! That's a must! And if it hurts, STOP!

So, stop what you are doing and write down a few things that you want to do. Then make a plan and start walking towards that plan! As always, if you need support or motivation, leave me comment and I'll help you reach your goals. 

Much love, 

Molly

 

Tabata Abs

Tabata workouts are my favorite thing ever. Tabata training is a form of exercise with high intensity intervals (HIIT). It's short bursts of high intensity moves. It is not easy but so worth it. If you aren't out of breathe and swearing, then you are just working out, not doing a Tabata workout. It can be hard to train yourself to go as hard as you can, but it's such a fantastic skill to master. 

I've created a series to make things easy for you! Go kick some butt!

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What is your Fitness Statement?

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One of my favorite parts of my job is teaching people to find their fitness statement. They either give me this simple answer that they can accomplish before dinner, although they have no clue it's that simple or they give me something that is so huge that we will need several armies to assist. Either way, when we both put in the work, they always reach their goal.

So, let's find your Fitness Statement.

  • Who are you?

  • What's important to you?

  • What's a few things that really mean the world to you?

  • What's something that truly bothers you that you want to improve or grow at?

That sometimes takes a little searching for. Sit down and really reflect on what you want. I've heard some good ones!

"I want to be able to home school my children in the kitchen every day without constantly feeling like I need to reach for a snack."

"I want to be comfortable in tank tops again."

"I want to be able to get up and down on the floor with my daughter."

"I want to prove to my myself (and my husband) that I can complete a 5k race."

"I want to have fun with my family."

"I want to feel sexy again."

"I want the confidence that I had when I was in college."

"I use to be a power lifting competitor. I want to lift at least half of what I use too."

"I want to not worry about what I eat. I want to enjoy my food and not always count the calories."

"I want to enjoy dancing again."

"I want to get pregnant and have a successful pregnancy."

"I want to have confidence to not worry about things."

"I want to be a better person, physically and mentally. That way, my children can see a better example."

"I just want to look good naked."

Close your eyes for a second and think about yourself. Feel yourself breathing and notice what's going on with your body. Breath in and relax each time you breath out. Clear your mind of your family, your job, your issues, etc. Think about yourself only. What can you imagine will bring you a little more success or happiness? Write it down. Repeat this process until you feel you have the statement you can work with.

If it seems large and majorly scary, break it down into parts.

Awesome. I have my statement and I feel great about it, now what?

Super simple - start walking towards your statement. Post it somewhere that you see it regularly. Start taking small steps to your statement and never look back. Some small ideas that come to mind with starting an exercise plan: Add 10 minutes a day of activity. Add a new machine at the gym. Take the dog for an extra walk 2x a week. Take the kids outside and play. Park on the last row at the grocery store for an entire month. Add 2-3 extra pounds to your normal routine. 

Ideas for starting a new nutrition plan: Cut your alcohol intake in half. Begin a food journal. Cut one of your "worse" foods in half. (2 cookies instead of 4) Add an extra serving of fruit daily. Add an extra serving of vegetables. Visit a local farmers market once a week. Decrease your processed foods by a certain amount. 

You get the idea. It's super important that you write this all down as well. Remember, this about you - no one else. No one else can make you succeed. I can help and support you, but the journey is yours. 

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Next - complete the sentences above each week. Repeat the mantra 3x each morning when you get up. Next thing you know, you are rocking that Fitness Statement like a boss. You are checking off those goals and making new ones! 

I want to end with this... you really can accomplish anything that you want too. You are worth it. If you don't have the support that you desire at home, don't worry. Find the support you need. Ask a friend to help you, hire a trainer, hire a coach to guide you, etc. I have been hired to help people that I felt didn't need any help! So, I would just walk up and give them a little nudge and they were off and running on their own. 

You've got this friend. Find your statement!

Love,

Molly  

 

Everything you need to know for your January health goals!

Happy January and all things health and fitness! The end of 2017 was literally a crazy pile of shit for me! It wasn't all bad but just full of stuff. I did end the year with my first four months as a big girl business owner. It's true, had the meeting with my accountant and everything. Big girl. It seriously went like this:

Him: Blah, blah, serious stuff, blah.
Me: Do you need me to sign something for you?
Him: I need you to spend $7000 by the end of the year.
Me: In 6 days? Can I borrow some money?
Him: *explains it 2x* Do you understand this fully? I wrote it all down for you.
Me: *glares for about two minutes*
Him: Do you need me to start over?
Me: Well, I had $200 in my checking account yesterday. And you just handed me a bill for $375.
Him: I’m starting over.
Me: It probably won’t work even if you do.
Him: We’ve got this Molly. I’ve written it all down, highlighted everything and even included addresses for everything.
Me: I’m going to need to see your license.
Him: Molly. I feel like you don’t understand.
Me: Uh huh.

It has been an awesome four months though and I owe a ton to my awesome Assistant Director, Anna Whitfield. She is mainly running the facility and is a little spit fire of energy to have around. I look forward to watching her continue to grow. 

BUT.. It's January!!

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Back to all things health and fitness! How can I help you in your goals to become healthier? I can toot my own horn here but I also want to include some other options too. 

Me first! Clearly, you know I have a website devoted to nutrition and fitness, since you are reading this! I hold over 10 fitness certificates, I am a licensed Strength and Conditioning Coach and a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Nutrition Coach. Surely, I can create a plan for you! OR we can create one together. OR I can mesh several together to create one with your own name to it.

Scared of me? I also LOVE Beachbody products and I am a coach with their organization, so we can find a program there too if you want. They have countless options for in home programs. I have tried them all (except Country Heat bc I would rather break my toe with a hammer) and can help you find one that will motivate you. I have several clients that have the On Demand option with Beachbody and they love it. It allows you to sign in and do any of their workouts any time that you want. I have met many through out Beachbody and they are a wonderful company. Yes, they sell products as well. Yes, there are bad coaches out there that will drive you crazy and demand that you join their challenge groups. But, there are also phenomenal and brilliant coaches too. I have tried all their products as well. I would never recommend anything that is full of sugars and fake crap, actually I rarely recommend any product unless I have used it at least three months personally.  I LOVE their Energize product. And my daughter has a Shakeology shake most mornings. I do not run challenge groups anymore, but I will mention one below that does. If you are interested in becoming a coach or trying any of their products, please let me know and I'll be happy to help! 

More interested in the nutrition side of things?  I.Am.Your.Girl.  I have a remarkable program with Precision Nutrition that is a habit based program that teaches you small, attainable goals to find the healthiest you possible. I have been blown away by my clients in this program. They love the smaller goals that are given each day and find it easier to remain successful this way. A new habit is given every two weeks that builds on the previous ones. Check out my Procoach tab at the top of the page. OR watch this awesome video. 

And I should mention that I'm only adding 5 spots with this program! I want to make sure that I can devote enough time to you! Please find me quick. (I have 3 meetings tomorrow to discuss it!) Look, I even have a graphic. I'm legit people. 

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Think you know the basics but just want some extra help with your nutrition? Or you prefer to start a tad smaller? I.Am.Your.Girl. I can design a nutrition plan just for you. I can not slap the food out of your hand though. I can teach you how to put macros together and to find foods that will make you feel a million times better. Check out my info over here:

https://www.mollyblomeleyfitness.com/nutrition/

Curious what my favorite protein bar is? I ONLY eat Grab the Gold bars. It's true. I am a protein bar snob. If I had to dissect all the different bars, I would always come back to Grab the Gold bars. They have a great balance. Most have too much sugar, too many carbs, some fake crap, and some other stuff that we can't pronounce. The bars are organic, gluten free and taste like a no bake cookie. They sent me their new flavor that launched yesterday and holy smokes, YUM! The original is peanut butter and chocolate. The new one is peanut butter and jelly. Here is their site if you're curious. I'm not getting a commission, just FYI. If you live near me, I can order for you. I will also be carrying them at my facility soon if you want to try them. 

Do you love TRX products? Me too! Check this link out if you have been thinking about ordering a TRX system. (affiliate link)

www.trxtraining.com

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Interested in the Whole 30 concept or a High Fat Lower Carb lifestyle? I have studied them both extensively but if you are interested in a challenge group with a coach that is freaking brilliant, especially with both of those - then over to my best friend you must go. Stacey Greenside runs an awesome site and has a group going almost continuously. She is very down to earth and will help you achieve your goals effortlessly. She has some fantastic resources and recipes. She is so good at it that she will fly across the entire United States, sit down to eat with you and still pull out a perfectly ripe avocado out of her purse. Perfectly ripe. 

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Here is her site:  staceygreenside.org

I could probably keep going here for hours. But, I'll stop! I encourage you to find what makes you happy. There are a ton of ideas flying out there and one is perfect for you! There are a zillion coaches as well and one will fit! I would love to help you find it. Good luck and Happy Januarying! 

Love, Molly

Yoga Challenge - Friday Routine

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope this finds you all thankful and feeling good. I hope your day was spent enjoying your time and family. 

I had a small Thanksgiving at home. I am very thankful to have spent it with my sweet girls. I cooked all their favorites and we enjoyed the day at home. As I’ve grown older and things are smaller, I’ve begun to really miss my family and friends. I grew up with friends and family around during the holidays. Everyone was kind and loved each other’s company. So, I certainly miss those days. We did clean out some things and found some old pictures that my girls laughed and laughed over. I woke up this morning with my glamour shots from 7th grade on the refrigerator. Awesome. 

Today is also my birthday!  My girls wanted desperately to have me a party since they missed it last year because they were traveling. I have invited my girlfriends over for a dinner tomorrow night. I am extremely excited to see them all and to actually sit and talk. I have some awesome, clean recipes to make them so I will make sure to take lots of pictures. 

I am very thankful for you and for sticking it out during this yoga challenge. I will keep the posts up awhile so you can redo them if you like. Thanks to all our clients at the gym as well, you make me happy to do what I do. 

Here is your Friday routine. If you ate as much as most, maybe go back and do all the routines today! What’s the harm? Enjoy your weekend and I wish you a relaxing and happy one.  

Namaste,

Molly

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Yoga Challenge - Wednesday Routine

It's day three of our Yoga Challenge!! We hope that you are enjoying yourselves and finding some quiet time each day. 

It's the time of year where things are moving very fast and stressors start to creep in. We might not sleep as well, we certainly aren't eating that awesome (It's fudge season after all) and we are just plain tired! You also are too busy to workout. Oh, the shame! 

That's where we have to find a few things that can keep us grounded. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Use the 80/20 rule. Do not deviate. If you think you can fudge (pun intended) that number a few times, next thing you know - you're over here at 20/80. That just will not work and you will find yourself on the typical 7-8 pound gain train! Please do not ruin your progress for a month of fun or fudge. Statistics show that individuals who gain the typical 7-8 pounds during the holidays, rarely take it all off during the New Year. So, if you struggle with holiday eating - eat 80% compliant and 20% not compliant.

2. Do not over extend yourself! My mother raised me to understand that I will not die a miserable death if I do not attend every party I am invited too. I will still have friends and everyone will still love me, Damn it! Focus on the things that mean the most to you. 

3. Get plenty of rest and exercise. FYI, I did not use exclamation points there but I did holler it. Rest and exercise are WAY more important than the lady's church social that will take you hours to bake cookies for. 

4. Find a way to plan/prep ahead of time. Here's my mother again. She plans her yearly Banana Bread baking out to a tee! She bakes hundreds of Banana Bread loaves every year. As in people are calling her asking when they will receive theirs! She's famous for it! She pre-orders the bananas, she (ok, my dad) shells her own pecans weeks in advance, she buys all the ingredients at once and then she bakes all at once. She doesn't bake a batch and then clean up, etc. She bakes ALL weekend. Then she cleans up. Then she is done. No more worry for the rest of the season. Try to prep your meals on Sundays. Choose dishes to make for a party that you are comfortable with. Nothing is worse than spending hours googling a certain thing needed for a recipe. Or if you're me, the screaming obscenities all the way to the grocery store at 9:45 pm. (That happened two nights ago! I swear!!)

5. Spend 10 minutes each night before bed to relax and meditate. Center your mind. Prepare for the next day and then let it go for the night. Do some gentle yoga stretches and deep breathes. Then - go to bed! 

I hope your holiday season is wonderful! 

Good news! I am going to stop talking and let you have your newest Yoga routine! Here is your Wednesday routine and it is called "Stretching your Turkeystrings!" Enjoy!!  

Again, if you need us, leave us a message here.

Namaste,

Molly and Josh

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Yoga Challenge - Tuesday Routine

How did your Monday routine go? I did my routine with my awesome class at lunch! Josh is on a secret travel vacation and completed his as well! 

Let's discuss my awesome group down here. They have all been with me for years and I love them like stupid amounts. Honestly, they are great people. It's amazing how dedicated and just plain nice they are. Rita - Holy smokes. She is a gorgeous person! Margaret - I've blabbed about her before. She's my adorable spit fire. One of my all time favorites! Tom - He started coming years ago to help with some pain. He has come so far. He even rode his motorcycle all the way to Canada this summer. Callie - My ridiculously fast and sweet runner. So quiet, but she will pass you every time. Ana - My newest member. She is the cutest thing alive! I have loved getting to know her. Holly - She is one of my best friends! She has an adorable 6 month old son (and a 6 yr old and 15 yr old) and has lost ALL her pregnancy weight! She looks fantastic! Stephanie - Another quiet, gorgeous one. She is the sweetest hard worker we have. I don't think I have ever seen her give up. 

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Anyway - yay for everyone completing Monday! Here is your Tuesday routine. It is designed to start/aide your digestion system. Don't worry, we will repeat it Friday!! Stay long and lean and really hold the moves. Inhale and exhale with each move and keep your core engaged. This is a good time to mention your strength here. We have worked for MONTHS to get our clients to drop from a plank to the floor, so don't be discouraged if you can't complete it correctly. Drop to your knees and go from there. Notice where you are and keep practicing and you will eventually get there. It's one of our proudest accomplishments when our clients can lower correctly. You'll get there! Again, if you need us, leave us a message below. 

Namaste,

Molly and Josh

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Planksgiving and Yoga Challenge

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. It's my favorite holiday of the year. I decided to do something a tad different this year to keep you, my awesome people on track! You have two options to not fall completely off the wagon! 

Holidays are hard and if you are one of those people that fall even a little and immediately give up - then you need a little motivation. It's ok to eat at Thanksgiving. It's not ok to eat for five days and make yourself sick. It's ok to eat your favorite pie from your favorite aunt. It's not ok to eat that favorite pie every weekend until February. 

My clients have success because I have (hopefully) taught them the lifestyle and how to go up and down peacefully. No "diet" is worth sulking in the corner until you are so pissed that you text me and declare your hatred for all diets. Just find your comfort level and be responsible. If you can only eat the ENTIRE pan of Sister Schubert rolls, then maybe you should be a responsible roll owner and not buy them. If you are laying awake at night upset because your Thanksgiving is now ruined because you will not be a roll owner, then buy the rolls. I don't care. Just get back up after you "roll" around with your rolls. 

My Assistant Director, Anna made this awesome Planksgiving workout. I swear you can do it. Try for at least 3x this week. Video or take a picture of yourself doing it and she promises a freebie when you return from the holiday. Wouldn't it be awesome if she handed out packages of Sister Schubert rolls? The good ones with the sausages. I will totally encourage her to do that. 

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Let me introduce you to my new yoga trainee/instructor - Josh!!

Here he is with his lovely wife after completing the Mercedes Half Marathon!

Here he is with his lovely wife after completing the Mercedes Half Marathon!

He started with me years ago and the more questions he asked, the more I could tell that he studies and practices yoga. We became friends and he is currently studying for his certification. I love him. He is like a walking light bulb. I may describe a pose and he will look up and seem so excited. It's like I can actually see the light come on. He has turned into a wonderful instructor and I am proud to have him beside me. We decided to make a fun but challenging week routine.

Keep in mind - we made this for our current students and kept the terms basic so everyone could understand. We also recorded ourselves performing the moves on one side only. The videos are for you only if you need a refresher.

Warm up is simple. Repeat each day with the new workout. 

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The routine for Monday is all about balancing the holiday. Enjoy. 

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Enjoy and remember to follow proper rules and guidelines! If you need either one of us, send us a message here on this post! We will see you tomorrow night with the next day. Much love!

Namaste,

Molly & Josh

Staying Active Despite having a Chronic Pain or Inflammation Disease

One of my talents- I am a master of disguise when it comes to hiding pain. Am I proud? Sorta. Does it bring me comfort? No. I am a personal trainer, group ex instructor and fitness blogger that manages to put on a strong front while in ridiculous pain.  I've written about this before and I have also spoken to many groups on this topic and have managed to compile some data. When I walk into a room to speak, I generally can put you into 2 groups. 1. The give up group. 2. The wants to give up but will die swinging group. 

In my years of having Lupus and belonging to several support groups, online and in person, the one's that have lost their battle are always in the "give up" group. Always. Maybe it's a coincidence for me but I don't feel it is. They have the sad, I don't care look. They don't care what they eat, how they survive, they are just trying to survive somehow. This is a bad and lonely place. 

I'm going to hopefully push you to the other "fighter" group. There are some things that I do and have taught people in pain for years to do that has always kept them on the fighter side. Don't worry, you can walk over to the other side occasionally, just don't hang out over there. 

1. Grieve. This took YEARS for me to master (or sorta kinda). I'm not sure I can even speak on this because I've done such a pathetic job here, but pretend I know what I'm talking about. It's imperative that you grieve for your life that you thought you were living. If you have been diagnosed with something as debilitating as Lupus, regaining your life just as it was years ago is probably not going to happen. I'm sorry to say that but it's just a fact - your life is forever different. Take time to grieve that fact properly. Grieve that adorable, spunky sweet girl. The one that could climb hills and hills. Is she forever gone doomed to a wheelchair? NO. I swear. After years, I can say that I am in better shape than before my diagnosis. It's painful and sucks ass, but I can do it. Allow your family time to grieve as well. They are also losing one way and needing to understand the new way.

2. Find your inner strength. Trust me here. You're going to need some major strength and it has to come from you. Unfortunately, I have tried every approach possible and I have learned that you can't put everything into your spouse or children or doctor. Or cat. I go through spells and I will actually say, "I'm hunkering down, so let me do it my way." My partner - oh geez! That tactic does not work well. But, after several years, we have found a common ground. The pain and stress are remarkable and I have to shut my outside world down at times or I won't survive the day. It isn't a jab or direct hit at him, I am turning my survival mode on. I have no idea how I've managed to still be standing, but I believe it's because I have something within me that has managed to take over. And when I have gained some strength, I will walk back up to him. He has adjusted to my strategy finally but he has also shown me that I can't handle it all alone at times.

3. Find other "fighters." Let me introduce you to some of my friends. We all have severe health problems and we have managed to find deep friendships with each other. I have two great friends, Alanna and Katina. We all have the same doctor and spent time in chemo together. What's the difference here? If you randomly open my phone and see our group texts, you would be wildly surprised. We are honest at all times with each other. One will nicely ask 'how are you' to the group.  And we answer with a barrage of explicits about what is truthfully going on. The others listen and encourage with the same amount of explicits. We just understand. We laugh when one of us goes down with something major, again. I told them that I dislocated my knee and several weeks later, I sent a message about my recent issue. "I guess I broke my neck." The comments and laughs that came back were fantastic! It was funny people! I was getting hurt every single step I took for months. It became hilarious. My partners at the gym started laughing too! It is so stupid how much we deal with at times and sometimes you can't help but laugh. We also are better researchers than most. Fighters surround themselves with knowledge and they aren't afraid to use it! Find a group of fighters and they will be your best asset. I have put concerns on something out to friends all over the country and they have responded with answers and things that I have taken to my doctor. I knew of a research drug being studied before my doctor. Fighters find ways to survive no matter what. Learn to be a fighter.

4. Know your limits. This is a brutal reality. You have to know your limitations and what is going to hurt you in the long run. This is something that sucks the most. Chronic sufferers live each day with something nagging them and we will go to great lengths to quieten this. Unfortunately, it never quietens. Spend a week in the sun, spend two weeks feeling like you were hit by a truck. Eat bad for a week, it will take my stomach three weeks to level out. Go heavy in the gym and I'll spend weeks with a swollen knee. It truly hurts when I have to explain why I can't do something. It makes you feel like you actually are sick. Ironic. But, you have to find your limits. My oldest daughter would ask to swing all day, every day. "Swing, please," she would beg. No one understood, but I actually lost the mobility in my right hand for almost a year. It hurt constantly, but I hid it well. The thing that hurt it the most, pushing a swing for some reason. I tried everything. Pushing with my hand closed. Pushing only with my left hand. Pushing super hard several times and then stepping away to rest my hand. I tried bribing her with sugar. Toys. But, all she wanted to do was swing with me pushing her. I started telling her no. It was the only way I felt I could help my pain in my hand. (I do still have terrible guilt about not being able to play with her. I imagine that she doesn't even remember this.) Either way- I knew my limits. 

5. Do your best. I have tried all kinds of approaches to feel better. Hello... I am a personal trainer that works in a gym full time. And I hold a Nutrition license. It's imperative that you continue to exercise and eat healthy. I have had several doctors tell me that the only reason I am not crippled (their word, not mine), is because I have always worked out. Insert the fighter group again here - The fighters continue regardless. Maybe we are masters of our pain thresholds or maybe we are just fighters. Or maybe something happened in our childhoods that taught us this vital skill. I happen to believe that it has to do with your surroundings and support systems. If you treat me sick, I will show you not sick. If you treat me not sick, I will eventually show you sick anyway. But, do not remind me because I can do as much if not more than you. Even sick. I live with my reality everyday and I don't need someone reminding me. I will talk to you about anything if you ask me nicely, but I'm not going to discuss it on my own. Because, unless you feel my pain or live with me, you will not understand how hard I try to do my best each day. In my years of speaking to chronically ill patients, I can also tell you this - we hurt more just knowing that we are affecting the people close to us as well. By bringing it up, you are reminding us of this as well. I can say that I truly do my best every day. I may sit down and play on my phone at work, but I'm really trying to divert my attention away from my pain. I may have an unorganized pantry with random foods in it, but if I can't cook tonight, my girls can find something. I may have pulled a random pain pill out of my boyfriends glove compartment last week that I hid in there for emergencies. It was an emergency dear!

I learned at a very young age that I had to be strong for myself, that other people won’t always fight for you. They may care for you, but nobody can do the work of building you up like you can. This disease has been at times the most defeating thing I’ve ever experienced because there is no control over it. I want to keep it real and say that I fight everyday but that’s not the truth. Some days I don’t fight at all. That use to make me so emotional and depressed but what I realized is sometimes not fighting is still a form of fighting.
Katina

6. Don't be a dumb ass. You have to listen to your doctor and your body. I have fought remarkably hard and I still get lectured by my doctor. However, my doctor is at the top of his field. I have laughed and lectured other doctors about being wrong though. I do not have a bone sticking out of my armpit idiot girl resident from three years ago. There is an idiot here, but it's not me! I have been with my doctor for 11 years and he knows me very well. He says something and I listen. Listen to your body too. Is jumping at the trampoline park really a good idea after you spent two days with a swollen knee? Do you get sick and feel worse after eating crap for a few days? Don't be a dumb ass - your body is giving you the signals to make some changes. Change your diet and see how you feel. I swear that you will survive two days without corn chips. (They are over there on the table staring at me. Just staring.) Hire an awesome nutrition coach. I know one if you need a suggestion. 

7. DO NOT GIVE IN. Being diagnosed with a disease, suffering an injury, or just losing your way is not a reason to give up. If you want to lay on the couch everyday and whine about how shitty your life is, then do that. But don't wonder why your family is concerned, why you are gaining weight, why you suddenly feel even worse, why your kids aren't hanging around as much, why your finances are getting worse, etc. Get your ASS UP. Walk to the bathroom every hour. Walk to the kitchen. Walk to the mailbox. Turn the TV off and reflect/meditate. Here's a true story that I have only told to one group. I only told it because a lady was crying in the front row. (We are still friends.) My oldest had just started school and I was at home with my youngest. I was at my sickest and had started working from home because I couldn't load up the little one, drive and work all in the same day. Well, Haley Jane was a little spit fire. She needed to be right near you. And talked the ENTIRE time. I just wanted to sit and suffer but that couldn't happen. I finally figured out how to help us both. We had three trees in our front yard and we went outside. I concocted this ridiculous game with these trees. We would walk around the trees in varying ways. Once she learned the game, I would sit down. I would sit there and tell her what to do. Everyday, we went outside and played this game. I would sit down immediately and tell her what to do. I essentially just ran my two year old until she gave up. After a few weeks, I made a loop with her. Then two. Then we added the mailbox. Then we added the neighbors tree. It wasn't much to a high impact trainer but it wasn't me sitting on the couch. And yes, it hurt like hell. I was brutally sick, but I wasn't going to give in.

I had a great friend that gave up. She hired a driver if she ever got out, which was rarely. She hired a cook. She had a housekeeper. She had nurses that came to her. She hired a lady to do her shopping. She would shop online and find something and then have the lady go buy it at the store. She would then tell her family that she had went and bought it. She often told me that she was done fighting. She didn't even want to walk to the bathroom alone. She suffered greatly. She got up, walked to the bathroom and sat down and died on December 15, 2006. She was 51. Her daughter later told me that on Christmas morning, the family came to the house to have Christmas anyway. They had explained to the grand kids how they wouldn't be getting any presents from their grandmother because she of course had passed away weeks before and they assumed she hadn't purchased gifts. The families arrived and began having Christmas. Everyone had brought gifts and placed them under the tree. When they began opening, they noticed gifts addressed to the grand kids in their mother's handwriting. The grand kids began opening these gifts and they were prerecorded story books from their grandmother. Recorded in her own voice, all with a handwritten note telling them how much she loved them. There was even one for an unborn grandchild. I was at her house on December 10th and she gave me a Christmas angel that I still put out every year and say a prayer for her grand children that she clearly loved tremendously. I also ask her why she gave up. Why she didn't fight just a little harder. She was able to walk, eat, talk, cook, drive - yet she felt she couldn't. It was stated that she died from low blood pressure and complications from Lupus. It may be rude of me to say, but I feel she gave in to her disease years before and had stopped fighting. She did not have to die. Her husband was asleep in the bedroom and she never woke him up to say she wasn't feeling well. She always woke him up to help her to the bathroom, this night she didn't. Her unborn grandchild was born just three months after she died, she could have been there. Maybe it was her time to go and nothing could have stopped that. Or maybe she gave up.

I fight for my husband and son. They are the ones that keep me going no matter how bad I might feel. I also fight to prove that I don’t give up that easily!
Alanna

I truly understand how hard it is to wake up "differently" than you used too. I understand the constant issues and concerns. I understand the incredible burden that is placed on your shoulders. I understand the desire to stop and give up. For some reason, you have been made differently or been given something else to handle. The most exciting part is that you can show your true strength and somehow climb out of this. I show my girls everyday that a mother can accomplish so much even with crippling issues. I may holler or react harsh on my bad days, but I also make homemade cupcakes with little ABC sprinkles for the first day of school every year. I may not have pushed my daughter for five straight hours 12 years ago on the swing, but she does get a birthday cake made by me each year. Most importantly, they have been taught compassion and independence. 

So, despite your struggles, I encourage you to continue staying active and to fight for yourself. Do it for you, no one else. You are enough - I promise. 

Alanna is going to die because she has no makeup on! Alanna, Katina and myself at our chemo treatment.

Alanna is going to die because she has no makeup on! Alanna, Katina and myself at our chemo treatment.

Love, Molly

 

Find Your Fight

I'm going to keep this short, because I could talk about this topic for hours. 

I have been in the health and fitness field for a million years. Here's the secret that I have noticed with all my clients, friends and family - 

You have to find your fight. 

It can be anything. Something small, large, sad, revenge or a simple comment. Eventually, everyone finds their one thing that they decide to fight for.  I've had clients getting married, marathoners that aren't able to pass this one milestone, a dad unable to pick his daughter up, cancer patients, and women feeling that they aren't their best selves. And there was the guy who played college baseball and started coaching his son's team and wanted to feel awesome again. The grandmother that couldn't keep up with her teenage grandson who had recently moved in. I've had several girls that wanted desperately to get pregnant. (I'm currently 100% at helping them get pregnant. Ok, there have only been 3, but they followed my nutrition and fitness plan and next thing you know, baby is coming!) 

These people came to a place that they knew things needed to change. Sometimes, they have no choice. I'm one of those people. I suffer from a stupid and remarkably painful autoimmune disease. It really is stupid. I can think about a joint and wake up the next morning with an injury on that joint. It's awesome and a great gift. But, I'm an overachiever and very stubborn so don't try it. I injured my left hip. It was brutal. I get it better, then my right kneecap spontaneously dislocates. I start limping around and there goes the right hip. I spend countless hours in orthopedic offices and physical therapists. I'm feeling 75% back and I suffer from a neck injury. Eighteen months later and I am still not back to working out much. It sucks ass. 

My only hope is to just find my fight and keep going. I may be holding an extra 7.4 pounds now and I look 90 years old when I go down stairs, but whatever. I know my body and disease and beginning a new program right now would only cause me to fail. I have found what I need to fight for. It's my businesses, my girls and my relationships. I struggle every single day with things but I have to stay pointed forward. My days are a roller coaster and that's ok. I try to express my feelings (that's a huge weakness of mine) and redirect my attention.

Like today, these words actually came out of my mouth to my ridiculously patient boyfriend, "I'm not feeling so awesome today, so I need you to tell me I'm pretty at least five times in the next hour. Thanks." I'm not perfect. And he's a loser because he only told me four times. Come on. 

I encourage you to sit and really imagine what you want. Write it down. Then sit and think how you can achieve this. It doesn't have to be huge or moving across the country or something. Just imagine a small task to move you forward and start working towards it. It takes 21 days to make a habit. 

Once you prove that you can fight, imagine how fast you will start moving towards that goal. 

So, find your freaking fight. 

Love,

Molly

 

Ask yourself why you aren't in my circle? Or are you?

I am launching a new program in two weeks that I'm SOOO pumped to give you. I started several people a month ago and they are loving it and seeing great success. I hand picked them because I knew they would give me honest feedback. And they have! I can't wait to let you see it. Are you in my circle so you can get the news as soon as I launch it? 

International Yoga Day

Happy International Yoga Day peeps! I have some of the best yoga students on the planet! I work for a corporate facility and most all my students are professionals- super advanced, awesome ones. They travel frequently and most are marathoners as well. I adjust if long runs have been done or one has just come off of a long international trip. They all adjust very well and master each sequence that I add! 

Happy Circle

Good morning!  I hope this finds you all happy this morning and ready for awesomeness. January has been a whirl wind over here.  Corporate Fitness runs slightly different than a regular box gym, but January still is jam packed!  I am planning three events now and working all kinds of stuff.  Did I happen to mention that I passed my Sports Nutrition course?