Living Fit For Life: Success Story: Tonya

Living Fit For Life: Success Story: Tonyaimg_5265

I had the privilege of meeting Tonya when I was in the hospital with our daughter Angelina. We were a few doors down from their sweet family. We instantly bonded and occasionally hangout during our hospital stay.

When we were in the hospital Dennis and I would bring out resistance bands and workout together. Tonya spotted us one day and contacted me when she was interested in coming up with a workout plan she could do at home. Tonya shares here:

I met Michelle through our daughters-Angelina and Harper, in 2014. I learned she was a personal trainer and would see her working out in the hospital sometimes.  I thought, “Wow-now THAT is commitment!”  My husband ended up getting deployed in February of 2015 for nine months.  I knew that there was no way I could go to the gym.  I contacted Michelle and she came up with plans every month for me to do at home”.  

When Tonya’s husband was deployed she didn’t have a lot of time and needed quick effective workouts. She wanted to get back into shape after having her daughter and needed a workout plan that could work with her lifestyle. Tonya expands on this here:

” I was completely out of shape after having my daughter and I knew I needed to get back into the swing of things. I had always been in okay shape, but after spending many months in the hospital with Harper, the stress and hospital food had gotten to me.  I am a person who gets bored easily with workouts.  I told Michelle this and when she made my plan each month, every week was different.  It was perfect!  I had also mentioned that I didn’t have a ton of time.  Most of my workouts happened after 8:30 pm when the kids had all gone to bed.  I was usually exhausted but knew I needed to workout.  She tailored them so that most of the workouts could be completed in thirty minutes.  After a few months, I was running some 5K’s again.  I began to lose weight, was getting stronger and fitting back into old clothes again. When my husband returned home, I needed to continue to workout.  Now that he was back, I was able to join a gym again, but I continued to use some of the workouts Michelle had made for me on the days I couldn’t make it to the gym.   Just this past April, I ran my very first half marathon in under two hours”.  

Michelle provided me with support by:I loved the text check-ins every week.  I knew she was just a text or phone call away too if I had any questions about the workouts or moves.  I also like the little challenges she does throughout the year.

One thing I learned while working out with Michelle is how to lift weights. Michelle continues to motivate me and help me reach new goals by helping me understand the important components of an exercise program. Tonya expands about the components of a well-balanced workout routine: “I had never really lifted before working out with Michelle.  She taught me that a good balanced workout routine included lifting.  I lost weight but I also gained muscle (and definition!).  She is very encouraging and willing to help at any time”.  img_5947

Tonya learned to implement fitness and turn it into her daily routine by: “Once my husband returned home, I needed to get out of the house to workout.  It was my time to unwind and focus on myself again.  I can tell the days I don’t get a chance to workout-I am cranky, irritable, and just feel “blah”.  Even if all I can fit in is a walk with my family, I try to do something every day now”.   

One other important aspect of a living a fit lifestyle that Michelle incorporates when working with clients is the online Facebook group is about eating healthy. Tonya learned about healthy portions and nutrition by:The quick articles she posts or the pictures of her own meals are very helpful in seeing what is a healthy portion”.  

My name is Tonya.  I am an elementary teacher.   I have been married to Aaron for almost 8 years.  We have three kids; Kaitlyn (11-his from a previous marriage), Landon-6, and Harper-3.  Harper was born with Down syndrome and is the reason Michelle and her family came into our lives. ❤

Hope Rises

Just the other day I went out to wait for my kids to get off the bus. I slipped on my muck boots and rain gear as the clouds opened up to unleash a downpour on my departure to the bus stop. I fought the rain trying to remain dry and enclosed in my rain get up as I first set out to fetch eggs, pick strawberries and some tomatoes for dinner.

I headed toward the drive way to await the girls arrival home and noticed a clearing in the clouds. It was raining but admits the downpour was light brightly shining through as the clouds began to open up.

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Our Souls go through periods of drought and God’s living water has the ability to bring revival to our weary Souls.

I took off my hood amazed at the sheer beauty of the moment and no longer hid but allowed the water to engulf my face. It felt refreshing and delightful as I let the droplets trickle down my face.

It reminded me of an earlier event that happened this summer. I had set out to head somewhere and looked toward my garden. It had rained the previous day and prior everything had look dried up, brittle and barely hanging on. After the rain it looked like my garden had a major revival. It was like a magic growing potion had been poured in the soil. We all know that’s really not the case (my little homestead is organic, Yo), but I was amazed at the beauty, vibrance of color and growth that happened with just one rainfall.

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Plant Seeds Of Hope

Our Souls go through periods of drought and God’s living water has the ability to bring revival to our weary Souls.

The last three and a half years I feel like I have been dying of thirst. Digging through a pit  that often hasn’t made sense. Asking God to quench my thirst and to heal my broken heart. What I had to realize is that healing takes time. Healing begins with simply sitting with God and receiving his love.

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7: 37-38

I climbed into my car that day in early June and thought! Is this it, God did you bring me through the pit, muck and mire? I must of arrived on the other side of grief. Did you revive me?

You see, I got pretty comfortable in the pit. Grief is all my body has known now for sometime and to be quite honest I didn’t want to let go. Letting go of my daughters death simply would bring about much more change and our life’s dreams have already been drastically altered, shattered and I simply couldn’t deal with any more change. The last year has been a power struggle of handing over my daughter completely to God and then taking her back.

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; non can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell them, yet they are more than can be told. ” Psalm 40:1-5

I was holding myself in the bondage of grief. Held hostage unable to grow and my roots stunted and the plant stagnant. I needed rain, lots of rain and only the fertilizer that God can provide. His promises endure forever and only he could water me from the fountain of life to bring back life.

The water came and it seemed like for awhile I was in a mud pit. Slipping back and forth and trying to let go and conquer. Barely hanging on God threw me a rope one afternoon during my prayer time and led me to:

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Isaiah 54:2

Isaiah 54:2 “Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings spare not; lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs.” 

It had been time for awhile. To let go. To move to the next chapter. I had to sit in grief, feel it all, and process through.

What God has shown me is that he can rise anything from the dead. Just like he bore on all the pain, sin and suffering of every single soul. He see’s us in our pain and if we allow him in those places and sit with him he turns our mourning into joy.

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Our tradition of letting off balloons each year on Angelina’s Birthday. This year she would have been four.

Jesus rose up off the cross and it’s a beautiful representation of how he rises us up out of the toughest situations.  Out of the pit, he waters our souls, and he puts a new song into our mouths.

As I’ve waited patiently I’ve witness the beauty that comes from ashes as my weary soul marvels at Gods Work.

It is time to be bold and give away what God has blessed me with through the purpose and remebrance of Angelina’s life. While we still miss her and the void will never leave until we are reunited. God has strengthen our cords and secured our steps as we move into this next season.

I am so thankful as hard as these years have been for the rock of my salvation. Our family is excited for this next season! A season of redemption, revival and a season in which adoption has been written into our story.

God has planted the seed and began writing our next chapter. Im so excited to share with you how Angelina’s life continues to be etched on our lives and how her mighty purpose gets revealed more and more each day.

We are praying for the baby God blesses us with!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bodyweight Bootcamp

I’m excited to share the last on the series of bodyweight exercises. You can find each one of the pasts posts here: Week 1Week 2Week 3.

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“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” ~Psalm 139:14~

This past week I had the opportunity to contribute to Still Standing Magazine. This is a magazine to help grieving hearts, those struggling with child-loss and infertility. Writing has really served as a great aid in my healing. My heart in sharing Angelina’s story through writing  is that it can bring HOPE to hurting hearts. You can read more about Angelina’s story here:Angelina’s Story.

Working out during my grieving journey has really aided in my healing. It has served as such a healthy outlet and a way to process. We all workout for our each unique purposes. To release stress, for our health and maybe as a fun past time. Over the last few years in my life this discipline I had created in my life has served as much more than just a workout. It has provided an escape in which I can engage, process and move through grief.

Whatever unique reason you workout. I encourage you to get up and get moving with these bodyweight exercises. I am sharing two separate video’s today in this bodyweight bootcamp. This may have been a film blooper!

Video 1: Lateral Burpees (this can be modified by taking out the hops and stepping).  A few prerequisites for burpees: good trunk stability and perform deep squats with good form. The lateral burpee targets more of the adductors by adding a lateral hop.

Perform this exercise first for 30-45 seconds followed by the next two exercises in this post and take a 1-3 minute break and repeat 3-4x.

Video Two: The next two exercises are called Grasshoppers and Tuck Jumps. You can find a different way to incorporate grasshoppers here.  Common cues I have used in the past for any plank exercise is keeping the fingers spread wide to protect wrists, line your shoulders and hands up. Keep the hips tucked under to prevent from putting stress on your low back and keep your core tight. For tuck jumps keep a very strong core while performing jumps.

 

I start with a more modified version and then add intensity by adding a hop. I end here with tuck jumps.

I hope you enjoyed this series! What types of workouts would you like to see more of? I would like to finish my series I started last fall, OOPS! 🙂 called Adding Variety to your workout

Happy sweating and blessings,

Michelle

 

 

Zucchini Bread Recipe

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Good afternoon, this has been a childhood favorite of mine for years. Smelling this bread cooking takes me right back to the kitchen I grew up in. I remember coming in out of the fields and sitting down on my bar stool at the island waiting for my mom to take this bread out of the oven.

Below you can find the original recipe and if you want to make it healthier I will give suggestions next to the ingredients. I always make this bread in small mini loaf pans because my husband and kids like to eat it for breakfast, snacks, it makes it easier to grab and go. It may not be the healthiest recipe but when I bake I always use the everything in moderation rule. I’ll only eat one mini-loaf at breakfast in place of my Ezekiel bread.

Zucchini Bread: 

1 1/2 cup flour (wheat flour)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 cup sugar (brown sugar)

1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini

1 egg

1/4 cup oil (applesauce)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds

*(healthy substitutes) 

  • Mix first 6 ingredients together
  • In a mixing bowl beat sugar, zucchini, egg and add oil
  • Stir flour mixture into zucchini mixture and fold in nuts
  • Bake at 350 for 1 hr (mini-loaf pans, require less time and you will need to check every 10-15 minutes, they don’t take a full hr to cook)
  • grease pan and cook until a tooth pick comes out clean

 

Enjoy and Blessings,

Michelle

 

 

 

Bodyweight Bootcamp

TGIF! I hope your week treated you well and you are gearing up for a fun weekend. This week I taught my classes and celebrated with my clients. I love watching them make the small steps to live a fit lifestyle. I made this smoothie yesterday after my last training session and it was so refreshing on such a hot day! You can find two other posts and a little more about bodyweight workouts here: Bodyweight Bootcamp Week 1 & Bodyweight Bootcamp Week 2

You can find the recipe on the Live Fit Women’s Fitness page: Live Fit Women’s Fitness Page

Stretching after our workout

This week was the second week that I offered a free fitness class at our local church. If you are interested in coming the next two weeks please contact or send me a quick message. We would love to have you join. You can find the details about that class here: Free Workout Class

I met with my massage therapist on Tuesday. Let me tell you she is not only awesome but highly educated in her field. I was reminded how much we all need to take the time to care for our bodies not only in the gym but after we workout. I meet with her a few times a year. Michele specializes in Neuromuscular therapy, Active Isolated Stretching, Mattes Method, and Neurokinetic Therapy. If your looking for a massage therapist or interested in learning more about the areas Michele specializes in you can find more out on her Facebook page: Michele L. Sanders, LMT 

I am going to share three quick and effective bodyweight exercises with you today. You can do this circuit anywhere and repeat it 4-8x’s. The first video is a modified level one bodyweight bootcamp and the video below it is a level 3 advanced video.

 

 

You can perform the exercise video below after a solid warm-up.

Perform each exercise all out for 20 seconds/rest 20 seconds repeat 4-8x

modified jacks (video 1) or jumping jacks (take out the hop to decrease intensity)
Wall sits(video 1) or squats (make sure that when your doing your wall sit your knee is in line with your hip and your quads are pararell to the floor) (When squating keep your chest tall, core tight and weight in heels)
wall push-aways (video 1) or push-ups (line up the shoulders and hands, keep your core tight and don’t let the hips sag) When you are at the wall for push-aways the closer you are to the wall the easier this exercise will be. The further away you are the harder this exercise will be. The same goes for the distance between your feet. The more narrow will make wall push-aways more intense.

Stretch 5-7 minutes

Look for a zucchini bread recipe on Tuesday. I have been picking fresh zucchini from my garden and want to share one of my favorite summer recipes with you. 

I’ll be posting these every Friday! Happy bootcamping! ​A special thanks to my oldest daughter who was my videographer today.

Living Fit For Life: Success Story: Kayla

Living Fit For Life: Success Story : Kayla

I met Kayla through a referral of a family member. Kayla has such a sweet and gentle spirit about her. She was ready to begin a workout program to help combat low energy levels and improve her overall well-being.

Kayla and I worked together through a consultation to develop a foundational program in which she could build on each month. Kayla began working out and mentions how Live Fit Women’s Fitness programs helped her here: “The Live Fit programs have helped me in so many ways, I feel happier knowing I have a way to escape some of the stress I have. I’ve also found a love for lifting and intervals on the treadmill because of these programs. I enjoy the way I feel after a workout.”img_5206

Kayla continued working out on a consistent basis and utilized a private Facebook group that is used for Live Fit Women’s Fitness clients. Kayla took part in online bootcamps  that I offer throughout the year through my social media sites. Kayla talks about those how the Bootcamps, accountability of both my support and the Live Fit Women’s Fitness Group helped her stay on track to reach her goals: “Michelle is awesome at providing support and accountability. When doing bootcamps she uploads videos of herself doing the workouts and also responds to you super quick if you have a question or need assistance on any of the exercises. She also checks in about once a week or anytime you’re really needing it! If you text her she always replies. She also posts different types of things on the Live Fit Women’s Fitness facebook page. You always have access to that if you are in the group. You have the opportunity to connect, encourage and look for support from the members of the group”.

In addition to learning how to lift weights and incorporate interval training Kayla learned how to begin making changes to both her nutrition and improve her overall lifestyle by slowly adding in healthier habits. Here are a few ways Kayla serves as an inspiration to how changing and incorporating tiny changes in our habits can serve as a cataylst for life long healthy living: “I always try and work out everyday or try to get my 10,000 step goal on fitbit no matter what I’m doing. Before I thought it was silly and didn’t really care but now that I know how good I feel after a workout. I enjoy doing it. Also it helps to see how far I’ve come in progress pictures I have taken and when I increase the amount of weight I’m lifting. Michelle has helped me learn more about healthy snacking. Before I considered myself a very unhealthy snacker. Now if I have a choice I’ll try to have something healthier or even try and let myself have a few chips or something but add a fruit with it. I learned to eat to fuel my body.  It helps that the ladies on the facebook page post new recipes ideas often”.  

Congratulations Kayla and thank you for sharing your journey and commiting to Live Fit for Life! 

A little more about Kayla:  I am 25 years old. Have a degree in Early Childhood Intervention Specialists. I currently nanny and love it!

You can connect with Kayla and follow her fitness journey on Instagram: @_kayex3

Bodyweight Bootcamp

Good Morning,

This summer is sure flying by, isn’t it. It’s Fri-YAY. You know what that means? The day that I give you three body weight workouts that you can do from the comfort of your yard, home and maybe while you’re laying by the pool.

I hope your holiday treated you well. Here I am running in a July 4th race and we celebrated afterward with some pool time, ribs, and fireworks.

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July 4th Race 2017

I also had so much fun meeting up with the ladies that I workout with at a local gym and we got together and made homemade freezer jam. Strawberries are about out of season but you could still make some jelly with other types of fruit that are coming into season. I made both freezer jam (no cook) and regular strawberry jam.  I serve so many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in this house that having the homemade jam is worth the effort and tastes pretty incredible. It’s a summer tradition and I was excited to share that tradition and help some ladies learn how easy and quick making (no cook) freezer jam is.  The difference between cooked jam is that you have to boil it with the pectin on the stove.With cooked jam you use the Ball canning jars and lids. (No cook) jam requires stirring in the pectin, freezer safe containers, and can be done in much less time. The Freezer jam can be stored for up to a year in the freezer. Canned jelly can be stored for a much longer duration.

We had lots of laughs and the kitchen was pretty gooey but it was well worth the mess afterwards! I use my homemade freezer jam and cooked jam in a lot of different ways. Below is a quick list of how I add a little flavor to different breakfast and dessert options.

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Homemade Freezer Jam

  • I put the jam in plain chobani yogurt
  • In oatmeal
  • I substitute on pancakes instead of syrup
  • In Cottage cheese
  • On cheesecake
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • On Ezekiel toast

 

I have also been on an oatmeal bowl kick lately. I add just about everything to my oatmeal. Below is a photo of homemade jam, coconut flakes, and chia seeds.

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Oatmeal Bowl

Enough talk of food. I’m getting hungry. I hope these options help you come up with some new idea’s for breakfast to add into your morning meal rotation. Last week I talked about body weight exercises and you can read more information on them here: Bodyweight bootcamp

The video below is an advanced bodyweight bootcamp. You should be able to perform a side plank first in a modified position fifteen-thirty seconds before you begin bringing your arm under your body. You can start with wall push-aways or on your knee’s to bring down the intensity of the push-up and maintain good postural alignment through the exercises.

You can perform the exercise video below after a solid warm-up.

Side plank (hold 15 seconds, 3 reps of bringing your arm under with control)
3 push-up’s (wall push-aways or modified push-ups on your knee’s)
Side Plank (hold 15 seconds, 3 reps of bringing your arm under with control)
Return to plank and repeat 3-4x
Take a 1-2 minute break between each circuit
Stretch 5-7 minutes when you have completed this workout.

I’ll be posting these every Friday! Happy bootcamping! ​A special thanks to my hubby who is my videographer. Look for a post on Tuesday about an awsome success story I’ll be sharing about one of my clients.

If you are local check out my About Me tab and scroll down to Live Fit Ministry and Local Meeting Times. I’m offering a free workout class July 12, 19, 26 and August 2nd. If you want to get more information about this class please leave your information and I will contact you.