Living Fit For Life: Success Story: Tonya
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”.
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. ❤
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.”
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
You prep, food log, you are simply killing it at the gym, and pack enough water for a cross country hike in your book bag. Then there is that day you get on that scale. Thinking this has all paid off right? If I follow this plan I’m going to have these results, exactly when I want…
A feeling in your stomach makes you feel like your stomach is dropping to the bottom. Leaving you feel defeated, unloveable, not good enough, and you allow yourself to jump back in the cycle of feeling like you have failed yourself once again.
You order dessert, you give up, and the cycle begins again. I’ll start again Monday and then it is I’ll start again the following Monday.
Have you been there? I have. Let me tell you loosing weight it’s not easy. It’s downright frustrating and if you are like me when you don’t see the results right away you think to yourself why even bother?
I’m here to tell you today that the cycle in your mind, in order for you to reach your goals and be successful in forming a positive body image, you need a big old pair of courage pliers to cut some hefty chains. You have to break chains in order to have a positive body image.
Working with women as a personal trainer over the last several years has opened my eyes to what we as women face. A viscous cycle of trying to love on our bodies and not let a number on a scale or pants size determine our value.
Women who have been through eating disorders, heart ache, faced awful circumstances who know they somehow just want to feel better about themselves.
Feeling better about yourself doesn’t start with a number on a scale and today I simply want to share with you a few ways you can begin to break this cycle and how I am constantly working with my clients to value the uniqueness in how they have been intricately created.
- Throw out your scale. Yep. You heard me. Throw it out. Don’t weight yourself anymore. Identify with how your clothes fit. If you are working out consistently and hitting the weights you will start to notice your pants feeling looser and areas that are becoming more defined and that is more important than the number reflected on a scale.
- Learn to eat in moderation. A cookie isn’t going to completely throw off your health game. However 4-10 cookies might. Learn to a live a fit life. Eating healthy most of the time and allowing yourself to enjoy the simple pleasures of life once in a while.
- Find an accountability partner that builds you up and tells you that you’re worth it. That the hours at the gym, time spent meal prepping and grocery shopping will improve your lifestyle. Leaving you feeling like you have more energy, which leads to building confidence, taking ownership of your health journey, which in turn will help you begin to form a positive body image.
- Be ok with knowing this process is one that takes a long time. Change is overwhelming and it’s ok to hit road blocks. If you fail and learn from your mistakes you will come out stronger in the end.
- If you get a bit off track, don’t make yourself feel guilty. You aren’t going to lose your gains in the blink of an eye. Jump right back on the workout wagon and don’t beat yourself up.
- Workout to feel good not to punish yourself for what you ate. We all need carbs to fuel our bodies and movement to help set off endorphins that make us feel good!
- Love where you are at. Know that forming a healthy lifestyle like anything else in life takes time, effort and enjoy the process.
- When a negative thought comes to mind, replace it with a positive thought. You are beautiful, you are worthy, and you can overcome!
Learn to love the process and know that results take time and a lot of beauty comes out of being content with right where you are at. Let’s break the cycle, let’s toss the scales and commit to loving the process and move toward a fit body, mind and soul.
Living Fit For Life: Success Story: Lisa
I met Lisa at our church where she is in charge of the Tree House Kids program. I love Lisa’s heart for children and all those that she comes in contact with. Lisa is just such a beautiful person both inside and out.
Lisa was looking for someone to help her work on implementing a fitness regimen into her schedule when she contacted me. Lisa and I sat down during the consultation and problem solved ways that she could slowly begin to incorporate a training plan into her current eventful life.
It was during summer when Lisa and I met and we were able to get outside and workout together. Lisa wanted to have a way to workout with me when we weren’t together so I would let her video me doing the exercises I incorporated into her training plan.
Lisa shares more about that here: “ Michelle has allowed me to record our training sessions so I could duplicate them at home. She is very motivational with her own health and wellness program. Besides the fact that there is something very intimate about praying with the person you are working with, that takes new meaning to emotional health”.
Lisa began forming a schedule that consisted of a weight training, cardio and flexibility plan. I was able to meet Lisa where she was at and help progress in her training.
A positive mindset and coaching helped Lisa stay consistent with her goals. Lisa talks about this positivity and attitude here: “Michelle regularly checks in through text messages, encourages me through Facebook posts and her own positive attitude. Michelle always changes things up, encourages you to move ahead or not if you aren’t ready.”
Lisa was also able to take the information that was shared during our sessions and in the online private group for my Live Fit Women’s Fitness clients and apply it to her life. She talks about that here: “ I love the articles that Michelle shares on facebook regarding recipes and the challenges she gives us regarding sharing what we are eating too. I actually won a fitness session from her for doing this challenge”.
Lisa even involved her family with cooking new meals. Lisa realized: “ I have learned that fitness is a way of life, not just a binge to lose weight. I have also learned that my entire family has to eat the way that I do and promote to them as well the importance of some sort of exercise routine”.
It was such a joy working with you Lisa and I am so proud of how you made this a lifestyle!!
You can continue to read Lisa’s Testimony here: “ My name is Lisa Glaser and I am a 50 year old female. I have never been overweight but have reached my weight limit and knew that I needed to do something and fast. That’s when I reached out to Michelle Volpe. I needed a good routine that could become a way of life, not just a 30 day weight loss program. I have to admit, that I have fallen off the wagon a few times but manage to catch myself and get back on. I do notice that when I don’t meet with Michelle that’s when I have the most problems. She manages to keep me accountable for my eating/exercising habits through motivation and just her gentle presence.
One of the things I enjoy the most about working with Live Fit, is that you can take these exercise routines anywhere. Over the summer, she helped me develop a routine that I could utilize while camping.
I feel like this has to be a complete way of life through food and weight training and with help of God and Michelle, we will do this together.
My goal is to be stronger, healthier and just feel better about myself overall. I have lost a few pounds and several inches but I think it’s more about my self-evaluation rather than a number on the scale.
I encourage anyone who needs this accountability, to contact Michelle and sit down and discuss your goals with her”.
Thanks For Sharing Lisa!
Living Fit For Life: Success Story: Rachel
I met Rachel through LoveCanton Church way back when I first started Live Fit Women’s Fitness. I loved her zest for life and genuine personality. We instantly hit it off and trained for a turkey trot 5kt together.
It was after Rachel had her first daughter she was ready to start working out again and she contacted me.
During our consultation Rachel was trying to decide if Live Fit was a good fit for her.
She recalls a conversation from our consultation: “Michelle said something that has stuck with me. She said, “Big goals are great and really helpful, but I want you to set one goal every day and work towards that.” That completely changed my attitude and approach. That’s what has helped me stick with my training regimen and not get frustrated. I also love that Michelle keeps my workout routine fresh. I get bored really easily, so her constantly switching things up has been perfect for me.
Rachel and I met on a weekly and monthly basis. I worked around her schedule and was able to set up plans tailored to her hectic lifestyle as a new mom. When we weren’t meeting I would check in with her.
Rachel enjoyed the accountability piece of our partnership together. She explains a little how it works here: “ She’s always texting me verses, quotes, songs, recipes, etc. I love it! She makes me want to do something on the days that it would be easy to come up with excuses not to work out. She’s also set up a private Facebook group for all of us clients where we can check in after workouts, ask for prayer requests, and share in successes.”
As Rachel progressed through her training regimen she had some minor setbacks that we worked through together. We were able to persevere through these and celebrate her victories together.
Rachel shares how the encouragement helped her stay motivated during her exercise program: “She’s always encouraging me to keep going! I had to start a new medication that my doctor warned me would make me sick, and she has been both empathetic and encouraging. I missed a lot of workouts this month, but she’s kept me from getting discouraged and helped me persevere. Additionally, when I hit my first goal, she celebrated with me but followed it up with encouragement to add weight for lifting and add time to my cardio. She didn’t let me get stagnant”.
Rachel has learned how to implement the time we shared together into living a fit and healthy lifestyle. I really love what she has taken away and applied to her life through our sessions.
I love this Victory she shares: “Michelle constantly reminds me that fitness is a lifestyle not a quick fix. She’s helped me to realize that it’s as important to my health as eating and sleeping. Fitness is crucial, not optional. Healthy habits have become just another part of life, and I feel so much better as a result. For example, it’s become more relaxing to put the baby in a stroller, grab the dog’s leash, and head out for a walk than to sit and watch TV. I feel much more productive and better at the end of the day when I do that”.
Rachel and I talked about how “abs are made in the kitchen. That we eat to work out and don’t work out to eat.”
She reaches for avocados and carrots these days instead of buffalo dip!
Thanks for sharing in your success with us Rachel and Living Fit for life!
Rachel Hunka and her husband Corey live in Canton, Ohio with their precious two girls. They recently launched a church called 3rd Street Community Church. When Rachel isn’t mothering her two little ones or helping at church, she is on the side-lines coaching the Malone Cheerleaders.
You can connect with Rachel on
Facebook: Rachel Elyse Hunka
This is part 1 of a five part series. You can read more here to find out more about this series: Introduction
Today we will focus on Aerobic exercise or otherwise known as Cardio.
I am sharing a brief memory of how my love for running started before I get to the nuts and bolts of why aerobic exercise is so important for our health.
I can remember being a kid. My father owned a tree farming business and still does and we lined our back fields with rows upon rows of tree’s. I loved nature and the great outdoors. I especially loved riding my bike to the highest hill and taking my feet off the pedals and coasting all the way down to the bottom. My mom told me after I flew down the hill I would ride around the house anther fifteen times before doing it all over again.
It was in grade school that I remember my best friend who was a year older then me asking me to try to go on a run with her. While I chuckled and thought basketball is the only sport for me. I decided to join her. She assured me running to the stop sign and back was easy and that I could do it.
I remember in that moment a little seventh grader thinking, sheesh… this girls nuts. Huffing and puffing along I made it to the stop sign and back. I’m pretty sure my best friend ran five miles before I finished my two. I ended up running track that year and have been hooked ever since. I went on to run in college and coach 400 and 800 runners shortly after I graduated college.
My best friend and I still run when we can get together and I can’t explain to you how thankful I am that she encouraged me that day. There are special people in our lives that have the ability to encourage us and help you feel empowered. She is defiantly one of those people.She believed in me and in turn it helped me believe in myself. Running has been an outlet for me as I have gone through the grief of loosing my daughter and battled through depression over the last two and a half years.
My dad used to tell me growing up to train and surround myself with people who were better. It pushed me and continues to grow me. What a wonderful training slogan for life.
It has allowed me to understand that with change comes growth. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and learning new ways to add variety to your workout help you from becoming stagnant in your workout routine. Aerobic exercise is one of the five ways to add variety to your workout.
The information below on aerobic exercise has been taken from an article from Everydayhealth.com . There are many benefits of aerobic exercise. Mental benefits include an increase in confidence, emotional stability, memory and brain function. 19 million Americans experience depression every year and is is believed that aerobic exercise helps improve the symptoms of depression. Health benefits include strengthening your heart and lungs, lowers your cholesterol, reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, improve your immune function and lower blood pressure. Physical benefits include burning calories, which helps shed excess weight. Aerobic exercise tones the muscles and improves posture. It helps you look and feel better while increasing your stamina. Providing more energy for work and play. You will sleep and handle stress better.
My clients say this often: “I just all around feel better”.
Now that you see the benefits of adding aerobic activity to your workouts. You might be wondering how much and how often?
The most recent guidelines published from the American Heart Association and the American College of sports medicine recommend 30 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise five days a week or 20 minutes of high intensity aerobic exercise 3 days a week to maintain good health and reduce your risk of chronic disease.
If you are just starting out slowly increase your intensity with the help of a trainer. Maybe start with first deciding what type of aerobic activity you enjoy most. Options are and not limited to: biking, running, hiking, dancing, and swimming.
Below is a quick and effective running circuit I do if I am short on time. If you are new to exercise check with your doctor before beginning any new training program. Use the FITT principe to slowly increase in Time, Intensity, Type, and Frequency.
Warm-up 5-7 minutes by jogging. Perform 4-6 short bursts sprints between 30-60 seconds at a time. Take a 1-2 minute break or until you feel recovered enough to perform your next short burst sprint. Cool-down 5-7 minutes
You can use this same workout on a bike, swimming, on an elliptical and while walking.
Next week we will talk about why adding variety with strength training is such an important component to your workout regimen.
Living Fit For Life: Success Story : Jen Kauffman
I first met Jen at a bible study and we became friends quickly. She grew up in West Branch on a dairy farm and shared a similar love for running like me. Jen is a busy wife and mom of four (Blake 11, Mason 8, Kariyas 6, and Aniela 4).
Jen approached me looking or help to get out of a fitness rut that she had become stuck in.
As I began to work with Jen we really focused on incorporating strength training along with a three month training plan for an upcoming half-marathon that she was training for.
Jen started to lift consistently and loved having the training programs to keep her on track.
“ I didn’t have to think about what I was going to do that day, it was already laid out for me. I felt like I was working towards a certain outcome and that was exciting”.
As Jen progressed in her training program she started to see the benefit of consistent weight training.
I love this victory she shares:
“Michelle made me realize the importance of lifting weights. My fitness was lots of running and cardio before I started working with her. I’ve never felt better about how I look since I started lifting. I have more control over my weight and my confidence about myself has increased”.
Jen learned that as she turned fitness into her daily routine living that she is was a much happier and pleasant person if she got her workout in. It’s her time and she can’t live without it! It recharges her to care for her family. It prepares her to have strong arms for the tasks ahead of her each day.
Jen has also learned the importance of healthy portions and has enjoyed content I provide my clients in a private online group.
Jen states: “Her posts on the facebook page have been informative about healthy portions. I love that they aren’t long articles but sometimes just what she is doing at home. I love her transparency with her own fitness journey. It makes it real”.
Jen enjoyed the check-in’s via text message as they helped her keep going. She loved being encouraged if she felt off track or had a rough day. It helped her learn healthy habits that she has continued over the last two years.
I love how Jen took the knowledge she learned from her sessions to grow both in strength and confidence. Jen used the information I provided and has created healthy habits and a solid foundation keeping her feeling healthy and strong for all the adventures, love and memories she makes with her family of five! Way to Live fit for Life, Jen. Thanks, for sharing your story!