Top 5 Park Exercise Moves

There are no excuses why you can’t get a park workout in! Our National Fitness Pro, Jules Rosenthal shows you how to incorporate fitness while watching your children play! Some great exercise moves include planks with rotation, pull ups and triceps dips.

jules
Julia Rosenthal
Official NEM Fitness Pro
Email: Jules@noexcusemom.com
Education
ACE certified
Tread Tabata certified
Masters in Social Work
Jules always played sports though wasn’t always an athlete until she found where were greatest strengths were: running, weight training and coaching. She also had a short career in the culinary arts before changing course and earning her MSW in 2005. Not too shortly thereafter, though, the lure of the fitness called again, and she returned to the health-world by getting her ACE certification in 2009. Jules resides in the Boston area — she is a No Excuse mother of two, licensed clinical social worker, avid runner/fitness freak and made her vision come true when she started her own personal training company, Ripped by Jules in 2013.

NEM Group Spotlight: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

In November 2014, Katherine Clubb created the NEM Regina Saskatchewan Canada Group. Motivated by her 130lbs weight loss, she decided to create a community of moms who can find support, advice and positivity. You can join her online private FB community HERE.

1)When did you become a NEM?  I have been a NEM for the last 5+ years now since starting my own personal transformation after the birth of my son in 2008. I’ve lost 130lbs in total, from a starting and heaviest weight of 300lbs. I joined the NEM Group over a year ago now.

 

2) What inspired me to start a group?  I wanted to help other mom’s reach their fitness goals while at the same time meeting new mom’s and making new friends. We live in Regina Saskatchewan Canada, where the NEM movement isn’t as strong as in the US, but we still have a great group of dedicated ladies. We get snow and very cold weather for a good part of the year with some nicer months over the summer. Regina is the capital of Saskatchewan, we’re in the middle of the Prairie Provinces and in the middle of Canada. We are a cultural and commercial centre for southern Saskatchewan.

3) What has been your most rewarding experience as a group leader? Seeing the ladies show up every meet, dedicated to work out. Being their motivator and go-to to help them reach their fitness goals.

 

4) What kind of workouts do you do? ALL kinds! I make up a new workout routine every week and we work out for about 40-45 min!


5) How has becoming a leader changed your life? It’s helped me to tap into some goals and dreams I’ve had for awhile. I love the feeling of helping the ladies in my group! I love the motivation they give to each other and all the support that has come about it. It’s a great group of ladies to lead with some great friendships being made. I try to motivate and encourage the ladies as much as possible because I know the struggle of being overweight and losing weight and I understand them.

6) How has becoming a leader affected your family? It hasn’t really. They have been supportive from the beginning and my kids have always encouraged me and joined in with me while working out. So it hasn’t changed, other than they have the chance to meet new friends at the meet ups!

 

7) What is your favorite part of leading a group? Making the workouts! I LOVE planning the workouts for our weekly workout group! It’s fun and I get to incorporate so many new and different moves. Showing the group moves they may not have tried before, pushing them to their limits! Showing them that they don’t need a gym membership to get into shape! Being able to show them modifications for moves if needed and how to make things harder if they want to see more results or are advanced. I love the encouragement and support in my group! I love the sweet messages and compliments the ladies send me thanking me for supporting them, motivating them and being there for them. I honestly wish I would of had something like this when I was loosing weight. And so I am blessed to be able to provide this type of support to these ladies in their journeys for FREE!

Find your free location HERE.
regina

2016 Swimsuit Calendar Moms are….

This year we had an incredible group of ladies enter. Each year we receive applications from No Excuse Moms in May for our upcoming calendar. We include their stories, workouts, recipes, and compile a professional 26-page calendar filled with inspiration, motivation and No Excuses! Our calendar has been featured on Yahoo, Fox and Friends, HLN, Daily Mail, Dr. Oz and various local media stations, magazines and newspapers. All proceeds benefit our 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Please pre-order the 2016 Calendar HERE! It is forecasted to be ready for shipment by October 2015.

Next year’s calendar moms are as follows (in random order):

1. Kate Hardman
2. Miravone Dorough
3. Dynae Saba
4. Samantha Alexandar
5. Jessica Cordova
6. Belinda Centeno
7. Stephanie Navarro
8. Laura Gettman
9. Jasmyne Boyd
10. Barbara Clement
11. Therese Atwell
12. Jolynne Carlson

Their images were judged by an open No Excuse Mom panel. Good job to all who participated. You did an amazing job! We will not be sharing large file images of our calendar moms until the final calendar comes out in just a few months. Please pre-order your calendar here!

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This year’s calendar!

NEM Group Spotlight: Bolingbrook, Illinois

Miravone Dorough is the NEM group leader for Bolingbrook, IL. She first started working out with the NEM-Joliet group and was encouraged our regional manager, Ashley Gentile, to start a group in Bolingbrook since she had strong ties to the community. All of our leaders have a personal story that led them to become leaders in their hometowns, this is Miravone’s….

What is your personal story?

Growing up in an Asian community has its ups & downs. Asians have no filter. I was told constantly by non-family members that I was too big for an Asian girl..my Chinese pediatrician told me I was “too chunky”. Interestingly enough, he also diagnosed me with major depressive disorder at an early age. I based my self worth on what I looked like but never saw anything “pretty” in the mirror. College was rough. I ate my emotions & gained the typical Freshman 20, had a plethora of medical conditions & overly medicated, couldn’t run down the block, walking across campus was a big no-no, and I even CHEATED in my “jogging” elective (haha true story).Fast forward- entered Naturopathic school & paid attention to everything I put in my body. Off all medications. Slowly started restoring my health inside. Got married to my love in 2009,pregnant in 2010, & miscarried in 2010. I sank to my lowest of lows. Just when I thought I was getting “there”. Gained 20# & took 8 months to grieve. Then Ryan & I took control of our health. Entered p90x & more focus on our diet while still both finishing up grad school. I lost 15# & graduated with my first doctorate.Got pregnant 2012. Super paranoid. I was determined to be extremely healthy inside & out. When I found out we were having a girl, I started REALLY working on inside. I didn’t want her to feel what I’ve dealt with my whole life. I wanted to be an example of self confidence and finding worth in God more than society & your appearance. It’s as if I lost majority of my insecurities and low self esteem when I gave birth. Gained 30# & lost 45#. I went from a size 12 (almost 14) to a size 4-6 but more importantly, I can look in the mirror and see more positives than not. The best part is that my gets to witness this new version of myself and that is the true reward.

A lot of women say that kids ruined their bodies but in my perspective, my body changed but for the better. She is my inspiration to exercise, eat very well, & NEVER call myself FAT.

God changed my heart & Estella saved me!

How has being a NEM changed your life?

I have met an AMAZING group of woman that not only inspire me by their hard work and dedication, but have found some inspiration in me. I was always the slowest on the soccer field, most self conscious in PE class, and hid behind my books and good grades. It is often scary knowing that so many women look at me as the leader of a group like NEM, but it has kept me really accountable for my own healthy eating and fitness!

What is the most fulfilling part of being part of the NEM community?

Witnessing hard work turn into amazing results emotionally and physically in our members. We have women of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels and they all work equally hard. It’s so inspiring. The other fulfilling part that is equally amazing is being an example to our children. My daughter asks when we can go exercise and loves to mimic exercises at home.

Tell us more about your recent charity effort?

We joined efforts with NEM-Joliet to raise money for a local women’s and children’s shelter (MorningStar Missions in Joliet). We called it “Moms helping moms” and we reached out to friends, family, and the community to raise at LEAST $500 but we exceeded that goal by raising $1,400+! We pledged to run the BIG Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K on March 29th and got a total of about 8 moms to participate. The awesome part is a couple of our moms participated in their FIRST ever organized race so that was really inspiring too.

What suggestions would you have for people struggling with their health?

The hardest part is starting. We always emphasize using each other as accountability to make working out the most fun and rewarding. So I would say, pick a goal, pick a friend, and do it together. It doesn’t have to be a huge goal like a marathon, but pick something tangible! My first goal was to finish a 5k and that blossomed into what I’m doing now- leading a NEM group, working out 5-6 days a week, and training for a half marathon! You gotta start somewhere!

Last acknowledgments?

Changing your eating habits and increasing your activity doesn’t just transform who you are physically and emotionally, but it truly resonates into the lives of your children, spouse, and community!
bolingbrook
Find your free No Excuse Mom group here!
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Giving back to their community.

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Miravone posing with the Director of Development of the shelter (where the donations were sent).

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NEM Bolingbrook and Joliet Illinois Group and preparing to run!

Baked Snack Chickpeas

If you miss eating Cornuts, you will love Baked chickpeas. Here’s a recipe provided by one of our No Excuse Mom Group Leaders in Elk Grove, CA – Hazel Blandon! Find your NEM workout location here!

Directions:
1. Open cans, drain & rinse.
2. Place on towel to absorb remaining water. Put on cookie sheet with parchment paper in oven at 375* for 40 mins. or until crunchy depending on your oven.
3. Take out chickpeas and coat them lightly with coconut oil.
4. Prepare to create different flavors by separating them into 3 bowls. The amount of seasoning/ingredients is dependent on your preference. Here is what Hazel used in the three bowls below:
First bowl: honey and cinnamon.
Second bowl: shaved parmesan cheese with minced garlic, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper.
Third bowl: garlic powder, onion powder sea salt, red pepper flakes, chipotle peppers, & cumin.

chickpeas

Hazel-Blandon

Melting the Miff-Worthy Muffin Top

Melting the Miff-Worthy Muffin Top
by Jules Rosenthal

As women we tend to fiercely and frustratingly hold on to belly fat. The dirty truth is that you are only going to banish that belly fat by changing two things: diet and exercise. There is a myth that 1,000 sit ups a day or 7 minutes of planks a day will help get you the fab abs you dream of. But PLEASE don’t get frustrated when these things don’t work. Surely you are getting a stronger core but nothing will change to the naked eye (and the naked abs) unless you tighten up the diet; lose the refined carbs, focus on high fiber and low sugar foods to beat the bloat and to tone the tummy down. Hydrate. Do not eat processed foods. Avoid refined sugars. Avoid, pasta, rice, sugar and white flour. I am constantly saying to my clients, “you cannot out-train a bad diet”. Your body reflects the hard work you put in as well as the fuel you use. To melt the muffin top means eating smart and training smart. Now that you have the diet, it is time to train smart.

I have been asked many time by many people to only focus on the core in my personalized workouts for them. My response is always the same. In order to focus on your core, I am going to give you a challenging full body workout each time we meet. Muscle burns fat three times faster than fat, so muscle building is the most effective way to burn all over fat (let me repeat, “ALL OVER FAT”. You cannot spot burn or spot train; we lose and gain proportionally head to toe so training head to toe is most important to burn and build efficiently). That said, it is important to train the core outside of balance exercises and full body exercises.

Here are a few of my favorite muffin-top targeting moves that are important to keep as part of your routine.

plank
Plank: The plank is a perfect way to engage the deep transverse abdominal muscles. These are the deepest in the core and act as a girdle as they hold everything together (read; tighten). Be sure to keep the head straight and aligned wth the shoulders, hands directly under the shoulders, spine straight, hips square and as flat a position as you can.

side plank
Side plank: The side plank will also hit the TVA in addition to the obliques or also affectionately known as the love handles. The same principles apply here as the regular plank– you want to be as straight and aligned as possible.

reverse
Reverse crunch: This is really about control. The reverse crunch is a move that will target that mean muffin but also helps the upper abs as well. The key here is to go very slowly and remember that you don’t have a large range of motion, so focus on really pulling that navel in towards the spine. Lie down with legs fully extended and arms to the sides of your torso, palms on the floor.
Raise your legs (bent) so that thighs are perpendicular to the floor and feet become parallel to the floor. Pull the belly in towards the spine and push it into the floor as firmly as possible. Lower slowly.

russian twist
Ball twist: This oblique trimmer and balance enhancer is a great way to whittle the waist. Holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in your hands, twist from side to side, keeping the back straight. it is important here to move from the torso, not from the shoulders. For an added challenge, lift the feet up off the ground.

squat to press
Squat to press rotation: More and more research is showing that full body moves, not ab isolating ones, are partly responsible for the trimming the waist line. This one targets the legs and shoulders and really tightens that mid section. Start with weights in your hands and lower into a squat, leaning back into your heels, drawing the belly in and the pushing the bum out. As you raise your hips, pushing up from the heels, push the dumbbells over your head, turning your torso to the right side by using your midsection muscles to turn. This is a fluid movement. Lower the weights and repeat the movement, this time turning to your left.

plank pull in
Plank with a pull in: Here is an advanced version of your basic plank that will be sure to hit the right spot. Begin in a standard plank. From here, slowly pull the right knee in towards the right elbow touching the two if possible and holding for a full second. Then do the left side.

Try out these muffin top melters but remember: they are not magic! Without a sensible diet, full body strength work and cardio, that tricky tire is going to stick around so be sure to keep your routine (not your tummy) well rounded!

Jules Rosenthal played sports though wasn’t always an athlete until she found where were greatest strengths were: running, weight training and coaching. She also had a short career in the culinary arts before changing course and earning her MSW in 2005. Not too shortly thereafter, though, the lure of the fitness called again, and she returned to the health-world by getting her ACE certification in 2009. Jules resides in the Boston area — she is a No Excuse mother of two, licensed clinical social worker, avid runner/fitness freak and made her vision come true when she started her own personal training company, Ripped by Jules in 2013.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ripped
Youtube: http://m.youtube.com/channel/UCshFIZT67zIZUfGbOLSkmCw

5 Top unknown Roadblocks

5 Top Unknown Roadblocks that you MAY be experiencing now.
by Diane Kazer

What if I told you: FAT IS NOT YOUR FAULT? If you’ve tried weight loss programs, but failed, it’s probably not YOU. Twinkie eating couch potatoes aside:

LOSING WEIGHT ISN’T ONLY ABOUT DIET AND EXERCISE!

This article is for you who busts your ‘assparagus’ to earn your dream body, are fed up with doing everything ‘right’ and still not there. Let’s make this article fun! There’s enough scienc’y conflicting terms out there to make your head spin, so let’s get to the TRUTH:

A HEALTHY BODY WILL NOT HAVE A HARD TIME WITH FAT LOSS!

#1 ROADBLOCK – BLAME IT ON THE HORMONES! Let’s talk about 5 that are CRUCIAL for fat loss.

1) THYROID is responsible for metabolism, and when it’s low, fat loss is an uphill battle. Over 20% of Americans have a sluggish one! Thyroid hormones stimulate fat-burning; they’re anti-aging and keep leptin levels low.

2) LEPTIN – Released by fat cells, this is the bodies signal to stop eating. Diane calls it the “leave it hormone”. When thyroid and leptin levels are diminished, the body has no “stop eating!” signal.

3) INSULIN – 1 in 2 American adults are ‘borderline diabetic’ from insulin resistance, that’s brought on by:

 Overeating (esp carbohydrates)
 Skipping meals (esp breakfast)
 Coffee (esp on empty stomach)

The results? Glucose can’t be used as fuel, gets stored in fat cells instead, expanding our ‘waste’ line. In men, testosterone converts to estrogen = cue man boobs. In women, it converts estrogen to testosterone = cue infertility, hair loss and PCOS. WE WORK WITH MORE CLIENTS ON THIS ISSUE than anything else. Once blood sugar stabilizes and hence insulin, function is restored and fat runs away through the bowels!

3) CORTISOL – Under stress, this hormone is released in the body and says ‘store fat’. Elevated cortisol imbalances sex/sleep hormones, slows metabolism, roller coasters blood sugar, inflames the gastrointestinal and immune system, all of which = fat loss failure. I know…sounds evil huh? It’s not a ‘bad’ hormone, just bad when imbalanced…and we see this in 99% of clients we test.

5) MELATONIN – This hormone tell us when to sleep and keeps us asleep. When low, our body doesn’t rest properly and won’t repair adequately. 7-9 hours of sleep is CRITICAL, and between 10pm and 6am is optimal.

“95% OF FAT BURNING HAPPENS DURING SLEEP!”

#2 TOXICITY – We live in a toxic world. Today we’re exposed to 80,000+ chemicals, which our bodies say ‘How do I get rid of these aliens?’ and stores them in the liver, our detox organ. Nearly everyone we test has a congested liver, and toxins must be stored somewhere. “So, hey, let’s hide in fat cells to protect nerve tissue”, and WALA = fat is here to stay.
CLEAN LIVER = OPTIMALLY FUNCTIONING BODY = better equipped to burn fat.

Toxins also intercept ‘text messages’ in the body including hormones responsible for weight loss. Triclosan is found in cosmetics, which blunts thyroid hormone and = headaches, depression, weight gain due to hormone imbalance. Xenoestrogens confuse hormone levels, and in case of Low T or low estrogen, taking exogenous hormones, will likely make you fatter, especially with a clogged liver and insulin resistance. Check your personal care products for safety: www.ewg.org

“FOR WOMEN, HORMONAL IMBALANCE IS THE #1 ROADBLOCK TO FAT LOSS”

#3 DIGESTION – 80% of our immune system lives in our gut. Americans are constipated; we ‘go’ every 2 days vs 2 TIMES per day. If we can’t remove waste, we BECOME waste. 75% of us house perma bad bugs, which cause cancer, eat our nutrients and create inflammation (cue cortisol) and infection (drain the immune system). All of these add up to an inability to lose fat effectively. FIX IT: http://www.dianekazer.com/digestivehealth/

#4 Immune System – Protecting you from viruses and bacteria, it’s closely linked to all other parts of the body. When it’s not functioning properly, it attacks healthy tissue (auto-immunity), spikes cortisol (fat storing hormome), and drains the adrenals (sex, sleep and sex hormones halt), resulting in inflammation, which makes fat loss nearly impossible. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is THE most common we see today, affecting 1 out of 10 women, with estimates as high as 5 out of 10 going undiagnosed due to improper testing. Why? Unfortunately, insurance companies see no value in antibodies or have WIDE ranges in determining a ‘healthy’ TSH. Lab tests anywhere from .25-8 is considered ‘in range’, where we say, in Functional Medicine, that OPTIMAL is between 1-2, and anything outside of that is a cause for action, ie your body telling you it needs help. Even the top endocrinologists today will only test 3 thyroid hormones (TSH, T4, T3) when there are 6 critical markers to explore the health and functionality of the thyroid – TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and 2 thyroid antibodies. MORE ON THIS IN OUR NEXT ARTICLE ON THYROID HEALTH & AUTO-IMMUNE DISEASE.

FOR MANY WOMEN, ONCE WE RESTORE THEIR THYROID & Calm the Immune system (AI maintenance), WEIGHT LOSS IS EASIER

#5 BRAIN – What we eat affects our mood; food is mood! Amino Acids come from healthy proteins we eat, and we only benefit from them if our stomach has enough acid and enzymes to further break them down into neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, which regulate anxiety, depression, immunity, motivation and energy levels. BOTTOM LINE = If these are off, you’re heading straight to the kitchen for foods, alcohol, coffee, drugs that will elevate your mood. The majority of our clients are doing a poor job of breaking down food, which is an insult to the amazing food you pay extra for, for higher quality. Let’s ensure it’s being used right, shall we?

There are 11 systems in the body, and like a soccer game, if you’re 1 man down, the rest of the players have to work harder. Fat loss is no different. When has there ever been a better time to get every player working their best to win your dream body?

Diane has healed thousands of clients worldwide via detoxification, digestion and hormone harmony, customizing the experience based on lab results, and client symptoms and goals. During this 12 week Challenge, No Excuse moms ONLY get 1 Complimentary 15 min consultation with Diane, visit www.dianekazer.com to schedule! 

thyroid

No More Excuses 12-week Challenge

In 12 weeks our goal is to transform. In The No More Excuses Diet it takes 3 days to bust excuses, 3 weeks to develop habits and 3 months to transform. Will you see results sooner? Yes. But, if you want to make lasting change, break up achievable short-term goals into quarters. Just like in business, seasons and even a child’s growth, you cannot expect change to happen rapidly. This is not a quick fix. This is the beginning of a true lifestyle change. By July 2015 our goal is to be in a different place physically, mentally and spiritually. So start your engines! Let’s get started!

FAQs:
1. Do you need to sign up officially somewhere? NO. Just sign up to our newsletter as you will get updates, tips and advice weekly. Click here to sign up.

2. How do I get access to the downloadable calendars and charts? To learn how to create an Action calendar click here. For the blank calendar template (print 3) click here.  For the progress chart click here.

3. Do I need to follow all the ‘rules’? No, they are guidelines. Adjust to your capabilities.

4. Do I need The No More Excuses Diet Book to join? No, but it is highly recommended as it provides education about meal structuring and calorie/macronutrient calculations. It also has home workouts (with illustrations) and troubleshooting techniques. It is available wherever books are sold including Target, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million and Amazon (in ebook/hardback).

5. It’s past April 6th can I still join? You can join at ANY time. Get your calendars and progress charts ready, take a before selfie, start hashtagging #nomoreexcusesdiet and get started!

6. When does the 12 weeks end? June 28th! Our goal is to rock confidently in swimsuits on July 4th!

7. What are the Guidelines? SEE BELOW:


Challenge-Red-Swimsuits

newsletter
Please make sure you subscribe to our newsletter (it pops up when you enter the website). You can also hit ‘subscribe’ after clicking onto one of our current challenge newsletters including (please click):
Newsletter One
Newsletter Two

 

How does your posture measure up?

Proper posture involves many muscles working in conjunction. The structural alignment from top to bottom should be ears over the shoulders, shoulders over the hips and the knees over the ankles, with the weight spread evenly across both feet, all toes and both heels. There are many postural deviations, that are actually quite common. They vary in severity and can lead to further problems in the body if left unresolved. Some common examples are:

1) Over-pronated feet (flat feet):Over-pronation adds stress to the foot, tightens calf muscles, and can internally rotate the knees. Over-pronation often leads to Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Tendonitis and/or Bunions

2) Forward hip tilt or LORDOSIS or anterior pelvic tilt: overly arched lower back, caused by the pelvic bones tilting forward, due to tight hip flexors, often from sitting for most of the day. As you walk, tight hip flexors prevent the glutes from firing/activating, which forces the hamstring muscles to become overworked and excessively tight. If you have tight hamstrings, the root cause may be tight hip flexors and an anterior pelvic tilt.

lower cross

3) Hunchback or KYPHOSIS: excessively curved upper back, shoulders rolled forward, tight chest muscles and weakened and loose upper back muscles. This is one of the most common issues because of our generally sedentary lifestyles, with desk jobs and sitting at computers much of the day.

upper cross

4) Head jutted forward: Have someone take a photo of you in profile; your earlobes should be located directly above your shoulders. Sitting at a computer for hours at a time daily can be the cause of this as well. Muscles in the back of the neck become tight, along with the upper trapezius and levator scapulae (upper back muscles).

forward head

These 4 common posture problems are just scratching the surface of posture as a very important fitness topic. Another extremely important element when discussing posture is the deep core muscles, the transverse abdominals. These muscles are your body’s natural internal corset, which supports your structure and help to align your vertebrae. With proper core engagement (navel to spine and spine elevation), you can begin to alleviate back discomfort and to strengthen the other muscles that work in conjunction with the core for total body control. With good posture comes greater lung capacity, the appearance of confidence, height and even “lengthening” or thinning of the torso…you can “lose” a few pounds simply by standing straighter. Another wonderful benefit to maintaining good posture is proper exercise form, which make whatever exercises you are performing more effective and efficient. With a conscious effort and time, you can change the way you hold your own body.

With my own clients, I suggest setting a “posture alarm”, on your phone or computer or your oven timer…. something that can ping and give you a reminder to make postural adjustments and take a moment to focus on how you are sitting, standing, doing day to day activities. Making this conscious effort daily soon will create a habit and in time, poor posture will be uncomfortable, you will find yourself making unconscious adjustments without the reminder, and you will feel and see a change in how you carry yourself and how exercise affects you. So, now, take a moment to adjust…ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over heels. Spread your feet, feel all 10 toes and both heels on the floor. Pull your navel to your spine and send your energy upward, breathe into your ribcage, maintaining the navel to spine connection…then relax and feel the difference. I hope this helps you reach the next level of success in your journey to fitness.

posture
Perfect Posture!

Vanessa Lynn Campos is mom to 2 boys, Kai and Rocky.  Her interest in fitness began at age 15, having been a dancer, cheerleader and soccer player.  She studied dance at Beijing Dance Academy in Beijing, China and the London Contemporary Dance School at The Place in England. Her professional opportunities also included working with internationally acclaimed dance photographer, Lois Greenfield, who featured Vanessa in her 2007, 2008, and 2013 calendars.  Her professional fitness career began in NYC in 2002.
For fitness videos, subscribe to her YOUTUBE.

3 struggles guaranteed to happen in 12 weeks.

There are 3 Things that are guaranteed to happen when you S.T.R.I.V.E. (the troubleshooting stage) for change, you will fail, you will be uncomfortable and you will plateau. In the book, The No More Excuses Diet, there are 3 cycles (S.P.E.E.D. – S.T.R.I.V.E. – S.C.O.R.E.)

Read on to get ready for this 12-week journey!

1. You will FAIL. So many people don’t start because they fear failing. Most often, that fear stems from years failing at fad, fast and highly-restrictive dieting. Some couldn’t resist not eating their favorite foods, others allowed stress get the better of them, many had a very unrealistic approach to dieting, etc. So let’s get this straight.

You WILL FAIL.

I have failed countless times in the last decade. You will have days when you skip a workout, when you splurged on a donut, when you didn’t eat enough, when you didn’t sleep enough – in fact, sometimes, that day turns into a week – and at this point, why not give up, right? You feel like a failure.

Whatever you do, DO NOT STOP. Re-write your short-term goals – make them more achievable – dedicate yourself to three days of successful follow-through and keep going. You can stop in 12 weeks (not fully of course, just rest and start striving for bigger goals again) so right now, keep trucking – even when you feel defeated – keep going! Even the most perfected of perfect people are not perfect (lol).

2. You will be UNCOMFORTABLE. In order to grow, you must be challenged, so focus on running a little harder, eating a little healthier and challenging yourself a little more every.single.day. What does this mean? It means you will need to be mentally conscious of what’s going on a daily basis because in order to change, you must create change and break some habits. Some of these old habits is running at an 12-min mile pace (or just walking fast), eating mostly processed ‘diet’ foods and not prioritizing rest and sleep.

Being uncomfortable also means being sore, struggling with naysayers and bringing your own meals to work lunch meetings. You are about to change your life and in order to do so you need to CHANGE!

3. You will PLATEAU. Our body is made to adjust and there will be a point when you will stop making progress. This can happen 6 weeks in, for those who are too extreme/restrictive in the beginning, it could even happen within 3 weeks in! Remember, it’s not a matter of IF you will plateau, it is WHEN. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing, Remember That! However frustrating stalling in progress feels, know that you got there because you have made progress! So, what do you do?

Go Back to #2.

You need to get uncomfortable again. Run faster, lift heavier, change up your macros/calories, try a new exercise, extend your duration – whatever you do, just do something DIFFERENT. And, don’t expect your progress to change instantly. It will always take at least 3 weeks to notice change.

So let’s get this straight:

This journey will not be easy. You will fail, be uncomfortable and plateau – you WILL get frustrated, annoyed, angry, upset and discouraged…but DO NOT GIVE UP.

I repeat.

Do NOT give up.