What Led Me To Joining No Excuse Mom

I think too often we forget where we started.
My fitness journey began when I was a child. I was in just about every sport you could imagine, from cheer leading, volleyball and basketball. Ultimately I settled with track and cross-country.
I joined the military at nineteen, after a semester of college. Maintaining a certain level of physical fitness in the Air Force wasn’t a challenge for me. The challenge came after separating.
I separated after seven years of active duty, as a single parent of two. After the birth of my daughter, postpartum depression had set in. So there I was with a preschooler and a newborn, with no support system as my immediate family resided out of state.

My kids I had while serving 7yrs. active duty Air Force

I longed for a sense of belonging, not knowing my place as a civilian. I chose to use my GI Bill and go to school full time. Now I’m a veteran, full-time student, single mother of two.
I dedicated all my time to my studies, striving to be the best mother I could for my kids but it wasn’t easy. I felt alone, being older than most in college, single with two kids. I needed to find balance in what had felt like a chaotic time in my life, unsure of how to juggle it all.
My first Veteran’s Day Parade as a prior service member.

It was the summer of 2018 when I was introduced to No Excuse Mom through my neighbor; who had just started holding meet-ups in the same location her husband taught my son’s martial arts. When I was approached by another leader about leading workouts, I was ecstatic. I started holding my own workouts in the park on Saturday mornings, creating bonds and fitness goals with other mamas.
I began engaging more online, realizing we are more alike than we are different. As a single mother, I feared the judgments I would receive. Initially I viewed No Excuse Mom as a group for married stay at home moms, and wanted no part of it. When I began attending meetups, and began engaging with members who attended mine I was surprisingly mistaken.
There’s more support with a group of women looking to better themselves, not only for themselves, but their children as well. What I found after separating from the Air Force was a new sense of belonging. I discovered a way to create change in the world, looking to empower and support one another while doing the hardest job in the world, motherhood.
It renewed a sense of confidence in me and opened myself up to more opportunities, allowing me to touch more lives through the power of health and wellness. You can channel all your energy into your job, getting an education, or your children, but in order to be well-rounded you can’t forget about yourself. When one challenges themselves physically, it allows one to be mentally and emotionally fit as well too.
I needed to be in a workout routine, pushing my body to new levels in order to deal with life’s stressors. As mothers it’s important we focus on becoming the best versions of ourselves.
What better way to do it, than with the help of other mothers with the same goal in mind?
I’m a 28 yr. old USAF veteran single mother of two. I have my AA in communications, and am pursuing my BA in journalism at Sac State. I write for The State Hornet, and am a co-leader for No Excuse Mom. They say it takes a village, sometimes all that entails is a group of women committed to bettering themselves through a healthy lifestyle. After all, health starts at home.


NEM PRO Live Training Begins Dec 3

Starting Monday, Dec 3rd, our NEM Pros will be starting LIVE Training on our main No Excuse Mom Public Community page for the next 9 weeks! Make sure you “LIKE” our page, turn on notifications and put an alarm on their LIVE video times! You can re-watch as many times as you want.

Here are the trainers participating:

HIlary Herndon
Hilary Herndon has been in the fitness industry for 16 years. She was a competitive gymnast, pole vaulter and heptathlete. She was a fitness manager at 24hr Fitness and an instructor to new personal trainers at Bryan College. Today she is blessed to volunteer teaching women’s wellness courses and creating workout programs in small group training platforms. She is excited to welcome her first child in 2018.

Whitney Raybould
Whitney started her fitness journey in her teens, playing sports, dancing and killin’ it at Tae Bo. She took her passion to college where she studied all things Health, Nutrition and dove into understanding the science behind the body’s ability to exercise, build muscle and change.  Then came two daughters and with them, the new challenge of depression and anxiety.  Whitney has spent the last 9 years working to understand Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, recovery, coping skills, self love, self worthiness and how that can all be tied into taking care of our bodies.  She believes physical fitness is just the first step in taking care of ourselves and in turn as we learn how to take care of ourselves we become better caregivers to those around us.

Felicia Newell

Felicia is a Registered Dietitian, Sport Nutritionist, Food and Nutrition Expert, Health Coach, and a busy mom of 4 boys under 7! She is also the owner of Sustain Nutrition. Felicia wears many hats, and knows what it is like to try and live healthy in a busy world, where our environments aren’t always supportive of making healthy choices. Felicia is passionate in helping others fight through the massive amounts of nutrition misinformation in the online world, and to navigate life and health, but most importantly, to enjoy it while doing it.
She has over 11 years of education and experience in Nutritional Sciences. Between completing her Bachelor and Masters in Nutritional Sciences, working at a research center, teaching university courses, years of nutrition counseling helping people crush their goals, and being a busy mom of 4 young boys, she has the passion, skills, education, and experience to help answer your nutrition-related questions.

Lisa Danielson

Lisa Danielson is a mom to 4 busy kiddos. At one point in her life she weighed 200 pounds. After tweaking her diet to include more plant based protein sources, she was able to lose almost 80 pounds. As a life long vegetarian, she has a passion for vegetables and loves teaching others how delicious they can be! She appears on FOX 13 The Place with a monthly recipe segment, is the head nutritionist for a major protein supplement company and also helps her personal clients reach their weight loss goals. Her motto is eat good, feel good, look good!

Hilary Downey

Hilary Downey is a wife and mom to two toddler boys.She is a double major currently obtaining her B.S. in Nutrition/Dietetics and Psychology at the University of Central Arkansas. As a member of the Student Dietetic Association, she takes advantage of volunteer opportunities within her community. She holds an officer position (Student Liaison) for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is the owner and nutritionist at Prep & Pep, LLC, where she works exclusively with women. Hilary states: “My most valid experience yet? I’ve been there. I was overweight, suffered from low-energy, had an unhealthy relationship with food, and did not known where to begin. “Therefore, I feel I am capable of helping other women in their journey to better health.” Can it be changed to “I have helped many women lose weight and keep it off, while developing new habits and a positive relationship with food.”


NEM Progress Chart

A pound of muscle is three times smaller than a pound of fat.

Progress is made, where progress is measured! It’s important to note that progress is NOT just what’s on the scale. It’s also how you feel, how your clothes fit, how your stress levels change! When you only focus on the scale you will be vulnerable to disappointment, why? Because the scale isn’t the only way to measure progress!
Muscle occupies less space than fat, which is why people who sometimes appear larger could weigh less than someone who appears smaller. Weird I know!
So download our official NEM Progress Chart and put it on or next to your vision board. For a downloadable calendar and tips on how to create a vision board, click here.
I often say that in order to see a full transformation, you have to undergo at least 12 weeks of intentional action. If you want to get stronger, run faster (or longer), become more flexible, wear an old pair of jeans or compete in a race, you must be very intentional about your exercise, food intake, sleep patterns and stress levels for the next twelve weeks! Keep in mind that you will be VERY motivated in the beginning, but most people get distracted with daily life around Week 3-9 so make sure you have an accountability partner to keep you focused!
This progress chart was created so that you can measure what is happening internally and externally. You will need tools such as a scale, measuring tape, body fat calipers, blood sugar test and a sit-a-reach box (you can also make a homemade one). The more technical you want to be, the more these tests will matter, but if you are not pre-diabetic or have Diabetes, then the blood sugar test will not be really necessary.
Weight: The best time to weigh yourself is whatever time  you can be most consistent. For most people, the morning is the most optimal time to weigh yourself because you will notice that as the day moves forward, you will weigh more due to liquids, food and waste.
BMI (body mass index): This is a very popular chart mostly used by physicians to indicate your health. This chart measures your height to weight ratio. For the most part, unless you are a bodybuilder/athlete, where you have excessive muscle, this measurement can be generally accurate in indicating one’s health level. You can find your BMI HERE.
Body Fat %: To get an accurate body fat measurement go to a local gym and ask for a free body fat assessment via calipers or hydrostatic underwater weighing. The higher your body fat percentage the more susceptible you will be for many health related issues. A healthy range can be anywhere between 21%-32% (the lower end for athletic women).
Waist-To-Hip Ratio: Take a measuring take and measure the smallest part of your waist and the widest part of your hip.  Divide your waist circumference with your hip circumference and you will get your WHR. The larger the gap between your waist and hip, the less susceptible you will be to serious health issues. A healthy WHR is 0.85 or less for women.
Resting Heart Rate: Immediately, before getting out of bed – grab your timer and count how many times your heart beats per minute. Your resting heart rate indicates how hard your heart is working in a rested state. The higher your heart rate, the higher your chances for heart attacks and strokes. It should measure 60-100 bpm…however a well trained athlete could be 40 bpm.
Blood Pressure: Your blood pressure is an indication of how efficiently your blood is moving through your body. The higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart is working. Usually a pharmacy or doctor’s office will have a blood pressure machine available. We suggest you visit either so you get a starting indication of how well your heart is doing. A normal blood pressure is 120/80.
Blood Sugar: Lowering your blood sugar (glucose) is important for various reasons. Firstly, it will help manage long term health issues caused by continuously high glucose levels, particularly Diabetes, kidney failure, eye issues, etc. Secondly, glucose is used as a source for fuel in your body. Too much fuel/sugar can cause weight gain which leads to other health issues. To measure your blood sugar levels you need a glucose meter. Normal blood sugar levels are below 100mg/dL fasted and below 140mg/dL a couple hours after eating.
Flexibility: The most popular way to test your flexibility is via sit-and-reach box. However, if you do not have access to a box, you can either sit in a pike position and stretch forward (and take a pic) or you can measure how many inches your fingers are away from reaching your toes. Do not bend the knees.
Mile: Run as fast as you can! You can use a treadmill or your fitness monitor. Keep in mind there are many free apps (like Map My Run and Nike) that offer free run tracking.
Step Test: Find a step and use the same one every time! Measure how many steps you can complete (both feet up and down) for one minute).
Max Pushups: You can complete these on your knees or without. If you do it on your knees, make sure your back is neutral and your hips are not leaning too far back (like your butt is sticking out). BTW, if you can only get one, one is good enough!
Plank Hold: How long can you hold a plank? Make sure your back is neutral, your hips are squared and your belly button is tucked in.

#nemlove February Challenge

We created this challenge so you can focus on love, gratitude, peace and kindness. CLICK HERE to print our downloadable version.
Every day you post, you receive one raffle ticket. We appreciate public posts (so we can see it) but understand if you have a private profile! If you miss a day, no worries! The goal is to be more aware about taking care of YOU as we go throughout the month of February.
Send your number of posts to noexcusemoms@gmail.com and hashtag #nemlove  and #noexcusemom (not required, but we love seeing our hashtag too!)


NEM FREE Fitness Packet!

Every year we focus on quarterly challenges because just like our seasons and our child’s growth stage, it will take 12 weeks to truly transform. This year our color of the fall 2016 NEM transformation is LAVENDER and we are getting ready to peacefully move into our new selves come winter! Bethany Sandavol, blogger, Region 9 pot winner, and graphic artist at  LIFE, LOVE & LAVENDER gifted our No Excuse Moms with a pretty printable calendar, with motivational quotes and pages for water tracking and goal setting! (Thank you!)
You can download it NOW for NOW HERE <———–
If you are interested in joining our annual Pot Challenge, it is $25 to join. As the participants grow, so will the pot! This year we are dividing the winnings into 17 winners throughout the world including 15 regional winners and 2 overalls. Make sure you register before Sept 10th. The 12 weeks begin on Monday, September 5th!
Our Guidelines are based upon Maria Kang’s book, The No More Excuses Diet, which is also the book that launched our Facebook group page. It is available at all book retailers and is currently on sale via Amazon here.
1. Drink only water, black coffee/tea
2. Eat balanced meals comprising of 30% lean protein, 30% healthy fats, 30% carbohydrates. The last 10% goes towards a small treat or protein/fat (for rest days) or carbohydrates (for training days).
3. Track your calories. If you are trying training for weight loss, lower your intake by 300 calories every few weeks.
4. Enjoy 1-2 treat meals a week.
5. Perform cardio 4 times a week for 20-30 minutes. (the shorter your cardio time the more intense it should be).
6. Perform strength training 3 times a week for 30-40 minutes.
7. Stretch daily.
8. Take a Selfie monthly (in workout clothes/swimsuit)
9. Participate and connect with your local NEM group either online or in person.
10. Identify your Target Heart Rate: 220-age * 60-85% =
11. Create a 12-week Fitness Calendar. For tips and downloadable calender click here.
12. Find accountability partners: Mentor (group leader), Supporter (friend) and Follower (someone you can guide). Find your regional leader here.
13. Be a member of our online NEM Facebook group
Contest Rules:
1. $25 opt-in payment to place into the pot.
2. All application will be emailed after payment is received and must be submitted by September 15th to your regional manager or online manager.
3. Submit before and after pics and story by November 26th
4. Must connect with closest NEM group (via online or in person). Identify your local leader.
5. Must follow NEM guidelines. No extreme dieting, diet pills, detox plans allowed.
Winners will be judged by Maria Kang and a NEM panel.
Criteria will be based upon:
40% Transformation
30% Personal Story
30% Participation

No Excuse Mom Group Leader Appreciation Award: Yvonne Gutierrez

From Regional Manager, Jasmine Clark:
Yvonne Gutierrez is a military wife and mother of three who also leads our Columbia, SC group.
Yvonne has undying dedication to her group and is resilient to anything that comes her way. She has an event on her calendar everyday of the week and hosts each herself.
Yvonne is always personable and bubbly, and provides help and support to all of her members and encourages them and does her best to suit everyone in her groups needs as well as showing so much support to me as a regional manager.
She is also involved with her local Family Readiness Group (FRG) as well as her daughter’s home room assistant.
Thank you for your dedication and commitment to No Excuse Mom, Yvonne! We appreciate all that you do!

No Excuse Mom Group Leader Appreciation Award: Meeshie Nguyen

The recipient of our August Group Leader Appreciation Award is Meeshie Nyguyen! Meeshie leads our San Diego, CA group and is also a recipe blogger for the NEM website. Meeshie has done so much for the No Excuse Mom movement. She has made several media appearances, organized co-leaders and meet ups in San Diego county, modeled for our Asian calendar, and is always posting motivational messages and videos. Meeshie’s passion for health and fitness is evident in everything that she does within the No Excuse Mom organization.
From Regional Manager, Jayvelle Thompson: Meeshie has expanded San Diego tremendously! She has great communication to co-leaders and members. I LOVE LOVE LOVE her energy and she’s always willing to help!
Meeshie, we appreciate you dedication, creativity and positivity! You are a great example of everything that a No Excuse Mom leader should be!
Meeshie is a single mom to 4 year old Maddox. She is also a breast cancer survivor, bikini competitor, passionate community volunteer, marathoner and still manages to work 50 hours a week.

No Excuse Mom Group Leader Appreciation Award: Lisa Gouyou

Lisa is the group leader of No Excuse Mom Paris, France.
From European Regional Manager, Camille Limosin:
Lisa is a working mom to Valdo, who is 7 years old. Lisa was a very young mother and has done a great job with very little family help.
She was the first No Excuse Mom in France, and I joined her a month or two after that. Since then she has been an incredible support for me and helped me grow NEM France as a country before growing her own city of Paris. She’s the secretary of the No Excuse Mom France official association and plays an important role in the NEM organization. She deals with the media, helps makes decisions and has great ideas.
She’s a real example because she has struggled with being overweight most of her life and has recently lost 33 pounds. Lisa is a perfect example of everything a No Excuse Mom should be!
She is doing an amazing job in Paris which is a difficult city and brought on 3 co-leaders there. They cover different neighborhoods, and the group is quickly growing. Her Facebook posts are always filled with great advice to guide and motivate members. She is doing special workout events once a month and is giving a Capoeira lesson to the NEM members in July in front of the Eiffel Tower!
Lisa and I work very closely. She has done a lot to help grow the movement here in France, and I wouldn’t have succeeded in all of this without her help and dedication. Her kind words, motivation, support and encouragement keep me and the rest of NEM France going!

No Excuse Mom Online Admin Appreciation Award Recipient: Marie Crain

From No Excuse Mom Head Online Administrator, Shannon Link:
No Excuse Mom would like to recognize Marie Crain for our Admin Appreciation award for July 2015. Marie has been a constant and vigilant admin for over a year. She is not afraid to take on challenges when they arise and tactfully defends the rules of the groups when needed. Being an admin for the 40,000 women in the main NEM Facebook group and the 11,000 in the NEM Timeout group is not always an easy task, but Marie is a much valued member of the admin team. She has strong beliefs, a soft heart, and a sense of humor….qualities every successful woman and admin should have.
Marie is also the true definition of a No Excuse Mom. We have watched her transform herself during the 12 week challenge and during her Whole 30 program. She also posts the most delicious looking and healthy recipes in the pages. Marie and her husband Scot are raising their self proclaimed “Brady Bunch” blended family together in Kansas City. Thank you to Marie Crain for everything you do for No Excuse Mom and thank you for being a friend!
marie pic