2019 1st Place Leader Winner: Karla Lloyd

Congrats to our Leaders who all did an incredible job in transforming themselves internally and externally these past 12 weeks. We appreciate your efforts to lead by example! The judging process was not easy as everyone who challenged and competed their 12 week journey are winners!
Our leader winner takes home $300, second place receives $200 and third place receives $100!
This year’s 1st Place Winner is Karla Llyod, our No Excuse Mom leader in Delaware, Ohio! Congrats Karla! ThisHer Story:
All of us have a unique journey and joined this challenge in hopes to accomplish different things. For me personally, these past 3 months have been life changing. I was in a very dark place mentally and hated myself and had so much self doubt. I allowed myself to let someone else make me feel like I was not worthy or good enough and it really took a long time to get over it.
Looking back on this now, I wonder why it is that I let this person control my thoughts in such a way. I was completely miserable in this relationship but yet thought I wanted it more than anything. I tried hanging on desperately to this person, thinking that if he didn’t want to be with me then it must be that I am unattractive, old and unwanted. I started noticing the lines on my face more and hating them. Even considered botox or fillers (which I have not done, but did try a few chemical peels and microneedling). I noticed my stretch marks more and hated to look in the mirror at myself.
This journey for me has not been so much about losing weight as it has been about loving myself and pushing myself to be a better person. Motivating others has always helped me stay motivated myself and being a part of this group and challenge has done just that. I have seen both my mind and body transform in just such a short time. I have not allowed myself to look at my before pictures until just this morning and I am absolutely amazed and proud. I am in such a brighter and happier place than I have been in a very long time. I have let go of my demons and focused on myself and my health and it is paying off. I know now where I want to go and where I want to be and that is right now, in this moment, in the beautiful machine that God has given me.
After all, if we don’t fight for ourselves and love ourselves then this life is for nothing. I am looking up to the future and even still in my 40’s I am gonna embrace the 50’s when I get there with a stronger mind, stronger body and stronger soul. I am after all who I am and must do what I can to stay healthy both mentally and physically. I still have a lot to work on, making better food choices on the weekends when I am out running errands. The weekends seem to be hard on most of us. I did have a few weekend binges with the pity ice cream along the way, but have been better about stopping and thinking before I get started, because all it takes is one bite! This is not a journey that ends here for me. I have a long way to go and now that I believe in myself and can see first hand what these changes can do for me, I will continue with the process. I still have my 3 month calendar that I am using to keep track of each workout. I have been very good about writing everything down and tracking my food. I plan on continuing this process even though this challenge is over. This is just the beginning for me! I am proud of all the women and momma’s who took this challenge and am inspired by every single one of them. Thank you NEM!!!

2019 2nd Place Leader Winner: Courtney Morgan

Congrats to our Leaders who all did an incredible job in transforming themselves internally and externally these past 12 weeks. You are truly leading by example! Our winner takes home $300, second place receives $200 and third place receives $100!
Our 2nd Place leader winner is: Courtney Morgan of Whangarei, New Zealand! This her story:
I started this 12 week challenge because I needed help. The last year I have been struggling on my own with post-natal depression.  I finally had had enough and went to the doctor because it was so bad I was thinking of ending my life. The things that kept me going were my 2 gorgeous children.  I opened up to my best friend and she urged me to get help and do something. I started antidepressants a week or two before this challenge started and that gave me just enough motivation to join up.
I knew it would make me feel better but when you are in such a dark place you don’t think like that. So I started exercise again after over a year post baby number 2. The effect on my mental status was almost immediate. I did not cry every day or even think my dark thoughts. I began to have fun with my children again and not snap at the smallest thing like spilt milk.
Apart from the amazing mental benefit that this challenge has given me the physical benefit has been amazing too. I have lost weight and toned up enough to fit back into my pre baby clothes!! This is great motivation to keep going.
The other benefit I have seen in modifying my diet is how my knee has been a lot less painful. This has been great to know I can exercise without my knee hurting all the time.
Overall this challenge has made me be accountable for my family. I have come out of a dark place and into this happy place. My babies can see me laugh and play with them every day now and I know this is what brings us together.
This is just the start of my healing journey and I want to be a more active leader. I will share my story and motivate other mums in my community to be healthier in mind body and spirit.
As a leader of NEM Whangarei I organized a dinner out. This was a great chance to get out and have fun together as mums. We talked about our challenges and rewards that life gives us. I posted 4 workouts a week on our page and got lots of comments from our group. Some say there are new exercises that they are trying which is great!! I shared my vision board with the group to give my mums an idea of what motivates me. We have had lots of mums post on the page their achievements physically and new events that they are entering. I plan on entering a team in The Beast which is a mud run and lots of fun and a great way to do team building.
After 12 weeks this challenge has transformed my mind from saying I can’t do something to I can do anything!! I am so proud of what I have achieved and I will share my journey with all my family and friends.

2019 3rd Place Leader Winner: Laura Meith

Congrats to our Leaders who all did an incredible job in transforming themselves internally and externally these past 12 weeks. All of you are winners and examples of role models in your communities. Our 1st place winner takes home $300, second place receives $200 and third place receives $100!
Congrats to our 3rd place winner: Laura Meith of Alameda, CA! Here is her story:
Thanks to No Excuses and my incredible local group, I have completely transformed my body. Before No excuses, I spent my entire life obese. I was always active and even fit but I was always over 200+ pounds on my short 5’3″ body and it hurt. No Excuses changed my life! I joined here in Alameda early in 2016. My awesome Leader, Liz, saw potential in me even before I did and quickly made me a Leader. I worked out hard and started feeling so much better and stronger. In 2017, I accepted my first challenge to actually consider eating better (drinking less) mixed with the beautiful balance of our cardio work outs. It worked! Now, two years into my journey towards health and fitness I have lost 50 pounds. 50! I’ll continue to dedicate my Friday and Saturday mornings to lead my local NEM work out group as a thanks for the wonderful support and guidance NEM has given me.
This challenge I lost 12 pounds of body fat, 7.5 inches off my body and gained 3.5 pounds of muscle. Today I am weighing in at 157, finally out of the obese category and very much looking forward to continuing my journey alongside my fellow NEM’s forever. My local team has decided to keep our active side page going with the menu, food and motivation because it works! I tell them all the time, no matter where we are in this journey it is hard work. We’re in it together. THANK YOU NO EXCUSE MOM’S! #NoMoreExcuses2019 #NoExcuseMom2019 #NoExcuseMomAlameda

Her two year transformation!

2019 No More Excuses Challenge Winner: Gracielle Bennetter

Every year we host a 12 week No More Excuses Challenge and equip our participants with a 200-workout ebook, a 12 week calendar, a challenge tank, workout/nutrition guidelines and a personal consult with Maria Kang. We saw so many incredible transformations – which truly makes so many winners! It was not easy to pick!
This year our 2019 No More Excuses Challenge winner is……Gracielle Bennetter! You have won $500, a stealth core trainer, a Designer Protein package, NEM apparel and the X Bands Exercise Kit!
Her Story!
I do not even know where to begin with my fitness journey these past months. I attended a NEM class for the first time 3 days before my due date. I gave birth 5 days late and didn’t start attending workout classes again until my baby was 3 months old. I started having chest pains two weeks after giving birth, which kept me in and out of the hospital. Due to chest pain, I could not start working out as soon as I wanted to. I gained so much weight while pregnant, since I was on bed rest for 2 and a half months. My pre pregnancy weight was 130 and postpartum weight was 161! I was beyond upset that I had gained so much weight during my pregnancy. I felt as if I had no energy to do anything, I no longer felt pretty, sexy, or most importantly confident. I felt as if I was failing as a mom, I had no energy to stay motivated and better myself physically.
Once I started attending classes, I could not stop thinking that I did not want to be there, due to not being able to do the exercises properly. I remember one day I thought about not going because I was tired and embarrassed of doing burpees. A friend asked me to join the no excuse mom challenge, I decided to join the challenge to hold myself accountable to staying motivated and fit! I also decided to join because I had lost some weight by attending classes and was loving the results. Due to the challenge I started attending classes every single day, I even started challenging myself to slowly become a runner (still in the process).
I remember feeling super lazy and being embarrassed of not lasting long at the workouts. I would feel super ashamed that I couldn’t do what everyone else could. I felt upset at the fact that I had to stop half way through the workout classes because I could no longer push my body to do more. When I joined this challenge I weighed 152 and now I weight 137, my goal was to be at 130 but I am beyond happy with my results, I am most importantly happy that I was able to stay motivated throughout the whole challenge! I am very thankful to all the leaders and friends that helped me each and every day to get to where I am now.
This challenge helped me to commit to eating better everyday. I also became a leader during the challenge, which I love because I get to help and support others by sharing my story and putting together workout classes for them to attend. I just want to express how grateful I am to have found this amazing group, NO EXCUSE MOM, a group where I have found support, motivation and super nice people along the way that would encourage me to keep going and never give up.

 

Diverse Mothers United Through Fitness

Culturally, as women, we are taught at a young age to aspire for marriage and children. However in today’s day in age, it’s far more common for women to go about it alone running single parent households. For the economic standards have vastly improved allowing women to work outside the home.
Aspiring for marriage isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not something we should continue to teach our girls, simply because it’s been passed on generation to generation. The problem with relying on a man to seemingly “fix” our problems by taking our hand in marriage and giving us children, is we begin to lose our sense of identity. Loss of personal identity for a woman is even harder when that woman becomes a mother.
What I am trying to say is, no relationship is guaranteed. Half of all marriages in the US result in divorce, and many women now choose to raise their children alone because they have the ability to do so. The problem with settling in an unhappy relationship, is we teach our children that it’s okay.
We teach them to find their worth in another human being, essentially failing them in the long run. What we should be teaching our children is how to be self sufficient, fostering their dreams so they can establish a sense of self identity. By figuring out who you are, what you are passionate about, you’ll find your purpose in life.
It’s okay to aspire for marriage and children, but it shouldn’t be the ultimate end all goal for anyone. Once you establish your identity, and what makes you happy, it will allow you to find and maintain a healthy relationship. The purpose of a relationship isn’t to find someone to complete you, but add to your life, because you are already complete.
As No Excuse Moms, we come from different backgrounds, but united we stand as mothers looking to improve physically so we can conquer motherhood together. That being said, as a single mother myself, I’ve encountered “mom-shamers.” These are the women who like to put down other women who aren’t married like they are, pointing out the flaws in their life that led them to be a single parent, as if their marriage and family are perfect.
This is not okay. As a single parent, we are exhausted trying to keep it all together for our children, lacking the emotional support of a partner. The last thing we need from other women are the judgments.
I get it, when women get together talking about their family is instinctual, but putting others down because their life went in a different direction is just wrong. In order to have a more inclusive group of moms supporting moms, we need to focus on strengthening each other emotionally as well as physically. Everyone is fighting their own personal battle that we are unaware of, that’s why it’s important to be kind.
As a group of diverse women, No Excuse Mom is more than a workout group for moms, it’s a supportive group of moms coming together making motherhood a little easier for everyone. But in order to do that, we need to drop the judgments, open our heart to those that are different than us, and stop trying to on-up each other social media. No Excuse Mom is an an all inclusive group of women who share similar interests bonded by the fact that we are all mothers, united through fitness.

Join our Campaign to End Excuses in 2019

Are you fed up putting everything else first? Are you ready to start prioritizing your mental, physical, spiritual and financial health? Let’s join together and STOP MAKING EXCUSES. Whether you are held back by time, money, kids, resources, genetics, negative people, lack of friends, etc…YOU NEED TO IDENTIFY WHAT YOUR CHALLENGE IS AND MAKE A GOAL TO OVERCOME IT
These No Excuse Commandments were created with YOU in mind. It’s important to not only tackle small goals first, but reflect and set new goals weekly. As mothers we often put ourselves last, consume easy, processed and high sugar foods. We rely on caffeine because we are always go, Go, GO! THIS vow is to help us stop…STOP allowing children, holidays, school, distractions – all of it, from getting to where we should be going, which is UP.
Let’s raise each other in this next year. Let’s focus on our reasons for living and not the excuses holding us back. Let’s DO THIS.
Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download our 10 No Excuse Commandments, post them on your wall and join a community of women who are focused on keeping each other accountable throughout 2019.
  2. WRITE DOWN THE EXCUSE holding your back. Post it PUBLICLY with your game face and hashtag #noexcusemom and #nomoreexcuses2019 (follow those hashtags so you can see and support others in the journey!)
  3. In one email (not now) send a copy of your public post declaring you will no longer make your excuse with a 500-word story and an after pic (any ONE pic that represents your success) by Dec 28, 2019 for a chance to win $500!
  4. Your public post must be made by Sep 10th. When you send your story and pic to noexcusemoms@gmail.com, please include a screenshot of the date it was posted.
  5. You will be judged by a panel of 5 people on:
    – sticking to the rules (must post publicly before Sep 10th, 500-word limit story and 1 after pic)
    – how you overcame challenges and broke your excuses in 2019

    DOWNLOAD No Excuse Commandments HERE

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?
Bio:
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.
https://statehornet.com
ashtonsnewsandreviewblog.wordpress.com

ashton.wright90@gmail.com

Break Free From Society’s Expectation’s This Holiday Season

We all know that the holidays can be incredibly taxing.
Society places these unconventional standards on us as mothers, leaving many to feel like they simply can’t measure up. It’s easy to get caught up in this commercialized holiday, forgetting about what really matters. While it’s true that making memories with your loved ones are more important than the gifts they’ll receive, not everyone’s holiday goes as planned.
For those with broken families, the idea of the holidays can be stressful having to divide up the holiday with an ex. I myself am a single parent, and have joint custody with my ex. Being single with two children, leaves me eager to ditch the gifts and replace them with experiences.
Memories are all your child will have left when you’re gone. When they’re adults, they won’t remember what you bought them when they were younger, they’ll remember how you made them feel. I often get depressed during the holiday’s seeing seemingly perfect families celebrate the holidays.
I yearn to have a two parent home, one where my children can have a bit of stability with some normalcy in their lives. But sometimes challenges are placed in our lives to make us stronger, sometimes we don’t get what we want because what we need is still yet to come. Sometimes what we want, isn’t always what we need.
I used to dwell on this fact, until I realized that you can’t control another person, relationships don’t work if they are one sided. Sometimes you have to let go of the ones you love, and let them figure it out for themselves. There is pain in letting go, but it hurts more holding on.
All these realizations come flooding into the mind of a single mother during the holidays because it’s easy to get caught up comparing your life to those who live the lives you aspire to have. The reality is we are all on different paths, no one’s life comes without struggle and pain, because we are all human. If we lived our lives without pain, there would be no happiness.
We must create our own happiness, a realization I had after experiencing pain from failed relationships resulting in children. When children are involved, the failed relationship becomes that much more painful. What I learned from my break-ups, was that I had to stop searching for happiness in others. No one was responsible for my happiness but me.
I had to learn how to love myself again, after losing myself in the ones that I loved. As mothers, it’s essential we focus on loving ourselves, because it’s the longest relationship we will ever have. When you focus on your joys, your children will see that, and it will in turn bring joy into their lives.
While I’ve had my ups and downs, I keep things in perspective, knowing there’s always someone who has it worse. This holiday season pay it forward. You may not have a lot to give, but some have nothing at all.
Sometimes all someone needs is a helping hand. Volunteering, donating, teaching your kids the holiday spirit without spending a dime. Sometimes you need time to heal your heart, and memories to heal your soul.
So this holiday season, no matter what boat you’re in, embrace your loved ones, make memories with your children, and be thankful for this life you’ve been given.
Bio:
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.
https://statehornet.com
ashtonsnewsandreviewblog,wordpress.com
ashton.wright90@gmail.com
 
 

Overall 2018 Winner Yizel Little

Congrats to our overall 2018 Pot Challenge winner, Yizel Little, who has won $3,150 for being an incredible inspiration and following through on our 12 week challenge! We are so very proud of you!!!!
Join our upcoming No More Excuses Challenge starting January 28th and ending on Easter HERE!!! For $50 you will not only receive an email consultation with Maria Kang, a 150 workout ebook, No Excuse Mom tank, 12-week accountability calendar and a fitness/nutrition guide, but you will also get a chance to win $1000 worth of money and prizes.
Her story!
When I joined NEM, I was a couple of weeks away from having my second daughter in twelve months.  I was overwhelmed daily, juggling my two little babies with no family around.  I look back at the group walks and exercises that I attended and am thankful.  Even though I was not a consistent attendee, I appreciate that I was able to take a break from being at home alone with my babies. Through the years I have enjoyed having the support of the NEM group even when I was completely inactive and just looking at posts for inspiration.  This challenge appealed to me because I felt I was tired and ready to make the change.
Although I had balance and peace in most areas of my life, they were constantly overshadowed by my unhealthy choices.  I did not want to see friends or family because I felt that they would be disappointed in me.  I tried to hide as much as possible and had anxiety about just seeing people.  It may sound silly but I really felt like I could not be seen. I had closed myself away for too long and I understand now that my unhealthy lifestyle was negatively impacting my relationships.
 I want to change for myself.  I want to be a healthier, happier me for myself.  I want to be a good example for my daughters.  I want to help lead my family into a healthier life. My daughters are getting older and I want to teach them by example.  They are kids and can eat anything but teaching them, as I learn, about healthy foods is invaluable.   It brings me joy to see them drink water through the day, and snack on fruits and veggies.  We exercise together almost every day.  Whenever they see me start to do any random exercise in the kitchen or dining room they ask if they can join.  I love it and am thankful for it. 
On my healthy journey I have learned a lot about food and what my body needs.  I used to get sick 9 out of 10 days at least once a day when I was “hungry”.  I would NEED to have something sweet and salty to help ease the fainting feeling and the shakes.  I would often end up with an upset stomach.  Since limiting/eliminating some of the unhealthier foods, I no longer get my dizzy shaky spells.  I am either hungry or thirsty but not sick.  I cannot believe that I was doing that to myself by eating too much of the wrong foods almost daily. 
This challenge has been wonderful for me.  I did not plan on losing a specific amount of weight but the challenge and NEM have provided me with the support I need on my journey that I really do not have outside of the group.  The challenge has helped me stay the course and I have a long way to go and I know I can do it.
 

2018 NEM Leader Winner: Pavla Jurasek

Congrats to our NEM Leader from Czech Republic for being one of three NEM Leaders who won our 2018 Pot Leader Challenge! You have $1,050 extra spending money!!! Thank you for inspiring us!

Pavla’s story!

My name is Pavla and I am 36 years old mom of 2 (girl nearly 5 and boy 3 and ¾ years old)

This time last year after 2017 pot-challenge I was in my best shape ever. Strong, fit, healthy. I really was happy with myself. I was so comfortable, I thought I could just keep myself active a few times a week and stay like this.

There was a different plan set for us that arrived unexpectedly.

A few weeks after the challenge our house burnt down and all we knew changed. I am so grateful I was and I am a part of this amazing community. A lot of NEMs helped us to get through this difficult time and I managed to return to my usual self thanks to exercising and our meet-ups.

Our life is not the same, but it is getting better.

When summer started and things slowed down due to the hot weather and kids holidays, I slowed down too. I gained some weight, had some health issues and was recovering from leg injury.

Then this year’s challenge arrived and I was certain I will do my best to finish strong. I am far from perfect and I am not without excuses, but when they arise, I am trying to find a way.

I felt motivated to do this right, eat healthy, workout and I was about to start in a new job in a gym

First 4 weeks were great, I worked hard, ate 80/20 and was thinking this time it goes well.

Unfortunately I hurt my back and I had to take it easier and this threw me off the track. I tried to work through this injury everyday. Slow, low impact exercises, healthy food. It wasn’t easy.

When my back got better I decided to give it a go and try a harder workout, because I thought my body wasn’t changing. Unfortunatelly I made a little mistake that caused me to slip and I pulled my back muscle again. Feeling sad, PMS and worried I won’t be able to workout for the rest of the challenge I nearly gave up.

But I reminded myself I went through worse nearly a year ago so I will finish this.

I started to watch my meals again and continue with the easy exercises, watching my back constantly so I don’t do any more mistakes here.

No I will not give up! – I trusted myself I would do better even without harder trainings. To my surprise teaching 4 hours of yoga and 2 pregnancy workouts a week made difference. I heard people saying I looked like I lost weight, but I didn’t felt that way.

I was really surprised to see my pictures side by side.

I still can not exercise harder, but I am trying everyday and I am grateful for this whole journey that tough me new things about me and my body again.