12-week Challenge begins February 8th!

On February 8th we will begin the next 12-week challenge cycle. I decided against a money-pot contest as it is a huge undertaking that I would like to commit to once a year in September (for now). I also noticed a few things from the last challenge that discouraged me.

1. Many people did not complete the challenge.
2. While a personal email was provided, there wasn’t enough engagement.
3. Applicants needed more tools to succeed.

So, in this next challenge I am going to be investing more time and effort in helping all those in succeeding. There will be an online private group page so we can interact, I will provide more guidance and support and you will have not lost $20 should you not complete the 12 week challenge. In joining the challenge, you would’ve gained a tremendous amount of value including  me as your 12-week coach, a Hard Copy or Kindle version of The No More Excuses Diet book, the Core DVD and the Recipe Booklet. Now that The No More Excuses Diet Book is launching March 10th, I can start sharing the program with those who already pre-ordered it. This program has similar NEM rules/guidelines, however, it goes into more detail on how to:

– Calculate your caloric needs and macronutrient profile
– Measure your starting points based on vital stats, fitness level and traditional measurements
– Design your fitness program based on your fitness level
– Determine your postural deficiencies (and fix them)
– Create a plan, an accountability team and prepare for excuses
– Plan for the 3 different stages of success: the S.P.E.E.D., S.T.R.I.V.E. and S.C.O.R.E. stages
– Sustain your motivation throughout the three-month period
– Maintain your success and create an operational plan once you’ve reached the 12-week mark

This book was a labor of love. It took months to write and additional months to edit (with my awesome team at Harmony). It is based off my personal experiences as a past binge and emotional eater – as someone who was once overweight, who understands pregnancy and who is not a paid fitness model. The No More Excuses Diet has been tested on thousands of people and is the catalyst behind the online No Excuse Mom group. When the book is received, you will be provided with home workouts (with pictures) and 224 pages of fitness, personal stories, nutrition and lifestyle tips. When you pre-order, you will also receive tools in helping you succeed such as my 60 minute CORE DVD, which includes 3 home workouts and my exclusive Recipe Booklet filled with my favorite family recipes.

Currently, this book is only offered to residents in the U.S. and Canada. If you are outside of the country, but would like to participate in this challenge, please purchase the DVD and email the receipt to me at mariakangfitness@gmail.com

You will receive a downloadable ebook of some of my favorite recipes (all of them will be familiar to anyone who follows My Instagram HERE.)

The DVD is streaming. You are encouraged to perform a 20 minute Core workout, three times a week. These are my actual workouts that I used to develop my core strength and define my AB muscles.The DVD can be purchased HERE.

On pre-sale now, please visit your favorite online retailer. After your purchase please fill out the pre-order form on my website to receive entry to the 12-week challenge and free gifts.

NEM Overall Winner: Melissa Padilla

It wasn’t an easy task for our NEM panel to come up with ONE overall winner, but somehow, Melissa Padilla’s story of courage, strength, faith and persistence captured our hearts and spirits. She hails from Stockton, CA and is led by her local leader Christina Arroyo. She is a true example of a “no excuse mom” and has inspired women in her community to follow her positive path towards health. Congrats Melissa, you just won $4,465!

Melissa’s Story:
I haven’t had the easiest road in life.

I am 28 and a single mom of a beautiful 9 and 2 year old. I didn’t have the greatest childhood, and as a result I became addicted to drugs as a teen. I wanted something better so I stopped using at 17 years old, and have been clean for 11 years. At 18 I became pregnant and married right away. I thought I would have a “happy ever after” story, but I was wrong. My husband used drugs, and I lived with domestic violence. My daughter was 3 months old when he went to prison for 6 years for domestic violence against me. I did the best  I could working from job to job for 7 years.

In 2012 along came beautiful baby #2. She was a surprise child and unfortunately her father didn’t want to play a role in her life. From that point forward I took on the responsibility for being mom/dad to both of my daughters. I felt defeated and broken. I joined a church and for the last 2 ½ years God has been healing and changing me. I was accepted into low-income housing in the beginning of my pregnancy. During this time I have been a stay at home mom. Somewhere along the way of being mom, cooking, cleaning, and everything else that comes along with it, I forgot about myself. Food became my new friend and comfort. I knew that I was gaining weight but it was like I was blinded or in denial. I thought I would lose weight but I didn’t, I kept gaining. I went from a size 5/7 to 14/16. I would donate all my clothes and have to keep raiding my mother’s closet to find clothes that fit. Family and friends would post pictures of me, and I felt horrified – it was like looking at a stranger!

When I heard about the No Excuse group I was a little skeptical that I would lose weight. After going through the group online and locally, I decided to take a step and join the challenge. I felt completely lost at first, it was like stepping into a whole new world. I would spend 60% of my day going through posts feeling inspired and gaining knowledge from other women. I had to learn that not every day was going to be a fantastic win, and that was ok as long as I made progress. I began seeing success in my progress pictures and changes in my body! My clothes that fit snuggly, started to feel loose. I became daring in how much I could push my body. I surprised myself with exercises I never knew I would be able to do. I realized that unlike past experiences in my life,  this is the one thing I have control over. I don’t make excuses I make efforts. I have shared laughs and gained new friends. This is not the end for me, but the beginning. Thank you!

Read about our No Excuse Mom program HERE or pre-order Maria Kang’s “The No More Excuses Diet” Book HERE.

melissa pics(2)

Overall NEM Leader Winner: Donisa Harris

Our NEM administration team comprises of regional managers, local leaders, industry experts and online admins. Our winner for our Fall 12-week challenge is Donisa Harris! She is a dedicated local leader of Region IV and has won $4,465!

Donisa’s Story:

Wishes do come true and I turned mine into a reality. The first 20 years of my life were spent feeling inadequate, weak and ugly. I use to wish I was skinny and beautiful so other people would like me. I’d question God why he made me this way and sadly many times I acted hateful because I felt like I couldn’t do anything about it. In 1992, my childhood was cut short and I was forced into a refugee camp because of the Bosnian war that tore my country apart.

I went from eating farmed goods and blackberries I found growing wildly to starving for 12 days and clenching for my life in the woods. They found me just in time before it was too late and was lucky enough to receive treatment for suffering malnutrition twice by age 9. For 5 years, our food supply was at the mercy of other people’s hands. Powdered milk and bread was a daily meal. I used to be one of those kids that would stand near the soldiers begging for food and sometimes get lucky and get an orange but other times they’d give us cigarettes instead. We managed to survive long enough for Red Cross to intervene and legally transfer us to America. We arrived to U.S. without a word of English and empty pockets. Lutheran Services provided us with food stamps and we were introduced to the American foods. We started to eat for the first time and couldn’t stop.

Psychologically, I couldn’t stand seeing food go to waste so I’d literally lick my plate. My relationship with food became toxic and it carried into my adulthood. I was an impressionable girl who watched TV commercials and magazines and thought this is what is desired, thin and pretty girl. As years went by I got heavier and remained unhappy but never knew exactly how to help myself. Sadly, It wasn’t until I became a mother that I learned what I’ve missed all those years- my true value. Motherhood gifted me self-love, confidence and wisdom. I still struggled with matching my outer shell with my personality but I had the will power and that’s what kept me searching for answers. Then, I came across NEM group and my life flipped 180 degrees. I started at 199lbs and currently weigh 185lbs. While I lost pounds and inches (15lbs and 17 inches), I gained lasting friendships with moms like me. Through the 12 week challenge I learned to overcome obstacles, to lead and motivate others, persistence and understanding. My biggest motivation came from knowing my kids are watching and telling me “great job mama! You’re doing great!” For me it became more than just losing weight, its about setting an example for my kids how to live a healthy and happy lifestyle. I have been transformed physically and mentally into a No Excuse Mom and I will never look back again.

Read about our No Excuse Mom program HERE or pre-order Maria Kang’s “The No More Excuses Diet” Book HERE.

Donisa Donisa1 Donisa2

NEM Region 11 Winners: Canada and New Zealand

We have TWO international winners from Region 11, hailing from Canada and New Zealand. This exciting region,covers the globe including the countries of Ireland, Poland, Australia, South Africa and Puerto Rico. Our International regions is led by Leslee-Ann Martell and Paulette Go (who manages Asia). Find a local No Excuse Mom meetup near you by entering your city/state or zipcode HERE

Chantagne Mildenberger of Canada’s story:

Before the 12 Week Challenge I was in a complete slump. I was dealing with a 3 year depression, two toddlers close in age, and was just misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia for over a year. I gained weight from eating my feelings and the unnecessary medication I was on. My marriage was falling apart and I truly hated myself. The 12 week challenge gave me the motivation to start loving me, and that’s exactly what I did.

I started by kicking my soda addiction by replacing the 6-10 cans a day with water. I replaced all processed food with clean eating. It did not just benefit me, but my husband also lost 17lbs just by eating the healthy food I was making. My exercises consisted of cardio 5 times a week, and heavy lifting 3-4 times a week. I am especially proud of my 348lbs leg presses and 180lbs squats!
My journey did not always come easy. Four weeks in, I went to the dentist only to learn that I have an agressive decaying of my teeth, which was caused from the antidepressants I was put on. Fourteen of my teeth would need to be removed, and a few days later I had the first 4 done. For 3 weeks I couldn’t exercise and my eating almost came to a hault. I then began a new weekend job as a coke cola merchandiser; ironic I know. Due to an injured employee, I started doing this full time. My daily schedule included dayhome from 730-430, then work from 430-11pm. My new job consisted of heavy lifting and pulling heavy pallets long distances, so needless to say I was definetely getting a workout. Through this process I earned some rather beautiful bruises. For the 12 Week Challenge I wanted to cover them , but with support of NEM, friends and family I wear them with pride knowing it was from my hard work and dedication that I had to help support my family.
There have been tears and frustration with the obstacles that I have encountered but it made me a stronger and more driven woman. From losing 31 pounds and 25 inches I have proven to myself that I can do it and with no excuses. I have learned to love myself, and in turn my marriage has never been better. And for the first time ever I was able to feel confident in a bikini! Although my family and friends were extremely supportive, my biggest motivator is a good friend of mine, Jeana. She herself has lost a tremendous amount of weight, and to have someone who is so driven and motivated made her the perfect person to keep me accountable.

This 12 week challenge may be over, but my journey isn’t over yet. There are still goals I want to accomplish that I know I will. And how do I know? Because I’m a NO EXCUSE MOM, and proud of it!

chantagne chantagne2 chantange1

Jillian Woolner of New Zealand’s story:

My entry into the 12 week transformation and my introduction to the NEM movement began with a text message from a dear friend of mine. I’d mentioned to her several times over the preceding months that I was feeling flat, tired and that I’d lost my ‘mojo’. She is a great believer in healthy living, clean eating, exercise and a positive frame of mind. I have always envied her amazing outlook on life. She suggested I join the New Zealand NEM group and that there was a 12 week transformation challenge starting.
I went online to see what it involved. I had a strange nervous feeling in my tummy, but there was something else. I felt excited. I hadn’t felt like this in a long time. I am a naturally competitive person, and the idea of a challenge really appealed to me. I have previously been very sporty in my younger years, and longed for that feeling of empowerment and strength that being fit and healthy gives you. I knew I had to do it.

Our NEM group is run by a fantastic lady called Roslyn Ryan (Roz). We meet on Friday and Sunday mornings where Roz donates her time and guides us in a workout at some local stairs. I am now utterly addicted to stair running ( I would never have imagined myself saying that!). The support I have gained from the group has been humbling. From meal ideas, workout tips to sleepless night sympathy, there is always someone to give you the boost you need.

My biggest ‘excuse’ for not working out previously had been not having enough time. Being a stay at home Mum, working part-time, and with a husband that travels for work, it seemed impossible. During the 12 week challenge, I had to get inventive and workout whenever I could. In the first week of the challenge, I bought a 2nd hand double buggy so I could go for walks with my two youngest. I would arrange to meet my oldest son at the park after school and take the double buggy and walk/run as many laps as I could around the park. The best thing was, the little kids loved it! I did online workouts during their nap times, and did strength training while they played outside. Working out is now part of my routine, I love it.
It may have started out as a 12 week challenge, but as I approach the end, I know it’s not the end. This is only the beginning. I’ve got my mojo back!

jillian jillian1

Read about our No Excuse Mom program HERE or pre-order Maria Kang’s “The No More Excuses Diet” Book HERE.

NEM Region 10 Winner: Carrie DiCarlo

Congrats to our Region 10 winner, Carrie DiCarlo, for dedicating 12 weeks towards self-improvement both externally and internally and winning $442! Region ten is led by Sarah Floyd and comprises of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska. Find a local No Excuse Mom meetup near you by entering your city/state or zipcode HERE.
Carrie’s Story:

What a ride this challenge has been! I have learned more about myself I in the last twelve weeks than I ever could have anticipated. I have learned that I can do things I would have never attempted if it hadn’t been for this challenge. I have learned that I have weaknesses. I have learned that I have to live with the intention of being positive every day; that happiness doesn’t just happen, but is something that you create. I have learned how to be more conscious of my words and actions regarding my own body, and therefore, I have learned how to be a better mother. This twelve week challenge has challenged me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I have become a better person in all areas of my life because for twelve weeks I have made myself a priority.

I have always been a fairly fit person, but I’ve never felt really good about my body. I have been self-conscious of my body since I was in elementary school and my best friend told me we couldn’t share clothes because I would stretch hers out. As I moved through my adolescent years I was very unsatisfied with my body. I tried different diets with my family including counting calories when I was in middle school. I did not have a family that cultivated a strong positive body image. The women in my life were constantly talking about how much fat they had, pointing out all of their imperfections, and yo-yo dieting. Changing my attitude about my body has been a battle, but I push on because I want to be the best role model I can be for my daughter.

I still struggle every day with body image issues. There is always something wrong! But, this challenge has put me in a position to learn more about my strengths than my weaknesses; more about what I can do than what I cannot do. My goal in this challenge was to cut body fat and build muscle. To achieve my goals I had to balance my family life, my job, and my workouts. I had to make sacrifices to obtain time for it all. As the bread winner I am already out of the home a lot. Sometimes I was able to work out on my lunch break, some nights I had to go after we put our daughter to bed. But this time I wasn’t letting these obstacles become barriers. I made the time for myself, and it felt good. This is when I began to see myself in a different light. This is when I looked in the mirror and became giddy over seeing my muscles and thought, “Hey! I’m strong!”
I have lost six pounds, just under ten inches, and a detrimental self-image. I have gained just under two inches in my arms (gains!), a renewed passion for fitness and nutrition, and the confidence that comes with knowing I am capable of more than I know.

Read about our No Excuse Mom program HERE or pre-order Maria Kang’s “The No More Excuses Diet” Book HERE.


NEM Region 9 Winner: Bethany Sandoval

Congrats to our Region 9  winner, Bethany Sandoval, for dedicating 12 weeks towards self-improvement both externally and internally and winning $442! Region Four is led by Juanita Verdin and comprises of California, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona. Find a local No Excuse Mom meetup near you by entering your city/state or zipcode HERE

Bethany’s Story:
I am a work from home mom with two girls ages 4yrs and 16 months. I have struggled with
body image and weight issues since I was young. I tried unhealthy shortcuts, and sometimes, was able
to get a few pounds off but would inevitably put more on than when I started. I have always looked
for an excuse, blaming my genetics, cirucmstances, even hoping for a thyroid problem so a pill would
change me without having to work for it, embarrassing to admit.

In July of 2013, right before giving birth to my youngest, I weighed in at a startling 194lbs. I am
only 5ft tall. I was so uncomfortable in my body and was often discouraged. Around this time, I happened
to see Maria Kang’s controversial “What’s Your Excuse?” photo. Because of my own insecurities,
my first response was defensive. When I read her message however, it sunk in and I finally started taking
responsibility for my choices and making healthy changes. 13 months later, by the end of August,
2014 I had lost 35lbs.

At the beginning of this challenge, I created my fitness calendar (something I had never done)
and was able to SEE that when I tracked my actions (water, food and exercise), I lost weight. When I
chose to “wing it” and didn’t visually track, I would plateau and my motivation slipped. This was a key
thing for me to see and I now try to live more intentionally. This transformation challenge has been
hard. Losing weight has been a difficult and slow process and I still have a ways to go. I still get discouraged, but one of my daily goals that I wrote on my calendar was “think positive”. That has probably
been the biggest accomplishment on this journey. When I was frustrated at myself for making poor
choices, I made a conscious effort to forgive myself quickly and move on. This last 3 months has resulted
in the biggest and most consistent weight loss I have ever had in this short amount of time (with the
exception of having a baby). I lost a total of 12 lbs during this challenge and a good number of inches.

I will continue to live this “No-Excuse” lifestyle. I have arranged to do another 3 month challenge
starting on December 1st. In the past, I would have used the holidays as a free pass to eat whatever
I wanted and skip workouts for the month of December but my goals are more important to me
now. I’m starting to really appreciate this journey. I recognize that if I had been able to suddenly drop
to my goal weight or size like I used to dream about, that i would have been unable to maintain it. This
journey is preparing me daily to be there. So, for the first time in my life, I’m ok with it being a “struggle”
because as I struggle, I know I will grow.

Read about our No Excuse Mom program HERE or pre-order Maria Kang’s “The No More Excuses Diet” Book HERE.

bethany_after bethany1

NEM Region 8 Winner: Deanna Heath

Congrats to our Region 8  winner, Deanna Heath, for dedicating 12 weeks towards self-improvement both externally and internally and winning $442! Region Eight is led by Jess Cordova and comprises of Montana, North and South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. Find a local No Excuse Mom meetup near you by entering your city/state or zipcode HERE.

Deanna’s Story:
To truly take you to the beginning of my journey, my weight struggles began when I was around 18, I’m now 30. I blamed it solely on birth control pills, although I am sure there was a lot more that factored into it. 5 years passed with weight gain, then one day came where I hopped onto the scale and the number reached just over 200lbs. I held my head in disappointment, I knew I needed to change. I started challenging myself to start working out to lose the excess weight to find out just a few months later that I would be expecting my first child. Just one more excuse for me not to lose weight, even though I had lost some weight, my motivation was once again lost. After my first daughter was born in 2008, my older sister had been diagnosed with cancer. She was a single mother of 3 and I had just become a stay at home mother, naturally it was easier for me to help her through her struggles of being sick and having kids as I didn’t have a job to keep me tied down. Over the next 3 years I had welcomed another baby girl and spent all of my time being a stay at home mother and a supporter to my sick sister and helping her with her children.

After 3 years of being sick, my sister passed away and left me as guardian of her 3 children. I had gone from a mother of 2 to a mother of 5. My life had spiraled out of control with health being the last thing on my mind. After a year of keeping up with my new life I began to see how being unhealthy was holding me back from the life I wanted for both myself and my family. I began pushing myself to become healthier by eating better and exercising more. I pushed for over a year and had made a little progress, but not enough for my satisfaction.

This now brings us up to speed with starting the challenge. I had motivation and an enormous support group. I want to be someone that each one of these 5 children have to look up to. I started the first week of my journey feeling like I was going to starve to death! I then began to think to myself, if I go workout I can eat more today. Probably not the best way to look at it, but it got me to the gym!
I remember starting to run for the first time and thinking, I am really going to die right here right now. But I had so many things to keep me motivated this time around. I vowed to put my all into this. To my surprise that first week flew by and day by day I was feeling less hungry. I was shocked, could this really be happening, if this continues this will be easy, not!

I was going along feeling great, slowly changing my eating habits, gaining more strength, energy and slowly losing weight. Then we got further in and I hit a wall. I began feeling like I wanted to have more cheat meals and wanting to give up. Thank goodness for my support group at this time!
The more I was pushed, the more I wanted to push myself. I couldn’t help but notice how many goals I had been achieving and it was almost like a high for me. I truly wanted to push further to see if I could lose more weight, gain more muscle, run faster. For the first time that I could remember I could finally keep up with my family without feeling exhausted and it felt GREAT!

Now I am at the end of this challenge and looking at my photos, I honestly feel as though I am not one who shows the biggest transformation. Yes, I can see a lot of changes, but I feel I still have many more to go before I truly meet my goal. This will not be the end of my challenge! I now for the first time have the confidence, strength and determination to finish this out and get myself back to a place that I have not seen in about 12 years! Thank you NEM for putting up a challenge hard enough to help me find myself again!

Read about our No Excuse Mom program HERE or pre-order Maria Kang’s “The No More Excuses Diet” Book HERE.

deanna deanna1

NEM Region 7 Winner: Katie Perry

Congrats to our Region 7 winner, Katie Perry, for dedicating 12 weeks towards self-improvement both externally and internally and winning $442! Region Seven is led by Nikeda Skanes and comprises of Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. Find a local No Excuse Mom meetup near you by entering your city/state or zipcode HERE.

Katie’s Story:

My fitness journey didn’t just begin with this challenge. It began when I was a teenager. I developed a severe eating disorder in high school that lead to my dad trying to hospitalize me when I was 18. I starved myself to the point of being so malnourished that the doctors said my bone density was that of an 80 year old woman. I’m almost 5’8” and I dropped down to 110 lbs. I slowly started to recover, but never really learned how to be healthy. I met my husband when I was 21 and about 155lbs. We got pregnant shortly after we started dating and I wanted to be healthy for my baby but took eating for two way too literally. I gained 70lbs during my first pregnancy reaching 225lbs which lead to severe depression and anxiety. Not only was I obese at 22 years old I had high blood pressure, pre diabetes and high cholesterol. I knew I had to change, but I had no education on how to change.
Over the next 7 years I’ve done yo-yo dieting and crazy workouts. I thought I needed to do cardio all the time to be skinny. I had two more little boys during that time and managed to get down to the 160s. It wasn’t until this year that I really started to work on my body the right way. I saw this challenge and read the rules and learned that I was going about it all wrong. Firstly, I wasn’t drinking any water, second I was eating all the wrong foods and third I needed to start including weight lifting in my workouts. I can’t even explain how hard it was my first week. I had no idea how to use any of the gym equipment which was demoralizing and embarrassing. I felt like giving up so many times, but one of the motivating factors that kept me going was that I had told all of my friends about the NEM challenge and I didn’t want to let them down. Also I wanted to show other moms that if I could do it, anyone could. Steady, amazing progress began to happen to my body. My flat butt began to develop curves and my huge mom pouch began to disappear! This last week I have actually been able to see my abs for the first time in my entire life!

The best part of the challenge is that I’ve gotten other moms to join me at the gym and have taught them all I have learned. I even got my sister, who is 80lbs overweight to start going to the gym the last couple weeks. She has lost several inches and is motivated for the first time in years. This challenge has changed my life, given me confidence I never dreamed I could have and has taught me the foundations of living healthy for the rest of my life.

Read about our No Excuse Mom program HERE or pre-order Maria Kang’s “The No More Excuses Diet” Book HERE.

katie perry 1 Katie Perry

NEM Region 6 Winner: Idalia Harvey

Congrats to our Region 6  winner, Idalia Harvey, for dedicating 12 weeks towards self-improvement both externally and internally and winning $442! Region Six is led by Veronica Davila and comprises of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Find a local No Excuse Mom meetup near you by entering your city/state or zipcode HERE.

Idalia’s Story:

My name is Idalia. I am a wife and a mom of 3 kids. An 8 year old girl, a 4 and a 2 years old boys. I am 38 years old. I really got tired of having extra weight and a sedentary life full of excuses. After having my last baby I was really out of shape and I had 20 extra pounds in my body that made me look like if I was still pregnant. It really helped me the first time I saw Maria Kang picture with 3 boys and a fit body. It made me think that if she can then I can! At first it seem easy I started doing exercise but after some time I was always finding excuses for not doing exercise and also is not easy to try to eat healthy most of the time.

Doing this contest gave me new motivation! I really want to be healthy and strong for my family and also for myself I want to prove myself that I can do it! That I have strength and willpower!. I am a graphic designer and photographer but that part of my life is been on hold since I had my last baby. Before him I was working a lot from home. I am blessed to have a good husband he works hard and helps me a lot taking care of the kids.  Prior to our meeting I came from Mexico and lived in Europe briefly where I thought I had found the love of my life. After three years as a single mother, I met my now-husband and have a beautiful 8 year old stepdaughter, a 12 year old niece who lives with us and two dogs. Now I’ve been living in the U.S. for 9 years!

I’ve thought about not challenging myself or ‘putting myself out there’ but I realize I’m just competing against the giants in my mind!  I got tired of just wishing! Is good to see other inspirational people but if we just stay looking and don’t get up and don’t start moving we never going to change. I am not done! I want to start running to participate on races like 5k, 10k, and why not; maybe a marathon in the future! this is a new lifestyle, it make me feel good, It make me feel alive! I believe we all woman have very strong minds but we need to believe it! We need to have faith! My favorite bible verse is I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.

Read about our No Excuse Mom program HERE or pre-order Maria Kang’s “The No More Excuses Diet” Book HERE.

Idalia Idalia1

NEM Region 5 Winner: Melanie Lude

Congrats to our Region 5 winner, Melanie Lude, for dedicating 12 weeks towards self-improvement both externally and internally and winning $442! Region Five is led by Katie Myers and comprises of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Find a local No Excuse Mom meetup near you by entering your city/state or zipcode HERE.

Melanie’s Story:

My first negative relationship with food was when I was 8 years old. My family would go to ‘all you can eat’ restaurants multiple times weekly. We would have contests to see who could eat the most food in one sitting. Looking back, I see how disgusting the reality of it was. From then on, I was always the “fat girl”.
I started my first diet in middle school when my mom tried to help me do something about my weight. The bad thing, she triggered me on my very first fad diet. She started me on Atkins and I took it to the extreme, eating less than 5 carbs a day and trying to sweat off my weight by soaking in a hot bath tub.
I have tried and been on just about every fad diet you can think of, juice cleanses, 3 day diet, flat belly diet, Atkins, 7 day diet, and so on. Every time, I gained the weight back. I was also an avid Monday diet starter, I would have to re-start every week because I couldn’t stick to the demands of the fad diet. The worst part about constantly doing a fad diet, was that I always expect fast results. Losing 5lbs in one week or more wasn’t uncommon for me.

Finally I decided, in my adult years, that slow and steady is the best way. I KNEW that it was a lifestyle change, not just a diet, but I still couldn’t keep myself motivated past a couple weeks. Working so hard for a month and only losing 4-6lbs was frustrating, so I would always give up!
This transformation challenge was perfect timing, to say the least. Two weeks before I saw the entry information, I had decided to finally do this lifestyle change and change it for GOOD. I went to see my doc and was told that I was 35% body fat, 160 (high) cholesterol, high sugar, and was officially considered obese! I was devastated! Even though I had decided that I was going to change my life right then, I decided to enter the contest anyway. My dad and my aunt both have developed type 2 diabetes as overweight adults and I REFUSE to join them!

The most important thing about this life change is the chance to raise my kids in a healthy way. Teaching them the importance of keeping active and making conscious food choices is a vital lesson to learn at a young age.

This contest, for me, has been amazing. I have learned that there is no short term diet that is going to help for any long term goals. I have NEVER been able to keep a change this long and my mental health is changing in a positive way every day! I’m finally in it for the long haul and I can’t wait to finally see myself reach my ultimate goal!

Food is fuel! I’ve learned to eat to live, not live to eat!

Read about our No Excuse Mom program HERE or pre-order Maria Kang’s “The No More Excuses Diet” Book HERE.

melanie lude melanie1