2018 Region 2 Winner: Nicole Chini

Congrats to our Region 2 pot challenge winner, Nicole Chini for being an incredible inspiration and following through on our 12 week challenge! Region 2 consists of New Jersey and New York! 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.

Nicole you have $210 extra shopping money this season and we hope you get something extra awesome for yourself! Many of our No Excuse Moms followed our official NEM program, where they used a fitness calendar, logged in their meals, participated online/in-person and overcame their excuses!
Read Nicole’s story!
This 12 week challenge came at the perfect time for me. I desperately needed guidance, direction and an outlet in my life. I’d first like to thank Maria and the No Excuse Mom community for saving me at just the right moment.
To make an incredibly long story short, after a healthy pregnancy I suddenly gave birth via emergency c section to twins on April 27, 2018- six weeks before my due date. My beautiful, precious baby boy did not survive. My husband and I found ourselves caring for our newborn daughter, grieving the loss of our son, and trying to maintain normalcy for our 3 year old. In short, life got incredibly hard in an instant.
Who was the first person I began to neglect? Me. When cleared for exercise, I found myself not even wanting to try. Food became a comfort, not fuel. I chose not to attend child loss support groups or therapy, and instead found myself walking around in a permanent fog.
Then, I saw a post about the challenge. Something inside me said it was time to start being ME again. I needed to change not just for my sake, but for my daughters, my husband and the memory of my son.
Exercise and nutrition are wonderful things for not just the body, but the mind and the soul. In these 12 weeks I didn’t lose all my baby weight as I’d hoped, but I lost my brain fog and my feelings of worthlessness. I realized that I’m strong, both physically and mentally. While exercise can’t cure my grief, it helped me find renewed purpose. I think that makes my 12 week journey a true success!


 

2018 Region 1 Winner: Kayla Smith

Congrats to our Region 1 pot challenge winner, Kayla Smith for being an incredible inspiration and following through on our 12 week challenge! Region 1 consists of Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut! 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.

Kayla you have $210 extra shopping money this season and we hope you get something extra awesome for yourself! Many of our No Excuse Moms followed our official NEM program, where they used a fitness calendar, logged in their meals, participated online/in-person and overcame their excuses!
Kayla’s story:
When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, everyone has suggestions and tips on what worked best for them. I listened to them all but built what worked best for me. Between working full time, raising two kids, being a military spouse (to an actively deployed husband), and co-chair of our elementary school parent committee, I HAD to schedule time for myself. My mental and physical well-being depended on it. Plus, I told my husband I would be able to do 20 pushups by the time he returns home from this deployment. These past weeks have been incredibly eye opening in terms of my health journey and what I can commit to if I have a goal in mind.

The first task was becoming very familiar with what I was putting into my body daily. By logging my diet into the app, My Fitness Pal, I was able to better understand where I was failing in terms of my eating habits. Being someone who ate “relatively healthy” to start, I was surprised to see I was dramatically under eating. Once I adjusted, primarily to my protein intake, I immediately felt better. More energy and a better overall feeling in terms of my health. This was hard because I found myself needing to make sperate meals for me and my picky kids. I found weekly meal prep very intimidating but found something that worked for me. I made sure to keep a stockpile of cooked ground turkey/chicken on hand always. It was easy to add sides to an already prepared protein.
As for the workouts, I could not have done it without the support of my Sunday NEM team. I made my plan to “never miss a Sunday”. Having this to kick off my week kept me motivated and engaged. In addition to our NEM meet-up, I incorporated use of my elliptical and body weight exercises on a weekly routine. Additionally, in the passes three weeks, I have been dancing along with online cardio videos.
Finding something fun, that I love has been such a big help. I have used these dance videos as a warm-up or as something to do if I got to a day that I had run out of time.
This journey has been such an amazing experience. I cannot say that I followed the rules 100%, but
honestly, I tried and did what was best for me. I found it important to not restrict myself to a point
where I resented what I was doing. Rather, I tracked it all for accountability. I originally signed-up for
this challenge because I am in a wedding and want to look my best. Though, the past few weeks have been less about how I look and more about the positive feelings I get when I look in the mirror. I may not be able to drop and do 20 pushups, yet, but I am on my way there! And, I have this challenge and the NEMs to thank!
 
 



 

2018 Region 9 Winner: Jen Loving

Congrats to our Region 9 pot challenge winner, Jen Loving for being an incredible inspiration and following through on our 12 week challenge! Region 9 consists of Nevada, Arizona, California, and Hawaii! 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.

Congrats to our regional winner! You have $210 extra shopping money this season and we hope you get something extra awesome for yourself! Many of our No Excuse Moms followed our official NEM program, where they used a fitness calendar, logged in their meals, participated online/in-person and overcame their excuses!

Hello from a NEM mom of three in Alameda, CA! 12 weeks ago this challenge began and I went for it because things absolutely needed to change. I was carrying too much weight… my joints ached, clothes were getting snug or too small altogether, and nutrition + exercise routines were haphazard. It was frustrating feeling sore, tired, and worn out from keeping up with regular day to day activities. Here was a chance to focus for three months on making meaningful health changes with a great support network to encourage me along the way. My local NEM group is a fierce, dedicated, and amazing group of women. Free + kid friendly workouts, varied activities, and constant accountability were all at my disposal. I truly had no excuses. I didn’t want any excuses. This was it!

And so the changes began. Daily activity made the schedule before housekeeping and errands. I changed what was stocked in the kitchen, giving my body the fuel it needed. I balanced food intake with activity, saving special treats for special occasions. Instead of exercising at times of occasional convenience, I committed to moving every day… NEM meet-ups two or three times a week. Cardio and strength on my own other days. On rest days, just something easy for 10 minutes.
In 12 weeks I’ve dropped 20 pounds and over 3.5 BMI points. I’ve shrunk 2″ in the chest, hips, and thighs, and 7″ in the waist. I’ve gained noticeable muscle tone and strength; jumping lunges are now a thing I can do and the stairs don’t wind me. Old aches and pains are gone, and I’m more comfortable in my body as it moves with less weight and more ease.
I am beyond grateful for my Alameda NEM leaders who’ve encouraged me at every step. I feel pride in all I’ve accomplished and the journey will continue with NEM squarely part of my routine. Some final pounds need to go and I’m eager to build more strength. After today I’m putting new challenges and goals on my path to help maintain recent gains and keep up the progress. What feels achievable now is so much greater than what seemed possible three months ago. Look out 2019, adventure awaits!



2018 Region 7 Winner: Kelley Ferland

Congrats to our Region 7 pot challenge winner, Kelley Ferland for being an incredible inspiration and following through on our 12 week challenge! Region 7 consists of Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma! 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.

Congrats to our regional winner! You have $210 extra shopping money this season and we hope you get something extra awesome for yourself! Many of our No Excuse Moms followed our official NEM program, where they used a fitness calendar, logged in their meals, participated online/in-person and overcame their excuses!
This journey for me started well over 12 weeks ago. I have been overweight for most of my adult life,
and more so after having my two children. I have mostly worked at sedentary jobs, and I never really
took it upon myself to exercise. I also wasn’t eating healthy either. When I was pregnant with my second child, I developed gestational diabetes. I would like to say that this is when I woke up and smelled the roses, but it isn’t. I did what I needed to in order to keep myself and my son healthy, and was able to do so, thankfully, with diet alone. I ended up losing weight during the pregnancy, while my son still gained, and was born at 8 lbs. 3 oz. and with perfect sugar levels.
Then it all went downhill, all of the foods I couldn’t eat my entire pregnancy, I devoured any chance I got. I was breastfeeding so I needed the extra calories right? Wrong. I didn’t need the extra calories in carbs, but rather in fruits and veggies. I once again was not taking care of my body. About a year after the birth of my son, I was at the heaviest weight I had ever been, and I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was immediately put on an abundance of medication. Oh and I skipped the part where my husband had left for Basic Training for the Military in February that year, my diagnosis being in March, I was alone, with two kids, and a new scary incurable autoimmune disease. The medication that I was on made it hard for me to lose any weight, but I was trying. I wanted to be able to keep up with my kiddos, who were at the time 1 and 3 and running all over the place. I hired a babysitter to watch them Tuesday and Thursday evenings, so I could go to the gym. I worked hard, but I wasn’t losing.
We moved to Arizona in October of that year, and I joined the local NEM Group in Sierra Vista! It was an amazing group and I am more than thankful for the friendships and motivation I gained from it. I took part in the classes I could, brining my kiddos along with me to the parks for workouts. We were only at Fort Huachuca for a short period of time, and then moved to Fort Riley in Kansas. There isn’t an active group close by, but I continued to stay in the know through No Excuse Moms on Facebook. When I first moved to Fort Riley, I learned of a surgery that was covered by my insurance that may help me to lose the weight that I was so desperately trying to. I had monthly appointments to go over my diet and exercise with my doctor for 6 months, and was cleared by psych and my rheumatologist, before being approved for gastric sleeve surgery.
In May of 2018, I had gastric sleeve surgery, weighing in at 225 pounds, the most I had ever weighed in my life. It changed my life, in just the six short months after, I have lost over 30% of my body weight, currently weighing 154 lbs. I go to the gym at least three times a week, if not more, and I love it! I have more motivation than ever! I can run and play with my kids, I can help them discover new healthy foods! At the beginning of this NEM Challenge my weight loss was starting to slow down, which is normal, but I wanted to push myself to do better, and keep at it. That is what I have done, keeping track on my calendar and posting in my local group to keep myself accountable has made all the difference and allowed me to lose another 13 lbs. over 12 weeks. I’m excited to continue to use the tools I was given, be it surgery, no excuse moms, or a membership to the gym to keep myself in shape and live a longer healthier life.

 

The Heart of a No Excuse Mom Leader

The Heart of a No Excuse Mom Leader

Not everyone can be a leader.
It takes drive, discipline, commitment and work. Above all, being a leader is self-sacrificing. Just like a parent, no one will ever know what you do to maintain and build the household. It takes perspective, vision and faith to operate your world, keep everyone focused, promote progression and encourage connection on a weekly basis. It’s a seemingly thankless job, a role that requires you to seek reward in your internal satisfaction to make a difference. It’s not easy feeling like you’re in separate trenches fighting to bridge your community through fitness – which is why I decided to host our 1st Annual NEM Leader Retreat.
In-between my family life, work obligations and household chores is a special section called, No Excuse Moms (NEM). For the past eight years I committed each week to working out in the park with any mother who showed up.  In that time frame I’ve made countless friends and expanded what started in a little town of Elk Grove, CA to over 350 No Excuse Mom groups in 30 countries. On the daily I communicate online with regional managers overseeing thousands of members from each region. I see workouts posted from different parts of our world on our group leaders page. I read about leaders who are constantly thinking of ways to inspire their community to connect and move.
Every day I am so empowered by these women who are making a difference in their personal lives and the lives of people around them. Their drive is so deep and their passion is so persistent – I know this because I am like them, and they are like me.
We are leaders.
We want to see change, so we became the change and ultimately bring the change to our communities.

Each year we gather for a No Excuse Mom Retreat. It’s a time for us to relax, connect, laugh, exercise, dance, play and refuel our spirits.
In 2017 we set up camp in Miami and in 2018 we went to Paris and in Chicago. Women come from all over – from Germany, France, Canada, California, Washington, Florida, Minnesota, Illinois Arizona, Texas, Maryland, etc. Many moms had never flown or left their kids for longer than 3 hours. We were all scared! At the same time, we were all excited to hug each other – after all, we have been an online family for years.
We needed to refill our souls.
Being a leader is a lonely place to be, whether  you are a hardworking mom, employer/employee, friend or spouse. Not everyone understands your work ethic, drive or desire to do more than the people around you. As a NEM Leader, not everyone will reach out to strangers, invest in other families and be of service to their community. But we do.
It was important to be around people who understood what it meant to ‘do more’. When you do more, you learn more….and therefore, you BECOME MORE.  I am more because of all the women in the NEM organization who do more. Thank you to all our No Excuse Mom Leaders, I can’t wait to do this again next year.


NEM Retreat 2017: Miami, Florida

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European Retreat 2018: Paris, France

NEM Retreat 2018: Chicago, Illinois


2018 2nd Place Winner NEM Uvalde, TX Leader: Mayra Vasquez

I’m Mayra Vasquez one of the Uvalde TX leaders

I’m a busy 30 years young, certified personal trainer, & Fitness Instructor at our  local community fitness Center. married with 8 years with 3 children: son 9, daughters 6, and 2 years old.

I leaded San Angelo TX for almost 2 years, which was a great learning experience, powerful motivator for accountability and while I made many great mom friends. 

Moved back to my small hometown and started a chapter in Uvalde,Tx. Jan 2016 and had an easier time promoting the group and having many more successful events for family and moms night out. 

I was prepared to have an even better year for 2018. But obstacles in life happen,

I was in a recent fatal car accident, losing my Mother and Aunt on Christmas night. I ended up 10 days in ICU with a c2 , mandible, sternum, 3 ribs, wrist, 2 lumbar and tail bone fracture ; also punctured intestines which required  surgery and Blood transfusions from loss of blood.

Recently home and Recovering from head to toe, I decide the 12 week challenge was a good start to keep me motivated and positive.  I was back to square one physically and mentally.

I was told countless times my healthy lifestyle not only save my life, but my continual movement helped me heal quickly, no Physical Therapy required. The diet with wearing a neck brace 24/7 and fractured mandible and ,with  a scar on half my torso really  had its moments of despair. Loosing 25lbs of muscle weight really had me worried.  It was also hard to comfort my children.

But life continues and one must strive to be stronger than before. Joint movement and balance was what I worked up to. I was released to go back to work and continue what I love in March 20th with no restrictions almost 12 weeks after the accident. I have slowly added working out with minimum core workouts. The 12 weeks kept me going it help me set a goal and follow through.

Despite the physical and mental scaring, being  able to hug my kids after I healed, I haves never been more grateful for my health than at those moments. I remain strong because I have had and continue to have a strong positive support system throughout my family who raised me, friends and the  No Excuse Mom

2018 3rd Place Winner El Paso, TX NEM Leader: Liz Martinez

Like many of us i started very motivated with the challenge and I started eating clean and following a regular exercise routine using the tools in the challenge handbook. Even if it meant getting up at 5:00am to get my workout in, so the honeymoon stage lasted about 4 weeks!  Way longer than other times after all my motivation throughout is i need to get summer ready.
Then life happened, little by little i started straying away from my goals i started going back to old habits, only to realize the more i didn’t maintain the new habits the more upset i was at myself. However looking back at my before and after from the last NEM leader challenge, I had to really sit and think about where i was and re frame and call my day 1 all over again! As much as I hated that day 1 because it meant I had to start all over, I knew i needed to do it!
So during the last 4 weeks of the challenge I gave it my all!
I surpassed my monthly goal and i refocused. I also have to say that my husband joined me in this journey something I had truly wanted for a long time! I lost a total of 14lbs, I lost inches in one of the most difficult areas my lower belly area and on my arms and legs as well. Down 1 size comfortably and a lot of the bloating has truly decreased. So as this challenge ends i know that my personal challenge is only in the beginning stages it may take a year and it may take several Day1’s all over but one thing i know is that i cant give up and i must persevere on this journey to find the best version of myself as a No Excuse Mom , and as a NEM Leader!

2018 NEM Winner NEM Bolingbrook, IL Leader: Kelly Blaszczyk

I recently received a bracelet for Christmas that reads, “She believed she could, so she did.” I wear it every day as a reminder that I am solely in charge of who I want to become if I just believe in myself.

 I have not always been overweight and out of shape although I was always lead to believe I was. When I was growing up, I was relentlessly bullied by people who did not see my body shape as “normal.” I have always been curvy and developed earlier than others my age. My mom had no idea how to dress someone so opposite herself; buying clothes in junior high was the epitome of awful. I always felt awkward and big. In fact, I felt that way for so long, it was eventually who I actually became even though I had athletic abilities and enjoyed being active. Before my family moved out of state when I turned twenty, I went through a period of mild depression. I gained a large amount of weight in a very short amount of time. I will never forget the first picture I saw of myself from behind when I could not actually identify the image as me since the person was so large. That’s when it hit me how much weight I actually gained.

Before my 22nd birthday, I started eating healthy and exercising, which was difficult since I was raised on soda and whatever other types of junk food I liked. I managed to drop about 20 pounds very quickly and kept it off for a few years. Eventually, I had three beautiful daughters of my own and they became my focus while I put myself second. I hit my heaviest weight at almost 250 lbs. It’s soul crushing when you step on that scale and realize those are your numbers. When you go clothes shopping and realize you have to buy from the plus section. When people constantly underestimate your physical capabilities because you are too big.  I decided to focus on my health before trying to get pregnant again because I did not want to hit 300 lbs, which was an absolute possibility. In the fall of 2014, however, I became pregnant unexpectedly. Sadly, I miscarried the twins I had conceived. Although the rational part of me knows it was not due to my size, a small part of me will always believe that is true. I really focused on my eating and exercising (and co-founded the NEM Group I still lead), and was able to lose 50 lbs before becoming pregnant with my fourth daughter.

She is now 2.5 years old, and I am feeling physically better than I have ever felt! I took this challenge very personally and didn’t let excuses get in my way. Incredibly, I was able to lose almost 10 inches in just my waist in the past 12 weeks!!

I have four small kids and own a business with 15 employees. I managed to put myself on my own priority list and believed enough in myself. I’d like to think the woman I lead will be able to see themselves in me. 

May #nemselflove challenge

Hello May! ??? This month we are focusing on #selfcare, after all, it’s hard to care for others, if you are not taking care of yourself. Who would’ve thought that enjoying a cup of tea or styling your hair would one day feel like a luxury!
I suggest doing this with a friend, screenshotting this image and/or sharing on your page (so you remember!) Please hashtag #nemselflove and try to check off as many of these items as you can in May! This year is going by quickly so take time to slow down, smell the flowers and reflect on your past, enjoy your present and envision your future. #nemselflove #maychallenge
Download and print the May Calendar HERE.

Role Model: Allison Senkarik

This group has served as such an inspiration to me – I can’t thank you ladies enough for your kind words and inspiring posts. I’m so proud of each and every one of us, from the women who have achieved the body of their dreams to those posting their start date photos as they gingerly begin to tread down the road to fitness, we are all lady beasts! For the women who are just starting out, you are my hero! Seeing your beautiful, raw, unfiltered posts exposing your fears/struggles and watching the fire ignite within you as you begin to work toward crushing your fitness goals is so fantastic! The best part is seeing so many of us setting new goals, reaching for new levels of happiness!
My name is Allison Senkarik, nicknamed Ally. I’m 29 and I live in Gainesville Florida. I am currently a Fiscal Assistant II at the University of Florida, Dept. of Liver Research. I am at a height of 5’7″ with a weight of 144 lbs.
Before I had children, I was a cheerleader in college and fairly active but did not start seriously pursuing fitness until I was 25. I started lifting weights with a friend, then was introduced to HIIT training through a local running club and fell in love with how working out made me feel. I ran my first Obstacle Course Race in 2014 and have run many more since!
I have one son who just turned two in May. I gained 31 pounds from my pregnancy. During my pregnancy I craved a lot of spicy food, especially Mexican food during my pregnancy and prior to having my son I was not a fan of spicy food! My husband is an avid hunter so we ate a good bit of game meat too; elk, deer and alligator to name a few and those always sounded great. I also loved fruit while I was pregnant and treating myself to ice cream became my usual because of the heat here in Florida!
I was very active during my pregnancy. I worked out at least 4 days a week. I also participated in a HIIT class the day I went into labor (class did not induce my labor, my water broke several hours later). I ran the stadium up until 22 weeks pregnant but continued with some jogging and lots of weight lifting throughout the remainder of my pregnancy. I also ran the Warrior Dash at 6 months pregnant but skipped any obstacles that could hurt me or the baby.
It took me around 8 months after my pregnancy to reach my pre-baby shape again. I had a hard time running again after having my son; my hips took a while to shift back to their normal place. A big part of why I love to work out is the camaraderie shared within our running club so it was important for me to be able to get back out there with them again and have fun while working up a sweat!
At 6 weeks post-partum to giving birth I started training and dieting. I didn’t start seriously watching my food intake until after I went back to work at 13 weeks post-partum. I don’t actually like the term “diet” and chose to try to eat clean and plan out my meals to keep from slipping up, especially since it can be hard to find a healthy lunch on the fly.
I breastfed but had major supply issues. My husband and I did formula supported tubal breastfeeding until my sun was 8 months. At that point he began to refusing and since my supply was only a handful out ounces per day it was time to wean.
I don’t count calories, instead I try to eat clean and meal plan during the week. I relax my diet on the weekends and only consume alcohol on the weekends. Meal rep includes lots of protein, veggies and whole grains. I also try to time myself at work for snacks/meals to ensure that I’m not just eating out of “boredom” and try to consume at least 75 ounces of water at work each day. It’s very easy to eat when working at a desk job so I make sure to wait until certain times to eat, hydrate and take walking breaks.
Mostly weight training at first, but as a team leader of Running Man Club ( RMC), I started attending some of out shorter runs and HIIT workouts at 8 weeks post-partum. I trained for and completed a Spartan Trifecta in 2016 which was huge for me mentally and physically. I have also participated in several other OCR/mud run events, GORUCK events, as well as a few road races. I find that signing up for events really helps me stay focused and train toward a specific goal. In October I will be running my first Ragnar and 25K trail race, Gate2Gate San Felasco, a few weeks later! And yes, I’m slightly terrified but I truly believe it’s important to journey outside your comfort zone.
My husband is extremely supportive of my fitness habits. He’s a disabled veteran and while he cannot do the same kind of training, he is also fairly active, adapting a lot of activities based on his injuries. Two of my most important training sessions are on Saturday and Sunday mornings, he is very good about taking care of our son to make sure that I can get my workout in with RMC and then he typically will work out later or will take our son out on “ruck marches” where he pushes the stroller while wearing a heavily weighted ruck sack on his back. We also do family ruck marches together that way we can all get outside and Barrett enjoys riding in the stroller.
My Top 5 tips for moms who want to get in shape:
1- Be patient! Many of the women we see on social media who “snap back” after babies have other things factoring in that we are unaware of. We can’t judge our own successes/failures based on the lives of others. It’s not worth it to starve yourself into being skinny, let your body take its time to readjust. It took me much longer than expected to get back to my pre-baby weight but I did it the healthy way and have had better long term results.
2 – Hydrate! Much of my snacking I used to do was because my body was truly thirsty. If I want a snack, I try to drink at least 8 ounces of water before eating to see if my body was simply looking for water. It’s helped my snacking a lot as well as my energy levels.
3 – Lift weights and lift heavy! To the women curling 5 lbs. dumbbells in the gym, “Your purse weighs more than that!” Stick to 6-8 reps of a weight that challenges your body. I have become so much more toned because of weightlifting and just hit a new bench press PR of 135 pounds without looking manly or too muscular. 😉
4 – HIIT cardio is your friend! By driving your heart rate up, you help your body achieve a higher caloric burn for the rest of the day. Wasting away on an elliptical for an hour is boring and ineffective. Plus as busy moms we just don’t have time for that!
5 – Your body is stronger than you think it is! Before getting into shape, I suffered with severe food issues, depression and lack of confidence. I have pushed my body far beyond what I thought I was capable of. Mental grit is a powerful tool that has helped me to become a more focused, driven woman.
My favorite motivational quotes are
“Physical strength will get you to the start line, but mental strength will get you to the finish line.”
“The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you.”
“Better 2gether” (The motto of RMC, the running club I exercise with)
Vanessa Lynn Campos has been a true inspiration to me because she’s done a little bit of everything, from weightlifting to Spartan races, she is a fantastic example of functional strength. She is also a great voice of reason on the NEM forum when women are making less than favorable choices, especially with calorie restriction.
My favorite cheat meals would have to be pizza, tacos, or sushi. Random yes but I love food! I also believe that food should not be treated as a negative influence, balance is key to being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
My favorite “diet” meal or clean meal would have to be roasted bell peppers and onions, chicken and steak, fresh sliced avocado over brown rice. With lots of hot sauce!
Game of Thrones is my TV show.
I came across an online article about Maria Kang one day and I was drawn to her openness and honesty about her fitness journey. Being a No Excuse Mom means being able to realize that in order to take care of your children and set a good example for them, you must take care of yourself. As mothers we have a tendency to put everyone else first. But it’s okay and actually pretty wonderful to carve out an hour to yourself to train. My NEM training time is the only time of day I can just shut my brain off and focus on nothing but the exhilarating feeling of pushing my body past what I thought was my limit. Those moments spent drenching in sweat, huffing, puffing, and cursing allow me to process all of my pent up stress, depression, and anxiety. When I work out I’m free. And I know that the time I invest in myself only helps me to be a more relaxed and happy Mom to my sweet boy. The best part is seeing him pick up healthy habits, a few months ago we videoed him doing burpees with me, such a great memory to share with him for years to come!
A goal I have for the future is to complete another Spartan Trifecta and push myself for time and obstacle completion. My hope is to run a Rock n Roll half marathon in 2018 and to continue to find new fitness goals to crush!
Thank you Allison for sharing your story! You can follow her on Instagram here: @asenkarik