Time to Take Our Lives Back.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday. We still have New Years in front of us and with that in sight, I think we need a new mindset for 2021.

Traditionally, the New Year brings on a whole bunch of "resolutions" on how we want to improve ourselves. While they have good intentions, 2 weeks later these "things" we were going to focus on have been tossed by the way side. This year, even though things are still a bit different and chaotic, I want you to think about HOW you can TAKE BACK your life to return to "normal". Forget the resolutions, let's get back to the things you USED to do pre-pandemic...making meal prepping a priority, working out 3-4 days per week, getting enough water per day, not stress eating...etc.

Many of you have asked when we were starting the diet challenge because "you need to get back to normal eating" or you "need to get back on a schedule for working out". I agree, we all need to get back to normal, while still being cautious but ...100% we need to stop with the excuses.

We have been dealing with this for almost 10 months now.

This isn't going to be a diet challenge...this is going to be a, "Time to Take Back Your Life" health and wellness challenge with a focus on getting back to our NORMAL routines.

I want you guys to start NEXT WEEK by reiterating a simple practice that I introduced in last years challenge, fasted cardio.

It is an easy way to start your day, get rid of the daily bloating, set yourself up for good practices for the rest of the day.

I don't want you to wait til the new year to start, start NOW.

Fasted Cardio might look like this:

Dinner at 8pm

In bed at 10pm

Awake at 7am

Cardio at 8am (fasted for 12 hours).

Fasted cardio can be a brisk walk, easy bike, easy row, easy jog...etc. on an empty stomach.

The wisdom behind this was that if your body was in a fasted state and it didn't have carbs to use for fuel, then your body would use fat to energize your fasted cardio work outs. Now we know that the best way to lose weight is to eat less calories than we burn on a daily basis. The time and place we do our cardio work outs doesn't matter, as long as we are eating less calories than we are using. However, there are some benefits to doing cardio first thing in the morning, such as:

- If you want to do it later in the day, you will have more excuses to skip it.

- Moving in the morning helps keep my bowel movements regular and I can digest my meals better.

- Working out in the morning, keeps me more focused on my nutrition for the rest of the day.

- I feel that putting in some cardio is easier on an empty stomach because I don't get side-aches.

- I feel more productive the rest of the day as my energy levels are drastically different on days I do fasted cardio versus the days I skip it.

- My water intake is better because during my cardio, I try to finish at least 24 ounces of water by the time I am done with my session.

Because this isn't HIGH INTENSITY cardio or HIIT training, you don't need a full meal. Some water, and maybe some coffee and you are good to go.

BONUS NOTE - It can help make you feel better about indulging during the holidays.

I know many of you, like myself, have had at least one if not many indulgent meals, days, or weeks at this point in the year. I hope you have moved past the point of beating yourself up about it and feeling shame for having gotten off track. It is far too easy to allow these "slips" or indulgences to happen during the holidays. The mistake I see made more often is when you indulge one night, wake up feeling shameful, and then immediately commit to some irrational plan of action to counteract the impact of that indulgence.

Nowhere in that process was there ever any time for self-reflection and then developing more self-awareness around how these binge sessions actually make you feel. Over the years I've paid close attention to how my heart, brain, and body feel after I binge on holiday meals and treats. I have taken stock and focused on the feelings inside of me that either feel good or feel bad. The overwhelming realization that I've had is that these momentary pleasures always led to a physical discomfort that I rarely feel was worth it.

I encourage you to bring some awareness to how these events actually make you feel this week, why they happened, and avoid just feeling shame and saying you will "do better" next time. The next time you have a choice in front of you to binge on sugar or to practice restraint, a very clear connection to the feelings these choices will bring can and will help you navigate your decision making process. Every moment is an opportunity to learn something about yourself. With self-awareness, we grow the power to navigate our lives with greater intention and less reaction.

It is for this reason this years challenge, we are:

- Starting 2 weeks early to do a "detox". Many of us have been off track since March. This is NOT like us, it is time to reflect on how we have felt these past few months and come up with a plan for change to a new normal.

This detox will not require ANY macro counting. This will be a 2 week period BEFORE we start measuring and weighing food. This will get rid of cravings, headaches, fatigue...etc that we experience during this time.

- There will be 10 minutes of "cardio" warm up before classes start. You can do this before class, or you can do it as your "fasted" cardio in the morning as it is a basic 10 minute tabata work out.

I would like EVERYONE to put in at least of 10 minutes of a steady state cardio work out per day. I have a simple goal of putting in 1 mile extra per day, whether that is walking, jogging, or on the elliptical.

- Class programming is going to be more comprehensive than ever and it may require you to get to class a bit early and stay a bit longer each day (or put in 2 sessions). I will do a podcast about it in the next week or so, but I am VERY STOKED on what I have planned for us. We need to:

  1. Stabilize hormones, energy, mood as our lives have been chaotic the last 10 months. So with daily movement, personalized macros and good lifestyle habits (water, sleep...etc), we can optimize fat loss and muscle building.

  2. Good movement patters, but also a mix of high intensity and lower intensity approach to optimize fat loss while still building strength.

  3. 5-6 good sessions per week with mixed resistance training of functional movements AND body building movements. High repetitions and lower repetition days.

  4. Class work outs will be a mix of short and intense, and longer and cyclical so we don't "burn out" or "plateau". Any additional "fasted cardio" will only help us burn extra calories throughout this process.

  5. Accessory work is MANDATORY as it focuses on weaknesses we all have and addresses the small muscle groups that we neglect with the bigger, compound movements we see in class. This is to address imbalances from side to side, both upper and lower body. There will be a lot of core movements here, as well as some traditional body building movements that focus on upper body, back and rotator cuff areas.

We need to take our lives back.

We need to get back to normal.

We cannot continue to live in fear, having all of these excuses to eat and drink like crap.

We need to make our health and fitness a priority so we can live a WELL and HEALTHY life.


Our health and wellness challenge STARTS January 17th.

We will do a 3 day meat detox and then a 10 day whole food detox (details to come as we get closer).

Cost will be MUCH CHEAPER than in years past since we all got screwed last year.

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