MARCHING IN WITH A BOOST!
Let’s hear from some of our Sisters in Strength, how it went for them as they participated in the Fitness Commitment Challenge. Here, three gals share, in their own words what happened to them and what they're looking forward to with #FitBoost. Take it away ladies...
When it came to benefits gained from Fitness Commitment, Andrea Bauer revealed this: “Inches/fat lost, muscle/definition gained, evening of energy and attitude/mood, increased strength and body confidence (seeing parts of me I haven’t seen in a while – like my abs!). Loved the menus and recipes – you do have to adapt the menu and the grocery list to what you are actually going to be making each week - so there is still some planning work for you to do. The videos are very helpful. Even if you think you know how to do an exercise – it doesn’t hurt to look at them and review the essentials of good form. Plus – if you watch them at the gym like I did - it’s like you’re working out with Tosca – which is fun. Oh – and the information provided in the book on meal, pre and post workout snack planning based on the time of day you work out. Very helpful!” Aw shucks Andrea! While Marlene Perrin shared - “…5 pounds weight loss, which for me was great, given how I had been so good about what I was eating and exercising already, yet not seeing many results on the scale. I lost inches on my waist - very pleasing as that menopausal pooch is quite annoying - and saw a little more definition on my arms and legs. In my weights regimen, I was happily lifting heavier. I had a lot more energy, and, especially for a Canadian prairie girl in the middle of a cold, grey, bleak winter, my mood was much better! Winter did not "get at me" like it usually did. Because I'd been eating clean a great deal of the time already, I had already noticed positive changes in my skin, which friends had commented on. But perhaps most importantly for me, my confidence and overall sense of wellbeing emerged again. I might still have weight to lose, but I was feeling stronger, and felt I was doing something so positive for ME that it made the "me" come out more - at work, at home, with friends and family.” And Melody King had this to say - “My legs are firmer and my waist feels tighter. Also, I felt very organized, which is calming for me, because I had the fitness and food plan laid out for me.”
BEST FEATURES OF THE CHALLENGE
When it came to the aspects of the Fitness Commitment program the ladies found most helpful, Andrea liked that … “Someone else was doing a lot of the thinking for me in terms of menu planning and exercise routines for a whole month!" Marlene found “the online weekly chats were terrific. I connected with others doing the program, and learned so much from the questions they posed, and the issues they dealt with as well. The snacks, and how and when to space them around workouts, were also particularly educational for me. And, of course, the wonderful tasty recipes.” And Melody shared, “I found the snack recipes very useful. As long as I had a couple of recipes made for the week I didn't worry about whether or nor I had clean food to eat. Also, I really like the workout program and how you incorporated all the important elements, warm up and cool down, weights and cardio.”
Marlene opened up with her point of view on why she committed to the plan in the first place …. “I had been going to Weight Watchers off and on for the past 3 or 4 years, but found tracking food a biiiiiiig pain; it was the accountability piece, the weekly weigh-in, that motivated me the most. And, I did not feel that the WAY in which the food items were looked at was in keeping with what I knew about eating well, and eating clean. Plus I had already been incorporating weights into my exercise routine, and was eager to learn more about that aspect of it, which I was NOT getting at WW. I had been using your (Tosca's) recipe books for the past 3 years, and really enjoyed the recipes, and learning more about eating clean. Your recipes and philosophy were more in line with how I cooked for my family. I had become very frustrated with my slow/NO weight loss since menopause set in, and when I saw this program, I thought that the prescriptive nature of it, along with the combination of what and when to eat, PLUS the exercise plan were exactly what I needed.”
ABOUT THE MENU PLAN
Most families kinda sorta followed along with the menu plan so that not just Marlene, Andrea and Melody were eating clean but everyone in the family was doing it. Marlene stated, “I asked my family if they wanted to eat the main meals that I made for the 4 weeks, and they said yes. After a few days, my husband asked at supper time 'Is this another Eat Clean thing? I like eating these yummy things every day'. Because of schedules, they didn't eat all the breakfasts or lunches, but all suppers were from the plan. They also tried and liked some of the snacks; my 16 year old loves the Power Balls.” Who doesn’t? I’ve seen grown men go weak in the knees over these yummy treats. The winning dishes? You want to know don’t you? In the Bauer household, it was hard to pick but the win went to the Minestrone soup which Andrea made with turkey sausages. She quickly added that the almond pancakes with Mixed Berry Topping were a family favourite too. Andrea wrote, “love love love these!” In the Perrin household they “Couldn't decide between Minestrone soup and the Scallop/Quinoa dinner. Paleo Loaf is delicious too, and continues to be a staple every day for me - great for snacks!” Melody King’s kitchen turned out a lot of “the Classic Burger Recipe along with the Sweet Potato Wedges and a simple salad. I had guests over and this is the meal I prepared with my husband. They loved it! Also, the No Bake Powerballs and the Paleo Loaf were my go to snacks.” Looks like Paleo and Powerballs were big hit for everyone.
Andrea reveals she “had a breakthrough moment in week 2 - when I pushed through how I’d been limiting myself exercise wise in an effort to protect my back. Normally I would not do reverse crunches. And starting out with fit commit – I had to bring each foot and leg up separately to the bench first before crunching. But I didn’t give up, and with a lot of practice and stretching – am now able to do 15 crunches straight up from the floor AND I’m lifting more and heavier than I was before. I don’t know how I’d classify the moment/s when I noticed I was stronger in my legs and core – and didn’t have to mentally manage my movement to protect my back – because I could trust in my leg and core strength instead. Or that feeling of feeling more youthful. Both were (and continues to be) joyous moments for sure! Entered the program still on the comeback from having a disc bulge 2 years ago. Because of increased strength in lower body (legs and tush) and core – and because I’m working out 5+ times a week like I did in my twenties – I got my body confidence back AND I feel younger too. It’s hard to describe how amazingly good both of those make me feel. I’d say it’s life changing.” Andrea, this is beautiful. I know the feeling. I found the same beautiful results and feelings when I started 15 years ago. Marlene cracked me up with her story. “I laughed often over others' self-deprecating humour regarding their body parts, as we ALL do this. Also enjoyed reading your (Tosca's) blogs about YOUR challenges, and your humorous take on it all. Taking my own selfie was sort of a sad AND a-ha moment both! Another ahah was reading in one of your blogs something about whether it's enough to have a body that can be strong, move, bend, make love, do all the things I need it to do, and NOT have that perfect body. That almost made me cry, and it made me really ponder where the line is between doing this for health, and doing it for looks. It's really important for me to hear messages like that, particularly as I get older. I can still ski down what passes for a hill on the prairies faster than some 20 year olds, and I'm happy about that!” You bring it girl! You bring it! And finally Melody had this to say about her a-ha moment, and I love her for sharing; “This was my a-ha moment: Before the challenge started I went out and bought all the ingredients on the Week 1 list. Then I started trying to prep and make all the stuff that was on the list and realized that it just was not possible with my schedule. So I printed out a blank menu and filled it out with the various recipes that I could do. I tried to stay as close as I could to your recommended meal plan. And that when I went "A-HA , menu planning is so important!" Before the #FitCommit I had never actually prepared my own menu plan for the week. I've always tried to stick with other plans and have failed because they just don't work with my schedule. After that I wasted almost no food at all and I felt very prepared for my week to come. This is definitely a habit that I will be sticking with!” All three ladies made use of the Kitchen Table, Twitter and other social media platforms. I’m impressed because I am a low tech, no tech kinda girl and we had robust and often entertaining social media conversations. Remember Tramp Camp? It’s happening! Marlene found that these features really mattered. She declares, “Oh yes! This was probably one of the most important things for me. I loved the weekly chats, and found them really important to me feeling like I was part of it. Exercising as I do at home can sometimes leave me feeling disconnected from others, and these chats were really helpful for me. And I learned so much from you (Tosca) and your team when they answered my or others' questions. It was sort of like having my own personal nutrition and exercise coach! I am a novice user of Twitter, and found THAT conversation hard to follow, but that's just me.” As did Melody, who said she … “found the Kitchen Table very helpful in keeping me on track. The other ladies, and of course yourself, were so motivational! It really helped me to keep on track. And I really enjoy your blog as well.”
NEED A BOOST?
I got to wondering if any of these gals were planning to jump on the Fitness Commitment Boost program. Only one way to find out... Marlene tells us her reason for doing #FitBoost is for maintaining good habits learned from Fitness Commitment. “It’s amazing how easy it is to stray from good habits when you go it on your own. So I’m doing Boost to try on new recipes and circuit training – and for the energy and motivation…” Don’t worry Marlene, there will be plenty of that. Andrea agrees with that, saying that she is “taking my body, fitness, eating and exercising to a whole new level (I hope).” She’s planning to maintain clean eating habits and exercising 5 days a week. May want to change up the actual exercises that I do though – so am keeping an eye out for what that might look like.” Andrea takes it a step further, challenging me to create more new programs, saying “If Tosca puts together another program/s introducing new menus/recipes, weight training exercises, and cardio (like trampoline) – I’m in!”
SISTERS IN STRENGTH
The women and men in this community, are dear to me always stepping things up a notch. Marlene shares that she plans “to continue with those good habits I've established. Some of the people I met online on #FitCommit and I are talking about setting up a Facebook page to continue the support and enjoyment we've taken from following each others' journeys. I already find that, when I leave my house, either for work or out of town for a day, I'm planning what clean food I need to have on hand to take a long. Still find it challenging to face the tempting, not-good-for-me food that pops up frequently at work, so am not completely there on my own quite yet.”
I predict #FitBoost is going to go viral with participants pouring in like crazy right now. If you have learned anything from what these beautiful women - Andrea, Marlene and Melody - have shared with us, it is that when we pull together as a team we experience success. Stay tuned for a VERY special #FitCommit offer, coming Monday March 16! Trust me, you won't want to miss this Facebook announcement! Hugs and love, Tosca