Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro70 - Review and Contest

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro70 – Review and Contest

I’m really not a big fan of protein powder of any kind. I believe in eating clean (salad, vegetables, nuts, seeds, some fruit, a little starch, no sugar, lots of water) and training dirty. Yes I sweat a lot and when I’m in the gym ; I’m in the zone! I don’t eat meat so when I work out with my trainer I try to consume three boiled eggs at least an hour and a half before my work out. I find that it gives me enough energy to handle a tough workout and I very rarely get light headed. The thought of a plant based protein powder was very appealing to me. So when I was asked to take part in this Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro70  review (nod to Fit Approach,  I’m a Sweat Pink Ambassador) I was a little hesitant yet somewhat excited to give it a try.  So here goes!!

According to the sample packages received the ingredients are as follows:

  • Hemp protein concentrate
  • Organic coconut sugar
  • Organic fair trade cocoa powder
  • Natural plant extracts

It’s NON GMO and proudly Canadian! All great things wouldn’t you agree? Now to create a memorable smoothie!

Green-Smoothie_4776

My Hemp Pro70 Plant Based Protein – Spinach Smoothie

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon homemade nut butter
  • 15 g chocolate (or vanilla) Hemp Pro70 plant based protein powder
  • 4 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy the heavenly goodness! You’ll find that it’s creamy, light, easy to digest and full of flavor. I felt full for a longer period of time and think that it’s safe to say that this may be my new go to for protein on my heavy workout days!

If you’d like to give HempPro 70 a try for yourself, you can buy it here. Plus, if you use the code “sweatpinkpro70″ you can get 20% off the vanilla and chocolate flavors! For a chance to win a whole case of your favorite flavor for FREE, make sure to share the hemp love by snapping a pic and tagging @manitobaharvest on Instagram or Twitter with #pro70.

Entry deadline for the contest is September 30th! #GetYouSome

stat

Fitness isn’t about a crunch or a pushup. It’s about taking your power back!

The person that I am today would not recognize the person that I used to be if you placed him in a line up with 4 other “ME” look-a-likes.  That is an absolute blessing.  From what I can gather, there are more than a handful of people around my age that hit the proverbial mid-life crisis mode seemingly all at the same time. To say that I joined them in that journey would probably only be half the story.

My crisis was pretty much my entire adolescent life right into my 30’s.  Here is the funny thing about that.  Not many people would have noticed because I hid it really well until the split came between my wife and I.  I hit rock bottom with a thud.  I know many of the readers also hide their pain, anguish and disappoint. More on that later.  The man I am today loves the reflection that peers at him in the mirror every morning.  The man I am today welcomes the sunrise by opening my blinds the night before so it is one of the first magnificent things I see in the morning.  The man I am today cares about his health and his body but more importantly his mind and his emotions.  The recent changes I have made in my life has also brought on many new interests and hobbies.  I love photography, and carry my camera every where I go.  I’m still a huge sports fan and will probably still get neurotic around football season.  However there are so many wonderful things manifesting in my life right now from starting a new business in the next few months, mentoring others through the darkness of their lives (Me! A life coach, who would have thought), to taking my mother in and making my home her home.  The only thing that I feel is an obligation in my life now is to live it full of happiness, joy, health and unconditional love for any and everyone that crosses my path.  To find the BLISS in life and get swept away in it every opportunity that I have.

It was not always this way.  I have a pretty huge extended family.  I am also a product of a fractured home and re-mended family.  I was the baby of four brothers and one sister for a long time, then my little brother came along ten years later.  Too confusing to draw all the lines in. My parents divorced early in my life and then my father remarried a family friend and her family became our family as well.  Needless to say that relationship ended in a pretty nasty divorce that forced me and one of my siblings to go live at my Grandmothers in Miami until the dust settled over.  My wonderful grandmother on my mother’s side (Grandma Stella) was and is an angel or as near as a saint that I have ever seen walk the face of this earth.  But she was a saint with rules, a belt and a bible.  Lets just say as a kid I never listened to the first (rules) all the time and received the second (belt) and third (the bible) on a regular basis.  I grew up as an alter boy in the catholic church and I remember many times when the Priest would say those all too familiar words “Do this In Memory Of Me” then he’d wait for me to ring the bell and I would be over on the side with the other alter boys goofing around and not paying attention.  I would spend a good majority of my childhood grounded or in some type of trouble. Still are very pleasant memories. We were brought up on Soul Food.  Meat and potatoes, Ham hocks, Chit’lins, Collard Greens, Mac and Cheese, Corn Bread, Sweet Potato Pies.  Not exactly the cleanest way of eating but my Grandmother always made sure all of the kids (my cousins stayed over all the time) were in activities or forced to play outside until the street lights came on.  I started playing football then to stay out of trouble and didn’t stop until my senior year in high school.  We always had family cookouts and worrying about food, calories, processed verses unprocessed foods was never even heard of.  We ate hearty, played a lot and most of the kids never suffered childhood obesity in my family.  Then again, video games were just making their way into mainstream America and didn’t have its hooks into us yet! Those were the good times.  It got inevitably darker after that.

I later chose to live with my mother and the Judge would not split me and my older brother up so he had to go live with my mother as well.  She had a really hard time getting past the divorce.  Actually, she still hasn’t gotten past it truth be told.  That led to us bouncing around from place to place. Finally settling down in San Antonio, Texas in what I would not exactly call “Section 8″ housing but it had all of the familiar symptoms of  “Section 8″ housing with the crack-heads and broke down cars. Life was rough, free lunch kid, working at 14 and barely getting by all the way through my senior year.  I stayed busy though, with football, track and baseball when I wasn’t running the streets.  So I was always fit in high school.  The coaches tried to put me on multiple weight gaining programs but I did not have the heart to tell them that I couldn’t even afford to eat the amount of calories they wanted me to intake.  So I just got by.  College….well it was a blur filled with fun, crazy times and lots of debauchery and lets just say I’m surprised and fortunate I made it out alive!  Next Subject!

I was never really passionate about fitness when I was young.  I guess you could say I was blessed with good genes because I could eat any and everything and then drink a six pack and not gain an ounce.  I was always active and I guess it somehow balanced out. My awareness and passion came after my metabolism decided to pack it’s bags and head off to Italy or some where far far away. When I hit 27, I packed on 25lbs before I even noticed.  I went from the really skinny kid to filling out the way I always wanted to; but it didn’t stop there.  For some reason it never clicked in my head that, “Yo Stat, you know this weight isn’t going to stop piling on if you keep doing what you’re doing – right?”  In a matter of 3 years I went from 145-150lbs to 200lbs. Holy Crap! My passion for fitness was sparked when the reality set in that I had hit 200lbs. Like everyone else in the mainstream I grabbed all the fitness magazines, celebrity health books (the LL Cool J book was pretty good in hindsight) and jumped on every fad diet I could get my hands on.  I lost pounds and when I stopped the weight would come right back.  I yo-yo dieted for the next 6 years never losing more than 10-15lbs at a time.   When it was all said and done I weighed 226lbs. More than I started with. The heaviest I had ever been in my life. At 5’8 and a half, what the hell was I thinking?!?

Today, fitness and healthy living is such a pivotal part of my life that I am amazed I survived this long without it being the staple of my well being.  I walk daily now at least 2 to 3 miles weather permitting.  I hit the gym or do something in house to get my heart rate up as much as I can during the week.  I choose the best option of foods to eat that I have available but I don’t make myself crazy over watching each and every calorie.  Just generally track my calories. I also introduced meditation which I believe was the single solitary thing that has made my transformation possible.

“The body does not go where the mind does not lead it”

Not having a clear mind, a relaxed mind, a peaceful mind I feel would have made it easy for me to stop doing the things that were important for my overall health.  It’s as simple as loving myself completely unconditionally for who I am right now, to who I will be in my mind’s future.  It’s so important for all of us to lock into that mindset before ever making any goals and pushing like crazy to achieve them.  You have to be aligned with your goals mentally and physically before you will ever see the results that you strive towards.  My everyday goal is so simple:  “Every Day, In Every Way, I Am Getting Better and Better.”  My goals ascend as I ascend to just be a better overall person in every category. It does however turn out to work both ways because feeling healthy and being full of energy allows your mind to think more clear and sometimes twice as fast.

It’s always good to have a support system around you.  Family, close friends, workout group of your peers.  I have always been fortunate to have the greatest family and friends around me who always have supported me in my decisions whether they were idiotic or not.  I think however in today’s culture the emphasis on this support system has caused a false premise to be made into a belief.  It is that belief that often trips up many people.  For me, while a support system is good to have, maybe even important depending on where you are mentally and emotionally, it’s not a necessity.  When we couple ourselves so tightly to our support system we tend to allow their beliefs, likes, dislikes and philosophy to imprint on and cloud our own judgment.  We often find ourselves acting out of obligation to another instead of being internally driven.  This creates conflict within ourselves which just forms another road block you must maneuver around while you still work towards achieving your goal.  You should always be your most important Support System.  You should always check with yourself first to see if something is right for you.  Your emotions are the only guidance system you ever need.  it will always steer you towards what will ultimately make you happy in life.  At the end of the day, the decisions made are only for you to live not others.  However, when you are completely happy, free spirited and filled with love, everyone around you benefits including your support group. You may even realize that you have the power to influence them to find themselves and make a change FOR THEMSELVES. What has been most rewarding for me is now people gravitate to me from all different walks of life and I am having such and amazing time interacting, learning and sharing with these wonderful people like Shay and the team at Socially Fit.

However to get to the place that I now am, I had so many obstacles to get over.  The funny thing is that every single obstacle was placed in front of me by myself.  I think that was the hardest thing to get over.  To come to the realization that I was my own worst enemy.  Sure I had a disjointed childhood, and yes I live in a time was we were completely flat broke and had to come home to eviction notices on the door.  However, I used all of the short comings in my life as excuses not to get to where I knew I deserved to be.  I also brought a lot of the baggage into my relationships and thus effecting other peoples lives as well as my own.  So when I look back over my entire journey, my hardest obstacle was loving myself, trusting myself and believing in myself.  I was always very sarcastic even if I put a humorous twist on it.  I had low self esteem, self defeating thoughts and depression.  I felt unworthy and sometimes even a failure, especially after my marriage broke down. I resorted to drinking heavily all of the time.  8am in the morning was a great time for a beer on the weekend and I would drink until the sun tucked itself into bed and the moon came out to party.  Non Stop.  It even started to blend into my work week which left me dragging and uninspired at work.  I swear, If you can lock down these three virtues in your life (love yourself, trust yourself, believe in yourself), your life will be become infinitely better in just a short amount of time.  There is a saying, I’m not sure first coined it, that it goes:  “If you can not change the situation that you are in, then change your perspective on the situation.”  It might sound a bit cliche, but there is a positive in every situation, and I think it is your absolute benefit to spend all of your energy searching only for that positive silver lining and not laboring over negativity that often blinds us.

Once you can do that, then your goals and aspirations become so much more obtainable.  I use to hate running with a passion.  I mean really really hate it.  Kicking, screaming, slobbering you get the picture.  One day, I decided that I was going to change my perspective on running.  I was going to play a game or movie in my head as I ran that had a purpose and a meaning so that I was not senselessly running for no reason once so ever.  I realized that running actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.  It didn’t get any easier but my feeling towards it was much more favorable now. Once I got the taste of enjoyment from running, especially when you finish and all the energy is just coursing through your body, and your covered in sweat and you know that you accomplished something good today, its such a shot of confidence that you want to get out and do it again as soon as you can.  This lead me to the goal I that I never saw myself ever even attempting let alone doing. That goal was to run a 5K marathon.  I am happy to announce that early this year, I accomplished that goal and ran the whole thing non-stop and even beat a few of my friends that run marathons on a regular basis!  I got my first 5K medallion and it hangs from my rear view mirror and I look at it every day.  Never again will I tell myself that I can not do something.  What a tremendous feeling that was!  It only fuels you to want to do more.  I also had a goal to get from 226 lbs back down to 180 lbs in 6 months.  Two weeks ago, I also eclipsed that goal and I am not sitting at 179 lbs.  The lightest I have been in over 10 years.  So along with what seems to be life long dream to get my six pack abs back, my new fitness goal is to run the Tough Mudder in November 2014 and get down to a solid 170 lbs even.  I could have run the Spartan or the other 5K races but why do those, when I can challenge myself to tackle the behemoth!

So I really start training next week.  I will continue to walk 2 to 3 miles a day.  I will restart my Insanity Program from the start and I will hit the gym about 3 days a week to start off with.  I’ll listen to my body and then adjust day by day and week by week.  I love to juice (vegetable and fruit juicing people, not the needles) and if any of you haven’t tried juicing I heavily recommend it.  It was an important factor in my dramatic weight loss.  I will substitute a juice for one of my meals 3 times a week, eat as clean as I can and just enjoy the journey.  I mix in plenty of salads and I eat chicken a lot!  I have actually cut out almost all supplements, I found out by juicing on a regular basis my body responded so well, I did not require anything else.  I will continue with what is working moving forward.  I can’t wait.  I’m pretty damn excited. I do use a recovery drink and add in some whey protein but that is it for supplements.

As for my meal plan once I start working out, I haven’t quite figured out what I am going to do yet. I have never done an intense training regiment along with weight training at the same time.  Before I boosted my caloric intake up to around 2100 cals a day.  I’m not sure how much fuel that will give me for this next chapter in my journey so I will blog it about it as I go along and see where I end up. However, I do have some staples that I stick to pretty religiously which will not change much with whatever plan I decide to go with.  Eat Breakfast.  It is so important that everyone do this for so many different reasons but the one that means the most for me, is the energy burst in the morning. I normally have oatmeal with flax seeds and some type of chopped up fruit.  If its not oatmeal, I love eggs and I’ll have three to four eggs as a wrap or on whole wheat toast.  I tend to pile my carbs on in the morning and afternoon.  Evening most of the time is protein and vegetables unless I sub in a juice.  Make your meal plan something that you like to do, something that is easy for you to maintain and can be switched up to add variety.  I often sub in fish for my protein for my dinners.  Salmon is my favorite especially on the grill.  You also do not have to be chef to cook and eat clean healthy meals.  I have a YouTube Channel I’ll mention at the bottom of this article that teaches you have to cook some quick delicious meals if you’re interested.

What an amazing journey this has been.  I have met so many people who were in a rut just like me. Basically getting up each day just to get the day over with.  No ambition, No vision for a better future. The endgame was just to stay afloat long enough to survive to the next day.  I am here to tell you that your life does not have to be that way.  You do not have to settle for what your current reality is giving you right now.  You can demand to have a better life and the go out an seek it with the passion and zest that you never knew you even possessed.  It all starts when these few things that I feel got me on the right track.

1)  Tell yourself this Every Single MORNING: You are an amazing person. You are strong, you are smart, you are WORTHY and you deserve more.

2)  You have the power within yourself to change your current situation. You do not need help from others.  You do not need a hand out.  You do not need follow anyone else’s path.  Follow your gut feelings, they are there for you and you alone.

3)  Every day in every way, KNOW That you are getting better and better.  You have to stop being so hard on yourself.  Stop self criticizing and instead start focusing on the things that you appreciate about yourself and the life as you are currently living it.  Look around at the things that you are proud of.  Take time to appreciate those things.  Friends and individuals that inspire.  Appreciate them.  Spend the majority of your time looking for the blessings, not the slights.

4)  Make your most dominant focus every single day, about something positive in your life, or something that you find inspiring.  When ever something unfavorable comes into your existence, become an active thinker and change the subject in your mind, focus on something good and hold that thought for as long as you can, and your mood will change and so will the things and people around you.

5)  Break the cycle. This is so important because we all have become such creatures of habit.  Take time to dissect all of your habits.  Highlight the good ones, the ones that make you feel good and add value to your life and make a list of the bad habits, the ones that lead to depressing feelings and anger or despair and eliminate them.  Whenever you feel you are about to move into that bad habit, you will know because you will feel uneasy.  Check yourself in the moment and change.

You have all of the tools you need to be as successful as you want to be.  The inner you has been waiting on you to realize how special you are and that this person is who you always should have been.  Find that person, embrace that person and in time you will be standing where you always wanted to be, feeling proud, accomplished and full of Bliss.

I want to take a moment to personally thank Shay and the Socially Fit team for allowing me to come here and tell my story.  I am not really good at this type of thing so if I rambled too much and jumped from topic to topic; I’m extremely happy that you are still here reading! I really enjoyed this time and it gave me an opportunity to stop and reflect and really appreciate how far I have come. Shay and the team are doing a wonderful thing here at Socially Fit and I am a fully supporting them from this day forward.  I love the stories that I have already read and I look forward to more inspiring stories in the future.  Hopefully I will be able to sway Shay into coming over to my blog for a guest writer piece from time to time as well.

So with that said, there are a number of vehicles where you can get in touch with me and follow my journey. I have just launched a YouTube Channel titled:  A Healthy New Stat which covers the three major pillars that help me get my life back in order. The Mind (meditation, inspiration and exploration of thought), The Body (healthy eating, cooking tips, quick healthy recipes), and The Spirit (all things that brings joy, laughter and smiles).  Please come by, watch some videos, interact and Subscribe if you like what you see.

Or My Blog which I’ll be launching in the next couple weeks – tons of inspiration and motivation along with links to my videos and guest blog writers.

I have a Fitness and Motivational Instagram and Twitter account you can follow me for daily inspiration, motivation and laughs.

Please feel free to come find me at any of these outlets.  I respond to everyone personally and I love making connections.  If I can help you along your journey, I would consider it an honor to be by your side!

Love often; love always and love unconditionally. May you become the healthiest fittest version of yourself that you could ever dream of.

Dee

kristen

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” ~ Aristotle

After 21 years in the Health and Fitness industry, I can finally say that I’ve found my niche. I am a strength and conditioning coach at 2 well known gyms located in downtown Toronto. I also work part-time as a physiotherapy assistant. I like the balance of helping individuals to attain their fitness and aesthetic goals; as well as aiding those who require a more therapeutic form of exercise; whose goals are more predetermined and specific ( ie, get up from a chair without knee pain).

I’ve always been an athlete, kind of the black sheep in my family in respect to that. I saw being active as pure enjoyment; the racing heartbeat, adrenaline and sweat was something I always enjoyed. I’m also very competitive by nature and I excelled in all sports related activities. My favorites are soccer, water polo and volleyball. I enjoyed these mostly because of the energy and synergy of the team environment.

As I got into my late teens, I had a shift in feeling about the team dynamic and felt like I wanted to try a sport where the competition was within one’s self. At 18 I began running long distance and by the time I was in my second year of university I had run 4 marathons. As much as I liked the cathartic feeling of a long distance run and the endorphins that followed, I was not built (bio-mechanically) to be a good runner. I experienced several injuries in my plantar fasciitis; knee and back discomfort, as well as a fateful left hamstring tear which occurred while running a marathon in Massey, Ontario.

After that injury I saw a chiropractor as a form of preventative treatment. My Doctor at that time recommended that I begin weight training to strengthen my hamstrings and offset the imbalance created by my strong quads. At the age of 21, I started on a path to bodybuilding and it has been my passion for almost 20 years. To me there is no better feeling than lifting heavy weights and pushing the body beyond its comfort zone. It’s not a natural state of mind; it can be extraordinarily painful; yet I continue to push forward to attain the desired goal. This thought process or state of being has transferred to other areas of my life. It has made me persevere, maintain focus, calm my mind and feel more confident. When I set my mind to something “I WILL” get it done. In other words I have attained a level of discipline that cannot be taught by book; classroom nor motivational speech.

The hardest obstacle that I’ve had to overcome as a female bodybuilder is twofold; the need to create balance between the gym and my personal life, as well as society’s misconception of women who have attained larger than average muscles. Unfortunately, it’s not as accepted as I’d hoped. Crossfit and various athletic (or fit) celebrities have helped somewhat, yet I can still occasionally feel the look of disapproval from people who don’t know me, yet judge me on what they see. It has nothing to do with masculine or feminine. In my eyes it has always been about building the perfect human form through weight training. I’ve always likened it to adding bits of clay to a sculpture bit by bit, until the results are perfect. I’ve discovered however that once attained there’s always a new goal on the horizon.

In the last 20 years, I have competed and won 5 times. I’ve also competed at Nationals and placed 4th. I’ve gone on to do discuss body building in the media, as well as trained other fitness athletes who themselves have attained great success. I now envision myself a mentor and teacher to other women with the same ideals.

My current workout routine, after trying several variations and muscle groupings, is 6 days a week, 1 body part a day, no more than one hour if possible, followed by 20 minutes HIIT cardio (high intensity interval training) or 1-2 x a week – spin class. My diet consists mainly of fish, sweet potatoes, Ezekiel bread, oatmeal, whey or casein protein, and several servings of fruit and vegetables as well nut butters and coconut oil for fats. My supplements have been basic for a while, as I try not to rely on them for my nutritional needs. I have a greens supplement drink first thing in the morning, followed by a pro-biotic and vitamin C. Post workout I have BCAA (branch chain amino-acid) as well as a shake. At night I take a multivitamin, vitamin D and magnesium.

My current fitness goals are trying to add more muscle to my legs and back; it’s the support system for the body and we can always benefit from getting stronger and more muscular.

One of the things that I try to convey to all of my clients is the fact that being inspired to train is good, but you must get to a point where you don’t need inspiration; only dedication. It all comes down to how badly you want to succeed. If the want is greater than the need, you’ll never be able to truly understand what it takes to get into the best shape of your life.

The sacrifices are many, but the rewards are tenfold physically, mentally and spiritually.

Kristen McCarthy
twitter @thehulklady

Christinia

This is for anyone who doesn’t believe in themselves.

My childhood was complicated, but here’s the nutshell version; my parents were never together; my dad left early; and my biological mother was barley nineteen years old when she had me. I was adopted by my parents at the age of twelve. I recall a lot of runaway homes and finding myself in bad situations. Growing up with emptiness and the only form of love I knew was abandonment.

The only way I was able to express my feelings as a young person was through sports and I was good at everything I played. I did it all from running track, to volleyball, sports became my outlet. I was raised as a small farm girl but I was a wild child at heart. I remember training within the last year and a half thinking, if only I had all this knowledge when I was younger, weight rooms, healthy relationships. What I’ve learned is this, “what if’s” get you no where. I know now you can’t change the past nor change anyone other than yourself, unless they’re ready. I would not have been ready for this chapter of my story had it come any other time in my life. This is something that has taken me a very long time to understand.

At the end of January 2013 I tried to zip a XXL winter jacket up, and it wouldn’t zip. I was not upset of the fact it wouldn’t zip, I was upset at the thought of how expensive a new winter coat would be and said I refuse to spend the money on a new one. I remember getting on the scale at my heaviest, 285lbs, but I never weighed myself after that. I can tell you at one point even size 30 pants were tight!  The same day I tried to zip the coat, Dr. Oz was on and he had Dr. Ian Smith as a guest talking about his book “Shred”. I told my ex, at the time we already were sleeping separate and just roommates going through life for the sake of what I call trying to survive, “I’m going to do this, and go to the gym after work from now on”. He really wanted nothing to do with what I was doing.

In the 6 weeks I went through the book, I lost my first 22lbs! I’ll never forget, I could barely walk on the treadmill then one month later it was jogging. I started adding spin classes soon I was running and spinning every day. It was all I knew how to do. I learned slowly that eating is a significant part of the process. I never understood that until I read “Shred”.  I started coming home from the gym at 1 in the morning, and found that I was too jacked to sleep. I became obsessed with Instagram, discovered ways to eat better, and thought maybe; just maybe I could actually lift those things called weights!

I started interacting with people on Twitter. I met and saw some amazing women and men who were fit and strong.  I have never had any real support in my life and felt misplaced in the world so for me to hear strangers supporting me via social media was hard to accept. I just didn’t get it.

Just seven months into this process I had lost about 120lbs, left my ex-husband and took the kids to start a new and scary journey. There are two sides to every story, I left my husband because I was dying inside. I was always the girl with the laugh you could hear from outside, the smile that could light up the darkest room. My friend tried to help me leave many times.  It is much easier said than done and I get this. For years when my ex would drink, he became a different belligerent man.  As I became stronger and started believing in myself, I started feeling alive again. I could not stand living one more day the way we were living. With no idea, no money, no help only the faith I had in God to guide me, we started over.

I prep my food every week. Normally it’s a whole organic chicken with a head of garlic, brown rice and a veggie (my favorite is acorn squash). When I need a change it’s either shrimp, turkey or bison. I have crazy goals I never thought possible for myself but it’s what drives me to be better than I was the day before. I’d love to compete in a bikini and I have plans to step on stage this August here at home. If I am not ready, there’s always next time.

Shortly after my first year transformation, I was introduced to my coach, my rock, my angel as I call him Rob Renowned. He inspires me with his old school methods and has transformed my body completely with each week that goes by. #CoachRob to you I am grateful!

I have three amazing and beautiful children. They are my best cheerleaders, my heart and soul. My son who is the youngest will never remember mommy fat, and I am grateful. The two youngest are my healthy eaters. My eldest has a hard time with the change but that is my fault. I was told once I was being selfish for leaving my ex-husband and losing all of my weight.  I don’t believe that there is any truth to this. So don’t believe the outside world. (These people are just as unhappy in their life as I was in mine.)  What’s truly amazing is the fact that their father and I are friends and we communicate pretty well.

To date I have lost 145lbs. I am losing about 2lbs a week and of course I am only getting leaner to compete. My coach has me on a workout routine, and I have worked my way up to 400-500 squats 3 days a week, and I love it! I am grateful for the manager Andy at my gym in New Berlin, the Princeton Club and almost every teacher (especially Zachary) I have taken a class with. These individuals have helped me every single day. I’ll never forget the day I was in Zachary’s spin class and I actually started to cry. The person that I have become through this entire journey is simply, crazy, amazing and beautiful.  Sometimes I don’t believe this is my life. I still don’t have much as far as material things, but let me just say this; a roof over my head, food on the table, my health and my babies are all that I need!

Today, if you listen close, you can hear me laughing and if we were to meet (I promise) if your room is dark, I will light it up with my smile and my energy!

Believe in yourself and great things will happen for you.

Love and blessings,

Christinia

Follow me on Twitter @determinedfiti
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Email me at determinedfiti@gmail.com

Micelle

Hello, my name is Michelle and I am excited to share my fitness journey as so much has changed since sharing my first story with Socially Fit. I’m from the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago found in the far south of the Caribbean. I began exercising at age 11 and never stopped unless told to do so. I was forced to stop working out in 2003 when I had a surgery. The other time was more recent, in 2013 after the birth of my miracle baby. Yes I said miracle baby since I was told that I was not capable of having children due to my diagnosis of endometriosis in 2003. I’m a figure athlete and have represented my country in various international body fitness competitions. My last competition being the Arnold Classic held in Ohio in 2013 where I placed 5th in my class.

During my pregnancy I was able to exercise with some modifications as I went through each trimester. However I had an emergency C-section which slowed my return to exercising post pregnancy. It was recommended that I should not to work out for the first 6 weeks post pregnancy and that was the crucial time when my weight should be reduced. Instead I have only lost a minimal amount of weight and after two months began a training regimen.

With the new addition to my family life, exercising has to be strategic. Timing is key. We purchased a treadmill for our home so I can get more structured cardio done when the baby is asleep. Weight training normally lasts between 30 to 40 minutes and is done prior to or after training clients as I am currently a freelance Personal Trainer in north Indianapolis area.

I have set both short term and long term goals and they motivate me to everyday to wake up and accomplish the objective set out for the day, week or month ahead. For example I set out to complete a 30 minute cardio session at least 3 days a week as well as 4 to 5 days of weight training to build muscle. My nutrition has also become even more crucial thus food prep every Sunday has become the norm to allow me to ensure the proper meals are consumed daily.

Some of my fitness goals include me being my original weight before I became pregnant on or before my birthday which is in July. I would also like to challenge myself by preparing to compete in October 2014 either representing my country Trinidad and Tobago or taking part in an NPC Show.

My hubby and parents have always been and still are the best support system ever. Hearing my mom say, “I’m eating better and exercising to be healthier” is support and a great motivational tool for me.

My favorite body part to work out is back.  I have always loved the quick response my back muscles adapt to my exercise routines over the years and this time is no different.

Always motivate yourself from within. Make mental notes and write down your goals. Mark Twain said it best, “the secret of getting ahead is getting started.” My last competition pic has been a continued motivational piece for me. I would love to earn my professional status one day. “One day at a time I am getting close to my goal” has been my mantra. It’s what I tell myself with each workout and each meal I consume each day.

Follow me on Twitter @triniintownmich
Blogspot M.O.R.E. Wellness by Michelle
Email michelle@fcindy.com
Or Facebook Michelle Blessed

Ant

I’m very focused on building muscle while creating as little stress on my joints as possible. Always strict, controlled form. No bouncing. No swinging. Often (but not always): Slow reps (4sec down + 6 sec up) to shock the muscle and build up lactic acid releasing growth hormone. Drop sets, rest/pause and partial reps. Occasionally I will lift heavy weights, 3 sets of 5 reps or so.

In the mid-80s, I was a 115-pound teenager and I saw a picture of Robby Robinson posing. I remember thinking “Good grief is that his bicep?” He was fantastic and I was inspired. Seeing Robby Robinson, Frank Zane, Tom Platz and others, they blew me away.

I don’t have as many pains or some of the health problems that others my age have. I like to attribute this to staying healthy. Mentally, I love preparing for a workout, testing techniques and seeing how my body responds. It keeps me sharp. I love getting questions from others because then I usually have to do research before answering. I end up learning a lot that way.

Looking at how others progress and transform themselves, I also want to be inspirational to others my age or even younger. If I’m doing it, they can too! I love encouraging others and watching them take the bull by the horns.

My wife is fantastic! She’s my biggest supporter. She helps me eat healthy by eating healthy herself. She knows I’m not a fan of vegetables and she creatively adds them to the things she cooks. She is always encouraging me and telling me that I make her proud. She’s a wonderful woman and a blessing to my life!

I also get much enjoyment out of the younger crowd. We’re fortunate enough to have a great group of young people at our gym and they’re always encouraging and inspiring! I like having a good time at the gym and we all get along great.

Putting on weight has been one of my biggest obstacles. I was proud that I put on 18lbs. last year before cutting. That was the most I’ve ever weighed (178). I was also fortunate enough to have been interviewed by Bodybuilding.com. I was one of their Over 40 Amateurs of the week.

My routines change all the time. I’m cutting at the moment, the techniques are the same basically, I might add a few additional exercises if I think a specific body part needs more attention. I’m doing a lot of isolation type exercises right now to bring out the small details as I cut. I am very big on the MIND/MUSCLE connection (Kai Greene talks about this a lot). It really works!

I have a few goals I wish to achieve and there are many ways that I can go. Maybe personal training. Maybe a contest. But definitely to look at myself in the mirror and see improvement. My daily food plan consists of various combinations of the following: egg whites, 1 egg, oatmeal, tilapia, chicken breast, brown rice, tuna, broccoli, spinach, orange, apple and cottage cheese (casein protein). I also mix in supplements such as: Whey, BCAA’s, Creatine HCL, Yohimbe, Green Tea Extract, Fish Oil and Beta-Alanine.

I’m a HUGE fan of positive reinforcement. It’s just a great tool! EVERYONE has something they can be proud of and you should find people that will recognize those things in you. Social media is a great avenue for that. Find positive people who are not just blowing smoke or trying to sell something and they WILL help you. Remember, if you don’t fail occasionally, you’re not pushing hard enough. Don’t be afraid to fail! Just get started, one step at a time. Set small goals leading to ONE big goal.

Be proud, but don’t be satisfied. Take time to be pleased with the results of your hard work, but don’t be finished. Always look for something to improve. If you’re serious about progressing, you won’t have to look hard to find them.

Twitter: @TheOnlyAnt