Three Best Apps for Tracking Food & Nutrition

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 Three Best Apps for Tracking Food & Nutrition

 

More than a few studies have shown that people who actually keep track of what they eat on paper, in an app, or in some other record, have better success at losing weight, managing their diet, controlling their portions, and sticking to healthy habits.  One study concluded that people who kept a journal were more likely to keep the weight they lost off, and another review of studies concluded that people who kept a record of their meals and kept up with diet and exercise lost nearly twice as much as people who didn’t keep a log (but did diet and exercise.)

Keeping track of what you eat helps you eat right and make healthier food decisions, that much is given. However, when you make the commitment to tracking your diet, you need a tool that will help you, not get in the way. The best tools make it easy to add what you eat, can fill in the blanks with calorie and nutrition info, and can even help you work towards your goals.

MyFitnessPal

Five Best Food and Nutrition Tracking Tools

MyFitnessPal has one of the largest food databases available in a diet tracker, and sports a robust webapp in addition to iOS and Android apps to help you stay on top of your diet on the go. Whether you’re making something at home or eating out, MyFitnessPal can help you log it, and supports a number of popular (and many not-so-popular and small) restaurant menus. As you log your food, you get a complete picture of your diet, not just your overall calorie intake—that includes your sodium intake, your vitamin intake, cholesterol intake, and other nutritional information that can give you a better idea of what you’re eating beyond a simple daily calorie limit.

Beyond its calorie counter and nutrition tracker, MyFitnessPal has a massive and active community of users, all eager to welcome newcomers and happy to trade recipes, tricks, meal plans, and stories about their successes and failures. The service is completely free, syncs with external activity trackers and smart scales like the Withings Smart Scale and Fitbit, and other apps you may already be using, like Endomondo, Runkeeper, and more. Instead of pushing a specific diet or health agenda on its users, it stands as primarily a nutrition tracking database and vibrant social community that just wants to help you get a handle on the foods you eat.

LoseIt

Five Best Food and Nutrition Tracking Tools

LoseIt is a combination food and activity tracker, and while its social features are bit sidelined, it’s an extremely popular option for people looking to really get their arms around their portion size, daily caloric goals and intake, and start keeping an eye on the foods they eat. In addition to a webapp (which I’ve found a bit slow at times), LoseIt has great iOS and Android apps with barcode scanners that can quickly scan and add servings of packaged food you eat, or ingredients to the dishes you make. More than once I’ve managed to find something hidden in the depths of LoseIt’s database by scanning its barcode when a keyword search turned up nothing. You can also add custom recipes and personal foods so you don’t have to keep entering dishes you made by their component ingredients.P

LoseIt also syncs with a number of activity trackers and smart scales, including the Fitbit, Jawbone Up, Withings Smart Scale, Nike Fuelband, and more. It can also connect with external apps and services like Runkeeper and MapMyFitness to pull in your activity data. The LoseIt community is active and robust, and the “challenges” tab will help you stay on your toes and take your fitness and diet goals to the next level. Track your exercise and weight loss goals in the webapp or mobile apps, and more. LoseIt’s basic features are all free, but LoseIt recently unveiled LoseIt Premium for $40/yr that extends the service’s nutrition and activity tracking features, includes some apps and services that free users don’t get, and offers more reporting tools so you can see where you are and how far you’ve come.

CRON-O-Meter

Five Best Food and Nutrition Tracking Tools

CRON-O-Meter is a bit simpler than some of the other tools that want to position themselves as integral parts of your overall lifestyle. If all you want is a simple tool to help you track your diet, CRON-O-Meter can help. The service is completely free and has mobile apps for iOS and Android. Like many other services, it also breaks down the things you eat into their nutritional components so you get a complete picture of your diet. You can track your daily calorie intake versus your personal goals and add custom recipes and personal foods. The service can also track your activity and exercise, and offers custom charts to show you your progress over time in an easy-to-understand format.

CRON-O-Meter keeps things simple, and for some people that’s a good thing. For others though, you may find it lacking features you like from other services, like a communtiy of users or a social aspect, or the option to sync and connect to external devices, fitness trackers, and scales. Regardless, there are forums and an active Facebook page. Best of all, it’s so easy to use that anyone can use it, whether you’re starting out and want something simple without a ton of bells and whistles, or you’ve grown tired of other services that have them.

Honorable Mention - FatSecret

Five Best Food and Nutrition Tracking Tools

FatSecret is another completely independent diet and nutrition tracking service. It’s proud of its independence (which is a good thing), and doesn’t push fad diets or customized diet plans in your face in order to make money. FatSecret is completely free, and once you’re signed up you can begin tracking your meals and exercise. The service keeps its interface beautifully simple, and leaves its food database open so anyone can try it out before they sign up to see if it works for them. You can add custom foods and recipes, add foods from your favorite chains and restaurants, and set daily calorie and nutrition goals to see how your diet stacks up against them. In addition to keeping a food journal, FatSecret also lets you keep a personal journal, so you can match up what you eat with how you feel—an important thing that many diet trackers overlook.

FatSecret has a great community of users, too. Everyone’s genuinely supportive, and quick to share their own experiences, tips, and recommendations. There are regular community challenges to keep everyone motivated, and the service has built-in tools to share recipes so you don’t have to copy/paste them. You also get tools to track your habits and performance over time so you can see how well you’re progressing towards your personal goals.

Crispy Kale Chips

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Crispy Kale Chips

These “chips” are so easy to make, requiring only three ingredients. Plus they’re flavorsome and healthy! Prepare them for a snack, serve as a side dish, use on sandwiches or toss on top of a salad. Get creative and add other spices that suit your taste.

Total Time: 45 min

Prep: 25 min

Cook: 20 min

Yields: 4 servings

Nutritional Analysis

Each serving provides:

Calories 93

Total Fat 7 g

Saturated Fat 1 g

Protein 2 g

Total Carbohydrate 7 g

Sugar 0 g

Fiber 1 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Sodium 312 mg

Ingredients:

1 head kale, washed & thoroughly dried

2 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp (turning the leaves halfway through) about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.

 

May Fitness Member of the Month

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Congratulations to our
May Members of the Month
Erica, Karen and Bob Overholt!

 

 

We are so pleased to award this hard working family with our Member of the Month distinction.  Proof that working out together can be fun, encouraging, and make it easier to get great results for everyone.  Erica, Karen and Bob make a great team.  They encourage and push each other through their workouts here at the fitness studio and at home through daily focus on healthy habits.  Everyone wins when the whole family’s goal is health and fitness!

Karen and Bob together attend early morning personal training sessions with Lori.  Erica also attends small group training classes.  Together, Erica and Karen attend a variety of cardio classes including spinning.  Erica is also a regular in Barre classes.

It’s always a pleasure to see any or all of them walking in the door.  They each bring all their energy and take their workouts seriously, always giving it everything they have.  We love having them here at the gym and encourage you to talk with your family members about joining and working out with you!

 The Overholts are proud to be My Stronger Self’s Family Members of the Month!

Karen was the first to join MSS 2.5 years ago, when due to a thyroid struggle, she kept gaining weight and couldn’t lose it.  Lori was her last hope.  During her first one-on-one strength class with Lori, she couldn’t finish the workout but Lori encouraged her to come back.  She did, and that has changed her life!

 Impressed with his wife’s determination and rave reviews, Bob joined MSS a year after Karen. He attended the Bootcamps and joined Karen in her Strength classes with Lori.  He regularly went to a “typical gym” that used machines and was surprised to see how different and effective MSS was without using machinery.  His strength and health have improved and he’s lost a great deal of weight.

 Karen and Bob love that every workout is different.  They never do the same thing twice.  Everyone at MSS is positive and encouraging.  All of the trainers want the best for their members and push them to work harder. 

Erica, their daughter, joined 1 year ago after moving back home.  The idea of “working out” never really appealed to her.  However, she was so inspired by the change in her parents’ energy level and their motivation to workout, that she had to see for herself what the buzz was about.   She is so glad she did!  Erica is now stronger than she ever thought she could be.  She looks forward to her daily gym time! Because of MSS, she now has the foundation for a strong and healthy life. 

The Overholt’s can’t say enough positive things about My Stronger Self. It’s been a wonderful family experience as well as a personal one!

Business of the Month – P.R.O. Decorating

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Business of the Month – P.R.O. Decorating

 

P.R.O. Painting is owned an operated by our member Bob Overholt.  (See May’s Member of the Month post!) They have done a variety of quality work for us here at My Stronger Self; both at our previous location and at this site.  As well as providing high quality standard wall painting work throughout the gym, check out the awesome, creative paint job they did for us in the spin studio!

Give Bob a call for your next paint project.

PRO Decorating Inc.
Bob Overholt, Owner
248-670-6318
poverholt@hotmail.com

Kick Boxing Queen and Member of the Month – Tina Kluck

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Kick Boxing Queen and Member of the Month – Tina Kluck

 

We love having Tina at My Stronger Self.  She is a great addition to our membership.  Tina is such a positive bundle of energy.  She brings her boundless enthusiasm with her to My Stronger Self being active in class, not only physically, but mentally as well.  Her zest for life shows as she urges others to work hard, always giving positive feedback to members and instructors.  Tina seems to love it best when the instructors push her hard.  Please join us in congratulating Tina on being our April Member of the Month.  Keep up the great work Tina!

Hi, my name is Tina Kluck and so far I’ve had a great journey at My Stronger Self!  First, let me start from the beginning… I started off with getting married to my wonderful husband in 2010!  Just a short year later we were pregnant and about to start our family.  Early on in my pregnancy, we found out that I have a “heart-shaped” uterus and so I needed to limit my exercise routine.  Unfortunately, an emergency C-Section at 28 weeks along was needed!  After having a beautiful baby girl who weighed 2lb 4oz., we were finally able to bring her home safe and sound after 42 days in the hospital!  I was finally able to begin my career as a Stay-at-Home Mommy!  It took awhile, but we began the process of getting our life back in order a bit, as the “scary” seemed to be subsiding!  In between numerous “preemie” doctor appointments and other crazy busy days, I tried to eat healthy and get in a quick workout when I could.  But like all Mommy’s, life happened and so I put myself last for awhile!

My little bean has now become a very healthy preschooler and I have some free time on my hands to start working on “ME” again!  My cousin, Laura Boyer told me about MSS…how it was a fun and enjoyable place to workout with lots of nice people to workout with!  I thought I’d give it a try.  I started by going to a few Zumba classes every now and then, when my schedule would allow.  I really enjoyed meeting new people and hearing about their own journey with MSS.   I’ve always had a special place in my heart for a fun zumba party and so I gradually began making my “me time” a priority!  One day I decided to muster up enough courage and took Lori’s kickboxing class…I fell in love with punching the bag while pretending to feel like a “ruff, buff, tough and stuff,” empowered woman when doing it!  After finishing Lori’s class, I felt like Wonder Woman and no man better think twice before messing with me!

And now, at this very moment, I’ve kinda made a weekly routine of my “me time” and am trying to take about five classes a week!  I’m absolutely in love with all the MSS instructors, as they have inspired me and have kept me motivated to challenge myself to my fullest potential!  I’ve been very blessed to have had family and friends who’ve helped to support me during this time as I try to figure out how to balance a preschooler and other daily activities of a Stay-A-Home Mommy, while keeping a good workout regime.

In addition to the MSS facility, I have very much enjoyed the MSS social media facebook page!  I often find myself looking forward to reading the healthy tips and pick-me-up quotes!  Reading the uplifting posts and comical pictures has kept me super pumped to come back for another hardcore and sweaty 60 minute workout!  I have taken MSS as a helpful resource in making a lifestyle change and am slowly but surely getting back into the body I feel most comfortable in!

Thanks Again MSS! You’ve got a great facility!  I can’t see myself NOT coming here to get my workout on!

6 Power Foods: Don’t Eat Less, Eat Right!

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6 Power Foods: Don’t Eat Less, Eat Right!

 

Processed foods filled with chemicals and calories are not going to help you reach your weight-loss and fitness goals. Are drive-thrus, frozen dinners, and other processed foods part of your life?  Meals of that sort are quick and easy, but offer our bodies very little nutritional value.  We need to begin to think of food as fuel for the machine that is  our highly complex body.

These 6 power nutrients are an important part of making sure your body has what it needs to build muscle, lose fat and leave you feeling energetic and healthy.  Include them in your daily diet.  Not only are they healthy and nutritious, but they will also stimulate your metabolism by triggering your fat-loss hormones.

Red Beans

A key starch in beans— known as resistant starch, repairs the lining of your intestine to help you fight inflammation, cancer, and harmful bacteria. The hefty fiber content of beans also helps you feel full, store less fat, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, and improves insulin sensitivity.

The B vitamins and zinc in beans boost testosterone.  Even women need testosterone.  It helps to increase energy and build more calorie-burning muscle.

Garlic

Garlic and other foods in the allium family (onions, leeks, chives, shallots, and scallions) work to stimulate the production of glutathione, an antioxidant that is especially important in the liver, where it helps remove hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Alliums also lower total cholesterol while raising the level of HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind). Preliminary research suggests that garlic may boost testosterone, giving you more energy, while onions have anthocyanins, effective free-radical destroyers that might also help combat obesity and diabetes. Crushing, chopping, or chewing garlic helps release enzymes that trigger many of its beneficial actions.

Here are some easy ways to fit garlic into your diet:

  • Pair garlic with olive oil to release even more disease-fighting compounds.
  • Let chopped garlic stand for ten minutes before cooking; this will allow the enzymes to be activated.
  • Add garlic to homemade salad dressings, marinades, soups and sautéed vegetables for a flavor kick.

Berries: Raspberries and Strawberries

These juicy red berries contain anthocyanins, which some studies have found stop individual fat cells from getting larger, while also encouraging them to release adiponectin, a hormone that helps reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar, and reverse leptin and insulin resistance. Certain polyphenols found in raspberries and strawberries block the digestive enzyme activity of specific starches and fats, reducing your body’s absorption of them.

All these great metabolism-boosting qualities make these berries serious power foods. Add strawberries to a yogurt or cup of cottage cheese for breakfast, cut some up for a dessert, or mix them into a smoothie.

Broccoli

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage pack serious nutritional power in just a few calories per bite. They have high water and fiber content; this combination helps you feel full AND increases your body’s ability to burn fat by as much as 30 percent. Plus, studies have consistently shown that people who eat the most fiber gain the LEAST amount of weight and these veggies are a great fiber source.

Whole Grains

Whole grains like oats and barley have great nutritional value and can even help control your appetite. The short-chain fatty acids from whole grains help us eat less because they stimulate fat cells in our stomachs to release leptin, the satiety (or “I’m full”) hormone . The high levels of fiber in whole grains also help us feel full by slowing blood-sugar spikes and steadying insulin levels. The trick is to eat grains that are truly whole — no refined carbs like white bread.

Other tips about whole grains:

  • If you’re buying a processed whole-grain product, look at the list of ingredients — whole grain should be the first one listed.
  • Sprouted breads, such as Ezekiel, are dense and packed with nutrients.
  • Oatmeal is a perfect breakfast because it keeps your blood sugar stable longer than many other foods.

 Green Tea

It’s time to put the coffee pot down. When caffeine is abused, it damages your metabolism and hormone balance.  On the other hand, caffeine, when used correctly, can be an excellent energy and metabolism boost.  When you overdose on it, it taxes your adrenal glands, stressing you out, leaving you tired and run down.  The key with caffeine is to not consume more than 400 mg in a day. That’s the equivalent to two strong cups of coffee.   Green tea is the healthier choice.  You will still get a caffeine boost, but green tea has been shown to promote fat oxidation at rest and is believed to prevent obesity and improve insulin sensitivity.  Limit yourself to one or two caffeinated beverages a day, and drink one extra glass of water for each caffeinated beverage you consume.

Skinny Overnight Oats in a Jar

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Skinny Overnight Oats in a Jar

A hearty healthy breakfast packed with fiber, vitamins, and nutrients.  Simply combine ingredients before you go to bed and in the morning you have a fabulous, good for you breakfast ready!  It’s highly customizable to the fruits you have on hand or your favorites.  Don’t like nuts?  Add protein powder instead.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or skim, soy)
  • 1/4 medium banana, sliced (freeze the rest for smoothies!)
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 4-5 drops NuNaturals liquid vanilla stevia (or your favorite sweetener)
  • pinch cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1 tbsp chopped pecans (or any nut)
    Directions:Place all the ingredient in a jar, shake, cover and refrigerate overnight. Add your favorite crunchy toppings such as nuts, granola, etc and enjoy the next day!

Servings: 1 • Serving Size: 1 jar • WW Points+: 6 pts

Calories: 243 • Fat: 10.6 g • Carbs: 35.4 g • Fiber: 8.5 g • Protein: 6 g • Sugar: 12 g
Sodium: 94.7 mg

Recipe courtesy Skinnytaste.com

Business of the Month: Shi Lessner Photography

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Business of the Month: Shi Lessner Photography

 

We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful people at My Stronger Self Fitness and we find that so many of them have their own businesses. We feel it’s important to our community that we buy local and support the independently owned businesses that are so vital to our area. In an effort to share our members businesses with all of you, each month we will be featuring one of their businesses to help show our support and spread the word. After all, we wouldn’t be where we are without all of you spreading the word about My Stronger Self Fitness

Please check out Shi Lessner’s beautiful pictures and subjects (sorry Olivia … proud Mom!) and visit her website.  There you will find many examples of her stunning work.  Shi has generously agreed to help sponsor our upcoming Fit 4 Life Challenge!  More details of her fabulous prize donation coming soon!

Olivia Bender – Howell High School Class of 2014

Kick Emotional Cravings to the Curb

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Kick Emotional Cravings to the Curb

 

Are you an emotional eater? It may be helpful to learn you are not alone in the battle to kick emotional eating to the curb!!!

Q: I’m an emotional eater. I know I crave food when I’m feeling insecure or down, but I don’t know how to say no to the cravings when I’m feeling that low. Do you have any strategies for beating emotional cravings?

 A: I get this question ALL the time. Okay, it doesn’t take a genius to know you need to eat less and move more to lose weight, so why do so many of us continue to struggle with our weight year after year? It has everything to do with how we feel when we eat, and why we choose to eat what and when we do. It’s important that we understand how our emotions and behaviors affect our weight and eating habits so we can then learn how to motivate ourselves toward positive change.

There are many techniques for combating emotional eating. Let’s go over a few of your options for beating an emotional craving when it strikes:

  • Remove the temptation. You can’t emotionally binge on food that isn’t there. Clear your cupboards of all the things you reach for when you’re feeling down. Have your hubby hide the kids’ Oreos so you don’t know where to find them. Throw out the leftover birthday cake in the fridge. Skip the chip aisle the next time you go grocery shopping. If it’s not available, you can’t eat it — simple as that.
  • Build a support system. Positive support from friends or family is crucial. The next time you find yourself mindlessly staring into the fridge, call a friend or a workout buddy and have him or her talk you off that ledge. Join a weight-loss group  — ANYTHING to keep you from slipping back into old, bad habits.
  • Spend your time wisely. Find a way to relieve stress and boost your mood that is positive and life-affirming rather than self-destructive. Take a bubble bath. Create a new workout playlist for your MP3 player. Plan a summer vacation (maybe at the beach, so you’ll have a little motivation to slim down for your two-piece!). Go for a bike ride, walk the dog, pop in a workout video, get a manicure, or splurge on a massage — anything that makes you feel beautiful and healthy. You’ll be far less likely to turn to food when you’re feeling good.
  • Write it down. Start a journal — and not just to write down what you eat. Take an inventory of what you’re feeling, and write it down. It’ll help you see what’s really bothering you, which allows you to work on a solution instead of trying to find a distraction. If work has you stressed, buckle down for an all-nighter to get that project off your desk. If it was a fight with a friend, take a few deep breaths and try communicating with her, or simply give each other time to cool down and have faith in the fact that this, too, shall pass.

Things sometimes suck. That’s an unfortunate fact of life. We’re sometimes thrown a sudden curveball, and when that happens it’s important to attend to yourself in positive ways. Bingeing on food, smoking, drinking, or any other indulgent habit may be a temporary relief, but you will only feel worse in the long run. Focus on really changing those habits and you’ll break the cycle.

 

Courtesy of Jillian Michaels

Kathie Rollinger – Fitness Member of the Month

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Kathie Rollinger – Fitness Member of the Month

 

Last year our Fit 4 Life Challenge brought Kathie to My Stronger Self and boy are we glad it did!  She is one of our quieter members, but also one of our most determined.  She rocked the  6 week challenge and although she was pretty small when she walked through the door, she got down to business and placed 3rd in our challenge!

Kathie is no stranger to challenge, she has made great positive strides in her health and fitness all while continuing to work in a bakery!

Congratulations Kathie.  Keep up the good work!

Hi, my name is Kathie Rollinger.  I have struggled with my weight since grade school.  My weight was higher than it should have been more than it wasn’t.  I have joined gyms since I was 18 and never went more than two months straight at a time.  I’ve bought weight equipment, tapes, DVD’s, you name it, waiting for the magic to happen.  I was always convinced that each time whatever equipment I bought or gym I joined, this time it was going to work.  I didn’t mention though that I never liked to work out.  I could do diets though, this didn’t bother me. I’ve done many of those until I lost the weight I wanted, kept it off for a while, and would gain it right back because I didn’t change the way I ate.  I liked junk food, sweets, fast food and carbohydrates.  All the wrong stuff!

 

I walked into My Stronger Self in the fall of 2012.  I tried a couple Zumba classes but couldn’t commit to joining at the time.  So, I put my name on the mailing list hoping that I would be able to participate in a couple weekend classes every now and then.  When I received an email about the weight challenge last spring, I got excited and knew I had to enter.  Circumstances had changed and I now had two free nights during the week and, I love a weight challenge!  I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.  Like I said, I can do diets, but work out, and how many times a week? You want me to do a what?  A burpee, what is that? I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it through this weight challenge.  I decided to try a few classes to help out my team a little more.

I wasn’t a member so I hadn’t a clue.  I’d never been to a gym without any machines, or that had a trainer leading and monitoring the class.  It was hard and exhausting but, I was enjoying it.  Me, who couldn’t stand to sweat!  Between working out at home and working out with my fellow teammates on the Yellow Team, I was having fun and meeting some nice people. I finally found a program I could commit myself to!  It’s almost been a year since I joined, I don’t regret one minute.  The instructors are great, they push you to keep going because they know you can – even when you think you can’t.  They’re very knowledgeable and teach you more about what you’re doing instead of just going through the motions.

With two weeks left to go on the weight challenge, I decided to join My Stronger Self and made an appointment with Lori.  I took as many classes as my schedule would allow, which was at least four cardio classes a week plus the weight training.  I couldn’t get enough.  This is the most fit I have ever been, and I haven’t even reached my final goal!  I hope to do that with the upcoming weight challenge.  I still love a challenge, it’s what motivates me the most.  Thank you My Stronger Self for giving me a great place to work out, you guys are the best!

Women and Exercise

Excersise 5 Comments »

Get fit in just ten minutes a day! Just take this pill and you will be thin in 4 weeks! Drink this and the pounds will melt off! Quit eating carbs! And so on and so on.

Stop!!!!!!! Today America is obsessed with getting thin but yet we are getting fatter!

Everyday you wake up look in the mirror and wonder how fat keeps growing in places it has never been before. If this is how you feel don’t despair.

What is happening to our bodies?

Beginning in our mid 20s women lose around 7 pounds of muscle and gain 15 pounds or fat every decade. (Men lose about 5 pounds of muscle a decade) So by mid-40s you have lost almost 15 pounds of metabolically active muscle and replaced it with 30 pounds of sluggish fat. (If you are not exercising) While the scale says you are only 15 pounds overweight your metabolism has been dramatically slowed down and your body composition has changed. (Unfavorable) This is the bad news. Good news is you can reverse the aging process with exercise.

Ladies I have a little more bad news. But don’t worry this can also be fixed.

Here is the bad news. After menopause the rate of muscle loss doubles so now you are losing 14 pounds of muscle a decade. By the time a woman reaches her 60s she can have as little as 20 – 30 pounds of muscle left her body. This makes a woman more prone to falls and breaking bones.

Muscle is what drives your metabolism. For every pound of muscle on your body you need 35-50 calories per day to sustain it. For every pound of fat you need only 2 calories per day. Hint: start strength training today!

Women are both blessed and cursed with the ability to store excess body fat. Fat serves and important of providing energy. Women store more fat than men because we are made to nourish and have babies.

Unfortunately we do not have control over where our fat cells decide swell of shrink but we can help our cells release fat by exercising.

In order for fat to be metabolized it must be released from the cell and be transported by the bloodstream where it is transported to the liver and other tissue for fuel. If you have more fat than muscle in your body you usually have poor circulation and it is harder for blood to flow through fat than muscle.

The less circulation- stimulating exercise we do the more our bodies are inclined to accumulate fat (it is also blamed on our diet.)

Ladies what this is saying in a nut shell is we need to move more, eat well and take care of the only body we have.

Decide that 2010 will be your year to become healthier, sexier, and happier!!!!!!!!

Tips To Help You Lose Weight

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Increase Fiber: This will help decrease hunger sensations and allow you to feel full longer. Studies show that fiber helps food to be efficiently digested and processed. Recent studies have also shown that increasing fiber in your diet may decrease your risk of colon cancer.

Stay Hydrated: Water is essential to every bodily function. The more water you drink the better the body functions and the more effectively it burns calories. Thirst can also be mistaken for hunger. If you’ve recently eaten and started to feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water instead of eating a snack.

Strength Train:
Muscles use more energy than other kinds of tissues. By building muscles through strength training, you will increase your body’s overall metabolism and its ability to burn calories. It is especially important to strength train when you’re dieting in order to maintain muscle mass.

Don’t Skip Meals: Skipping meals or eating too little at a meal can be as harmful to your weight-loss as overeating. If you skip meals or eat too little, your metabolism will slow, making it harder to lose weight.

Eat Metabolism-Boosting Foods: Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods will help keep insulin levels steady so that you will be able to metabolize food more efficiently. Foods like these also boost the efficiently of you digestive tract.

Making Time for Exercise!

Excersise, Livingston, Personal trainer, Weight Loss 13 Comments »

Making Time for Exercise

My Stronger Self

 
It is tough in our world today to find time to fit in everything that needs to be done. We have jobs, homes, children and many people depending on us.  We don’t stop to consider that when we take time for ourselves both mentally and physically we are better bosses or employees.  We have more energy to take care of our homes and we are much better parents with more energy, patience, and just plain in a better mood.  Studies have shown that exercise helps with depression, anxiety, energy and all over physical and mental health.

Here are some ideas for how you can carve out that time for exercise.

1. Wake up 30 minutes early before anyone else gets up and go through a stretch or yoga routine.
2. Bring your exercise clothes in the car with you at all times. Be ready when the opportunity rises. (If you have to go home after work to get clothes for workout you probably won’t go back to the gym.)
3. Walk at lunch (bring small hand weights to walk with). Instead of going out to lunch save time, money, and calories by packing a lunch and go for a walk. Brighton has many spots for walking. 
4. Make an exercise calendar for the month and follow that schedule.
5. Stop at the gym on the way home. Don’t go home first stop at the gym and get your workout in before you go home. After your workout is done then you can go home and relax.
6. Plan workouts with a friend. It is much easier and more successful if you have a workout partner. You can motivate each other, keep each other accountable and its much more fun.
7. Join an exercise group or boot camp. Working with a personal trainer in a group is very motivating. A personal trainer is going to safely push you to put every thing you can into your workouts. This will help you to see results in a shorter amount of time. In a group you feel a common bond because you are all working toward the same goal of better health and fitness. (And let’s face it some of us want to look good in a bathing suit!)
8. Talk with other family members. Let them know your plan and ask them for their support. This makes them feel a part of something that helps you and that in turn makes them feel good.
9 Get an exercise group together in your workplace or neighborhood. Schedule walks or workouts together. (Bring a personal trainer in or join a boot camp that is held before or after work.)
10. Walk the dog. Instead of watching television after dinner gather the family and the dog and go for a walk. The family gets to spend quality time together and the dog gets exercise. We’re lucky Livingston County provides us with great parks and places to walk and exercise.

Walk the Dog

Find your reason to be fit and healthy. It could be the very same people that are depending on you for everything else. Planning is the key. Prioritize what really is important in your life and you will find the time

18 Benefits to Weight Training

Brighton, Excersise, fitness trainer, Personal trainer 20 Comments »
 

TOP 18 BENEFITS TO WEIGHT TRAINING    

  1. Weight training tones your muscles which looks great and raises your
    basal metabolism… which causes you to burn calories 24 hours-a-day.
  2. Subscribe to MyStrongerSelf.com Blog Here!

  3. Weight training can “reverse” the natural decline in your metabolism which begins around age 30.
  4. Weight training energizes you.
  5. Weight training has a positive effect on almost all of you 650+ muscles.
  6. Weight training strengthens your bones reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis.
  7. Weight training improves your muscular endurance.
  8. Weight training will NOT develop big muscles on women… just toned muscles.
  9. Weight training makes you strong. Strength gives you confidence and makes daily activities easier.
  10. Weight training makes you less prone to low-back injuries.
  11. Weight training decreases your resting blood pressure.
  12. Weight training decreases your gastrointestinal transit time, reducing your risk for developing colon cancer.
  13. Weight training increases your blood level of HDL, cholesterol (the good type)
  14. Weight training decreases your risk of developing adult onset diabetes.
  15. Weight training improves your posture.
  16.  Weight training improves the function of your immune system.
  17. Weight training lowers your resting heart rate, a sign of a more efficient heart.
  18. Weight training improves your balance and coordination.
  19. Weight training elevates your mood.

Be sure to check out these great at home exercises for those days when you can’t make it to the gym on the MyStrongerSelf.com YouTube Channel. Subscribe to our Channel! 

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Overcoming Weight Loss Challenges

Brighton, fitness trainer, Livingston, Personal trainer, Weight Loss 8 Comments »

For the blog post this week, I thought it would be nice to hear from one of our members, Lisa Bender. It’s helpful to see how others handle their weight loss journey. I would love to see all your comments on what has been working and not working. Here’s what Lisa had to say:

“I realized not that long ago that weight loss is one of those battles that will never go away. How annoying was that realization? To think I will reach my goal and still have to be mindful of what I put in my mouth. Like skinny people magically stay skinny forever! However annoying the realization, it’s one I’m grateful for. I only wished I had figured it out sooner because that gift knocked some sense into me and gave me the frame of mind I needed.

I think overcoming what goes on in my head is more than half the battle. Working out has never been the hard part for me. I love it! The tougher the better … not to say I don’t want to tackle Lori after our third set of football runs! Of course I’d just pick her back up and tell her to do it again! :-) Here are a few things I do to trick my brain into doing what’s best for me:

  • I plan my workouts for the week and enter it into my appointment calendar. In my mind, it is an appointment. If I have to rearrange my workouts, I must reschedule! If I give myself an out that just leads to more skipping. It’s a slippery slope! We all can justify not putting in the time because we are truly busy but ask yourself  “when will I not be too busy? Will that ever change? Will I be less busy next week, next month, next year … ?”
  • Elevated stress levels can break my focus. I’ve been experiencing that the past couple of weeks. If I don’t manage my stress, it leads to restless nights and old habits resurface. A vicious cycle. Recognize the signals, readjust and move on quickly!
  • When I had a good week and I worked hard, I used to say, “I worked hard, I deserve a treat!” Instead of rewarding myself with food now I’ll buy a new shirt or do something fun that doesn’t involve food. I still give myself a free night so that I can have a little something so I’m not deprived; food is just not the center of my universe!
  • My goal is to drink 3 liters of water a day (1 liter is 33.81 oz.). Typically I average about 2.5 liters. I do get sick of it though. When that happens, it helps me to visualize the water washing through my body, flushing the fat and toxins away. Yea, a little hokey but it gets me through. If that doesn’t work, add a Crystal Light and suck it up! :-)
  • I weigh myself every week to be accountable but focus more on how I feel now. I’ve lost 5% body fat and that was the best news Lori could have given me. It just means with less body fat and more muscle my body is working harder for me, burning more calories than it was before. Strength training is just as important as cardio and a good diet.

Those are a few tricks I use to keep myself on track. Give it a month of not missing your strength training and cardio exercises (whatever they may be) and just wait and see how great you’ll feel.

Lastly, take advantage of all that Lori has to offer. Take the time to get your measurements and track your progress. Fill out the goal sheets she hands out, you’ll learn something about yourself in the process. Lori also has nutritional tracking sheets to journal what you eat. I turn them in every week and she gives me helpful feedback. Don’t forget about her free cardio classes and the free boot camp coming up April 10th. And when you think you just can’t afford to pay for training, don’t forget she gives you free training anytime you bring someone new that joins. What better gift for you and your friend!

Just thank God we all still have the ability to work out … never take it for granted!” – Lisa Bender

Summer in Livingston County Equals Outdoor Activities and Outdoor Cooking

Boot camp, Healthy Eating, Livingston, Weight Loss 4 Comments »

Summer in Michigan is amazing. We wait so long for those 3 glorious months of fun in the sun. Summer provides us with the opportunity to be more active, whether it’s biking, swimming, going for a walk or even participating in one of My Stronger Self’s outdoor boot camps. BUT, summer can also mean more picnics, parties, and ultimately eating too much of the wrong foods. There is nothing like having friends and family over for a barbeque on a nice sunny day. The problem is many barbeque meals consist of fatty food such as burgers, hot dogs, creamy salads, etc. Here are some alternatives you can try that will let you have a great meal, stay healthy and fit and look fabulous in that new bathing suit you bought this year.

If you love the taste of burgers on the grill (I do!) try a buffalo burger. Buffalo meat is 98% fat free and has high levels of essential minerals. Season your buffalo burger with a little season salt, cut up some onion, tomato, avocado, put it on a whole wheat bun and you got a great burger. Eat with some grilled veggies and now you have a great meal!

Another healthy but delicious alternative is simply shrimp on a skewer. Place 6 or 7 large shrimp on a skewer, season, grill and place on some brown rice and you not only have a healthy meal but a fast one too!

How about chicken kabobs? Cut some chicken breast in chunks and marinate in a light Italian dressing for a couple hours. Chop some onions, peppers, mushrooms, pineapple whatever you can imagine. Alternate placing chicken and veggies on skewer and toss them on the grill. There’s another delicious, easy and most importantly healthy meal.

What about dessert? Well, it’s summer so watermelon of course … straight up or in a fruit salad! Or try this, take a few of those extra skewers, cut up all kinds of melon and strawberries, and place them on the skewers. The kids will get a kick out of it plus it’s a nice presentation when you need to take something to a party.    

We’re fortunate that Livingston County has so many wonderful farmers where you can get fresh fruit and vegetables locally in the summer. Plus, Howell and Brighton have their farmers market on the weekends.  Summer gives us lots of options to eat smart but still enjoy ourselves!

Brighton, MI Outdoor Boot Camps

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Be Kind To YourSelf

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As part of our ongoing effort to stay focused on our health and fitness goals, I’ve got a book that would be very beneficial for us all to read.

A lot of times we don’t realize how often we talk to ourselves negatively. It’s never productive to our success no matter if it’s weight loss, a job promtion, being happy, anything … It NEVER helps!

So please take the time to check out this book and be a little kinder to yourself.

You can click the link below to read more about the book and purchase if you’d like from Amazon.com. It’s the cheapest price I’ve found anywhere.


What To Say When You Talk To Youself

Yours in Health and Fitness,
Lori

Referral CONTEST!

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The wait is almost over!!! Our BIG Referral CONTEST is about underway. So break out your little black book of people you’re going to bless with the gift of good health and fitness because it could mean money in your pocket! Actually, more like good food in your tummy. :-) Just promise me you’ll eat at least one thing healthy from the menu. Check out the contest details below.

My Stronger Self Survey

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In an effort to continually improve our services, we are conducting a survey. It’s short and will only take a moment or two of your time. We value your thoughts and opinions, so please click the link below and give us little feedback. The survey is completely anonymous.

My Stronger Self Survey

Thank you for your time!

Yours in Health and Fitness,

Lori Murphy
Direct: 810-844-1650
Lori@MyStrongerSelf.com
MyStrongerSelf.com

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17 Tips for Putting You First

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17 TIPS FOR PUTTING YOU FIRST
Here’s how to work out without stressing yourself
(and your family and your boss) out

Maybe it’s because everyone acts so darn helpless around us, but women are afraid everything will come crumbling down if they leave their jobs or family for an hour or two of playtime. What they forget is the golden rule of caretaking: You’ll be much better equipped to help others if you take care of yourself first. Here are 16 more reasons for making your fitness priority number one.

You’ll be happier: Regular exercise helps make you happy. Literally hundreds of studies have found that to be true. Researchers at Harvard University found that 10 weeks of strength training actually reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than did standard counseling. Psychologists are increasingly prescribing exercise to treat mild to moderate depression as well as anxiety disorders and alcohol abuse. So the next time you’re feeling guilty or facing frowns from the family on your way out the door, explain that exercising for 1 hour lifts your mood and makes you more fun to be around when you return.

You’ll feel sexier: Women who feel good about their bodies have steamier love lives than those who don’t. And women who exercise regularly tend to be happier with their naked selves. What’s even better is that vigorous exercise produces feel-good hormones called endorphins that make some women feel sexier after they work out.

He takes plenty of playtime: A typical golf game lasts 3 to 4 hours. And the typical guy doesn’t wrack himself with guilt about going out to the greens for the afternoon. The same goes for softball, hoops, racquetball, or any other sports that men play, Embrace your active hobbies the same way he embraces his—with guilt-free enthusiasm. To reduce precious weekend time spent apart, try to coordinate your activities so that you’re wrapping up at about the same time.

It’s problem-solving time: For many women, exercise time is thinking time. In fact, it’s the only time many working moms get to be alone with their own thoughts. Let your loved ones know that you need this time to think—undisturbed.

You can help a good cause: It’s not that you aren’t enough of a good cause, but some women feel less guilty about time spent running, walking or cycling when they’re also benefiting a favorite charity. Signing up for a run, walk, or ride to raise money for multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancer, or AIDS makes you feel like you’re benefiting others as well as yourself.

It’s like recess: Your kids don’t feel guilty when they want to go out and play; they get excited about it. Let them know that parents like playtime just as much as kids do. They won’t always be happy about it, but it’s a valuable lesson.

Exercise is cheaper than therapy: Stress raises blood pressure, tightens muscles, interrupts digestion, weakens your immune system, and throws a huge wet blanket on your libido. Active women are half as likely to develop depression and anxiety as their sedentary counterparts. They sleep better at night and feel more energetic and relaxed during the day. And you can get a quality pair of running shoes for the price of one session with a shrink.

You’ll drop those final pounds: Exercise helps you reach your weight loss goals. Share those goals with your family, and tell them that you need their help and encouragement in reaching them. That includes pitching in around the house so that you have time to work out. Have a family celebration when you reach your goals.

You can make a date: You can have fitness as well as social time with girlfriends
without taking tons of time for both. Instead of meeting for drinks and dinner, meet to go skating, jogging, or biking, or head to the gym together. You’ll be able to chat and catch up on each other’s lives, and you’ll get your butts in shape as a bonus.

It’s great family time: The family that sweats together stays together! Instead of always working out without your man or your kids, take them with you sometimes. Plan a day hike. Do a family run/bike ride. Spend the day swimming and rafting on a lake. The more you do together, the more everyone will appreciate taking active time on their own too.

You can talk to God: Consider it “moving meditation”. Lots of women use their workout time to get connected to their spiritual self. Hey, it’s hard to feel selfish about forgoing mundane tasks such as dishes and laundry for a long run when you know that you’re not just training your body but also feeding your soul.

You don’t have to leave home: Just can’t get out of the house? Pick up some dumbbells and workout tapes, and exercise around your kids’ school and nap schedules. You won’t feel like you’re straining the household by leaving for long stretches, but you’ll still get in shape.

Exercise makes you interesting: Whether you run, swim, or take yoga classes, working out gives you and your mate (and friends and family) something to talk about. Consider your workouts time spent making you a healthier, happier, and more interesting person.

Time is short! Although it’s a subject we avoid while we’re young and kicking, our lives won’t last forever. Whether you believe we go on to another place, are reborn as turtles, or end up on another planet, this is it for now. Make the most of the body you have, and live your life to the fullest with no apologies necessary.

It’s like brushing your teeth: If you plot out a relatively consistent exercise routine, everyone around you will simply adapt to it and not expect you to be around during those times. That makes it more predictable and less stressful for all involved. If folks still have trouble remembering, post your schedule on a calendar where it can be seen by everyone.

Just do it! People are amazingly adaptable creatures. After the first few weeks of your new exercise regimen, the husband, kids, and boss won’t blink an eye at your short absences. And you’ll come to realize that they really can manage without you after all—at least for a short time.

From: Prevention. Total Body Guide

Change Your Mind, Change Your Weight

Healthy Eating, Weight Loss No Comments »

We’ve been talking a lot about the book “What To Say When You Talk To You Self” so I want to expand on one of the ideas in the book because I feel it’s so relevant to our weight loss and fitness success.

Weight loss starts in your mind. Until you change the way you think about yourself and what role food plays in your world you will always be battling weight. In the book “What to Say When You Talk to Your Self” the author talks about what to say to yourself when you sit down to eat. Here are a few:

  • I am in control of myself in everyway, at alls times in every situation.
  • Each time I sit down to eat, I reaffirm my determination to achieve my goal by never giving in and eating right.
  • Whether eating in or eating out I really enjoy eating less.
  • I never feel like I have to eat all the food in front of me. I only eat what I should.
  • One way to weight loss that is easy for me is less food on my plate less food on my fork.
  • When I sit down to ea,t I never let anyone else influence me or discourage me in any negative way.
  • The food I eat and the goals I reach are up to me.
  • I am never tempted at anytime to take one more bite than I should.
  • I have set my goal and I am staying with it. I have turned meal time into achievement time.

Write these affirmations on a card and say them to yourself before each meal. Talking to yourself and affirming that you will reach your health and weight loss goals are the key to your success!

Yours in Health and Fitness,

Lori Murphy

Brighton, MI Personal Trainer

My Stronger Self

Strategies for Staying Motivated

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I can easily start an exercise program, but lose motivation long-term.  What can help?

By Jessica Matthews

Posted October 21, in Ask the Expert

When it comes to exercise, people are motivated for different reasons.  For some it may bre aesthetics, for others it may be the numerous health benefits exercise provides or perhaps the fact that they are preparing for a particular sport or event.  Whatever the exact reason may be, often times many of us find ourselves struggling to maintain a consistent level of motivation long-term.

Understanding Motivation

By definition, motivation is the need or desire that forces a person to act, or the driving force that determines behavior.  There are two types of motivation strategies-extrinsic and intrinsic.  Extrinsic motivation (e.g. rewards, recognition, etc.) have been shown to drive short-term compliancy, whereas intrinsic motivation (e.g. sense of accomplishment, self-gratification, etc.) drives long-term compliancy, and is essential to the accomplishment of the overall goal.

Long-term Motivation

While extrinsic motivational strategies, such as treating yourself to a weekly massage, may provide motivational initially, within the first sicx months of starting an exercise program it is important to progress towards intrinsic motivational strategies by reinforcing thought and feelings associated with regular exercise.

 Strategies for Success

Not sure how to go about staying motivated?  Here are some strategies for transitioning toward intrinsic motivation:

   *  Remind yourself why your are here - Maintain a strong perception of the importance of long-term change.

   *  Stay hooked on that feeling – Reflect on the positive feelings and successes you’ve previously experienced from regular exercising.

   *  Consider the pros and cons – Compare the numerous benefits associated maintaining a regular exercise program to the costs of leading non-active lifestyle.  Acknowledging the pros and cons will help you to keep the decisional balance in favor of change in the long-run.

   *  Set yourself up for success -  Ensure that outcome expectations are reasonable by establishing short-term (weekly), medium-term (monthly) and long-term (6 months +) realistic goals which are continually evaluated and adjusted to ensure continued progress and success.

    * Keep- in mind that change takes time - It is important to remember that change does not occur overnight.  Recognize that in order to obtain desired results both time and continued effort are required.

    * Be your own “cheerleader” - The fact of the matter is you do have the ability to make changes and you can adhere to those changes long-term.  Maintaining a positive attitude and providing yourself with internal feedback (such as praising yourself for a job well done) will aid you in your quest for long-term success.   

 Yours in Health and Fitness

Lori Murphy

Brighton, MI Personal Trainer

My Stronger Self August Newsletter

Boot camp, Excersise, Hartland, Healthy Eating, Howell, Livingston, Weight Loss No Comments »

Livingston County's Premier Fitness Studio

Positive Thinking and Daily Affirmations

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As cute and funny as this video is and the little girl that stars in it, it’s amazing how much we all can learn from children. 

What do you say in the mirror every morning?

“There is a voice in the Universe urging us to remember our purpose for being on this great Earth. This is the voice of inspiration, which is within each and every one of us” Dr. Wayne Dyer

Yours in Health and Fitness,
Lori Murphy
Brighton, MI Personal Trainer

Brighton FREE Fitness Boot Camp

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Brighton FREE Fitness Boot Camp

HEY Brighton, Discover How Easily You Can Burn Fat, Sculpt Those Abs, Tone That Butt, and Shape Those Hips and Thighs Starting With Our 1 Hour FREE Boot Camp.

        Are you looking for a jump-start to your fitness program? Then this adventure is for you! Whether you are a beginner, an avid fitness enthusiast or just tired of the same routine come try this whole new approach to exercise … fun!

Why a Boot Camp? Can you accomplish this on a treadmill at the gym?

• 3-5% reduction in body fat
• 5-12 pounds weight loss
• 25% improvement in strength
• 1-3 inch decrease in the midsection
• 25% improvement in endurance
• Greatly improved posture
• Better relaxation

*** 100% Gain in self confidence ***

 

Who can participate? Anyone who is ready to get into shape can participate in the My Stronger Self Boot Camps. If you have tried and failed to reach your goals then this boot camp will kick start your efforts! 

My Stronger Self is Livingston County’s Premier Fitness Studio. Owner and Fitness Instructor, Lori Murphy, has been training and men and woman for almost 20 years.  Click here to see what her clients are saying: Testimonials 

How Is My Stronger Self Fitness Boot Camp Different Than Other Fitness Boot Camps?

  • Even if you are not in shape you can do this boot camp!
  • We proudly offer an exceptional fitness experience catered to women and men of all ages, shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. Wherever you are, you will always feel encouraged, never feel left behind or like you are waiting on someone else.
  • Every week is filled with variety! You will enjoy obstacle courses, strength training, a variety of cardio, yoga based stretching and more!
  • IT’S FREE … there’s no annoying sales pitch and no obligation. Come every weekend for free … really!
  • My Stronger Self is committed to giving back to the community and helping Livingston County residents get all the tools they need to start leading a healthy lifestyle and feeling great!
  • Achieve What You Thought Was Impossible! Join the thousands of other My Stronger Self Boot Campers who are making it happen today!

Watch Our Fitness Boot Camp Video

 Boot Camp starts at 830am

Register here for our next Free Boot Camp located at St. Mary Magdalen Church, 2201 Old Us Highway 23, Brighton, MI 48114. Just enter your information in the “Contact Us” box to the right. We’ll get you registered and send an email confirmation.

As weather permits, the boot camp will be held outdoors, otherwise they will be inside the church’s gym facility.

Please contact us with any questions at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com or call Lori Murphy at 810-844-1650


Brighton, MI Resident Reaches New Heights

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Personal Training Client Reaches New Heights With Lori Murphy and My Stronger Self

 

Todd Arnold - Brighton, MI

September 15th, 2010 

I considered myself to be a fit and capable guy. I work out to feel good which makes me 

feel good about myself. I also work out to be competitive in Hockey and Off Road Motor

Cycle racing. In August 2010, I competed in an Off Road race on a day when it was 95

degrees. I was ready to do battle for 65 miles of close trees, deep mud and physically

challenging terrain for five straight hours. I used Lori’s “Breathing” technique to calm

my adrenaline and stay focused. During this race, I improved my overall race time by 40

minutes. I took second place in the race thanks to Lori’s encouragement that pushed me

out of my comfort zone during our workouts. I can now compete on a higher, more

extreme level of intensity. I give Lori Murphy of My Stronger Self my best

recommendation as a Professional Trainer. When you are ready to have the winning edge

it takes in sports and in life Lori Murphy can train you to push yourself.

Todd Arnold

Brighton, MI

September, 2010

Todd and his wife Teresa, who also trains at My Stronger Self Fitness Studio in Brighton and looking awesome herself, consistently come to strength training, cardio and our free Saturday boot camps. Consistent workouts, hard work and dedication to live a healthier lifestyle is truly making a difference in how they look and feel. Both are wonderful supporters of not only My Stronger Self but also everyone who enters the Fitness Studio. Thanks for all your support and inspiration Todd and Teresa!

Todd and Teresa also own and operate TNT Inspections, LLC. Their home inspection services are well respected within the real estate industry and with buyers alike. Please visit their website for more information: http://www.tntinspectionservices.com.

Zumba, Step, Kickboxing and MORE!

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Heads up Livingston County – My Stronger Self Fitness Studio and Gym Is Now Offering Zumba, Kickboxing, Step and Cardio Mixer Classes!

Its true that we are primarily a fitness training studio, working with clients in a group or one on one, because strength training is so important. It helps build lean muscle tissue back up in our bodies that we have lost with age. Lean muscle tissue helps to speed up our metabolism. As our metabolism speeds up it helps burn off calories, so that even while at rest we are using more calories than before. Plus, we look great when our bodies are tone and fit!

Strength Training

With that being said, it’s also important that we keep our heart heathy. My Stronger Self recognizes that a fitness program cannot consist of strength training alone. Just like a healthy diet, to be truly healthy you must incorporate heathy eating, strength training AND cardio exercise into a proper fitness program. This winning combination not only helps you achieve your health and fitness goals but also keeps those unwanted pounds and inches gone FOREVER!

We’re very excited to unveil our new Fall Fitness Class Schedule this week. We have Zumba, Step, Kickboxing and a Cardio Mixer class that is ALL NEW. And we’re not stopping there. So keep checking back!

To view our new schedule please click here: Schedules

*** This schedule is effective October 1, 2010 ***

We’re opening our cardio classes to non-members of My Stronger Self. Drop-ins are welcome at $8/class. Or try our Cardio Reload Program and get classes for a little over $5/class. No contract, no committment.

Class sizes are limited and SIGN UP for each class is required by both members and non-members. Please call to sign up at 810-844-1650 or email us at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com.

Client Lost 70 Pounds with My Stronger Self Fitness!

Excersise, Weight Loss No Comments »

Ever Wonder Why Some People Lose Weight and Others Seem to Struggle?

 

Listen to Carrie’s story and see how a winning combination of strength training, cardio exercise, healthy diet and a POSTIVE mind is making Carrie a success story all over Livingston County!

This is Carrie’s “BEFORE” picture. Check out the video for her “AFTER” picture.  

Carrie – BEFORE

Carrie is an inspriration to us all. She’s committed to making exercise a part of her life and it shows! She’s always positive and upbeat and that adds so much to the warm and fun astmospehere we have at My Stronger Self Fitness Studio and Gym. Thank you Carrie for being YOU! Keep up the great work!

 

Brighton/Howell Fitness & Dance Studio Open House

Weight Loss 1 Comment »

Livingston County Fitness & Dance Studio Open House

Join us at the My Stronger Self Fitness & Dance Studio for an Open House. We’ll be serving appetizers, drinks and giving away some great prizes.

 

And, DO NOT miss your opportunity to win FREE training for an ENTIRE year at My Stronger Self.

 

1st Annual Fit For Life Challenge

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Brighton Dance & Fitness Studio that Gets Results

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Another Member of My Stronger Self Getting Results!

 

Livingston County Resident, Lisa Johnson, Shares Her Secrets to Her Health and Weight Loss Success

My name is Lisa Johnson and I was at my highest weight of my lifetime.  As so many of us do, I tried the gambit of options from joining a weight loss program, then another weight loss program, an exercise club, then a gym and another gym, purchasing some exercise tapes, an exercise ball, a treadmill, and so on.  It seemed that the more I tried to lose weight, the more I either bought or joined.  Nothing was working.  I didn’t have the motivation nor the desire to exercise on my own.  I joined a bible study group focused on putting Christ first and I am learning to treat my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, which is how we are designed by God.  I did focus and change many poor habits and began to find new healthier alternatives.  Still, exercise eluded me and I couldn’t find my routine.  I continually started and stopped exercising and felt like I was in a helpless holding pattern swirling around the potential to lose weight but never seeing success.  I lost motivation, focus, will power and many times even the desire to lose the weight I needed to in order to become healthy.

I prayed for guidance and then finally stumbled upon Lori Murphy’s Facebook page for My Stronger Self.  This didn’t sound like just another gym or just another weight loss program.  In March 2010 I contacted Lori and began a strength training regiment of 2 days per week and a cardio class 1 day per week.  The workouts were hard but Lori watched and made sure I was doing things correctly.  She varied the routines so boredom never set in and my muscle and core strength improved visibly each week.  I wasn’t thrown into a gym to flounder around to different machines doing the same routines time and time again.  Lori began offering a free co-ed and ladies boot camp each Saturday morning and I asked my husband to join me.   His loving support became the stepping stone of solidifying both of our commitments to a healthier lifestyle of strength and cardio training.  I now schedule my workouts at My Stronger Self like I schedule any other appointment that I must keep.  My health demands that I prioritize the time I need to exercise.

Lori now trains both my husband and me.  We are thrilled we have found such a gifted trainer in Lori.  My strength and energy is consistently growing as is my confidence that I can exercise and I can enjoy it when I am not left to figure it out on my own.    With Lori’s guidance I have lost pounds and inches.  I still have a way to go in my weight loss journey, but my path seems so much straighter than that previous winding road of disappointment I traveled on before.  I wouldn’t have and I couldn’t have pushed myself to this kind of success.

Thank you Lori!

Join the ZUMBA Party!

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Take a look at our crazy, fun ZUMBA class every Wednesday @ 5:30pm at the My Stronger Self Fitness Studio & Gym located at 1361 Old Us Highway 23 in Brighton, MI. $8 Drop-In for Non-Members or try our Cardio Reload Program and get classes for a little over $5/class and includes all our Zumba, Kick Boxing, Step and Cardio Mixer classes.

My Stronger Self Fitness Studio Holiday Party

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 ** Happy Holidays from My Stronger Self **

 

Fitness Training

Everyone is welcome to join us for our Holiday Party. Bring your friends and family to enjoy our little social gathering for the holidays. We’ll have wine, appetizers, some prizes plus you can be a part of our Holiday Cookie Contest by bringing in a “Figure Friendly” cookie for everyone to enjoy or just be one of the judges! 

The Cookie Contest

Healthy Cookie Contest

What could be better than having a get together with friends and eating cookies? Eating cookies that won’t destroy your hard work or your waistline! The rules are simple. The cookie will be judged on the following 3 areas: health conscious, taste, and decoration/creativity. Participants must write or print out recipe with number of calories, carbs, sugar, and protein. The contest will have a minimum 3 participants max of 6 participants. Members and guest who attend the event will do the judging. 

My Stronger Self

We hope you will join us for our holiday party. It’s December 17th at 630pm, at the My Stronger Self Fitness Studio and Gym located at 1361 Old Us Higway 23, Brighton, MI 48114. For more details, please call us at 810-844-1650 or Email FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com

More pounds BITE THE DUST at My Stronger Self Fitness & Dance!

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More Pounds BITE THE DUST at My Stronger Self Fitness & Dance in Brighton!

 

It’s true, more clients are winning the weight loss battle at My Stronger Self Fitness Studio and Gym in Brighton, MI. Listen to Sharon’s inspiring story of her weight loss journey … the proof is in the pictures! See for yourself why Sharon is looking and feeling better than ever.

Sharon’s Journey

Sharon – BEFORE

Hi, my name is Sharon. I’ve lost 75 pounds in the last year. So much of that is in thanks to the last 6 months and training with Lori Murphy of My Stronger Self. Before working out at the My Stronger Self Fitness Studio and Gym, I felt uncomfortable with my weight. My future health wasn’t going to be good continuing my unhealthy habits. I began losing weight by making better food choices. After losing a few pounds, I added a cardio program by using my elliptical machine in the mornings. I felt a weight lifting routine was needed but didn’t know where to start. My friends told me of Lori Murphy and her fitness studio in Brighton. Just what I was looking for! I go to 2 strength training classes and a Zumba class every week. Every time I go I look forward to seeing my new supportive and encouraging friends. I look better, feel better, am healthier and will STAY healthy as I continue attending classes at My Stronger Self.

Thank you!
Sharon, Livingston County Resident

Sharon – AFTER

Thank you Sharon, you’re always being a positive light in our gym. It’s always wonderful when you walk through our doors. You’re an inspiration to everyone around you and we are so happy for your success! Keep up the great work … You look fabulous!!!

Have You Been Grateful or Greedy?

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Have You Been Grateful or Greedy?

Learning How to Enjoy the Holiday Season Without Emphasis on Food

On a normal day it is hard enough to stay focused on doing the right thing for your body. With the pressures of outings, travel and socializing it is even harder. Be grateful for the friends and family you can spend time with, and the health you have been given. Do not be greedy during events because food is not the reason for the season; harmony is. Think about the party or social event you are attending. Who will be there is more important than what will be there! However, you do not need another person, article, or blog telling you that. Let me share some out of the box ideas that may help you during those unstructured days. 

1 – Be the first to dessert!

It is contrary to everything you may have heard, but here is the theory behind it. Do not try to resist the dessert you love while everyone around you is torturing you by saying how good it is. Step up and take control! You can take the focus off being one of the only ones not having dessert. Be the first to get a slice of the pie. This eliminates your stress and allows you to let your guard down; thereby, releasing your negative energy towards the food and people around you. This trick will help you avoid binge eating after unsuccessful attempts at resisting. If you eat after withstanding it for a long period of time, you are likely to eat more because you are making up for “lost time” and feeling bad for not being strong enough to not eat the dessert. Taking the role of being the first to get the dessert you want shows you have control over the food and empowers you to take a small slice, eating slower bites while socializing freely with others.

 2 – Stall on the first bite!

Try to help fix plates for others, be the last in line, or get up to get a drink after you have sat down. This will help eliminate eating too fast, or returning for seconds before others have finished their first plate. Instead, you will be finishing up with everyone else, and will think twice about getting up to get more food. Again, you will have eliminated the stress, and maintained control over the food! 

3 – Eat what you like first!

It is all mental. Eating what you like first gives you the opportunity to satisfy your cravings with the first bite. No matter what it is…if you wait until the end you will more than likely want more, leading to overeating and feeling bad about your decision. Take time to eat the thing you like first, then let the desire for more melt away with the other foods you eat. Controlling the dining experience is half the battle. Giving your body what it wants is just as important as giving your body what it needs. With your first bite, you will release the chemicals in the brain that make eating a pleasure for you. This eliminates the time and calories you may squander by nibbling & attempting to cover up the REAL problem. 

Try One of Our Classes for FREE

Hopefully, this gives you some ideas that you have not heard, and more importantly, new plans of action to try during the holiday festivities! Remember, a strong body starts with a stronger mind. Healthy Holidays!

My Stronger Self Tshirts NOW Available!

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By popular demand, My Stronger Self Fitness Studio & Gym now has

TSHIRTS available for purchase!

We’ve got tshirts with the My Stronger Self logo on front available in 2 styles of shirts and three colors: Black, Grey and White.

My Stronger Self Brighton Gym

This is our Bella 100% Cotton Tshirt which is more fitted with a slightly longer torso. Comes in Black, Grey and White. Sizes Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large for $15.

My Stronger Self Brighton Fitness Studio

Below is our Anvil 100% cotton Tshirt. It fits like your standard tshirt. Comes in Black, Grey & White. Sizes Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large for $15. Also available in 2XL ans 3XL for $17.

Place your order at the studio or send us an email at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com.

Prayers Needed for One of Our Members!

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Your Prayers Our Needed for One of Our Members

 

We are saddened to say, that one of our fitness studio members’, Kathleen Anderson, son Michael was diagnosed with with Rhabdomyosarcoma. He has a cancerous tumor in his abdomen and cancerous cells in his bone marrow, lymph nodes and the fluid surrounding his lungs. This is a vicious disease that will take 1 year of aggressive chemo, radiation and treatment to fight. He is currently undergoing his first round of chemo at U of M, which started on December 24th. Originally his parents had taken him to the emergency because they thought he had swallowed or aspirated part of his mouth guard from hockey. From there is where they found this tumor.

Michael, his twin brother Sean, Dave and Kathleen need your thoughts and prayers!! They will also need the support. Michael will need moral support through emails and cards. The family is not asking for anything but prayers right now. We know that they are traveling to Ann Arbor from Fenton every day. So, we plan to take any donations at the studio and forward them to the Anderson’s since we know all their expenses will add up quickly.

Please contact Michael and Sean on Facebook or at Michael’s email address: michaelqanderson@charter.net.

You may also send cards and good wishes to the studio: 1361 Old Us Highway 23, Brighton, MI 48114 and we’ll forward them on.

Whether you know the Anderson’s or not, please keep them in your prayers.

Thank you,

Lori & Lisa

Let’s Get Physical!

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It’s that time of year again … January.

 

I need to think about getting into shape. What do I try this year? I’ve tried something new every year and I am still not that confident, healthy, in shape person I want to be.

I’ve joined a weight-loss program. I was pretty successful for awhile. I had to count my calories and go in and get

Brighton, MI - Weight Loss Program

weighed every week.  I lost 20 pounds but I still felt flabby and had low energy but I was losing weight.  Everything seemed to be going well but then I went on vacation. We had drinks, rich foods, ate at all times of the day and night.  I kept thinking I will start again when I get back. I felt defeated … It was hard to come back and start again so I never did.

Exercise is what I need I thought … that was my whole problem … no exercise! So, I joined an aerobic program. It was fun! I even got a couple of my friends to join me. I started to see results but after awhile I got bored with the same routine and the results stopped then I stopped.

The next year I asked for a treadmill for Christmas. Santa came through and I got one. My husband put it down in the basement for me.  I was really excited. I used it every day for a couple of weeks but slowly I started dreading going down to the basement and exercising by myself. Not only was it boring but there were so many distractions. My kids were calling me, I could see the cobwebs hanging from the ceiling, the phone was ringing and on and on. Besides I only burned a few calories each time and it just wasn’t enough. 

Last year I joined one of those 24 hour gyms. I thought what a great idea! All the equipment I could use, they are open 24 hours. What more could I ask for? I went for about a month and I slowly learned what more I could ask for.  Here

Personalized Group Training

was a room full of fancy equipment but I had no idea how to use most of it and what would best fit my needs. I also found that I was starting to tell myself that I could go anytime so I’d just wait till later. Well later never came that day or the next day or the next day. Soon I was not going at all. I just felt too lost with no motivation or guidance.

This is a scenario that many people can relate to. You want to get healthy and fit but you’re not sure how to get there and what will work for you. Living a healthy lifestyle is about putting the pieces of the puzzle together. The first piece of the puzzle is Structure - you need to know what to do when you start a fitness program. You need to have a program put together for you that will get you the best results and keep getting you results as time goes on. Next you need Accountability - It is very helpful when there is a person or people counting on you to come and workout. You know that you need to set that time aside and make sure you keep your appointment. That’s why “anytime” does not work. Last is Motivation – you need someone cheering you on. Letting you know how to reach your goals and that you can reach your goals. You also need to see results and keep seeing results.  My Stronger Self can provide you with all the tools needed to reach your goals … THIS IS YOUR YEAR!

Jill’s Weight Loss Journey

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Jill’s Weight Loss Journey

 

In December 2009, I was at my heaviest, 233lbs. I finally got tired of being tired and having no energy. I started to exercise on my own, a couple of hours a week. I started to see results, but I figured there had to be more to working out and getting in shape. I noticed a bulletin announcement in late April, and in May decided to join the free boot camps held at St. Mary Magdalen in Brighton by My Stronger Self Fitness Studio. It was tough! I thought I am never going to get through this, but with Lori by my side each and every step of the way, I did! I started to get stronger, and being able to run more, do more sit ups, and push-ups! I never would have thought that I could do the things that Lori was telling me to do. It was a process as I was only going to boot camp, so the weight came off slowly, but I started to see results. I decided to join My Stronger Self in June. My weight has dropped, and my confidence has soared! I am able to do anything, with more energy than I ever thought possible!

Thanks to Lori, and her team of wonderful trainers, I am seeing results, and have never felt better! This weight loss journey has taught me a lot about myself, and I truly have found that I am a stronger, more confident person who can do anything I put my mind to.

Thank you,
Jill Gautherat

Jill – AFTER

Jill is a hard worker and we know when she walks through the door she’s going to give us her all. She consistently comes to her strength training classes and often pushes herself to stay for another hour of cardio. Jill also pays close attention to her eating habits and nutrition which is so important in any healthy fitness program. We must have those 3 elements to be successful – Strength Training, Cardio Exercise and Healthy Eating! Jill is extremely positive and upbeat and that attitude can’t help but spread around the gym to others.

Jill, you’re a great source of inspiration to all of us and we’re so happy for your success! Keep up the awesome work … you are well on your way to reaching your goals!  

Twelve Gifts

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Twelve Gifts …

 The Gift of Surrounding Yourself with Success

The Gift of Choice

The Gift of Helping Other People Grow

The Gift of Believing in Yourself

The Gift of Changing Your Self Talk

The Gift of Exceptional Attitude

The Gift of Finding Your Focus

The Gift of Setting Great Goals

The Gift of Taking Control of Your Time and Life

The Gift of Putting Yourself Into Action

The Gift of Never Giving Up

The Gift of Doing Something You Love

 

I found this going through some things and I can’t remember who wrote it or where I even got it from, but life is funny. I happen to run acrossed it at a moment when I needed to read it again for myself. I love everything about it because you can give it to a friend, husband or wife, parent, your kids and it can apply to all of them and for anything going on in their life or not going on for that matter.

Lori and I often talk about the fitness studio and how best to describe it not only when people inquire or when we have to write something up but also why we love coming here every day.  You start with the first gift ”surrounding yourself with success”. We have a lot of successful people in the gym all you need to do is look around you.   Or what about the “gift of helping other people grow” … it’s not just Lori and I who get in on this, but so many of you are supportive and encouraging to others. It’s amazing! What about the “gift of taking control of your time and life”? We’ve heard so many women who would never dream of putting their needs first before their families. They soon realize after trying it out for a month that by making exercise and some time for themselves a priority they become better mothers, wives, workers and friends.

Finally, number twelve, “the gift of doing something you love” and I’m certain I can speak for Lori and rest of the staff at My Stronger Self, this one is so true for all of us. There is nothing we love doing more than spending time with all our you.

Thanks for letting us be a small part of your lives every day!

Fund Raiser for Michael Anderson

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Fundraiser for Michael Anderson

 

Michael Anderson

Michael was recently diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Michael and his twin brother Sean are freshman at Hartland High School. The Anderson’s are active members of the Hartland Community and Kathleen is a member of our gym, My Stronger Self.

We would like to show our support for the Anderson family during this very difficult time by donating 5% of every training package purchased at our studio from now until the end of February to the Michael Anderson Fund.

Alternatively, you can also stop by any local TCF Bank locations and make a donation to the Michael Anderson Fund.

 My Stronger Self – A Lori Murphy Fitness Studio & Gym

Open to Men and Women

1361 Old Us Highway 23 * Brighton, MI 48114 * 810-844-1650

www.MyStrongerSelf.com

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Fitness … It’s Not Just About Losing Weight

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Fitness … It’s Not Just About Losing Weight

 

Teresa (right) with daughter Heather

Teresa (right) with daughter Heather

Looking and feeling good in my favorite jeans is one of the benefits of eating right and getting the right amount of exercise. I started working out at My Stronger Self in June, 2010 looking forward to reaping the benefits of a good diet and regular exercise. I knew from past experience that with hard work and honest effort I could count on weight loss and a stronger mind body connection. Like most people I could come up with many ‘good reasons’ not to work out, no time, too tired, work, it costs $$, doing the same workout over and over again gets b-o-r-i-n-g. The list goes on… 

For almost 20 years I have been on 2 medications for high blood pressure. When I started working with Lori Murphy, our trainer at My Stronger Self in June, 2010 my goal was to lose a few pounds and hopefully go off the medications. By November, 2010 I was able to go off one of those medications. And since I am now eating right and diligently working out 5 times a week my blood pressure readings have steadily come down to such a healthy rate, that as of my annual check-up in January, 2011 my doctor gave me the green light to go off the other medication.  Another HUGE benefit came to light while comparing my blood work results from 2010 to 2011. My doctor told me that my triglycerides (a measure of the level of fat in our blood) had gone from a pretty good 55 to a now very low and awesome 24!  Not completely understanding how the numbers measure all that fat, I asked her if that was good?  She laughed a little and said, “Let’s put it this way, 55 is good, but I am salivating at 24!” Now that’s motivating!!

What does all of this mean?  I would be kidding myself if I said it has been ‘easy’.  This journey has just begun and it will take ALOT of hard work and strong commitment.  I know I can count on the encouragement and motivation I have received from Lori, Lisa, Bridgette and Michelle of My Stronger Self.  These ladies have been relentless in helping me to see that I can push myself out of my comfort zone to achieve my goals.

I have not only lost a few pounds (minus 10 and losing!), I have lost inches and I have gained the trust in myself to know that I can have fun while I take care of my body and the good health benefits will come along for the ride. Where else can I go to get a great cardio workout and laugh with other girls and dance around in a colorful jingle skirt? (Zumba!!!) I am having fun! I feel better than I have in my whole life and it shows from the inside out! 

Oh, and by the way, with the money I saved from attending FREE Saturday boot camp, I bought myself some new favorite jeans….Yeah, Baby, Yeah!! 

**********************************

Teresa is an excellent example of how a proper diet and exercise has so many more benefits than just losing weight and inches. It’s clear this winning combination of diet, strength training and cardio exercise is paying off above and beyond her and her doctors’ expectations. With that being said, Teresa has dropped pounds and inches since joining My Stronger Self and you can see how strength training has really helped her tone and strengthen her entire body. Teresa is looking awesome, feeling great and it shows!

Teresa is the My Stronger Self Member of the Month (and Zumba Queen!) because she works hard, always comes to class, provides support to so many of our members and is a constant inspiration to everyone around her. She’s a pleasure to have in class and spreads so much fun and happiness whenever she’s around. We appreciate you Teresa and all the hard work you put in as well as your relentless support of My Stronger Self.  Thank you for being YOU!!!

6 Reasons Weight Training Must Be a Priority

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6 Reasons Weight Training Must Be a Priority

 

1 – Weight Training is the Best Way to Maintain Your Muscle in a Calorie Deficit

If you’re reducing your calorie intake, you run the risk of losing lean muscle mass along with fat. Without weight training your body grabs a large portion of its energy by cannibalizing the muscle you’ve worked so hard to keep! Cardio and diet alone are not enough to protect you from muscle takeover … strength training is a MUST!

2 – Weight Training Burns Calories and Increases Fat Loss

Strength training also contributes to your total daily energy expenditure while building muscle at the same time.  Cardio isn’t the only calorie burner!

3 – Weight Training Increases Your Metabolism

Strength training creates microtrauma to the muscle fibers, which must be repaired during your recovery period between workouts. This process is  metabolically costly because it takes a lot of energy to repair damaged muscle and synthesize new lean tissue. Research has also documented that weight training can actually stimulate a greater post-exercise metablism-boosting effect than cardio.

4 – Weight Training Improves Your Health

Physicians, public health officials and exercise organizations now recommend stregnth training and not just cardio exercise for heart health, improved blood cholesterol profiles, strengthened bone density, increased insulin sensitivity and other health benefits.

5 – Weight Training is the Chisel You Use to Sculpt and Shape Your Body

Carrie - AFTER

With diet alone, you may only end up a smaller version of your old self. With strength training, you can chisel away unwanted fat and add muscle exactly where you want it, in the exact amount you want. Your body is a work of art always in progress and strength training is your tool.

 

6 – Weight Training Helps Reverse the Aging Process

Who doesn’t want to stay looking young? People who don’t maintain their lean body mass through strength training will lose up to 40% of their muscle by age 65. Many accept this deterioration as a part of life, most sedentary people experience accelarated pathological aging, not normal aging.  When it comes to muscle the old saying “use it or lose it” is lterally true! Stregnth training is as close to the fountain of youth as you will ever come!

At My Stronger Self, we believe in the 3 pillars that make up the most effective fitness program: Diet, Cardio Exercise and STRENGTH TRAINING! You must have all 3 to succeed not just at weight loss, but at the game of life! To read about some our member success stories click here.

For a current class schedule, please click here. Try us out free for 2 weeks.

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Decisions … To Be Fit or Not To Be Fit

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Decisions … To Be Fit or Not To Be Fit

My name is Gail McCoy. Since joining My Stronger Self a few months back, I have re-discovered my own personal fitness and weight loss journey. I wasn’t able to start this awesome journey until I made a DECISION. A decision to improve my health and lose the extra weight that I let creep on. In the past, I’ve told myself that ‘this is the year’, ‘yes, of course I want to lose weight’ blah blah blah … but it wasn’t until I made the decision that I was able to open my mind and believe.

Gail McCoy - BEFORE

Here’s a little of my story. I’ve always been mindful of my health and conscience of my weight. Throughout my 20′s and 30′s, I was always involved in something to maintain that. A few years back I was at my heaviest so I made the decision to change. I joined Weight Watchers and reached my goal. I remained there for 2 years, then became inattentive to that goal and let it all come back (and them some). I had disappointed myself to the point where I felt doomed to be forty and fat.

Still not ready to accept my weight gain as a permanent one, I tried something else. I joined a local gym. I won’t mention any names but the gym was dirty, the staff unprofessional, unavailable, unhelpful, and uncaring. Just to mention a few of their qualities. I had paid for a full year, so I went, and went, but unfortunately I didn’t even come close to my goal. I was back to square one. I’m a fighter, a quiet one, but still a fighter. I still wasn’t ready to believe this was my destiny.

I let some time go by, and each passing day I felt less confident, less attractive, less energy, less of everything I believed in. Then the fighter in me came busting out… screaming… NO!!!! You are made of more than this!! I’m a pretty positive and optimistic person and I wasn’t willing to let that go. I made yet another decision. To get a hold of it once and for all and do it right. I attended one of My Stronger Self’s FREE Saturday Boot Camps, spent some time with Lori and instantly knew this is what I had been searching for and missing. My Stronger Self offers strength training, cardio classes, FREE boot camps, one on one advice, tips, encouragement, and a staff that I believe genuinely cares for my success. Far beyond what any gym had offered me. With all these tools at my fingertips, I felt irresponsible to not utilize every one of them.

Lori expects nothing less from her clients. I love that she expresses her expectations and leaves no room for excuses. I appreciate her knowledge, professionalism and personal training. Her staff makes you believe your goal CAN be reached, but as with anything worthy in life, it must be worked for. I’m finally back to what works for me. Consistency, journaling, and determination.

Gail McCoy - AFTER

Thanks Lori, Michelle and Lisa. Thanks for bringing what others offer, but fail to deliver.

***********

It’s not hard to see why we have selected Gail McCoy as our Member of the Month. She is a hard worker and all this hard work is definitely paying off. Gail is really trimming down and looking so fit and healthy! She makes great use of all the resources we have to offer. She’s one of the sweetest people we know and we all love having her smiling face at the gym. You are doing so awesome Gail … glad you made the “decision” to call our gym home! Thank you for your never-ending support!!!!

How Do You Talk to Yourself?

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How Do You Talk To Yourself?

 

How often do you say negative things about yourself, whether it be out loud or in your head? Studies show that 72% of our self-talk is self-critical or negative! It’s a habit most of us fall victim to quite easily. Negativity breeds self-limiting beliefs and can cripple our progress no matter what we’re trying to achieve.

Here are some ways to help break that habit:

Recognize Non-Empowering Thoughts: To shift away from negative, self-defeating thoughts you must first recognize them. Keep a journal and write a general summary of your thoughts for the day and analyze how you speak to yourself. You may not think you are hard on yourself, but this exercise may prove otherwise.

Set a New Mental Equivalent:  Rise out of negativity in as many ways as you can identify. Think great thoughts about everyone. See yourself as a success, and that you’ve come into this world with a gift.

Know that Thoughts Create Reality: when we continue to stay in negative thought patterns that do not serve our higher purpose we are destined to keep repeating the same life experiences over and over again because we will never view reality any differently. Think positive and those thoughts are what become our reality.

Cancel Our Old Thoughts and Substitute Powerful Ideas:

1.) Check Your State of Mind – Be consciously aware of what you want to create and claim it as your unique mantra.

2.) Focus on Today – the past is the past, so don’t dwell on it. Today is a new day!

3.) See the Big Picture – move gracefully through the difficult moments because we are not stuck there! Life goes by way to fast, make each day count and don’t waste energy on negativity.

4.) Release Negative Expectations- instead practice positive expectation and by believing in this process, you will be surrounded by positive circumstances.

5.) Be Thankful – there is nothing more positive than being thankful for all the good in our life no matter how big or small. There is always something to be thankful for.

One final idea about helping to eliminate negative self-talk in our life. I saw a TV program where they had each participant find a picture of themselves when they were young. She asked them to look at that picture and asked the question, “would you ever say the things you say to yourself now to this little girl or boy in the picture? Would you tell this little girl she was fat or ugly?”

Most of us would never in a million years say the things we say to ourselves to any child. Why is it so easy to say it to ourselves as adults? Don’t we tell our kids how wonderful they are and that they can do anything if they put their minds to it? We do this for a reason don’t we?

Get out a old picture of yourself and think about all the things you love about that little girl or boy because you are still that same person! Say one thing out loud that is positive right now. I encourage you to post your childhood picture and a positive statement about yourself on our Facebook Fan Page . And continue to love yourself because there are a million reasons you should!

Lori Murphy - My Stronger Self

Check Out Our 1 1/2 Hour Cardio Blast

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Check out our crazy cardio blast video!

This is not one of regularly scheduled classes. We sneak into our fitness schedule every once in a while. If you’re ready for an hour and half of cardio and toning that is guaranteed to make you sweat and burn LOTS of calories this is the class for you.

 *** Don’t miss the next cardio blast class straight from the My Stronger Self Fitness Studio & Gym in Brighton, MI, email us at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com to be added to our mailing list so you’re the first to know about future classes and news. *** 

 

5th Annual Spring Snowman 5k Run/Walk

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It’s time for the 5th Annual Spring Snowman 5k Run/ Walk benefiting the Eric Hartwell Foundation. This Foundation was founded in memory of Brighton’s own 9 year old Eric Hartwell and directly supports children diagnosed with Leukemia and other blood disorders being treated at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI.

The 5k Run/Walk will take you through Brighton’s Pine Creek Ridge Subdivision. Course is paved, flat and fast with  a couple of mixed hills thrown in for fun!

5k is a great race to kick start your summer activities or get you warmed up for some upcoming longer runs. It’s Saturday May 14, 2011 9AM rain or shine. Cost is $20 for early entry, $25 with a Tshirt, Late entry is $25 and $30 with a Tshirt.

Hope  to see you there!

Fitness Results that Last a Lifetime

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Fitness Results that Last a Lifetime

Kathy Gunter - BEFORE

Hi, my name is Kathy Gunter.  I joined My Stronger Self in September 2010.  There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t want to be there … Lori, Lisa and Michelle keep you motivated to come back.
I love Saturday “FREE Boot Camp” it kicks my butt, but I feel great when I am done! Strength training classes have made me so much stronger. I have toned my
arms and legs tremendously!  I’ve lost inches and gained muscle.
What do you have to lose, look at what you can gain! The gym is not only for great workouts, it’s a great place to meet new friends too …
Come Join Us!!!

Congratulations Kathy Gunter!

Kathy is our latest My Stronger Self Member of the Month.  She is one hard-working lady! She constantly pushes herself and others around her. Kathy just recently
participated in two different 5k Runs and took second place in one of them! WAY
TO GO KATHY! Way to get out of your comfort zone!  Thank you for always being a wonderful supporter of My Stronger Self and all our members.
YOU LOOK FABULOUS!

Kathy Gunter - AFTER

Don’t Get In Your Own Way

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Don’t Get In Your Own Way

It’s said the only thing that can stop you is yourself — an accurate assessment of what it takes to be successful. Life is unscripted, which means you’re guaranteed to face situations that are mentally and emotionally challenging.  These are what have been called pulse moments.  They represent who you are at your core and they can vary from big decisions to small lifestyle choices.  They are, quite simply, a test of your desire.

In these moments, whatever they may be, we all face the same basic choice: push on or go home.

A single decision to take it easy isn’t the problem. Missing this morning’s workout won’t turn you into a pile of mush. Adding dessert once in a while won’t destroy your diet and taking a day off now and then doesn’t represent a lack of ambition. But if you’re hitting a virtual snooze button every time a moment becomes difficult, you’re stopping yourself from achieving your goals.

Embrace pulse moments and even create them. If we’ve learned anything from the amazing success stories of our My Stronger Self Superstars, a person’s mindset is the secret to achieving health and fitness goals.

At some point, you have to become tired of using life as an excuse. Sure, it won’t be easy. Your heart rate might elevate, you’ll feel anxious, nervous or even frustrated. But these are the raw human emotions that will lead you to push a little harder. Focus a little more. And claw towards something you didn’t think was possible.

I just love this video … take a moment to watch and tell me this little boys excitement isn’t infectious. Somehow as we get older we lose the excitement over what seems like small accomplishments. But aren’t what we  interpret as a major accomplishment really just a series of smaller ones? Go out and create a “pulse moment”, get excited about the little things and grateful for all the things you have yet to accomplish!

 

Thankful

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What a Difference A Year Can Make

My Stronger Self Fitness Studio

We’ve had an amazing first year at My Stronger Self! Since opening our doors, we’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of fantastic women and men and feel so fortunate to be a part of all your health and fitness goals. We thought it would be fun to reflect on how far we’ve all come in this journey together.

For some of us, it started with the basement and free Saturday Boot Camp at St. Mary’s in Brighton. Here’s a couple of video highlights.


 

From there, we opened our doors at 1361 Old Us Highway 23 in Brighton and haven’t looked back. Offering personal training in a small group setting along with a variety of cardio classes. Rounding out our program with nutritional guidance and accountability. We’ve taken a lot of  ”weigh and measures” this past year and so many agree this is the perfect fitness program to get the kind of results they want but that will also last a lifetime. We have learned that a healthy lifestyle is something that cannot be fixed with a pill or crazy fad diets (you all know the ones we’re talking about!). It takes hard work and a commitment to not only eating right but also finding a balanced program that you can live with for the rest of your life becasue that’s what it takes!

Carrie – BEFORE

Carrie - AFTER

Testimonials

 

It wasn’t long before we were convinced by a certain someone to add our wildly fun “ZUMBA” class to the schedule. Many thanks to Bridjette Lavigne for helping us get our groove on every week! You’re the best!

 

Check out the My Stronger Self Zumba Ladies in ACTION shaking those hip skirts!

 

We thought it was time to kick it up another notch and in walks Ms. Motivation herself … Michelle Buggs. Need we say more? Just watch Michelle and all you die-hards in action during her killer 1.5 hour cardio blast!

 

We’ve always felt a strong commitment to our community and knew it was important to be able to give back. With that in mind, we created the Fit For Life Program – offering FREE training to 10 individuals for an entire year. We’re happy to report the program is going great, the ladies are putting in the hard work and seeing great results.

It’s been a phenomenal year! I’m so proud our little fitness studio and everyone that walks through that door day after day. We’ve been growing by leaps and bounds and none of this would be possible without each and every one of you. We are truly surrounded by an amazing group of people! We often hear not just how great our training and classes are but also how fun it is to come and workout with everyone. How encouraging you all are to each other. This is the difference maker …

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher” - Oprah Winfrey.

Much gratitude for lifting us higher!

Yours in Health and Fitness,

Lori and the My Stronger Training Team

Lori Murphy, Owner

 


 

Sex is Exercise Too

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Sex is Exercise Too

Oh yes, we went there … SEX is a form of exercise! I can almost hear the applause through the computer. We found an

Yeah Baby Yeah?

interesting article written by Kelli Calibrese, a Fitness and LifeStyle Expert, that is worthy of your time. Read on, throw on some Marvin Gaye and ”Let’s Get It On”!

Sex is Exercise Too

By Kelli Calabrese MS, CSCS, ACE

As if you needed any more incentive to hop in the sack with your honey, a study has concluded that having sex three times a week burns the same calories as running about 30 miles per week. Given the choice, I’m guessing a majority of people would prefer having sex! Finally, an activity that’s soooo pleasurable and good for you.
Experts believe that sex in a loving relationship has a healing effect on body and mind, but that promiscuous sex has the opposite effect (sorry to burst your bubble). Sex, like exercise, produces hormones including endorphins and prostaglandins that not only give you a great workout but also reduce pain levels, boost your immune system, relieve stress and lower your cholesterol levels. A healthy sex life can actually help you live longer and slow down the aging process.
Endorphins bear a close functional resemblance to morphine, and they might be part of a natural, built-in, pain-control system. Some researchers claim endorphins have more than twice the strength of morphine — with no side effects or addictive results. A rise of endorphins is measurable after exercise and sexual activity.
Endorphins released during sex are so powerful that they have a placebo effect. Just think in detail about sex and expect an endorphin rush. Your body makes them naturally. Unfortunately, it also makes enzymes that “chew up” the endorphins. The bad enzymes are encouraged by stress and will deplete your endorphin storage.
Your sexual prowess depends on health, fitness level and past experiences. In the Journal of the American Medical Association, scientists found that sexual dysfunction is more likely among those with poor physical and emotional health — and plays a major role in negative experiences in sexual relationships and with overall well-being.
Maximize your results by working out at the gym AND in bed. Engaging in an active lifestyle is one of the biggest boosters for your sex life. The more fit you are, the better your sex life will be. A study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that men, who exercised vigorously for 20 to 30 minutes a day, were about half as likely to have erection problems as
inactive men. The scientists in this study also discovered that as a man gained weight, he became more susceptible to experiencing erectile dysfunction.
A University of California at San Diego study of 78 healthy but sedentary middle-aged men documented changes when the men were assigned to exercise three to four times a week for one-hour sessions. Overall, the former couch potatoes reported more
reliable sexual function, more frequent sexual activity and orgasms, and greater satisfaction.
Here’s a study to encourage the ladies to exercise for improved sex lives: Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin studied 35 women, ages 18-34. On two separate occasions, the women first watched a short travel film, followed by an abbreviated X-rated film. To begin with, the subjects cycled vigorously for 20 minutes. The second time they didn’t. Researchers calculated their sexual response (using a device that measures blood flow in genital tissue) and discovered that the women’s vaginal responses were 169 percent greater after exercising.
Even losing weight and quitting smoking or drinking won’t improve sexual function the way exercise does. The following are sexual problems caused by a lack of fitness:
  • Low sexual desire
  • Difficulty with arousal
  • Inability to have an orgasm
  • A dislike of sex, poor libido
  • Painful intercourse, pain after intercourse
Here’s what you’ll need to get the most out of your sex life.
  • For enthusiastic sex, you’ll need to work on your cardio endurance. You don’t want to run out of energy halfway through.
  • You also need muscular endurance for longer-lasting  sex. You may find yourself holding, er, unusual positions for some time, so conditioning your body can be a plus. For endurance, you can try a resistance band workout or good ol’ push-ups and sit-ups. The objective is to use a lighter resistance and perform more repetitions.
  • As you can imagine, having loads of muscular strength can come in handy during your bedroom sessions. Increasing your strength will help you avoid show-stopping leg cramps.
  • Flexibility can enhance anyone’s sex life, making it a bit easier to get into your favorite position with a minimum amount of fuss. Increased flexibility can have you venturing into some new positions that seemed impossible before. Yoga is a great way to limber up?
If exercise can do so much for your sex life, shouldn’t more be even better? The answer is no. Heavy exercise can actually decrease testosterone levels, leading to a less-robust sexual appetite. Over-training can also compromise the immune system, which can adversely affect sexual performance.
So, in addition to your new buff body, exercise will help you enjoy life to the fullest! A sexy body and amazing sex is within your grasp when you follow the right fitness program.

Perserverance Pays Off

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Perserverance Pays Off

 

Laura Pierce is our latest My Stronger Self Member of the Month.  Laura is an absolute inspiration to so many of us. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her, go out of your way to track her down at one of her workouts and listen to her story.

Laura – BEFORE

She’s had an amazing journey. Laura almost quit on us early on but with some gentle prodding she hung in there and hasn’t looked back since. Laura’s most recent weigh and measure showed an 11 pound loss, 5% reduction in body fat, and 4.75 inches shed! Her totals so far are 30 pounds, 7% body fat and a whopping 21.25 inches lost. We’re so happy for your success Laura, you’ve worked hard and earned each and every bit of it! Thank you for never giving up!

 

“I’m Laura Pierce.   I’m 53, and I spent over 30 years sitting at a desk and sitting on my couch.  As a result, I was overweight and out of condition.  I had shoulder issues, back issues, was borderline diabetic, and borderline high cholesterol.  I finally got my head in the game and decided 2011 would be the year to make my health my #1 priority.  No more excuses.  Old age isn’t for sissies, and I want to enjoy being a senior citizen someday.

I joined Weight Watchers and heard about My Stronger Self from a presentation given by Lori at a meeting. Trying to exercise by myself in my basement had not worked in the past, so I decided to join in January 2011. Lori knows each of us and can tailor each exercise to accommodate any physical limitations, like my weak shoulders. And the women in my class are the best!
We celebrate progress together and push each other during the workouts.  Their strength and dedication inspires me.

Laura - AFTER

I never thought I would be able to work out like I am now with Strength and Zumba and have fun at it!  I have more stamina and confidence, and I want to continue to challenge myself.  The pounds and inches I’ve lost are certainly a bonus, but the real prize was my last check-up.  For the first time in over 20 years, all my stats (LDL, HDL, triglicerides, glucose, total cholesterol) were normal.  No notes or asterisks from the doctor.  Both he and I were speechless!

George Eliot said, “It is never too late to be what you might havebeen”.

If I can do it, anyone can.

I love My Stronger Self!”

 

$39 Unlimited Offer from Living Social Deal

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My Stronger Self Fitness Studio - Brighton, MI

Are Fitness Goals Important?

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Are Fitness Goals Important?

Are fitness goals important? If you said no, we would have to disagree. To set goals for anything in life that you want to achieve are critical to your success. We always say, “well my goal is to lose 30 pounds” … is this a goal? Yes, but how do you plan to get there? If you’ve been on the dieting roller-coaster you know life throws you curve balls and what was working in the beginning may no longer be helping you now.

It’s typically easy in the beginning to shed pounds right? Whether you’re just watching what you eat or working out, you’ve got lots of enthusiasm and this is it, this is your time, you’re finally going to hit that bench mark. Only to lose steam, lose sight of that goal and many times quit alltogether. You’re left feeling defeated, or worse depressed and more than likely beating yourself up about it which is not good for anyone but especially you.

It truly is imperative to set goals that are more “doable” and don’t seem so overwhelming especially when you hit those walls and find it difficult to keep pushing forward. We have a few suggestions that we have seen help many overcome hurdles that we all encounter.

First, having an overall weight loss goal is great. If writing that number down helps then do it, but then put it away. It’s more critical to have a plan on how you intend to get there. Planning is probably one of the biggest activities we see that make people successful at reaching their goals or not.

At the beginning of each week, figure out what days you will fit in strength training, what days cardio exercise and then plan what you plan to put in your mouth. I would also suggest a quick backup plan. Kids, work, things pop up every day that can jar us off track a bit but they cannot be used as an excuse. Pick a few alternate classes you can attend if something does come up so you don’t miss your exercise. Or a survival sack filled with healthy snacks in case you get somewhere and can’t eat the meal you had planned. It may seem like a lot at first, but doing it helps bring clarity and eventually it just won’t feel right if you don’t do it.

Next, don’t focus so much on the scale. We know you’ve all heard this a million times, so there must be something to it right? If you’ve been coming to your strength classes 2 times a week, eating well then we know you’ve seen a difference. Clothes fit better, you’re taking on curves that you thought were lost forever! INCHES COUNT! If you don’t believe us then scan back through some of our blog posts and find previous My Stronger Self “Members of the Month”. Read their stories, seek them out at the gym and listen to people who have been through it and learn.

Gail McCoy - 51 Mile Bike Ride

Another suggestion besides setting a weight loss goal would be to set a goal that involves trying an activity for the first time that maybe you were too afraid to do or thought you could never do. It doesn’t have to be something crazy like a marathon but what about a 5k whether it’s walking or jogging it doesn’t matter. Just being involved in something and finishing can be more exhilarating that seeing a 2 pound loss for the week. You need other bench marks to gauge your success … it cannot be all about the weight.

Accomplishing these types of goals, making it through the week as you planned, exercise, getting stronger and more fit feels good! These are the feelings you need to remember and this is what will keep you going when the going gets tough. If you try and let yourself forget about the pounds and just focus on the task at hand, you will reach your goal sooner than you realize and you will also have some fun along the way.

Every day life gets in the way, but life will always happen.

Tell Your Kids to Take a Hike

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Tell Your Kids to Take a Hike

No, we are not mean parents I promise … no need to neglect your kids this summer. However, we know by now you might be pulling your hair out with the little ruggers at home all day long instead of in school. Sick of seeing them plant themselves in front of the Xbox instead of running around outside playing freeze tag and drinking from the hose. We found this article in this month’s Fitness Journal by Ryan Halvorsen and thought it was worth your time. Plenty of ideas to help make family time one filled with physical activity.

“Want a great way to combine family time and physical activity? Head into the great outdoors and take a hike. “Getting kids outside is more important than ever,” states outdoor enthusiast Jeff Alt. “Television, computer and video game addictions are replacing outdoor playtime. Passive inside entertainment is contributing to the national obesity epidemic.”

Here are Alt’s tips for getting kids excited about hiking:

  • Hike With Your Baby and Toddler. Children weighing less than 15 pounds should be carried in a front body carrier or sling; those weighing 16–40 pounds will fit into a child carrier backpack; children weighing more than 30 pounds may be ready to hike short distances.
  • Let the Child Lead. This helps you focus on what the kids are interested in and keeps you from leaving them in the dust.
  • Plan Ahead. Choose a trail with easy access to domestic amenities.
  • Go High-Tech. Turn your teenaged computer–gamers on to adventure technology (GPS, pedometers, etc.). “

We hope you found this article helpful and not only does it get your kids active but also you! We want to hear from YOU, what do you do to get your kids burning off energy?

Fun Exercise for the Whole Family

With Heat Wave, Don’t Forget to Hydrate

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With Heat Wave, Don’t Forget to Hydrate

Take a look at our Hartland.Patch.com blog about the importance of proper hydration.

“Michigan is experiencing a heat wave this week which leads me to a very important topic … hydration! Not only is it vital when you exercise but imperative in near record-breaking temperatures. Here are some facts about hydration and electrolytes:

What does water do in our body?

  • Helps regulate body temperature through sweating
  • Assists in digestion
  • Assists in moving oxygen, glucose and fat to muscle tissue and removing waste products from the muscle tissue

How does dehydration affect our bodies?

  • Can cause a drop in blood volume which forces the heart to work harder
  • Can lead to muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue and heat stroke/exhaustion
  • Loss of aerobic performance with as little as 1-2 percent weight loss

When and how much should I drink?

  • 15-20 ounces two to three hours before exercise
  • 8-10 ounces 10-15 minutes before exercise
  • Start drinking before you’re thirsty during a workout. Drink approximately 8-10 ounces for every 15 minutes of activity.
  • After a workout, drink 20-24 ounces for every 1 pound of body weight lost during a workout.
  • Learn your own body and how much fluid you lose or need to take in during a workout. We’re all different and have different fluid needs!

Key facts about electrolyte balance

  • Sodium, potassium and magnesium are the most common and important electrolytes.
  • Electrolytes help tell our muscles when to fire.
  • Hyponatremia (over hydration or too low of electrolyte concentration) can result from excessive sweating/fluid loss and a lack of electrolyte intake. Water alone is not enough to rehydrate you on the warmest of days and/or if you’re a heavy sweater.

If you’re exercising outside …

  • Limit exercise or strenuous physical activity to the coolest parts of the day, early morning or late evening.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing that’s both lightweight and light in color. Choose
    clothing that draws perspiration away from the skin, such as cotton T-shirts or shorts. Newer perspiration-wicking fabrics also are effective.
  • Don’t overdo it. Start slowly and increase your pace gradually. In weather
    that’s extremely hot and humid, don’t exercise at too high a level. What is
    normal on a cool day might be dangerous on a hot day.
  • Wear sunscreen. It’s harder for the body to keep sunburned skin cool.
    Consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off the face and head.
    Sunscreen helps protect the skin from sunburn and keeps a person cooler, too.

We hope this gives you some insight as to importance of proper hydration and exercise and helps keep you safe during these hot and muggy summer days.”

Busy Mom of 5 Makes Fitness a Priority

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Busy Mom of 5 Makes Fitness a Priority

Amy Neuer is our latest My Stronger Self Member of the Month. Amy is an excellent example of a busy Mom and small business owner who’s making a conscience effort to put her health and wellbeing at the top of the list! Amy has 5 children and is co-owner of Gold Diggers, LLC. Needless to say she is one busy lady and yet she hits the gym consistently, tracks her eating
and comes to all the nutrition meetings. It’s no wonder she’s seeing results. While she may not have a lot of weight to lose, Amy recognizes that it’s equally as important to be healthy and fit for herself and her family. Find Amy and ask her about her secret to balancing family, work and her health so successfully. We’re so happy for your success Amy!  You’ve worked hard and certainly deserve title of “Member of the Month”!

Hi, I am Amy Neuer. I am 35 years old, my entire married life I have been on some type of diet and exercise plan. I have 5 children, and have gained and lost 50 lbs several times over the last 12 years. Sometimes it would come off easier than other times. I knew that our family was complete after my last daughter, Brinley, was born in June 2010. I wanted to get into a program right away. I have taken several classes before, spin, boot camp, personal training, but never had I tried anything quite like My Stronger Self!

After joining in December, I have seen great changes in my body. My weight loss has not been as quick as when I was on other plans, but I am wearing smaller sizes and feel very strong. It is a challenge every week to make time for the classes and commit to the nutrition planning but I know that I am worth it! It makes me a better wife and mom, as well as a healthier person.

I am more than half way through my program and hopeful that I will meet my final goals within the 2011 year. Lori and Michelle push me hard, and are always filling my head with positive thoughts during class. There was a time when I would have walked when it got tough but now I welcome the challenge. I feel that the education that these instructors have given me with both exercise and diet will be with me for life. I recently began running, and cannot wait to try a 5K with our group! It is so motivating hearing all the great success stories from friends in class.

I wish that everyone could feel the energy we do after a good class. Thank you, My Stronger Self!


I have always believed that one women’s success can only help another women’s - Gloria Vanderbilt

Amy Neuer & Family

Are You Training Your Child to Be Overweight?

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Are You Training Your Child to Be Overweight?

Happy, Healthy Kids!

We all want the best for our kids. You want your kids to have fun and to look and feel great about themselves. We do all we can to help provide them with whatever we can to lead active, healthy lifestyles. However, how many times have you seen your kids mimic what you do or say? They are absorbing the negative messages and behavior we wished they’d never seen or heard.

Even if your kids are active and slender now, you need to be aware of subtle ways you could be teaching your kids poor habits. Take note of these warning signs that you could be setting your kids up for a lifetime of bad habits and worse yet obesity.

Warning Sign #1:

  • Do you regularly skip breakfast?
  • Do you often eat Pop-Tarts or fast food breakfast sandwiches in the car?
  • Do you eat together as a family?
  • Do eat your meals in a hurry, everyone grabbing what they can anywhere but at the dinner table?

Kids need to see regular meal times as part of a consistent lifestyle rather than something that’s jammed into the cluttered corners of a hectic life.

People often tend to eat larger portions and make bad choices when they are constantly grabbing food on the run or eating in front of the TV. If you’re so busy to make time for healthy eating, some serious evaluation of your life needs to happen.

There are lots of reasons to avoid over-scheduling your family life, but setting a good example for your kids about making their health and fitness a priority is one of the most important.

Warning Sign #2:

  • Do you sign your kids up for soccer or dance to make sure they remain active but don’t do anything for yourself?
  • Are all your kids fitness activities organized and scheduled with very little free time left to simply run around?
  • How often do you walk places as a family or do strenuous activities such as yard work together?
    Kids need to see fitness not as something you do for an hour a day a few days a week but rather a series of choices they make every day.
    Warning Sign #3:
  • Are you constantly complaining about your body in front of your kids?
  • Do they hear you talk about food being “bad”?
  • Do they hear you talk about eating healthy food as though it were a burden or chore?
  • Do you dicsuss exercise as if it were torture?

Proper eating habits should be a matter of fact health issue, not a moral judgement call. Yet so many of us fall into this trap every day and worse, we do it within earshot of our kids.

Our kids will absorb our attitudes towards weight and food, including our perceived powerlessness against tempting foods or that exerxise is inherrently difficult, unpleasant, or undesrable. Watch the language you use about weight, diet and exercise. Show your kids that it’s possible to make better choices most of the time without feeling deprived or burdened. If you crave an ocassional treat go ahead and indulge you and your family without going on and on about how bad you are being by snekaing a treat or how it will go straight to your hips.

Show your kids ways they can enjoy exercise by naturally incorporating fitness into their every day lives. Teach them that nourishing their bodies is more important and should be a top priority. Model healthy attitudes about weight, eating and exercise.

Doing these things will give them the tools they’ll need to live the healthiest lives possible while also helping ensure that you will be an active presence in their lives for a lot longer!

Family Bike Ride

YOGA is Finally Here!

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YOGA has Finally Arrived

at

We are so excited to announce that starting Septeber 7th we will be offering a Hatha Yoga class Wednesday’s at 930am and then starting September 17th, Saturdays at 945am! Your instructor is local resident and certified Yoga Teacher, Robin Shepard. We are happy to add Robin to our My Stronger Self Family!
Certified Yoga Instructor – Robin Shepard
Robin is experienced in Hatha, Yin, Meridian Yin, Gentle Yoga, Slow Flow Vinyasa and Vinyasa Yoga with a strong focus on healing using Energy Medicine, Acu Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation Techiniques. She’s also very active voluenteering her time in her church and throughout our community. We are very lucky to have Robin on board and look forward to hearing your feedback on the newest addition to our class schedule here in our Brighton Fitness Studio.

“Ha” comes from the Sanskrit word for “sun,” and “tha” means moon. The goal of practicing hatha yoga is to bring together opposites in your life and create balance. During hatha yoga, you use physical postures, or asanas, to align your body and allow energy to flow freely. You also learn breathing techniques, or pranayamas, which also help regulate the flow of energy and enable you to master your mind and attain balance. Asanas during hatha yoga are intended to improve balance, flexibility and strength. Some poses also massage internal organs and enhance circulation, digestion and hormonal activity in the body. Pranayamas boost blood circulation and decrease oxygen consumption, which increases oxygen supply to your brain. Yoga may help reduce stress and blood pressure, improve concentration and sleep and treat conditions such as arthritis and asthma.” ~ Livestrong.com

Yoga stretching has been shown to stretch muscles to get you ready to exercise, protect you by helping you maintain proper breathing and all important form while exercising. This allows your muscles to release the tension that builds up during exercise, which ultimately allows your muscles to relax after working out. This final relaxation stage is vitally important because the time between workouts is when your muscles repair and strengthen themselves.

If you’re not a member of My Stronger Self Fitness Studio and would like additional information regarding our new Yoga class or any of our classes, please send us an email at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com or call 810-844-1650.

If you’re not a member but would still  like to drop in for this very special class, please click the “buy now” button. Sign up is required, space is limited and filling up fast. Reserve your spot today!!

Abs of Steel Anyone?

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Abs of Steel Anyone?

Nancy Will is our latest My Stronger Self Member of the Month. Nancy is very dedicated to her workouts. She’s consistently

Nancy Will - My Stronger Self Member of the Month

here for her strength training classes twice a week without fail! Nancy also takes part in our free Saturday morning boot camps and has recently joined in on our new Saturday Hatha Yoga class to add a new facet to her fitness routine. When she’s here, she’s really here … focused and ready to put in the time and energy to stay healthy. Obviously, Nancy did not come to us for weight loss, she’s here to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. She’s a wonderful person to have in class and is such a positive light! Nancy is 58 years old and look at the abs she found while at My Stronger Self! She’s an inspiration to us all! You’ve worked hard and absolutely deserve title of “Member of the Month”!

Here’s what Nancy has to say about her health and fitness journey.

“Younger Next Year” was the best New Year’s resolution I could have made. Inspired by the book, I knew I could make fitness more of a priority than I had in the past. I joined My Stronger Self this January and have been amazed at my results. Lori and her staff have given me a new appreciation for what can be accomplished when you are committed to making change happen. In just seven short months, I’ve experienced an incredible transformation in the way I look and feel. It’s hard to describe the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment you walk away with after a challenging workout session at My Stronger Self –an hour focused totally on “me”. Lori and team provide the direction, variation, encouragement and motivation to push hard, reap the rewards, and keep you coming back for more. The supportive environment offered by the My Stronger Self staff and its members is beyond compare! It’s an honor to be selected as the My Stronger Self’s Member of the Month.

Nancy Will – BEFORE

Nancy Will - AFTER

Are We Victims of Diet Sabotage?

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Are We Victims of Diet Sabotage?

When you’re trying to lose weight, it gets challenging when our friends and loved ones can be our greatest obstacles. Most of the time, we are surrounded by supportive, helpful people but sometimes the need to speak up for your diet success is a necessary evil.  It’s essential when those nagging comments keep lingering in your head destined to throw you off course if you’re not mindful.

Here’s a few of my “favorites” you may have heard before:

  • “You’re doing so great — you can have one little piece.”
  • “Honey, I like a little meat on my women.”

    Diet Sabotage

  • “What’s wrong … you’re wasting away!”
  • “Are you sure it’s safe to lose so much weight so fast?”
  • “It’s your birthday – one piece of cake won’t hurt”

Sometimes the comments revolve around food, but the saboteurs don’t stop there. They will attempt to attack your fitness program too. Maybe you’ve heard some of these as well:

  • “Lifting weights will just make you big and bulky like a man”
  • “Your fitness program is too expensive – it’s not worth it”
  • “Don’t you feel selfish spending all that time at the gym?”

Do any of these sound familiar? These people, consciously or not, are trying to sabotage your diet. Why? Some people do it as a way to control you. Others withweight issues feel threatened or competitive. They tend not to feel very goodabout themselves and want everyone to be just as miserable.

We know that one piece of birthday cake may very well be that trigger to cause us to reach for more sweet treats. We know it is safe to lose this much weightbecause we’re working with professionals to help us reach our health andfitness goals. We love our workouts, our gym, the people we workout with. Most of all, the results we’re staring at in the mirror are priceless!

Don’t let these comments get you out of your zone! If you do, you’ll likely fall victim to diet sabotage. Talk with your friends and family. Explain to them how these comments make you feel and how better they can help you reach your goals. Better yet, get them to join you! They’ll feel better about themselves and you can feel great knowing you encouraged someone to get healthy and active.

Keep your eye on the prize at all times and you WILL prevail!

Original post appeared on Hartland.Patch.com

Healthy Cooking with the Great Foodini!

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Crushed Lungs, Strained Joints & a Swollen Heart from Carrying Extra Weight

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“Crushed Lungs, Strained Joints and a Swollen Heart – the Extraordinary Scans that Reveal What Being Fat Does to You”

We all like to focus on how we will “look” once we’ve lost those extra pounds, but these are pretty jaw dropping photos of what happens on the inside when we carry extra weight. It’s a bit frightening when you read the article we’ve republished by Victoria Lambert, but meant to be motivating. One of these bodies will most likely last longer, which one would you rather be? It’s time for a change!

“Carrying extra pounds may not look attractive from the outside, but it’s been difficult to understand precisely the havoc it wreaks on your insides – until now. Here, in a pair of astonishing pictures, we can see exactly what being overweight does to the organs, bones and muscles. These images of two women were taken by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRIRI) scanner and reveal in horrifying detail the obesity effect. The woman on the left weighs just over 250 poinds, the one on the right just under 120 pounds. Their muscles (shown in red), bones (white), organs (black) and fat (yellow) are all clearly defined.
body scanbody scan

Spot the difference: The obese woman on the left has fat around her organs (shown by the yellow areas) and an enlarged heart which can have dire consequences on her health. As well as the fat sitting just under the skin (the fat you can pinch), these images reveal the fat inside the body wrapped around the organs.

To explain the impact of those extra pounds, we talked to Professor Jimmy Bell from Imperial College, London (the man who developed MRIRI to show body fat), and orthopaedic surgeon Mike Hayton and consultant radiologist Waqar Bhatti, both of Alexandra Hospital, Cheadle, Manchester. Their comments make for alarming reading – for men as well as women. But the good news, says Professor Bell, is that you can change this picture through diet and exercise. These images provide a compelling incentive.

NECK: HEADACHES/SNORING

‘Excess fat here would cause pressure on the nerves and may contribute to headaches and neck pains.’ An American study of more than 143,000 people found that chronic daily headaches are more common among the obese. ‘The yellow patches on either side of the neck of the woman on the left also quite clearly show that a thick layer of subcutaneous fat is building up,’ says consultant radiologist Dr Bhatti. ‘This will compress the airways and lead to snoring.’

Obesity is one of the most common risk factors for sleep apnoea, a condition that occurs when tissues in the upper airways come too close to each other, temporarily blocking breathing. It can lead to memory difficulties, low energy, shortness of breath, leg swelling and high blood pressure. Long term, it can contribute to stroke, hypertension and even sudden-death syndrome.

LUNGS: BREATHLESSNESS

Although both women appear to have similar-sized lungs, the larger one’s weight will be making breathing much more
difficult for her.
That’s because ‘any fat in the abdomen will push up into the lungs when the person lies flat’, says Dr Bhatti. ‘This will cause breathlessness even when lying down.’ The more difficult breathing becomes, the harder it is to get enough oxygen circulating in the bloodstream. This can lead to lack of energy, impaired immune system and even high blood pressure, as the body tries to compensate. This is because lungs are not solid structures and can be compressed. ‘Fat doesn’t bulge inwards, it bulges outwards,’ explains Professor Bell. ‘That’s why we all end up with bellies.’

HIPS: ARTHRITIS/VARICOSE VEINS

‘Being obese means the hip joints have to carry a lot of extra weight, so they wear out sooner, causing arthritis where there is susceptibility,’ says Mr Hayton. Obese patients who need hip replacements will find the operation more physically stressful.

Moreover, surgeons may be less happy to operate. One American study found obese people have a significantly higher risk
of post-operative complications, such as heart attack, wound infection and urinary tract infections.
The same study found that morbidly obese patients (those more than 100lb over their ideal weight) were nearly twice as likely to die as a result.
Poor posture and unhealthy gait are more common in obese people, further predisposing joints to osteoarthritis, says
Arthritis Research UK.
The larger woman shown here is apple-shaped, meaning she’s carrying fat around the organs. However even if you’re the supposedly ‘healthier’ pear-shaped, excess weight still puts you at high risk of osteoarthritis and varicose veins, warns Mr Hayton. Varicose veins occur because the fat makes it more difficult for blood to pump back up the body and, as a result, blood valves may be damaged.

HEART: CARDIAC DISEASE

‘Excess fat is more worrying when it’s found around the organs, where it’s known as visceral fat. This can be toxic and poison you from within,’ says Professor Bell. Visceral fat is not an inert lump of lard, but actually pumps out chemicals and has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer. Professor Jimmy Bell also points out that in the larger woman’s scan, her heart (which looks like a large red and black teardrop, suspended between the lungs) has clearly enlarged, the muscle increasing in response to the added strain her weight is placing on her body.

An enlarged heart will not be able to pump effectively, and at the very least will lead to shortness of breath and fatigue. An enlarged heart is a common cause of heart failure, when it cannot supply sufficient blood flow to meet the body’s needs.  At least four per cent of deaths in the UK every year are due to heart failure, according to the British Heart Foundation. The yellow rim of fat around the heart, called pericardial fat, is also linked to hardening of the arteries. Pericardial fat secretes high levels of inflammatory proteins called cytokines. Constant exposure of the heart to these proteins can lead to inflammation of the coronary arteries and calcified plaque (the main cause of heart disease). An American study published in 2008 found that people with the highest levels of pericardial fat were found to be five times more likely also to have high levels of calcified coronary plaque.

FEET: SORE HEELS

‘Carrying at least twice the weight they are meant to means feet will get very sore,’ warns Mr Hayton. The Harvard Medical
School has found that being overweight places pressure on the plantar fascia – the ligament-like structure that runs from your heel to the ball of your foot, which ‘may become inflamed, causing a sharp pain at the heel when walking’.

KNEES: ARTHRITIS

Obesity is the single biggest cause of osteoarthritis in weight-bearing joints such as knees and ankles, and an obese person is 14 times more likely to develop knee arthritis, says Arthritis UK. This is because the additional pressure wears away cartilage – the natural layer of shock absorber in our joints – leaving bone to grind against bone. Dr Ian Drysdale, of the British College of Osteopathic Medicine, explains the scale: ‘For every pound you are overweight, the momentum of running or jumping increases the pressure on the joint by up to ten times.’

Ankle joints will come under pressure, too. However, ankle replacement is a fairly rare procedure. ‘Developing a thick layer
of fat around the upper arm will put an increased load on the shoulder joint,’ says surgeon Mike Hayton.
‘As the fat builds up, it will become more difficult to lift your arm above your head – or even put your jacket on. You’ll feel less flexible.’ Then as you stop using the joint fully, the soft tissues will start to contract, dragging the ball and socket closer, causing bones to rub and leading to arthritis and pain.

GUTS: DEPRESSION/INFERTILITY

The scan of the larger woman reveals not just the rolls of fat on her body, but large amounts of fat wrapped around her organs (the black patches) in her abdomen. The thinner woman on the right not only has little ‘ surface’ body fat, but her organs have minimal visceral fat. ‘The abdomen is the worst place for fat to accumulate,’ says Professor Bell. ‘Many people assume middle-aged spread is normal, but it’s not. You should accept that as you age you will be less active and need fewer calories,’ adds Mr Hayton.

This visceral fat constantly secretes chemicals and hormones in large quantities such as leptin and restitin, which are associated with changes in the metabolism and linked to the onset of Type 2 diabetes. These hormones can also disrupt the entire endocrine system and lead to other hormone imbalances, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition which affects women, causing excess hair, weight gain and infertility. Meanwhile, when fat reaches the digestive system it breaks down in the liver. As it does this, toxins are released into the bloodstream. These can seriously damage organs such as the liver, causing fatty liver disease. This can lead to inflammation, the formation of scar tissue and eventually cirrhosis. It is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

There is a mind-body connection too. Research suggests that visceral fat affects mood by increasing production of the stress hormone cortisol and reducing levels of feelgood endorphins. Visceral fat is also known to cause inflammation in the arteries and around the colon. In men, being overweight increases the risk of colon cancer by an estimated 25 per cent; being obese increases it by 50 per cent (the link is nowhere near as clear in women), according to Cancer Research UK. Extra weight will also put pressure on the pelvic floor and may cause incontinence and haemorrhoids.

Heathy Soups, Tips and Tricks from the Great Foodini

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Here are some highlights from our Healty Tips and Tricks class with Renee Chodkowski (www.greatfoodini.com) that we held at the My Stronger Self Fitness Studio this past week. We enjoyed two wonderful soups, her Butternut & Friends Soup as well as Roasted Vegetable Soup plus Renee shared some quick prep tips to make life a little easier in the kitchen.

The Weight HAD to Go!

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“The Weight HAD to Go!”

 

Rebecca Davis is our latest My Stronger Self Member of the Month.  She joined us back in mid July of this year and is making awesome strides with her weight loss! If you want an example of someone who is laser focused during her workouts just stand next to Becky.  She is such a hard worker and wow is it paying off! She’s lost 36 pounds, 3.5% body fat and 26.5 inches in just 4 months! And by the way, those are Size 8 jeans she’s fitting into in that picture! Becky is a wife, busy Mom of 3 gorgeous little girls that she home schools, works part-time and still makes her fitness and healthy eating a priority. Think there isn’t enough time in day to make it all happen, ask Becky how she does it. You’ll often find her in Cardio Kick Boxing, Cardio Fusion, Free Saturday Boot Camps and her Strength Training classes without fail. We’ve enjoyed watching you melt away the pounds and inches Becky! You’re such an inspiration to us all … Keep up the great work.   Keep reading to hear all about Becky’s weight loss journey …

Becky - BEFORE

“I’m Rebecca (Becky, Becca) Davis, and I have struggled with my weight most of my adult life.   After the birth of our 3rd daughter in 2009 my weight rose to the highest it has ever been.  As a busy stay at home mom raising 3 active little girls, homeschooling and working from home part-time who had time to exercise?  It all started with a boot camp. It was hard and I got sick after but I knew it was something I desperately needed.

I knew I was seriously overweight and I didn’t want to wait around for my turn with hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease or diabetes. The weight HAD to go.  It was time.  I am also responsible for setting a good, healthy example for my three daughters.  I never want them to struggle as I have.  I want them to know that working out is fun,
eating healthy can be fun!  I am grateful to everyone who helps me find the time to go to classes at the studio – husband, grandmas, babysitters – without them I would not have the time to commit to my health.

I signed up with My Stronger Self because I wanted to be healthy, lose the extra weight I had been carrying around for the last 10 years, and be proud of how I looked.  I wanted to ensure that my husband and our girls share a long, happy and HEALTHY life together.  In December I will be 39 years old and I am in the best shape of my life!

And, it’s only going to get better.  I am the strongest I have ever been and I am wearing clothes in my dream size!  I have

Becky - AFTER

lowered my body fat percentage, I have lowered my BMI and I have lost 36 pounds since July, 2011.  I have love and support from my family and friends and I have trainers who continually challenge and push me.  Lori, Lisa, Michelle and all of the
instructors at My Stronger Self are amazing. I am excited and proud of my progress so far and I am looking forward to continuing this journey of health and fitness with everyone at My Stronger Self!!

CONGRATULATIONS BECKY!!!!

Brighton Fitness Studio Makes House Calls

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My Stronger Self Fitness Studio – We Make House Calls

 

OK, we can’t lie … we had a lot of fun making this video. Is it a little “campy”? Sure … but in the end, I think you get our point. Special thanks to Lisa Johnson for her fabulous performance. I see an Oscar in your future Lisa.

Hope you all get a good laugh … but don’t be surprised when you get a call or text or maybe even a house call next time you start missing your workouts. Now we ask those of you watching this video who are not yet members of My Stronger Self Fitness Studio … does your gym call you when you haven’t been in to workout after a while? We do because we actually care if you’re here or not and because we know personal attention is what helps make our clients so successful.

 

If you’re interested in taking My Stronger Self for a test drive, we offer a 2 week free trial. Give us a call at 810-844-1650 or email FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com today!

10 Tips to Keep Off the Holiday Pounds

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10 Tips to Keep Off the Holiday Pounds

Well, here we are less than a week away from Christmas and the holiday hustle and bustle is in fully swing. I don’t think the retailers will be satisfied until we are preparing for Christmas all year round! It’s also the time of year where we tend to lose sight of our health and fitness goals because we’re so busy, forced to face holiday parties filled with too many tempting dishes and dare I say it … the in-laws. Now all we’re left with is yet another New Year’s resolution to help get us back on track. It feels like a no-win situation doesn’t it? Here’s a few tips to help us all survive the holidays:

1. Plan Your Workouts:
It’s not too late to grab a calendar right now and plan each and every workout from now until Dec. 31. Treat them like an appointment for one of your kids. We rarely miss those do we? If we do, we reschedule. Our motto at My Stronger Self is “if you erase, you must replace.” In other words, if you absolutely have to miss a workout, then you need to reschedule it for another time that day or week. Workouts are crucial this time of year to combat the parties, stress, etc. that we all experience during the holidays.

2. Eat Before a Party:
If you’re invited to a party be sure to eat a small nutritious snack just before you go. Feeling more full will help keep you away from the foods that are sure to sabotage your healthy eating.

3. Find a Holiday Outfit:
Find a great outfit you want to wear for a special occasion over the holidays and keep trying it on as you lead up to the event. Your goal is to look good in it and gaining any extra pounds won’t get you there.

4. Talk to Your Family:
It’s important whether it’s the holidays or not, to discuss with your family and friends that you’re trying to eat healthier whatever the reason may be. Help them to understand how important it is for you and that you’d like to make sure healthier food options are available during your get-togethers.

5. Find Healthy Recipe Alternatives:
We all love Grandma’s famous sugar cookie recipe but this is the year to give it a healthy face lift. There are thousands of websites that will help you make your favorite dishes more healthy for the holidays. Save a few for your family and give the rest away.

My Stronger Self Fitness Studio - Brighton, MI


6. Plan Holiday Meals & Shopping List:
Planning meals and what you need to buy at the grocery store is important. By sticking with your list, you’ll be less likely to snatch up those impulse purchases which just so happen to almost always be bad for us.

7. Plan Family Walks:
Get the entire family up and moving after dinner with a walk. It feels good to get outside, helps burn a few extra calories and it’s great quality time with entire family.

8. Create a Christmas Wish List:
How many pairs of slippers, pajamas, and candles do you really need? Make a wish list that includes a healthy cook book, training package, workout clothes, or new gym shoes.

9. Post Your Goals:
Place a photo of what you want to look like or your written health goals where you will see them. Some people put them right on the fridge door as a constant reminder before they dive into something they shouldn’t. This is a tip you can use all year round.

10. Don’t Stress:
Don’t sweat the small stuff! Give to a family in need … when you give you instantly feel good and that helps melt away the stress. Remind yourself of how fortunate you are. There are always others who are less fortunate than ourselves. Many people aren’t able to exercise, be grateful you still can and DO IT! Never take it for granted.
Remember exercise and proper nutrition is not only good for us physically it also helps us mentally cope with day to day challenges life throws at us but especially during the holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at My Stronger Self Fitness Studio!
This post originally appeared on the Hartland.Patch.com: http://hartland.patch.com/blog_posts/10-tips-to-keep-off-holiday-pounds

Zumba and Strength Training Equals Weight Loss

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Zumba and Strength Trainging Equals Weight Loss

 

Everyone has their own special fitness routine that has made them successful. For our latest Member of the Month, Sherri Butler, her fitness routine includes Zumba, Strength Training and lots of weight loss! Read her inspiring story below.

 

Sherri - BEFORE

Thank God for Sharon Heffner and My Stronger Self!! I, like
many others, have been overweight and out of shape for decades!

Losing weight has been on my mind for many years, literally everyday! But the ‘spirit’ never moved me to do anything about it. I truly believe that God helps those who help themselves, and all those decades of praying for will power (and doing nothing else!) resulted in my eventually reaching 230+ pounds! I was in the process of looking for a Zumba class when my good friend Sharon, with her incredible weight loss, told me about My Stronger Self. The other classes I had found were a distance away. No excuses now…this place was very close to home. I signed up for Zumba and did that for the whole month of April. What fun!! That was all it took to get the ‘spirit’ moving and the first of May I signed up with Lori and strength training and have been here ever since.

 

The results have astounded me! I knew exercise was a great thing, but being essentually a rather lazy girl, never took it seriously. BIG mistake folks … GET MOVIN’!

 

It feels great and the benefits are awesome! I have lost 35 pounds so far! YAY!! Lori and My Stronger Self have given me a new lease on life and I expect now to live much longer and feel much better! Bridgett and Terri are awesome Zumba instructors and will keep you going!

 

Its great fun and all the gals I work out with are so supportive! Nothing but positive mojo here at My Stronger Self! I am sooo proud of myself! Thanks My Stronger Self!!!!

Sherri - AFTER

Sherri Butler is the latest My Stronger Self Member of the Month.  She joined us back in March of 2011 and has been making the most of her time spent at My Stronger Self.  All her hard is definitely paying off.  She’s lost 35 pounds, 4% body fat and 32 inches! And by the way, 12 of those inches came from her waist alone … must be all that Zumba Sherri!  Sherri is 60 years
old and a wonderful example of what we all should be doing at any age. Exercising, eating healthy and staying positive. She has such spunk you just can’t help but love to be around her in class.  Track her down and find out her secret to success. You’ll find her at several of our Zumba classes and Strength Training each and every week. We’ve loved watching you get healthy and fit Sherri. Keep up the hard work … you definitely deserve title of “Member of the Month”

Healthy Holiday Recipe – Ginger Topped Pumpkin Bread

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Special thanks to Laura Pierce, one of our many wonderful members at My Stronger Self Fitness Studio, for sharing this special holiday recipe with us and all of you.

Ginger-Topped Pumpkin Bread

Ginger Topped Pumpkin Bread

Makes 2 Loaves
Prep:15 minutes   Bake: 1 hour 15 mins
BREAD:
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup fat-free egg product or 2 eggs + 4 egg whites
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cloves
GLAZE AND TOPPING:
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons warm water
¼ teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease bottoms only of 2 9×5-inch loaf pans
with shortening or cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, mix pumpkin, granulated sugar, applesauce, milk, vanilla, and
egg product.  Stir in remaining bread ingredients.  Pour into pans.
3. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out
clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from
pans to cooling rack.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.
4.  In small bowl, mix powdered sugar, warm water, and ¼ teaspoon vanilla until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.  Drizzle glaze over loaves.  Sprinkle with ginger.

Per slice (slice=1/12 of loaf): 70 Cal, 0g Total Fat, 0 mg Chol, 120mg Sod, 16g Total Carb, 9g Total Sugar, 0g Fib, 2g Prot

Inspiration to Make Your Resolutions Stick in 2012

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Inspiration to Make Your Resolutions Stick in 2012

I ran across this video on and it really struck a chord with me. I caught a glimpse of what I felt like being overweight and out of shape. I’ve seen it in the mirror, felt it in my body and seen that hopelessness in myself and others. The video’s message is powerful and invokes a feeling that life transformations can and do happen. You’ll see the transformation in Ben before he’s even at his lowest weight. Which maybe is the point … happiness doesn’t necessarily come from hitting your number (or whatever your goal may be) it comes from doing. “Do Life” is Ben’s motto and I agree because it’s not the ”wanting” that gets you there it’s the “doing”!  By moving closer to our tangible goal, we get a glimpse of the intangible … Happiness. And that’s the inspiration that keeps us pushing forward, one tiny step at a time.

Enjoy the video!

Lisa Bender

 

Smart Choices for Real People Cooking Class

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Smart Choices for Real People Cooking Class

January 19th at 630pm

Eat more good foods, eat fewer bad foods, move more and learn how to do it easier with My Stronger Self Fitness Studio and Renee Chodkowski – “The Great Foodini”!  This is a fun mini-class with lots of good food and a cookie loaded with phytonutrients that you will LOVE! Cost is $15 for Non-Members and $10 for Members. Pre-registration is required and payment due at time of registration. Space is limited and fills up fast, register TODAY!

Non-Members can register and pay for class online.

The Importance of Cardio Training

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The Importance of Cardio Training

 

I wanted to talk to you this week about the importance of cardio training. I read an article on About.com by Paige Waehner and I thought I would share it.

I get asked the question many times each week. How much cardio should I be doing? You should be doing it at least 5 days a week. This does not mean you have spend hours everyday doing cardio. If you are doing it at home 20 minutes of moderate to high intensity cardio depending on your fitness level. Cardio is not just for weight-loss. It has so many other benefits. You should also cross train. Go to our website and take a look at our current class schedule.

Our Bodies Were Made to Move

People used to have to farm for their food. Hunt for their food. Cook their food all day. So they were getting a workout constantly. Preparing every meal was hard work. Not anymore! Now we drive in the car, go to a restaurant, buy food at the grocery store, and the worst … sit at a desk all day.

If you have one of those sedentary jobs (sit at a desk all day) think about how your body feels at the end of the day. Do you have tight muscles, and aching back, feel exhausted even though you have not done anything physical? Maybe your shoulders burn from tension and your head hurts from staring at a computer screen for too long. Now think about how your body feels after a workout. Your muscles are warm and flexible, the blood is pumping through your body and providing oxygen and energy. You feel energized, confident, and proud of yourself and  ready to take on the world. It’s much different, isn’t it? Our bodies are made to move – not sit around all day and yet, that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Next, take a moment to remember all the benefits of cardio exercise:

  • Weight loss
  • Stronger heart and lungs
  • Increased bone density
  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer
  • Temporary relief from depression and anxiety
  • More confidence about how you feel and look
  • Better sleep
  • More energy
  • Setting a good example for your kids to stay active as they get older

Notice that weight loss, while a big focus for many people, is only one benefit of cardio. Despite that, weight loss is often our only goal and not just for health, but to look good. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good, having that as our only goal can make exercise harder. Why? Because losing weight takes time … what happens if you don’t see results on your timetable? Where will your motivation go if the scale doesn’t cooperate? Open your mind to other reasons to exercise … you might just find new ways to make exercising easier.

Cardio for Better Quality of Life

Appearance is important. That’s why I take a shower every day,

ZUMBA

make sure my clothes match and check that I don’t have anything green stuck in my teeth. But I worry that we’ve gotten so obsessed with how we looked that we no longer care about how we feel. If you look at the benefits listed above, all of them translate into feeling good now and in the future. Despite that, we still seem more entranced with getting six-pack abs than feeling good, both physically and mentally.

Have we forgotten that being active can make our lives better? Moving around increases blood flow to our muscles, strengthens the heart and lungs and teaches the heart to work more efficiently. Not only that, when you exercise you set a good example for your kids to do the same which could mean a better future for them.

If all this is true, why isn’t that enough to get moving? Why do so many of us struggle with being active? Part of it might be how we think about ourselves, our bodies and exercise.

 

Recipes for Real People

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Smart Choices for Real People Recipes


A lot of you, who weren’t able to attend our “Smart Choices for Real People” Cooking Class with Renee Chodkowski, have been asking for copies of the recipes. We’ve included some of the highlights below as well as pictures to tempt your taste buds, but make sure to check out Renee’s website, www.GreatFoodini.com for hundreds of other awesome recipes.

Enjoy the slide show … Click to Download

Gazpacho Dip

8oz Fat Free Cream Cheese         2 Tbsp Fresh Chopped Cilantro

1/4 c Fat Free Sour Cream          1/3 c Salsa

1 or 2 Cloves Pressed Garlic          Chopped Cucumber, Tomato & Green Onion for Garnish

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, cilantro and salsa, mix well. Spread onto a serving platter. Top with cucumber, tomato and green onion. Serve with pita chips or your favorite.

Kale Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean and stem kale – any variety. Thoroughly dry kale with paper towel or in salad spinner. Cut bigger kale leaves into smaller pieces – about the size of a playing card. Spread out on baking sheet – drizzle, brush or spray with a little olive oil; sprinkle with sale and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Renee also shared her recipe for Marinated Greek Salad and Michigan Cherry Walnut Cookies (aka Phyto Cookies!)

Visit Renee’s Facebook Page and “like” it as well as her website.

The Great Foodini on 

The Great Foodini Website 

Renee Chodkowski & Lori Murphy


Apple Peanut Butter Granola Rings

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Apple Peanut Butter Granola Rings

Click Here to Download the Recipe in PDF Format

  • 1 cup Cinnamon-Pecan Granola (recipe below or use your favorite Granola)
  • 1/4 cup natural-style peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 red or green apples, cored and cut into 6 rings

    Apple Peanut Butter Granola Rings

Cinnamon-Pecan Granola:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Cooking spray

To make the granola:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Combine brown sugar and 1 Tbsp water in a medium microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave at HIGH 30 seconds or until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in oil and cinnamon.  Add oats and pecans, stirring until coated.  Spread oat mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 30 minutes or until browned, stirring twice.  Spread mixture in a single layer on wax paper to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

 

For apple rings:

Place 1 cup of the granola mixture in a small dish.  Combine peanut butter and honey in a small bowl, stirring until smooth.  Spread mixture evenly on 1 side of each apple slice.  Sprinkle evenly with granola.  Enjoy!

* Please note, while the picture shows apples cut in half, the recipe calls for making 3 rings per apple.

 

Servings: 6   Serving Size: 2 Rings   Calories: 179   Fat: 10.1g

Carbs: 20.4 g   Fiber: 2.5 g   Protein: 4.3 g

 

Recipe courtesy of Eat Yourself Skinny

Why Won’t the Scale Budge?

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Why Won’t the Scale Budge?

 

Join us every Tuesday on the My Stronger Self Fitness Studio Facebook Fan Page for our “Ask the Trainer Tuesdays” segment. Leave us a comment with any health and fitness questions you may have for our Fitness Expert, Lori Murphy.

Today, Lori answers the questions about why strength training is important and the all too familiar question of why it seems that scale won’t budge some weeks!

 

Leave us your questions and we’ll be sure to get them answered in one of our next segments of “Ask the Trainer Tuesday”.

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

Visit our website for more information: https://www.MyStrongerSelf.com

Getting Rid of Stubborn Belly Fat

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Getting Rid of Stubborn Belly Fat!

We’re getting a lot of great questions … keep them coming. Michell posted her question about how tough it’s been to lose that belly fat despite 6 days of cardio exercise a week. It’s a trouble spot for a lot of us and I have a few suggestions on how best to shake things up to get the results you’re looking for. Another question came from Amanda and she’s wondering what’s the best workout for a beginner.

 

If you have a question about health and fitness that you’d like answered leave us a comment here or contact us via email at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com. We’d love to hear from you.

Visit us on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/mystrongerselffitness

Cross Training is Key to Consistent Weight Loss

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Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert, takes all your health and fitness related questions every Tuesday. Today, she answers a question from Bob in Hartland about why when he runs on a treadmill 5 days a week for 45 minutes he’s not seeing the same weight loss results. Next, Lori answers a question from Mary in Wixom about whether lifting weights for women will make them large and bulky. Email us your questions to FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com or visit our website at www.MyStrongerSelf.com

 

 

Watch Pounds and Inches Melt Away

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Watch Pounds and Inches Melt Away

Congratulations Diane Dubuc!

Diane is the latest My Stronger Self Member of the Month.   Diane took advantage of our free 2 week trial, joined and has been working

Diane - BEFORE

hard ever since. She’s lost over 25 pounds, 24 inches and 6% body fat just by trusting in Lori’s advice, working hard, and staying the course.  You’re going to see Diane not only at her 2 strength classes every week but also several of our cardio classes and boot camp.  If you read her story as well as look back at past stories from some of our successful members there is a consistent theme: hard work, commitment to making their exercise appointments, and positive energy! Diane is a “cut-up” in class but still remains focused on the exercise as well as pushing her classmates to not give up. We’re so proud of you Diane and look forward to watching you continue to melt away those pounds and inches! You absolutely deserve the title of “Member of the Month”!

Read about Diane’s story below.

“Last winter I had surgery on my rotator cuff and spent 6 weeks in physical therapy.  This derailed my independent attempt at working out and losing weight.  However, now, in addition to losing weight, I needed to work on strengthening my shoulder.  I started at My Stronger Self in May 2011 with the free 2 week trial, and I really liked it.  I joined and started by doing strength classes 2 days a week, and I now go 4 times a week plus the free bootcamp every Saturday.  I really enjoy the classes, and the

Diane - AFTER

instructors are always encouraging and push me to my full potential. When I started at My Stronger Self, I had limited mobility in my shoulder, and needed modifications for most exercises.  After less than a year, I can do push-ups, lift weights, and I can fully extend my arm!  Additionally, I have lost 24 inches and at least 30 lbs.  Although I sometimes whine about the workout during class, I am truly committed to being there, and I enjoy every minute of it!”

 

Thanks for sharing Diane … you look AMAZING!!!

Making the Most of Your Treadmill

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Making the Most of Your Treadmill


I received a question last week about what’s the best workout if you’re using a treadmill. We get this question a lot because sometimes we can’t make it to our group exercise class but we still need to get in a great workout. Most of us know by experience, it’s hard to push yourself when you’re not in a class with others. We hop on the treadmill and maybe flip through a magazine or watch TV while doing it. It’s really easy to get complacent. While it’s great we are up and moving, it’s important to keep yourself challenged and working hard. Take a look at my video and if you’d like a copy of our 12 Week Treadmill Workout, shoot us an email and we’ll send you a free copy.

If you have a question about health and fitness that you’d like answered leave us a comment here or contact us via email at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com. We’d love to hear from you.

Check us our on Facebook – http://www.Facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

“Younger Next Year” – Book Club

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“Younger Next Year” – Book Club

 

Thursday, April 5th, 2012 on our Facebook Fanpage we’ll be kicking off our first “Virtual” Book Club discussion. We’ll be reading “Younger Next Year” and “Younger Next Year for Women” books by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge. Starting next week we’ll take a couple of chapters at a time (from both books – guys, you can get in on this too!) and use Facebook to discuss. The books can be purchased from links below for less than $8 … we hope you’ll join us.

The best part about our virtual book club is that anyone can participate!

 

Turn back your biological clock. A breakthrough book for men–as much fun to read as it is persuasive–Younger Next Year draws on the very latest science of aging to show how men 50 or older can become functionally younger every year for the next five to ten years, and continue to live like fifty-year-olds until well into their eighties. To enjoy life and be stronger, healthier, and more alert. To stave off 70% of the normal decay associated with aging (weakness, sore joints, apathy), and to eliminate over 50% of all illness and potential injuries. This is the real thing, a program that will work for anyone who decides to apply himself to “Harry’s Rules.”

 

Click Link to Purchase

 

 

 

Now, a women’s edition. A New York Times bestseller with 115,000 copies in print in hardcover, Younger Next Year is the breakthrough program for women to turn back their biological clocks and live healthier, more active lives into their 80s and beyond.

 

 

Click Link to Purchase

 


Chicken with Ginger and Orange Stuffing

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Chicken with Ginger and Orange Stuffing

 

Running low on healthy recipe ideas? Or just a little tired of the old standards. Sometimes we need to spice things up a bit. I found a recipe that maybe you’ll give a try this weekend.

Recipe courtesy if :LivWise: Easy Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Life”

LivWise

 

 

 

 

 

Serve with thin, steamed carrots and a salad.

3 to 4 servings

Ingredients: 

Chicken with Ginger & Orange Stuffing

 

 

  • 1 large navel orange
  • 1-inch piece ginger root
  • 1 scallion
  • Leaves from 4 stems cilantro
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup fresh gluten-free or whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds total)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

As you prep the following ingredients, let them fall into, or place them in, a medium bowl: Finely grate half the zest of the orange to yield about 2 1/2 teaspoons, then cut the orange in half and squeeze its juice into the bowl (1/3 to 1/2 cup). Peel the ginger, then finely grate the flesh to yield 1/2 teaspoon. Trim the scallion, then cut the white- and light-green parts crosswise into thin pieces. Finely chop the cilantro leaves. Crush the garlic with a little of the salt, using the flat side of a chef’s knife to break the garlic down.

Add the bread crumbs and the yolk of the egg, mixing to incorporate and form a stuffing that barely holds together. (Reserve the egg white for another use, if desired.)

Trim any visible fat from the chicken breast halves; if chicken tenders are attached, trim and reserve them for another use. Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry. Use a sharp knife to cut a horizontal slit into the thinner side of each breast half (at the center), to form a pocket for the stuffing. Divide the mixture evenly among the chicken breast halves, filling them so generously that each pocket does not close. If you have any filling left over, create 2 or 3 small mounds on the parchment paper.

Season the chicken breasts lightly all over with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over high heat, until the oil shimmers. Add the chicken to the skillet; cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes so that it is lightly browned, then gently turn them over and cook for 2 minutes on the second side. Transfer the skillet to the oven; roast for about 15 minutes, so the chicken is cooked through and the stuffing looks slightly set.

For 4 servings, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting crosswise into thick slices; divide among individual plates. Otherwise, place a stuffed chicken breast on each plate and serve warm.

 

7 Reasons to Include Yoga as Part of Your Fitness Routine

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7 Reasons to Include Yoga as Part of Your Fitness Routine


For some reason we see a lot of people either practice Yoga or participate in cardio and weight training activities, but not necessarily combining both regimens to compliment their more healthy lifestyle. We’d like to challenge that thought process with 7 reasons to include Yoga into your fitness routine:

  1. Yoga adds flexibility

    As we age  our muscles, tendons, and ligaments lose their springiness, and become more prone to sprains and tears. Adding a consistent stretching and balance routine like Yoga keeps these parts well ‘greased,’ and will significantly cut down on injuries from your other activities.

  2. Yoga can soothe and strengthen your back

    Proper body alignment and good posture through Yoga, which helps maintain the natural curvature of the spine, is an important part of reducing or avoiding lower back pain.
  3. Yoga provides a wider range of unfamiliar movements

    Holding unfamiliar positions through several breaths strengthens and loosens areas that typically aren’t touched during normal weight and cardio routines.

  4. Yoga improves your endurance

    Because of the deep, mindful breathing that yoga involves, lung capacity often improves. This in turn can improve your endurance.

  5. Yoga increases your sense of balance

    As we get older, we tend to lose our ability to maintain our center of gravity. Yoga provides a number of movements forcing us to hold our balance for several breaths. Learning to balance while standing on one leg, or while twisting in strange positions, will teach your body to recenter itself, and this will translate to your daily routines.

  6. Yoga helps make your body more resilient

    Improvements in balance and flexibility, will make your body much more durable. Not just for your weight and cardio routines, but in most other activities as well. Thanks to your new found flexibility, you won’t spring your back the next time you bend the wrong direction to pick up something heavy.

  7. Yoga will increase your overall fitness

    By gently working the muscles and ligaments, your blood supply begins reaching areas of the body that haven’t seen much oxygen over the years. This helps flush out toxins and provides nourishment to these nooks and crannies.

With that being said we are very excited to introduce our new Yoga Instructor to the My Stronger Self family, Denise Johnson. Denise is  RYT 200 Certified (Registered Yoga Teacher) and she is delighted and excited to serve the members of My Stronger Self. As a member of the international professional organization, the Yoga Alliance, Denise honors the mission to offer yoga instruction to individuals of all ages and all fitness levels.

Yoga – Brighton MI

Having practiced all levels of yoga for over 25 years, Denise is passionate about sharing the many health and wellness benefits realized through a yoga practice. During the past 5 years, Denise infused her love of yoga into a health and wellness curriculum for her special needs students, wheelchair students, and senior citizen population. Denise’s classes emphasize the need to build and maintain the strength, length and flexibility of both the spine and thirteen main bodily joints, build and maintain upper body strength, and the maintenance of bone density and muscle mass, noting these areas as vital to maintaining general health and wellness.

Denise looks forward to seeing you at both the Wednesday 10:30 am and Saturday, 9:45 am yoga class!

What to Eat Before a Workout?

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What to Eat Before a Workout?


We answer a couple of questions this week, but one in particular comes from Angelina in Brighton, MI. Angelina wonders what she should eat before a workout. This is a common question and it varies a little on the person and the type of workout. Listen in and let me know what you like to eat before and after your workouts.

If you have a question about health and fitness that you’d like answered leave us a comment here or contact us via email at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com. We’d love to hear from you.

Check us our on Facebook -http://www.Facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

 

Heavy Weights VS Lighter Weights

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Heavy Weights VS Lighter Weights

 

We’ve got a couple of great questions this week regarding strength training. Teresa asked the question if it’s good to add a third day of strength training to her fitness routine. And the last question comes from Lisa in Howell and she wonders what’s the difference between using heavier weights and doing less repetitions versus lighter weights and more “reps”. A lot of women have misconceptions about strength training or using weights in their workouts and therefore always stick to cardio based exercise. Cardio is great, but we all need to strength train to create those lean muscles which helps keep our metabolism burning for us.

If you have a question about health and fitness that you’d like answered leave us a comment here or contact us via email at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com. We’d love to hear from you.

Check us out on Facebook

 

Guacamole Salad

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Guacamole Salad

 

We stumbled across this fresh side dish, guacamole salad and thought how beautiful and healthy it looked. It oozes summer and for Michigan residents it’s something we’ve been waiting for all winter long. Not only would it look great next to a piece of salmon but also make an excellent turkey burger topping too if you if ask me!

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados, diced

    Guacamole Salad

  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 4 large-ish tomatillos, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • salt

Method

The only thing I really need to explain (probably) is how to deal with tomatillos, so here goes…

Remove the green husks. You’ll feel that the tomatillo is slightly sticky to the touch. Rinse those suckers under some warm water, then chop ‘em up like the rest of the ingredients.

In a large bowl, add all ingredients together and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Health-vent.com



Running Low on Healthy Food Choices?

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Running Low on Healthy Food Choices?

 

It’s Sunday, you’re determined to plan your meals for the week because you know that’s the only way you can make good choices when your schedule gets hectic (and it always does!). Sometimes we just need a quick fix to get us through the day. Well, we found a great article and visual presentation of what 300 calorie meals look like courtesy of diet-blog.com.

 

Breakfast – 290 Calories

1 whole wheat English muffin
2 pats low fat butter
1 hard boiled egg
1/2 cup of fruit
8 oz fruit juice
8 oz water

 

Cereal – 300 Calories

1 cup of cereal
8 oz 2% milk
1 banana
1 coffee or tea

 

 

Baked potato – 305 Calories

1 medium baked potato
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons salsa
1 cup sliced melon
12 oz water

 

 

Oatmeal – 325 Calories

1 cup oatmeal with raisins
1 cup of fruit
1 cup coffee or tea
1 banana

 

 

Soup – 350 Calories

1 bowl of soup
1 small tossed salad
2 tablespoons reduced fat oil and vinegar dressing
12 oz water
4 saltine crackers

 

Chicken – 345 Calories

6 oz of chicken
1 cup of green beans
2 pats of low-fat butter
1 small tossed salad
2 tablespoons reduced fat oil and vinegar dressing
12 oz water

 

Chicken Salad – 350 Calories

1 large tossed salad
2 tablespoons reduced fat oil and vinegar dressing
6 oz sliced chicken
1 cup of low fat wheat thin crackers
12 oz water

 

 

Scrambled eggs – 360 Calories

2 scrambled eggs
2 strips of turkey bacon
1 piece whole wheat toast
1 pat of low fat butter
1 coffee or tea
8 oz water

 

Fish – 365 Calories

6 oz broiled white fish
1 cup of mashed potatoes
1 pat of butter
1/2 cup of peas
8 oz diet iced tea

 

 

Chicken and Rice – 395 Calories

6 oz cooked chicken
2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce
1 cup of mixed vegetables
1/2 cup of brown rice
1 small tossed salad
2 tablespoons reduced fat oil and vinegar dressing
12 oz water

Believe it or not, the average American consumes around 3,800 calories per day. That’s more than all the food shown on this page.

Don’t Use a Machine BE the Machine

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Don’t Use a Machine, BE the Machine!

 

Listen in as Lori Murphy of My Stronger Self Fitness Studio in Brighton, MI answers a couple of great questions this week regarding the difference between using machines or free weights. Lori also answers a question regarding diet and exercise and how we can never outwork a bad diet. If you exercise, eating to fuel your body is most important so it matters even more what you eat. By getting the protein, carbohydrates and vegetables with each meal/snack, you are properly fueling your body and muscles to work most efficiently and for extended periods of time. Ultimately producing the most energy throughout the day, and support for intense workouts!

If you have a question about health and fitness that you’d like answered leave us a comment here or contact us via email at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com. We’d love to hear from you.

Visit our Fan Page: http://www.Facebook/MyStrongerSelfFitness

 

Ask the Trainer Tuesday: Proper Exercise Form

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Ask the Trainer Tuesday: Proper Exercise Form

 

In this weeks “Ask the Trainer” Tuesday segment with Lori Murphy, personal trainer and fat loss expert from My Stronger Self Fitness Studio in Brighton, MI, demonstrates two common strength training exercises: the squat and fly. Good form ensures that the movement only uses the main muscles, and avoids recruiting secondary muscles. Proper form is only one ingredient in your overall fitness program. But just like any other recipe, getting one ingredient wrong can ruin the whole project. Form has this power. Get it wrong and you are looking for trouble, if not just bad results. Get it right and you will be that much closer to the body-improving fitness results you seek. Proper form also also lowers your risk of injury.

If you have an exercise or fitness related question, send an email to FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com.

If you like these videos and want more, please follow us on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

 

My Stronger Self’s New Member of the Month

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My Stronger Self’s Member of the Month

 

Congratulations Don Miller!

Don is the latest My Stronger Self Member of the Month.  He attends our Co-Ed Strength Training class on Tuesday and Thursday at 630pm.  He’s a Dad and a Grandpa and is staying healthy and fit for himself as well as his family. Don’s first weight and measure results were phenomenal. He lost 8 pounds, 9% body fat and 3.5 inches!!! Way to go Don! We all enjoy having you in class your perseverance is inspiring to everyone around you. One of Don’s passions is mountain biking but we’re very happy he’s added My Stronger Self to his list of ways to stay active and in shape.  You’ve worked so hard Don and absolutely deserve title of “Member of the Month”!

This is what Don had to say about his experience at My Stronger Self:

Hi my name is Don Miller. I’m 58 years old and I have tried to stay in shape all my life. In my earlier years I played baseball. Over the last two decades mountain biking did the trick. We are fortunate to have many trails to ride in this area. The main problem with this sport is the seasonality. Maintaining weight and fitness is a bit of a roller coaster. Up in the winter and down in the summer; and have you noticed that it gets more difficult as we age?

Don Miller - Healthy Living

This year I made a decision to regain the enjoyment of good health. I have tried conventional gyms before and I knew that I needed something more. It just happens that My Stronger Self is only a couple of miles from my home. I had been driving by the studio for a while when I stopped in and picked up a brochure and set up an appointment to begin this journey. I am glad I did!

My Stronger Self offers a wide variety of classes to suit anyone. I attend strength training which has me working on my core strength. This is an area that bicycling doesn’t address. I am challenged by the instructors to do my best, eat properly, drink lots of water, and get as much cardio as possible. It is really a package approach. It’s a lifestyle practice. As Lori Murphy says; “There are no magic pills people.”

Lori is a great motivator, well prepared and organized, and has an in depth knowledge of anatomy and training techniques. The classes are never the same with routines and circuits that keep our muscles guessing what’s next. It’s never boring. What really pleases me is the un-pretentious family friendly environment. Nice people!

I am honored to be chosen Member of the Month. I have made progress and I know that with perseverance I will continue to do so. I think that biking has now become my secondary activity. I recommend My Stronger Self to anyone.

Thanks My Stronger Self!

Don Miller

 

Ask the Trainer Tuesday: Push-Ups & Planks

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Ask the Trainer Tuesday: Push-Ups & Planks

 

In this weeks “Ask the Trainer” Tuesday segment with Lori Murphy, personal trainer and fat loss expert from My Stronger Self Fitness Studio in Brighton, MI, demonstrates two common strength training exercises: the push-up and plank. Good form ensures that the movement only uses the main muscles, and avoids recruiting secondary muscles. Proper form is only one ingredient in your overall fitness program. But just like any other recipe, getting one ingredient wrong can ruin the whole project. Form has this power. Get it wrong and you are looking for trouble, if not just bad results. Get it right and you will be that much closer to the body-improving fitness results you seek. Proper form also also lowers your risk of injury.

 

If you have an exercise or fitness related question, send an email to FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com.

If you like these videos and want more, please follow us on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

Should I Lose All the Weight Before I Strength Train?

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Should I Lose All the Weight Before I Strength Train?

 

In this weeks “Ask the Trainer” Tuesday segment with Lori Murphy, personal trainer and fat loss expert of Brighton, MI, demonstrates a Tri-cep Kickback exercise and answers a question for Abby about whether it’s better to lose weight before you weight train.

If you have any fitness related questions for Lori, please leave them in the comment box below.

Visit our Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

What’s a Good Way to Work My Hamstrings?

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What’s a Good Way to Work My Hamstrings?

 

Listen in as Lori Murphy of My Stronger Self Fitness Studio demonstrates a good exercise to work your hamstrings as well as answers a question from Mark in Brighton about how many calories can be burned in a 1 hour strength training session.

If you have a question for Lori, please let us know in the comments section.

Visit our FanPage: http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

Ask the Trainer Tuesday: Stability Ball Exercise

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Ask the Trainer Tuesday: Stability Ball Exercise

 

Lori Murphy of My Stronger Self Fitness Studio in Brighton, MI demonstrates an exercise with the stability ball. Whether you’re at home or in the gym, this is a great exercise that works more than one muscle group at the same time. You get to work both your biceps and quads in this exercise. If you have a question about health or fitness or looking for examples of exercises you can do on your own, leave them in the comment section.

Please take a moment and “Like” us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mystrongerselffitness.com

What Exercises Can I Do Without Weights?

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What Exercises Can I Do Without Weights?

 

In this weeks “Ask the Trainer Tuesday” segment Lori shows us several exercises we can do without the use of weights or equipment. They can be easily done at home or in the gym. If you have a question for Lori, please leave it i or comment box below.

 

Ask the Trainer Tuesday: Is It Good to Cut Out Carbs?

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This week on “Ask the Trainer” Tuesday with Brighton, MI Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert, answers a question about low-carb diets as well as how many calories on average men and women should consume at each meal and snack.

If you have a fitness question for Lori or would like an exercise demonstration, please let us know by leaving a comment below. Or you can email us at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com

Fitness Member of the Month

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Fitness Member of the  Month

 

Congratulations Dennis Brimberry!

Dennis is our latest My Stronger Self Member of the Month.  He joined us back in September of 2011 and has been making the most of his time at My Stronger Self. Dennis just recently participated in our Fit-4-Life 60 Day Challenge finishing 13th out of 48, losing 14 pounds, 2.5% body fat and 8 inches in just 60 days! He also racked up approximately 44 hours of exercise in those 60 days!  We love Dennis’s determination to not only the Fit-4-Life Challenge but also our training program. He does the necessary work to get the job done and is willing to try anything!  We have loved watching you get healthy and fit Dennis and we look forward to the next chapter in your fitness journey. Keep up the hard work … you definitely deserve title of “Member of the Month”

My Stronger Self's Member of the Month!

Read more about Dennis and his fitness journey:

I am 56 years old, married to my beautiful wife Lori, with four confident sons, one strong-willed daughter, six dashing grandsons and two precocious granddaughters.

I had been looking for a place to work out since moving to Michigan in 2000. I’m not the gym type, pumping iron and running on a treadmill is not for me.  When I heard Lori had opened a studio, I worked up the nerve to give it a try. I joined in September of 2011 and have become a dedicated member which I’m very excited about.

My initial goals were to increase my stamina and improve my mental health, gotta love those endorphins.  With the help and encouragement from the incredible trainers and the rocking members of the 6:30 evening  classes, I now work on improving those and have started focusing on getting my weight down.

I joined the Fit-4-Life Challenge hoping for that makeover, I knew I was up against some stiff competition but I was determined.  The Tuesday night meetings and the awesome yellow team activities has changed my nutritional habits.  I eat more often, choose healthier foods and have even given up sugar. I did not lose the weight I had hoped, but lost inches and most importantly, my blood pressure medication was cut in half. I didn’t get that makeover but I found out that Zumba is great for the abs, my endless thanks to the “Pushing Tuchies”, go Yellow!

I cannot express my sincerest thanks and gratitude to Bridjette, Debbie, Joni, Lisa and Lori for their support and positive attitudes.  You are what you think; I am becoming My Stronger Self ~ Dennis Brimberry

 

Thanks to Our Fit-4-Life Sponsors!

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Thank You to Our Fit-4-Life Challenge Local Sponors

 

We hope you’ve had a chance to see our winning teams and individual winners on our Facebook Page and Fit-4-Life Page.

 We’d like to take a moment and thank our sponsors, Runnin’ Gear of Brighton and J. Christopher Salon in Howell.

Special thanks to Jonathon of Runnin’ Gear for coming to our first Fit-4-Life workout and spending a little time with us talking about proper athletic shoes for our workouts. Runnin’ Gear also donated a free pair of shoes to our biggest loser.

Runnin’ Gear of Brighton

 Runnin Gear 9937 East Grand River Ave, Brighton 48116 810-844-0180 “Our philosophy is to serve your running needs with a knowledgable staff that lives the lifestyle they promote, the best products the world has to offer and non-stop promotion of our sport.”

J. Christopher Salon – 201 S. Michigan Ave, Howell 48843  517-552-1380

Fresh, cutting edge salon, located in the heart of downtown Howell. We use Goldwell color, and carry Goldwell, KMS, American Crew, and Clinicure wetlines. We have a large variety of services offered. Ask us about our “Event” every Wednesday night!

Thank you for giving our top 3 biggest losers FREE Makeovers! We can’t wait to see the pictures!

 

 

Thanks to the following business for their generous donations  

Nick & Susan Bernardi – Liberty Transportation Services

BodyWork by Greg – www.bodyworkbygreg.net

Christina Monroe - Lia Sophia

Debbie Lynch – Common Spirit Organics

Deborah Hill – Independent Hair Stylist

We hope you’ll take a moment and check out all the local businesses that sponsored or donated items for our Fit-4-Life 60 Day Challenge.

“Weighing” Our Yoga

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“Weighing” Our Yoga

by Denise Johnson, RYT 200

Special thanks to our wonderful Yoga Instructor, Denise Johnson, for writing this article as well as her ongoing contributions to My Stronger Self and all our fabulous members!

Make sure to catch her Yoga Classes on Friday’s at 930am and Saturday’s at 9:45am.

Yoga – Brighton MI

“We have seen it over and over again. Yoga classes packed to the max right after the first of the New Year! Finding “yoga dropouts” re-enrolling in yoga classes as well as new students, exploring the possibility that through a yoga practice, they will shed some unwanted pounds. Knowing, that as a dedicated Yoga Instructor, the increased enrollment in yoga classes at that time of year is a golden opportunity to assure newcomers that a yoga practice can aid in weight loss and maintenance. The teachable moment is the opportunity to instruct students in the many health and wellness benefits realized through the daily practice of yoga.

We have been inundated with weight loss remedies. After all is said and done, we know what we need to do in order to shed unwanted pounds, and maintain a healthy weight. Yes, we need to burn up more calories than we take in! No surprise, and we apologize that we could not think of a more exciting way to approach weight loss. But it is a tried and true system! Still, returning to the core of our discussion, can the practice of yoga really burn enough calories for us to lose that extra weight?

–a yoga practice naturally creates a balance in our bodies by reducing stress and calming the mind

Some of us may use a yummy, high calorie, high fat content food item to placate our stress level, take our minds away from worries for a time. Yoga helps us to recognize the emotional connection we may have with food. Do we eat because we are really hungry, or because it just looks so good!

 a yoga practice increases mindfulness during eating

Through our yoga practice, we learn to embrace the present moment, and to carry that mindfulness off our mat as well. We use this mindfulness to help us make healthier food choices.

 a yoga practice increases core strength, flexibility and builds lean muscle

Muscle burns more calories. 

–a yoga practice cleanses and strengthens the digestive system

Helps your organs to break down and assimilate food, vitamins and minerals. Try to eliminate processed foods and replace with whole foods, (you know, fish, chicken, fruit, veggies, lots of salad!).

 –a yoga practice allows us to learn more about our bodies, to accept the fact that maintaining a healthy weight is a life time process, there is no fast and easy “fix”.

It is a commitment we make to ourselves on and off our yoga mat.”

My Stronger Self Fitness Studio is committed to providing you with everything you need (both mind and body) to be successful in your health and fitness journey. We have all the tools … strength training, cardio, yoga, nutritional guidance and accountability and personal attention … to help ensure you reach your goals no matter what they may be. Our entire staff is dedicated to your success and will continue to push ourselves to always bring you the very best of what you need to be a stronger, healthier YOU! 

The Importance of Not Skipping Meals

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The Importance of Not Skipping Meals

 

In this weeks’ “Ask the Trainer Tuesday” with Lori Murphy, Brighton MI Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert of My Stronger Self Fitness Studio, she talks about the importance of not skipping meals as well as a balanced diet. So many think the answer is to cut way back on calories by skipping meals to lose weight only to realize it’s sabotaging your metabolism!

If you have a question for Lori, please leave it in the comment box or email us at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com

You’ll find more great info on our Fan Page here http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

Planning Time for Exercise

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Planning Time for Exercise

 

Is this weeks “Ask the Trainer Tuesday” with Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert from My Stronger Self Fitness in Brighton, MI the importance of planning your exercise and drinking enough water is discussed.

For more great information, please visit our Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

 

 

Sleep Deprivation and Weight Loss

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Ask the Trainer Tuesday: Sleep Deprivation and Weight Loss

Listen in as we answer this week’s questions regarding warming up before exercise as well getting enough sleep and how it can affect your weight loss efforts.

Does any of this sound familiar? If you’re feeling sleepy at work, you may be tempted to reach for a cup of coffee (or several cups) and a doughnut for a quick shot of energy. Later you may skip the gym and pick up takeout on your way home to your family — no time to cook. When you finally find yourself back in your bed, you are too wound up to sleep.

It’s a vicious cycle, and eventually this sleep deprivation can sabotage your waistline and your health.

Let us know if we can answer any health or fitness related questions in our “Ask the Trainer Tuesday” video blog.

Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness.com

 

 

DEMO WEEK at My Stronger Self Fitness Studio

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Brighton, MI Personal Trainers, Fitness Classes, Zumba, Yoga & More!

The Toughest Workout You’ll Ever Love

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The Toughest Workout You’ll Ever Love

 

It’s hard. It’s demanding. And it’s F-U-N!!! Using supportive and motivational routines, our team of trained instructors and 20 year fitness expert and owner of My Stronger Self Fitness Studio, Lori Murphy, will lead you through an intense six-week outdoor fitness program designed to put you in the best shape of your life. See for yourself …

You’ll be surrounded by our supportive instructors and other team members who, just like you, want to make dramatic changes in their physical and mental well-being. At My Stronger Self Boot Camps, we will challenge you to push yourself to reach new fitness levels—and we promise you’ll have fun doing it!

My Stronger Self Boot Camps have been designed with safe and effective exercises, stressing proper form, technique, and safety. Our expert staff puts your health and fitness first, and will be happy to modify your workouts so that any pre-existing injuries don’t prevent you from attaining your goals now. So, whether you’re just beginning your fitness journey or looking to enhance it, our boot camps will get you there.

Our training exercises focus on strength, speed, agility and endurance. You don’t need fancy machines 

YOU ARE THE MACHINE!

These cardio and conditioning drills will help you burn more than 700 calories per class. You will watch your body tone and transform in a very short amount of time.

Boot Camps Are Perfect for You If:

  • Need a disciplined and structured exercise routine
  • Have limited time and want to get the most from your workout
  • Are looking for a workout that works your whole body

Our FALL session starts September 19th and ends  October 29th.

Reserve your spot today!

Email FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com

or call 810-844-650

FREE Kids Yoga

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Brighton, MI – Yoga

Brighton Fitness Boot Camp Starting Soon!

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Outdoor Fitness Boot Camp – Brighton, MI

Explore Your Down Dog, Giraffe and Dolphin

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Explore Your Down Dog, Giraffe and Dolphin

 

Kids Yoga - explore your Down Dog, Giraffe, Dolphin & Fish … how about your Turtle, Stork, Lion & Camel?

Kids Yoga – Brighton, MI

Just some of the fun yoga poses you will practice at the

JUST FOR KIDS YOGA SESSION

with Denise Johnson, RYT 200 Yoga Instructor.

Denise has 32 years experience and worked with kids of all ages!

 Children learn to develop a feeling of well-being through the combination of stretching, breathing and mental relaxation. Practicing yoga poses has many physical benefits as it improves balance, stamina, endurance, flexibility and strength. Yoga can enhance academics, improve focus, confidence, self-esteem and self-control. It’s a great complement to sports and is a great cross-training activity!

Join us on Saturday, August 11th at 10:45am for our

FREE Kid’s Yoga class

Designed especially for kids ages 7-12

 

Pre-Registration Required

Email FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com to reserve your child’s spot!!!

 

Consistent Exercise Pays Off

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Consistent Exercise Pays Off 

for another member at My Stronger Self Fitness Studios

Congratulations to Julie Albring

this months “Member of the Month”

Julie is the latest My Stronger Self Member of the Month.  She attends our Strength Training classes twice a week, early morning Boot Camp three times per week and Saturday’s FREE Boot Camp. Yes that’s right … she works out 6 days a week without fail! Julie is a very dedicated Mom of two very busy boys, who like most, play many sports including travel hockey. She also has a full time job and always on the go, but as you can see she makes time for herself and her health because it’s important! Julie never quits, always lends a helping hand and support to everyone around her.  You can’t help but be motivated when you’re with her. You’ve worked so hard Julie! All the staff and members love having you at My Stronger Self.  You absolutely deserve title of “Member of the Month”! Great Job!!!

Fitness Member of the Month

“I joined “My Stronger Self” to get fit and healthy back in April 2010 and never looked back.  I have a job that I sit at a desk all day and don’t get much exercise.  So when my friend Lisa, told me about Lori’s studio I had to try it out.  I certainly struggled for many months but could see improvement in my weight loss as well as my strength so I kept going.  I was so excited when I could actually do a “guy” push up.

Over the past two years I have become so strong and have maintained my weight for the last year (even with my food indulges – pizza once a week).   I love to work out and feel guilty when I have to miss a day.  Lori, Lisa, Theresa, and the other trainers help keep me focused and there is no greater motivation than being “pushed” by the trainers as well as the great support of the other people in the class.  Plus it’s a bonus to have such varied workouts, just when I thought I shouldn’t be sore from a workout after two years, I still do (and love it) because we are always working different muscles.   It’s a choice to get or stay fit and healthy and sometimes it can be a challenge to juggle all of life’s wonderful interruptions but I chose to continue to give all I can to stay fit and healthy.  Thanks Master Chief!”

 Julie Albring, Hartland, MI

Ask the Trainer: I Wanna Nice Butt!

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Ask the Trainer: I Wanna Nice Butt!

Listen in as Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and owner of My Stronger Self Fitness Studio in Brighton, answers a few of your questions about shaping those trouble spots like our butts and legs as well as how much protein you use should eat.

If you have a question for Lori, drop us a line either by email at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com or leave it in the comments box.


My Stronger Self Fitness Studio, professional personal trainers and fitness instructors proudly serving Brighton, Hartland, Howell, Pinckney, Milford, South Lyon, Highland and more!

Effects of Cardio Exercise on Your Joints

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Effects of Cardio Exercise on Your Joints

 

Listen in as Lori Murphy, Brighton, MI Personal Trainer and Fat Loss expert from My Stronger Self Fitness Studio, talks about the best ways to lessen the impact that cardio exercise may have on your joints as well as demonstrates modifications you can do in your fitness classes.

 

31 Healthy and Portable High Protein Snacks

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31 Healthy and Portable High Protein Snacks

 

We found a great article with loads of quick and easy “on-the-go” snacks to help us eat healthier when our schedules get so crazy. Maybe even a few great ideas to spruce up the kids lunches too. Enjoy …

Whether it’s fueling up before hitting the gym or taking a mid-day snack break to avoid the 2 o’clock lull, high-protein snacks are the tastiest way to keep on going. Protein snacks are the perfect way to fill upjust enough, and give us longer-lasting energy than the usual, carb-heavy options. Here are 31 of our favorite protein-packed snacks — one for every day of the month! We promise you won’t get sick of any of these choices.

1. Cottage-Style Fruit: Top ½ cup cottage cheese with ½ cup of your favorite fruit. Why not try some superfoodsBananasmixed berries, and melon are some Greatist favorites!

2. Beef or Turkey Jerky: Be careful to avoid sodium- and sugar-filled brands, but low-sodium, natural, or lightly-flavored options are a great source of protein. And this chewy snack is super-portable and keeps fresh for months when packed properly. A one-ounce serving (the size of most single-serve packs) contains about 9 grams of protein!

3. Mixed Nuts or Trail Mix: This is a favorite in the Greatist office. Mixed nuts are an easy way to get a delicious dose of protein in a convenient, shelf-stable package. Try a mixed bunch for variety and a combo with dried fruit for some added sweetness. The best bang for your protein buck?Almonds and Pistachios are high up there in protein while comparably lower in saturated fat than their nutty peers.

4. Pumpkin Seeds: Those orange gourds aren’t just for Halloween. The pumpkin insides, scooped out to make room for spooky faces, can actually make a healthy little snack once they’re washed, dried, and nicely roasted! Just ½ cup of pumpkin seeds has about 14 grams of protein — the perfect pre-workout snack!

(Also Check Out: 50 Awesome Pre and Post-Workout Snacks)

5. Hard-Boiled Egg: Inexpensive and loaded with nutrients, eggs are one of the best ways to get a healthy dose of protein. Try hard boiling and pre-peeling a dozen at the start of the week and throw one in a small Tupperware container each day for an easy on-the-go snack. (Feeling extra famished? Slice the egg and place it on a piece of whole-wheat bread.)

6. Deli Rollup: Top 2 slices of low-sodium deli meat (turkey, chicken, or roast beef work great!) with 1 slice of low-fat cheese and a shake of pepper. Add a slice of tomato or some lettuce for extra veggie points!

Nut Butter Boat

Photo by Caitlin Covington


7. Nut Butter Boat: Any vehicle for nut butter (almond, peanut, or cashew, perhaps?) is perfection in our book. Try loading a few celery sticks with 1 tablespoon of any nut butter topped with a few whole almonds or raisins (oh yeah, we went there). If you’re not a fan of celery, try scooping out the middle of an apple and fill it with a nut buttery surprise!

8. Mini Bean-and-Cheese Quesadilla: It might take an extra minute to prep, but combining these two high-protein treats is worth it! Fold ½ cup black beans, 1 tablespoon salsa, and 1 slice cheddar cheese in a small soft tortilla. Cook in a dry nonstick pan until cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly browned. Wrap in foil and stick in a plastic baggie for easy transport.

9. Shake It Up: The combinations are endless with protein shakes. And one scoop can go a long way! Our favorites? The “Protein Creamsicle” — 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 cup orange juice, and 1 cup ice blended until smooth — (thanks @JCDFitness!), and the “Star-buffs Shake” — 1 cup iced coffee (with ice) and 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, blended — a caffeine-filled creation from Greatist’s fitness editor, Jordan Shakeshaft.

10. KIND Bar: We’re not huge supporters of prepackaged bars, smoothies, and the like, but we make an exception for KIND bars. Their classic varieties are a great source of protein from the all-nut base (coming in at around 5 grams per bar), but for an even higher dose of the good stuff, try Kind Plus varieties with added protein. (An office favorite is Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein — one bar has 7 grams!)

11. Easy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie: Flash back to elementary school snack time with this sweet (but still healthy!) treat. In a microwave-safe bowl (or mug), mix ¼ cup oats, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour (of your choice), 1 egg white, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon raisins. Flatten mixture into bottom of bowl and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Cool, pop it out of the bowl, and enjoy!

12. Tofu Sticks: This soybean-based protein bomb isn’t just for stir-fry and Asian takeout menus! When sliced into sticks and baked, firm (and smoked!) tofu can make a great snack food, especially if it’s served with a side of homemade tomato or teriyaki dipping sauce — just don’t overdo it!

Protein Shake

Photo by Lisa Goulet

13. Chunky Monkey Shake: It’s time to get funky, monkey! Blend 1 medium banana, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, and 1 cup of low-fat chocolate milk with 1 cup of ice for a protein-packed pick-me-up.

14. Edamame Poppers: The only thing more fun than how much protein you can get from a serving of edamame is getting to eat these little beans out of their bright green pods! One cup of the pods offers about 17 grams of protein. Buy them fresh and steam for about 6 minutes, or use the pre-cooked frozen variety and briefly microwave to defrost (about 2 minutes) before chowing down.

15. Hummus Dippers: How’s this for an unconventional use of a travel coffee mug: Put 2 tablespoons of a favorite hummus in the bottom of the container. Stick a handful of vegetable sticks (carrots, celery, and snow peas are a great mix!) vertically in the hummus, screw on the top, and throw in a purse or gym bag for an easy, on-the-go, super-healthy snack.

16. Soy Milk Smoothie: Time to take a break from the moo-juice! While cow’s milk does have it’s nutritional benefits (calcium and vitamin A, to name a few), soy milk wins in a few categories (vitamin D and iron), and they’re nearly comparable in terms of protein. Try blending 1 cup of your favorite flavor of soy milk (vanilla and chocolate are Greatist favorites) with 1 cup of frozen blueberries or raspberries (for added fiber and antioxidants).

17. Portable Cheese Platter: Everyone wants to feel classy every once in a while, right? Make yourself a mini cheese plate with a reduced-fat cheese stick (or 2 slices of cheese), two whole-grain crackers, and a few roasted almonds.

18. Banana Nutter: Few pairings are more comforting than a classic peanut butter and banana combo. Top a rice cake (brown rice for extra fiber points!) with 2 tablespoons of your favorite nut butter and half a banana, sliced. Sprinkle with cinnamon for some extra healthy benefits!

Protein Pancakes

Photo by Caitlin Covington

19. Silver Dollar Protein Pancakes: Props to Greatist contributor Laura Skladzinski for this killer recipe. Mix 4 egg whites, ½ cup of rolled oats, ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese, ⅛ teaspoon of baking powder, and ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Cook on a preheated griddle (medium low heat) until mixtures bubbles, flip and cook for another 60 seconds. Top with fresh berries or sliced banana.

20. Chocolate Milk: No, we’re not going back to preschool. Low-fat chocolate milk is actually a great source of high-quality protein (especially post-workout)! Try keeping a single-serving, shelf-stable box in your gym bag (or purse) for snack attack emergencies — just try to find one that’s also low in sugar! (I’m a huge fan of Horizon Dairy’s single-serve, low-fat chocolate milk boxes.)

21. “Get Greek” Berry Parfait: Just imagine sitting on a Greek isle with this snack in hand. Top ½ cup plain Greek yogurt with ½ cup fresh berries and 1 tablespoon sliced roasted almonds.

22. Grape-and-Cheese Sticks: This is my childhood favorite! Dice a half-inch thick slice of cheddar cheese into squares (you should end up with about 6 small pieces, equaling about 1 ounce) and rinse 6 grapes. On 6 toothpicks, stack the grape and cheese, and enjoy! Just 1 ounce of reduced-fat sharp cheddar offers 8 grams of protein, and the contrast with sweet grapes is super sophisticated (and delicious).

23. Almond Butter Toast Sticks: Here’s another one to fit in that travel mug or mason jar. Toast (or bake) 2 slices of whole-grain bread, and cut into ½-inch strips. Place 2 tablespoons of almond butter (or another nut butter) in the bottom of a container with a top, stick the toast sticks in vertically, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Screw on the top and head out the door!

24. A Little Lentil: We know what you’re thinking: “Lentils? As a snack?!” Yes! Don’t worry, we’re not talking about a bowl of the bland ol’ green things. Lentils are great protein-packed legumes that are easy to turn into super, shelf-stable salads. One cup has a whopping 22 grams of protein in just 300 calories! Not sure where to start? Try this lentil tabbouleh or this simple veggie and lentil mix.

Parfait

Photo by Lisa Goulet

25. Perfect Little Parfait: Top ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt with a handful of fruit (fresh or frozen) and a drizzle of honey. Add 2 tablespoons of toasted oats for a protein-packed crunch!

26. Mini Black-Bean Mash Taco: When it’s time to get spicy, try this easy snack fix. Heat ½ cup of black beans in the microwave with 1 tablespoon of salsa. Mash with a fork and fold it inside a small (4 to 6-inch) soft tortilla. Store in a small Tupperware container for easy transport.

27. Gobble, Gobble: Re-visit Thanksgiving with this festive favorite. Slice one piece of whole-grain bread in half, lengthwise, and top with 2 slices of roasted turkey, 1 slice of Swiss cheese, 1 lettuce leaf, 1 slice of tomato, 1 teaspoon of mustard, and 1 teaspoon of dried cranberries. This comforting combination packs about 14 grams of protein!

28. Protein Bar: This one might sound obvious, but hear us out: It’s all about finding the right bar. That means one that’s not weighed down with not-so-good extras like sugar, fat, and calories (some options can even be as bad as candy bars!). Do some research to figure which type is right for you: There are high-protein andlow-carb bars; meal replacement and energy bars; or female-friendly options!

29. Overnight Choco-Oats: This is the ultimate personally pre-packaged snack. In a container with a secure lid, mix ½ cup oats, 1 cup non-dairy milk, 3 tablespoons chocolate protein powder, and a handful of walnuts until well combined. Let sit in fridge overnight (or up to a few days). Need some extra sweetness? Add ½ a banana, mashed!

30. Recovery Rice Crispies: News Flash: Protein powder ain’t just for shakes! Try these super-sweet protein-packed treats — Recovery Rice Crispies.

31. Blueberry Flax Microwave Muffins: Making muffins from scratch each morning is easier than you might think. Mix ¼ cup quick-cooking oats, 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 2 tablespoons ground flax, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 2 egg whites, and a sprinkle of sugar (or other natural sweetener) in a microwave-safe Tupperware container. Cook on high for 50 to 60 seconds. Let it cool, throw a top on it, and enjoy whenever the hunger pangs hit.

Do you fill up on protein or carbs? And what are your favorite protein-packed snacks? Let us know in the comments below!

Original article can be found on Greatist.com

Step Aerobic and Kick Boxing Tips

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Step Aerobic and Kick Boxing Tips

 

Do you feel silly when you try a Step Aerobics class because you can’t quite get the moves or everything seems to be going so fast to really learn? No need to feel embarrassed or out of place. Everyone has to start somewhere and you need to give the class a few tries before throwing in the towel. Step Aerobics is an excellent source for cardio exercise, burning 600+ calories per hour! If you miss a beat no worries, just march up and down on your step until you can jump back in. You’ll keep your heart pumping and with practice you’ll be stepping like a pro!

Kick boxing is a total-body exercise that will work the entire body and not just target areas. Kick boxing strengthens, tones and reduces fat all at the same time. Since kickboxing is a total-body workout, it will also increase flexibility, burn calories, improve coordination and increase cardiovascular fitness. Plus, it’s a great way to take out some the days aggression.

Check in with Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert as she demonstrates some common step aerobic and kick boxing moves.

If you have a question or would like more exercise tips, please leave us a question in the comment box or email us at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com

Yours in Health & Fitness!

 

NO BAKE Energy Bites

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NO BAKE Energy Bites

Who couldn’t use more energy? Who doesn’t have time to bake? Well, if this sounds like you then take a look at the recipe below! Thanks to one of our members, Chris Frey for sharing! :-)

(makes 18-20 bites)

1 cup oatmeal

No Bake Energy Bites

1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)

1/3 cup honey

1 cup coconut flakes

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla

Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy! Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 26 g Amount Per Serving
Calories114
Calories from Fat 62
% Daily Value*Total Fat 6.9g 11%
Saturated Fat 2.3g 11%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 33mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 11.5g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2.3g 9%
Sugars 6.5g
Protein 3.1g

Fit-4-Life Makeovers

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Fit-4-Life Makeovers

 

We’re checking in with a couple of our Fit-4-Life winners who received the free makeovers courtesy of J.Christopher Salon in Howell. The ladies are looking pretty awesome … Check it out!

 

Ask the Trainer: Love Handles & Inner Thighs

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Ask the Trainer: Love Handles & Inner Thighs

 

In this weeks “Ask the Trainer”, I’ll demonstrate a few exercises that target those pesky love handles that nobody loves and inner thighs. Remember strength training is key to long term weight loss and better health. No fitness program is complete without Strength Training, Cardio Exercise & Proper Nutrition.

If you’d like to see an exercise or have a question for me, please leave it in the comment box.

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Lori Murphy

Personal Trainer & Fat Loss Expert

 

8 Super Nutrients to Help You Slim Down

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8 Super Nutrients that Help You Slim Down

 

This article is being republished courtesy of Shape.com

MONOUNSATURATED FATS

Replacing carbohydrates in your diet with monounsaturated fats will help you slim down by shuttling fat away from your midsection.Where to get it: Avocados, macadamia nuts, and olive oil are great sources of monounsaturated fats. They also come packaged with great nutrients such as antioxidants (in olive oil), fiber (in avocado), and B-vitamins (in macadamia nuts).

 

 

EGCG

EGCG or Epigallocatechin gallate is an antioxidant found in green tea (and put in most weight-loss supplements available today). EGCG can increase thermogenesis or heat production through extra calorie burning and the use of stored fat as energy. Some research also shows that EGCG can stop the growth of new fat cells.Where to get it: The greatest weight loss effects of EGCG are seen when combined with caffeine, as it naturally occurs in green tea.

 

 

RASPBERRY KETONES

Raspberry ketones are an antioxidant found in raspberries that preliminary research shows have some interesting fat loss effects. Raspberry ketones can increase the production of the muscle-energizing, fat-burning hormone adiponectin as well as directly increasing the burning of stored fat.Where to get it: You can’t come close to getting enough raspberry ketones via eating raspberries so to reap these benefits you’ll need to take a concentrated raspberry ketone supplement (they are inexpensive and available at more health food stores). Keep an eye out for more about raspberry ketones and weight loss as new research gets published.

 

DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID (DHA)

Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA is one of the two omega-3 fats found in oily fish like salmon. DHA can stop growth of young fat cells and actually causes them to die, says research published in the Journal of Nutrition.Where to get it: To get more DHA in your diet, you can eat more oily fish or just take a fish oil supplement. If you are a vegetarian, pick up an algae-based DHA supplement to reap the same benefits.

 

 

ACETIC ACID

Vinegar, a dilute form of acetic acid, has potent glucose-lowering effects. One study in Italy found that when participants added just more than1 tablespoon of vinegar to their meal (as salad dressing) they experienced a 30 percent decrease in their post-meal blood sugar levels. Controlling blood sugar remains an essential component to weight loss and maintaining a lean body.Where to get it: Adding vinegar to salads should be standard protocol, but if you can manage to find chocolate balsamic vinegar, it makes an excellent addition to a protein-packed chocolate smoothie.

 

PROTEIN
Protein from lean sources like beef, poultry, fish, dairy, or soy are weight loss rock stars. The amino acids that make up protein cause your body to release the fat-burning and energy-stabilizing hormone glucagon. The process of digesting protein also stimulates your body to release the satiety hormone CCK. This one-two punch combined with the fact that it takes your body more energy to digest and breakdown protein compared tocarbohydrates or fat makes it a must-have at every meal throughout your day.Where to get it: The possibilities are endless, but lean proteins like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and organic grilled chicken strips are especially convenient.

 

CAFFEINE

Caffeine is one of the most potent weight loss compounds available to you each and every day. Caffeine blocks the breakdown of a compound call camp, which is responsible for mobilizing stored fats so they can be burned as energy.Where to get it: If you are looking for a bigger fat-burning boost, then make sure to choose black tea over green tea or light roast coffee over dark roast for a larger dose of caffeine.

 

 

FIBER
Fiber is often touted to be a great nutrient for weight loss because it slows down digestion, allowing for sustained energy and stable blood sugar. However fiber can also optimize hormones released during digestion that are responsible for feelings of hunger and satiety.Where to get it: Try to get your fiber in its raw form instead of from foods that have been overly processed. The processing of fiber can change its chemical make-up, which can decrease its effectiveness at promoting satiety or lowering cholesterol. Next time you have the choice between oatmeal and cereal made from baked oat crisps, opt for regular oatmeal.

How Do You Snack?

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How Do You Snack?

This week Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert, talks about healthy snacking and recommendations for how many meals to eat in a day. Plus, great strategies to stay on track not only with your eating but also your fitness program. Email us at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com if you’d like a copy of our food and fitness journal.

As always, thank you for listening in. If you have any questions leave them in our comment box.

 

Strength Training Tips

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Strength Training Tips

 

My clients often ask me how do I know if I’m using the proper size weight for the exercise. It really is dependent on the person and in this week’s video I demonstrate a good way to tell if you’re challenging yourself but not sacrificing proper form or risking injury.

Let us know if you have any questions we can answer in our next “Ask the Trainer Tuesday” segment.

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Lori Murphy

 

Ask the Trainer Tuesday: Effective Treadmill Workouts

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Ask the Trainer Tuesday: Effective Treadmill Workouts

 

This week Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert, will show you how to make the most of a 20 minute treadmill workout as well as how to squeeze in some toning.

If you have any questions please leave them in our comment box.

Yours in Health & Fitness!

Life Changing Results for Another Group Training Member

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Life Changing Results for Another Group Training Member

 

Congratulations Jim Seghi!!!

Jim Seghi is our latest My Stronger Self Member of the Month.  He joined us back in January of this year and based on his before and after pictures you can see just how hard he is working to make health and fitness a priority in his life each and every day! Jim not only attends our early morning boot camps three times per week but also hits his group training twice a week and cardio classes regularly.  Jim has embraced the three pillars of success we preach about at My Stronger Self: Strength Training, Cardio and Healthy Diet.When you work hard in all three areas like Jim, real results happen and they are the kind of results that last a lifetime. You have come so far Jim and all of us at My Stronger Self are so proud of you. You are wonderful to have in class (even your wise cracks!) and an inspiration! Thank you for being such a great role model. Keep it up and you WILL reach all your goals!!!

 

Jim – Before

“My fitness journey started as a new year’s resolution. Sometime in December, my 11 year old girl put her arms around me and said “wow Dad I can’t even touch my hands”.  It sort of got me thinking. So Jan. 2nd was the chosen date. I rid the fridge of any tempting food and away I went. I thought I should really kick it up and do some exercise too. I checked out 3 local Gyms and took advantage of a free trial. I walked in the gym and was overwhelmed at where to start. Jumped on a elliptical and did not last 90 seconds. Tail between my legs I snuck out. I had seen My Stronger self on Facebook so I sent them an email. It read, “I’m fat can you help”. I met with Lori and she recommended strength training 2 times a week to start. In about 3 months I then added the 60 day challenge and after that boot camp 3 days a week. I now work out for at least 1 hour a day 5 to 6 days a week. I also try to add a few extra cardio workouts in right after class or early evenings. At my July physical the doctor took me off my blood pressure meds and said this was my best physical yet. Lori truly cares about your results and gives you the guidance you need. I have some limitations that she always helps me through with a modification.The folks at the classes always encourage and help. I still have a ways to go to reach my goals but when I do get there I intend to stay there forever. I’m truly Honored to be member of the month. Thank You My Stronger Self.”

Jim – After

 

Healthy Living Can Prevent Breast Cancer

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Healthy Living Can Prevent Breast Cancer 

 

It’s October and many of us are dreaming of cider and doughnuts, admiring Michigan’s beautiful leaves changing colors, or wondering what winter will hold for us this year.  But we are once again reminded that October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and for those affected either personally or touched by someone who has, it’s not a reminder they will ever need.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women and 1 in 1000 men in the United States. So while we are reminded this month of the importance of self-examinations and mammograms, just like our New Years’ resolutions, being mindful of our breast health shouldn’t fade after a month.

Our breast health as well as our overall health can be dramatically improved with plenty of exercise and proper nutrition. Following a healthy lifestyle includes keeping your weight in normal range, being physically active (at least 30 minutes or more a day of moderate-intensity exercise), minimizing alcohol intake, and don’t smoke. Overweight, inactivity and alcohol all increase risk for breast cancer, and smoking increases risk in some women.

So we have compiled a few facts and tips, some helpful resources and information regarding free classes we’ll be holding this month at My Stronger Self Fitness Studio in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Nutrition

The American Cancer Society’s dietary guidelines for cancer prevention recommend that people:

  • Choose foods and amounts that promote a healthy weight.
  • Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.
  • Limit consumption of processed and red meat.
  • Women should limit alcohol consumption to 1 drink per day (women at high risk for breast cancer should consider not drinking alcohol at all).

Exercise

Nearly 30 studies have shown that women who exercise at moderate to vigorous levels for three or more hours per week reduce their risk of getting breast cancer by 30 percent to 40 percent.

Scientists believe that hormones are the link between exercise and breast-cancer protection. Exercise reduces levels of estrogen, testosterone, insulin, and growth factors, all of which may either cause breast cancer or prompt it to grow faster and larger. Women with high levels of these hormones in their blood have a high risk of developing breast cancer.

Many of the benefits of exercise in breast-cancer prevention may also apply for women who have had breast cancer. Overweight and obese breast-cancer patients have poorer survival than lighter-weight women. Exercise can therefore be an important part of the breast-cancer recovery process. It will also help provide you with not only better health but also a physical and emotional boost.

Informational Resources

Exercise Resources 

Every Spring we hold our Fit-4-Life 60 Day Challenge focusing on team based weight loss. We had so much fun with it this year and many of the teams are still going strong. We are very fortunate our members are so supportive of one another.

We also offer Fitness Consultations if you’d like to discuss ways to incorporate better nutrition and fitness into your life.

Here is a list free classes, open to both men and women, we’re offering this month to help promote exercise and breast health:

(PLEASE NOTE: Pre-registration is required for all classes. Email FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com to sign up.)

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Saturday, October 6th at 945am – Hatha Yoga

Saturday, October 13th at 830am – Zumba

Friday, October 19th at 930am – Power Yoga

Wednesday, October 24th at 1030am – Hatha Yoga

Sunday, October 28th at 930am – Zumba Dance Party

FREE Boot Camps Saturday 830am 10/13, 10/20, 10/27 (St. Mary Magdalen Church in Brighton)

“When Life Kicks You, Let It Kick You Forward” ~ Kay Yow

Exercises for Travelers

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Ask the Trainer Tuesday: Exercises for Travelers

 
This week Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert, shows us a few strength training exercises we can do even if we’re stuck traveling for work. All it takes is just a few small, inexpensive pieces of equipment that fit easily into any suitcase. She also demonstrates a few training moves to work those triceps.

If you have a question for Lori, please leave it in our comment box. Check us out on Facebook!

Yours in Health & Fitness!

 

8 Astonishing Benefits of Exercise

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8 Astonishing Benefits of Exercise

 

We hear all about how important it is for us to exercise for our bodies, but a lot of times we don’t hear about how exercise can also help and heal our minds and even our pocket books. My Stronger Self Fitness has come up with 8 “mind-blowing” benefits of exercise that you may not have heard of before:

  1. Keeps Your Noggin Fit: Even mild activity like walking helps keep your brain fit and active which helps with memory loss and skills sharp.
  2. Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s:  Exercise is one of the best weapon’s against disease, but study’s have shown it to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s or lessen it’s impact.
  3. Improves Self-Esteem and Body Image: It’s not just the loss of weight that spikes your confidence, even something as simple as lifting more weights than before can improve your self esteem and body image.
  4. Improves Learning: Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals called growth factors, which help make new brain cells and establish new connections between brain cells to help us learn. The more coordination the activity takes (like dancing), the more it challenges your brain. 
  5. Reduces Stress: Exercise releases soothing brain chemicals. Plus, studies have shown that stressed out woman who exercise vigorously for 45 minutes or more over a 3 day period had cells that showed less signs of aging that women who didn’t exercise.
  6. Helps with Depression:  Exercise appears to stimulate the growth of neurons in certain brain regions damaged by depression. Just by burning 350 calories 3 times per week with a good workout can reduce the symptoms of depression as much as antidepressants! 
  7. Sparks Euphoria: Get in a high intensity workout and grab hold of that euphoric feeling that comes with exercise. Yes, it really exists!
  8. Lowers Health Insurance Costs: Many companies provide employee wellness programs to help workers stay healthy and decrease health care costs. This results in lower insurance premiums for employers, and less spending on drugs and treatments for employees.
Now you have more than just a few good reasons, other than the scale, to hop into My Stronger Self fitness class! :-)

Cinnamon Apple Protein Muffins

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Cinnamon Apple Protein Muffins

 

Well, we put a shout out on Facebook to see if anyone could make Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins which boast a whopping 420 calories, 13g of fat and 47g of sugar a little healthier and sadly we got nothin’! However, lucky for us one of our members, Michelle Hamilton, gave us this great recipe for Cinnamon Apple Protein Muffins. And even luckier for Lori and I, we got a taste test! We love taste tests … hint, hint!! ;-)

The muffins are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth or Michelle says she likes to eat one before a strength training class to help fuel her way those tough workouts. She was kind enough to give us the recipe to share with all of you. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Apple Protein Muffins

Cinnamon Apple Protein Muffins

2 cups rolled oats

1 medium apple, chopped into small cubes, skin on

2 scoops whey protein powder

2 eggs

1 cup non fat Greek yogurt

1 cup shredded zucchini

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tin with foil baking cups or non-stick spray. (Paper liners stick to muffin.) Mix ingredients and divide evenly into 12 muffin cups.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Each muffin contains approximately

105 calories

2g fat

13 g carbs

9g protein

2g fiber

Massage Therapy at My Stronger Self

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Massage Therapy at My Stronger Self

 

We are very pleased to announce, Marget Powers of Powers Massage Therapy, is now taking clients at My Stronger Self. Marget offers full body Swedish Massage and Neuromuscular Therapy. Marget is a nationally certified massage therapist with the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork since 1996. She graduated from Brenneke School of Massage in Seattle, WA in 1996. Her bodywork experience includes maintaining her own practice in Seattle and teaching at Brenneke School of Massage for two years. Upon moving back to her native state of Michigan in 2000 she worked at Dynamic Back and Neck Therapy in Waterford, the leading spine rehab program in the country until 2006. Marget is committed to  providing excellent body therapies and education to assist in the change and healing of her clientele. Her belief is that not just one therapy or way of doing things is the cure-all. “Each body is unique in body, mind and spirit and should be treated as such. All things such as exercise, diet, environment, way of life, faith, family, friends, genetics, education, work and general life experiences form who we are health or unhealthy. Manipulating these elements in such a way as to provide an optimal environment and way of life is key but different for each person to maintain better health in all areas.”

Benefits of Massage

Over the past 20 years massage has become much more important in the healthcare industry in the US. Many healthcare practitioners are recommending massage to their patients more than ever. These benefits may include the following:

  • Decrease Stress

    Powers Massage Therapy

  • Increase Circulation
  • Decrease Blood Pressure Temporarily
  • Reduce Headaches
  • Increase Sense of Well-Being
  • Improve Posture
  • Increase Flexibility
  • Improve Digestion
  • Promote Healing
  • Treat Acute Injuries, Post Surgical Sites
  • Treat Chronic Conditions: tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, TMJ dysfunction, and thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Treat Sacral-iliac Dysfunction
  • Treat Symptoms of Sciatica, Herniated/Bulged Disks
  • Compliment Psychological Counseling

Hours of Operation:

Mondays: 4-8pm

Tuesday/Thursdays: 8am-330pm

Fridays: 8am-1pm

Saturdays: 8am-12pm

Call 248-495-9285 to schedule an appointment with Marget today. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Upcoming Events

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Upcoming Events

at My Stronger Self Fitness

October 31st 830am - Pumpkin Workout/Dress Up Contest: Join us for our sweaty, spooky Halloween workout during our Wednesday 830am class. Bring in a small pumpkin (about the size of a medicine ball 4-6 pounds) and come dressed up if the Halloween spirits move you! We’re all super heroes at My Stronger Self might as well dress up like one. Or, maybe you have a favorite fitness icon (Jane Fonda, Olivia Newton-John, Lori Murphy …) you’d like to pay homage to. Best costume WINS something fun!

 

Brighton Boot Camp

Anti-Jelly Belly Boot CampOur Mon/Wed/Fri 530am Boot Camps have been extended! Why wait until the New Year to start losing weight. The average person will consume 4500 calories on Thanksgiving alone and worse gain up to 10 pounds over the holidays. Count down to the new year with My Stronger Self and join the “Anti-Jelly Belly” Boot Camp starting November 5th and running until December 21st (no class November 23rd). Group Training Members SAVE 40% off regular boot camp price! Not a member? That’s OK, just click the “BUY NOW” button and sign up by 10/31 and Christmas just came early … you’ll receive all our cardio/yoga classes free for the rest of the year!




 

Gleanors Food Drive – November 3rd thru December 15th: We’ve been holding our FREE Saturday morning boot camps at St. Mary Magdalen church for almost 3 years and now we’re asking you to dig into your pocket books or kitchen cupboards and let’s support a local food bank for the holidays. From November 3rd until December 15th we’ll be taking non-perishable food donations for Gleaner’s. So, if you want to come to free boot camps every Saturday, admission is the price of 1 non-perishable food item. Our goal this year is 500 items! Let’s pull together and support those in need this holiday season. We’ll also take donations during this time at our fitness studio.

November 10th – “Boot Camp Game Day” Charity Event: Join us Saturday, November 10th 830am at St. Mary Magdalen Church for our “Boot Camp Game Day” Charity event benefiting Team Kendal Kidz. We’re asking for a minimum donation of $10 and it all goes to Team Kendal Kidz – a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization; all contributions are tax-deductible as allowable by law. This workout is guaranteed to be FUN and burn plenty of calories all while benefiting a wonderful local charity.

November 23rd – 1.5 Hour Turkey Buster Workout: Black Friday isn’t just for shopping! If you ate more than your share of turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie … Roll yourself into My Stronger Self’s famous one and half hour Turkey Buster Workout!  This will be the only class we are offering the day after Thanksgiving so take advantage of it! Members/Non-Members please reserve your spot, it fills quickly. Cost for Non-Members is $10. Email Lisa@MyStrongerSelf.com to reserve your spot. Class starts at 9am.

Fundraiser for Team Kendal Kidz

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Fundraiser for Team Kendal Kidz

Food Drive for Gleaner’s of Livingston County

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Food Drive for Gleaner’s of Livingston County

 

 

My Stronger Self Fitness is teaming up with Gleaner’s this holiday season. Stop in to our fitness studio at 1361 Old Us Highway 23 in Brighton and drop-off any non-perishable food items or personal care items. We’re also asking for donations as the price of admission to our FREE Saturday morning boot camp at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Brighton at 830am. We have a drop-off box at the church gym as well.

 Our Goal is 500 Items

We’ll be taking donations now through December 15th … Happy Holidays from all us at My Stronger Self Fitness!

Ask the Trainer: Yoga & Lower Back Issues

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 Ask the Trainer: Yoga and Lower Back Issues

 

In this week’s “Ask the Trainer” with Lori Murphy of My Stronger Self Fitness in Brighton, MI, she recruits the help of our Yoga Instructor, Denise Johnson. Denise is RYT 200 Certified (Registered Yoga Teacher). She comes to us with over 25 years experience. Denise emphasizes the need to build and maintain the strength, length and flexibility of both the spine and thirteen main bodily joints, build and maintain upper body strength, and the maintenance of bone density and muscle mass, noting these areas as vital to maintaining general health and wellness in her yoga classes.

Today she speaks specifically about a few poses that will really benefit those with lower back issues.

Denise teaches at My Stronger Self Fitness on Wednesday’s at 1030am & 630pm as well as Saturday’s at 945am.

“LIKE” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

Over $1000 Raised for Team Kendal Kidz

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Over $1000 Raised for Team Kendal Kidz

 

My Stronger Self Fitness teamed up with Team Kendal Kidz for our Boot Camp Game Day to raise money for this wonderful foundation dedicated to raising money to send kids with cancer to Special Days Camp in Montague, MI as well as research dollars for Children’s Cancer Research Fund. This foundation was established in memory of Kendal Lividini, a Hartland High School student that lost her battle with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia on January 7th, 2011.

“Kendal was a beautiful, strong and amazing young woman. Not long after receiving this very devastating diagnosis, Kendal was on Facebook posting this message. “I do not understand why I have been dealt these cards but I am capable of anything and I will beat this.”

Although she lost her battle, she fought it with such grace and determination and was ALWAYS so full of HOPE. She never gave up.

Kendal would often speak of what she called her “MISSION” to bring people closer to God and closer to family. She wanted people to never take life for granted, to appreciate all that you have and to love big.

She was also very passionate about finding a cure so that someday this terrible disease will no longer be a threat to so many. She wanted to share her story in an effort to bring awareness because a cure is what these kids really need.

By starting Team Kendal Kidz, we feel that we are able to keep her dream alive. We believe that by aligning ourselves with Special Days Camp and The Children’s Cancer Research Fund, we have chosen partners that would best honor our daughter’s memory and wishes.

We invite you to join our mission and help give kids SMILES for today and HOPE for tomorrow!”

Please visit TeamKendalKidz.org for more information and how you can donate.

Ask the Trainer: 10 Minute Workout

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Ask the Trainer: 10 Minute Workout

 

In this weeks “Ask the Trainer Tuesday” with Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert of My Stronger Self Fitness in Brighton, MI, demonstrates how anyone can squeeze in a short but effective workout when you have very little time. It’s important to stay on track and we all get very busy at times, but even this 10 minute workout will help keep you on track by not missing your planned exercise, get your heart pumping and those muscles working.

You’ll do 10 jump squats, 10 push ups, and 10 double arm rows.  Take a short break (about 15 seconds) and keep repeating these exercises for a total of 10 minutes. When using weights make sure the last couple repetitions are challenging. If it’s too easy then it won’t be effective.

Thank you for all your questions, if you’d like to ask a question leave a comment in our comment box.

“LIKE” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

Another “Stronger Self” through Yoga and Group Training

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 Another “Stronger Self” through Yoga and Group Training

 

For the past twenty years, I have been plagued with shoulder, neck, and hip problems. (I think it’s from lugging around four children!) I have sought relief by visiting doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, and even an acupuncturist.  Although I was able to find some temporary relief from these practitioners, nothing provided me with lasting relief.  Moreover, middle age, weight gain, and menopausal symptoms had left me resigned to the belief that I would have to deal with these aches and pains for the rest of my life.

When I walked into My Stronger Self a year and a half ago, however, things began to change.  Strength training and cardio training helped me to feel fit and strong.  I began losing weight and inches, and, while I was feeling more positive, I was still dealing with neck, shoulder, and back issues.

Several people recommended that I try Denise’s yoga class, but I was reluctant.  I had participated in several different yoga classes over the years, and my experiences had not been happy ones.  Some of these classes were extremely competitive, with instructors pushing participants to achieve and maintain positions which seemed to me to be physically impossible; others were heavy into “new age” style practices with chanting and meditation.

When I finally tried Denise’s class, I was pleasantly surprised.  The atmosphere was supportive and pleasant.  There were no competitiveness and no “religious” feel to the classes.  I was able to participate fully from the very beginning.  Denise was very sensitive and supportive of my needs, explaining techniques and poses clearly and thoroughly and encouraging all participants to “honor their bodies” and not feel negative about any physical limitations they might have.

I remember leaving that first class feeling limber, loose, and eager to return.  Since then I have been participating regularly in the yoga classes offered at My Stronger Self.  My first impressions of Denise and her class continue to be affirmed.  I’ve found Denise to be a gentle, warm, and caring instructor who is genuinely concerned about the needs of her students.  She challenges us at our individual levels, continually encouraging us.  The atmosphere she creates is warm, relaxed, and comfortable. I leave yoga classes with a feeling of accomplishment and a renewed peace of mind.  In fact, when I am prevented from attending classes due to travel or other commitments, I notice a difference immediately and can’t wait to get back into my regular routine.

I am happy to share that I have been able to manage my neck, back, and shoulder issues since I’ve been regularly attending yoga classes. Yoga has provided me with other, unexpected benefits as well.  My menopausal symptoms of mood swings, night sweats, and hot flashes have virtually disappeared.  The mind-body connection emphasized in yoga classes overflows into my daily life enabling me to feel more in control and less stressed out (particularly important during this busy time of year).  I feel more confident and positive than I have in years. I’ve found that yoga classes complement the strength training and cardio classes at My Stronger Self by providing greater flexibility and strength in both my body and mind.   I heartily encourage anyone to explore yoga classes at My Stronger Self.

Thank you Barb Falconer for that wonderful testimonial!

Just another reason to join us here at My Stronger Self Fitness. Denise is RYT (Regsitered Yoga Teacher) 200 and comes to us with over 25 years experience.  You will find Denise teaching every Wednesday at 10:30am & 6:30pm as well as on Saturday’s at 9:45am. Drop-ins are welcome at just $8/class. You can view our complete schedule online just click here.

Ask the Trainer: Whittle Away the Middle with ZUMBA!

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Ask the Trainer: Whittle Away the Middle with ZUMBA!

 

Tune in to this week’s “Ask the Trainer Tuesday” with Lori Murphy and certified ZUMBA Instructor Bridjette LaVigne as they demonstrate a few Zumba moves that whittle away that mid section as well get your heart pumping for an awesome cardio workout that hardly seems like work it’s so much FUN!

Like us on FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

 

Holiday Eating Strategies

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Holiday Eating Strategies


Create a Plan for Success

Our most successful clients have been those who have a plan in place before the holidays begin. Our clients succeed by doing the following things:

  • adhering to regular workouts (designed by a trainer) or at least 30 minutes of walking daily, and committing to using the stairs and parking their cars farther away from their destination
  • following meal plans that include breakfast every day, frequent small meals, fruits and veggies at each meal and sufficient water
  • eating a healthy snack before attending holiday gatherings
  • going easy on alcohol, caffeine, energy drinks and soda
  • eating foods that combat stress (salmon, tuna, turkey, chicken, beans and legumes, walnuts and other nuts, flaxseed, olive oil, whole grains, oats, asparagus, spinach and other dark green veggies, pomegranate, berries and dark chocolate (72% cocoa or higher)
  • using relaxation techniques that reach the pleasure center of the brain (yoga, meditation, hot baths, great music, sex)
  • recruiting the help of supportive people (spouses, significant others, friends, family, trainers)
  • removing temptations from the house
  • getting 6–8 hours of sleep per night
  • asking for help when feeling overwhelmed
  • having a nonfood reward system
  • enjoying fun and humor!

Do the Math

Our first tip for clients is to be realistic with what food and drink they have in their homes—to keep only ‘normal’ amounts and have healthy alternatives on hand where possible. If we are in an environment with high-calorie, poor-quality food, we are much more likely to pile on weight.

In many cases you may not even realize how much you could be eating! Think about the calories in the food you may be consuming over the holidays and how much exercise it will take to work them off.

Move Your Focus Away From Food

The holidays pose a particular subset of challenges and while we talk about the holiday ‘season,’ for most of us there are really only a few key days or events that can trigger overeating. Look at your holiday calendar and decide when and how you would like to treat yourself. “Budget” for these occasions by sticking to your physical activity routines and eating healthfully during the rest of the season. Redirect your focus away from holiday foods and onto family, friends, traditions and whatever personal, religious or spiritual meaning they find in the season.

Thanks to IDEAFit for helpful ideas.

12 Cardio or Yoga Classes for $12

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12 Cardio or Yoga Classes for $12

We’re celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with 12 Days of Fitness Specials!

Grab this better than GroupOn deal:

12 Cardio or Yoga Classes for $12

The Fine Print

  • Valid for new clients of My Stronger Self only
  • Not valid with any other offers or promotions including trials, groupons and living social deals
  • Can be used for all classes on our schedule except Group Training and 530am Boot Camp Classes
  • Must be redeemed by 3/30/13
  • Classes expire 60 days from date of redemption
  • One per person, additional quantities may be purchased as gifts but same restrictions apply to each recipient.

Once purchased you will receive an email confirmation that you must bring in to your first class to redeem your deal.Sorry no refunds.

Makes a perfect stocking stuffer … Hurry Offer Expires 12/31/12!!!




FREE Month of Group Training

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FREE Month of Group Training

We’re celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with 12 Days of Fitness Specials!

Grab this better than GroupOn deal:

FREE Month of Group Training!

The Fine Print

  • Valid for new and existing clients of My Stronger Self
  • Not valid with any other offers or promotions including trials, groupons and living social deals
  • Must sign a 12 month contract and receive 13th month FREE
  • Monthly payments must be charged automatically to a credit/debit card or checking/savings account

Email us at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com to snatch up this deal before it’s gone … offer expires 12/31/12

$12 for Fitness Consultation and Body Fat Composition

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$12 for Fitness Consultation and Body Fat Composition

 

We’re celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with 12 Days of Fitness Specials!

Grab this better than GroupOn deal:

$12 for Fitness Consultation and Body Fat Composition

Here’s your chance to sit down and ask a Personal Trainer all your questions about health and fitness. With this consultation you’ll get your body fat %. Offer expires 12/31/12

The Fine Print

  • Must be redeemed by 3/30/13

FREE Month of Cardio & Yoga Classes

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FREE Month of Cardio & Yoga Classes

 

We’re celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with 12 Days of Fitness Specials!

Grab this better than GroupOn deal:

FREE Month of Cardio & Yoga Classes!

The Fine Print

  • Valid for new and existing clients of My Stronger Self
  • Not valid with any other offers or promotions including trials, groupons and living social deals
  • Must sign a 12 month contract and receive 13th month FREE
  • Monthly payments must be charged automatically to a credit/debit card or checking/savings account

Email us at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com to snatch up this deal before it’s gone … offer expires 12/31/12!

How Yoga Can Enhance Your Weight Loss

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How Yoga Can Enhance Your Weight Loss

 

This week Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert of My Stronger Self Fitness in Brighton, Mi enlists the help of our Yoga Instructor Denise Johnson who will give us even more tools to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Denise will demonstrate a few Yoga poses that have been sited as best for overall weight control.

Visit our fan page at http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

For more information about My Stronger Self Fitness Programs check out our website at http://www.MyStrongerSelf.com

 

12 Boot Camp Classes for $10 a Class

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12 Boot Camp Classes for $10 a Class

 

We’re celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with 12 Days of Fitness Specials!

Grab this better than GroupOn deal:

12 Boot Camp Classes for $10 a Class

Not sure if Boot Camp is right for you? Check out our boot camp page. It’s the toughest workout you’ll ever love!

The Fine Print

  • Not valid with any other offers including trial, groupons or living social deals
  • Requires registration and use in same 6 week boot camp
  • Must be redeemed by 6/30/13
  • Classes expire 90 days after redemption

Once purchased you will receive an email confirmation that you must bring in to your first class to redeem your deal. No refunds.

Offer Expires 12/31/12




SAVE 20% Off 12 – 30 Minute Personal Training Sessions

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SAVE 20% Off 12 – 30 Minute Personal Training Sessions

 

We’re celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with 12 Days of Fitness Specials!

Grab this better than GroupOn deal:

SAVE 20% Off 12 – 30 Minute Personal Training Sessions

The Fine Print

  • Valid for new personal training clients of My Stronger Self
  • Not valid with any other offers or promotions including trials, groupons and living social deals
  • Must be redeemed by 6/30/13
  • Sessions expire 120 days from date of redemption
  • One per person, additional quantities may be purchased as gifts but same restrictions apply to each recipient.

Once purchased you will receive an email confirmation that you must bring in to your first class to redeem your deal.Sorry no refunds.

Hurry Offer Expires 12/31/12!!!





SAVE 20% Off a Prepaid 1 Year Group Training Membership

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SAVE 20% Off a 1 Year Prepaid Group Training Membership

 

We’re celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with 12 Days of Fitness Specials!

Grab this better than GroupOn deal:

SAVE 20% Off a 1 Year Group Training Membership

The Fine Print

  • Valid for new and existing clients of My Stronger Self
  • Not valid with any other offers or promotions including trials, groupons and living social deals

Email Lisa@MyStrongerSelf.com to snag this deal … Hurry Offer Expires 12/31/12!!!

30 Days of Cardio or Yoga Classes for $12

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30 Days of Cardio or Yoga Classes for $12

 

We’re celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with 12 Days of Fitness Specials!

Grab this better than GroupOn deal:

30 Days of Cardio or Yoga Classes for $12

The Fine Print

  • Valid for new clients of My Stronger Self only
  • Not valid with any other offers or promotions including trials, groupons and living social deals
  • Must be redeemed by 3/30/13
  • One per person, additional quantities may be purchased as gifts but same restrictions apply to each recipient.

Once purchased you will receive an email confirmation that you must bring in to your first class to redeem your deal.Sorry no refunds.

Hurry Offer Expires 12/31/12!!!




Buy 12 Personal Training Sessions, Get 2 FREE

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Buy 12 Personal Training Sessions, Get 2 FREE!

 

We’re celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with 12 Days of Fitness Specials!

Grab this better than GroupOn deal:

Buy 12 Personal Training Sessions, Get 12 FREE

The Fine Print

  • Valid for new or existing clients of My Stronger Self
  • Sessions Expire 6 months after purchase
  • Not valid with any other offers or promotions including trials, groupons and living social deals

Email Lisa@MyStrongerSelf.com to grab this deal today … Hurry Offer Expires 12/31/12!!!

20% Off 12 Month Prepaid Cardio Membership

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SAVE 20% Off a 1 Year Prepaid Cardio Membership

 

We’re celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with 12 Days of Fitness Specials!

Grab this better than GroupOn deal:

SAVE 20% Off a 1 Year Cardio Membership

The Fine Print

  • Valid for new and existing clients of My Stronger Self
  • Not valid with any other offers or promotions including trials, groupons and living social deals

Email Lisa@MyStrongerSelf.com to snag this deal … Hurry Offer Expires 12/31/12!!!

Fitness Myths Debunked

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Fitness Myths Debunked 

There are fitness myths that circulate and never seem to die! They get passed from one person to the next like a bad game of Telephone.

There’s the myth about ab crunches melting off belly fat. (Sorry everyone, spot reduction doesn’t exist. You’ve got to burn the fat from your body as a whole.)

Then there’s the one that says the faster you do an exercise the better, even at the expense of form. (Ouch! This philosophy has caused many an injury. Never sacrifice form for speed.)

I’ve even heard one that says recovery days are not necessary. (Rest days are actually of vital importance to your recovery and weight loss.)

But of all the fitness myths out there, the one that gets under my skin the most is the belief that fat loss comes as a result of long, slow cardio sessions. I’ve seen many people waste their time and effort on this one. Plodding away on the treadmill 60 minutes at a time for half the results.

The truth is that more intense strength training workouts that incorporate challenging bouts of cardio will burn calories and fat longer than any cardio session alone. Not to mention the long lasting results that occur from turning your body’s fat into lean muscle tissue.

Bonus Burn

After you complete a strength training session, your body goes into a state of increased metabolic output. Simply put, this means that your body will continue to burn extra calories long after you have put down your last set.

On the other hand, if you stuck with a long session of steady cardio, your calorie burning would stop quickly after you hopped off that treadmill.

I don’t know about you, but I like the concept of burning more calories after I’m done exercising. Talk about a bonus!

Say goodbye to steady cardio and embrace a whole new fitness philosophy … Strength Training!

Watch how quickly your body begins to transform.

Yours in Health & Fitness!

Lori Murphy

Brighton, MI Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert

The 7 Day Real Food Challenge

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The 7 Day Real Food Challenge

Processed foods, additives and chemicals are inferior to real food and are potentially harmful to your health.

So Why Do We Still Eat It?

We may think that heart healthy label means something, but it doesn’t hold a candle to real food.

What is Real Food?

Here’s an easy way to tell if your food is real or not: If your food can go bad, it’s good for you. If your food can’t go bad, it’s bad for you. Real food is fresh and unprocessed.

Real Food

The Challenge

This challenge has the potential to change your body forever. Can you take the next 7 days to ONLY eat real food? I know you can! Try it and feel the difference in your body.

The Rules

During the next 7 days avoid eating all of the following food items:

• Bread • Grains • Rice • Crackers & Chips • Packaged Snacks • Sugar & Corn Syrup • Soda Pop • Packaged Bars • Baked Goods • Candy

Eat this instead:

• Seasonal, Organic Vegetables • Seasonal, Organic Fruits • Lean, Organic Meat, Fish & Eggs • Nuts and Seeds

While healthy eating is a huge factor in achieving your ideal weight, exercise is the other (very important) part of the equation.
 Your exercise routine should be challenging and should be done on a regular basis.

Do this challenge for yourself. In one short week you could be the same or you could be leaner and feeling great! The choice is yours.

Yours in Health & Fitness

Lori Murphy

Ask the Trainer: Effective Exercises to Tone Your Legs

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Ask the Trainer: Effective Exercises to Tone Your Legs

Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert from My Stronger Self Fitness demonstrates a few exercises you can do in your home, while you travel or at the gym to help you carve out the legs you can be proud to show off in those summer time shorts or bathing suit.

Do you have a health or fitness question for Lori? Send us an email at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com and we will answer your question in our next segment of Ask the Trainer.

Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

My Stronger Self Fitness providing Personal Training, Group Training, Boot Camps, Zumba, Yoga, Kick Boxing and many other exciting Fitness classes PLUS Nutrition, Advocare Products including 24 Day Cleanse to residents of Brighton, Howell, Hartland, South Lyon, Pinckney, Fowlerville, Fenton, Highland, Milford and all of Livingston County as well as parts of Oakland County.

Ask the Trainer: Strength Training Tips

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Ask the Trainer: Strength Training Tips

 

Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert from My Stronger Self Fitness demonstrates a few exercises you can do in your home, while you travel or at the gym to help you work the back of the legs just in time for summer.

Do you have a health or fitness question for Lori? Send us an email at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com and we will answer your question in our next segment of Ask the Trainer.

Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

My Stronger Self Fitness providing Personal Training, Group Training, Boot Camps, Zumba, Yoga, Kick Boxing and many other exciting Fitness classes PLUS Nutrition, Advocare Products including 24 Day Cleanse to residents of Brighton, Howell, Hartland, South Lyon, Pinckney, Fowlerville, Fenton, Highland, Milford and all of Livingston County as well as parts of Oakland County.

Business of the Month: Seghi Renovations

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Business of the Month

Seghi Renovations

 

We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful people at My Stronger Self Fitness and we find that so many of them have their own businesses. We feel it’s important to our community that we buy local and support the independently owned businesses that are so vital to our area. In an effort to share our members businesses with all of you, each month we will be featuring one of their businesses to help show our support and spread the word. After all,  we wouldn’t be where we are without all of you spreading the word about My Stronger Self Fitness! We’ve also dedicated a special section on our website to feature these businesses. So check here first next time you’re in need and let us know if you have a business you’d like highlighted on our website. BUY LOCAL! 

Seghi Renovations has been serving the Detroit metro area for over 23 years.  We have grown from a small, 1 man operation to a full service design center located in South Lyon, Michigan.  We are a full service renovation company offering concept to completion renovation services specializing in kitchen, bathroom, addition and basement remodeling.  Our large selection of cabinetry will fit into anyone’s budget including our private label Seghi Signature Cabinetry.  We have 2 designers and 3 sales representatives on staff ready to assist you.  We also offer design service and sales to the “do-it yourself” folks as well as other remodeling contractors.

Visit us at 440 N Lafayette, South Lyon, MI 48178

www.Seghi.net

Jim Seghi, Owner Seghi Renovations

Jim Seghi, Owner Seghi Renovations

Jim Seghi, Owner of Seghi Renovations and My Stronger Self Member

 Join us in supporting one our own! Jim is a wonderful person and we are so lucky to have him as part of the My Stronger Self Family!

It’s DATE NIGHT at My Stronger Self Fitness & Dance!

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It’s DATE NIGHT at My Stronger Self Fitness & Dance!

 

Ballroom Dancing Brighton, MI

Ballroom Dancing Brighton, MI

Have you ever wished you could glide around the floor while Waltzing with your partner? Well your wish has come true! My Stronger Self along with Professional Certified Ballroom Dance Instructor (as well as our awesome Saturday Zumba Instructor!) Terri Sweet-Herrick have paired up to bring you 4 Weeks of Waltz Lessons for Beginners! Emphasis will be on strong use of basics and getting comfortable with the use of patterns and transitions. So grab your dancing shoes and your partner and you will be Dancing in NO time!

Dance class meets every other Friday at 6pm starting March 15th.
Cost is $80/couple for 4 weeks.

Email us at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com to sign up today. SPACE IS LIMITED.

Take a TIME OUT from your busy day to re-connect with a loved one in our Couples Yoga.

Couples Yoga Brighton, MI

Couples Yoga Brighton, MI


An evening to build trust, share strength and develop awareness.
Yoga Instructor, Denise Johnson will take you through the same poses done during an individual yoga session, but in partner yoga, you work together to achieve the pose.
Communication, eye contact, and trust will help you and your partner to experience not only a deep stretch in the body, you’ll deepen your connection to each other.
We accept, we laugh, we let go of self-judgment … we just have fun!
No prior yoga experience necessary!

Couples Yoga meets every other Friday at 6pm starting March 22nd.
Cost is FREE with membership, Non-Members $4o per person for 4 weeks

Email us FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com to reserve your spot. SPACE IS LIMITED!

Ask the Trainer: Killer Ab Exercises

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Ask the Trainer: Killer Ab Exercises

 

Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert from My Stronger Self Fitness demonstrates a few exercises you can do in your home, while you travel or at the gym to get you those killer abs!!!

Do you have a health or fitness question for Lori? Send us an email at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com and we will answer your question in our next segment of Ask the Trainer.

Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness


My Stronger Self Fitness providing Personal Training, Group Training, Boot Camps, Zumba, Yoga, Kick Boxing and many other exciting Fitness classes PLUS Nutrition, Advocare Products including 24 Day Cleanse to residents of Brighton, Howell, Hartland, South Lyon, Pinckney, Fowlerville, Fenton, Highland, Milford and all of Livingston County as well as parts of Oakland County.

My Stronger Self has Become an Integral Part of My Life

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My Stronger Self has Become an Integral Part of My Life!

 

Congratulations Barb Falconer!

Barb is our latest My Stronger Self Member of the Month.  She joined us back in April of 2011 working one on one with Lori where she

Barb – AFTER

made awesome strides with her fitness! Now, she’s part of our Group Training Program and this is what one of her fellow classmates and instructor Teresa Arnold has to say about Barb,

Barb – BEFORE

Whenever I have had the opportunity to be in the same class with Barb I have seen her give her 100% all. She is always smiling and brings a very motivating spirit to the gym that is just contagious!”

Barb is a wife, Mom of 4 and now a new Grandma and she’s still here rockin’ out with us 6-7 days a week. She knows how to work hard and it’s paid off!  You’ll often find Barb in a Group Training, Kick Boxing and her new love Hatha Yoga class. She does it all and we are so thankful she found us. Each one of our members brings a special energy to our studio and Barb is no exception.  We’ve enjoyed watching you melt away the pounds and inches Barb You’re such an inspiration to us all … Keep up the great work!!!

Take a moment and read about Barb’s story here …

“I don’t think I’m being overly dramatic when I say that becoming a member at My Stronger Self changed my life.    I was in my early fifties but felt more like a seventy-year-old.  I was overweight, out of shape, and full of aches and pains.  My hips and knees hurt, my range of movement was limited, and my neck and shoulder ached almost constantly.  I was experiencing symptoms of menopause and SAD.  My weight had fluctuated up and down since I had my first child over twenty-five years ago.  At times, I had gotten close to my goal weight, but I never felt strong, in shape, or in control of my life.

Two years ago I walked into My Stronger Self out of curiosity and decided to try the two-week trial membership. I remember coming home from those first few strength classes close to tears.  I felt like a failure and that I would never be able to perform some of the exercises the trainer had us do.  But thanks to the support of Lori, the other trainers, and fellow members, I stuck it out, and the rest, as they say, is history.  I feel so blessed to be able to take advantage of the various cardio and yoga classes, as well as the strength classes.  I have found all the trainers and instructors to be positive and encouraging while kicking my butt at the same time.  One of the benefits I enjoy the most is the support I receive from my fellow members.  Incidentally, I work out with a remarkable group of ladies (you know who you are Tuesday and Friday morning strength ladies) who consistently push the bar, and continue to motivate me to aim higher.

My Stronger Self has become such an integral part of my life now that if I don’t visit the studio daily, I feel as if something is missing from my day.  Two years later, I have lost nearly twenty pounds.  But even better, I feel strong, (both physically and mentally), confident, and in control of my life.  Thank you, Lori, Lisa, and the entire staff and membership of My Stronger Self.”

 

Is It Safe To Do a Cleanse?

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Is It Safe To Do a Cleanse?

 

Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert of My Stronger Self Fitness in Brighton, MI takes a question in this week’s “Ask the Trainer” segment about cleanses and their benefits as well as what not to do.

For more information on a cleanse we recommend, check out our site www.Fit4Life24DayCleanse.com

Do you have a health or fitness question for Lori? Send us an email at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com and we will answer your question in our next segment of Ask the Trainer.

Like us on Facebook

My Stronger Self Fitness providing Personal Training, Group Training, Boot Camps, Zumba, Yoga, Kick Boxing and many other exciting Fitness classes PLUS Nutrition, Advocare Products including 24 Day Cleanse to residents of Brighton, Howell, Hartland, South Lyon, Pinckney, Fowlerville, Fenton, Highland, Milford and all of Livingston County as well as parts of Oakland County.

Business of the Month: Next Clean

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Business of the Month: Next Clean

We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful people at My Stronger Self Fitness and we find that so many of them have their own businesses. We feel it’s important to our community that we buy local and support the independently owned businesses that are so vital to our area. In an effort to share our members businesses with all of you, each month we will be featuring one of their businesses to help show our support and spread the word. After all,  we wouldn’t be where we are without all of you spreading the word about My Stronger Self Fitness! We’ve also dedicated a special section on our website to feature these businesses. So check here first next time you’re in need and let us know if you have a business you’d like highlighted on our website.

 

Did you get your butt kicked by the trainers at My Stronger Self?  Are you tired after that killer work-out?

Now, you need to go to work, run errands, shop, plan and prepare healthy meals and on top of it …………………………….. CLEAN?

Sure you have more energy after working out, but wouldn’t you rather spend it doing the things you really want?

I can help free up some of your time so you can focus on the things that matter the most to you. Imagine walking into your clean, fresh, sanitized home after a long, hectic day.

It’s simple.  Just call Next Clean. I started my cleaning business because I enjoy cleaning. It gives me a sense of satisfaction when the detailed work I put into a home brings happiness and comfort to others.

Some of the services include:

  • Bathrooms cleaned and sanitized
  • Floors cleaned and sanitized
  • Kitchens
  • Stovetops and front of all appliances
  • Microwaves inside and out
  • Carpets vacuumed
  • Dusting
  • Ceiling fans
  • Doors and frames
  • Baseboards
  • Removing cobwebs
  • Trash emptied

See more about Next Clean at: www. MyNextClean.com

Gail McCoy, Owner of Next Clean

Contact Gail: (517) 258-1122

Gail has been a part of My Stronger Self for a long time, and is one of our sweetest members! She not only knows how to brighten your day, but also how to brighten your home with her wonderful cleaning talent. She is the reason why My Stronger Self is so sparkly clean! Join us in supporting one of our OWN! 

 

9 Daily Habits that Will Make You Happier

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9 Daily Habits that Will Make You Happier

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Easter!

I came across a flyer the other day, and I would like to share it with you. On the top of it read 9 daily habits that will make you happier. It made me think for a minute isn’t happiness what it is all about? When we are happy we tend to focus more on the positive things in life. Being happy feels good and we want to stay feeling good! Happiness is a choice so we have to incorporate daily habits that will relieve stress and help us prioritize the important things in life. Check this out.

9 DAILY HABITS THAT WILL MAKE YOU HAPPIER

“These minor changes in your daily routine will make a major difference in your life. Happiness is the only true measure of personal success. Making other people happy is the highest expression of success, but its almost impossible to make others happy if you’re not happy yourself. (husband/wife, kids, boss, friends)

With that in mind, here are nine small changes that you can make to your daily routine that, if you’re like most people, will immediately increase the amount of happiness in your life:

START EACH DAY WITH EXPECTATION

If there’s any big truth about life, it is that it usually lives up to (or down to ) your expectations. Therefore, when you rise from bed make your first thought: “Something wonderful is going to happen today.” Guess what? You’re probably right.

 TAKE TIME TO PLAN AND PRIORITIZE 

The most common source for stress is the perception that you’ve got too much work to do. Rather than obsess about it, pick one thing that, if you get it done today, it will move you close to your highest goal and purpose in life. Then do that first.

 GIVE A GIFT TO EVERYONE YOU MEET 

I’m not talking about a formal, wrapped-up present. Your gift can be a smile, a word of thanks or encouragement, and gesture of politeness, even a friendly nod.

DEFLECT PARTISAN CONVERSATIONS 

Arguments about politics and religion never have a “right” answer but they definitely get people all riled up over things they can’t control. When such topics surface, bow out by saying something like: “Thinking about that stuff makes my head hurt.”

ASSUME PEOPLE HAVE GOOD INTENTIONS 

Since you can’t read minds, you don’t really know the “why” behind the “what” that people do. Imputing evil motives to other people’s weird behaviors adds extra misery to life, while assuming good intentions leaves you open to reconciliation.

EAT ENOUGH QUALITY FOOD 

Eating healthy is so important for both our bodies and minds and we should do that 80% of the time but once in a while, allow yourself to enjoy something delicious, like a small chunk of fine cheese, a small piece of rich chocolate, a glass of fine wine. Focus on the taste, savor it, enjoy it, then move on without guilt.

LET GO OF YOUR RESULTS 

The big enemy of happiness is worry, which comes from focusing on events which are outside of your control. Once you’ve taken action, there’s usually nothing more you can do. Focus on the job at hand rather than some weird fantasy of what might happen.

TURN OFF THE BACKGROUND TV 

Many households leave their TV’s on as “background noise” while they are doing other things. The entire point of broadcast TV  is to make you dissatisfied with your life so that you’ll buy more stuff. Why subliminally program yourself to be a mindless consumer?

END YOUR DAY WITH GRATITUDE 

Just before you go to bed, write down at least one wonderful thing that happened. It might be something as small as making someone laugh or something as huge as a million dollar deal. Whatever it is, be grateful for that day because it will never happen again.”

As we go through life’s stages there are times we wish longingly for what was but is not more. When that happens remember this quote:

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Think about these words this week. Practice living a happy life. Focus on the good not the bad. It takes work but it is so worth it in the end!

I know it is getting warmer out but I want to see all your happy, smiling faces at the studio this week. Make your health a priority!

9 Daily Habits courtesy of Geoffrey James

SPECIAL EVENT: FREE Health and Well Being Seminar

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SPECIAL EVENT: FREE Health and Well Being Seminar

 

Join us Wednesday, April 10th at 630pm for our Health and Well Being Seminar with Rick Smith Jr. This seminar is FREE and open to the public. There’s going to be a lot of great information so please share with your friends. You can email us at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com or call 810-844-1650 to RSVP. Hope to see you all there!

FREE Health & Well Being Seminar in Brighton, MI

Secrets to More Energy

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Secrets to More Energy

As summer rolls around, the sun starts to shine, and our bodies start to get that itch to move, lack of energy can be a serious setback. We all look for that magic treatment that will give us infinite bursts of energy that can last all day, and keep us doing what we love. From spending time with family, to going for a run and staying fit. Energy is a major component to being healthy and fulfilling our goals for summer. Some may think it’s close to impossible or too expensive to waste time on energy remedies, when in reality the solution is as easy as one, two, three and as accessible as our very own home. The ways to increase energy don’t have to cost a fortune, and most importantly don’t have to increase our waist lines.

Healthy Food for Energy

It starts in the morning, eating a good breakfast can set the tone for the rest of our day. Eating healthy heart foods like fruits and vegetables with protein such as eggs can kick-start metabolism, and keep the body energized all the way to lunch. If you’re a major coffee drinker like the majority of America, and you need that little bit of caffeine to start off your day, try adding less sugar or crème to make sure you’re not adding unnecessary calories to your day. It’s also important to stay away from sugary energy drinks like Red Bull if you’re looking to keep an eye on your weight for bathing suit weather.

As the day moves on our bodies begin to get a bit more sluggish, which is completely natural. A way to help with that sluggishness is to add little snacks between meals to keep your metabolism moving and keep the healthy sugars moving through your body. You might be surprised to find what a granola bar and apple would do to increase your energy levels in a calorie saving way.

Contrary to popular belief, exercising doesn’t make you tired — it literally creates energy in your body.  Your body rises up to meet the challenge for more energy by becoming stronger.   As your heartbeat increases with a vigorous workout, more blood surges through the brain, more oxygen is absorbed by your brain cells, and you feel more mentally alert and energetic.  Better-conditioned muscles also make daily tasks that much easier. When you exercise, your ability to recruit and use muscle fibers are increased so you require less effort to perform any physical task.  And as you become stronger through exercise, so does your immune system.  Being sick drains us of energy.  Exercise boosts immunity, which helps averts illness, or at least reduces its length and intensity.

Whatever your forte may be for creating the sustained energy you need to get through the day always be conscious of what you put in your body, and know that if you treat your body well, it will return the favor better than any energy drink or cup of coffee ever could.

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Lori Murphy

Brighton, MI Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert

Healthy Alternatives for Cinco de Mayo

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Healthy Alternatives for Cinco de Mayo

 

Mexican food is so yummy, but unfortunately many options are high in calories and fat. You might be heading out to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this weekend and just because you’ve chosen to lead a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you must deprive yourself from eating great tasting food!

Here’s a couple healthy alternatives to your Cindo de Mayo favorites:

Tacos

Who doesn’t love tacos? Most versions have high fat ground beef and loaded with cheese and sour cream. Consider using whole wheat taco shells, turkey meat and skip the cheese. Instead add fresh salsa, diced avocados, tomatos and maybe even some grilled veggies.

Fish tacos are another great alternative to the traditional taco as long as you stay away from deep fried fish and all those high calorie add ons. This recipe looks perfect!

Ingredients

  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and cubed
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for garnish
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and black pepper
  • canola oil
  • 2 large mahimahi fillets (1 1/2 lb total)
  • 1 tbsp blackening spice
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups finely shredded red cabbage

Directions

1. Mix the mango, avocado, onion, and the juice of 1 lime in a bowl. Season with cilantro, salt, and pepper.

2. Heat a grill or stovetop grill pan until hot. Drizzle a light coating of oil over the fish and rub on the blackening spice. Cook the fish, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. Carefully flip with a spatula and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove.

3. Warm the tortillas on the grill for 1 to 2 minutes or wrap in damp paper towels and microwave for 1 minute until warm and pliable.

4. Break the fish into chunks and divide among the warm tortillas. Top with the cabbage and the mango salsa. Serve with the lime wedges.

Only 401 calories and 1.7g of Saturated Fat.

Classic Margarita

Most 12 ounce versions of this classic cinco de mayo drink will cost you 540 calories because restaurants will use mixers with corn syrup. Try this tasty version and save big on calories.

Ingredients

Ice
1 1/2 ounces of 100 percent agave blanco tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce Cointreau

Directions

Fill rocks glass with ice; add tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau. Stir ingredients together until chilled.

Only 144 calories!

ENJOY!

Business of the Month: Sweetwater Photography

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Business of the Month: Sweetwater Photography

 

We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful people at My Stronger Self Fitness and we find that so many of them have their own businesses. We feel it’s important to our community that we buy local and support the independently owned businesses that are so vital to our area. In an effort to share our members businesses with all of you, each month we will be featuring one of their businesses to help show our support and spread the word. After all, we wouldn’t be where we are without all of you spreading the word about My Stronger Self Fitness

 

Sweetwater Photography

Tara is one of our awesome members as well as the official photographer for My Stronger Self Fitness and our Fit-4-Life Challenge. Take a look at her website, www.SweetWaterPhotos.com and you will see her work speaks for itself! Be sure to hire her for your wedding, senior or family pictures or your next major event! You won’t be disappointed! Thanks Tara!!!!

Sweetwater Photogrpahy, Owner Tara Botero

Chocolate Banana Quinoa for Breakfast

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This recipe and photo were created by contributor Aylin Erman of Glow Kitchen.

Chocolate for breakfast? Consider cocoa powder your new best friend. Mixed with a healthy sweetener and some fiber and protein  to back it up, cocoa can start your day off on the right foot — the one doused in chocolate. Quinoa is also an ingredient we don’t associate with our morning routine, but the grain is by no means reserved to savory side dishes. Quinoa is one of the few grains that contains the nine essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce themselves, and this super grain also boasts just over ten grams of fiber in one 1/2 cup serving. Not only will you love the taste of this recipe but also you will be satiated for longer, experience improved digestion, and keep your blood sugar levels tame. No more mid-day slump!

RECIPE: CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAKFAST QUINOA

Photo by Aylin Erman

Serves 1

What You’ll Need:

1/2 cup raw quinoa
1 cup + 1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
Dash of sea salt
1 banana, 1/2 mashed, 1/2 cut into slices
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh mint for garnish

What To Do: 

  1. Bring 1/2 cup of quinoa, 1/2 cup water, 1 cup almond milk, and dash of sea salt to a boil in a small pot.
  2. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally until all the liquid has been absorbed (about 10 minutes).
  3. Remove quinoa from stove and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Mix in the mashed banana, cocoa powder, vanilla, and honey. Stir until evenly combined.
  5. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of almond milk over quinoa, garnish with banana slices and mint (if desired), and enjoy!
Do you eat quinoa for breakfast? Share your recipes in the comments below! 

 
When trainer-to-the-stars Harley Pasternak shares a recipe, we’re definitely making it. After all, he has helped both Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson drop major pounds. So when Harley tweeted this simple recipe for a smoothie, the next day’s breakfast was a go.

With only a handful of ingredients needed, it’s deceptively simple to make and big on protein, calcium, fiber, and vitamins — the perfect way to start a morning. The smoothie itself has the perfect amount of sweetness, and the tiny addition of cinnamon gives it a spicy kick. It’s almost like having apple pie in a glass — except this meal will keep you full until lunch!

Harley Pasternak Breakfast Smoothie

Harley Pasternak's Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

INGREDIENTS

5 raw almonds
1 red apple
1 banana
3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender. (Depending on how powerful your blender is, you may need to chop the apple and almonds into small pieces before blending.)
  2. Blend on medium-high for 30 seconds (or until desired consistency).

Makes one 16-ounce serving for a total of 382 calories.

Member of the Month: Carol Welch!

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Member of the Month: Carol Welch

 

Congratulations Carol Welch!

Carol is our latest My Stronger Self Member of the Month.  Carol began working with Lori even before the My Stronger Self Studio opened!  She is part of our Group Training Program and also enjoys Golf and Yoga.  In fact, she loves it so much at My Stronger Self, she has recently started working the front desk part time!

Carol is a wife, mom of 2 and grandma of 2.   She works hard to always give 100% effort in all of her workouts and everything she does.  Carol has a ready smile and is so encouraging to our other members as well.  It’s a true pleasure to have her as part of our fitness family and now a part of our staff.  Thank you Carol … you are awesome!!!

This is what Carol has to say about her experience with out fitness studio:

I’ve been working out with Lori for about six years.  I’ve always had a passion for being fit. I’ve always thought I had endless possibilities…I was lifting 12-15 pound dumbbells and Lori was cheering me on all the time.  I felt I could keep up with some of the younger ones… like Megan, until I was diagnosed with IPF, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.  It is scaring of lung tissues.  I’d had a cough

Carol Welch – Fit & Fabulous!

for a few years and got to the bottom of it in 2011.

Now I have to have oxygen for my activity.  It took me a while to get back to MSS but when I did, I was welcomed with opened arms.  Lori makes sure I work out to my maximum potential. She doesn’t take anything less.

I hope I can inspire others to keep working out despite their health issues.  It is not easy to come to class with a tube hanging from your nose, but I know that it will help keep me alive past my prognosis.  I have a lot to work out for; two wonderful sons, two beautiful grandchildren, two awesome dogs, and of course a husband that has been with me 43 years.

I want to thank Lori and all the instructors for keeping me going.  I plan on being here for a long, long time.

19 Awesome Reasons to Exercise Today!

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19 Awesome Reasons to Exercise Today

We know it’s summer and you have exciting places to go and things to do. But wait! Did you forget about your workout? Again?

Lots of people fall off the exercise wagon during summer months due to vacations, taking care of kids home for the summer months, and other warm weather distractions. We get it, we really do, but what about all the amazing perks that you’re missing out on?
Just in case you needed a little reminder that will motivate you to lace those shoes back up and get your workout back on, here are 19 Awesome Reasons to Exercise Today!

 

  1. Exercise makes your clothes fit better: Consistent exercise will tone and tighten your body, and this means that your clothes will not only fit better they will also look nicer. But don’t get too attached to your current clothes. Exercise ensures that soon you’ll be trading those current clothes in for smaller sizes.
  2. Exercise reduces your stress: Let’s face it, you have enough stress in your life—so take a break. A challenging workout invigorates your muscles and leaves you relaxed and less stressed.
  3. Exercise boosts your energy: Research routinely concludes that exercise increases energy levels in sedentary people. So when you’re feeling fatigued, fight it with the most powerful tool available: exercise.
  4. Exercise makes you stronger: Who doesn’t want to be stronger? You rely on your body’s muscle strength and endurance throughout each day. With consistent, challenging exercise, your body will naturally become stronger.
  5. Exercise burns calories: Extra calories end up stored on your body as fat. Fight back by eliminating loads of calories with fat-blasting workouts.
  6. Exercise gives you confidence: Healthy confidence is a wonderful thing to have. By exercising consistently you’re able to increase your natural confidence.
  7. Exercise can be fun: Don’t laugh, I’m serious on this one. Whether you believe it or not, exercise can be really enjoyable. Remember how fun it was to run and jump as a child? Tap into your inner child as you find enjoyment in moving your body through exercise.
  8. Exercise reduces your blood pressure: Exercise is so powerful that it has been proven more effective than medication in reducing high blood pressure. A single workout has even been shown to reduce blood pressure for the day, and consistent exercise reduces overall blood pressure.
  9. Exercise tightens your problem areas: With exercise you can reduce flab on your arms, legs and waistline. So wave goodbye to the jiggles with a consistent, challenging exercise program.
  10. Exercise increases your insulin sensitivity: Research continues to prove that exercise dramatically improves insulin sensitivity. Peak after-meal insulin levels have been shown to drop by more than 20 percent after as little as 3 weeks of consistent exercise.
  11. Exercise improves your sleep: Exercise is your most powerful sleep aid. Tired muscles encourage your body to quickly fall asleep in order to get overnight repair work done.
  12. Exercise lowers your risk of heart disease: Exercise strengthens your heart and protects it against disease. A non-active lifestyle is a huge risk factor for heart disease, so use consistent exercise as your ally against disease.
  13. Exercise makes you feel amazing: Challenging exercise releases natural endorphins (happy hormones) into your bloodstream that dissolve pain and anxiety. You’ve probably heard of the ‘runner’s high’, this can be achieved by any great workout.
  14. Exercise lowers your risk of diabetes: Research has shown that exercising as little as half an hour each day can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes. If you are at risk of diabetes, or already have diabetes, use regular exercise as treatment for reversing the disease.
  15. Exercise is an opportunity to meet new people: Gyms, bootcamps, workout centers and even jogging trails are all great places to connect with fun new friends. So lace up and put your self out there!
  16. Exercise improves your BMI: Maintaining a healthy BMI is key in disease prevention, and exercise is the best way to keep your BMI under control.
  17. Exercise increases your endurance: Don’t ever get out of breath from walking up stairs or through the mall again. Your regular exercise builds up endurance for everyday activities.
  18. Exercise improves your overall health: Does your doctor give you the lecture about losing weight and exercising more? Once you start exercising regularly you and your MD will see an overall improvement in your health.
  19. Exercise makes you look amazing: Are you excited about the current shape and size of your body? If not, no worries. Regular, challenging exercise will work wonders on your physique. Within just a few weeks you’ll start to see shape and tone in all the right places.

Confused About Muscle Confusion?

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 Confused About Muscle Confusion?

The term ‘muscle confusion’ has been knocking around gyms and fitness centers for some time. Some fitness fans claim it is an idea that opens up a whole new approach to exercise, while others regard it as a play on words without real meaning, or not of any real benefit. So it is worthwhile looking at what muscle confusion is and some of the evidence and ideas behind this fitness trend. Until you can be clear about what muscle confusion is you won’t be able to make up your own mind about whether it could work for you.

What is muscle confusion?

It is a term you were until recently most likely to hear in weight-lifting circles, although it is referred to more and more in general fitness. The theory is that unless your change your routine around a lot, your muscles will plateau and stop reacting to the same exercises. This is because they have become ‘used to’ an  exercise. This is a result of your muscles getting bored. By mixing things up a little you ‘trick’ your body into not being able to second-guess and this inspires your muscles to react and your workout to have maximum effect and progress. Muscle confusion programs are about constantly varying your routine with a wide range of exercise styles. This muscle confusion theory is one that is a favorite with anyone involved with popular exercise programs like P90x.

Is it actually viable?

It certainly sounds like a practical theory on the face of it. After all, anyone who does regular exercise knows that their body can plateau: this happens when you’ve been exercising at a certain level for a while and you simply don’t see the same effects until you push yourself harder, with longer runs, heavier weights, more reps etc,. to get the same results and move beyond. However, there is confusion in the term because the idea of muscles becoming confused is illogical. A muscle is not sentient. Iit is not able to think for itself and cannot become bored and tricked into reacting a certain way. It’s not necessarily about continuously mixing exercises up to the point of confusion either. Often,  just increasing the weight or the number of reps or sets you do in a session is enough to have an effect. Doing a whole new type of exercise won’t get your muscles confused surprised or even mildly curious!

So why is it touted as a fitness ‘truth’?

Muscle confusion has caught on because there IS an element of truth in it. Muscles CAN adapt to your exercise regime but the important thing to remember is that they don’t become adapted to one particular type of exercise, rather they adapt to the ‘loads’ you are placing on them and how long you give them to recuperate. Recovery time and muscle fatigue are important elements too.

Loads and recuperation? How so?

Gaining muscle is about getting the right levels of intensity and giving yourself the right amount of time to recover, which is when the actual activity happens. If you are not using enough intensity to challenge a muscle, or not allowing adequate time to recuperate, then your muscles won’t develop or your body won’t make the most of your efforts.  If you take a systematic approach and gradually build up intensity, you will see results.

Why do programs such as P90x show such great results?

P90x requires that you work out at a high level for up to 90 days. You are also required to follow a strict diet too. This sort of regime allows nearly anyone to see some great changes to their body and health. Anyone who has watched workout DVDs about P90x will also know how an integral part of training programs is being motivated enough to stick with the course and see it through. Many of the people who really get involved in these committed workouts are generally those who are determined and interested in keeping fit too. Their hard work and regular training means they will usually get results, often because they are naturally incorporating what others are terming muscle confusion.  In many ways, the term muscle confusion is just a marketing hook for an intense workout program.

So are there any benefits to mixing your fitness routine up?

Of course. Even the most driven person can get a bit bored with their exercise program and introducing a new exercise or fitness machine is a good way of keeping your interest levels up. It might also ensure that you enjoy more rounded fitness and stimulate different muscle groups. Does what you do at the moment really strengthen and challenge your core. for example? Dynamic workouts can help you avoid overuse injuries like RSI and you may even stumble upon a type of exercise that you really love that works well with your body, your capabilities and your fitness goals.

Want to add some variety to your routine or mix things up a little? Can we help you to reach the next level and not plateau? Get in touch today and we promise not to confuse anything but your muscles!
Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory.

Protein Parfait

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Protein Parfait

Breakfast Protein Parfait

Here’s a great recipe to make the night before for an easy grab-n-go breakfast straight out of the fridge. It’s packed with protein, vitamins and minerals for sustained energy all morning long. And it tastes great too.

Servings: 1

Here’s what you need…

  •     1/4 cup Greek Yogurt, plain, fat free
  •     1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
  •     1 scoop high quality strawberry or vanilla protein powder
  •     1/4 cup fresh berries
  •     1 Tablespoon pecan pieces, toasted
  1.     In a small bowl use a whisk to combine the yogurt, cottage cheese and protein powder. Mix until well incorporated.
  2.     Place half of the yogurt mixture into a clear cup, top with the berries and then the remaining yogurt mixture. Top with pecans.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 260 calories, 6g fat, 307mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 38g protein.

Enjoy!

The Lowdown on Pedal Power

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The Lowdown on Pedal Power

Ever glanced in a studio and seen and felt the sheer energy and enthusiasm of a spin class? People peddling away with a sweat on but massive grins on their faces. But really? What is so good about it? Is it just riding a static bike or is there a little bit more to it than that? If you’ve never tried it, then trust us, nothing beats jumping in the saddle and having one of the best workouts you’ve ever had. But to make it even more enjoyable and decide if it’s really for you, here is the lowdown on pedal power.

‘It’s as easy as riding a bike,’ people say. Once you’ve learned how to keep the handlebars and wheels straight and keep upright without wobbling, you never forget how to ride a bike. However, this does not mean that you’re not feeling some trepidation about the idea of what can be a fairly frenetic way to get in shape.

Realryder Cycling

Indoor cycling Spinning classes have rows of bikes with an instructor facing the class. You don’t go anywhere but you will be guided over imaginary terrain as you are challenged in uphill pedalling over certain distances. If you haven’t tried our RealRyder Cycling classes then you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s the latest in indoor cycling technology … a stationary bike that tilts and turns to not only give you the cardio blast of your life but will work your core and upper body muscles like no other stationary bike you’ve tried. You can read more about it here.

Music & motivation What people love about spinning is the high-octane music that really gets you pumping. You don’t need a sense of rhythm though which is a real plus point if you enjoy the music and the beat but have two left feet. This is not the tango. Your instructor will also keep energy levels up by encouraging you to keep going and to really work it.

Low impact aerobic workout Spinning doesn’t put too much pressure on joints so it’s great to do if your other activities do, such as running, for example. However, spinning is designed to increase your heart rate with some quality cardio and it is definitely an aerobic class.

All fitness levels and non-competitive Everybody can join in a spinning class, even if certain sessions are more suitable than others, depending on your fitness levels. You don’t have to keep up with everyone else and you can go at your own pace. You might be cycling as if your life depended on it but you’re not in a race.. Spinning is fun and in no way competitive.

You set your own challenge A knob on the bike allows you to vary resistance, so you’re always in control. You can also change the difficulty level by altering the speed of your pedalling. During the spinning class you will be sat down, pedalling while standing for extra resistance, and standing while holding the lower handlebars too.

As you start to spin you’ll also start to feel the cardio burn and because you’re working certain muscle groups, you may find that your lower body aches or feels a bit wobbly afterwards. As you continue spinning you’ll soon notice the difference and how much you progress, so don’t expect too much of yourself from your first indoor cycling class. What you’ll definitely feel is ‘alive’ and ready to spin again!

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory

How to Avoid the Vacation Fat Trap

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How to Avoid the Vacation Fat Trap

Leaving town for a summer get-away? If you’re not careful your trip will quickly turn into a fat trap.

We don’t want your fitness results to disappear before you return home. Keep reading for 2 simple steps to avoid the dreaded vacation fat trap.

There are plenty of strategies and techniques out there for staying fit on vacation, but most are fairly complicated. We’re not going to give you a list of 27 things to remember in order to avoid those vacation pounds – you are getting away to relax, after all! We’ll keep this simple and effective.

The following 2 steps are all that you need to take with you on your vacation to ensure that you come back looking and feeling amazing.

Step #1: The 1/3 Rule
Most vacation pounds are gained as a result of constant indulgence. Each meal becomes an opportunity to eat your heart out to the tune of “I’m on vacation!”

Look, we get that you’re on vacation and want to enjoy the richer tastes of life, but doing so at every meal is going to do a lot of damage to your waistline.

Rather than indulging constantly, we want you to adopt the 1/3 Rule. This means that only 1/3 of your meals ought to be eaten with the mindset of “I’m on vacation.” At this one meal each day you are allowed to eat things that are normally off-limits. Enjoy your favorites and do so with no guilt.

At your other 2 meals each day you’ll keep things lean and green. Fill up on lots of greens, veggies, and lean proteins. Pass on the breads, grains, potatoes and anything with sugar. Drink water, and avoid beverages that contain calories.

Step #2: The Exercise Rule

This step is just as important as the first one, so don’t drop the ball on this one: Each and every day you must do some form of exercise.

Notice we said some form of exercise. We didn’t say that you had to go to a weight room to do a traditional workout. While on vacation, exercise should be diverse and exciting.

Your vacation activities can become your workout. Take a hike, go exploring on foot, swim in the ocean or bike through a foreign town. If you aren’t able to fit a vigorous activity into your day then start by doing this body weight routine:

  • 20 push ups
  • 30 seconds of jump squats
  • 20 walking lunges
  • 30 seconds of plank hold
  • 30 seconds of rest
  • Repeat from the top 3 times

Enjoy your vacation!

Breakfast Birds Nest

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Breakfast Bird Nests

You know that curbing your carbs will help you lose weight and tone up, so try this low carb breakfast. It’s a great way to eat some veggies with breakfast and if your garden is overflowing with tomatoes why not use them up!

Breakfast Birds Nest

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need…

  •     4 large, round tomatoes
  •     1 teaspoon olive oil
  •     1 clove garlic, minced
  •     1 small onion, finely chopped
  •     3 slices organic, nitrate-free turkey bacon, chopped
  •     dash of dried oregano, plus more for garnish
  •     optional dash of salt (added salt is not in nutritional analysis)
  •     dash of pepper
  •     4 organic, omega-3, free range eggs
  1.     Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2.     Wash tomatoes, slice off the tops and scoop out the insides. Place tomatoes on a pan, and bake for 5 minutes.
  3.     In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic. Add onion. Add chopped bacon. Saute for 5 minutes, until mostly cooked. Add the spices and mix well.
  4.     Turn oven to broil.
  5.     Fill each tomato with the bacon mixture, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top of each tomato. Crack an egg into each tomato then sprinkle with oregano. Place in the oven under broiler for 5 minutes. Remove from oven once the top has set, and you’ll have perfectly done over easy eggs.
  6.     For well done eggs: change oven temperature back to 400 degrees F, and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 98 calories, 5g fat, 162mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate, .6g fiber, and 9g protein.

Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips

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Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips

Here’s a refreshing fruit salsa that is perfect for BBQs, parties or just good old fashion family dinner.  We found this recipe on allrecipes.com as one of their all-time highest ranked recipes. You may opt to only put 1 Tablespoon of white sugar and leave out the brown sugar if your fruit is already pretty sweet. The brown sugar gives it a deeper flavor.

RECIPE

Ingredients

    • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
    • 2 Golden Delicious apples – peeled, cored and diced
    • 8 ounces raspberries
    • 1 (16 oz) carton of strawberries, diced
    • 2 tablespoons white sugar (more or less to taste)
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (more or less to taste)
    • 3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor (I used strawberry)
    • 10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
    • melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray
Cinnamon sugar:
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle tortillas with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Spray again with cooking spray (not necessary if using melted butter).
  4. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture. This salsa can also be serve with cinnamon graham crackers or cinnamon pita chips. Best when made and eaten the same day otherwise the fruit gives off so too much juice and it gets runny.

ENJOY!!!!

Wickedly Wild Pumpkin Workout at My Stronger Self Fitness

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Wickedly Wild Pumpkin Workout at My Stronger Self Fitness

 

We know you’re going to sneak a treat from the kids Halloween  bags … better join us Tuesday, October 29th for a calorie exorcism otherwise they just might haunt you for the REST OF YOUR LIFE!!!!! (Or at least until you make those New Year Resolutions)

Drop-ins welcome … $8/class. Please bring a small pumpkin fore the workout.

10 Tips to Keep Holiday Pounds Away

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10 Tips to Keep Holiday Pounds Away

 

The shorter, cooler days usher in a whole season of family gatherings, parties, and entertaining. With so many tempting foods and events combined with our busy schedules, it’s also the time of year we can so easily lose sight of our health and fitness goals. Will this be a repeat performance of gaining weight in November and December with a promise to “get back to work” in January? Will you look in the mirror on January 1 lamenting the way you spent your fall? It doesn’t have to be that way! Use the following tips to remind yourself that food doesn’t control you, you are the one in control. You can enjoy the holiday season AND proudly look in the mirror with the arrival of the New Year!

  1. Plan Your Workouts: Make a commitment to yourself. Grab a calendar right now and plan each and every workout from now until Dec. 31. Our motto at My Stronger Self is “if you erase, you must replace.” In other words, if you absolutely have to miss a workout, reschedule it for another time that day or week. Workouts are crucial to your success.
  2. Plan Your Food: If you’re heading out to an event or just errands and shopping, be sure to eat a small nutritious snack just before you go or take one with you. Being satisfied and not ravenous will give you the strength you need to steer clear of foods that won’t help you reach your goals.
  3. Find a Holiday Outfit: Find a great outfit you want to wear for a special occasion over the holidays and keep trying it on as you lead up to the event. Focus your attention and actions on how it will feel to be confident in that outfit when the time comes.
  4. Explain your Needs: Let your family and friends know that you’re committed to eating healthy. Help them to understand how important it is for you and that you’d like to make sure healthier food options are available during your get-togethers. At a minimum, bring a dish to ensure there will be something healthy to choose.
  5. Find Healthy Recipe Alternatives: We all love Grandma’s famous sugar cookie recipe but this is the year to give it a healthy face lift. There are thousands of websites that will help you make your favorite dishes healthier.
  6. Plan Holiday Meals & Shopping List: Planning meals and what you need to buy at the grocery store is important. By sticking with your list, you’ll be less likely to snatch up those impulse purchases which just so happen to almost always be fat and calorie bombs!
  7. Plan Family Active Time: Get the entire family up and moving after dinner with a walk. It feels good to get outside, helps burn a few extra calories and it’s great quality time with entire family. Try our FREE Boot Camp happening every Saturday 830am at St. Mary Magdalen in Brighton or schedule a class at My Stronger Self. Drop in cardio classes are only $8/person or try a RealRyder Spinning or M-S-S- Barre Class. We have a great Demo Special happening right now! CLICK HERE!
  8. Create a Christmas Gift List: Create a list of things that will help you reach your goals. Some ideas include, a healthy cookbook or magazine subscription, a My Stronger Self training package or gift certificate, workout clothes, spin or other workout shoes, zumba skirts, kickboxing gloves, heart rate monitor, and the list could go on. Brainstorm things that will help you feel good and enjoy your journey to better health and fitness.
  9. Post Your Goals: Place a realistic goal photo and/or your written health goals where you will see them. Some people put them right on the fridge door or bathroom mirror as a constant reminder of where they are going and what it will take to get there.
  10. Don’t Stress: Change “I have to exercise” to “I get to exercise”. Remind yourself of how fortunate you are. Many people aren’t able to exercise, be grateful you still can DO IT! Never take it for granted.

Remember exercise and proper nutrition are not only good for us physically, but it also helps us mentally cope with the day to day challenges that life throws at us – especially during the busy holiday season.

Gina Garrison – Brighton’s Fitness Member of the Month

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Gina Garrison – Brighton’s Fitness Member of the Month

 

 Congratulations to our November Member of the Month

If you ever need to find Gina, a quick glance at the Zumba schedule will help you track her down. Gina rarely misses shaking her groove thing in her Zumba skirt at one of Bridjette’s Zumba classes, or Michelle’s Zumba Sentao. Her enthusiasm is contagious and we love seeing her smiling face and having her positive attitude at My Stronger Self.  Gina has really focused her efforts and it shows!  Congratulations Gina on your fantastic results! Read Gina’s story below.

” Hi.  I’m Gina Garrison, and I’m glad that I found My Stronger Self.  I have tried all the weight loss videos.  They were ok, but just not enough.

I’ve been overweight just about all my adult life  It never came off after 2 kids.  I had to make a change.  So I joined Weight Watchers.  My instructor was right on with my feelings and habits.  She mentioned My Stronger Self and that she taught Zumba.

I had always wanted to try Zumba.  I was nervous and stood in the back of the room so no one would see me.  Now, after losing 88 pounds, I stand in the front shaking my boom-booms.  Thank you Bridjette for making this journey AWESOME!  This makes being 50 a great year!”

Great job Gina … you are truly an inspiration and you look fabulous!

Don’t Dread Fitness … Instead Have FUN!

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Don’t Dread Fitness … Instead Have FUN!

 

In case you’re low on motivation or encouragement, all of us at My Stronger Self Fitness including our awesome clients got you covered! Who could resist such FUN … it’s contagious!

New 30 Day Metabolic Makeover Living Social Deal

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New 30 Day Metabolic Makeover Deal

 

Just Click the “BUY NOW” button and Select Living Social from the Drop Down Menu


 

 

Turkey Buster Workout 2013

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Turkey Buster Workout 2013

We had 30 people join us for our Black Friday 90 minute Turkey Buster Workout this year. What FUN we had mixing things up this year with 30 minute intervals featuring our Cardio Station, RealRyder Spinning Station and Group Training Circuit Station for a CALORIE BLAST like none other!!! Come see why My Stronger Self Fitness is the FUNNEST FITNESS spot in town!

If you’re new, ask us about our Trial Offer.

LIKE us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MyStrongerSelfFitness

 

Brighton Holiday Shopping Fair

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Brighton Holiday Shopping Fair

We are very excited to be hosting this event! Come relax and mingle with our fun-loving gang! We’ll have a massage therapist on hand along with lots of unique gift ideas for all your family and friends. Ditch the crowds, support your local businesses and celebrate the holidays at My Stronger Self Fitness! Keep reading below for a list of vendors who will be on hand.

RSVP on Facebook.

Check out our list of vendors for the event!

We are so happy to have Runnin’ Gear of Brighton with us for this very special event. They are a big supporters of My Stronger Self Fitness and treat  all our members like VIP’s!! Visit them online or stop by their store on Grand River. You won’t be disappointed!

Owners, Amy Neuer and Lisa Russo of Gold Diggers will be on hand to turn all your unwanted gold and sterling silver into cold, hard cash for the holidays. They’ll also be selling Replica Ugg Boots, Northface and Oakley Sunglasses! Like them on Facebook.

Melissa Gowell will be here from Origami Owl, jewelry creations to serve as a reminder of who you are, where you have been, where you are going and the dreams you carry in your heart. So, look inside yourself to create fun, fashionable, meaningful jewelry that is as unique as you are. Visit her page on Facebook.

Alicia Schuebel of Tranquility Massage will be on hand delivering relaxing chair massages!  Call her to book an appointment today! 810-986-0820

Kim Lenga, owner of Deliciously Home-Made and one our fabulous fitness instructors, best known for her Cake Pops will be sharing her beautiful and yummy creations . Visit her Facebook page.

Stacey Gaffka of SewMeems will have her personally designed and sewn children’s clothing line. Make sure to visit her website to see her gorgeous creations.

Heather Idoni from Threads Redeemed will be bringing her hand made scarves from recycled yarn and threads mixed with new yarns. All sales benefit their adoption fund. Heather plans to adopt 3 boys from the Ukraine.

Martha Soraruf of Arbonne, a 30 year old business offering pure, safe and beneficial beauty, health and wellness products that are both gluten free and certified vegan.

Kelly Beck will help make your Christmas baking a snap with her Pampered Chef products offering kitchen utensils, cookware, bakeware and so much more!

Todd & Teresa Arnold, the dynamic duo from TNT Inspection Services, will be hanging out with us sharing their home buying knowledge.Teresa is also one of our kick butt trainers.  Hire them for your next home purchase and see why they are one of the most trusted and respected home inspectors in the business. 810-772-1090

Tami Kromer of SimplyTamiK will have her one of kind fun yet functional creations for anyone in the family. Reusable snack & sandwich bags, Aprons, hot things rice packs, fabric baskets, Twirly Girly skirts, baby wraps, burp cloths, bibs, simple tote bags, Pillows, pouf cushions, blankets, messenger bags, coffee cup sleeves and custom orders too. Be sure to like her Facebook page!

We’ll have Jim Seghi, one of our awesome members as well as owner of Seghi Renovations available. Seghi Renovations is a home remodeling contractor and supplier that provides home improvement services, from the initial design, right through to the finishing touches. They are experts in kitchen remodeling, bath installation or renovation, additions and basement finishing. They also do barrier-free modifications and insurance repairs. Their “One-Source” approach makes it easy to turn your dream project into reality. Make sure you visit and LIKE his Facebook page!

Patricia Hartsell will have both her Thirty-One and Mary Kay products on hand. Both make for wonderful Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers. Be sure to visit her Facebook page as well.

Christina Monroe will be spoiling us with her Lia Sophia. Have a Christmas party to attend and need some stunning jewelry to wear then make sure to stop by her table. You can find her on Facebook.

Shawnda Cox of Oh How I Love Jesus started her company selling t-shirts that read “I Trust God.” From there, she let her audience build her creations. She now sells long-sleeve shirts, sweatshirts and jogging suits for men and woman.

Renee Va De Ven will have her ItWorks! products offering the all natural and botanically based Ultimate Body Applicator! Tighten, tone and firm in as little as 45 minutes! Check out her Facebook. 

We hope to see you all there! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from My Stronger Self Fitness!

Zumba Flash Mob at Brighton Ladie’s Night Out

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Zumba Flash Mob at Brighton Ladie’s Night Out

 

What a great showing by the ladies of My Stronger Self Fitness! Our Zumba Gals were in rare form and did such a wonderful job with the Zumba Flash Mob at the Brighton Ladies’ Night Out event. Thank you to the Brighton Chamber of Commerce for inviting us back again. And a special thank to Bridjette LaVigne for putting this fabulous group of ladies together. You ALL looked so great last night!!!! Thank you so much for your support. We’re certain you’ve encouraged many to get out and shake their groove thing!

Thank you Evelyn, Barb, Maureen, Beth, Gina, Kathy, Alison, Pat, Sherri, Robyn, Mary, Aryn, Deb, Amelia, Joy, Nicole, Barrie, Cheryl, Karen, Lara … hopefully we haven’t missed anyone.

Thanks again!!!

What Have You Done for Me Lately?

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What Have You Done for Me Lately?

written by Michelle Hamilton

Have you ever thought about that question in regards to your own body?  Most of us tend to take our bodies for granted.  We expect to roll out of bed in the morning and complete a long list of tasks without breaking stride.  It’s only when we get hit with an illness or injury that we stop to realize all that our bodies do for us and how much we take our health for granted.

We all know that our bodies will work to peak performance with proper fuel, exercise and rest, but have you ever stopped to think about how that voice inside your head is treating you?   We all tend to be our own worst critic, picking apart things we don’t like about our bodies or giving ourselves a hard time about our “shoulds” and “can’ts”.  Some of us may not even be aware of the messages we are sending ourselves.

Creating and/or maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes a lot more work than just showing up at the gym a few times a week.  Much of this task is mental.  At some point in our lives, most of us have felt underappreciated by family, friends, or co-workers.  That feeling doesn’t foster putting forth our best efforts.  When you are constantly berating yourself for what you think you can’t do, or what you perceive as your body faults or weaknesses, it makes it much harder to make positive improvements.

We are all at different stages in our life.  Some have been lifelong exercisers and some are brand new to the experience.  Some are working to maintain their health, and some are working toward better fitness.  It doesn’t matter in which category you find yourself.  It only matters that your attitude be one that creates the health and happiness you seek.

Following through with what your body needs in terms of food, exercise and rest is so much easier to do when you approach it from a positive perspective.  Instead of thinking about depriving your body of foods you know aren’t healthy, think about providing your body with healthy foods that will make you look and feel better.  Instead of guilting yourself into thinking “I have to go workout”, change the words you say to yourself to “I get to go workout today.”   There are many who are unable to workout.   Learn to be grateful for your body and treat yourself to an awesome, sweaty workout you can be proud to accomplish!

As we head into the New Year, I challenge you to alter your thought process.  No matter where you find yourself on the fitness continuum, become grateful for all your body is capable of right now.  Keep pushing forward with respect for your strong body and appreciate the small positive changes.  You can meet your fitness goals and positive self talk will make the journey much more enjoyable and rewarding!

Fitness Member of the Month – Jenny Shaw

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Fitness Member of the Month – Jenny Shaw

 

Jenny is one of our most active members.  She is committed to her workout schedule and always gives it 110%.  She trimmed her figure and created those awesome looking arms in strength classes twice a week and several weekly cardio classes.  In fact, she often takes 2 to 3 classes in a row!

She always has a smile on her face and goes out of her way to encourage others.  We love having Jenny as part of our membership and applaud her commitment to her fitness goals.  Keep up the good work, Jenny.  You look fantastic!

“Over the last thirty years, I’ve gained and lost the same thirty or forty pounds more times than I care to admit; two years to gain it, two years to lose it.  It wasn’t a good plan, but it was the cycle I was familiar with.  I loved food but had not found a way to control it.  I had low energy and was an expert at avoiding mirrors and cameras.  At some level, I knew I wasn’t getting any younger and needed to make some changes, but I couldn’t break my bad habits.

Finally, In January of 2011, a friend invited me to a free My Stronger Self boot camp class at St. Mary Magdalene.  I found the energy and acceptance (no matter the fitness level) of the people so positive that I eventually signed up for a two week trial, and knew I had to stay.    I started with strength class and thought I was doing just fine.  One day, standing and waiting for a class to start, Bridjette walked in to teach Zumba.  Horrified that I had come at the wrong time (I DO NOT DANCE!) and with nowhere to run, I very accidentally took my first Zumba class.  WOW, who knew exercise could be such a riot?  I didn’t want it to stop!!  That was the day I learned my lesson about trying all that My Stronger Self has to offer.  There is always some new class to try or an instructor pushing your envelope.  And for the record, Debbie, I wish you would lose your cable service.  I don’t want to know what they do at football training camp – EVER!

Since then I’ve learned a lot about maintaining weight through exercise and good food choices.  I slip up here and there, but so what, I now have a solid understanding of what healthy is and how to get there.  I have a new confidence in myself and I like to pretend my muscles intimidate my teenagers – just a little. :-) However, most important to me, is the family I’ve found at My Stronger Self.  Whether you know it or not, both members and staff have changed my world.  You are the most inspiring people I have ever met!  Thank you My Stronger Self!!”

Jenny Shaw – Before and After

Loaded Philly Cheesesteak Baked Potato

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Quick skillet steak with onions, peppers and mushrooms are loaded on top of a baked potato and topped with melted cheese – this is awesome and perfect for the meat and potato lover in your life!

Loaded Philly Cheesesteak Baked Potato
reprinted from Skinnytaste.com

Ingredients:

  • 4 (5 1/2 oz) russet potato, washed and dried
  • 1/2 lb thin sliced beef round sandwich steaks
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced into long 1/4″ thick strips
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into 1/4″ thick strips
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced into 1/4″ thick strips
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • cooking spray, sprayed about 4 seconds
  • 4 slices provolone cheese

Directions:
Poke holes in the potato with a fork, then cook in the microwave using the baked potato setting until potatoes are soft and cooked through (about 8-10 minutes on high for 4 potatoes). If you don’t have a microwave, bake about 45 minutes at 400°F.

Meanwhile, slice beef into thin strips. Season with salt, garlic powder and fresh pepper to taste. Heat a large skillet over high heat. When the skillet is very hot, spray with cooking spray and add half of the beef. Cook one minute, then turn steak and cook an additional 30 seconds. Set aside in a large dish.

Spray the skillet again and when it gets hot add the remaining steak, cooking one minute, then turning and cooking 30 seconds more. Add remaining steak to the dish.
Return skillet to heat and spray once again with cooking spray; add onions and peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook one minute, then turn and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until onions are golden. Set aside with steak.

Lower heat to medium and add 1/2 tsp olive oil to the skillet, add mushrooms, salt and pepper and lightly spray the top of the mushrooms with cooking spray. Cook 1 1/2 minutes, then turn mushrooms and cook another minute and a half. Add to dish with steak and onions and stir to combine.

Split the potato in half lengthwise down the middle as I did in the photo then divide the steak and vegetables evenly over each potato and top each with a slice of provolone. Place under the broiler to melt the cheese, careful not to burn.

Servings: 4 • Size: 1 potato • Old Points: 8 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 390 • Fat: 13 g • Protein: 26 g • Carb: 44 g • Fiber: 4 g • Sugar: 3 g
Sodium: 293 mg (without the salt) • Cholesterol: 56 mg

TNT Home Inspections – Business of the Month

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TNT Home Inspection – Business of the Month

 

“Inspections you can count on”

TNT Inspection Services, LLC provides Residential Home and Commercial Real Estate Inspections in Southeastern Michigan and performs the following services: Residential Home Inspections

  • ·Home inspections with hundreds of referrals from satisfied homeowners.
  • ·One time fee includes a written full color report, photographs of your home on CD, and home orientation to teach you how to operate your home.
  • ·TNT Inspection Services, LLC has working relationships with local code officials. Just let us know if you would like us to review the permit history on the property you plan to purchase.
  • ·Our own personal touch for each customer, homemade chocolate chip cookies!

Commercial Building Inspections

  • ·Reporting, cost analysis and photographs of repairs needed.
  • ·Sworn statement inspections for lending institutions.
  • ·Expert opinion on most anything within the construction industry.

American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) member, and owner, Todd Arnold, ACI is a State of Michigan Licensed Building Inspector, with over 18 years of trusted experience in residential inspection and commercial building inspection services. We hope you will choose our company for all your property inspection needs.

Testimonial:

“Let me first start this off by saying, I AM COMPLETEY AMAZED! Todd was already at my prospective property even before I arrived and started inspecting the outside perimeter.  He even arrived before my realtor! How punctual!! I walked into the house and TNT Inspection had a lovely bag with all my information AND fresh baked cookies for me! What a treat!

Todd got right down to business the moment he stepped foot on the property. You could tell as he walked around the property, that he took what he was doing VERY seriously. However, what I was MOST IMPRESSED about was the intricate detailing and labeling Todd did for me. As a young woman purchasing her first home, I am not familiar with which switches or knobs are supposed to do what when you enter your basement. Todd took the liberty, without me even asking, to label: the hot water turn off switch, the ice maker turn off, electrical box, how to change my furnace filter, and many other things. I WAS COMPLETED BLOWN AWAY! By Todd doing that, he made me feel even safer in this prospective home! I can’t tell you how much that will help me in the future. The labels were so professional and were very tasteful in design that I love having them!!

Todd answered all of my questions with great confidence and I could tell his many years of experience and qualifications were top notch! When Todd left my prospective home, I felt so much safer and better about purchasing it. I truly felt as though he had done MORE than a thorough inspection and even went above and beyond what I thought. I had just expected someone to come in, walk around and write down notes on a paper. Todd took voice notes during the inspection to include in my report, he took many pictures and wasn’t afraid to crawl up into tight attic spaces or to check out chimney spaces.

The report I received was amazing! It arrived in a lovely, professional black binder with a picture of my prospective house on the front. Even my DVD from Todd with all my pictures on it even had a picture of my prospective house on the DVD label. For Goodness Sake, this is quality!!!!! It is so rare to find such passionate and professional people who you KNOW actually have concern for what your concerns are. Todd is that guy! I would NEVER even think about going to a different home inspection service. All I have to say is, Todd you better not retire anytime soon!!! Thank you so much for your MORE than thorough inspection. I feel so SAFE now because of your services!!

Michelle E. Martoia”

Call us today for a free quote!

We look forward to working with you!

Todd and Teresa Arnold

5904 Felske Dr., Brighton, MI 48116

Ph # 810-772-1090~Email: Todd@TNTInspectionServices.com

www.TNTInspectionServices.com

Fitness Member of the Month – Julie Eckles

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 Fitness Member of the Month – Julie Eckles 

 

Julie brings a determination with her every time she enters the gym.  She takes her fitness seriously and it shows.  Julie joined us initially for Zumba only.  Soon, she began adding other cardio classes. It wasn’t long that she noticed from others the benefit of small group training classes and transitioned into a strength membership.  Since then, Julie has tried every single class we have available that her schedule would allow!  She has even brought her boyfriend in to join her in ballroom and swing dancing lessons!  This woman is on fire!

Congratulations Julie.  We are so happy to have you as part of our MSS family.  Keep up the great work!

Read Julie’s story below and make sure to check out her before and after picture at the end!

“I like to be active outdoors when the weather is nice, but always found myself cocooning during the winter months – I don’t like the cold!  Every autumn I’d get into my baking mode and kid myself that I was just adding a layer of insulation to keep myself warm.  I’d gain weight every winter and hide under sweaters and bulky clothes, only to go into overdrive to lose the weight each spring.  I belonged to a gym and would drag myself to a few classes each week, but never do much more than go through the motions.

I moved to Brighton in 2010, and bounced around a few gyms until I joined Lady of Livingston.  I liked going there, but when they closed I found myself looking for a new place to work out.  A business associate recommended My Stronger Self.  I signed up for a one week trial, but by the second Zumba class, I was hooked! I love that everyone here is accepted – and welcomed! – no matter their age or fitness level.  The instructors are great about pushing each member to a higher level of fitness, while respecting each person’s physical limitations.  The instructors are so encouraging – no one can make you feel so good about yourself for “sweating like some kind of farm animal!!!” like Deb can!  Everyone here really cares about each of us getting fitter and HEALTHIER.  That’s really helped me overcome my self-conscience-ness to get stronger and healthier .  I’ve made some great friends here, and find encouragement and inspiration every time I come in for a class (6 or 7 classes most weeks).  Seeing the progress every member has made in weight loss, increase in strength, and coming back from injury or illness is really motivating.  Can you find anyone else – in the world – with Mary’s energy?  What a dynamo!!!  Whenever I slide on my fitness goals, I only need to walk in the door at M-S-S and feel the positive vibes to get me back on track.  Thank you, everyone, for your inspiration, support and camaraderie.”

Difference Between Goals and Wishes

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Difference Between Goals and Wishes

 

by Michelle Hamilton

What is a wish?  The dictionary defines a wish as:  to want; desire; to long for.  Goals on the other hand are defined as: the result or achievement toward which effort is directed.  The difference is profound not only in semantics, but also in how each can shape your thought process, your actions (or lack of), and ultimately, your life.

January is traditionally a time of reflection.  The beginning of a new year lends itself well to taking a good look back on the past year’s successes and learning opportunities (sometimes mistakenly referred to as failures).  It’s also a great time to look forward toward future plans – as in goals or wishes.

If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to think about your 2013, not just in regard to your health and fitness, but in all areas of your life.  Really take some time to dig into what was a resounding success and where there is room for improvement.   Think about what you have learned in areas that didn’t go as well as you would have liked.

With that in mind, think about how you would like to feel about 2014 at this time next year.  Setting a goal rather than making a wish is an important first step.

A Call to Action

We have all heard it before.  Our world is full of books, seminars, newspaper and magazine articles about goal setting.  These things are particularly evident (in our face?) this time of year.   Don’t panic.  Making goals doesn’t have to be overwhelming or require an enormous effort.  Start small and start simple.  You don’t need to compile a huge long list.  Your goal shouldn’t be designed to impress other people.  They only need to be important to you.  In fact, you can start with just one goal.  Identify one thing that would change your life most this year.  Write down that goal and what you are willing and able to do to make that goal a reality.  Now, create a mantra.  Make it simple, 2-5 words.  Put it on a card in your wallet.  Put it on your computer and/or phone wallpaper.  Post it on your mirror.  Get that goal in front of your face every single day.  Each day repeat your mantra out loud to yourself and think about why you want it.  It’s much easier to change habits when you remind yourself why your goal is important to you.

Then, follow your action plan and do something every day to move yourself closer to accomplishing your goal.   Meeting a goal is almost never an accident.  It takes careful planning, action steps, and perseverance.

It sounds simple, but an important part of meeting that goal is to keep its importance in the front of your mind and just keep at it.   No effort toward your goal is ever wasted.  Don’t let little set backs derail you.  Depending on your goal, it may take some time to see tangible results.  That’s ok.  Keep moving yourself closer and closer to your goal and never give up.

It’s easy for all of us to wish for better health and fitness.  Do you have a wish?  Or a goal?  If it’s still in the wish stage, take the next step and create a goal and action plan from it to get you where you want to be.  If it is a goal and something you really believe in, you have the power to make it happen.  Armed with well defined, important-to-you goals and the help of a wide array of classes at My Stronger Self with incredible fitness instructors, you are unstoppable!   Look out 2014!

Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken

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Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken 

Fresh out of healthy meal ideas? Check this one out!

  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 11 oz cans Mexicorn, drained
  • 1 C thick and chunky salsa
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp. Mexican seasoning
  • 1 1/2 C nonfat shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped green onions (optional)

Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray.  Combine beans, corn and ½ C salsa in cooker and mix well.  Top with chicken breasts; sprinkle with Mexican seasoning and pour remaining salsa over chicken.  Cover and cook on high for 2 ½ -3 hours or low 4-6 hours.  Sprinkle cheese over top; cover and cook about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with chopped green onions if desired.

Nutrition Information:  Serves 6.  Each serving contains 385 calories, 2.4g fat, 74mg cholesterol, 1409mg sodium, 44g carbs, 6g fiber, 46g protein.

Business of the Month – Runnin’ Gear of Brighton

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Business of the Month – Runnin’ Gear of Brighton

 

 

Runnin’ Gear of Brighton

First and foremost, our goal is to put our customers into the correct type of footwear based on their arch type, weekly mileage, past and/or current injuries, and future goals (the correct footwear will make running or walking much more enjoyable and injury-free). We do this a few different ways. We want to ask questions regarding your running or workout history. What is your weekly mileage? What type of surface are you mostly running on? Are you experiencing any nagging injuries? With this information, we can  discuss footwear options that are best tailored to your individual needs and goals!

Our big focus with determining the correct footwear is to analyze an old pair of running or walking shoes (when possible). An old pair of shoes has thousands of footstrikes embedded into the sole and midsole of the shoe. This will show us how you land into the shoe (heavy heel strike or midfoot strike), as well as if the shoe has supported the foot effectively. Is there a “crinkling effect” in the foam in the medial side (arch side) of the shoe? Is the whole lateral side (outside) of the shoe worn from heel to toe? 

We can also perform an in-store gait analysis when determining your correct footwear. While watching you walk, do your feet stay neutral or overpronate (excessive roll/collapse of the arch and ankle)? Contrary to video gait analysis enthusiasts, overpronation  is visible from watching a person walk! We take all of this information into consideration when recommending footwear. We do not pull out “trendy” shoes if they will not work for your feet! 

The footwear brands we carry are Adidas, Asics, Brooks, New Balance, Nike, and Saucony.  Our apparel brands include Adidas, Asics, Brooks, Illuminite, Mizuno, Nike, Saucony, and Skirt Sport.
Feetures! and Balega are our best selling socks. 

We are all runners at the store (as well as self-proclaimed shoe geeks), and we know the footwear technology and the correct way to fit extremely well. We realize that every runner and walker is different, not one shoe or running form fits all, and we make the footwear fitting process as specific as possible! 

We look forward to helping you!
The Runnin’ Gear Brighton Crew
Mark, Jim, Eric, & Colleen

Runnin’ Gear Brighton
9937 East Grand River, Brighton, MI 48116
(810) 844-0180

Strength Training – Who Needs It?

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Strength Training – Who Needs It?

 

Well, let’s see.  Do your goals include reducing body fat, increasing lean muscle mass and burning more calories – even while sleeping or relaxing?

Would it please you to be the owner of firm toned muscles?  Are you interested in changing the shape of your body?  Does supercharging your metabolism sound like something you are interested in?

Are you looking for the secret ingredient to keep chronic illnesses like arthritis, type 2 diabetes, back pain and depression at bay?

Would you like to slow the aging process?  Do you want to enjoy your golden years in good health, full of energy, flexibility, and good balance?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above, you are in luck.  Strength training can do all that and more.

Despite its reputation as a “guy” or “jock” thing, strength training is a key component of overall health and fitness for everyone.  A regular routine of strength training 2 to 3 times a week is essential to building the life and body of your dreams.

Read on for some the ways adding this to your routine can make a real difference in your life!

Muscle mass naturally diminishes with age.  “If you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body,” says Edward R. Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. “But strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass — at any age.”

Strength training also helps you:

Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.  One of the best ways you can control bone loss as you age is to add strength training into your workout plan.  An increase in bone density reduces the risk for fractures.

Control your weight. As you gain muscle, your body begins to burn calories more efficiently.  Muscle is active tissue that consumes calories.  Stored fat uses very little energy.  Strength training can provide up to a 15% increase in metabolic rate.

Boost your stamina. As you get stronger, you won’t fatigue as easily. Building muscle also contributes to better balance, which can help you maintain independence as you age.  You will improve and strengthen dynamic, whole body movements that make you stronger for real life activities like gardening, house work, shoveling snow, etc.

Increase the strength of connective tissue, muscles, and tendons. This leads to improved motor performance and decreased injury risk.

Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, including back pain, arthritis, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Improve your quality of life.  Strength training provides similar improvements in depression as anti-depressant medications. Currently, it is not known if this is because people feel better when they are stronger or if strength training produces a helpful biochemical change in the brain. It is most likely a combination of the two

My Stronger Self has put together a staff of top strength trainers.  We offer personal training as well as small group training classes.  There are 19 group training classes offered each week which should allow a strength routine to fit into the busiest schedule.  Classes involve a wide variety of exercises using bodyweight, dumbbells, resistance bands, suspension training, systems, medicine balls and more.  Our promise to you is that you will never be bored in these classes and you will see results!

Obviously, strength training benefits are far-reaching. We encourage you to add strength training to your program, today!  Email us at FitForLife@MyStrongerSelf.com  to set up a fitness consultation and to learn more about our group training program.

Community Yoga to Benefit Livingston County Humane Society

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Community Yoga to Benefit Livingston County Humane Society

 

Beginning on February 7th, 2014, My Stronger Self Fitness Studio will begin offering a Community Yoga class to benefit not only the participants, but the Brighton area community as well.   The Vinyasa style class is offered every Friday at 9:30am.  The donation for the 1 hour yoga session is $15.   All proceeds will benefit an area charity which will be chosen by the participants.   Each quarter, collected funds will be distributed and a new charity will be chosen. Our first charity will be the Livingston County Humane Society.

My Stronger Self Fitness Studio is located at 5283 South Old US Highway 23 in Brighton.  We are a full service fitness facility offering personal training, small group strength training, barre classes, Real Ryder spinning, boot camp workouts and a wide variety of cardio classes such as Zumba, Bokwa, Kick Boxing, Ignite, Triple 15, 20/20/20 and more!

Our goal is to positively impact participant’s lives and the lives of others in our community.

Please join us!

Registration and your contribution can be made by following this link

Community Yoga at My Stronger Self Fitness

For more information contact:

My Stronger Self Fitness @ 810-844-1650 or email Lisa Bender (Lisa@MyStrongerSelf.com)

Lori McLaughlin – Fitness Rockstar of the Month!

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Lori McLaughlin – Fitness Rockstar of the Month!

 

What a dynamo Lori McLaughlin is!  She joined us here 8 months ago and is another member that started out with our cardio classes.  Lori was making great progress, but felt that she was ready for something more to move her toward her goals.  She added strength training twice a week and just look at her now!

Lori can often be found here at the gym taking advantage of the wide variety of classes we offer.  She admits that her family jokingly teases her about possibly being a little obsessed with all the classes she enjoys!

Lori is a true asset to our gym.  She brings with her a positive attitude, boundless energy and always a great big smile.  Congratulations Lori.  Your hard work has certainly paid off!

“Hi, my name is Lori McLaughlin.  The best thing that I have done for myself in a long time was joining My Stronger Self.

In May of 2013 a friend of mine who knew that I wanted to become healthier and lose some weight asked me to join her at her beloved studio.  My oldest daughter was home for the summer from college and she and I took advantage of the free week trial.  Both of us instantly fell in love with My Stronger Self.

I have joined gyms in the past but they never worked for me.  I would do the same thing every day and would lose 10 or 15 pounds but then just plateau and become bored.  I am never bored at My Stronger Self.  Every Sunday I make a list of all the classes I am going to do that week, it is different every week.  Between all the different cardio classes, strength classes, spinning and barre it never gets boring.  I love it.

The instructors at My Stronger Self are the best; they are so motivating.  They know what you are capable of and push you, which is exactly what I need.  It is so evident how much they love their jobs and want you to succeed at your goals.

I feel good about myself again.  I am so much stronger and have so much more energy.  I do some kind of class (sometimes 2) 6 days a week.  It never feels like a chore.  The one day a week that I take off I actually miss it.  My family thinks I’m a little obsessed but there are worse things to be obsessed about. :-)

Thank you My Stronger Self!”

Lori – Fitness Rockstar of the Month

Easy Sunday Casserole

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Easy Sunday Casserole

 

Ingredients:

6 pre-cooked chicken sausages (such as Amy Lu Andouille)
1 pound potatoes, washed and cut into wedges
1/2 baby carrots
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1 large onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasonings
1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
freshly ground black pepper, salt
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • Preheat oven to 450
  • Prepare vegetables and place in a large bowl
  • Combine the garlic with oil, seasonings, and chicken broth.  Pour over the vegetables and season with salt and pepper, if desired
  • Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Place veggies in pan and season with salt and pepper, if desired
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the veggies are tender.  Baking time will vary based on the size of your veggie chunks.

Cut the sausages into pieces.  After baking the veggies for 30 minutes, add the sausage pieces and balsamic vinegar.  Stir and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes.

Note from Michelle:  Original directions said to line pan with foil.  In my experience food stuck to the foil, foil stuck to the pan.  Next time I’m using non-stick spray as I wrote in these directions.

This recipe can be easily altered to include your favorite veggies.  Additions of cauliflower and/or brussel sprouts, green beans, and zucchini sound wonderful to me, maybe even subbing out some or all of the potato.  It’s open to your customization!

 

Recipe adapted from
Kayotickitchen.com

Business of the Month – Buczek Collision

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Business of the Month – Buczek Collision

 

We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful people at My Stronger Self Fitness and we find that so many of them have their own businesses. We feel it’s important to our community that we buy local and support the independently owned businesses that are so vital to our area. In an effort to share our members businesses with all of you, each month we will be featuring one of their businesses to help show our support and spread the word. After all, we wouldn’t be where we are without all of you spreading the word about My Stronger Self Fitness

 


Buczek Collision Center

Brian and Sandy Buczek, Owners
3680 W Grand River Ave
Howell, MI 48855

(517) 546-9100
(810) 338-9131 (cell)
www.bodyshopbrian.com

 

We believe you deserve the very best so we go the extra mile to provide it. Our shop has certified technicians who will diagnose and restore your vehicle to the manufacturer’s specifications. We use the latest technology in estimating, collision repair, frame work, alignment, painting, and all other facets of your repair needs.

Of course, we will work with all insurance companies from the time of the accident until your vehicle is safely on the road again – restored to its pre-accident condition (in some cases, better). So, relax and expect the very best from Buczek Collision!

I’m sure you’ll recognize Sandy Buczek as one of our Rockstar Group Training Members and an all around nice person. :-) We are very lucky to have her with us and we hope you’ll consider their collision shop next time you are in need.

Make the Time

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Make the Time

We live in a busy, busy world.  We are always rushing from one thing to the next.  If you are like most of us, you have a long to-do list and a long list of people or things that need your attention.

If you have been putting yourself on the back burner, it’s time to stop.  Don’t think that when “X”  happens, then I’ll have time for me.  As soon as “Y” is over, then I’ll go to the gym.  Right now is the perfect time.  You will be a much better partner, son/daughter, employee, parent, etc. if you are healthy, fit and strong!  Place high value in yourself and make your health and wellness a priority.

Our website (MyStrongerSelf.com) and fitness studio walls (and classes) are full of success stories of busy people who have improved their health and fitness.  Most show a dramatic change in their body, some document improved health with a decrease in medication, and all report much improved fitness and energy.  You owe it to yourself to enjoy the multitude of benefits from regular exercise! Here’s just a few:

  • Improve mood by stimulating brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.
  • Boost energy.  Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues to help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently giving you more energy to go about your daily chores.
  • Sleep better.  Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep.  More energy and better sleep?  Who doesn’t have time for that?
  • Have fun.  We have a variety of fun classes, instructors, and members at My Stronger Self.  So many of our clients comment on how surprised and pleased they were when they first joined and found the members so friendly, supportive and encouraging of each other.  As well as muscles, many great friendships have been built inside our fitness studio! Take a peek at all the fun we have here!
  • Combat health conditions and diseases.  No matter what your current weight, being active boosts good cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides.  It also can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, some types of cancer, arthritis and falls.

Bottom line:  Exercise is a great way to feel better, gain health, and have fun.  Put yourself high on your priority list.  Don’t let your current physical condition keep you from walking in the door. Our membership includes people at all fitness levels.   Just start where you are and move forward.  You are worth it.  Start now.

Tasty Tuna Lettuce Wraps

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Tasty Tuna Lettuce Wraps

 

Who needs bread weighing them down? These tasty tuna lettuce wraps are so much better than a traditional tuna sandwich, and will leave you feeling light and lean. Use wild-caught Albacore Tuna packed in water.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (5oz) can Albacore Tuna, packed in water
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon relish
  • 2 Tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed, plus more for garnish
  • dash of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage, shredded
  • 4-6 butterhead lettuce leaves, washed

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, flake the drained tuna with fork. Add celery, relish, mayo, mustard, dill and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Place lettuce leaves on plates, evenly divide cabbage on the leaves and then fill with tuna mixture. Sprinkle with dried dill weed.

Nutritional Analysis: Makes 2 servings.  Each provides: 148calories, 7g fat, 434mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 13g protein.