honeynut cheerios“Finding is reserved for those that search.” — Jim Rohn

Not too long ago, I had a prospective client tell me, she was eating Honey Nut Cheerios every day for  two weeks straight, all day everyday.

Her trainer moved away and couldn’t tell her what to eat anymore. And she didn’t even like the cereal.

Is this normal? Is this ok? And why would she do something like this?

This happens a lot, and when a client comes to me and says
“I need your help just tell me what to do!”
“I will do anything, I just can’t stand the way I look and feel right now!”

The most go to answer is “I want to look good”


Because… “I hate how my clothes fit me”, “How my wife/husband looks at me” …
“I can’t keep up with my kids”; “My body hurts a lot”; “I am not sleeping”


“I used to be an athlete, then I got married and I had kids and now I barely even walk around or get in my steps”

“I was never athletic, but I at least wasn’t 20-30-50lbs overweight like I am now, and my body is starting to hurt…”

“I have always been overweight and I have tried so many things… but now I have a family and my Dr. is telling me, my health is starting to be go downhill…”

Okay…so is it really about “looking good”? Are you truly willing to “do anything?”

So if I told you to eat Honey Nut Cheerios for a week; promising you that you would look good in the end, would you?

At this point I would totally hope that you would say “NO”!!!!

Or if you did follow my “plan” would you say,
“that crazy trainer Jenn told me to eat Honey Nut Cheerios for a week and I didn’t get any results… She’s crazy!”

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bikeI hit a gate and it was the best thing that happened to me!

Sound crazy?  Not to me…

That day symbolizes a pivotal moment in my life. 

It was another day on my bike, it was a Saturday in mid June,  so the path was crowded on Rock Creek Parkway.  For some reason I was determined to ride fast and furious that day.

I can remember riding as fast as I could, to catch “that guy”.

I had it in my head I had to beat him on the path.  Back and forth I was “winning” then he was winning, it kept going for quite sometime.. I just kept thinking..

…This guy is not going to beat me…  he is not going to beat me..he is not …. BAM!

I tumbled over my handlebars, as a gate sprung open from the impact; slamming me to the ground, flat on my back.

As I lay there breathing trying to comprehend what just happened, so many things ran through my head,

WHY didn’t I see that gate? It was huge, it took up the majority of the path.. was I hurt?

… with a path full of bikers trying to avoid my wreck, I just laid there… breathing…

Not knowing what was to come… I kept saying to myself “Just Breathe”… closing my eyes for a second, seemed like hours to me,

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Wish I had your arms“You have awesome arms; I wish I had your arms”; “I want arms just like yours, can you help me?”

“If I had arms like you, I would always wear tank tops or no sleeves.”

Honestly these statements used to make me mad… at myself….

Believing I didn’t want to be noticed or seen…

CRAP!!! People saw my arms; I should have worn the long sleeves.  They are also going to see that rest of me is not so good…. 

Sound crazy?  

Building a healthy body is relatively easy compared to the hard work it takes in creating a healthy self-image.

Ever heard of the comparison trap???

It is expected as a female in a group of females to pick out our worst parts and compare them with one another.  It was and is a given, that is how we have rolled…

I was one of 4 girls in my family and you should hear the conversations we have had over the years.

“You look so awesome, you are so… skinny, fit, disciplined, better than me; (fill in the blank with your self-deprecating statement).

And to no fault of her own, my Mom, had a hard time accepting her body as well…

There are so many confusing messages as a female we are hearing… strong is the new skinny, embrace your body, love yourself for who you are?!

Then someone decides to photo shop a waste line, create a slimmer leg, or contour someone’s butt.

Even when I get together with my fabulous lady friends in fitness, the conversations can be veered toward body image concerns. These ladies themselves have struggled with accepting themselves and still find some struggles in self-acceptance.

While listening to these fabulous fit women talk about their struggles; the conversations are eerily similar to the one’s I have with my clients and myself.

Yes, we have the ability to create an awesome body, we even have the tools, but guess what we are human and have crappy messages floating around in our heads too.

Having body acceptance and awareness is not automatic, it is a learned behavior that takes time.

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Jen TrainingNot that many years ago I remember walking into a gym scared me to death. I knew everyone was looking at me funny and they just knew I didn’t belong.

And those mirrors, YIKES, I didn’t need to look in the mirrors here, they were probably just as bad as the one’s I had at home.

Wearing all I had, (usually what I would wear to bed), extra-large sweat pants, with an even larger t-shirt (most likely with several stains on the front).

I would veer over to my safe zone, the cardio deck , then head over to the ladies’ weight rack, pump out a set of 20 reps, maybe do some abs (sit ups, crunches), then I would go home.

I would do that for a week or two then quit because I just didn’t fit in…looking in the mirrors clarified that I REALLY didn’t fit in…

And hiring a trainer seemed silly to me… trainers were for someone that could afford them or trainers were for professional athletes training, not for out of place, afraid of the mirror, women like me.

And I already felt bad, why would I hire someone to yell at me and make me feel worse?

But I noticed something one of the few times in the gym, the trainers seemed different then my perception.  They were training regular people like me.  I noticed they were encouraging them, veering them away from looking in the mirrors and getting them to focus on their words.

As I watched, my beliefs started to shift and I knew I wanted to change.  What could it hurt, these trainers seemed to have their clients best interest in mind, besides the trainer would be a good distraction away from the mirror’s.

That was the point that I decided I was done worrying about how others saw me in the mirror and  I wanted to change for me, so I hired a trainer.

As a skeptic at heart, I was still tentative about what this trainer could do for me.

Yet, she drew out the best in me, she treated me with total respect and understanding.  She taught me so much more than how to squat with a barbell. She made me feel comfortable without being distracted by anyone in the mirrors and taught me that I did belong.

The biggest thing she taught me about myself, was my “own” personal starting point; a place I didn’t need to stay.  She taught me how to dig deep to achieve my greater potential. I didn’t need to know anything more than what I already knew because she was going to teach me what I needed to know.

Soon I wasn’t distracted by the mirrors or the other fit people, or even my bad attire. I started focusing on the training, and my trainer. I didn’t worry that I wasn’t performing better than anyone else, I only needed to improve my own workload each workout.

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“…when you focus only on what your work offers you, it makes you hyperaware of what you don’t like about it, leading to chronic unhappiness.” Cal Newport

  I hate.. working out, eating broccoli, making healthy meals, skipping happy hour….

 As long as I can fit into my “skinny jeans”

Look great in my bikini

Get rid of my belly

Do you ever do something only for the “payoff”?

Are there times that you commit to something only for the purpose of knowing it will end and you are expecting some reward, or payoff in the end?

Have you ever quit because, you are only focusing on what the work is not doing for you?

I truly believe there is nothing wrong with setting goals and expectations, getting “paid” for your efforts and hard work.

Yet what happens, when the payoff is not what you expect?

Have you ever stepped on the scale and it doesn’t say what you thought you work so hard to achieve?

Or you go to the closet to put on your favorite skinny jeans, knowing all the work you have been putting in at the gym and eating what you “should” and they still don’t fit?

Many days I hear so many of my client’s sound dejected and defeated when I tell them they have lost 1,2, 3lbs and gained a 1lb or 2 of muscle.

“Really Jen, I thought I would have lost so much more, that is so frustrating….”,

 “I would have thought with all the work I did the results would have been so much better!”

As much as I want to say I am above wanting to get “paid” for my efforts, I know that is totally not true.

Not very long ago I trained to do my first bodybuilding show.  My intention was nothing more than getting up there and doing it.  No I wasn’t looking to win, I just wanted to see if I had it in me to get up there and do it.

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Yes YOU CAN Go on vacation without having a “Meal Plan” Panic Attack

Dreaming of the Beach 1-26-15Does a vacation or a trip have to side line you?  It has been 6, 8, 12 weeks, even 6 months since you have been working on you for this vacation you planned.

In the back of your mind you knew that this day was coming, but you are scared, and excited all at once.

How am I going to maintain these results and still enjoy myself?  What if I totally go off the rails, drink and eat my way back to where I started?

After working so hard for 6, 8, 12 weeks or even longer, the prospect of being on the “open road”, or away from home, makes you break out into cold sweats?

Not that long ago, that was me!  I was absolutely petrified, OMG, the airports, the highway stops, all seemed less than optimal on my plan of eating.

And when I was bodybuilding, yes I did bring a cooler of food.

Absolutely nothing wrong with being prepared with some provisions along the way.

The problem happened when I realized the night before leaving on a flight to California.  I realized, having hard boiled eggs and chicken, in my bag, may have been on plan, but not the best smelling on a 6-hour plane ride across the country.


That same night I had a panic attack at an airport restaurant, worried there was “nothing for me to eat” on the menu.

I sat and stared at the menu feeling the sweat roll off my back, unable to decide.  As the waitress got frustrated and waited for me to decide, I blankly stared at a menu.

My mind was reeling with the prospect of eating something that would not fit my “macros” or “my plan”.  I literally had a lump in my throat unable to say anything…

That trip was a major turning point in how I handled my eating, thinking and staying “on plan”.  That was a little over 5 years ago and I have to say, when I travel now, it’s so much easier.

Now am I going to say, sure you can do this in 3 simple steps?  Am I going to say to you, just snap out of it, “IT’S EASY”?


What I am going to say to you is I can help you start the process of making “it easy”.

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One size does not fit all, Especially when it comes to our hormones

IMG_1225“Just Exercise!”
Sounds great right?  But what if you just can’t, you shut down, mentally, emotionally etc.

It is so ludicrous to say to someone that doesn’t exercise or has trouble getting consistent, “Just start exercising, what is so hard, start walking to lose weight…”

Yep absolutely, exercise has that effect of making you feel good;

There are some feel good hormones (also called neurotransmitters) proven to maintain healthy levels with regular exercise, dopamine, serotonin, GABA and endorphin’s

But what if you just don’t feel good enough to get started, what if you feel like, it is totally not worth it?

Then just exercise, right?

Seems silly doesn’t it?!

Recent research has shown, based on the increase in obesity and weight related issues, exercise is not the only solution.  Dr. Daniel Amen, neuropsychiatrist, has spent 20 years researching this topic and has written two books on this very topic.

Dr. Daniel Amen has focused on weight loss and how our brain has a significant role in helping or hindering our efforts.

Dr. Amen has found through brain scans, that overeating in particular is caused by a chemical imbalance, (remember those feel good hormones?)

These chemical imbalances can be caused by, lack of exercise, high stress, lack of sleep and lack of proper nutrition.

In other words, overeating and emotional eating, is not just about will power.

It is about getting your brain hormonally balanced enough, to help you stop the cycle.

The idea that if you just control your calories and start exercising your body will change is flawed.

Although this behavior could help start the physical changes to your body, if your hormonal brain chemistry is not balanced, as discovered by Dr. Amen’s research, it only leads to failure.

Dr. Amen used his findings from his studies of brain images of individuals with depression, bipolar, ADD and people with addictions, to compare and conduct a study of an overweight population.

The images of the first population showed many different patterns of un-health. Clearly noting that each condition needed to be treated differently, however they were not.

Which lead Dr. Amen to also conclude after studying the brain scans of an overweight population, they also had unique brain chemistry imbalances that historically have not been taken into consideration.

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success not a scale

Here is the thing, I HATE Diets and I will never advocate anyone go on a diet!

Want to know why Diet’s Piss ME OFF??

Because of my own personal experience with them.  And the things I have said to myself and heard from so many, mainly women.

“I would rather be skinny and miserable than slightly “overweight and healthy.”  “I just want to look good in a bathing suit, in my wedding dress, fit into normal size jeans.”

Why?  What about these statements sends chills down my spine?

Well because I know what they are saying, I have thought these things too…as a young girl I so wanted to fit in and not hear “Big BUTT”, “Fatty”, “Ugly Fat Girl”;

I had to believe them, right? Why would they keep saying these things, if they weren’t true?!

So started my journey of loathing and deprivation.   A roller coaster ride of weight loss and weight gain. 

Desperate to get these words out of my head, desperate to feel accepted and loved, just plain desperate.

Didn’t matter that I almost passed out trying Karate for the first time.  Why?

Cause I hadn’t eaten anything but fried dough all day (maybe a few diet cokes too).

The longer I deprived the moodier and self-deprecating I became; totally normal for a teenager, right?

Over the years as much as I wanted to believe deprivation for the short term was a good idea.

It left a lasting effect on me, hypothyroidism, lack of motivation, lack of self-worth with many years of aches and pain, and unnecessary injuries.

And as much as I wanted to believe I was doing myself a service by bodybuilding (lean eating and training 2-3 hours a day); believing it to be my healthy solution.

My healthy solution got me down to a weight of 108lbs!

And 15-20lbs heavier a week later.

My weight gain was justified, I had a major case of FOMO, eating everything in sight.  Everything I wasn’t “allowed” to eat on my restricted “diet”, looked good to me, even if I didn’t like it, I ate it.  It didn’t matter if I was stuffed, I just ate, acting as if I hadn’t had a meal in months.Continue reading


“I trust e12321498_507015929484511_42037720434650111_nveryone. I trust them to do what they do, and I am never disappointed. And since I trust people, I know to let them find their own way… Only your answers can help you.  You, yourself are the way the truth and the life, and when you realize this, the world becomes very kind.”  Byron Katie

“Oh Crap I forgot to wear my “fitbit”, “applewatch”, “Polar Watch”, “My Zone”, (name your fitness tracker/heart rate monitor of choice)”

Has this ever happened to you?

Okay so I am a huge believer that you shouldn’t be rewarded just for showing up.

It absolutely, takes putting in the work, and if this gadget can help you see that you are working really hard or maybe not hard enough, more power to you…

As much as I wanted to believe that I wasn’t a slave to the “gadgets”.

Low and Behold I got an email that said (my gadget of choice is the MY Zone), “Congratulations”, it shows my graph of work (graph with red all over it), and I kinda felt like I got a pat on the back.

I have to admit it can be validating when you get an email that says “congratulations” for working out.

It really seemed kind of odd considering, I come from the old school of just work out, bust your booty in the gym, with no one around, my earbuds in, head down sweating, out of breath, no accolades or cheerleading squad, no expectation of trophies;

And now I get excited when I get an email that says “congratulations” for meeting the standard of exercise?!

This totally got me thinking, look I am not above a trophy accolade or just an atta boy every once in a while.

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Eggs aren’t the bad guys anymore.

eggsSpring has sprung and chocolate Easter bunnies, marshmallow peeps, jelly beans and hard boiled colored eggs; have resurfaced.

I can totally remember back in the days of non-fat and low fat diets the marshmallow peeps, jelly beans and the chocolate Easter bunnies were not the enemy. It was those colored cholesterol, fat causing eggs that were evil.

I was certain based on the reports and high fat content, that egg yolks in particular were evil, thought to be the cause of high cholesterol and the fastest road to an early death.

So as a dedicated non-fat, low fat dieter, egg yolks were always sent to the trash can.

Now eggs are starting to get some redemption and coming back to the forefront of healthy living.  And guess what those yolks have most of the nutrients especially organic eggs.

 “It is now known that there is little, if any, connection between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels, consumption of one or more eggs per day does not adversely affect blood cholesterol levels.” as quoted in a review in Pub Med.gov about “The Changing Face of Functional Food”

So why make a fuss about eggs, you ask?

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How My Dogs Taught Me About My Eating

girls together

Have you ever watched a dog eat?  When you put the food down does your dog just self-regulate and graze all day long or gobble it down quickly?

Ever since I can remember I have had dogs in my life and most of the dogs I grew up with often gobbled their food down.

One meal a day, that was the recommended feeding especially for a dog that lived in a house with 5 kids, and couple of cats.  (dogs love cat food and unfinished kids sandwiches by the way).

Every dog that I have had until Lucy, gobbled their food down, in one sitting.

Then Lucy came along and at first we would put the food down, she would nibble and leave some food in the bowl.  And there were some days that she didn’t really eat at all.

So we asked the vet, is this normal?

Low and behold some dogs do this, they eat when they are hungry and leave some if they are full.  WHAT?!! And it is okay if they don’t eat one day, if they are young, it is not a sign of sickness.

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bench quoteWell I looked my demons in the eyes, laid bare my chest, said ‘Do your best, destroy me. You see, I’ve been to hell and back so many times, I must admit you bore me’. -Ray Lamontagne

**I wrote this post back in September and posted it on my Facebook Page.  At the time I was struggling a lot and wanted to share my struggle.  Today I have to say I am now feeling a bit different.

Yet I am still hearing so many woman saying these things to themselves, so I wanted to re-post and share here on my blog page as well.**

“Don’t rock the boat…”
When it comes to causing waves is there ever a time when you hold yourself back, just because you are afraid? Saying what you mean and not saying it mean is a lesson that I am learning the hard way.

Recently I have truly been struggling with a bit of in-authenticity. As a person who values other human beings enough to allow them to be authentically themselves, I am failing miserably with myself.

This type of self-preservation lacks depth and purpose, other than to stay safe and controlled in a world lacking meaning and spirit. I am saying this as a confession in the face of my lack of meaning, depth and spirit, I want to say this in the most self-compassionate manner however I feel a need to self-deprecate and demean my hypocritical life.

I spend so much time trying not to rock the boat, yet watch out when I do, it can come on like a tsunami and really can’t be stopped. Like this huge wave it manifests itself in the form of self-abuse, self-hatred and self-neglect.

There is nothing worse than a woman standing in front of a mirror and throwing barbs at what she sees, yet I do this on a regular basis, most especially when I feel my spirit and energy lacking any meaning or purpose.

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Actions speak louder than REALITY TV

dogs couch potatoes“Do my actions reflect the quality of person I want to be, or can be?” Brendan Burchard

Ok so I have to confess, I have been known to get caught up in watching reality T.V. from Biggest Loser, My 600lb Life, Fit to Fat to Fit, (some of) The Real Housewives, Married at First Sight, Vanderpump Rules and even a daytime talk show or two.

Those shows can totally draw me in, they are fascinating watching their lives play out and they are “real” people with “real” problems, or so I am meant to believe, Right?

As much as it seems totally innocuous and harmless, there is something to be said about the previews, the commercials and the suspense for the next week.

What is going to happen next week or tomorrow on the next show.

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MYTH It takes 21 days to Change

Don't step makes cryHow long does it really take to create or change a habit? Is it true that you can create a new habit in 21 days?

The answer is truthfully no. A new habit needs a minimum of 21 days based on a principle introduced by Maxwell Maltz a Plastic surgeon in the 1960’s.
From clinical experience Dr. Maltz found it took a “minimum” of 21 days to recognize the changes in their appearance, such as a nose job, or face lift, or an amputee from experiencing phantom limb syndrome.

The success of his book caused a whirlwind of programs being created on this principle of 21 days to a new life. From creating new love for yourself, detoxing from sugar, and building your multi-million-dollar business, each program encourages you to give 21 days and you will see a new you, in 3 weeks’ time.

If this premise is not true, then why so much “supposed” success has arisen from all of these programs? Why can’t we see through the supposed “smoke and mirrors” that many of these programs tell us we can achieve?

Let’s be real, the mass majority of us want results quick, change me now, make my bad habits stop. We become desperate for change so we need to know that we will change in a very short period of time
The principle of change as quoted by Eva Rykr, “longer time gap between intention and action, change is less likely to occur.
So if you intend to do something, do it now. Quick. Before you talk yourself out of it or change your mind.”

We lose interest or “intention” if we don’t take action right now. And if that action will only take 21 days to do, that seems doable, right?

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Why Should I workout, if it doesn’t come naturally?

Why torture yourself doing something that doesn’t come naturally? What is the real motivation to keep doing something when it only brings yotabletrt_500u pain?

“Bad habits are easy to acquire but hard to live with; Good habits are difficult to develop. A good habit results from a desire to work and sacrifice and sometimes a willingness to endure pain and suffering. But good habits are easy to live with. If you are willing to be uncomfortable for a little while, so you can press past the initial pain of change, in the long run your life will be much better. Pain doesn’t last forever, in fact, once you develop the new habit, the pain disappears.” Joel Osteen

Today I am admitting to the fact that technology has far surpassed me and it frustrates the crap out of me! I worked so hard on the latest blog and guess what, my computers didn’t sync with the cloud and now I lost all my changes. What the $%#@, REALLY, why bother, right!!!

Then I remembered why I am writing, and why I need to keep going and doing this… as frustrating as it may be to keep writing the same words over and over, it is important to do it, so each time it gets better and just more natural.

Man this is painful, it is so uncomfortable putting all these feelings, thoughts and concepts down on the proverbial technology paper and then finding out those words are lost in the technology abyss. I would so rather be working out or writing a workout or reviewing the newest movement patterns, just training clients, things that come to me naturally.

Ah-ha!! Wait, I didn’t always feel comfortable or natural working out, writing the workouts, reviewing movement patterns, or even training clients. It took me facing the pain of doing these things more often that really got me feeling more comfortable and more natural doing these things.

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Wake up and live“In order to seek values, man must consider himself worthy of enjoying them.  In order to fight for happiness, he must consider himself worthy of happiness.”  Nathaniel Branden

Yes, BUT, What if??

When I hear someone say these words to me it makes me cringe from the inside out.  Because I know what they are saying to me, they are scared and can’t seem to get past the fear. This is a place of being stuck in the mud, and I have totally been there.  I have and still sometimes get paralyzed by the unknown, so terrified of the “what if’s.

It is also a place of safety, because “I told you I was going to fail”, “I told you it wasn’t going to work”, “I told you I was not worthy of success or happiness.”

Yep that is right, I certainly did tell myself these things.  Which means I have to go back to hiding behind my “what if’s” or do I learn from it?  Or do I keep staying status quo because I believe that is all I deserve?

I love listening to the song “Live like you are dying” by Tim McGraw, when I am in this place of being stuck, frightened to move, based on my “What if’s”.  This song epitomizes a wakeup call to me, it resonates with my need to live everyday AS IF, rather than WHAT If…

Look I have had quite a few wake up calls in my life.  However, how I reacted and saw each one always seemed to be a little different.  What drove my reaction was my belief system, of whether I was “worthy” of something better, like true happiness.

In my blog The day I got B$%ch Slapped,  I was living a life of “Yes, but, What if..”, and it took 3 defining wake up calls for me to start living my life, “As If”.

As Tal Ben Shahar says “When we do not accept our inherent worth, we ignore or actively undermine our talents, our potential, our joy, our accomplishments.”

What does that mean?  Does that mean that I purposely sabotaged myself because I felt like I was not worthy of true happiness?

Did I choose to be less than because I believed myself to be worthy of less?

Yes! It wasn’t apparent in the beginning that I was choosing less, or being less, it was just my station in life.  Then I started embracing life a little more each day, living “As If” and low and behold the things started shifting in the direction I never thought were possible.

This is when I started choosing to “live” AS IF and still continue to choose to live “AS IF”.  What does that mean?  And what am I getting at??

As Tal states those that cannot find true happiness believe they are not worthy of happiness.  Somehow, someway we decide we are not worthy of being ultimately truly happy.  We choose to ignore our own ability to create true happiness, and choose to create misery regularly.  And yes I do believe that it is a choice.

How many times I believed that I was given a “life” sentence to be unhappy, to only realize that it was my choice to be unhappy.  And man when I realized it was always MY OWN CHOICE, … So now I choose much like the songs says, to “Live Like I am Dying” knowing that I am totally worthy of happiness.

How do did I decide and choose to live my life “AS IF”?

  • We all deserve happiness it was me realizing I had the tools to be happy in me
    • When I was a kid, I found great joy in the simple things, exploring the woods, finding a tadpole or playing with my friends. So I took the pressure off myself to always be mature, right and perfect.  I revisited what brought me joy and happiness; the simple things and stopped being so serious all the time
  • Letting go of the scars
    • Sure I have been hurt throughout my life, yet I was allowing those hurts to control my ability to be happy. I was so fearful of getting hurt, I failed to risk that in order to seek greater happiness. 
    • Those scars represent me taking chances for greater happiness, believing I am worth happiness. That was me AS IF there will be no scars, and if there happens to be a little hurt that is okay too, because I was LIVING enough to risk getting a little hurt.
  • Learning to live and be happy in the moment
    • “Being present and engaged”; I recently heard this on a video I was watching by Brendan Burchard.  
      • Oh wow that totally resonates with me and living my life “As IF”.  There have been too many times that I decided well, when or if I get XYZ then I will be happy.  And guess what I missed the present moments because I can’t be happy until XYZ.  So now I live “AS IF”, I choose to be in the moments right now and find happiness right now.  Enjoy the people, places and experiences right now!

If you have been given a limited amount of time, would you truly, “LIVE”, now knowing you only had a few years, months or days left?

We all have an end date, are you waiting to know that date or are you willing to risk the “What if’s” and live “AS IF” you already know it?  As you read this do you feel you struggle with these things, much like I did?  Could you be living the “Yes but” life, like I have?  Would love to hear if this is one of your struggles, or if you were able to overcome and realize you are truly worthy of great happiness; Post it all over on my Jenn Brango Face Book page


groceriesHas there ever been a time when you have felt like you need to justify your actions to someone? Either you confess the truth or you totally lie, because you just don’t know how they will react?

One thing I know in my business is not everyone is going to tell me the total truth. And that is okay, because guess what if you don’t want to tell me than that is totally fine.

I know myself when I am not in a good mental space, I may withhold the truth, because I am just not ready to “deal” per se.

This brings to mind, what happens to me often when I go to the grocery store, especially since we live in a smaller town, it is inevitable that I may encounter one of my clients.

And this is usually how it goes;

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“If I don’t get in my work out today I am going to lose it!”work sucks

“What do you mean, what type of mood am I going to be in after I eat “that”?

‘OH No, You know, I can’t eat that because I didn’t work out today.”

Sound familiar?

These words are OH SO familiar to me

This has been a huge struggle for me.  I hated the fact that I would have “resting bitch” attitude just based on how I was feeling about my eating, exercise and overall body image at that particular moment.

It irritated the crap out of me when someone would be tentative about talking to me or not sure how to approach me, especially when I wasn’t being “good” or in my mind “perfectly on plan”.

Can’t say I am so evolved I still don’t struggle with this.

My stress outlet is exercise; is and has been exercise for quite some time.   And I know I still have my go to work out to relieve my guilt, stress and shame for my “bad” behaviors.

Yet what I realized with using exercise for my stress reliever it was causing me to stress out even more.


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What is it about watching T.V. that is so bad, really?

Yeah what is so bad? It is a great way to escape and definitely can help shut down my brain. It can be a way to relax, watching a new series on Netflix, HBO or A&E. Hey look watching the Real Housewives Series and anything on Bravo definitely helps me shut down my brain.

This past weekend the snowstorm afforded me a couple of days inside. I have to admit I had the T.V. on while I did some work on the computer.T.V jjwatt

It brought back memories of my childhood, as a kid growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. This was an era when we had T.V. trays and T.V. dinners it was the norm to have the T.V. on a lot. Eating on the T.V. trays in front of the T.V. not having to set the table or talk to the family was a total win

As I sat on my computer working, with the snow coming down in buckets outside, I started getting this overwhelming need to go to the kitchen and eat. But not just eat anything, I started feeling like I “needed” something salty, crunchy, or sweet.

It was a little disconcerting and distracting at times. I had work to do and it was annoying that I had this need to stop and totally dive into a bag of chips with dip or make a gooey chocolate y treats. As much as I was trying to focus on the task at hand, those thought kept jumping into my head, totally unnerving.

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Just over 20 years ago, I discovered that just “getting by” or just “making it through the day” was not how I wanted to live.  The truth was and is that I wanted to be better; I wanted to live a happy and fulfilling life, with some meaning and purpose.Jen and Mike flip

My life was wasting away with doubt, fear and disappointment and the only one I could blame was me.

It seemed to have started after I graduated with a college degree.
No game plan or any way to use my degree. And here I was grown up and still didn’t know what to do with my life.

The one thing I knew at the time, I wanted to be a wife and a mother.
And although this may not seem like a good aspiration to have in this day of equal rights for women, that is what I wanted.
Having a committed relationship with Mike, we were already planning on the marriage and family. (White picket fence and all)

So I got a job… yep just any old J. O. B.

But in my heart and my gut, there was this nagging… I knew I wanted to be or do something more… just didn’t know what?
Got married, became a travel agent and starting planning for my future family.

“What do you mean we can’t have kids naturally?”
Oh wow what about my plans?

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Yes, The Next Weight Loss Challenge is the Only Way to Stay on “Track”

Challenges, contests, Biggest Loser, 30 days, 6 weeks, 6 months, Bodybuilding/Physique competition

Laser focus on the “results” head down and get to the “results“.  Was that really what I wanted?  Oh well, got great results now back to my “regular” life.  Done.

Don't step makes cry

What? REALLY? “regular” life?

The life I was trying to change in the first place for doing this challenge, contest, etc?  The life that got me to feel like I needed a change?

 From my own personal experience, I totally get this, when I was bodybuilding I thought my primary goal was
  • Looking good on the stage so the judges will give me high marks

I was working for a goal of getting on stage and looking my best. My head was down and laser focused on the “results“. Got my results now what?

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“Epiphanies come as you move toward something that matters.” Brendan Burchardbridge

My very first bodybuilding competition, I was scared, excited and full of anticipation for what will happen. I kept getting all these compliments,

“You look awesome!” “You look like you are going to win” “Your training has paid off”.

I have to be honest it really went to my head. I thought wow this is awesome, those same fat legs and huge butt, the brunt of many jokes and ridicule, were now being admired and praised.

It felt like the shame of the old me was being wiped clean. It was worth all my hard work, I believed this is where I have to be, I had finally found what I was supposed to be doing…

I WON!! And then I WON Again.

… and then I lost…came back and lost again…

Uh oh, what happened? What was the difference what changed?

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Fat Loss, Weight loss what is the difference?

When I was in college I have to admit I believed inProgession of years with years “dieting” and doing lots of cardio in order to stay “thin”. Just cut back on my intake of food and I will lose what I gained. That is all I needed to do and by the way do a ton of cardio..
I actually lost weight while in college unlike the gain of weight most achieve.

But what I did to maintain that “weight loss” was crazy and unsustainable. It seemed to work, I was definitely smaller. But what I noticed was a little jiggle in my legs and arms, I assumed that was expected since I did lose weight.

Then life happened and I got a job after school, couldn’t exercise or eat the way I did in college to maintain my weight loss. And the scale and the clothing sizes kept going up at a rapid rate of speed. I kept trying to do the old way but it just didn’t work anymore.

And this is where my life took a turn for the worst, my dieting and excessive exercise from college set me up to get sick. My thyroid was shot and I was fighting off the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

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Free Kettlebell Workout

Kettlebell WK Simple blogHere is a little kettle bell workout I put together you can do at home or at a gym, just need a set of Kettle bells or dumbbells.

As always it is about efficiency for me. I don’t like wasting time when I work out so I make sure I get the most bang for my buck. It is 4 simple moves that hit those big and small muscles with all the moves.

In order to access the workout just click on the picture to access the workout. Have fun.



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Everyone is doing it, why don’t you run?

runners burn off the bird“Will we choose other people’s opinions, preferences, and approval over our true heart’s desires and growth?
‘Perhaps it is time to remember that a higher power granted us all the permission we need to follow our heart. The universe, Nature, and God gave us power. It is not our duty to give it away by letting our choices be directed by others.” Brendan Burchard –The Motivation Manifesto

How do you create a plan that is specific to you? What is going to work for You and not what has worked for others, how do you find your best plan or formula?

Whether you are pushing yourself way too much or not sure how to get started, it takes a little trial and error while remembering it is always about progress.

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How do you eat clean?

IMG_0792Have you ever tried eating “clean”?  Do we even know what eating “clean” is? Is it all about eliminating full food groups because they are not “clean”.  And if we don’t eat “clean” are we “bad” or “cheating”?

“Eating clean is a good way to refresh your eating habits: it’s about eating more of the best and healthiest options in each of the food groups—and eating less of the not-so-healthy ones. That means embracing foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats.”  I found this definition on a site about wellness.

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Free Metabolic Workout

Smart exercise means doing the minimum amount required to get the results you seek. Like food, Jen Image 1exercise can either aid your body and balance your metabolism, or stress your system and disrupt your physiology. The goal is to find the unique mix of exercise type, frequency and intensity that creates a tight, functional and balanced body. Here is a workout that will fuel the burn.

Click on the picture to access the workout. Have fun.



NOPE, No way I am not doing that….

turned back“Solving a problem is hard enough; it gets that much harder if you’ve decided beforehand it can’t be done.” Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner “Think like a Freak”

“There is no way I can …

Do push-ups, workout like that, do pull ups, lift that much weight, eat veggies and eggs or (just fill in with what you think is impossible) or keep from gaining weight every year.

I have heard this statement quite a bit in my life especially as a trainer.

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Transformation 3

Okay, so this summer I posted some really obnoxious fit pictures of myself.
They really weren’t meant to be in your face, “Look At ME”.

They were a tribute to where I have been to where I am right now.

Remember that whole thing about fear?
These pictures represent so much of my adult life. This is my journey over 20 years.

Why NOW?

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Romance Novels, Marriage and Healthy Fat Loss Living

Jen and Mike good picture“You are not here to make me happy!” I yelled at Mike several years ago. This came after he said to me “I just want you to be happy”.

Since then it has occurred to me that my marriage and reading quite a few romance novels has taught me so much about how to live a fat loss lifestyle in this crazy weight loss world.

If you have ever read a Nicholas Sparks book, the ending is always not what you think and it can be tragic for that matter. His stories are what draw you in; what is going to happen with this couple if they end up together, will one of them die after finding their true love?

The assumptions and preconceived notions of the happenings in these books is implied if you read a particular type of romance novel.

Yet if you delve into the Danielle Steele, Nicolas Sparks and some of the other well know Romance novelists their stories don’t always end as you assume. Still the loving couple always seems to end up somewhat happy in the end.

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Thanksgiving Workout

If you didn’t already know, Mike (my hubby) and I own a gym in Phoenixville, PA.  What you may not know is that we get up and start most of our days at 5am.  We love our gym and love being with the awesome group of people that get up with us.  And if you are not a morning person, you may be surprised by that a large majority of our members are in and out before 7am.

So every holiday season we contemplate, what should we do, have a workout or let everyone enjoy their family.  And every year we decide based on what we hear from our members.

A couple of years ago we decided, we were going to workout with them.  Which is not the norm, in general our workouts are meant to be saved for our own time not the time of our clients.  However, special occasions, like a holiday it can be fun for us to workout together.

So in honor of the upcoming holiday, I would like to share with you what we did and maybe you can try it on your own or with a group of friends.  Or if you are in the Phoenixville Area, and want to workout with us, we invite you to join us either Thanksgiving Day 9am or Black Friday 9am.  Just send us an email and we would love to have you come on out to get in a good sweat shesh!

Thanksgiving giblet workoutMake sure you warm up first, dynamic warm up that is… throw in some stuff that will move your joints and get those muscles ready to work.  We recommend you foam roll as well, this helps with the warm up and gets you ready to work.

6 exercises 5 minutes per exercise, 8-10 reps per exercise, pick a weight that will be challenging at 8-10 reps, do as many rounds as you can in the 5 minutes (30 minutes total for the strength portion)

  1. Sandbag/Kettlebell Drag
  2. Deadlift
  3. Pull ups (assisted or suspension pullups)
  4. KB Halo’s
  5. Reverse Lunges
  6. Push ups (vary on skill, medicine ball pass, clapping, on knees, etc)

Finisher:  5 reps 4 rounds light to medium weight (get your heart rate up)

squat thrust, bent over row/bicep curl/Overhead press

As always, be sure to make sure you get approval from your physician for any type of physical activity.

Have fun with this workout and love to hear how it goes.




Toilet paper must hang over, not under!

compund effectA couple of weeks ago I posted a survey about toilet paper on my personal Facebook page, over or under, the responses were overwhelming.

It was quite inspiring to read the exclamations and the declarations as to how the roll should be placed and why. Even had a study sent regarding the reasoning behind why toilet paper should be over and not under.

I can understand the passion and the need to have the toilet paper hanging in the right direction. Honestly I never really paid much attention to where I placed it until I asked others. I just automatically placed it on the roll hanging over. Didn’t think about it, I just did it.

This got me thinking about routines, rituals and habits that we all have, and probably don’t even realize they are rituals or habits. What we used to “think” about we now just do. It is a part of our DNA.

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Why I don’t Ignore My Sleepless Nights

20140504_133232There is something to be said about a decent night of restful sleep.  As I learned from my own experience, my need for sleep is so much more evident now that I pay attention to my cues.

I may have mentioned when I was in my 20’s I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  At the time it was a new diagnosis and there really wasn’t a whole lot of research to help in combating what I was experiencing.

This was a time in my life when I was living a really unhealthy lifestyle. I was eating “vegetarian” actually all starches, and only soy protein. I also believed “fat free” was the way to go and exercise just didn’t happen.

I experienced daily bodily pain, to the point that putting on clothing hurt my skin.

With this excessive amount of pain, sleep just wasn’t happening. I would lay awake at night feeling like my sheets were a bed of broken glass. I was desperate for sleep so I started taking Tylenol in excessive amounts to get rid of the pain.

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Of course there is crying in weight lifting!

barbell“If you aren’t crying during at least one of your weight training sessions then you are not working hard enough!!” (this is what I say to some of my clients)

This brings to mind the movie “A League of Their Own” with Tom Hanks and Gina Davis.  And that famous line, “There is no crying in baseball”

I was with Tom Hanks, that there was no crying in exercising.  Then it happened, I had a huge ugly cry after a really intense weight lifting training session.

This was after a 5 year hiatus of having a really good cry.  And boy did it feel awesome.

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I quit, A LOT!

give up“Nothing worth having was ever achieved without the effort.” Theodore Roosevelt.

When should you quit and when are you just giving up?

My life lessons have taught me so much about myself.  These lessons have given me insights into what I am willing to do to create the lifestyle I want.

My character for success or failure has been built on those things that have defined me and speak volumes to why I do what I do now.

It may seem crazy, my true character for success in anything I do, especially living a healthy fat loss lifestyle has been defined by the things I have quit and the things I have given up.Continue reading

I failed the pull up on the Presidential testing..

This week we had chin ups on our workouts, and we have a large majority of women in our gym. Most of the women that walk in our door say, “I really want to do a chin/pull pull upup, but I just can’t.”

You know I totally get that, I myself couldn’t do a pull up or a chin up either, it has only been in the last 5-6 years that I have been able to do them myself.

It totally killed me while I was training for my bodybuilding competitions, I struggled with this. I worked hard and watched some jump up to the bar and easily pull their own body weight up and down.

I kept playing this story in my head, “your a girl, you can’t do pull ups”.  Where did this story come from and why do so many of the women I meet have that same story?

See most of the women I talk to have a story in their head just like mine, of that fateful gym class Presidential testing, either the bar hang or chin/pull ups.

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Can’t stand up because my knees are shaking so bad!

Jen CA Paddleboarding Cropped10-19-2014With Halloween on the horizon as the scariest holiday of the year, I thought it appropriate to share a scary story personal to me.

Have you ever had an irrational fear of something and you just can’t pinpoint why it can be so intense or overwhelming?

My biggest fear was of the ocean and experiencing it on a personal level, not on a big ship or  big boat  for that matter, it was the getting in the ocean either swimming, kayaking, surfing or paddle boarding.

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Looking for an awesome workout

We all need a coach, even coaches need a coach in order to be better and always keep it fresh.  When Mike and I were in Asheville we drove to Winston-Salem to get in an awesome workout at the Metabolic Effect Fitness Center  with Dr. Jade Teta.

Our workout consisted of dips, for 10 minutes, 1 minute on, 1 minute off.  Phew .. what a burn and it didn’t just work my triceps, it really was a full upper body move, hitting my chest, shoulders, a bit of back.  Jade’s goal is to improve our strength with this type of workout.  He calls them Metabolic 10’s, to combine strength component with metabolic.

The 2nd half of the workout was 20 minutes with 4 moves to add a metabolic/heart pounding addition to the first part.  We had an up chain on a push press and 3 other exercises 5 reps each.  The goal of this part of the workout was to push yourself to your max and hopefully out do yourself the next time you do this workout.

If you don’t already follow Metabolic Effect I highly recommend you check them out.  We base a lot of what we do on what we have been taught by Metabolic Effect.  http://bit.ly/1IvfPXV

With that being said, Mike and I decided to use the principals of the Metabolic 10 workouts and create our own.  So we came up with this little gem found in the picture.  We outdid ourselves on this one and loved it!

This workout can be done in a gym, at home or in a hotel gym.  The key is switching out the equipment for what you have available to you.

If you are not familiar with the dead lift, be sure to work on your form prior to trying this move with weights.

If you are familiar then have at it!!

Here are some simple instructions to keep in mind when doing this workout.

EOMOM- Every other minuteDeadlift workout
AMRAP- As many rounds as possible

Be sure to pick a weight that is 70-80% of the maximum you can lift.  If you don’t know then pick a weight that is challenging at 6-8 reps.

You can try this workout with a barbell, kettle bells or dumbbells.   Be sure to use proper form when doing the deadlifts

Just be sure to push yourself a little.
**Note about the push ups ladder up to 10 (if you make it in 20 minutes) start at 1 and get to your maximum and record your push ups.

**If you don’t have a sled:
try jumping on a treadmill at an incline for 30sec
bike do a stand up climb for 30secs

Make note of all your weights and reps for the next time you workout.

Love to hear how you did with this workout!!! Leave it in the comments below..

Quick Balsamic Chicken Marinade Total Time Saver

So here is a quick recipe for a Balsamic Chicken marinade I use most weeks. It works really well to let the chicken soak it up at least 4 hours or even overnight.

This marinade can be used for 4 chicken breasts.

No worries if you are not a cook, I am not a gourmet cook, I can get by with a few things and this is one of them.

I am good at quick recipes that don’t take a lot of ingredients or time, especially if I am really busy.

Now when it comes to holidays, I actually love those recipes that take a little more time, because I have a little more time.

This recipe though really helps when I am busy and need to have something prepared for the week.

Most days I just run in and out of the house and don’t have any time to really cook every night.

You can cook the chicken either in the oven or on the grill. If you are not a cook, be sure to cook the marinade with the chicken if you want to add extra flavor.
**Don’t want you to get salmonella from a marinade that had raw chicken soaking in it overnight**

Here is what you need 1 large Ziploc bag (if you are doubling, I recommend 2 bags don’t try to stuff all the breasts in one)
4 Chicken Breasts
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
¼ cup Olive Oil
1-2 tsp of Basil leaves
1-2 tsp of garlic powder (can be more or less based on your taste buds)
Pound the chicken out, with a pan or a mallet (if you have one) doesn’t have to be flat just gets the chicken pliable and softer

Mix all the ingredients in the bag
Add the Chicken breasts to the bag, shake it up, make sure all the breasts get coated.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, it tastes really awesome when you let it marinade overnight, nice and juicy.
Then when you are ready to cook just pull out of the refrigerator and cook
Either in the oven or on the grill

Be sure the chicken is done and you can cut it into strips, add it to a salad or have it as your main course. Roast some asparagus, zucchini or broccoli and it is an awesome meal.

Hope this makes your week a little less stressful and look forward to throwing you some more recipes.
If you haven’t had a chance check out my blog on how I handled my intermittent fasting


If you want to hear more sign up for my weekly email, click the link above.
Putting together another awesome workout and some more recipes.

Would love to hear what throws you off when you are trying to get on a consistent eating plan, let me know in the comments!

You don’t have to eat breakfast!

food photo2Truth be told, all and none of these concepts work. Bear with me a minute while I explain.

Several years ago I was introduced to intermittent fasting. It really was a matter of convenience for me, to try intermittent fasting in the first place. I truly hate cooking and making tons of meals and always having to think about my next meal.

I am skeptic by nature, not sure of anything till I try it out. And not eating for 12- 14 hours is just crazy talk… Yet what could it hurt to try it out, I was taking so much extra time preparing food all the time and eating every 2- 3 hours just didn’t work for me anymore.

A lot of my colleagues in the industry were finding it worked well for them as well as some of their clients. It was helping them maintain a healthy fat loss lifestyle, without making it so labor intensive (making and eating food all the time).

Then I tried it, (with my skeptical “open” mind) making sure I had an exit strategy. Thinking in the back of my mind, no way, I am always hungry and I have to eat as soon as I get up, etc., etc. Besides the idea of being super hungry scared the crap out of me.

What I learned about intermittent fasting, like everything else, you can make it your own. I SURVIVED and actually thrived (for a little while at least).

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“We as humans are scared, ignorant and lazy”

Asheville collageHave you ever been in a room full of people and know you probably are the most unremarkable out of the group?  Totally awed by genius, beauty, and drive just flowing from their pores.  Well that was me this weekend in September.

That is most certainly not a jab at my self esteem, it is a true statement of honesty.  And you may say why would you say that about yourself?

Well here is the thing, if I was the most remarkable person in the room then I would be delusional, stuck where I am right now and not true to my passion for change.

The reason why I surround myself with these remarkable people is to change and  get better and maybe, just maybe, get closer to being like them.

Hence this past weekend, with this awesome room full of Women, I am honored to know and be included in this group.

I would like to note, that Jill Coleman, a kick a&& chick (hope Jill knows that is a term of esteem to me),  is a true woman of influence.  Jill has a true talent in helping strong minded women harness their potential and be their best!  And I am so honored to know and be mentored by her.

This weekend was, of course, my opportunity to be a little more like Jill (in my own way of course) and to get a little kick in the pants, be inspired, and continue on my journey of “uncomfortable”.

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Traffic Woes and You!

Oh the traffic woes!! All the summer construction, the summer beach traffic, the closing of bridges for repair, so much and you just can’t get to work on time, beside getting to the gym right?

A few weeks ago we were coming back from Providence, RI and wow what an eye opener for us. As a former long distance commuter it brought back a lot of memories none so good.

While sitting in our car this weekend I felt that same sensation of my life just tick, tick, ticking away,… looking around at all the other souls mindlessly staring out the windshield of their cars or maybe singing along with the radio or maybe talking on their cell phone to their loved ones they usually see only a few short hours a day, if at all.

The tension and the anxious feeling that you are trapped in a line of mindless traffic going nowhere and your life is just wasting away sitting in the car…

Wham it hit me, how many people are sitting in their car’s endlessly driving to and from work on a daily basis. Our busiest times of the day are between 5am and 7am, because our clients have to get on the road to try and get to work on time.201506558b1ac60a827

And how many people can’t get to us because 5am is still not early enough and they don’t get home till after 8pm every night. It is understandable that sometimes swinging by the gym can be hard to fit in, especially with the serious traffic woes that are occurring especially in our area.

Let’s face it, every day there is another orange sign going up saying road under construction, detour or oh no ROAD CLOSED!! Crap! Now you can’t make it to your kids because you left work 2 hours earlier and all your roads are closed detoured or overcrowded.

It can become a matter of taking out a compass and hoping it will aim you in the direction of your home. And going to the gym, well that is out the window, right? You have to hang out at the office or at the nearest bar to wait for the roads to clear, getting to the gym is definitely out of the question!

Now what, how do you get it in? What if we can give you a workout to do anywhere (at that office after everyone has left or maybe with your co-workers, or at home before you leave in the am or when you get home)

Let’s be honest doing 6 days a week may not be realistic and really isn’t necessary, if you aren’t doing anything or very little right now. Just take this work out and try it out for the next week or two, maximum 3 x a week. It is a total body workout, doing it every day is not recommended.

Another thing to take into consideration some of these moves require a little flexibility of your shoulders, hips etc. If you are spending tons of hours sitting in your car and at the office, we advise you do a quick warm up before you start any workout.

Every warm up should consist of warming up your whole body, getting your tight body parts primed and ready to move and prevent any possibility of injury.

Just click on the link below to get your free workout.


By the way did you know we are the Only Hybrid Training facility in the area that allows you to Try out our Performance Personal training program for 30 days with no long term commitment. Just give us a call at 484-202-0010 to set up a time for your FREE STRATEGY SESSION.



Process of Change

Livin in the CloudWhile getting my groceries today, I had the joy of getting my groceries bagged for me. Although I had my stint as a grocery store cashier, one summer out of college, I was more than happy to let her bag my groceries.

It gave me an opportunity to just stand patiently not focusing on anything. Until I noticed my refrigerator bag was empty except for my 12 pack of toilet paper and all my cold items were placed in random bags. I became tongue tied by the lack of care that was being taken in putting my groceries in my bags.

As she was shoving my bags under the cart, almost smashing my portabella mushrooms to smithereens, slightly flabbergasted, I stopped her in time to move the bag. While still shocked and not sure how to react, I started to walk away, and said bag fell out of my cart, less than inches from her. As she walked by me not offering to help or help make the bag right or fix her mistake.

What I realized in that moment, that was a true teaching moment for me. Making a scene right there in the store really wouldn’t have proved anything. I realized that young girl doesn’t benefit from me allowing her to continue to believe her behavior was appropriate toward me.

If I am allowing this young girl to treat me in that manner, who else am I allowing to treat me with such disregard, and why am I not saying anything to correct this treatment?

Of course I would never want to say anything out of anger, however I realize even as I sit here writing this I am uncomfortable with this thought process and feeling a sense of anger, frustration, and disappointment.

As this is the year of being uncomfortable, it looks like I am in the process of change yet again!! And guess what, I want to thank this young girl for helping me become aware and start my process of changing how I let others treat me!

It is okay to ask to be treated with truth, honesty and care.

Besides I have a right to not have my portabella’s jammed and smashed into a bag, so I can enjoy them later on the grill.

Here’s to being outside my comfort zone and loving the changing process!!

Our little herder in need of training, so do we!

Only Results Mascot“She thinks you are a stupid sheep that is why she keeps nipping you” was the explanation by Lucy’s Obedience trainer. Wow that was an eye opening moment, talk about a little bit of an ego killer. My new little addition to the family equates me to an animal that is unable to get themselves upright if they are lying on their back. In other words, she is the smarter one hence why we went to class and learned how to communicate without nipping one another(I almost got to the point of biting her back).

After six weeks of sometimes daily training we graduated, and I do mean; we. It was a truly joint effort on our part, Lucy and myself of course. When it comes to listening and learning it took this outside source, the trainer, to help us breach the lines of better communication and learning. It took me locking us in the bathroom, to walking maybe two houses up, to stop her dragging me down the street. Of course keeping all kinds of smelly, yummy treats available to help the process along.

However given it was only six weeks, there are still some behaviors or patterns that need to be changed. She is totally driven by patterns, good, bad or indifferent. She thrives on her patterns that are synched, like a computer into her brain. Remember she is smarter than me so she has trained me to run and go crazy yelling “stop biting me” because she knows this is a pattern that works for her. I believe it to be a bad pattern, yet she still continues to do this behavior to the point of leaving blood blisters on my flesh.

I am sure you would agree this is a truly bad pattern that leads to horrific results, my flesh red and inflamed. Seems to work for her however it doesn’t work for me and in the long run will not work for both of us, if she chooses to pick a stranger to inflict this bad pattern upon.

How does this relate to what I do and why does this matter in the world of fitness? Well it totally relates. Lucy needed special training specific to her. We needed a trainer to teach us to work better together. Which is we do on a daily basis. We help many people learn how to work with their bodies, and learn how to get it doing what they want it to do. Such as moving better, looking better, and overall just performing better.

Well think about it, if your body has some bad patterns of movement, let’s say your shoulders are rounded and tight, do you think placing a heavy barbell in your hands and holding it overhead is the best way to train your shoulders?

Yet some people do this unknowingly hurting their necks in the process. They continue this type of movement because they want strong, muscular Only Results Team Alloyshoulders, and assume that the pain is all a part of the gain. However if you had the help of qualified trainer, much like I got with Lucy, to decipher this pattern and find a solution to improving this movement, the unnecessary injury may not occur to your neck.

So much like my training with Lucy, it would take a professional to see this bad pattern, aware of functioning movement patterns, to help you decipher the communication patterns in your current movement. The coach can also help you retrain the bad communication patterns in your body, getting you more positive desired results such as sleek muscular shoulders without the neck pain. Bridging the communication gap with your body’s patterns is all a part of the coaching of a qualified trainer. In the long run if your goal is to gain better performance, better physique or overall general health, this can only be achieved with a better pattern of movement.

As with my sweet little Lucy, we needed a trainer to help us work well together, we needed the discerning eye of the trainer to help us find a better pattern. The investment of her training has improved our relationship immensely and I think she is starting to think of me more like another dog now, instead of a sheep.

We can all use a discerning eye to help us achieve better patterns in our lives. In general the best coaches are the ones who learn about your patterns, good and bad, then teach you how to implement the best functioning movements and patterns to achieve your best results. Needless to say if you are not getting assessed based on your current lifestyle, body movement and physical situation, it can only be a guessing game. As with Lucy, our trainer assessed us together, as well as discussing our lifestyle together.

A good trainer and coach, will work with you on all aspects of you personally in order to get you the best plan. That is why all of our clients will get a full assessment – Functional Movement Screen and Lifestyle Questionnaire.  Be sure to keep this in mind when you are looking for a good training program to achieve your goals. If you are trying to achieve a goal if you are not assessed it only ends up being a guessing game in the end and who knows what kind of results you will get.

We believe that all people can be healthy and strong and can experience great benefits from metabolic and strength training. We provide modifications and tiered levels of difficulty to take you safely to your fitness goals. We work hard to create an environment that is consistent, friendly and supportive. We are committed to helping you reach your goals

Rest is Over Rated – Part 2

Continued from – http://onlyresultsfitness.com/rest-rated/

Here is the thing, it is not always about time, it is about how much energy you can muster to be the best employee, boss, Mother, Father, Son, Daughter, Friend, Partner, Lover, person, if you don’t take the time to recover. Most professional athlete’s build in their rest and off season, however that is not something that is accepted in today’s American society. So you need to learn how to build in your own off-season breaks and recovery, so you can be your best physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. And you can’t focus on one more than the other, the best success comes from a balance of all 4.

I encourage you to take your rest, “force yourself to rest” and “then get back into it”, and only when you are completely rested, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Now here comes the real truth, you need to get back into it, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

So here is the thing taking complete care of yourself means that you need to embark on pushing hard and stepping back on all aspects of these items.

In our gym, our motto this year is to get uncomfortable. What can make you uncomfortable is actually prioritizing getting physical, making yourself magichappensuncomfortable while working out, maybe doing yoga, sweating during your workouts, picking up heavy weights or actually embracing your warmups. Your exercise should be prioritized, and not be mediocre based on all your wasted energy emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Yet pushing too hard all the time in your workouts, can cause you to push too little in another area of your life. Not pushing hard enough in your workouts can be result of you pushing way too much in other areas of your life. As a fitness professional, of course I am going to point out the need to maintain the physical aspect of your energy spectrum, because that is what I know best. However I am learning although that is my comfort zone to push really hard in my workouts, I know that even my physical can suffer if I don’t push hard enough as far as my mental, emotional and spiritual as well.

Well if you are feeling much like I often revert back to feeling, try building in your rest periods throughout your days, as well as throughout your life. Again I am still learning and yet I am excited to say on a daily basis I am trying to read, take naps, don’t answer emails or phone calls, walk the dog or play with her. I am spending more time trying new workouts, pushing hard in areas that are making me uncomfortable. And I know that as I step away from my work, I know that I can come back and push harder with renewed enthusiasm and energy.

Join me in making life more meaningful and let’s set a precedence to change the way we live our lives in today’s American society. It’s ok to admit you took a vacation and didn’t answer any emails, go to lunch outside your office with no phone or way to contact you, shut off at 5pm and don’t check anything till you get into the office the next day, if you travel for business; read a magazine or a book don’t do any work, and for goodness sake go to your child’s games and leave your phone in your car. And for gosh sake’s it is okay to check in on Facebook that you are at the gym, getting your sweat on, your friends should cheer you on and not chastise you for taking care of yourself.

Let’s be the example of change for the better, stop being accepted for being overworked, overtired, “I am so busy” person, have a gym membership you never use. Be the one that is admired for living a healthy and highly “engaged” productive life.

Yo Chip, It’s your Business!

Yo Chip, do not worry about what others think!

Okay, so I must start out by saying that although I am not huge on paying attention to what is happening in the world of Professional ChipSports teams.  My conversations with Mike seem to always turn back to what is happening in the world of the Philadelphia Eagles and how Chip Kelly seems to be the center of all the controversy.

So, I wanted to offer my perspective, again this is coming from my own unbiased perspective, on the current uproar that is going on in Philadelphia regarding the Eagles.  It looks as if Chip Kelly is making decisions that are not getting much approval of the Philadelphia fans and some of the newscasters. Almost to the point of firing him from his job.  “What is this guy doing?” The comments that are flying are abusive, passionate and very intense.  Yet Coach Kelly continues to stand tall and make decisions that he believes to be for the best of the team.  He is going against the believed majority and doing as he needs to do in order to build the team he believes to be a winning “team”.

This brings me back to my post the other day, regarding the Crab Theory.  The crab theory is simple, do you want to be the crab that climbs out of the pot or be pulled back in by the others that are boiling in the bottom?

Coach Kelly, I believe is doing his best to climb out of the boiling pot and see what is on the outside of the pot.  Yet the fans and reporters still continue to pull him back into the pot, wanting him to hang with them, listen to them, they believe they know what is best.

Another theory that can be related is the 5 Monkey’s theory, introduced to me from one of my clients. 

5 MonkeysSo the concept goes like this; you put 5 Monkey’s in a caged room and hang one banana in the middle.  Now you know the monkeys are going to go for the banana, however they get hit with an ice cold spray of water every time they go for the banana, so they eventually stop going for the banana.  Take one monkey out, introduce a new monkey and the other monkeys soon help the new monkey understand the risk of going for the banana, and  the story goes on to keep replacing the monkey’s with new one and every time the existing monkey’s educate the new monkey on the staying away from the banana.

That is where his story stopped, however what happens when the monkeys get hungry? Do they starve to death, or does one monkey take the chance of being hit with ice cold water and fulfill their need to eat? And does that monkey share the banana with the others? Or do they wait until each of them dies so they can feed off of the others, in order to still not endure the ice cold spray of water.

Let’s relate this back to Chip Kelly and what is happening in Philadelphia.  I believe Chip Kelly is that one monkey that is willing to endure that ice cold water and take the one banana in order not to go hungry.  And what is so amazing he is sharing this with “Philadelphia” as a whole to not only survive but maybe even create a winning team.

It comes down to internal motivation (core values) to either hang with the crowd or to bust out and make a mark in this world.  It seems that Chip Kelly is motivated by doing what he needs to do and not listening to the noise.  As I learn more about Chip Kelly, I find him intriguing and inspiring.  He is willing to fail, not always making the right decision, which is the mark of a truly successful person.  He is innovative in his methodology.  He values hard work and values the team, not one person as being more important than the whole.  It is the team as a whole that makes them a success.  The players he seems to be “going after” seem to be outside the star value and more of piece of the team puzzle he is creating here in Philadelphia.

What is a huge takeaway from this diatribe on the Philadelphia Eagles and their head coach Chip Kelly;

Whether you realize it or not, looking for approval from everyone else is a way to deflect from your own self-acceptance and personal responsibility of your own thoughts.  Not everyone is going to agree with you and approve of you.  It is possible that what someone says to you is actually what they are feeling about themselves.  Yet what they think of you should not be your main concern.

When we live in a world where it is everyone’s right to criticize, comment and advise it can be very hard to go against the grain and ignore those that do not agree.  In order to succeed in life people will not agree or approve of you, and that is their business not yours.

If there is anything you can learn from Coach Kelly is that it is really none of his business what others think of him, as long as he is true to his core values.

Rest is Over Rated

“This is a rest based workout.  That means that you actually want to rest in this workout. If you do this workout correctly you could be resting as much as you are working.  Your goal is to push as hard as you can, force yourself to rest… then get back into it.”  (Introduction to Metabolic Effect group workout created by Dr. Jade Teta and Dr. Keoni Teta)

Ok wow!!! What is so foreign to us in this rat race of our American society is taking rest and the needed time out in order to “Work as Hard as we can” as stated by these Metabolic Effect group class instructions.  Is this an acceptable means of doing things or is this just being lazy?

Not long ago, Dr. Jade Teta wrote an article written in Idea Fitness Journal discussing American style living vs. “rest based living”.  What is the difference between the two? We as American’s pace ourselves to work as many hours as possible and rest less than we need.  The timer goes off, or your alarm clock wakes you up in the morning at the allotted time, then you get up, get dressed and get going with your day.  And whether you are truly rested or not, you don’t rest again until the clock tells you it is time to rest. There is really no true autonomy to deciding when you should or shouldn’t rest you just work when you are told and rest when you are told.  And the norm is to work more than you rest.  And the side effects of this type of living can be your family, work, and health can suffer.  Besides the fact that you are cranky, impatient, distracted or numb to everyone and everything around you.

Jen's Phone 100

So, let’s explore the possibility of what Dr. Jade Teta suggests, if you are living a rest based life, you work hard, then you rest, force yourself to rest, especially when you need it, knowing that you will work hard again when you get back into it. This way of living helps you become more autonomous, and listening to your personal physical, emotional, mental and spiritual signs of need for complete disengaged rest.  Based on his clinical experience, he has found, the results from “rest based living” far exceed our current American pushy lifestyle.

Now in theory this works, however putting it into practice is the true challenge.   Let’s face it, as a society, American’s encourage overworking, as a badge of honor, if you disengage you are viewed as lacking ambition and drive.  It is accepted to either workout feverishly to excess, then pushing ourselves through the day with coffee and ending the day with several glasses of whatever alcohol is on tap, or just skipping your workouts completely to answer another urgent email at work.  So we pace ourselves based on necessity to get ahead of everything and never truly work as hard as we can, because we never force ourselves to truly rest.  Your best is less than mediocre due to the amount of time you waste loading more “things” to do in your life.

“Balancing stress and recovery is critical not just in competitive sports, but also in managing energy in all facets of our lives.”  This is a quote from an awesome book I am reading, The Power of Full Engagement by Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr.  The key to success according to both sources is not time management but balancing our energy reserves.  We need to “push as hard as we can”, then rest, and resting means emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.

Ok as a self-imposed pusher I have to admit, I am totally guilty of being so busy, to the point of total exhaustion. Everything that gets done is not really done at my best, I can be unusually cranky, weepy, impatient, weak, confused, lack the energy or will to do anything meaningful.  My workouts suffer or become few and far between, eating a good meal is the last thing that is a priority so I either skip my meals or just eat whatever is in front of me (which could be just protein bars, gluten free chips, many cups of coffee, or even a ½ bottle of wine).  The most energy I can muster is getting my daily job done, don’t ask me to do anything that is outside my daily tasks that would require any additional amount of energy that I just can’t muster.

Then low and behold Mike and I spontaneously took a night away that became two and it opened my eyes to what it really means to really shut down and rest.  Those two days had no schedule, nothing planned except dinner reservations and wandering the streets of Philadelphia.  We slept, walked the dog, talked and just enjoyed each other’s company; no business, no computers, just taking in the sights and sounds.

The true nature of resting my mind, body and soul, is what enabled me to realize that my constantly working was becoming counterproductive. In the days prior to our impromptu getaway, my work was all consuming, no time to walk the dog, eat a complete meal, my workouts were sparse, I was completely edgy, impatient and with constant body pain. As a business owner, that is a fitness business, I can get caught up in the necessity to keep moving and doing, because there is no one else to get it done, right? That, in and of itself is so egotistical and selfish.  It didn’t really occur to me, until this impromptu rest happened, that my preaching rest and time out for all my clients was extremely hypocritical.

So I have learned, thankfully with the help of Jade Teta’s research and reading The Power of Full Engagement, in order to rest, I have to disengage enough to get back at it, fully “engaged”.  There is a necessity on a daily basis to step away, take my energy breaks, in order to make my work and my living more impactful.  A life that is being led by work and not by example is really not the right kind of life to live….. To Be Continued

Lost in the Cloud!

Why torture yourself doing something that doesn’t come naturally? What is the real motivation to keep doing something when it only brings you pain?Livin in the Cloud

“Bad habits are easy to acquire but hard to live with; Good habits are difficult to develop. A good habit results from a desire to work and sacrifice and sometimes a willingness to endure pain and suffering. But good habits are easy to live with. If you are willing to be uncomfortable for a little while, so you can press past the initial pain of change, in the long run your life will be much better. Pain doesn’t last forever, in fact, once you develop the new habit, the pain disappears.” Joel Osteen

Today I am admitting to the fact that technology has far surpassed me and it frustrates the crap out of me! I worked so hard on the latest blog and guess what, my computers didn’t sync with the cloud and now I lost all my changes. What the $%#@, REALLY, why bother, right!!!

Then I remembered why I am writing, and why I need to keep going and doing this… as frustrating as it may be to keep writing the same words over and over, it is important to do it, so each time it gets better and just more natural. Man this is painful, it is so uncomfortable putting all these feelings, thoughts and concepts down on the proverbial technology paper and then finding out those words are lost in the technology abyss. I would so rather be working out or writing a workout or reviewing the newest movement patterns, just training clients, things that come to me naturally.

Ah-ha!! Wait, I didn’t always feel comfortable or natural working out, writing the workouts, reviewing movement patterns, or even training clients. It took me facing the pain of doing these things more often that really got me feeling more comfortable and more natural doing these things.

Right now I am in the midst of reading “The Motivation Manifesto” by Brendon Burchard. It is really hitting home, Burchard hits the nail on the head talking about having a true purpose and not allowing anything to get in the way. “A mark of greatness” can be lost without intention and purpose. Doing the work, not allowing the distractions, laziness, or complaints of the work, sideline or detract from your passion, this is a mark of true greatness.

So here is the thing, yes I want to write and talk to all of you on a regular basis, but it is not the person I think I am, and it is really quite painful. Yet I am motivated by a God given purpose to be a part of the change that needs to happen in this world. If I can endure this uncomfortable pain, it may be possible that I can impact more people to change to be their best. What can you say truly motivates you, is it always trying to avoid pain, or is it to be the person you wish you could be, what drives you more? What are you willing to sacrifice to be a better person?

What can you take away from this? It takes doing the painful work to become your best, as Brendon Burchard says your “mark of greatness”. Are you willing to endure the work and the pain to make your “mark of greatness”? Or is today just another day of living in your comfort zone?

As I struggle with my technology woes and pains, I know I am moving closer to becoming better, and possibly impacting you to become better as well.

Keeping it Real – Jen Brango

“What’s a burpee”

Jen Brango Burpee

Experiencing aches and pains on a regular basis when you are in the fitness industry is normal and I am getting a little older so it is to be expected.  The one thing that I do know and would never ignore is if the pain is acute (off the charts painful) or persistent then its time to seek some sort of medical advice.

Trying to break some records (my own of course), I was lifting heavier weights and doing this on a more consistent basis. Getting regular massages due to all of my aches and pains, and guess what she found a mass in the area where I was having the most pain, my hip and pelvic region.  Oh and the acute bout of pain I was talking about, happened while driving down the I-5 in California, and yes I was driving.

OK, so I called the Doctor.  We all assumed and believed it showed signs of being a hernia, but I needed to get the advise of a surgeon just to be sure..

This is how the conversation went “So do you work out or something?” My answer “Yes I lift heavy barbells and I also do intense interval workouts” “You mean you run on the treadmill or something?” Me,  “Well sort of, incline sprints, burpee’s and squat jumps” “What’s a burpee?”

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Hitting The Gate!


Sound crazy? Not to me, because yes I did hit a gate while riding my bike along the Rock Creek Parkway. And that day symbolizes a pivotal moment in my life. It could have turned out so completely different yet I hit a gate right in front of a Ranger Station that just happened to be doing drills with a local Fire Department. So my incident can be totally viewed as embarrassing or just lucky as hell. RCKPimages

Throughout my life I have found quite a few gates that have stopped me in my tracks, even thrown me to the ground and each time I get back up again. And why do I choose to do that and not stay on the ground or just stay right where I am behind the last gate? What is it that keeps me going, moving forward toward that next possible gate?

Monday’s are still a little rough, I can be honest, there is so much to do and not enough time in everyday to get it all done. Do I just want to hide behind the gates that keep popping up? Of course, I do, but if you have read some of my story, such as http://onlyresultsfitness.com/we-all-have-an-expiration-date/, you can learn how the gate to motherhood was slammed in my face. And yet again I got back up and move forward with more knowledge of who I am and who I want to be in this world.

Or maybe you didn’t know that in my 30’s I decided to compete as an amateur bodybuilder for the first time http://onlyresultsfitness.com/what-is-the-destination/. This is just another glimpse into my life’s journey and what has brought me to this point in my life. Maybe this resonates with you or you can see a piece of yourself in some of my stories. What these stories tell you, is about my life journey to bring me closer to you and help you relate to me.

As a woman who encounters other women just like me, maybe lost and looking for some direction; I work endlessly to help you find your true strengths and purpose that get lost with stuff or trapped behind your own gates of life. Sometimes it takes another woman, who can relate, to open a mind to the possibilities. Women, in my experience, who are seeking fitness and health are looking for overall emotional balance in their journey to a healthy wellness.

Now as a 44 year old woman in a world that doesn’t necessarily accept my need to own a business, especially in a male dominated world of fitness, I find other women who are pioneers in this world of health and fitness. These women are opening my perceived gates in this business. And women’s perspectives are the ones that are revolutionizing the business of health and wellness and making it a priority to change how this business is done.

Some of the women who stand out for me are Jill Coleman, Rachel Cosgrove, Lori Harder, Jen Sinkler, Neghar Fonooni, Kelli Calabrese, Cathy Savage are a few of the well published and respected women who make their mark every day, paving the way, and opening the gates for someone like me coming from Small town USA, working toward reaching more women like me.

In life I have found those pivotal moments are the ones that can really turn us around and help us find what we really should be doing in life. Our life destiny may not be apparent if we are looking in the wrong direction and until you hit that proverbial gate will you realize you have been looking in the wrong direction, looking back too much and not really seeing what is truly in front of you.

These women represent the Fire Department that was able to assist me when I needed it most lying on the ground in a bit of pain. I stand up today knowing that they have helped me get off the ground and I plan on paying this forward and help other women get up and get out there in this world that is calling all of us to be our best. And no I am not embarrassed that I was able to accept their help, I am truly thankful that there are people such as these women who are helping to push open all of our gates, and share our gifts with others. #gatesoflife #fitbodygps #onlyresultsfitness #life #motivation

Why Only Results Fitness is above the rest.

How Do I Become a Member of Only Results Fitness Phoenixville and Collegeville?

To become a member of Only Results Fitness in the Phoenixville and Collegeville area is as easy as 3, 2, 1, go … 3. Contact Only Results Fitness  and schedule a FREE Strategy Session … 2. Meet with an Only Results Fitness Coach for a tour and we will also discuss your goals … 1. We will make a recommendation for our program and you can choose which program will work the best for you … Go … Show up! But first … A fair warning: Only Results Fitness is an adult coaching facility not a do it yourself so called fitness facility. Most of those membership spots are filling fast. So we urge you to read this information right now!

What type of individuals do we work with?

It takes a certain kind of special person to push themselves, and others in getting into the best shape of their lives. Mentally tough, determined, and ready to take action when opportunity knocks. Those who have these qualities are the people we want to help most. That said, this is NOT for everyone. Who

Who Should Join?

First of all, we don’t care if you are 18, 40, or 65. There is NO JUDGEMENT at Only Results Fitness because everyone who is enrolled has one goal in mind, better health.  It matters not what “socioeconomic” demographic you come from either.

What does matter is…

  • You care about your own health and fitness …
  • You know how to honor others above yourself …
  • You have “high moral” standards …
  • You are kind to your fellow members …
  • You bring a spirit of encouragement to the group …
  • You leave your ego at the door …
  • You LOVE accountability …
  • You want to workout hard, get in the best shape of your life, and help encourage others do the same.

If you recognize the value of what we just said – then this is exactly what you’ve been looking for. The truth is … once you’ve experienced how this Exclusive community bonds together for the good of yourself and others, you’ll never want to go back to any other big box gym or posh health club again.

Now, we know what you are thinking!

“Okay, How Do I Join … and ‘Oh Yeah’ … How Much Does It Cost?”

We want you to know up front; we offer several levels of entry into Only Results Fitness … anywhere from 3 workouts a week up to 6 workouts a week .  Everyone starts with a 30 Day Custom Personal Training Membership. No matter what membership level you choose we will start you with a Custom membership for your first month which includes a Full Movement Screening, Program designed specific to your needs, 4 (55 min) Semi-Private Personal Training sessions, Unlimited Group Training, and Metabolic Effect Nutrition Coaching as well as access to our private facebook coaching group.

What Happens After the 30 Days?

After the 30 Days are up and a full health assessment and Individualized program is designed, different membership options will be given based on your results. We offer a few different programs that run 90Days, 180 Days or Yearly. We really don’t want to exclude anyone who desires to be a part of the Exclusive Only Results Fitness Coaching Club and have the benefits of working with a personal coach.

Why You Cannot Compare Apples to Oranges!

You may ask why our memberships cost more than basic gyms, YMCA, or health clubs? We challenge you to research other facilities offerings and compare Apples to Apples, not Apples to Oranges.

You will find out that no other facility can offer what we do for the cost. This is due to our programs being all inclusive and not cafeteria style. Only Results Fitness’ programs offer the chance to have a Personal Fitness Coach, Nutrition Program based on your needs and body type, Mindset Coaching, a Set Program to achieve your desired result, group classes that compliment your specific program, and unlimited access to the coaching facility.

But you should know this … Gold’s, the YMCA, CrossFit , and other gyms maybe cheaper on the surface, but when you compare the entire program at Only Results Fitness with those facilities, you will be hard pressed to find a better value. It’s all in the company you keep, isn’t it? Plus … you know as well as we do that you get what you pay for. By some standards, entry to the Only Results Fitness Coaching Program is quite expensive to get started … but it is so for several reasons:

1. Only Results Fitness is designed for a very small group of committed individuals who want to see serious gains and improvements in their health and fitness levels.

2. Although anyone can apply … It’s our opinion, that many people are simply not ready for this level of opportunity. We’d prefer to see only those on the “inside” who are able to take full advantage of the camaraderie this community provides. Naysayers will be happier if they stay at one of the gyms … and so will the rest of our exclusive community!

Malvern Gym, Weight Loss, Nutrition, Phoenixville Fitness, Cross Fit, P90x, Weight Watchers

How Only results comapres to other facilities in Phoenixville, Collegeville, Malvern, Chester Springs


You are the only one who can decide if joining is right for you … But let us just say … Even at the highest level of membership, we are much less expensive than paying for a gym membership and then adding on the cost of other personal services, personal training, nutritional coaching, heck … even group classes. If you’ve ever added on these costs, you know what I’m talking about. When you join the Only Results Fitness coaching center, your dues pay for the privilege of training with other members … AND you get a professional certified COACH to provide you the highest quality instruction anywhere. Compared to paying a trainer to count off reps and stare off into space at the next “tight body” lady who walks by … Well, like we said …

“It’s all in the company you keep” … and … “You get what you pay for.”

Sure, we can be considered expensive. We are not ashamed of our pricing. What we provide is unique program, designed for very specific individuals. When you experience the difference between what Only Results Fitness provides you, versus what you’ve experienced at Globo Gyms, or other big-box gyms, you’ll think our pricing is a bargain!

Investment in Yourself reaps longterm rewards!

In that sense, you could recover your investment (in terms of physical performance improvement) in just a few weeks. But the recovery of the investment isn’t the point. The point is, this is a complete and radical re-engineering of what it means to be a member of a fitness facility … one that genuinely cares about its members … and the members care about each other.

Now is the time to become the best version of yourself!

Only Results is a place where you can get into the best shape of your life and have more fun doing it. If that’s YOU (and we believe it is) … we can only encourage you to take “action” before it’s too late.

If you are still unsure, and because we don’t want to see well deserving people fall victim to their own skepticism … We’re inviting you to contact us for a “NO PRESSURE” consultation. We’ll show you around, answer all your questions, and then make a recommendation for which of our programs is going to fit your situation the best. At that point, if you decide that Only Results Fitness is NOT for you, no problem, and no hard feelings, We’ll part as friends. But, if you are serious about checking us out, then there is one more thing you MUST know first. We have only 30 membership slots available! So, if you are considering joining then we urge you to set your no pressure consultation today! Spend some time on this website and checkout the testimonials from our members.  We have men and women of all ages making the greatest fitness gains of their lives and having a blast while doing it! If this resonates with you then be sure to call us today at 484.202.0010. We look forward to meeting you.

Yours in Health,

Jen and Mike


P.S. If you want to findout more about the methods used to build Only Results programming checkout of Friends and Mentors!

Results Fitness BBC Feature

Metabolic Effect



Does Every Year Feel Like Ground Hog Day?

At the beginning of each year the buzz starts about losing weight, getting healthier, setting goals for 5K runs, etc. The long holiday season has come to an end so let’s start fresh and make the mental shift to pursue a healthier lifestyle. What if your mindset for 2014 was different? Why not look at each day as a new you?Fitness lifestyle Mindset

When making resolutions at the beginning of the year it sets you up for failure. The key is to break the resolutions down to daily activities. Most people look at the big picture and not small daily achievements. When you focus on the changes you make on a daily basis, you will feel more success and continue the journey the next day.

When looking for the right program that fits your schedule and needs, it’s important to evaluate your mindset. The first step to making any change is getting right with yourself. We live in a society that has so many of us worried about the needs of everyone else, but we forget about our own needs. So take the most important step and make your health the number one priority. Because so many may depend on you so, you need to take care of you, first. The research has shown that most people fail at lifestyle change because they let everyone else dictate what is important each day.

When approaching a healthier lifestyle, it is important for individuals to make sure they receive proper training and guidance. I know what you’re thinking, “How can I afford to pay someone to help me build a new lifestyle?” There are plenty of options that make building a new healthier version of yourself. One that is free you already have control of, Your Mindset.  Just keep in mind everything takes time, including changing the way you mentally feel.  When moving towards a new healthy lifestyle it’s 90% mental and 10% physical.

The single most important fact to remember is what brought you to this point in your life? How did you become overweight, out of shape, have body image issues or maybe even health problems?  Many times people do not realize how just doing the next fad diet or fitness routine is actually sabotaging their long term success at becoming healthier. Also, we live in a society which has miracle pills and cures around every corner, TV, magazine etc. Well, the sad truth is it took 10, 15, 20+ years to build the unhealthy version of yourself, so what makes you think it will take  30 Days, 90 Days, 6 months to make the changes to your body that took a lifetime to damage.

So each day is a new beginning. You may falter one day but there is no reason to beat yourself up about it. Get the mind right and move forward, this philosophy will make all the difference. There are plenty of support systems around to help you become the best version of yourself so pick one that is right for you.

Why Wait?

Thoughts for the first Monday of the New Year:

Phew another year gone RIGHT! Isn’t it great to spend your days hoping for another day, always looking to something better. This year is going to be the year, right. Just not this week, but next week, that is when it gets better.

“Can’t wait for the holiday season to be over”

“Can’t wait till spring and this snow melts”

“Can’t wait till Saturday”

Wait a minute, what about today? What happened to enjoying the moments of today and living in those moments, as opposed to wishing these moments away?

In a world where we are impatiently waiting for our circumstances to change there is a sense of never truly being in the moment. So there you are you get to that moment and you are already wishing for that next moment. So, I challenge everyone today, to live in today, enjoy those simple moments and find something that can make this moment even better than the assumed next one…

Get fit and live a healthy lifestyle in 2014

Get fit and live a healthy lifestyle in 2014

This time on earth is limited to what you limit it to… Yesterday, Tomorrow or Right Now!

Happy Right Now!!

We all have an expiration date, it’s what we do before that date that matters!

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is.” —Eckhart Tolle

Several years ago I discovered that just “getting by” or just “making it through the day” was not how I wanted to live.  The truth is that I wanted to be better; I wanted to smell the roses per se.  My life was wasting away with doubt, fear and disappointment and the only one I could blame was me.

After graduating from college, I had a degree and no game plan or any way to use my degree.  To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do when I grew up.  And here I was grown up and still didn’t know what to do with my life.  The one thing I knew, is I wanted to be a wife and a mother. And although this may not seem like a good aspiration to have in this day of equal rights of women, that is what I wanted.

My boyfriend and I were committed and knew we were going to get married. So, I got a job and worked like I was supposed to do after graduating college.  However, all the while I was working and thinking I was going to get married and have the whole picket fence, there was a desire in my heart to be better.  Yet, I stuffed that desire until I quit my first job and found a job that didn’t even need a degree.  The desire to be different was eating at my heart.

In the meantime we got married and starting planning for our future with a family. In our first year of marriage we found out we couldn’t have children, the natural way, we needed the assistance of doctors, little did I know it wasn’t even a guarantee.  My supposed dreams of being a mother were put to the test. With the help of insurance we were going to get one try with an infertility clinic.  Ok this is going to work because we were meant to have children.  So we took all our savings and started the process of getting the medications, since insurance didn’t pay for the medications associated with infertility.

If anyone knows infertility and the journey it takes, knows the time, cost of it and psychological implications. I was naïve in believing that one try was going to work!  Oh and our estimation of what the cost of the medications would be was grossly under estimated with the little savings we had at the time.  Yet, we kept our heads high and kept moving forward, we knew it was going to work.  We were going to have our family soon enough; this was so worth the painful process.  Injecting fertility medications, was like riding a roller coaster of emotions, with twists, turns and flipping upside down.  The painful injections, in public restrooms, the need to cry and scream at the same time were a necessary part of this journey; it would all end soon when I was holding my child in my arms…

Then came that fateful phone call while I was at work sitting in a room full of people and the words that were uttered in my ears, the test is negative.  You are not pregnant, you can stop the progesterone and … the words from that point I don’t remember.  All I remember is feeling the tears stream down my face while sitting in a room full of people.  That fateful day was when I realized that being positive and doing the right thing all the time didn’t always get you what you wanted. I drove home without seeing the road sobbing so hard it felt as if my heart was ripped from my chest.  I was pulled over for missing a yield sign and I didn’t even care.  The officer was kind enough to see my distress to let me go, yet I still didn’t know how I made it home.  I was 27 years old and didn’t know if ever I would be a mother or anything at that point.

That is when I started surviving. That is when the business of living my best and being better didn’t seem to truly matter.   My dream of being a mother was taken away from me, with that simple phone call.  The control or lack of control I felt, from this phone call left a void in my heart and didn’t sit well.  What I truly didn’t realize is that I was just surviving prior to this phone call, thinking that I was doing the right thing and living the life that I was supposed to live.  What now? Where do you go from here?  I really didn’t like my job much at that point, was not really happy.

That day was a day I will never forget.  It took a year to wallow in my pity, I totally gave in to my need to not care and destroy my health and happiness.  Within that year I slept, ate and drank my way to being in the worst physical shape of my life, and seeking medical help for the physical pain.  The doctor had no clue and diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, he gave me antidepressant to help with the lack of sleep.  Little did my Dr. know I was taking up to 20 Tylenol a day and getting migraines from the overuse of this pain reliever?

That was the day I found that voice that I failed to hear back when I graduated from college.  The voice that said you can do more and you have more to give.  Although you may not become a mother, you are still a woman who has something to offer in this world, so go out and find it.  It took coming off the Tylenol, and throwing away the antidepressants to start my journey back to being my best at whatever my life had to offer.

What this journey has taught me is that I am a fighter that wants to live at her best. It took me lifting weights and eating better to find the strong woman I knew I had in me.  I realized that my journey may not be the same, but there are others out there that may be struggling to just survive, just like me. They may need a boost or the motivation to find their path to start fighting for something better.  In these cases they may need some help getting past their fateful days or nights to help them feel healthy and strong can be a key to getting closer to their best. That is why I am thriving and taking my journey to others to help them thrive in their own lives.  We all have so much more to give in this world and we don’t have a right, much as I realized, to not offer our best to those who meet us.

It’s all in the Perspective!

It’s all in your perspective….

“You have awesome arms, I wish I had your arms”, “If  I  had arms like you, I would always wear tank tops or no sleeves.”

“I wish I had your butt.”  “Stop walking in front of me because I can’t stop staring at your nice butt.”

My response: “Really?” Are you talking to me??”

Trx Collegeville, Exercise Collegeville, Weight Loss Collegeville, Trainer Phoenixville, Jen Brango   Fit Arms, female health, women's fitness, strong women, phoenixville fitness gym   Diona Arms

As a self-proclaimed body hater, these kinds of comments or compliments (however you want to see it) can be truly uncomfortable and unnerving.  Although they may seem nice, having body image issues such as I have had throughout my life, these statements can create a whole tail spin of negative thoughts.

I even wrote a whole blog about being the “Fat Little Sister” http://onlyresultsfitness.com/the-fat-little-sister/ .  My whole life I have always felt inadequate and uncomfortable with my outward appearance, even around my own sisters.  And to have someone complement me on my arms or my butt, can really blow your mind.

Sound crazy?

Although the work for building a healthy body is important, the work in creating a healthy self-image as well, is just as important.  The change has to happen with how I see myself as well.  It is nice to have a sculpted body; however that may not always last.  What has helped me in this journey of body self-love is building a healthy perspective on what it means to have a healthy body which includes the mind and soul.

After spending a weekend in August with some fabulous ladies in fitness I reflected on how my perspective has changed throughout my life and how it will continue to change.  These ladies themselves have struggled with accepting themselves and still find some struggles in self-acceptance.  While listening to these women talk about their struggles, especially in an industry where you are judged by your appearance, they are saying a lot of the same things we say to ourselves most days.

When it comes to self-acceptance, it takes time on a daily basis.  What has helped is not punishing myself for not being perfect.  Maybe I miss a workout, or I eat a whole bag of rice chips or I just want to have a glass of wine or two.  Looking in the mirror after I choose to indulge and berating my body is not the way to self-acceptance.  Enjoying every bite is what brings me that much closer to my self- acceptance.

It has taken me several years to reconcile with the fact that my arms and my butt are pretty good and if someone notices, I should say thank you.  It has taken a lot of hard work and self-reflection to appreciate the body and mind that I have been given.  I know someday I will never regret being healthy in body, mind and spirit.

What is The Destination?

Taking a trip without knowing the final destination!! While training for my first amateur bodybuilding competition, I trained most weeks, 6 days a week.  The goal was never truly to win, it was to get up there and do it! What I learned throughout my training was to give my body the respect it needed throughout the process.  Being true to myself, I would train hard for 3 days then take a day off, then train hard again for 3 more days.  Every 3 days I would rest, I wouldn’t do extra cardio or even do light sets, I didn’t step into the gym.

In the end, I stepped up onto the stage, (which was my ultimate goal) and I was proud of my efforts in and out of the gym. I didn’t starve myself but I did restrict my choices.  I also tracked my intake of protein and made sure I spent the time to pay attention to my overall energy with my nutrients and my training regime.

The whole journey in the first competition and even the 2nd is what motivated me to get to the gym.  Every rep, every set, every dumbbell, brought me that much closer to achieving my goal, getting up there and saying I did it.  Every day I worked harder toward my goal. No bad attitude, that wasn’t going to get me any closer to my goal.  The pain, fatigue and frustration, was given little attention, every day was approached with a determination to get it done.  The journey was one of self-exploration and to see if it could really be done.  And in the end it was done, and it brought me two wins.

Then the change happened, my mind didn’t focus on the journey it focused on the end result of the win.  No matter how much I tried my attitude changed and it changed my determination and my training.  My focus was on the prize rather than the awesome journey.  It became drudgery to go the gym, my reward meals were more frequent. I lost the reason why I did it in the first place and only believed I had to win.

The mindset shift is what stopped me in my tracks.  The expectations changed and it became all about the end result instead of the journey.  The hard part was to dig down deep and realize I lost focus on the true purpose of my journey and only looked at my expected outcome. That is when I quit training so hard and started the real journey.  It has taken a good 7-8 years to reconcile, the journey with any possible outcomes.  At that point I realized I knew I wasn’t in it to become a Pro or even to make it to the National Level.

Every day is now about the journey in life.  Whatever I choose to accomplish is only the end result of my hard work and dedication and no matter what may happen in the end, I know that I enjoyed the journey and the process it took for me to get there.  The take away for everyone reading this account of my experience, is that it’s not always about the end result as much as it is about the fun you have getting somewhere. So, do not let the mind and noise around you detour the journey. Have fun every day and know that what ever your long range goals are it’s about the journey and how each day gets you closer.

Why Can’t I Eat Twinkies

Has there ever been a time in your life when you have said to yourself or to someone else “you work out so you can eat whatever you want”?  Or maybe you think someone like myself cannot relate to you because I am fit and have it all “put together” on the food front?

Truth be told, when I was a kid I remember walking through the grocery store with my Mom and saying to myself, “When I grow up I am going to buy everything Mom won’t let me buy, like Twinkies, Twizzlers, Fruity Pebbles, chips, etc.,  and eat them every day”.  The thoughts of filling my grocery basket with everything Mom wouldn’t let me have, made my mouth water with delight.

Although I have always wanted to be that person, you know them, the one that could eat whatever they wanted (believe me I tried).  My true reality, hit me in the face at the age of 27 when I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism.

What did it matter that I couldn’t have all the junk food in the world anymore? You see, due to my past extended indulgences, my life needed to be completely altered.  I was not living a life of a 27 year old because I felt much older and sick all the time.  The very food I believed to be my “reward” for being an adult, was slowly killing me.

Fast forward to today and the complete shift in my current reality and belief system.  My mouth still waters at the thought of a “good” treat, however those treats are real food and not junk food substances. My need to feel young and feel well, far outweighs any need to eat junk food all the time.

My mother taught me the best lesson ever when she took me to the grocery store all those years ago.  A treat should not be abused or over consumed, if I want to eat a treat it should be enjoyed and celebrated.  At the age of 43, I feel and look better than my 27 year old self.  And I owe it all to my Mother, for caring enough to teach me this invaluable lesson in life.

Wondering how you can find your best lifestyle and how it will work for you?  Want to get your own support system that will help you achieve a better you?  Join us for your Fit Body Assessmnt. It is all about learning what works best for you, much like I had to learn throughout my life.   We all need some type of support to find our best path.  You can contact us at 484-202-0010 to set-up your FREE Fit Body Assessment.

Fat Loss the key to reducing the size of the American Population


Over the past two months Only Results Fitness in Chester County, PA was able to reduce the size of their gym population with a Fat Loss Challenge. We have found the key to helping our clients get healthier and smaller was not to emphasize weight loss, instead focus on actual fat loss. The Summer Body Challenge highlighted the scientifically based programs we offer. The total changes were outstanding with 180 inches lost, based on waist and hip measurements, 208lbs of Fat lost, and 52 lbs of muscle gained. The prescription given by the Team at Only Results Fitness is based on current cutting edge research on Fat Loss. All participants were given exercise and nutrition guidance and were held accountable so they would achieve their maximum fat loss results.

A research study by the Scand J Med Sci Sports has shown, that a group eating 6 meals per day lost more fat than a group eating 2 meals per day – despite calories being equal.

The participants who followed the plan were able to lose fat and gain lean body mass. A key factor of fat loss is the frequency of eating, it keeps the metabolism burning fat while maintaining or gaining muscle. Another key to the participant’s success was the specific group and individual training programs that we prescribe for all of our clients. Again these prescriptions for exercise are based on the scientific research we study and put into practice.

Here are some of the findings: When comparing the energy cost of two popular forms of exercise some incredible results were discovered. A study by by Tremblay A, Simoneau JA, Bouchard C. on the “Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism”, found that after 20 weeks of aerobic training the participants burned an average of 28,661 calories while after 15 weeks of Interval training participants burned an average of 13,614 calories (less than half of the aerobic group). However, the interval training group showed a NINE TIMES greater loss in subcutaneous fat than the endurance group.

Ironically in 6 weeks, all participants lost fat as well as weight and were able to gain much needed lean body mass.

What is the Skinny on Your Weight?

With the impending New Year and the number one New Year’s resolution being weight loss, have you ever considered your weight based on the current standards set?Do you ever wonder how the standards have been set and why you may or may not be within “healthy or ideal” range?The actual terminology of “ideal body weight” was originally recognized by the life insurance industry, specifically Metropolitan Life in 1943, for the purposes of setting the standards for life insurance. The charts were created based on populations that were between the ages of 25-59, and were not specific to gender.  The numbers were revised in 1983 based on the lowest mortality rates and newly labeled “desired” standard weight.

Unfortunately, the standards of these weights do not take into consideration those who are very tall or very short. Also, it should be noted that the heights are set based on the assumption of one wearing one-inch heeled shoes and three pounds of clothing, which is not noted on the charts themselves.

However the most recognized and used standard of today is the body mass index or BMI, which was previously called the Quetelet Index, dating back to the 19th century, created by Adolphe Quetelet. He is known for developing the concept of the “average man” and established the theoretical foundations for the use of statistics in social physics or, as it is now known, sociology. Thus, he is considered by many to be the founder of modern quantitative social science. The very creation of the Quetelet index was created as a statistical analysis of the general population.

The popularity of BMI dates back to a paper published in the 1972 July edition of the Journal of Chronic Diseases by Ancel Keys. Keys indicated in his paper that BMI was “the best proxy for body fat percentage among ratios of weight and height; the interest in measuring body fat being due to obesity becoming a discernible issue in prosperous Western societies. BMI was explicitly cited by Keys as being appropriate for population studies, and inappropriate for individual diagnosis.”

The standardized usage of BMI, by the Centers for Disease Control, health professionals and the general population is due to the ease of the simple calculation, only requiring height and weight and there is no cost associated with this assessment. The usage of BMI is intended to be used as an assessment tool, as Keys stated that BMI “was appropriate for population studies, and inappropriate for individual diagnosis”.

The CDC also confirms that, “at an individual level, BMI can be used as a screening tool but is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual.” The CDC recommends seeking a trained health professional to perform appropriate health assessments in order to evaluate an individual’s health status and risks.

The CDC wants to remind individuals that the weight is calculated from both muscle and fat. In other words if an individual should have a higher percentage of overall muscle compared to fat the BMI calculations could qualify the individual as overweight based on the current BMI standards between 25 to 29.9.

However, those individuals that qualify at 30 or greater on the BMI scale are considered obese and have been found to be obese even with a higher percentage of muscle mass.

The true key to finding your desired weight should be as the CDC recommends in finding your “Healthy Weight.”  With the help of a health professional and various other assessment tools, you should set your standard based on your overall health.

If you are currently in poor health and your BMI or “ideal weight” is within range, then that should be an indication that weight is not the standard by which you set your health.  While evaluating your New Year’s weight resolution, remember to take into account your overall health as well.

New Year’s Miracle Weight Loss Drug or Not?

So the time of year has come to put your New Year’s resolutions into action, but buyer beware! There are many tempting products on the market claiming to help you achieve your goal in a quick, sustainable manner. However, beware of any claims that are too good to be true.

Do you remember back in the 80s and mid-90s all the hype about a miracle weight loss combination pill Fen-Phen, also known as fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine and phentermine?

This combination of pharmaceuticals was being prescribed by doctors who believed the drug curbed appetite and helped patients shed pounds.

However on Sept. 15, 1997, the FDA announced the withdrawal of Fen-Phen from the market, according to FDA.gov:

The Food and Drug Administration has asked the manufacturers to voluntarily withdraw both treatments for obesity from the market.

The action was based on new findings from doctors who have evaluated patients taking these two drugs with echocardiograms, a special procedure that can test the functioning of heart valves. These findings indicated that approximately 30 percent of patients who were evaluated, had abnormal echocardiograms, even though they had no symptoms. This is a much higher than expected percentage of abnormal test results.

“These findings called for prompt action,” said Michael A. Friedman, M.D., the Lead Deputy Commissioner of the FDA. “The data we have obtained indicate that fenfluramine, and the chemically closely related dexfenfluramine, present an unacceptable risk at this time to patients who take them.”

So, bring us back to present day. As of Dec. 6, the FDA issued another withdrawal of a weight loss miracle drug and this time it is for a homeopathic weight loss aid. The weight loss aid is human chorionic gonadotropin or HCG. The use of HCG was never intended for weight loss. The use of HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin was only approved for the use of infertility, fertility and as a tumor marker.

Although this drug has been believed to be a new weight loss miracle, it was first introduced to the weight loss market in the 1950s by Dr. Albert T.W. Simeon. The claims made were never proven true even after extensive clinical trials, so the usage of HCG for weight loss became less popular in the 1970s.

The reintroduction of HCG was due in part by a book written by Kevin Trudeau “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About” and presented in the format of infomercials. This book was just a long line of misrepresentations; ironically Kevin Trudeau had a history of misrepresenting himself and was charged so by the FTC.

In 1998 Kevin Trudeau was charged with making false claims. In doing so he moved to selling his systems, such as his weight loss system through his books. Although Trudeau was not the only reason for HCG to be reintroduced, the help of his late night infomercials played a large role.

“These products are marketed with incredible claims and people think that if they’re losing weight, HCG must be working,” says Elizabeth Miller, acting director of FDA’s Division of Non-Prescription Drugs and Health Fraud. “But the data simply does not support this; any loss is from severe calorie restriction. Not from the HCG,” as stated on the FDA’s consumer page on HCG.

The HCG Diet is making remarkable claims about losing large amounts of weight in a short period of time. The claim is that your appetite is being suppressed, so you should consume only 500 calories a day in combination with HCG and you will lose plenty of weight. However, as explained by one of the FDA’s nutritionists, Shirley Blakely, “Living on 500 calories a day is not only unhealthy—it’s hazardous, according to FDA experts. Consumers on such restrictive diets are at increased risk for side effects that include gallstone formation, an imbalance of the electrolytes that keep the body’s muscles and nerves functioning properly, and an irregular heartbeat.”

They can be dangerous, she says, and potentially fatal.

Even the American Society of Bariatric Physicians has stated concerns in a position paper “On Use of HCG for the Treatment of Obesity“:

Although there were a few early studies in agreement with Simeons recommendations, a number of subsequent studies produced evidence that the HCG in the Simeons method was ineffectual and that the weight loss was entirely due to the diet. A meta-analysis review in 1995 of prior studies concluded that there is no scientific evidence that HCG is effective in the treatment of obesity. The meta-analysis found insufficient evidence supporting the claims that HCG is effective in altering fat-distribution, hunger reduction or in inducing a feeling of well-being. The authors stated ‘ …the use of HCG should be regarded as an inappropriate therapy for weight reduction.’ In the authors’ opinion, ‘Pharmacists and physicians should be alert on the use of HCG for Simeons therapy.’

According to a press release issued Dec. 6, the FDA is advising consumers to steer clear of these “homeopathic” HCG weight-loss products.

“They are sold in the form of oral drops, pellets and sprays and can be found online and in some retail stores,” the press release states. “FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued seven letters to companies warning them that they are selling illegal homeopathic HCG weight-loss drugs that have not been approved by FDA, and that make unsupported claims.

“FDA advises consumers who have purchased homeopathic HCG for weight loss to stop using it, throw it out, and stop following the dieting instructions. Harmful effects should be reported online toFDA’s MedWatch program or by phone at 800-FDA-1088 (800-332-1088) and to the consumer’s health care professional.”

As history would tell us about Fen-Phen, although the significant effects of HCG have not been found at this time, the FDA has chosen to remove these products due to their overwhelming surge in popularity again. So, if you are currently hoping that your New Year’s resolution can be solved by a quick fix, think again and remember that if it sounds too good to be true, you are probably right.

When it comes to health and wellness, a balanced approach of healthy eating, purposeful exercise and a healthy lifestyle are the true keys to reaching any resolution. The lasting effects of balance are truly what make your quality of life better than the potential lasting effects of a hazardous “miracle” pill.

Get Ready for The Slopes

With the colder winter season comes our winter sports, such as snow boarding and skiing.

The snow season is such a short season, it poses a problem for the unconditioned skier or snowboarder. A well-intentioned day on the slopes could be sidelined by injuries due to fatigue and lack of proper physical conditioning. Even the best athlete needs to prepare his or her body for the change of sports especially skiing and snowboarding.

Although it may look easy, a trek down a mountain slope can be physically taxing to your body. It requires you to have endurance to stay on the slopes for long runs, not to mention the need for leg strength, core muscle development to maintain your balance and upper body strength to help you utilize your poles.

While planning for your trip to the slopes, it is important to add a winter sports conditioning plan to your list of to-dos. Below, you will find a simple workout you can do at home or at your gym to help you prepare for the slopes.

You will need a set of dumbbells, stability ball and a mat. When choosing a set of dumbbells, each exercise may require a different weight; however, you should challenge yourself on all these exercises and not use a weight that is too easy.

If you are new to exercising or using dumbbells, test your strength by picking up a dumbbell and lifting your arms laterally a minimum of 10 times. This move should be challenging by rep number eight and difficult by rep number 10. As always safety is most important so choosing a weight that is too heavy can cause an unnecessary injury. However, you should be challenged in your workout so a weight that is too light will not help you improve your physical conditioning.

Always start your workout with a warm up, of dynamic moves—this will warm up your muscles as well as getting stretched. Do not stretch prior to the warm-up! Static stretching should only be done after you completed your workout or your muscles are ready and warm.

  • Jog in place, jumping jacks, add in some side to side hops, one foot at a time, then both feet together.
  • Walk forward and lift your leg to the front and reach for your toes.
  • Stop for wide leg side to side lunges.  Staying low shifting your weight from side to side.
  • Walk forward, bend forward lifting your leg behind you, one leg at a time, reach for the floor.

For an additional warm up, do these choppers:

  • Holding a medicine ball or dumbbell, squat down and swing the weight between your legs and then up overhead with arms fully extended. Repeat 10 times.
  • Holding the weight in front of your body, rotate side to side and pivot on one foot. Repeat 10 times in each direction.
  • Squat down and bring the weight down to one ankle and then swing, in a diagonal motion, over the shoulder on the opposite side of your body. Repeat 10 times in each direction.

Next, perform the following pairs of exercises with no rest in between:

1. Slow and hold skier squats: Hold a light pair of dumbbells at your sides and raise them out in front of you as you lower into a squat position. Hold the bottom of the squat for a minimum of three seconds with your arms extended and then stand up. Repeat 10 to 20 times.

2.  Push ups with hold and scissor kicks: Perform a standard push up and hold the “up” portion for a minimum of three seconds. While holding this position, alternate two straight leg raises to the rear. Complete 10 repetitions.

Side to side mogul squats: Perform a squat. As you come up from the down position “explode” and jump to the right. As soon as your feet hit the ground, repeat the motion to the left. Continue for 20 repetitions.

Single leg bent-over rows: Hold a dumbbell in the right hand and bend over at the waist while balancing on the left foot. Drive your elbow up, pulling your shoulder blades together to perform a “bent-over row” exercise. Try to stay on one foot throughout the movement. (Beginners can touch the toe to the ground for support.) Perform 15 repetitions with each arm.

Single foot lateral hops (speed skaters): Bend forward at the waist (like a speed skater), spring to the right and as soon as your foot lands, spring to the left. Try to bound sideways for distance. Repeat for 20 total repetitions.

Slow and hold side laterals: Hold a pair of dumbbells at your side. Raise them to shoulder height and hold for three seconds. Lower and repeat for 10 repetitions.

Stability ball triple set: Here’s one example of such a set. Lie on your back with your legs on a stability ball. Perform 20 abdominal crunches. Place your feet on the ball and push your hips upward 20 times. Lay your legs across the top of the ball, hand are in a push up plank position and rotate side to side bringing your knees to the floor, 10 times in each direction.

After you have completed one round you can repeat at least two or three more times. This workout can be completed at least three times a week. Be sure to move from one exercise to the next maintaining proper form, while elevating your heart rate. Be sure to do a complete cool down and stretch after you have completed your workout.

It would be recommended to include an endurance, interval workout, either on a treadmill or elliptical, either after this strength workout or two additional days during the week. An interval cardio workout should include resistance in the form of an incline and varying speeds. One day of cardio should be dedicated just to distance or time.

As with any exercise program it is important to prepare yourself to begin.  If you are planning on hitting the slopes this year be certain to prepare your body physically. Be sure that you are capable of handling these exercises before you attempt going to the slopes.

Remember to also be prepared for the changing winter conditions on the slopes.  If you have your own equipment, inspect it before you get to the slopes, also be sure to have the proper winter attire, have water available during your day and be sure to eat properly throughout your day on the slopes.

For the best conditioning getting enough rest, eating a healthy balanced diet and getting your workouts in at least five days a week is the best way to condition your body for any sport. This will help you have an enjoyable injury free winter season on the slopes either on your snow board or your skis.

You asked!

Ok, so many of you have been asking to see a copy of one of my food logs. So, over the past week I have written down everything I had to eat and drink. One thing you should know about me, is that I have hypothyroidism (low thyroid) and have been on medication for over 10 years. The other thing you should remember is that not everyone should be eating exactly the same. You may be able to eat some of the same foods, however you may need more of one thing than another person. Everyone is uniquely who they are and should not compare or judge. Living a healthy lifestyle is a matter of making the choices that work for you personally and what you are willing to do in order to maintain that lifestyle. Although I know you can achieve great results from just working out on a regular basis, I also know you can lose all of those great results if you fail to continue taking care of yourself with healthy eating and exercise throughout your life. So, if you take anything from my food logs just remember this is my lifestyle, this is how I choose to live my life so I can feel and stay healthy..

Monday August 22

4:00am Prograde Lean Protein shake , Prograde BCAA/vitex (chaste berry root) /Prograde metabolism, Water 8 oz
7:30am 4 Egg Whites, 8oz of fresh Spinach and 10 bites oatmeal, earl grey tea 10 oz, Juice Plus
10:49am Prograde fusionworkout 20 mins
11:30am  peach, water (20 oz)
1:00pm 4 oz chicken, mushrooms, broccoli, 5 bites of gnocci, water (10 oz)
1:30pm 1 oz piece of dark chocolate spoonful of almond butter, water (20 oz)
2:30pm nectarine (20 oz water)
4:50pm Prograde Lean Protein shake
8:00pm Boston market ¼ white chicken(No Skin), green beans and mixed veggie medley, bite of corn bread

August 23

4:00am Prograde Lean Protein shake, Prograde BCAA/vitex (chaste berry root) /Prograde metabolism, Water 8 oz
8:30am 5 egg whites, 1 cup spinach, Juice Plus
9:30am Green Tea unsweetened 16 oz
10:30am Atkins protein bar
12:00pm ½ balance bar, workout 20 mins cardio, 20 oz water
12:30pm Prograde fusion, workout 20 mins weights, 16 oz water
2:00pm ½ balance bar, 5 sips of coke zero
3:30pm 2 homemade 3 oz lean beef meatballs over 1cup broccoli
7:30pm salad with chicken, walnuts tomatoes, 1 tblsp balsamic vinagrette, 2 beers, Juice Plus, Prograde BCAA

August 24

4:00am Prograde Lean Protein shake, Prograde BCAA/vitex (chaste berry root) /Prograde metabolism, Water 8 oz
8:00am 5 egg whites, with 1 cup spinach, Earl grey tea -stevia 16 oz, oatmeal 5 bites
11:00am Prograde fusion, workout 30 min, 16 oz water
12:30pm chicken, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, 1 slice ezekiel bread
1:30pm 1 oz dark chocolate square, almond butter 1 tsp, 8 oz Water
3:00pm Prograde Lean Protein shake
8:00pm 4.5oz lean beef meatballs with broccoli

August 25

4:30am Prograde Lean Protein shake, Prograde BCAA/vitex (chaste berry root) /Prograde metabolism
7:30am 1 hardboiled egg white, 1 sausage patty, cantalope and honeydew melon
11:30am greek salad with chicken, 1 tbsp of dressing, 1 slice whole wheat flat bread
2:00pm nectarine, 1 square dark chocolate
7:30pm 4 oz chicken with kale, scallions
8:00pm 1 slice ezekiel bread w/ spray butter

August 26

4:30am Prograde Lean Protein Shake, Prograde BCAA/vitex (chaste berry root) /Prograde metabolism, 8 oz water
7:30am Wawa egg white turkey bagel (threw out bagel scrapped off cheese), 16 oz water
10:00am nectarine
11:30am sushimi (no rice) and tuna roll (brown rice) from Wegmans, 16 oz water
3:00pm Prograde Lean Protein shake, 45 workout, HIT Cardio and Strength
6:00pm Nectarine, 20 oz water
7:00pm 6 oz crab cake sandwich no bun, steamed broccoli, 3 bites risotto,  2 glasses of wine, 48 oz water

In the coming weeks there will be more info coming about how you can get better results and continue your journey. My husband and business partner will be experimenting on himself for 30 days beginning September 6th. He will be following a plan that everyone would follow and will keep a video diary along with publishing commentary daily to his blog. Stay tuned.

Source Article from http://yourfitnessbox.com/2011/08/29/you-asked/

The Fat Little Sister.

Growing up the fat little sister is not really fun.  Now being 45 years old, wearing between size 2-4, there are still those fat little sister moments.  There are days when I drive my husband crazy with my inability to see past my fat and bloated days. The torment that will go through my mind every time I pass by a mirror used to be debilitating.  However, now that I am 45 and working with others to help them overcome their self loathing, I have learned how to love myself for who I am at this moment while appreciating that fat little sister in me.

Some may feel that putting yourself on a diet at the age of 12 may have been a little on the drastic side, yet I didn’t see anything wrong with the way I handled being the fat little sister.  The boys my age found it funny to make fun of my large butt, calling me wide load.  The agony I felt as a young woman growing up with three beautiful older sisters, all were cheerleaders, homecoming court and very popular.

Although I was born with blonde hair and blue eyes, I was always the shortest, with the fat chubby face, short stubby legs and failed to ever achieve any semblance of a chest (even with the excess weight I carried), the rest of my siblings had brown hair and either brown or hazel eyes; and they all had great figures to boot.  Overall I was just different, and that showed as my older sisters’ clothing  was passed down and the clothes just didn’t fit me the way they fit them. My belly would stick out further than my chest in the front and my butt would be pulling my pants to the max.  I had horrible allergies blood shot eyes and constantly sneezing, my allergies were so bad I had to get allergy shots on a weekly basis to help control the symptoms, my skin was also pimply and to add to that, I started my period when I was 10 years old. Always feeling like the ugly duckling, my decisions of who I am today are based on that fat little sisters reaction to the world.

My reality has changed significantly, I grew up and now run my own business, my skin cleared up, I lost the weight and slimmed down; however, when I get together with my sisters there are still those fat little awkward sister moments that are my safety or not so safe zone.  My unsafe zone has always been my emotional connection to food.  The control I can maintain on a daily basis is totally on an emotional basis.  When I am feeling like that chubby little sister, I find the nearest food item that may fill my sad little void, then I get even more down and back to my old self not just because of the lack of control but the altered state the fatty, sugary, non nutritional food puts me in… The funny part is I forget everything I know, much like an addict, I go right for the thing that is going to make me feel worse, because it is familiar.

Just this past week I spent the whole week with my sister’s introducing them to my world.  As soon as they arrived I could feel that old self trying to re-emerge, but with age and experience the moment passed and I was able to enjoy the company of my sisters.  What was truly amazing was the discussion, truly honest discussion about all of our short comings and how as adults we are able to come together and enjoy our individuality, uniqueness and our similarities as well.  The things that they say to themselves in the mirror and to their husbands is not too far off from what I have said myself many times over.  Both of my sisters are still beautiful and physically fit, and Yes it still irkes me at times but as wisdom takes hold it inspires me and gives me the drive I need to continue my path of wellness. This visit was one of realizing I can experience my sisters on an adult level, enjoy those sister moments of eating cake together, exercising together and crying over lost time together.  It was ok to feel like the little sister, however, I am no longer the  “fat” little sister, I am just the younger little sister.  I certainly will take that over my fat former self.

Each day is a day closer to losing that “fat” little sister, she will pop out every once in a while however, I don’t hate her anymore, I give her the love she failed to accept years ago. She walks with me on a daily basis reminding me how far I have come and how much farther I will go…


Some good news has come out of a new study that looked into most effective ways to prevent sudden cardiac death: maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise significantly reduces the risk of this condition. The research, published in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, focused on women. However, its findings are also relevant for men. This is yet another body of medical evidence that clearly shows the benefits of a healthy lifestyle that includes physical fitness.

In the United States, sudden cardiac arrest, a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, causes more than 300,000 deaths every year. Among main risk factors are heart disease, obesity, smoking, and inactivity. All these factors are inter-related. Sedentary lifestyle leads to obesity, which, in turn, can cause heart disease – the leading killer of Americans. And, of course, smoking is harmful to health in general. The new study, however, found that those who don’t smoke, eat sensibly, maintain healthy weight, and exercise regularly, can lower their risk of sudden cardiac death by more than 90 percent.

Sometimes, even the simplest preventive measures can go a long way. These new findings prove once again that physical activity and other healthy habits are real lifesavers. When it comes to preventing potentially serious complications of  disease – including sudden cardiac arrest – regular exercise is beneficial in several ways. If you are overweight, it will help you lose the extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight. It will also strengthen your cardiovascular system.

While any regimen that keeps you moving is beneficial, interval training, which alternates a high-intensity workout with periods of low-intensity activity or rest, is especially effective in improving cardiovascular fitness and the body’s potential to burn fat. It provides a great workout for your heart, dramatic weight loss results, and a leaner shape in less time than many other programs.

Those who already have heart disease or any other medical condition should consult a doctor before starting interval training. In any case, there are plenty of other, less strenuous exercises that you could safely do to get yourself – and your heart – in the best possible shape.

Source Article from http://yourfitnessbox.com/2011/07/28/when-it-comes-to-heart-health-don%E2%80%99t-miss-a-beat/


Well the first day of summer has come and gone, this means that hot and sometimes humid weather will be with us for the next few months. What does this mean for your workout routine? When the temperatures soar, our natural inclination is to stay inside, where it’s cool.  But doing the same old treadmill routine in your gym time after time can get pretty boring. You really do need to exercise outdoors because that’s where all the fun is!

Don’t even think about slacking off and not exercising at all, using the hot weather as an excuse. You have to keep up your workout schedule regardless of weather or seasons. If you let it slide, all those high-calorie summer splurges like mayo-laden potato salad, greasy brats, cold beer, and ice cream, will make you pile on extra pounds.

The important thing, is to cool down your summer workout by taking some sensible precautions to protect yourself from the sun and heat. Just as you wouldn’t go outside in the dead of winter without proper gear and preparation, the same holds true for the summer.

For a healthy “fun in the sun” experience I suggest the following:

If you have health issues, ask your doctor if you can work out outdoors. That’s a good advice for anyone starting a new exercise program, at any time of year.

Schedule your workout early in the day (before 10 a.m.) or later (after 6 p.m.) when it’s not as hot. Many fitness boot camps offer both morning and evening sessions.

Wear exercise-appropriate clothing. While cotton may be comfortable, it traps sweat and perspiration, clinging to your skin. So-called performance fabrics made of polyester and / or Lycra blends are a better choice.  Also, make sure to wear a hat and a pair of sunglasses.

Protect your skin from harmful sunrays with a high-SPF, waterproof and sweat-resistant sunscreen, even if it is cloudy or hazy outside. Apply it to the whole body, not just the face.

Drink often. Hydration is essential during a summer workout, so you should drink water before, during and after your routine, even if you are not thirsty. After a particularly intense or sweaty session, switch to a low sugar drinks containing electrolytes – Coconut Water is a great alternative – those important salts, minerals and other chemical compounds that replenish the depleted fluids.

Remember: summer’s ‘here today, gone tomorrow.’ So take advantage of the great outdoors while you can.

Source Article from http://yourfitnessbox.com/2011/06/21/when-it-comes-to-exercise-don%E2%80%99t-let-summer-heat-defeat-you/


If you are health-conscious, you know how important our lifestyle is in preventing a host of serious diseases and other medical conditions, including stroke, which is the third leading cause of death right after cancer and heart attacks.

It is now a good time to learn about some preventive measures to protect ourselves from the debilitating “brain attack,” which kills or disables someone in the United States every 45 seconds. Not coincidentally, High Blood Pressure, is a symptom-less condition that can, if left untreated, lead to strokes. Stroke happens when a blood clot blocks an artery, interrupting blood flow to the brain. We do know, however, that physical activity helps prevent the formation of blood clots by stimulating circulation.

While strokes usually happen to people over 55, a disturbing new report recently released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the incidence of strokes is on the rise among young people, possibly due to the increase in obesity and generally unhealthy lifestyle.
Among controllable and treatable factors that increase a stroke risk are heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.  

The good news, is that many of the stroke-inducing risk factors can be prevented or reduced with simple steps anyone at any age can take– such as a healthy diet and regular exercise. Numerous studies indicate that exercise has significant benefits when it comes to reducing the incidence of strokes. Research also shows that people who are physically active before suffering a stroke may have a less severe loss of brain function and recover better than those who did not exercise before. Either way, physical activity is a stroke of luck – no pun intended.

What workouts are best for stroke prevention?
Any vigorous and sustained physical activity that tackles each of the risk factors will be beneficial. In other words, exercises that raise your heart rate, improve the overall quality of your blood vessels, lower your blood pressure, and reduce or maintain your weight, will be very useful.

For example:
Brisk walking, jogging or even jumping jacks or jumping rope “will strengthen your cardiovascular system and increase the volume of blood and oxygen that moves through your body.”
Strength training “will reduce your body fat and blood pressure, lower your cholesterol level, and build up your endurance, keeping your heart healthy and strong.”
Interval training “combines bursts of high intensity work with periods of rest, so it provides a terrific all-body training without the inconvenience of long and tedious workouts.”

Source Article from http://yourfitnessbox.com/2011/06/08/exercise-helps-prevent-strokes-before-they-strike/

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