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Free 4 Week Exercise & Eating Plan! Join the #GRITshapeup

Hello friends!  Hope your day is going well.  SO…I finally finished a big project I’ve been working on for a quite some time.  After I reached my 2 year blogiversary this March, I decided to put together my top workouts, detox tips and nutrition advice in to a best in class 4-week shape up plan.  I’m finally done and my first GRIT by Brit 4 Week Shape up Plan is ready for you to download.  Yay!

I really hope that this is a community effort where we can share our progress and encourage each other to be our healthiest, best selves.  That said please email me at brit@gritbybrit.com if you have any questions about the plan.  Also,  I highly encourage you to team up with some friends and do the plan together.  There’s power in numbers!  Share your workout photos and healthy meals on Instagram and Twitter with hashtag #GRITshapeup  – I’ll start doing product giveaways for my favorite pics!grit shape up announcement

A  core value of GRIT by Brit is “FREE” – I believe that we don’t have to be wealthy to be healthy.  That said, I made my printable GRIT Shape Up plan 100% accessible to everyone.  Just enter your email address in the subscription box to the right (below the search bar) and a link to download the plan will be sent to you. If you have any issues downloading, send me an email (brit@gritbybrit.com) and I’ll help you out.  Be sure to keep us updated by posting pics or updates with hashtag #GRITShapeUp.  I can’t wait to hear your success stories.  Show your GRIT!  Lots of luv, Brit


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CFX Core Fusion Extreme at Exhale Spa (Class Review)

Happy Humpday!  So first order of business, today I’m announcing the winner of my 2nd GRIT tank top giveaway – Congrats JanellMarie! Here’s what GRIT means to her, “Grit is the result of feeling my innermost, deeply seeded, pit-in-the-stomach raison d’etre. Grit means respecting and taking care of myself as a complex, accomplished woman who is rising up to the occasion of life. When I feel that grit, I know I’m centered and overflowing with love and drive.”  I thought JanellMarie’s definition was very eloquent and compelling.  It made me wanna get up and get after it!  Thanks for sharing girl – email your mailing address to brit@gritbybrit.com and your tank top is on its way.

Moving on to today’s post… On Monday night I had the awesome opportunity to preview a new group fitness format called Core Fusion Extreme (CFX) at Exhale Spa .  Exhale historically specializes in mind-body fitness formats like yoga and barre.  However, with CFX they are spicing it up and adding High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to the mix.

To celebrate the launch Exhale hosted a fabulous party in partnership with great sponsors including Honest Tea, Kind Bars and Luke’s Locker (our local sporting goods store).  We also jammed to music from a live DJ, free hair styling from a local salon, snacks, wine spritzers and product giveaways.  Most importantly there was a step and repeat banner for photo shoots – YES!  You guys know I love to be in front of the camera :) Needless to say, I enjoyed myself before my workout.

CFX Dallas Launch Party

Enjoying giveaways, music, and great company during the CFX Dallas launch party!

When class time arrived, I joined the long line of girls (and 2 guys) as we filed into the intimate barre studio which is now equippd with TRX ropes, boxes, medicine balls, heavy weights and gliders.  Our instructor, beaming with energy, welcomed us to CFX and explained the method.  Essentially this workout is an high intensity interval circuit that rotates you through 5 workout stations.  At each station, you complete 2 different exercises for 40 seconds each.   The instructor builds in 2 active recovery segments between stations during which you do core stability and flexibility training.  After going around to each station twice, we wrapped up the class with ~5 minutes of lying ab work.  Then we cooled downed with a quick stretching sequence.  The entire workout is 1 hour and I would estimate that you burn 500-700 calories if you go all out.  I heard that the stations (and the overall workout) are the same for the entire month then change at the start of the next month.

CFX Class In Action

(left) Showing my GRIT on the TRX doing pistol exercises. (right) in the back corner doing plank work with floor gliders

So as certified fitness instructor (and your friend), here’s my “real talk” about CFX:

Pros

  • Pleasant overall experience – beautiful studio/facility/equipment
  • Great variety of fitness equipment and unique exercises that you wouldn’t typically do in a gym or group fitness class
  • Well informed, energetic instructors
  • Effective workout that gives you a lot of benefit for 1 hour of your time.  Note:  HIIT provides both cardio and strength training simultaneously AND blasts calories
  • You sweat a lot – good things come to those who sweat :)

Cons

  • You have to sign up early or you will be on a long waiting list for a spot in class
  • The workout can seem a little redundant because you have to complete each station twice, but the energetic instructors and good music make the time fly by!

Overall, I was very satisfied with my CFX experience and I know I got a good workout because my quads are still sore.  If you live in Dallas, Exhale is offering free classes for the rest of the week!  If  you don’t live in Dallas, CFX should launch in your city pretty soon.  Hopefully you get to take a class. If so, feel free to post a comment and let us know how you like it!

Posing after class with my energetic CFX instructors!

Posing after class with my energetic CFX instructors!

Wishing you an EXTREMEly excellent day!

Lots of luv, Brit

 


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Guest Post: Ariana’s Healthy Lifestyle Makeover #TransformationTuesday

Happy Tuesday friends! Today I’m sharing a story from my new Dallas “fit friend,” Ariana!   We met this Summer when she attended my PiYo classes at the W Dallas Hotel. We instantly hit it off given our love for hardcore workouts and bright workout clothes (see pic of us in PiYo class on Instagram). I was inspired by Ariana’s dedication coming to class every Saturday and the fact that she always rallied a group of girls to come along with her – talk about accountability! As we got to know each other better, Ariana shared her healthy lifestyle journey with me. I was instantly energized by her story, so I asked her to share on my blog today!  I hope her story encourages you as much as it encouraged me…

Ariana’s Healthy Journey: Connecting with a Positive Community

Ariana's Before & After Photos

Ariana’s Before & After Photos

My name is Ariana Michelle and my life has always been very adventurous. I love traveling and a good challenge. I’m a packaging engineer in the cosmetic industry and just moved from New Jersey to Dallas to be closer to my fiance! We met 2 years ago in Turks and Caicos!

My before picture was taken in March right after I moved to Dallas. I’ve always struggled with food. My family knew me as the garbage disposal…I was such an athlete that I thought I could burn it all off. After college, that wasn’t the case anymore, and real athletes don’t treat their bodies with diets full of ice cream and bagels! It’s taken a really long time to listen to all the advice I’ve been reading about for years. I have lost 20 lbs since then and countless inches. I was a size SAD, now I’m a size SASSY! Never give up, your journey will take time! I wish I had listened back then and stopped eating all the foods that made me sick. Without the right foods I wouldn’t be such a ray of sunshine!

My biggest motivation was striking out on my own. The move to Texas was really hard! I didn’t know anyone. My fiance still lives 6 hours away, and so I had to learn to cook for myself! I needed a community, a place to call home, and friends who enjoyed the same things I did. I was tired of having acne, not fitting into my clothes, and I knew if I was going to make new friends I first needed to feel confident in my own skin. So, I decided my health would be the #1 priority in my life. I found community in all different fitness groups!

Ariana & the Tone it Up Babes!  Being a part of a healthy community increases accountability!

Ariana & the Tone it Up Babes! Being a part of a healthy community increases accountability!

I set out to make some goals for myself! The Tone It Up (TIU) BIKINI SERIES was extremely helpful to set goals. I challenged myself with different cardio workouts like Turbo Fire, and T25, and TIU running routines. Each week, you have to keep yourself accountable, and remember that every small change yields large results! An easy goal to start with, I added something green to each meal. The following week I added more cardio. It’s so important to go slow and have a vision for your journey or you will be overwhelmed and give up. It’s the sum of your choices that makes a radiant person. Goals are the key to loving life!

Did I have set-backs? Yes! It has been a two-year journey to get where I am now. Between a devastating breakup, the loss of a dozen friends who were once my support system, and family struggles, there were times that I wanted to focus on other things, and help everyone else. But the biggest thing you can do for your family is to be a constant example of positivity. It took a long time for me to find a job in Texas, and then I was finally able to get connected to a great group of girls! I dove right in, making sure that I had a new support system if I was feeling helpless or tired. My journey would not have been possible without my #tiusisters and #teamuproar

I’m going to continue to follow the Tone it Up Plan and my new lifestyle for life~ eating the right things at the right times is going to help me keep up with my kids (someday ;)! I always tell my friends that each day adds up, so even if you only have 20 minutes to be active, that makes 140 minutes per week. I take it day by day, and set goals each morning. I never feel guilty for indulging once in a while because what I do 85% of the time keeps me right on track.

Sunset in Cali

Ariana now feeling good, looking great and still staying connected to her fitness community

You can keep in touch with Ariana on Instagram @Fitgirlmechanic or email at arianamichellefitness@gmail.com


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Hilarious Toddler Burpees and Weekly Goals

goals quote

Hey friends!  Happy Monday!  I hope you had a good weekend.  Mine was pretty decent.  I did my usual routine of teaching indoor cycling at Beyond Pedaling on Saturday and teaching Turbo Kick at 24 Hour Fitness on Sunday.  I also went to a beautiful wedding on Saturday evening for one of my college friends from Cornell.  As a pleasant surprise, I ran into one of Turbo Kick students at the wedding!  She happens to be a friend of the bride – small world!  We had a blast, danced our booties off and ate a lot of wedding cake.  Good times had by all.  Unlike last weekend, I didn’t do any shopping this weekend (tear), but I did get some much-needed time at home to rest and rejuvenate.  Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Yesterday my cousin, Juliette (AKA my “sister” because we spent every waking moment together as kids), sent me this hilarious video of her daughter, Violet, doing “post-dinner burpees.” Violet is almost 2 years old.  Violet’s got GRIT.  Juliette and her husband, Todd, are cheering Violet on as a she has blast doing the exercise that most of us dread. Check out the video below for a little Monday morning chuckle.  Mom and dad are still working on her burpee form, but if that’s not raw talent I don’t know what is, haha.  You can get awesome recipes, words of wisdom and humorous reflections on Juliette’s blog, A Life Less Tragic.

So… this week I’m personally going through a MAJOR life transition, which I’ll elaborate on next week once it fully registers.  In the meanwhile, I’m focusing on some positive weekly goals to help me stay emotionally stable, productive and healthy.  I wrote down these goals in my day planner and after looking them over, I figured it’d be a good idea to share on today’s post.  If these goals help me (potentially), maybe they can help you too…

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In case you’ve never tried Lemon/Cucumber water, you can get the details here – it is naturally detoxifying and tasty!

I hope you have a wonderful week and strive to achieve these gritty weekly goals for yourself.

Show your GRIT! Luv, Brit


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Fitness Fashion Friday #5: Inspirational Activewear

TGIF!  You know what that means, it’s time for Fitness Fashion Friday (FFF). This is a milestone FFF edition – post #5.  I’m a sucker for inspirational quotes, so of course I love activewear that’s covered in motivational mantras. “Name it and claim it!” “Speak it into existence!” – these are just a couple of my mom’s old country sayings.  If I could put them all on tank tops and sports bras I would. In the meantime, I’ve been rocking’ this inspirational Lorna Jane activewear.  I wore the pink sports bra to teach my cycling class yesterday and I feel like it energized the pack – my class was jamming’!  What do you think?

the power of words

Inspirational Leggings and Sports Bra from Lorna Jane (disregard my ugly corn on my pinky toe – I ain’t flawless)

Before you head out for the weekend, don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a black & pink GRIT tank top.  Just post a comment sharing what “GRIT” means to you.  I can’t wait to read your responses.  Also, if you looking for a way to kill time this Friday, you can peruse through the first 4 Fitness Fashion Friday posts:

  1. Week 1 – Yellow & Camo
  2. Week 2 – Refreshing Lime & Orange
  3. Week 3 – Babelicious Bustier
  4. Week 4 – Cozy in Coral

Hope you have a wonderful weekend full of goodness and GRIT!

Lots of luv, Brit


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What Does GRIT Mean to You? Answers from 8 Wonder Women + GRIT Tank Top Giveaway

Good morning friends!  As promised, I gathered all of your comments from my GRIT Tank Top Giveaway a couple of weeks ago and summarized them into the graphic below.  I have to be honest, at first I did this for selfish reasons as these quotes became my morning motivation.  I was so inspired by your definitions of “GRIT” I just had to share the goodness.   Now you can print, Pin or post this graphic anywhere you like.  Also, HUGE thank you to 8 Wonder Women who shared what “GRIT” means to them…
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On that note, let’s keep the gritty goodness going.  I’m hosting another giveaway for this black GRIT tank top (pictured below).  Just like last time, post a comment answering the question, “What does GRIT mean to you?”  I’ll read through all of your inspiring words and pick a winner – will announce next Wednesday (Oct. 8).  Enjoy!

grit tank top giveaway



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Lucy Activewear: Product Review + Leg Workout

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Purple Feel the Beat Tank (Lucy, $59); Grey Dance Workout Capri (Lucy, $89)

Yo yo – happy humpday  & happy October!  You guys gave such great feedback on the Labor Day Leg Workout + Lucy Activewear Giveaway that I decided to put together another leg workout and review my new gear from Lucy!

First off, I’m obsessed with this Feel the Beat Tank. I love the look of strappy workout tanks but because I’m on the “bustier” side I always have to wear a sports bra under them during workouts – totally takes away the cuteness.  However, this Lucy tank is super supportive and has just the right amount of padding so that I don’t nip out.  I taught my PiYo class in this tank last Friday and felt comfortable, secure and sexy during the entire class.  You can see a pic of me and my class on Instagram.

Next I got the Dance Workout Capris.  These are my first pair of workout pants that aren’t leggings, fitted capris or booty shorts.  Long story short, I love them!  I’m planning to wear them again to Zumba this Sunday with a little crop top or sports bra that shows my belly.  It’s crazy how the older I get the less body conscious I am.  I would have NEVER shown my midriff when I was 23.  Funny how self-confidence and security grow over time, especially when we learn to really love ourselves… Anyway, I digress.  The dance workout capris are great because they fit low around my hips and have a nice wide waistband so there’s no “love-handle” action.  While they are lose-fitting they aren’t baggy, which keeps a feminine look.  Most importantly, they are made of an interesting, moisture wicking fabric that can handle my sweat as I shake around on the dance floor.  Are you a fan of dance pants?

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Love the “XY” design on the back of the Feel the Beat Tank (lucy)!

Last but not least, here’s your leg workout!  I wanted to design something for the dancers out there, so this is my “Long Lean Legs Workout.”  The purpose of each exercise is to build muscle strength through isometric movements (i.e. holding poses and/or making small tiny movements).  If you’ve ever taken a barre class, you should know about the “little squeeze” or “tiny pulse.”  This a quick and simple routine that you can to complete in 10-15 minutes.  It’s a great follow up to a run or other cardio workout.  I hope you enjoy the workout and treat yourself to some Lucy activewear!

Lots of luv, Brit

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