“I’m going to shoot a workout video on May 12, 2012”
– Brit on 1/24/12
Guess what? I did! In less than 5 months, with help of the most amazing friends and family, yesterday we shot GRIT Ultimate Body Burn Vol.1 – WOW! Let me preface this by saying that I have ZERO video or audio production experience, I’m not a full-time fitness professional (I’m a management consultant by day) and I’ve only been a group fitness instructor for 1 year. However, a simple statement that I made to a friend on Jan 24, 2012 became a reality due to enthusiasm and the amazing power of the tongue!
Now let me keep it real, there were SEVERAL bumps in the road: getting legal clearance for music was a nightmare, writing choreography took many sleepless nights and my credit card is suffering from underestimating the cost of video equipment rentals. However, I feel more alive and energized than I have in years because I did something that most, including myself, considered impossible – and it all starting with SPEAKING out my goal. Even though we still have a lot of post production work to do, this is one of most challenging and inspiring experiences of my life so I wanted to share it with you. Now, I challenge YOU to BELIEVE in whatever it is that you want to achieve. You ARE what you SAY you are. So, NAME it, CLAIM it, and DO it – GRIT!
“Death and Life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21)
So, you guys remember my friend Jan from our 4-week Tone Up Challenge – well she has officially completed her 1st week and is kicking butt and taking names. Here is an update on her “toning up” progress.
JAN’S WEEK #1 PROGRESS REPORT:
“So good 1st week! I changed up the days a little bit because I was sick, so did your #1 and #2 workouts and will do #3 on Tuesday, so I’m a little off. Felt really good doing a 5 day workout this week, but knees are swollen. So, I took Sunday off but went to Spin class this morning and feel really good about it. The #1 workout was good, did the AB portion twice (the 2nd 1/2). The standing up stuff didn’t work me out as much as I liked. The workout #2 was good, a little tough on my knees with the 1st 1/2 squatting etc, but still good to tone up my legs. I already am feeling good results, bc my body changes pretty quickly so LOVING IT!”
– Jan 🙂
BRIT’S WEEK #2 ADVICE FOR JAN:
Don’t get complacent. Jan did a great job on getting in 5 workouts in 1 week. Often when have a successful exercise week, we get complacent and think we deserve a “break.” This is also the case we we lose the 1st 5 pounds…we get excited and gain ’em back the next week. While you should feel good about yourself and proud of your accomplishment, make sure to keep up the hard work. This week, I’m continuing to push Jan to get her 5 workouts in!
Jan’s doing a good job of listening to her body to prevent over training; however, she is still pushing herself and ensuring that she gets ALL of her workouts in. It can be hard to balance the two, but she’s doing a great job!
Don’t forget your diet. This week, I challenged Jan to focus more on her 3 diet change ups: 1) protein at breakfast 2) healthy afternoon snack 3) and no eating after 9pm. She did pretty well the first week but there is ALWAYS room for improvement.
Stay tuned for Jan’s Week 2 update next Monday, WISH HER LUCK – Go Jan!
Last weekend I missed my 2 Hour Saturday Detox because of a very fun brunch event. In reality it wasn’t that big of a deal, but all week I found myself trying to make up for that 1 workout (don’t judge, I already told you guys about my neurotic tendencies) . In all seriousness, I felt really out of shape and had this weird need work out really hard for the next few days to make up for it. Fortunately, my friend/work out buddy provided a rescuing voice of reason after our Turbo Kick class on Wednesday. She just sent me an email that said “You aren’t out of shape, you are over training.” And that’s when it hit me, I needed to CHILL OUT. I was seriously showing signs of an “Over Trainer” …
As you guys know by now, I’m strong advocate of pushing your body and mind to get the fitness and health results you desire. However, there IS such thing as “over training” and I know this because I struggle with it. Like all things in life, too much of any thing ultimately becomes a bad thing. If your body doesn’t get adequate recovery time, your workouts could do your body more harm than good and put you at serious risk for injury – keeping you from working out altogether! Mental and psychological risks of too much exercise also exist. For instance, feeling depressed, fat or out of shape without long, intense regular workouts and sacrificing your personal commitments and relationships to hit the gym are just a couple.
I’m all about getting your sweat on, but if you think you are over training, def chill out for a bit and talk to your doctor about it!
So, I’ve received several requests for my thoughts on qualities you should seek in a personal trainer. Let’s face it, PT is NOT cheap so we gotta make sure you get your money’s worth – AMEN? I had a personal trainer for 1 year and he really helped me get back into shape after b-school. BUT, before I found my trainer I ran into a few duds. Here are the top 5 qualities my PT had that helped me reach my goals – hopefully these come in handy when selecting your own – enjoy 🙂
Hey guys – meet one of my DEAREST college friends, Jan. Many people think that Jan and I became friends because we were both varsity athletes, but I know that we TRULY bonded over our love for football players 😉
Jan now lives in Chicago, works in the fashion industry and is constantly on the go. She likes to workout but is looking for a plan to get her out of her usual routine and beach body ready for our summer vacay!
However, keep in mind that Jan only has time to workout for 1 hour each day and no more than 5 days per week. Also, she a has a history of knee and ankle injuries so high-impact workouts are a “no go.”
That said, I put this 4-week plan together which incorporates several of the workouts and nutrition tips previously posted on GRITbyBrit. Every week, Jan will provide you guys with an update on her progress and a picture of her body getting hotter by the day! WISH HER LUCK – go Jan!
Last weekend I went to a fitness instructor workshop and one part of the training was on the “Iceberg” model of health. As you can see Spirituality/Meaning are at the base of the iceberg. This helped me understand that the lasting way to maintain good health is to have a strong spiritual foundation and life meaning/purpose. It goes a little something like this: Knowing our life’s purpose drives our motivations > our motivations drive our lifestyle/behaviors > our lifestyle determines our state of health. You’re probably thinking, “WHOA, Brit just got real deep on us!” Well no worries, I’m not trying to be your guru – I just don’t want all of my leg and ab workouts going to waste if you haven’t first laid the foundation 🙂
I’ve held tight to some valuable advice from my parents and mentors which can guide us as we evaluate the “base of our health icebergs.” Hopefully this advice helps you as much as it’s helped me – enjoy!
Brit’s 5 Step Guide for a Strong Spiritual Foundation:
Believe in God and that He put you here for a reason. YOU ARE NOT A MISTAKE – your life has meaning and a specific purpose. Life is about understanding our individual and collective human purposes and striving each day to live those out. If you choose not to believe in God or a higher power, it’s virtually impossible to have HOPE for a greater good, divine order or individual life purpose. And if your life is hopeless, why even live?
Understand your strengths and where you put your effort. By knowing what you’re good at and when you’re most willing to work hard, you can gain a good sense of your natural gifts and ultimately your purpose in life.
Understand and/or define your values. What do you stand for? Think about it and write it down. Also, choose friends that understand your values, support them and keep you accountable for living by them – yes, tough love! After all, “if you don’t stand for anything you’ll fall for everything.” – Peter Marshall, 1947
Surround yourself with positive people. Positive people are the ultimate sources of optimism and energy, find ‘em and keep ‘em. On the other hand, negative people are like viruses, they will literally suck the life out of you – GET AWAY FROM THEM ASAP. This doesn’t make you heartless or a bad friend. Instead, it makes YOUR OWN well-being your first priority. The fact of the matter is that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we are incapable of adequately loving and supporting others.
Pray Regularly. Now, I have a hard time with this one because I find it very challenging to quiet my mind and really acknowledge my deepest fears, issues, questions, etc. However, a daily devotion to prayer and/or meditation gives us an opportunity to express gratitude, explore our deepest spiritual questions, relax and continue progressing on our spiritual journeys.
Let’s be honest, some days you just AREN’T feeling it. And when that happens, you have to be your own cheerleader and pump yourself up out of that funk. Look, life will always throw you curve balls, your mood will swing up and down and people will wear you out. BUT ONLY YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN HEALTH AND WELL-BEING. When I’m having “one of those days” I find that one of these positive affirmations usually get me back on the up and up. Sometimes you just gotta fake it until you make it. See if any of these statements work for you!
There will be a day when my body is no longer able to exercise, but today IS NOT that day – let’s go!
I’m stronger than I think I am
Don’t be afraid of the way you feel
If I quit now, I’ll feel even worse
I REFUSE to let this chick “out work” me
I’m grateful for 2 good arms, 2 good legs, a heart and lungs that work
God didn’t give me a spirit of fear, but a spirit of POWER and SELF-DISCIPLINE (2 Tim 1:7)
Quit TALKIN’ about the dream, just LIVE it
There are ONLY winners and losers – I CHOOSE to win
I Am Superwoman! (this one never fails, hehe)
NOW go hit the gym hard, get that promotion, achieve that goal and CRUSH this day!
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, THEN you’ll be successful.”
Happy Friday – the weekend is almost here! As you end one week and start another, I challenge you to think about what you “REALLY” want out of life. Everyone says they want to be fit, healthy, happy, successful…but think about the SPECIFIC things you want and HOW BAD you really want them.
As a fitness instructor, I hear people tell me over and over again, “I really want to lose weight” or “I really want to get in shape.” They want these things for several reasons:
Wear cute clothes
Better dating life
and the list goes on and on…
But the question isn’t, “How bad do you want these things?” The REAL question is, “What are you willing to SACRIFICE to get these things?”
A friend of mine sent me this video which pretty much sums up the essence of the 2nd question and the essence of GRIT. Watch, listen closely to the man speaking in the background (especially at the end) and think about how hard you are willing to work to get what you REALLY want. Because whatever you desire, YOU CAN HAVE IT!
Happy “hump” day – I hope your week is going well! I had a 5am conference call today which I was NOT thrilled about. Oddly enough, I don’t feel that bad. This got me thinking, “What would my life be like if I started EVERY day at 5am?” I’ve heard it time and time again, “The early bird catches the worm.” Well, turns out it’s true! Establishing the habit of waking up early not only helps us manage our weight it also makes us more effective people. Here are 5 key reasons I think we should all get some GRIT and try to become EARLY RISERS:
More likely to eat breakfast – I can’t say this enough, “Eating a hearty, protein-rich breakfast is CRITICAL for weight management.” Most of us who continuously struggle with our weight usually don’t eat until 2-3 hours AFTER we wake up…real talk.
Less late night snacking – Most binge eating happens late at night. Instead of late night snacking, just go to bed so you can be refreshed for your early morning start! You’re an early bird now 🙂
Get more sleep – Sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain! By waking up early, hopefully you are more likely to go to bed early as well. An early rise means a longer day, so you should be more tired in the evening and ready to pass out!
Morning workouts – Morning workouts are more effective for weight loss because you aren’t burning the food that you have consumed during the day. Instead, you are burning the carbs and fat that your body has stored over night.
Overall more effective person – “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin, famously