This weekend my Turbo Kick class was PACKED! More people came than ever before. Clearly getting “fit” is high on our list of New Year’s resolutions. I’m so motivated by the energy, foggy mirrors and soaked pony tails that come out of a packed group fitness class. Unfortunately, I have to face the reality that this awesome feeling will only last for a short while. The February “drop off” is just around the corner. You know what I’m talking about, that point when we all push our resolutions to the back burner. As a group fitness instructor, this is the month I most dread. It’s depressing indeed.
The “February drop off” really makes me sad, because I understand why people quit coming to the gym. I understand because I was one of those people. I was the person who set out the New Year with high hopes and expectations of perfection. However, the minute I slipped up, I beat myself up and quit. I showed myself no grace. It was all or nothing. The crazy thing is that many of us think this “do or die” mindset is critical to achieving our goals, but the reality is that aiming for perfection only assures failure.
I had to learn that each day I’m blessed with a clean slate. What happened yesterday is gone. It doesn’t matter. Yeah, even that chocolate cake I smashed and that workout I skipped. My entire outlook on my health and my weight management changed once I learned to love myself enough to forgive myself for my slip-ups. I had believe that I am worthy of a healthy body despite my occasional lack of discipline. Indulging and being lazy WILL cause a delay in achieving my goals, BUT I can still achieve my goals as long as I DON’T QUIT – the same goes for you!
So, I simply encourage you to be kind to yourself as you set out to achieve your New Year’s resolutions. Calling yourself a “fat cow” after enjoying a burger will NOT help you achieve your goals. However, committing to an extra 30 minutes of cardio will help you 🙂 Hold fast to your goals despite your slip-ups. We are human. We are perfectly imperfect. Embrace it (and keep coming to my Turbo Kick classes.)
Happy Monday! No matter what you are going through, keep your head held high, be strong and keep pushing forward. You never know how close your are to reaching your reward! Wishing you a wonderful week. Lots of luv, Brit
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Happy Sunday! You guys know on Sundays I like to spread a little encouragement/inspiration, so today I want to share something that’s been heavy on my heart = Appreciating and Maximizing the GIFT of Life
What is the “gift’? That IS the question. To me the “gift” is the privilege of having a human life. As humans, unlike any other species, we have the ability to be BE and DO whatever we want. Why?
Because we have free will
Because we can change
With hard work, can be WHATEVER we want to be and that’s amazing!
If we are weak, we can make ourselves strong.
If we are dumb, we can study and become smart.
If we are lonely, we can find companions.
The list goes on and on. However, with this amazing “gift,” also comes a huge responsibility. To me, that responsibility is to promote peace, abundant living and encouragement to others. The cool thing is that we each fulfill our responsibility in different ways. For me it’s through sharing fitness. What is it for you?
While we all have different passions and different ways of encouraging each other, one thing that we have in common is that we have to continuously work REALLY HARD to perfect our craft. It’s a life-long journey, but it’s so rewarding to know that our lives have a purpose and that we each play a crucial role in helping others live a better life.
As you start your week, I encourage you to think about your “gift.” Are you making the most of it? Are you giving your best?
Work hard, dream big, help others! Lots of luv, Brit
So, I’ve officially completed the Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox. I personally wanted to try the detox because I’m a new vegetarian (5 months strong) and I’ve noticed that I’ve become sloppy (i.e. eating lots of simple carbs and fewer fruits and veggies). I’ve actually gained 3 pounds since I’ve become a vegetarian…not a good look. The Dr. Oz cleanse presented me with a great opportunity to get back on track it because it replaces meals with fruit/veggie drinks for 3 days. Click here to see the drink recipes. Overall, I give the Dr. Oz cleanse the “GRIT by Brit 2 thumbs up” and here’s why…
First off, I definitely got my fair share of veggies and fruits. Each drink consists of at least 3-4 servings of fruits/vegetables (sometimes more than I eat in an entire day). I feel like a born again vegetarian 🙂 Unlike most cleanses, each drink includes some sort of healthy fat (i.e. avocado, coconut oil, almond butter). This is really important because my body wasn’t deprived of essential nutrients AND I got an adequate amount of protein. Since I weight train 2-3 times per week, I HAVE to make sure that my protein intake is sufficient so that my muscles can repair themselves. I was also really impressed by how tasty each of the drinks are. I mean, who would guess blending mango, blueberries, cayenne pepper, avocado and coconut water would actually taste good?
Secondly, in only 3 days I lost 2.2 pounds 🙂 I’m 5’8″ and very muscular but I always try to keep my weight below 153 pounds. Still 1 more pound to go!
Also, I developed a new obsession = Epsom Salt and lavender oil baths! This was HEAVEN IN MY HOME! Daily soak sessions are a part of the Dr. Oz cleanse. Not only are they detoxifying, but they are SO relaxing and soothing! As a group fitness instructor I always have sore muscles and these baths were a perfect remedy for my muscle aches. I also discovered Dr. Teal’s Epsom + Lavender oil bath soak, so I can buy both ingredients already combined – yes!
Last, the cleanse has definitely helped me ween off coffee. I sometimes drink 4 cups a day…not good I know, but at least I’m honest. After going 3 days without coffee, I’ve realized that I don’t really need it. The cleanse calls for 1 cup of hot green tea ever morning which gave me a decent caffeine fix. However, I was a little groggy on some days without my Cup-a-Joe. This is something I’ll continue to work on.
Now that the cleanse is over, I’ve decided that this is not going to be a “one time thing” for me. I really loved the lunch drink, so today I’m having it for dinner before I head to yoga! I’m going to continue making these smoothies and drinking them as meal replacements every now and then. It’s an easy and efficient way to ensure I get enough fiber and my fruit/veggie fix.
If you are considering trying the Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox cleanse – I highly recommend it. Let me know how it goes!
Earlier this year I was talking to my mentor about my passion for fitness and vision to create my own workout DVD (have you bought your copy yet?). She said to me, “Brittani, in your head it’s just a dream, but on paper it’s a goal and therefore a responsibility.” Since then, I made a habit of typing up my personal goals, printing them and taping them above my desk. The past few days I’ve been drafting my 2013 goals. Below are just my “fitness/health” goals, but I also set goals for my spirituality, career, relationships and finances…
While setting my 2013 goals, I started reflecting on some key lessons I learned in 2012 which have very much influenced my new goals and outlook on 2013. I’ve turned these lessons into “tips” which I wanted to share with you. I hope these wise words help you as much as they’ve helped me. Those who are closest to me know that I LOVE to be inspired and am walking vat of “1-liners” and inspirational quotes. So, I’ve made a point to scatter in many of my favorite quotes in this blog post.
Brit’s Top 10 Tips for Your Best Year Yet
Strive for EXCELLENCE not PERFECTION – My weight loss journey taught me a lot about striving for “perfection” and the damage it disappointment it causes. Life is about balance. It’s not all or nothing. Whether your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, save money or run a marathon, you must be realistic about your human nature. The fact of the matter is that YOU WILL SLIP UP. You will have a day that you spend too much money, eat too much or miss your workout. However, your “slip ups” do not define who you are. Your determination to get back on track and keep pushing toward your goal is what makes you EXCELLENT. That’s #GRIT
Set HIGHER GOALS– “You’re stronger than you think you are.” This is my mantra and the GRIT by Brit tagline. It rolls off the tongue so easily, but it can be so hard to believe at times. In 2012 I started to realize that I am capable of doing things far beyond my imagination and, guess what, so are you! We are powerful beyond measure, but our self-doubt and fear of failure limit us. This year I’m going to take more risks and be willing to look like a fool for the things I believe in the most. Be on the lookout for amazing things from GRIT by Brit in 2013 😉 “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Les Brown.
Give thanks EVERYDAY – I started keeping a journal in 2012. On days that didn’t have much write, I just jotted down a list of things that I was grateful for. It could be anything…great dinner with a friend, good workout, a client presentation that went well, sunshine, clean air, etc. It didn’t seem like much at the time, but looking back on my 2012 journal entries really shows me how blessed I am. Having a grateful and joyful spirit creates a self-fulfilling prophesy of more great things. Like the country church folks say, “When PRAISES go up, BLESSINGS come down!”
SERVE OTHERS to understand your calling – This year I realized my “calling” (or one of them at least). To me, our calling manifests itself when we are able to help others by doing something that we are naturally good at and super enthusiastic about. Teaching fitness classes allows me to do just this. Challenge yourself this year to find that thing that allows you serve others and makes you tick. “Helping others is the way we help ourselves.” -Oprah
Invest in PEOPLE not in PRAISES – Many times this year I would find myself getting anxious about how many Facebook likes I had, DVDs I sold or positive reviews I got on Amazon. The fact of the matter is that these “praises” come and go and do NOT create sustaining joy. What really satisfies us deep down in our souls is knowing that we have truly made a positive impact in someone else’s life. When I get emails from blog readers or students in my kickboxing classes that express how I was able to help them lose 20 pounds or have more self-confidence, it is the greatest joy and feeling of success! “The greatest success we’ll ever know is helping others succeed and grow.”
Learn from SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE – I spent a lot of time with “older” people in 2012 and boy did it serve me well. We often think that our problems are “unique” and forget that the world has been turning and people have been living for thousands and thousands of years. Therefore, what we’re going through, someone else has already been through. Talk to people who are successful and have overcome obstacles. Their personal stories and words of wisdom are priceless and powerful.
Stay FAR AWAY from chronically down-trodden and negative people – The harsh reality is that our lives are a direct reflection of the 5 people we associate with the most. Are you struggling with unemployment, depression, anxiety? Take a look around you and there’s a very high likelihood that your closest friends and associates are struggling with those exact same issues. “Misery LOVES company.” So push yourself this New Year to cut the negative ties and develop some positive ones.
SWEAT EVERY DAY – Exercise is like a free happy pill, so take one. You guys know that I’m a fitness junkie. It’s my passion. But even if you aren’t crazy about working out, it’s so important to make exercise a consistent part of your life. It increases serotonin, gets endorphins flowing, reduces your risk for cancer and strengthens your immune system. The key is to find a workout that you truly enjoy. So go pop in a new group fitness class, workout video or something else that gets you sweaty. “Exercise is the cheapest, most effective anti-depressant”… and it makes you sexy 😉
Eat lots of FRUIT & VEGETABLES – This seems so simple, but it can be so hard. Just keepin’ it 100%. Managing my weight became SO MUCH easier when I forced myself to eat lots of fruits and veggies throughout the day. To start off, I just packed 1 apple and 1 orange in my work bag everyday and made sure I ate them both before 5:00pm. Processed foods have too many calories and too few nutrients. When we eat too many of them, we end up hungry and deficient of the nutrients that our bodies need. We also end up having to exercise twice as much to compensate for the excess calories. If you are serious about maintaining a healthy weight in 2013, you must increase your fruit and vegetable intake. “You can’t out exercise a bad diet.”
BE THE PERSON you want to attract – Where my single ladies at? If you’re like me and pushing 30, you often ask yourself the million dollar question, “When will I get married and have babies?” I talk to my dad about this all the time and he always tells me to just “enjoy life to the fullest and focus on bettering myself.” When I turned 16 he wrote me a letter with his top 10 life lessons for me.#1 on the list is to “Keep God at the center of your life” and #2 is to “Choose your mate wisely.” He says it is the single most important decision I will make in my life. So don’t worry ladies (and gents). “Just keep grinding, keep shining and never-never settle!” The law of attraction says that we will naturally attract positive, loyal, loving partners when we truly inhabit those qualities ourselves. “We are single for a season and married for a reason.”
So now I leave you with my favorite song to get you “fired up” for the New Year. Remember, the best is ALWAYS yet to come. Here’s to 2013, your best year yet!
Sasha Obama wore this adorable dress to her father’s speech at the DNC. I promptly purchased and wore it Wednesday for a work event. Not going to lie, I felt good in it. It accentuated my waist and was flattering (so I thought). I went to the work event, where the first person I spoke with had met with me a year ago. She said to me, “It’s great to see you again. And I see you have a baby bump.” Pow. All my confidence (I had even posted on Facebook about how great I felt in the dress) just disappeared like that. Unfortunately, there’s something about my body type that causes me to get mistaken for being pregnant all too often (I know, weird). I played the bigger person and instead of socking her in the face I said, “You’d be surprised how often I am mistaken for being pregnant. I must have a pregnant glow. When it does actually happen to me, I’ll be radioactive!” But I can joke all I want. It still really hurts. And when it hurts, I need some carbs. So Brit, I did eat carbs after 4 pm on Wednesday. But can you blame me? I was eating for two (PLEASE NOTE: THAT STATEMENT IS A JOKE).
Really tough to get the workouts in this week. I was in Boston Wed – Thursday AM. And am in Richmond Thursday AM to Friday night. Working a ton – so my options to workout were between the hours of midnight and 4 am. Sooo…I didn’t workout Thursday and Friday. I’ll get back into the groove on Saturday, I promise!
Here’s the dress I wore Wednesday. Isn’t it adorable? (the black and white one). No one mistook Sasha Obama for being prego.
Brit’s Advice for Lakshmi
Accentuate the positive – when you reflect on your week, ALWAYS think about everything you did WELL first. If you start with your “slip ups,” it’s too easy to get discouraged and eventually quit your shape up efforts.
Don’t think in absolutes– you will never have a perfect day, so don’t beat yourself up if you sneak a cookie or miss a workout. Just think about living a “balanced” life and schedule some extra workout time or a super lean meal to compensate for your “slip up”
“Done and Done! The 4-week tone up challenge was truly a great mix up to my winter workout rut. I appreciated having set days to work out and set days to recover. Also, the structured workout plan gave me goals and checklists which were extremely helpful when fitting workouts into my busy schedule. Overall, I am loving the results so far and will continue to use Brit’s workouts ALL summer. This is just the kick-start I needed to get beach body ready. After only 4 weeks my “six-pack” is starting to show and my legs are significantly more toned! I’m looking forward to some new workouts for my post Italian vacation in a couple of weeks to help me get back on track after a little R&R with a great friend (Brit).” – Jan
Wanna try the challenge? Missed one of Jan’s updates?
At my high school, in the lovely town of Mesquite, TX, you had to run a mile in 8 minutes or less to be on ANY sports team at ANY level (Freshman, JV or Varsity). No matter how talented or skilled of an athlete you were, no 8 minute mile = no spot on the team. So let me give you a little background as to why the 8 minute mile requirement, to this day, is the most stressful personal challenge I have ever confronted…
At the start of 7th grade I weighed about 165 pounds and wore a size 14 in women’s clothing (see pic below). BUT, I still LOVED sports! Luckily, I landed a spot on the 7th grade girls basketball B-team- YAY! On the first day of practice, I ate my usual ham and cheese Hot Pocket for breakfast. This was also the first time, in my life, that I ever ran (mostly walked) a full mile. HOWEVER, I did finish that mile in 11 minutes and 55 seconds. As soon as I crossed the finished line I puked that entire Hot Pocket right in front of all of the 8th graders. Long story short, my middle school years were definitely not my best.
After a year of puking, stressing about conditioning workouts and just trying to fit in, I actually saw progress. On the last of day practice that 7th grade season, our coach made us run the mile again. This time I finished in 9 minutes and 6 seconds – WOO HOO! BUT, my world was crushed when the high school coaches came to visit on the last day of middle school. During their high school preparation speech, they broke the news about the 8 minute mile requirement. At that very moment, my world fell apart. I mean, seriously, did they realize how much torture I had to endure just to get down to 9 minutes and 6 seconds? I was officially in panic mode.
All summer I ran and prayed and ran and prayed in hopes that I would be able to run the 8 minute mile on August 16th. My mom even put me on the prayer list at church; I think she was just as nervous as me. This was also the summer that my dad and I established a special bond which still holds today. He would run with me in the blazing Texas heat and always encourage me. “Hard work ALWAYS pays off,” he’d say. The week before the official high school timed mile test, he and I did a trial run. I was feeling good and ran my butt off! But the minute I crossed the finished line my dad shouted out, “8:15 – almost sweetheart, you’re just 15 seconds away.” At that point, I literally broke down and cried. What more could I do? I ran every day and pushed myself to the limit yet still had not reached my goal…
Finally, the big day came. I was so nervous I could hardly sleep the night before. I wanted be on the high school basketball and volleyball teams SO very badly and had actually become pretty good at both sports. The 8 minute mile was the only thing standing in my way. As we all walked up to the starting line, I said a prayer and took a deep breath. When coach yelled, “GO” I ran as fast as I possibly could. It was like something came over me. The only thing I could think was, “just don’t slow down, just don’t slow down.” Finally, I rounded the last curve and thought to myself “SPRINT!” That’s exactly what I did. When I crossed the finish line coach hollered out “7:56”! I broke down and cried, the same way I did during my trial run, only this time they were tears of joy! My teammates couldn’t understand why making the 8 minute mile meant so much to me, but it was the first time in my life that I truly understood my own strength. This accomplishment marked a new phase of self-confidence and personal pride that I still hold at 27 years old.
I went on to have a successful high school athletic career earning 1st team all district honors in both basketball and volleyball. I even went on to play basketball at the NCAA Division 1 college level for 4 years. I was co-captain of my college basketball team at Cornell University and made the Big Red Power Wall of Honor for 2 consecutive years. The wall of honor is for the top 2 athletes on each varsity team who ranked the highest in a variety of strength and conditioning tests. Who would have ever thought my name would be on that wall? Definitely not me!
So, from a size 14 , 11:55 mile running, 7th grade “B” team basketball player, I’m telling you, there is NO SUCH THING AS IMPOSSIBLE!
“What is impossible with men is possible with God.'”
Hey guys, I hope your week is going well! Jan is back on the scene with an update of her home stretch on the 4-week tone up challenge. Only 1 week left, so let’s root her on!
JAN’S TONE UP CHALLENGE WEEK 3 UPDATE: “Week three was a challenge but ended up pretty well. I was traveling at the end of the week so I had to push all of my workouts up to the front part of the week. As Brit says, ‘NO EXCUSES.’ I worked out pretty hard-core the first 4 days . I did spin class 4 days straight for my cardio. I also, took Brit’s advice from last week to ‘up the intensity’ so I added her leg workout after my 1st day of spin and Brit’s medicine ball workout after my 2nd day of spin. But that’s not all, I also did at least half of Brit’s ab workout all 4 days – yeah! I was feeling pretty good at end of the week and took the weekend to recover and rest. I think I am starting to want a little more variety in my workouts each week. So, Brit you’ve got some work to do 😉 ” – Jan
BRIT’S FEEDBACK FOR JAN
When workout boredom starts to set in, seek Variety NOT Excuses: Jan did a great job of keeping with her workouts despite them starting to feel redundant. Next week, I’m going to give her a few new workouts to change things up. In the meanwhile, she should check out my unique treadmill workouts or my top 5 tips to spice up your workouts.
Be flexible with your workout schedule: Mentally, it’s very easy to set rigid workout plans and eagerly want to abide by them. However, when we miss a workout or fall off course we get disappointed, beat ourselves up and lose motivation . Jan did a great job of being flexible with her workout schedule. Since she knew it would be tough to workout during her weekend travel, she planned ahead and pushed her workouts up to front of the week. Likewise, if something comes up and you miss a workout, don’t beat your self up! Just schedule some time later in the week to make up for it 🙂
Extra diet discipline during extended recovery periods: Since Jan compressed her workouts to the front of the week, this means she went 3-4 days with no exercise. During this extended down time Jan really needs to watch her calorie intake as she is not burning as many calories as she usually does on workout days. Also, studies show that it only takes 48 consecutive hours to start losing cardiovascular endurance, therefore Jan should try to be as active as possible on her off days (i.e. walk instead drive when possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator, etc.)
Stay strong to the finish: How bad do you want it? Jan has already made it through 75% of the tone up challenge, so now she has 2 options: 1) Bust her butt this final week to get the most out of the effort/investment she has already made 2) Coast/slack off this final week and risk falling short of her tone up goals. NEVER let all of your hard work go unrewarded!
Stay tuned, next week will be Jan’s final report and completion of the 4-week tone up challenge. You don’t wanna miss her awesome body transformation photo shoot, by the one and only Anna Jane!