How My Life Has Changed Since My Mom’s Death

It has been just over 3 months since my mom unexpectedly passed away from a brain aneurysm and 3 months since my 25-year-old Dusin-Mombrother suffered a stroke.

I still get asked quite often “how am I doing?”

I don’t have anything to compare it to but I think I am doing quite well given the challenges my family has recently gone through. For those wondering, Eric, my brother, has now made a 100% full recovery and is back working out almost everyday. Thanks so much for all the prayers and support!

There are many lessons that I have learned from the past few months but the biggest one for me has to be the sense of urgency I have.

Maybe said another way, the reduction in my procrastination and investing my time, energy, and money into my top priorities.

This has also caused me to get more aggravated with others when they tell me one thing, and do another, or they say something like, I will do that later even though they just told me it is one of their top priorities.

I obviously work and am surrounded, 24/7, by people who are either in the process of transforming their health or life or considering it.

There is a HUGE difference in the mindset of those who are in the process of transforming themselves (actually doing the work) and those who are talking about wanting to change.

I have become hyper sensitive to this.

So many people want to be happier, healthier, fitter, have more energy, reduce their pain, etc, but far fewer are actually willing to invest the time, money, energy, reputation, hopes and dreams to see it come to fruition.

Here are some differences between the DOERS VS SAYERS:

DOERS:
-Understand the importance and schedule the time necessary to get the result they want
-Surround themselves with others who are DOING
-Invest the necessary money, even if that means on cutting back on things that aren’t as high of a priority
-Find the time by reducing less important activities
-Understand there will be roadblocks but are determined to overcome them
-Realize that the pain of their current situation is worse than their perceived pain of making the change and the future pain of NOT DOING is even worse.
-Know there will never be a perfect time to start and the best day to start was yesterday and the second best day is today

SAYERS:
-Look at their busy schedule and refuse to move things around to make the time
-Allow lesser-valued activities to take over their lives for the more important things
-See how much it will cost and compare that to what else they could be buying (bigger house, newer car, more clothes, more vacations, etc)
-See the roadblocks ahead and quit before they start because they don’t want to fail
-Are afraid of what others will think and say about them as they make their change
-Have a short term mindset rather than thinking about the long term outcome
-Think that a year from now life will be in a better spot to make the change

I want to wrap this up and bring it back to the health and fitness topic.

I know you agree with me that your health is one of your top 3 priorities in your life.

If that is true, are you spending the time, energy and resources on your health? Are you exercising and sweating MOST days of the week? Are you educating yourself on what you should be eating or how to be cooking? Are you intentional to surround yourself with friends who are doing the same?

You have the ability to change, but it starts with a decision.

Are you a DOER or a SAYER?6 week challenge

I want to end this message with a few things I have done in the past three months to progress in a few areas of my life. This isn’t meant to impress you but rather impress upon you that it is possible.

With my mom’s passing, I wanted to help even more women her age, dealing with menopause and other aging issues, get healthier, have more energy and meet others who are looking to do the same.

In the past three months, there have been over 621 women who have wanted to learn more about our new Fit over 50 small group training program. I have called each and every one of these incredible women up on the phone. I love doing this but I would be lying if I said there weren’t moments when I didn’t feel like making another call and following up.

Some days, I have worked 16 hours and I really never take a full day off of work, weekends are usually 4-6 hours each day.

To make sure I follow up and not make excuses as to why I shouldn’t call up these women each day, I set specific rules up for myself on how fast I need to follow up and constantly go back to my motivation, to honor my mom and provide a life changing program for these women.

My second example is completing an Ironman competition and learning how to swim. I have considered in the past doing an IM but had a million excuses why I couldn’t do one.

Since death hit so close to home, I know I am not guaranteed another day and I can’t let my dreams just be dreams. I want them to become my reality.

Here are the steps I have taken so far to be ready for the Ironman race in September 2016:
-Joined a biking group that meets 2-3X/week so I can go biking with better riders
-Hired a coach who happens to be a professional Ironman who will guide me through the process and bring me into his group sessions with his triathlon students
-Hired a swim coach to start with the basics of swimming 3x/week
-Told you that I am doing it (accountability and social support)
-Watched over 12 hours of YouTube videos on Ironman training (this isn’t necessary since I have coaches who can teach me but I like to geek out to this stuff).
-Interviewed over a dozen Ironman finishers on their experience and what worked and what didn’t work

I have set myself up to succeed in each of these areas by structuring my day and environment to support it.

Left to my own motivation, I know I wouldn’t run, bike or swim on my own. I need accountability and other people to do it with.

You have the ability to improve any area of your life that isn’t a 10. It won’t be easy but it is made easier when you have a sense of urgency, have a plan and set up your environment to support that goal.

If you are a DOER and are looking for help on crafting your plan and setting yourself up to succeed, check out our 6 Week Challenge, which puts all the pieces together for you. It’s like hiring me as your personal health and fitness coach… at just a fraction of the cost.

You can do it. I believe in you.

Nutrition 101

Confused by all of the conflicting nutrition information out there these days?  Wondering what to eat and what not to eat?

You are not alone!

Recently, our naturopathic nutrition expert, Tracie Fountain, came to the Transformation Center and shared, to a packed crowd of well over 100 of our clients, how you should eat to reduce joint pain, improve body fat loss, and have more energy.
Dustin and tracie nutrition event
This information isn’t general knowledge and isn’t what is being talked about in the media or in most doctor’s offices yet.

We recorded this event for you and I can’t encourage you enough to invest the hour in your education. Tracie provides an incredible amount of actionable steps to improving your nutrition. Watch this as soon as you can, you will never look at food the same way.

Click to watch on YouTube ->-> https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=34&v=QTl4hbbdIL8

The video and audio isn’t quite professional but it is plenty good to get the content.

The nutritional information shared on the video is quite controversial but more and more doctors and the media are starting to realize that it is the right way to eat for most people. Invest the hour and watch it now.

Click to watch on YouTube ->-> https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=34&v=QTl4hbbdIL8

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to Tracie’s presentation, Tracie will be back this month for a presentation called STRESS-LESS, where she will teach us practical nutritional and lifestyle hacks to deal with the stress we all have in our lives.
STRESS-Less-1
Spaces are limited if you want to attend in person at the Transformation Center.

->-> Click here to register for the in-person FREE event. <-<-

If you can’t make it to Madison, then we will be live streaming it so you can follow along with us anywhere in the world.

->-> Click here to register for the live online event. <-<-

Nutrition and stress are two of the biggest factors in the quality of our lives. Unfortunately there is so much misinformation out there on how to deal with both of them. Once you can manage these areas, your quality of life will dramatically improve.

[RECIPE] Healthy Energy Protein Snack Balls

cookbookandcollagen for web“My joints are sore again Dustin,” one of my newer clients recently told me. I asked her why. “Because I went on a week’s vacation and I didn’t bring the Fit Moms Hydrolyzed Collagen with me.”

I don’t blame her for not bringing it through TSA security; it is a white powdery substance so maybe it looks very similar to cocaine (not that I really know what cocaine looks like in real life!)

Today, I want to share with you a tasty recipe that includes my favorite protein powder that keeps my inflammation and joint pain away.

Most protein bars are disguised as candy bars. Making your own is the best way to ensure you have only natural ingredients. They aren’t as hard to make as you might think and they store well all day for an on-the-go snack.

This recipe comes from our Fit Moms Hydrolyzed Cookbook, which you get FREE with the purchase of our collagen.

->-> Click here to order our hydrolyzed collagen on Amazon <-<-

->-> Click here to learn more about hydrolyzed collagen and what it can do for you <-<-

Banana Almond Snack Balls (Makes 22-25)

Ingredients:

2 medium bananas, peeled and broken into chunks
1/4 cup creamy roasted almond butter (unsweetened)
2 scoops Fit Moms hydrolyzed collagen
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins, dried currants, or dried blueberries
Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade or a blender, combine the bananas, almond butter, collagen, flaxseed, maple syrup, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Process until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the almond flour and coconut to form a thick dough. Stir in the raisins.
Using wet hands, roll the dough into 1 to 1-1/2 inch balls. Place the balls on the baking sheets. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze for longer storage.

->-> Click here to order our hydrolyzed collagen on Amazon.<-<-

Will You Die Empty?

Die empty—leave it all on the table while you can. Don’t hold anything back and challenge yourself to live your best life every day.

Serve others and leave this world a better place. Don’t die with your gifts still inside you. These are the messages in Todd Henry’s great read, Die Empty.

I try to live this out every day—it’s why I do what I do.Ironman signup

But it’s also a good reminder that I need to be constantly challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone. That’s the only way that I will grow and put my best self forward.

That’s why, this morning, I signed up for the Wisconsin Ironman.

Over the next year, I will be decidedly out of my comfort zone as I face my fear of the water, learn to swim, and compete with 3000 other athletes in the race of my life in September 2016.

Click here to see my video of yesterday’s swim start. 

Training for this race will put me in a community of awesome people who help and support each other through this challenge. I know I’ll make connections and have experiences that will change my life, far beyond next year’s race. It’s one more step on my road to die empty.

What will you do to Die Empty??

If you are looking for ideas, I challenge you to consider becoming a Fit Moms for Life Leader.

By doing so, you can help create the kind of community where women support each other in their effort to get healthy and strong… to step outside of their comfort zone and do things that are a little scary or challenging.

You can help us offer an alternative to all of the cleanses, restrictive diets, and intense fitness fads that are out there now. You can give women permission to put themselves first and take care of themselves, without feeling like they have to shed 20 pounds before they feel attractive and loved.

You can empower moms to get off of the sidelines and participate in life… playing with their kids, jumping on the trampoline, going to the beach, etc… without feeling like they “just have to lose a few pounds first.”

And if you put yourself out there in this way, I promise that you will be on your way to dying empty.

We are holding a webinar next week—Wednesday, September 23, at 7:30 PM Central—where you can learn more about being a leader and can talk to one of our current leaders.

→ Click here to reserve your spot ←

If you are wondering, leading doesn’t take much time and we’ll pay you for your effort.

It really just takes a willingness to step out of your comfort zone and a desire to help other women do the same. It will be more than worth it.

→ Click here to reserve your spot in next week’s webinar and learn what it is like to be a FM4L Leader! ←

And mark your calendars for Wednesday, September 23, at 7:30 PM.

If you are not quite ready to lead, but want to start pushing yourself and getting stronger mentally and physically, check out our 6 Week Challenge here.  Don’t delay because we have a back to school special running through the end of the month. Enter the code SCHOOL to get 25% off, through September 30!

I Almost Drowned…

Dustin swimThis past weekend, I decided to go out and conquer my fear of water and swimming.

One year from now, I will need to efficiently swim 2.4 miles for Ironman. I have never been able to make it further than down and back at a pool, and haven’t treaded water for more than 2 minutes.

That is why attempting to swim across Devil’s Lake, 1.2 miles terrified me.

With the support of a SUP that stayed near me (so I actually wasn’t that close to drowning :), I was able to make it all the way across in a very slow and inefficient 71 minutes and only threw up 4 times during the swim. I was unable to front crawl, so I spent the entire time laying on my back, flopping.

I will probably use a few different swim coaches for the next year because I know this swim will probably be one of my hardest challenges.


The other day, I was sitting in my office at the Transformation Center working and eavesdropping on a handful of women in their 60s who had just finished their workout.

The one woman was telling the other ladies about her epic hiking trips out to the mountains. The other ladies were inspired and they began to talk about possibly doing a trip either together or with others, and starting off with a smaller hike because of the confidence they have been getting through our Fit over 60 training program.

This made me think of my mom, and three years ago, she agreed to hike a 14,000 plus foot mountain in Colorado because it was what her kids wanted to do. This was the furthest thing from her comfort zone or personal desire.

My mom did make it to the top having given every ounce of her energy and strength. Seeing my mom climbing hands and feet at the top and saying, “only for you kids,” is a memory I will always cherish and it brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it.

Why am I sharing all this with you?

My favorite health book of all time, Younger Next Year, (yes, in many ways more favorite than my own book) calls these sorts of activities “kedging.”

The authors define “kedging” as planning a vacation or event that will require some training and some mental and physical pushing. I believe that these types of challenges will result in some of our biggest breakthroughs in life.

You might be a mom with three small kids, feeling like you have no time for yourself and your body is a larger, stretched out version of before and struggling to feel confident and beautiful.

Set a challenge that scares you and find the necessary people and expertise to make it a reality. The confidence you will gain can catapult you to the next level in any part of your life.

You might be a woman in your 40s watching your parents age and wondering how to avoid facing some of those same health challenges as you get older. You want to be able to get down onto the floor and play with your grandkids and avoid taking tons of meds or dealing with severe daily pain.

Set a challenge that scares you and find the necessary people and expertise to make it a reality. The confidence you will gain can catapult you to the next level in any part of your life.

You might be a woman in your mid 50s and have put on 30lbs of fat all around the midsection from the big “M” word. You hardly recognize the body that you were just 5 years ago and wonder if your best years are already behind you.

Set a challenge that scares you and find the necessary people and expertise to make it a reality. The confidence you will gain can catapult you to the next level in the next phase of your life.

You might be a 65 year old newly retired woman who has seen her energy, strength and balance deteriorate rapidly over the past few years and are concerned what life will look like 10 years from now if this continues.

Set a challenge that scares you and find the necessary people and expertise to make it a reality. The confidence you will gain can catapult you to the next level and reverse many of the “natural” experiences of rapid aging.

These are the type of clients that I and my incredible team of trainers work with both in Madison at our Transformation Centers and bootcamps and online through our home DVD programs each day.

Want to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself, achieving massive results while helping others do the same?

Join us for a special live webinar on Wednesday, September 23 at 7:30 PM Central, to learn more about becoming a Fit Moms for Life Leader.  

Click here to reserve your spot!

Do something that scares you and your life will never be the same. Learn more about leading here: http://www.fitmomsforlife.com/lead_now/

5 Simple Anti-Aging Tips

Hello Friends –
As a mom and woman in her 40’s, I am super passionate about living the best life possible and looking and feeling younger while doing it.  That’s why I love Dustin’s blog and products so much – he shares the same passion!

EMN-herov2Aging – a tough subject – right? Believe me, when I hit 40 – I couldn’t believe it!   Inevitably – we all go through Chronological aging, but the good news is that we ALL have control over our Physiological aging

There have been some really interesting studies that link our aging process directly to how much inflammation is occurring in our body.  There are many lifestyle choices that produce chronic inflammation and therefore accelerated aging that we can improve upon to slow down our aging process.  

Have you ever heard of the word Telomeres? – Here’s a quick explanation of exactly what they are.  

Deep within your DNA, are the building blocks of every cell in your body. At the end of each strand of DNA is a small amount of genetic material called the telomere (tee-lo-mere). The telomere controls aging and every time your cells divide, your telomeres get shorter.

As your telomeres get shorter, your body produces cells that are older and weaker.  So the shorter your telomeres, the “older” your body looks and feels.  But when you slow this shortening, you may be able to extend your lifespan, and feel and look younger longer.

We can all slow the aging process by simple nutrition and lifestyle changes that can slow down the shortening of and in some studies even lengthen the telomere.

Here are some great examples!

1. Nutrition Changes
Add these nutritious and thankfully delicious foods to your diet for great anti-aging benefits.
A. Green Tea
B. Grass Fed beef
C. Red Wine (in moderation)
D. Foods high in Vitamin E -Nuts • Nut oils • Seeds • Apples • Beef • Seafood • Avocados • Spinach
E. Dark Chocolate – 70 to 75% or higher Cacao content is best as that will assure lower sugar and higher anti-oxident potency.

In summary, a diet high in anti-oxidants and healthy fats produces the perfect environment for anti-aging.

Also a Nutrition plan lower in added Sugar will help prevent accelerated aging as well.  Sugar causes glycation and free radical damage to your cells and therefore inflammation, leading to accelerated aging.  Therefore the less sugar you eat – the less chronic inflammation and skin damage – so the younger you can look and feel.  It’s OK to splurge once in awhile, however if you have large amounts of sugar every day – you will look older much faster.

2. Reduce stress
Stress plays a huge role in our health, weight loss, and aging.  
Increase stress = increased cortisol = chronic inflammation = accelerated aging

Here are some easy ways to reduce stress:
A.  Pray or Meditate
B.  Take a walk in Nature
C.  Write down 3 things each day that you are grateful for – this helps improve our happiness and therefore stress is reduced.

3. Get enough sleep
When sleep is cut short – you disrupt vital time for your body to process even moderate levels of oxidative stress.  Without ample healing time during sleep, your body will experience accelerated aging and even neurological decline.  Yikes!

Sleep tips:
A. Eat Animal Fat And/Or Olive Oil at dinner (and lunch, and breakfast)-They are excellent sources of oleic acid, a precursor to the sleep-inducing oleamide.
B.  Stop Alcohol Consumption At Least Two Hours before Bedtime
If you plan on drinking alcohol, do so earlier in the evening. Alcohol consumption too close to bedtime can impact sleep. It will be poor quality sleep with frequent disturbances.
C.  Dim the Lights When Darkness Falls
If it’s dark outside, your body needs to start winding down, and excessive artificial lighting will get in the way of that.
D.  Don’t Check Your Email before Bed
Whatever you read will only keep you awake, worried, or distracted.
E.  Turn off All Screens an Hour or Two before Bed
Smartphones, laptops, computers, TVs, tablets – they all emit melatonin-disrupting blue light directly into your eyes. We need melatonin to start the process of getting sleepy. If you disrupt melatonin production with artificial light you will have a much tougher time falling asleep. Read a book instead.
F.  Clear Your Mind
Meditation or prayer can help clear your mind, or you could make a to-do list for the following day so that you don’t lie awake thinking over everything.
G.  Use White/Brown Noise
Or nature sounds before bed. Falling rain is a good sound to fall asleep to.
 H.  Make Sure Your Room Is Dark and Cool
(The ideal temp for sleep is 65°F). To transition into sleep mode, don’t watch TV or go online for an hour before bedtime.
I.  Eliminate or Cover Up Any Sources of Light In Your Bedroom     
Even the tiny blinking ones and be sure to have black-out blinds over your windows. Complete dark allows melatonin production from being disrupted – melatonin helps you sleep.

4. Play!
A New Zealand study found that we are 82% more productive and experience improved sleep after vacation.  It also showed that enjoyable activities improve immune function, while stressful ones depress immune function.

Many of us feel guilty taking time away from family or job responsibilities for social interactions, but in reality it is much needed for our health and well-being and will ultimately make us better parents and coworkers.  So go spend time with your friends and take time for yourself – you family and body will thank you for it!

5.  Exercise the right way
Short burst workouts are much better than long boring cardio that damages joints, makes you retain fat, and accelerates aging.
Your body wasn’t made to endure long boring cardio. A recent article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that: Cardio causes immense oxidative damage and a flood of free radicals to the body.

(Cakir-Atabek, H., Demir, S., Pinarbassili, R., Bunduz, N. Effects of Different Resistance Training Intensity on Indices of Oxidative Stress. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. September 2010. 24(9), 2491-2498.)

In truth, all exercises cause some form of oxidative stress.  However when done for prolonged periods like with long boring cardio, the damage produces chronic inflammation throughout your body that causes damage to your organs and your skin – the result?  You look older.

Short Burst Workouts on the other hand will help you defy aging!  A study published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed a minimum of ten minutes high intensity exercise dramatically increased circulating HGH which promotes youth hormones, lean muscle building, and fat burning.

In addition to increased fat burning, increased HGH can help slow down and even reverse the signs of aging. Your skin, energy, and memory can all improve.  No more waking up each day to a new wrinkle on your face or loose saggy skin.

I am living proof of what short burst workouts can do for you. Many people don’t believe me when I tell them I’m 41 years old – most people assume I’m still in my twenties!

There is a way to look younger and have the body you’ve always wanted – all while you work out LESS and ignite your hormones to finally burn fat and defy aging at ANY AGE. After all, if I can have the skin and body of someone much younger, imagine what these workouts can do for you?

For more tips on how to look younger and sculpt a lean body at ANY AGE – take a look here: www.tonedintenfitness.com

Article by: Erin Nielsen, PT, CPI, PBCE
Erin has been a treating Physical Therapist for the last 18 years creating comprehensive and customized rehabilitative and fitness exercise programs for healthy and unhealthy individuals.

She is also a certified Pilates instructor and personally knows the transformative benefits it brings, like core strength, long, lean, flexible muscles, and improved posture. Additionally she is a Primal Blueprint Certified Expert.

Her true passion is to help people, especially moms, look and feel young, healthy, happy, strong, and free of pain and injury.

Does It Really Matter?

Many thoughts crossed my mind as I made the painful 4.5 hour drive from Madison to Minneapolis after hearing the news that my mom was on life support after suffering a massive brain aneurysm.

One of the questions rolling in my head was: does it really matter?

My mom was one of the healthiest people I have ever met. She ate incredibly well, managed stress better then most, maintained a healthy weight, got enough sleep and stayed decently active. Maher family crop

Why then could she suffer this without warning at 66 years old? I asked the doctor this question as we were ready to take her off life support.

He said the usual, “Life isn’t fair and your mom had very bad luck.”

After taking a step back and having a week to think about it, my answer (and therefore, my calling) is “Yes, it does still matter”.

My mom’s odds were in favor of living well into her 80s or 90s with a good quality of life.

But more than that, my mom’s quality of life was off the charts. Besides the hospitalizations to give birth 4 times, she was never in the hospital. She rarely got a cold or any sort of sickness, she didn’t take any prescription drugs that I am aware of and her energy levels were incredible.

Plus, she was an incredibly healthy example for her kids and her friends. I can’t tell you how many of her girlfriends she helped eat better and feel better.

We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, but living a healthy lifestyle is still the best way to live in my opinion.

I am humbled by the outpouring of financial support for the Joy “Fit Moms” Scholarship. We have raised over $9,000 so far.  We are finalizing the scholarship application process and will be opening that up soon.

->-> Click here to donate if you feel like doing so.<-<-

Regardless, keep moving.  Put good fuel in your body.  Take care of yourself.  Do everything you can to maximize your odds of living a long, happy, healthy life.

We only get one go of it here on Earth, and who knows how long each of us will have.  Make the most of it while you can.  

It’s totally worth it.

Farewell to My Hero… My Mom

I unexpectedly lost my hero and the inspiration behind the entire FM4L movement this weekend…

On Saturday, my mom passed away peacefully in the arms of our family as we sang worship songs to usher her into her eternal place in Heaven.

21 hours earlier, she suffered a massive stroke in her brain and the doctors did all they could to keep her on life support until we could all get there to see her.

Dusin-Mom
If I could sum up her life it was:
-love Jesus
-love dad
-love kids
-love friends
-serve others

While sitting in the ICU holding her hand, kissing her forehead and shedding a lot of tears, I decided I needed to write her a letter, which I want to share with you below.

I read it aloud to her and to everyone gathered around her bed. It took me a long time to get through all the tears but at the end I had made peace with whatever was going to happen next.

I share this intimate and personal letter with you in hopes of honoring the incredible human being my mom was.

“Mom, I can’t believe I am sitting here watching you lay motionless without the ability to do anything but pray and write out my thoughts.

For 32 years, you have been my rock, the woman I looked up to. I know life is like a vapor and I thank God everyday for breath and health for all our family but experiencing this firsthand, with no warning, is more painful and raw than I could have ever imagined.

You were the perfect mom, you had unlimited patience, kindness and compassion and love towards me and every person you came in contact with.

You were the rock of health, never having gone to the hospital except to deliver your 4 children. I can only remember one or two times in my life that you had more than a cold.

I know we made you proud because you would tell us almost everyday.

I have no regrets about our relationship. I am thankful for the nearly daily phone calls we would have in my 20s and early 30s, all the trips to and from Madison and telling you I loved you and you telling me the same.

You were the most amazing wife for dad. You have set a very high standard on who I will marry someday, that is probably why I am still single at 32.  =)

If this is your time to meet Jesus (I hope it is not quite yet), we will take care of dad and make sure he has everything he needs, maybe even a chef.  =)

I can’t change what is happening but I can step up my game and be a bigger man and extend your legacy here on earth.

You are the most spiritual woman I have ever met and showed Jesus’s love each and every day.

You inspired me to inspire others.

You believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.

I love you more than I have ever told you and you will be in my daily thoughts and prayers until the day we meet in Heaven.”

Your eldest son,
Dustin

While watching my mom quietly sleep, I kept asking the question how can her legacy continue on?  She believed so much in the Transformation Center and all of the Fit Moms for Life programs.

Dustin and mom fm4l gear
Then it hit me, let’s create the Joy “Fit Moms” Scholarship fund to help others who desperately want and need what the TC and FM4L have to offer.

You can check out this new fund here->-> http://www.gofundme.com/fitmoms

But more than anything else, you can honor my mom by doing whatever you need to do to take care of yourself and your family, and inspiring others to do the same.

You can live your best life, whether that is by working with FM4L or doing something else that challenges, inspires and motivates you. That is what she wanted for each and every one of us.

Keep loving,
Dustin Maher

Lessons Learned–100 Pull-Ups a Day for 100 Days

Even as a fitness professional, I struggle to stay consistent with my workouts. I know that may surprise you, but I’m human, just like you and I struggle with the same issues. I’ve learned that I need to create challenges every once in awhile to keep my motivation high.

Most recently, I decided to challenge myself to 100 pull-ups a day for 100 days—that’s 10,000 pull-ups in a little over 3 months.

I am proud to say I completed this with near perfection. The only slip up was one day I forgot and went to bed with 20 to go. Waking up the next morning I realized it and did those plus that day’s 100.

2015-07-06_1149
->-> Click here to watch my pull-up video on my personal Facebook page <-<- 

This in many ways was one of the toughest challenges I have ever put my body through. It was so tough because of the grind of 100 consecutive days. It didn’t matter if I was traveling, working 18 hours, had a nagging injury, or so on, I had to get it done. No excuses, I did it.

Why… Because I try my best to live up to my word and my commitment, both to myself and to you. I publicly put it out there to the world, which in turn gave me extra support and accountability.

On day 94, it was 9:30 at night and I was completely exhausted. I hadn’t done any pull-ups and had no desire to do so. Instead, I decided to take a 2 hour nap on the couch and wake up at 11:30 pm and do my 100.

I have had many trainers, clients and friends ask me how it was. I will give you a few pros and cons.

Cons:  

  • My lats (major pull-up muscles) became severely overtrained starting around day 25 and never really recovered. It became nearly impossible for me to raise my arms completely up because it felt like they were going to rip from the bone. The first 10 pull-ups each day made me want to cry it hurt so bad. This is why we trainers say to not lift similar muscle groups on consecutive days.
  • The daily grind of the challenge decreased my desire to lift and workout the rest of my body with weights. I am embarrassed to admit it, but I hardly lifted during the three months. I trained hard in stair climbing and biking, though, during this time.
  • I lost the joy of pull-ups because it became a chore and a burden.

Pros:

  • When starting the challenge I could do 14 pull-ups in a row at 190 lbs and 6’5. I can now do 29 straight pull-ups at the age of 32. A couple years ago, I trained hard in pull-ups and did 21, so I am blowing those numbers out of the water.
  • It forced me to be extremely disciplined each day regarding the pull-ups. I would have to seek it out and be very intentional. It became a non-negotiable in my life to go to bed having done 100 pull-ups. It became part of who I am.
  • My back, biceps and grip are extremely strong right now, and despite the fact that I didn’t lift much else, my body looks very fit and strong.
  • This experience has given me confidence that I can set a seemingly overwhelming goal for myself and achieve it.

Now it is your turn… What goal or challenge would you like to set for yourself?

Ever Struggle to Stay Consistent?

Ever struggled to stay consistent with healthy eating, regular exercise, etc?

Yeah, me too. No-one is perfect all of the time.

I’ve been going through a stressful time recently and some days I’ve felt like a complete failure at sticking with the healthy lifestyle that I want to live.

But then I turned around and looked at how far I’d come, and I realized that the choices I’m making today (even the bad ones) are fundamentally different, and much healthier, than the ones I made 5 years ago.

It turns out that I’ve made certain changes that I don’t even think about anymore, and I don’t backslide on these things. These changes require absolutely zero effort to maintain—things like:

  • Drinking green tea and green smoothies instead of coffee
    latee

    I’ve gone from this….

  • Exercising at least 3 days per week
  • Eating very few processed carbs
  • Drinking almost no alcohol
  • Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables

Sure, I still overindulge my sweet tooth. I still have a habit of snacking too much when stressed, albeit on healthier foods! I don’t get enough sleep. And I’ve not figured out how to get in the 5+ days of hard exercise that I’d like to get.

But, I realized that, even when I may not quite live up to my current set of goals, my standards have shifted entirely and what I now think of as a “bad day” is really still pretty healthy overall.

It caused me to think about how and why these changes don’t feel like they require any thought any more. It doesn’t require any willpower or discipline to stick with them—it’s just my daily routine.

green_smoothie

…to this, and haven’t looked back!

And I realized that is the key. Finding ways to slowly make the changes you want to make and transition from it being something that you have to decide to do… something that requires willpower to do every day… to something that is just the way it is. A habit. Part of your life. Just the way you do things.

That is the focus of our free training on how to overcome limited willpower, and make healthy habits that you can stick with for life.

Because we all struggle with this, and as a mom balancing two kids, a job, and a husband, I know firsthand that we need to reserve our willpower to deal with everything else in our lives. You don’t want to have to use it up deciding what to eat for breakfast each day!

So sign up for our free training here, and learn some tips that you can use to make and stick with healthy habits, for life!