Archives for Apr,2016

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Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

     I am my own worst critic. I always have been. And as I’ve grown, I realize it’s not just me. We are really hard on ourselves. Which leads me to ask the question, Why? “Beauty”… meaning what society considers beautiful has changed it’s face so drastically over time. But how, and why? Have you sat back and admired real, classic art? Women were portrayed so very differently then. In truth, their forms were much more realistic. They were not Sir Mixalot’s measurements of 36-24-36, nor did these classic beauties look like a Victoria’s Secret Runway model looks today. They were soft. They had curvy, soft lines. They had ample bosoms, thicker, softer middles, lower tummy “mommy pooch”, and definitely more cushy bottoms. By today’s standards these art forms, at one time considered the epitome of beauty, in today’s society don’t hold a torch to Beyonce (however much we love her).  As women we have such a skewed sense of beauty, all we do is compare ourselves.

I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I started comparing myself to everyone else almost as early as I can remember. I, having a twin sister compared myself to her naturally. I was always the heavy set one. As a matter of fact, as kids, I was always the heaviest set one in the family. Even as a baby, I was significantly chubbier than my twin sister. Then, growing up, the trend continued, and lets be honest, kids are cruel. I think back and wonder how I got that way. I didn’t feel like I ate more than her or my cousins. As a matter of fact, we struggled hard financially, and some nights, we barely ate at all. I do remember not eating the most nutritious food. Sadly, whole foods are more costly than junk, processed foods. But my mother did the best she could. I do know I liked food. By the time I was in middle school, I had taken to wearing baggy clothes, which were in style at the time (which in reality, even at my size now, I still wear).

By the time high school rolled around I was more self conscious about my weight, especially considering my sister was several sizes smaller. Often I barely ate, and when I did, it was total junk. I yoyo-ed in weight, and I found when I was losing it, it was always through binges of not eating. This became comfortable. As everything does however, the weight always came back. By the time graduation happened I enlisted in the Marines. But according to their “standards” I was over weight. Now, might I just say that going in to Marine Corps, boot camp is hard enough, but going in as a WEIGHT recruit?! It’s like walking around boot camp with a neon sign. Everyone is issued the same dark green uniform T-shirts to wear under cammies, and for PT. Weight Recruits have two giant white stripes painted across their shirts, so everyone knows they are over weight. When everyone else has normal chow, weight recruits get a “diet” tray…which you have to yell out and ask for. Every recruit, Drill Instructor, Officer, EVERYONE knows you are over your weight limit just by looking at you. Embarrassing? Yes. I had a drill Instructor pull me up in front of a platoon of 60 women, made me stand in front of a mirror, and say, “Spalding, you see all this fat on you? We are going to work it off” and she proceeded to work me out, until I thought I’d vomit. Not to mention that I was so embarrassed and ashamed I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

When I got out of the Marines, I wanted to model. But living up to Florida industry standards, even at my smallest, I never once walked into an agency without them telling me I had to lose weight. So, I did everything to try and lose weight. I tried every diet pill, starvation, laxatives, working out on no food. I would even chew food up to get the taste in my mouth only to spit it into a napkin. I was killing myself thinking I was closer to attaining what the industry thought was beautiful. It wasn’t until I found dance, that I started getting healthy. I started training in a gym, and realized I had so much work to do. But honestly the work was even more emotional and mental than physical. We all have our insecurities. If I had a dollar for the amount of women I have counseled and trained over the years that when they first start can not even stand to look at themselves in the mirror, I would be a millionaire. I know that feeling. Even at my current size, 15% body fat, I still look in the mirror and start to pick myself apart. I don’t like shirts that are form fitting to my stomach. I have a few dimples in my butt and thighs. But I, at this place in my life, am strong enough to remind myself although I have those things, my thighs and butt are also thick with muscle.

At what place in our lives did we learn as women to constantly compare ourselves to others? And why can’t we stop? How did our view of ourselves become so skewed? What I’ve learned is fitness is not just a daily battle, but self love as well. I preach self love to my clients, but I have to remind myself all the time. The good news is there is a light at the end of this tunnel. It takes one single step to start the journey of truly loving oneself on the outside and in. But you have to be willing to take the first step. And then the next step, and the step after that. You can succeed at anything as long as you keep pressing forward. I can proudly say, my personal journey has taken me a long way.  I have been blessed enough to help women who at one time couldn’t stand to look at themselves in the mirror, to them not only looking at themselves but truly loving themselves…But they took the step on the journey, and they followed through. Change is never easy. But sometimes you’ll be amazed at what change can lead to. Love yourself enough to take the first step. No matter what that step is in life. You are worth it. You are enough. Someone else sees it inside you, even if sometimes we don’t see it in ourselves.

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Breaking Through Fitness Barriers

Are you stuck in a repetitive fitness routine that you find yourself going back to time and time again?  Are you experiencing a lack of results and finding yourself less interested in keeping up with your workouts because you are bored?  Well don’t stress, at Wicked Fitness we know just how to help you break the lull and renew your love for fitness.

At our facility, we offer a wide variety of diverse classes from more traditional to the most cutting edge fitness wickedfit_combo  trends. Our specialty is providing customers with an unmatched experience of having fun while getting great results.   Before you know it, coming to class will not be something you feel forced to do but rather something you look forward to.  Ultimately, your entire outlook will change as your attitude towards fitness and living a healthy lifestyle become a choice.  Once this transformation within yourself takes place, the results will not be far behind!

 

Regardless of your age or fitness level, we have something that will work for you.  Our small class sizes coupled with our expert instructors who truly care will help you on your journey to success.  If you are interested in the more Girl measuring her butt, body part.traditional style workouts, we offer classes such as Wicked yoga, cycling, booty blast, and kickboxing, or for those who like to spice it up with a little more diversity we even offer Wicked pole fitness, twerkout, crazy and interval classes just to name a few.  With summer right around the corner don’t hesitate. Stop by or give us a call today and let us help guide you on your health and fitness journey today!

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Summer Fruit

As spring is nearing an end, summer months are right around the corner.  One of the best parts of summer is the delicious and fresh fruit that is in season. Eating fruit has countless benefits and below is a list of some of our favorites.

Oranges are first on our list of delectable summer fruit. Tangy, sweet and irresistible, this fruit it jam packed with vitamin C and is a great source of fiber.  They are also a good source of B vitamins, vitamin A, copper, calcium and potassium.  And if you’re looking for a way to add some flavor to your water, oranges add a perfect hint of zest.

Watermelon is not only refreshing and delicious but is also low in calories! If you’re trying to stay hydrated, this is the perfect fruit to snack on because it is 90 percent water and will most certainly help quench watermelon-detox-water-54healthyour thirst.  Watermelon is also high in vitamins A, B6, and C and is full of antioxidants.  What more can you ask for?

 

Pineapple is not just your average tropical fruit as its health benefits alone are worth incorporating this summer snack into your diet.  This fruit is rich in vitamin C and manganese but also is a great natural anti-inflammatory, helping reduce inflammation of muscles and joints.  Also, pineapple is beneficial in preventing mouth, throat and breast cancer, aids in improving eye and oral health, boosts your immune system, helps heal wounds and helps protect against infections.

 

Strawberries, typically a crowd favorite, are great for your health in so many ways.  This fruit is high in anti-oxidants which help release free radicals.  Free radicals can wreak havoc in our bodies, so eat more to help release them, the better.  Since strawberries are also high in vitamin C, they are also great at helping your skin look and feel youthful.  Other benefits include fighting bad cholesterol, regulating blood pressure and aiding in weight management.

 

Grapefruit is known for its ability to help fight obesity and promote weight loss.  This low in calorie fruit can help with asthma prevention, maintaining a glowing complexion, hydration, and digestion just to name a few.

 

These are our favorites but be sure to stop by the produce section to check out all of the fruit available this summer.  Seasonal fruit is not only more it comes at a more moderate price.  Next time you’re eyeing that ice cream or those cookies, try substituting them for some fresh fruit instead!

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The Slow Death of the Independent Woman

I have noticed a growing trend as of lately, and for the life of me, I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it. Or, maybe it’s been going on forever and I’m just starting to notice it every single day, in my face, everywhere I turn. It’s as if women are slowly and willingly giving up their independence. Maybe at such a snails pace they don’t even realize it themselves. I listen to story after story, day in and day out of women in relationships were they have hands down settled for one reason or another. And they are daily giving away pieces of themselves, often without even realizing it, to relationships that are giving them little in return.

Then, on the flip side of the coin, women who are not tied down are down right frantically searching for a relationship and then jumping in head first, whether it’s right for them or not, just so they don’t have to be alone. Really? What am I missing? When did it become a bad thing to be ALONE? At what point did women start saying, “This guy is a mooch…he has no drive…and no ambition…and isn’t even that good to me… but I’d still rather be with him than alone”. Women that are young, beautiful, and confident…on the outside….on facebook and social media. That woman has everyone fooled. Yet in reality, she jumps from relationship to relationship with barely a few days in between. Next thing you know, she’s updating her relationship status on social media, posting a million selfies of new blissful love and in a less than a months time… MOVING IN?!!! If your future self told you, “In 5 years time you will be being treated terribly daily, be truly unhappy with your new found Prince Charming, and yet feel as though you are truly stuck with no other options but to stay” maybe you wouldn’t be rushing so fast to move in. What happened to women working, striving to be better for themselves, be healthier, for themselves, and successful for themselves? Instead, gyms are flooded with women trying to get in better shape not for themselves, but for a person they want to keep, or as “revenge” to a person they are no longer with.

And then there is the worst, the women who are being abused mentally and or physically, and who feel so stuck or trapped, they stay, no matter how bad it gets. Often, again, making so many excuses as to why they stay it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. Picture this, you are beautiful bird in cage. Part of you hates the cage, even if it’s so familiar that it feels like home. But here’s the thing, the cage door is open. It’s completely up to you, the bird, to fly out at any time. Unfortunately, I’m seeing most of the birds refuse to fly out for fear of what’s outside of the cage. For fear of having to be… Alone. For fear of having to be on their own.  What, along the way, made us so reliant upon everyone else for our happiness and stability? And these, the ones truly being abused…. are dying. Within the last six months two women, I, at one time were quite close with, lost this battle. One, a former coworker, was shot in the head four times while she slept after a custody disagreement, by her son’s father. The other, was beaten within an inch of her life by her estranged, recently separated husband. And unfortunately, these two just top the list of the many stories I hear daily from women who choose not to fly from the cage.

How are we seemingly going backwards? And more importantly, what are we teaching our daughters? Are we teaching them to be strong, independent women? Or are we saying it from our mouths, do as I say, not as I do? My own daughter will surely be mad at me for lots of things over the course of her lifetime, certainly including leaving her father. But she will never be able to say I didn’t teach her to stand on her own, and love herself enough to demand better. When I opened my eyes to my own failed marriage, on that day in which I woke up, there wasn’t much I felt I did know. I didn’t know how I was going to financially move, and pay bills all by myself. I didn’t know where I would go. I didn’t know how I could take my kids away from their father. I didn’t know how I would find the strength in my heart to actually get out, and keep moving forward without humbling and cowardly moving back because “it was too hard”. I didn’t know much of anything really.

But what I did know is I, as a mother, owed it to my children to teach them how to love and be loved appropriately. And if any man ever treated MY daughter the way I was being treated…that was MY fault because I taught her that was okay.  If my son ever treated any woman the way I was being treated, also, that fault would be mine because I taught him that’s how women should be treated.  At that realization, all the things, I didn’t know were lessened in my desire to be better for them. I left with nothing. I started with nothing, except a constant prayer. I slept for months on a different pillow every single night, living out of my car like a gypsy, always getting by on 3 or less hours of sleep every night. Then right back to work and mothering (a full time job all on its own).  I quite literally had to rebuild a life from what seemed like just a pile of ashes. Nothing has been easy. It’s been a fight every single day, just to be a single mother. But as an independent woman standing on my own, raising two small children, on my own, I can honestly say I am teaching my children how to live, stand, fight, and be BETTER on their own. As a woman who has been abused and neglected, I can tell you it is possible to demand more out of life. It’s a good life if you live it. But at the end of the day, if something in your life makes you unhappy (your body, your relationships, your job, your living conditions…anything), the only one that truly has the power to change it…is YOU. Stand in your power. For the sake of yourself because you deserve better, and for the sake of our children.

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THE ROAD TO FAT IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS

It happens every year, New Years Day, the first day of a brand new year. Which will inevitably be the year you make positive changes in your life, turn over a new leaf and make a whole list of New Years resolutions. The very top of your list… “Lose Weight”, make healthier choices, and you swear THIS is going to be the year you get off your ass, and lose that extra 20 lbs. Besides, you have a cruise booked this summer, or a reunion, a wedding, etc etc.  Gyms see a huge influx of new registrations, and the people who are regularly in the gym the rest of the year, hate January. Chances are by March, your resolution has already been thrown out the window, and life is back to busy with “no time” to workout. Maybe some of you even try again. You vow not to forget your goals and start a program. This is taking the first step, and for that, you get credit, that’s a bigger first step than most. However, no plan can work miracles unless you stick to it.

Excuses, excuses, excuses….there are so many, it’s hard to even keep them straight to yourself.  “I was doing really well, but then had to work later, and haven’t been able to make it to my workout in weeks”, “That person that goes just really annoys me”, “My finances just won’t allow it”, “my work”, “my husband”, “my kids”…..and the list goes on and on and on. As women, somewhere along the way, we learned it was ok, and even expected to start putting everyone in our lives ahead of ourselves, for everything. Until one day we wake up, usually twenty plus pounds over weight, often unhappy, feeling like something is missing in our lives and we don’t even know what it is, and we certainly don’t have enough time to find it. Let’s just be honest, as wives and mothers, there is never enough time in a day. Well, since you don’t have time to figure out what’s missing, never fear, I might be able to help you answer that…….OURSELVES. We have lost ourselves. “My kid’s happiness makes me happy”, “My husband’s happiness makes me happy”, “That one night a week I get to go out and have drinks with my friends/coworkers…that makes me happy”, and everything else in between is just daily business. When was the last time you invested in making yourself a better version of yourself…for YOURSELF?

Which brings me to my next point, there is no magical fix. You’ve lost yourself slowly over a long period of time. You’ve gained weight, over a period of time. So why should we think real results, mentally and physically should be practically instantaneous.  Every accomplishment worth anything doesn’t come without sacrifice. You have to sacrifice, and commit and put in the work. And real work is what it’s going to take. Real Commitment. Real Discipline. Not, “well, I can commit today and maybe tomorrow too, but this weekend is my friend’s birthday, so….. I’ll start again next week”. And yes, it takes just as much mental work to return to self as it does physical. Working out is just the first step in the right direction.

Don’t think for a moment I’m writing this from my high horse. I was that woman. I woke up one day during my divorce and realized I was so far lost, I couldn’t even answer the simple question, “what would make you happy?”, and for me it was a battle and a journey to find myself again that was incredibly lonely. But the good news for you is, you don’t have to do it alone! But, you do actually have to make up your mind to make a change, and stick to it. Because that’s the only time any progress can be made…when you are fully committed.  Someone sent me a quote once that said, “I could write you a million motivational quotes, I could show you a thousand before and afters, I could cook you hundreds of healthy meals, but truth is, you need to get off your ass and work for your body”, and that’s real talk. I, as a woman, had to do the work for myself.  I can NOT do it for you, the same as no one could do it for me. But, when you are ready, truly ready to start investing in your health, your SELF, your self worth, your mental happiness, which will in turn make every other avenue of your life more fulfilling, you have a team of support at Wicked Fitness waiting to guide your way. There is a Queen inside you that is waiting for you to empower her again. Stand in your power.

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Are you Bikini Ready? Five Detox Recipes to Kick Start the Slim Down Process

Okay, so it’s proven the number one thing for flushing fat is water, and most of us just don’t drink enough of it. We know how good it is for us, but the taste….well…the lack there of…sometimes, it’s just hard to get down. However, it is a great way to rejuvenate your system, and flush out all the bad stuff. Instead of buying expensive enriched waters, sodas, or spritzers, try adding a few ingredients to your bottle, and see that water doesn’t have to be so boring.

 

  • Lemon Cayenne Liver Cleanse

For years this has been considered a master detoxifier and has aided thousands in not only flushing fat, but cleansing out all sorts of toxins while boosting energy. Lemon juice and cayenne pepper both have antifungal, immune boosting, and detoxification properties. Cayenne Pepper increases metabolism, stimulates the circulatory system, aides digestion, helps regulate blood sugar and more. Within thirty minutes of waking up, take 8-16oz of hot water, add juice from 1 lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper and if you just can’t stomach it, a small drop of natural honey to sweeten. Wakes you up, and give you energy to start the day, all while giving your metabolism a morning jump start.

 

  • Slim Down Detox Water

This cucumber detox water is an ideal starting point for those looking to finally commit to a healthy eating nutrition and workout plan. The diuretic properties of this drink aid in releasing any extra moisture by being rapidly flushed from the system. Grapefruit adds flavor while containing a powerhouse of fat burning enzymes. In one glass of water add lemon, cucumber, and a slice or two of grapefruit.

(www.Skinnymom.com)

 

  • Lemon Ginger Detox Drink

Weather you are trying to cure an oncoming cold or looking for a weight loss elixir, this one does it all! The citrus of the lemon promotes healthy digestion, and gives a boost of vitamin C. Ginger has been known for centuries to suppress nausea and guarantee intestinal wellness. It is also rich with gingerol, a detoxifying agent that has miracle properties…even known to combat cancer. Just mix one 12oz glass of water, one ginger root knob, and a freshly squeezed lemon. (Add Cinnamon for an additional metabolism/immune system boost).

 

  • Wonderful Watermelon Water

There are plenty of healthy antioxidants stored in melons, and it’s rich in nutrients. Additionally, if you like your water a little sweeter, this is your escape from sugary options. A key component in watermelons is the phytonutrient Lycopene, a strong antioxidant known for it’s anti-inflammatory effects. It also has amino acids to aid in blood flow, and cardiovascular health. Just add several pieces of watermelon to your water. A few springs of mint also make it especially refreshing on hot days or after a Wicked Fitness workout!

(www.54health.com)

 

5.) Apple Cider Vinegar Cure All

Behold the power of Apple Cider Vinegar! This one ingredient has literally hundreds of uses and a laundry list of cure alls. For years it has been revered in the fitness community as a Cleansing, detoxifying, and fat loss POWER HOUSE. Apple Cider vinegar acts as a natural appetite suppressant producing a feeling of satisfaction sooner. It prevents uncontrollable sugar spikes and crashes that make you want to nibble in between meals. It has also been proven that ACV stimulates metabolism and makes your body burn fat faster, among many other things. All you need for this detox is 1-2 Tbsp ACV to a glass of water. Drink preferably thirty minutes before meals, three times a day.

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