Ramblings of a Wicked Queen

Ashley loves how she can use her passion of all forms of movement to music to help women boost self confidence, reach new fitness goals, and love themselves and their body’s just as they are. Every woman is a Queen, and helping remind them of that has helped her find her own strength and path in life. Ashley has worked as a lead Aerial Dance Instructor specializing in all levels of Pole Fitness, Lyra, Flexibility Training, Chair Choreography, Belly Dance, Polynesian, Hip Hop, as a performance Aerialist, and Personal Trainer. We hope you enjoy her blog!

The Cold Hard Truth: Straight Answers for Common Questions

I’m sure we all can agree the idea of “going on a diet” and “getting in shape” can be like a dark, looming figure in the corner of the room. Something every once in a while we look over at, and quickly look away from until it’s spring and we have to go bathing suit shopping. Nothing like a tiny dressing room with fluorescent light bulbs to put things in to clear perspective.  We won’t even mention how in our New Year’s resolutions, we all vowed to get in shape and have an amazing bikini body by summer, but that was forgotten about by the beginning of February, and now Spring has sprung and time is running out.

But where to start? There’s so much to know….what to eat and not eat, what exercises are best for what you are trying to accomplish, do supplements work? It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. Never fear! Your friendly Wicked Fitness trainer can help! First, we gotta start with your mind.

You need realistic expectations. News flash, losing weight is incredibly HARD work. How fast or slow you lose really is up to you. You decide to work out, and workout hard 4-5 days a week and partner it with proper nutrition, that you are incredibly disciplined with, you are obviously going to notice changes faster than someone who is only working out at a moderate pace 2-3 days a week, and only being half way strict with nutrition.  Unfortunately, losing weight really goes hand and hand with nutrition. So, unless you are eating for your goals too, the road to results is going to be a slow, frustrating one.  Let’s just be honest…the client who says, I want to lose 25 lbs. in 2 months, but I can only come to 2 classes a week, and I have no intention of changing my eating or drinking habits….. not realistic expectations.

Are you obsessed with how many calories you are getting, or macros, or carbs, or whatever? Let me ask you this…. Has it gotten you the results you want despite the length of time you have been committed to it? Probably not, which is why you are now asking a trainer. If you truly feel the need to count something, count reps of exercises. Wipe out your mind set of what magic number you think you need, because every single body is different.

What about skin? The human body is pretty amazing, and usually the better we are to it, the better it will be to us in return. Let’s say we haven’t always been so kind to it, which has led us to a place we are not the size we want to be. I often get questions about losing weight and having loose skin. The key is to tighten and tone as you go which definitely without a doubt will help. However, let’s use a balloon as an example. You take a balloon and stretch it, and blow it up much larger than its original size.  If you instantly let the air out, it will go back close to its original size, but the latex will be a little loose.

Now, let’s say you blow that balloon up much larger, and the latex is very stretched, and then you leave it that size for a significant period of time. When you deflate the balloon it will be much looser and still stretched out. Skin acts the same way. If you lose a significant amount of weight, your skin has already been stretched out for a period of time, and once it is that stretched out, although some will elasticize, it has no place to go. The same actually goes for muscle. If you visualize a body builder, (for example’s sake an extreme body builder like an Arnold Schwarzenegger type), they build their muscles to a certain size. Well, in turn that muscle mass has no place to go when they stop training, the mass just changes form usually to bulk unless they continually tone. The same with stretch marks, they will lighten and get significantly smaller, but traces of them will always remain no matter how small you get.

Let’s take a second to talk about the scale. I blame society for this. It apparently has become so engrained in our minds that we, at our height should weigh a certain amount.  My next question…Says who? I have women who come seeking counsel regularly that say they want to be 120 lbs. Little does that woman know, her bone structure is not built to be that size. That particular woman might look sickly at 120 lbs., whereas someone of a different build and frame, that may be a healthy weight for. Guess what… your frame, and your build, and your bone structure are not the same as the person next to you. Whoever said the scale was anyone’s friend LIED. Stop focusing on numbers on the scale and focus on what you see in the mirror. Focus on how your clothes fit. You like what you see, Fantastic!!! Keep up the great work! You are uncomfortable in your own skin… then make some changes to meet your goals.

At the end of the day losing weight, toning up, getting healthy… it is a LIFESTYLE. Not to mention a commitment that takes time, work and constant dedication. Results take work. There is no magic supplement, or pill despite all the hogwash the nutrition industry will try and sell you. They are making tons of money off peoples strong desires for a quick, easy fix.  YOU are the owner of your body and mind. So, is it possible? ABSOLUTELY! But it starts with realistic expectations. Set your mind on the right course, and you are already on your way.

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New Year New Me

Sounds so cliché, doesn’t it? Yet this saying is said by so many of us right after the ball drops ushering in another year. What does one mean by this exactly though? Everyone has New Year’s Resolutions that are very rarely accomplished and although they put in a few minutes of thought on what they’d actually like to create for their lives in the New Year, usually by the first of February those resolutions are quickly forgotten and we are right back to our old same routine, our old same thinking and our regular, comfortable life, with no real commitment for change because after all, that would require work and effort.

So, first, maybe we should start by giving recognition to the “old” me, since you are determined at this point still in January to change it. What really great things did the old me do for you last year? Did it stay relatively healthy, fighting off colds and flu season, or that 48 hour stomach bug brought home by one of your children that everyone got, except you? Maybe the “old me” kept you super calm and collected three months ago during that stressful work meeting. Maybe it even gave you the strength and confidence to get out of an abusive relationship you hung out in way too long. So what, if after that relationship ended you fell off the wagon and gained 15 lbs. Maybe you should thank your body first for getting you through some big obstacles.

Now that you have cut yourself a moment of slack, on to the task at hand. What exactly do you mean by, “New year, New Me”? This is actually a very broad term. Since “Losing weight” is the number one New Year’s resolution by just about.. well.. EVERYBODY, let’s start there. So, you want to lose weight. What is your game plan? Now that the holidays are over, and New Year’s Eve, and all of the New Year ’s Day left overs are finally out of the house, we are in to the second week of the year, is it a safe time to evaluate that? You see, a failure to plan is really a plan to fail, and although you have vowed for the last 10 years to lose weight, this truly is your year! So, I say again, what is your game plan?

Write it down! You want to lose weight? How much weight? Are we talking numbers on the scale, total inches lost, or fitting back in to our skinny jeans, or all of the above? Unfortunately, yes, this resolution is going to take effort and work. Despite what the diet and nutritional companies try to tell you, there is no magic pill. It’s going to take nutritional guidance and hours and sweat, (yes, sweat) put in to get you where you want to be. Luckily for you, at Wicked Fitness we can get you right on your way.  The biggest trick is not losing sight of your goal. Life happens, but change is also possible if you stick to the plan!

What else would you like to change about the old me? Write that down too. You see, almost as if sending a direct message to the universe, when you write something down it puts it in your face and gives it power. Now that we have the weight resolution out of the way, what else would you change about the life you have? A new job or promotion? Alright, what is it going to take to get you there? More schooling? Again, what’s your game plan?

What about your mental resolutions? These ones are not as commonly thought of. Things like, “meditate more”, “change my thinking “, “Read more” , “Write in a journal”, “Start loving myself”, these are often forgotten altogether or quickly moved passed in the chaos of everyday life. These can be just as important as all the physical, in your face goals of a new year like fitness and careers.

You see, nothing that is truly rewarding comes without hard work and sacrifice. Most people get so caught up in not really wanting to work for change that they fall into their same patterns repeating year after year because they are comfortable, and venturing out of that comfort zone would really shake the boat. Comfortable bears the same results, whether that be in your physical body, career, or everyday life. However, when you rock the boat, do something out of the usual, take steps that make waves toward your goal, this is where change starts to happen. Change in your body, your mind, and your overall reality.  NO change can happen without steering the course and following through. So, is this really going to be a year of change, rebirth, and redesign? Every journey starts with the first step. Are you ready to take yours?

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Wicked Guide to Surviving the Holidays

Did you know the holidays is also one of the most stressful times of the year? Yep! Neck and neck with tax season. (I know, right?!) Are you thinking? “But all the joy, the merriment, the family?” Who are we kidding, right? Probably right behind that thought is the laundry list of things to do. The list of presents to buy, the date of the kids holiday performances, not to mention making the costumes, decorating the house, trimming the tree, the office party, all the extra cooking, teacher gifts before winter break, who is coming in to town, and who in the family no longer speaks to the other (that always makes for an interesting dinner), where will all the money needed for this come from…the list seems never ending. We won’t even broach the subject of waiting in a million lines… EVERY WHERE.
Between the seemingly Santa sized list of to-do’s, must have’s, and not to be forgotten, it is incredibly easily to lose complete sight of your goals you set back in September. Did you know on average people gain between 10-15 lbs. over the holiday season? 10-15 LBS!!!! That’s a staggering amount especially when you have been working so hard to get it off. Stress, less time to exercise, and more time eating and drinking the worst of the worst, all that holiday merriment quickly gets out of hand and January presents itself to you no longer fitting in to your skinny jeans that you just got back into months ago.
Luckily, with some pre-planning, it doesn’t have to be this way! You have probably heard of the Elf on the Shelf or maybe even use it with your kids. The Elf keeps a watchful eye on the kids, reports back to Santa nightly and returns every morning in a different “sneaky” place. If you are like most of us, we use this “toy” to keep our kids behaving in the month of December. Man, it works like a charm too…the horrifying thought of “Santa” finding out they fought with their siblings or did something they weren’t supposed to…(like maybe steal a cookie from the cookie jar)… Well, maybe adults need an elf of the shelf as extra “eyes” to when they are being naughty as well. Someone watching when you are pouring that extra glass of egg nog to help deal with your in-laws. Here’s a start… don’t buy the eggnog. Around the holidays, extra junk inevitably finds its way in to our houses, pantries and even our work place. Yes, it is going to take some serious will power, but you can say no. Make sure you are bringing your snacks and lunch to the office so when the breakroom is full of calorie filled temptation, you can easily escape.
Don’t let yourself get hungry. If you get busy without preplanning your next snack/meal you are that much more apt to grab the first thing you can get your hands on, which will almost guaranteed be clean eating sabotage. Snack on vegetables galore and drink your water. Get enough protein daily which will lead to feeling less of a need to snack.
Don’t skip workouts. I realize time is of the essence and during this season there is never seemingly enough of it. Workouts easily get placed on the back burner, but they are IMPERATIVE for staying on track, not to mention mentally it’s the best combatant you have against all the stress that comes along with the season. An extra bonus, you aren’t just boosting good endorphins, but also your immune system to fight away the gift of the common cold that often shows it’s face around this time.
Choose your calories wisely! Imagine you are at an event, family gathering, office party, holiday get together and you are staring at a table of temptation and don’t want to seem bah humbug or anti-social. Suddenly the room seems smaller and panic mode sets in. Relax! If this is a pot luck event, you can start by making something clean eating YOU can eat and like. It might possibly even turn others on to a new recipe or even a whole new outlook on healthy living. If the food is provided, usually, there is healthier options. Almost every party these days offers a veggie and fruit platter, even meats and cheese (don’t go crazy on the cheese).
Let’s talk Liquor! With all the extra merriment of the season also comes extra drinking. When trying to cut weight, alcohol of any kind is not your friend, but if you are going to let your hair down and do some celebrating, certain options are better choices than others. Wine, red or white, you are looking at about 120 calories a glass (that’s in an exact 5 oz pour, which I can guarantee you are pouring possibly even twice that. Beer is loaded with empty calories, and leads to belly bloat. Mixed drinks of any kind are loaded with excess calories and sugars, easily racking up over 1000 calories if you aren’t careful. If you are choosing to drink, straight liquor in a shot or on the rocks, is really the way to go, when it comes to getting the most alcohol with the fewest calories. Keep in mind, the sweeter the taste of the liquor usually the more calories as well, so steer towards the “original” versus the flavored.
At the end of the day, the holidays, although packed with a ton of extra stress and things to do, can also be quite nice and a celebration of the year’s end. For some, a time to celebrate an amazing year with family and friends, for others a time to say good riddance and on to a better new year, but regardless a time of celebration. Life is absolutely for living in the moment and should be enjoyed, or else, what are you doing all this hard work for any way? Life truly is too short, but do not let all the hard work you have already done go by the wayside and derail you from the fast track to reaching your goals.

Who knows, maybe that Elf on the Shelf is making a pit stop at Wicked and letting us know what you have been up to. We do have connections at the North Pole.

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Mind over Matter: Mentally Strong

But Did you Die though?

So you have made the decision to start working out. Yes! This is the first step of the journey! But suddenly you don’t know where to start. Or maybe you have decided to try out a class, but are suddenly feeling anxiety about it. “I need someone to go with me”, “What if I’m the only new person”, “I don’t know what to do in a gym”, “Everyone is going to be looking at me”, “What if I’m the most unfit person there”, “I don’t feel comfortable working out in front of people”, and the list goes on and on, and suddenly you are talking yourself out of your decision for a healthier you, before you even start.

Did you know that over half of your fitness journey is actually a mental one? The first step is forcing yourself out the door and in to the gym or class. When I was getting ready to go to boot camp for the Marine Corps, you know what my biggest fear was? Running. It wasn’t the Drill Instructors, getting up a 4am, or even the thought of going to the gas chamber like most recruits dread. It was the simple thought of running and how I had to run 3 miles for my PFT, and I was a terrible runner. I did pass my run in boot camp… I was one of the very last few recruits, but I passed.

If I only knew then what I know now about mental mindset and physical training, I probably would have done much better. When I got out of the Corps, I was looking to lose weight and thought I had to run. It was like a nightmare. I would dread it. I would put it off as long as I possibly could, and then as I start out and am running down the street I’m literally thinking 15 excuses as to why I had to turn back… “I have to pee”, “my ankle hurts”, “damn, why does my knee feel like that”, “I wore the wrong sports bra”, and the list again goes on and on. I was already in motion, half way around the block, still making mental excuses. If only I had not dreaded it so much and thought about all the “ I think I can’s” and “ I know I can’s” and the “ I will’s!

I realized later in life if I took all the excuses and the same mental force I used thinking how I couldn’t and put a positive spin on it, how different things would have been. If I focused on all the things I could do, instead of the ones my body wanted to fight me on, I would have better results quicker. It didn’t dawn on me until much later in life that although my body thought I was going to die during physical activity, I never actually died. Although my lungs were absolutely certain I couldn’t breathe and I didn’t have enough air, there was indeed plenty of oxygen in the air and my body was doing exactly as it was supposed to. You see the first step is getting out the door, and starting your workout, whether that’s in a Wicked Fitness class, or at a gym. The next step is mentally pushing through your workout. When you feel like you just can’t, push just a little bit further. In this “I’m going to die” moment, that’s where big changes occur to NOT just our physical bodies but our mind. Our mind is truly where all our power resides anyway.

So, you did it! You made it through your workout and didn’t die! Now you go home and want to eat the first thing you see. Slow your roll, home slice. That will sabotage the hard work you just put in. The rest of my family is eating pizza and I just worked so hard is not a valid reason. The next hardest thing is mentally training yourself to eat healthful foods to benefit your body and help you reach your goals, even when you are surrounded by poor choices and possible bad decisions. If you are like me, late night temptations will whisper in your ear like a devil…..Stay STRONG!

Finally, you have to train your mind and not just your body to keep going! Just because you worked out and did really well on your eating plan for a few days, or a week does not give you permission to suddenly go crazy. Results take time, hard work, and dedication. That extra 20, 30, 40, 50 plus lbs did not go on overnight, and it’s not going to come off in a few weeks of eating right and working out. You are going to have to sweat and work really, really hard for it. You may have to wake up extra early just to get your workout in… yes… we know it’s way easier to stay in the bed a few minutes longer, or stay up a little later watching that T.V. show. Hard work, commitment, and sacrifice are the only things that truly create change , but the mental work you put in to make the physical happen will leave you a stronger, more confident, healthier YOU. That YOU is incredible and can accomplish anything. KNOW you can. See it in your mind. Believe it. And keep going!

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No Pain, No Gain, Staying Safe While Training

NO PAIN NO GAIN: STAYING SAFE WHILE TRAINING

After years of a moderately active, or even sedentary lifestyle you have finally done it! You have made the decision to take charge of your fitness, your health, body, and mind. For this, we at Wicked Fitness applaud you! It’s a big step, both mentally and physically, and it is a lifestyle change. It’s something in a world that sometimes seems out of our control, that we can directly control. It’s beautiful, it’s hard, and so empowering, and the “you” that is born out of it, is a healthier, stronger, more confident one.
Like any commitment you have ever made, it doesn’t come without sacrifice. The reward is so worth it, but it’s a journey. Your body will remind you of that. It will also remind you how inactive you have been. With your new healthy lifestyle will also likely come a few sore muscles and body aches. As a trainer, my number one concern and mission is keeping my clients safe. Yes, I am going to push you, motivate you, and change your body, but you have to remember, Rome was not built in a day. Nor did you gain an extra 20, 30, 50 plus pounds overnight. It took time to put that weight on. Although for some of us, it seems as though we went to bed one night and woke up 40 lbs. heavier…. Looking at a picture like “wait…what? Where did that come from?”
So, you took the first step, and now we are working it out… hooray! But, in thinking realistically at how long it took to put that weight on, just because you are on your way does not mean it is going to come off overnight either. There is no magic weight loss, although companies try to tell us those lies all the time. As much as you think in your mind that you can, you cannot take your body zero to 100 real quick. That would put you on a path to injury fast, which will thwart progress, and is not worth it.
With that said, there are a few things you must remember. STRETCH!!!! We stretch at the beginning of every class for a reason. Do not skimp on the stretching part, your muscles need it. Tweaked, twinged, strained and pulled muscles happen to the very best of us, even taking the proper precautions. In pushing your muscles to be stronger, your muscles may resist a bit, but stretching will keep them lengthened, and risk of injury lessened.
For all pole athletes, don’t jump in to your tricks. There is a reason our program teaches you from the first day to keep your arm high. Swinging in to your tricks and spins is far less jarring than jumping in to them. When you jump your body feels a sudden demand to catch itself putting a huge sudden strain on your muscles, which could lead to injury. Hands high, take your time, swing. It will also lead to less pole bruises, not to mention, elongating your tricks will look more graceful and aerodynamic.
Don’t push it. Only you can listen to your body. There is a difference between pushing yourself and pushing yourself so far your muscles throw a middle finger up to you. In all classes at Wicked Fitness, we try and give you a beginning exercise, an intermediate, and a more advanced. If you are just starting a workout routine, it might be lofty to attempt the most advanced exercise. A better idea is to start slow and then work your way up. See what your body is capable and then push it, don’t push it past its limits.
As I said, injuries happen to the best of us. You can ask me how like a dummy I folded like Gumby under 120 lbs. of plates one day at the gym (most embarrassing…moment…. EVER). Lesson learned. Some of us, have to learn the hard way to spare others from injury and embarrassment. Like in all sports and physical activity, it’s part of training really hard, and becoming stronger. But if we can spare you from ever having an injury, that is our goal! Keeping you safe, while building the best “you” you can possibly be. Time, technique, and patience is the key to your new fitness journey.

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The Beauty of a Woman

A few years ago I met a man who was up from Charleston to do some business. After talking for quite some time we realized he knew a former client of mine. Such a small world it is. What I found most fascinating is how he described her. When they met she was this brave, strong woman, full of exuberance, and self-confidence, as she was dancing in a club with such passion, as if no one was watching her. He said she was a “wild one”.
I literally laughed out loud. What a great, independent woman she was. However, that was not the same woman who had originally come to me. When we first met, that “wild” woman was hiding. The woman who originally came to me couldn’t bear to even look at herself in the mirror and see her own insecurities, and was so self-conscious in how her body moved when trying to dance, she looked more appropriately suited to be dancing in church than in a night club. Throughout the several years I had her as a client, her “change” always reminded me of a butterfly spreading its wings and being set free.
For years I have seen it over and over. It’s more common than not. Women are hiding. We have been taught that we cannot be too sexy, (people will talk about us, “she must be a Ho”), cannot be too confident (then we are stuck up or conceited), cannot be beautiful (for then we must not be humble), cannot be strong (or else we are manly), cannot be independent (“she must not want a man”), cannot be opinionated (“she’s a bitch”), and the list goes on of all the things women shouldn’t be. So, we have been hiding. We hide under our clothes to hide our bodies, we learn to talk a certain way as to not offend, we look quickly to always be in a relationship, often because we are not truly comfortable with just ourselves.
Women care so much about what other people think. We care what our husbands will think, what our bosses will think, what our families will think, and what our friends will think….. but what about what WE think and feel?! Society has pushed us to be inside this tiny box. We feel the need to compete from the time we are little girls against one another instead of boosting each other up. Why? A strong, sexy, fierce, beautiful, independent, opinionated, EMPOWERED woman is the most feared thing on the planet.
At Wicked Fitness we strive to change society one woman at a time. Women are beautiful, sexy, fierce, strong, funny, quirky, silly, but most of them are lost. They’ve forgotten how to be these things and be ok with it. We give you permission!! You will actually really love that you you have been stifling. We have created a safe place where all women can be accepted and loved for exactly as they are. No boxes required. Actually, we quite prefer you out of your box. Can you handle it? Feeling sexier in your own skin? Remembering the beautiful being you truly are? Having self-confidence and opinions, and not being afraid to actually have conversations and voice them? Find your voice. Find your butterfly and set her free. Stand in your power.

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FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME: NOT YOUR WAISTLINE

Football Season. In my opinion, more exciting than winter, summer, spring, or fall. My personal favorite season of the year. Myself, like so many others, live for weekends from August through January. Whether it’s college teams you are rooting for or the NFL, they all have one thing in common… FOOD. Football food, oh how we love it, and how it will quickly sabotage any recently laid clean eating plans. Here are just a few ways to fight the battle of the bulge with gridiron grit this season.

You throw the party! Whether tailgating or watching the game with a few friends at your house, if it’s your event, you get to plan the food. Have water bottles in a cooler, or even make fruit and spices infused water in a lemonade jar. Tell your friends it’s a BYOB event if they are set on beer with the game. Guess what? These days there are tons of clean eating, football food “cheats” recipes available online. Try buffalo “chicken” cauliflower bites, or turkey meatballs, or even veggie slices instead of chips and dip.

Make it a workout. Those players are working hard out on that field, (most weeks anyway). So, why don’t you challenge yourself also? Every time the opposing team scores, or your own team scores (your choice), do 20 pushups. They aren’t as hard when you are doing them in sets with rests in between. Why not try doing sit ups the entire commercial break, every commercial break, your abs will thank you. How about standing up from your couch and sitting back down 20 times each commercial break? Even doing a fast lap around the block every time the other team scores? The possibilities to get in a workout while you watch the game are endless!

Don’t mindlessly snack. How often are you getting so wrapped up in the game that before you know it, that entire bag of chips and dip sitting in front of you is gone? It’s very easy to not be monitoring portion control when we have food in front of us and we are distracted. So, if this is you, first, change up your snack. The healthier the better, like fresh vegetables or apple slices. Then, if you can also only put out a regular sized portion, so you know when it’s gone, snacking is over for a while. Also, eating an actual healthy meal before the game will stave off hunger and the desire to just eat and eat.

Water Challenge! You have a block of time set aside for the game. So, you are saying, it’s not like a regular day, when drinking your water can run behind schedule because of that work meeting, or kids sports practice, and so on. How much water can you possibly drink during the game? Challenge yourself. You are already close to a restroom and commercial breaks are often. It will hydrate you, and keep you feeling full longer so you don’t mindlessly snack. Remember, water is KEY for flushing fat!

So, there you have it! Just because football season is here doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice all your hard work in the gym. Keep to your goals. Remember, what you eat and do today will affect your whole fitness game plan. Champions are not made over night, nor is a healthy fit body. It takes work, and constant dedication. If you need a pre-game pep talk, we, at Wicked Fitness have got you!  Go TEAM!

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THE GREAT ENLIGHTENMENT: MANIFESTING A NEW REALITY

     I suppose everyone’s “Ah HA!” moment comes in a different form. I can tell you I ignored mine time and time again and let it eat away at me little by little until it literally smacked me across the face while saying, “Woman, WAKE UP”. Then, it was as if it was screaming at me, “Your time here is done! Your lessons are learned. Get to steppin!” From that moment on, I knew when a woman was done, she was just that… done. There was no working on it, or trying to fix it. So, after 7 years, I told my now current ex-husband that I was done. I was filing for divorce. I wasn’t going to fight him for anything. The house, the cars, the furniture, the tvs computers, dishes, he could keep it all. All I wanted was to have custody of my kids, at least 5 days a week so they could be in school with me.

I had very little money, but was so done I refused to fight over “stuff and things”, I just wanted to be free.  I decided I would walk down whatever road it took to be just that, no matter how hard that road was. I had no idea how I would make enough money on a bartenders salary (just tips) to pay rent ANY where, much less electricity, food, gas, and all the other bills that go along with living on your own and supporting two children. I prayed A LOT, and yes, asked for help from the universe knowing I would need some divine intervention. But above all, I had another thought… What if my mental vibrations could help manifest a new destiny?

We have all heard it before, the power of positive thinking.  Often we think of it as cliché and continue on our same destructive thought patterns. But…what if your thoughts really could change your reality? I had nothing to lose right? So, I focused… HARD. I wrote it down. Starting with a place to live. I needed a place for myself and my two kids and knew what I could afford, which wasn’t much. I wrote down everything I hoped for in a place.   I spent the next few months living out of my car like a gypsy, never sleeping on the same pillow two nights in a row. Every night I slept only a few hours between driving and work in a different place, still focusing hard on manifesting a new home that seemed impossibly out of reach. But I had to know with all my being that the universe would answer. It did!! Our place, at exactly the rent I could afford, with almost all my wishes I had written down materialized. Small things I had written, such as lots of windows, and natural sunlight, surrounded by trees and nature, a quiet place for helping bring peace to my soul, even having hardwood floors, all came in to being within 3 months.

So, I began to study more on the idea. Maybe it was fluke, although I found it hard to believe. But just what if I could manifest the life I wanted through the power of my thoughts? There was a study done by Dr. Masaru Emoto who went on to write a book called The Hidden Messages in Water, which explores this same concept. Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific concentrated thoughts are directed towards them. For example, Spring water put in a test tube where words like, Love and Beauty where written and then groups of people surrounded it and thought beautiful loving thoughts directly at the water, over time, that water when observed through a microscope formed the most beautiful crystals. Whereas water exposed to negative thoughts, formed incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with downright dull, brownish colors.

The next thought I had was, if this was true, and our bodies are made up of 65% water, how can this positive thought process change our bodies? If instead of looking in the mirror and instantly thinking how we’ve gained weight, and projecting thoughts like, “I’m fat, I’m ugly, my nose is too big, my thighs have cellulite, and my hair is ugly….” Just what if you took a few moments a day to look at yourself in the mirror and think, “I AM BEAUTIFUL.” What if we challenged ourselves to think and know in the deepest part of our being that we are beautiful, loving bodies, perfect in our own skin? Write it on your mirror and read it to yourself everyday!

So, the challenge is up to you. If you could change your life, your love, your surroundings, your body…. What would your perfect existence look like? Do you think if you focus all your vibrational energy on that powerful thought… can you manifest it in to reality? I know I am a walking example of continually trying to manifest the new life I want. So, do you have anything to lose?

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Bitch Please, Every Excuse in the Book

So before you go getting your panties all in a bunch, and get on some feminist high horse, let it be known that I have nothing but the utmost love, adoration, and respect for women as a sex. And just as my own personal disclaimer I use the word “Bitch” with nothing but love and humor, not in derogatory sense. If you are indeed offended, even in the use of the word in humorous context by a sister trying to get you to wake up, using the word “Bitch”, please stop reading now.

So let’s get real and hold ourselves accountable for the real reasons you are not losing weight and getting results you want. As a trainer I hear excuses all day, all night, and even on weekends. It’s like as children we were taught to make an excuse for everything, or if something isn’t going our way, or the way we had envisioned, suddenly there must be an excuse as to why. So here we go with just a few.

I work out at least three days a week, but I’m still not losing any weight.

Bitch please! Just because you walk into a gym three days a week, and walk on a treadmill, and walk around looking at weight machines for 30-45 min before you really feel as though you’ve “gotten it in” and leave does not mean you have adequately worked out. Especially if you are trying to see real results and fit into those jeans from 5 years ago that you just can’t seem to bring yourself to take to the Goodwill because they “are going to fit again”. In reality, they are only going to fit again in this lifetime if you make some serious changes and put in some serious work.

Maybe I have a thyroid problem.

Bitch please! Or maybe, you have an “I really like to eat pizza, macaroni and cheese, or Tacos on Tuesdays” problem. When you walk in to that gym, have you ever taken a minute to look around you at the ripped people who inhabit such facilities? News flash…they are in there truly GETTING IT five plus days a week, rain or shine, whether they feel like it or not, and yes, even on weekends and holidays, and they have a very regimented diet to match.

I don’t have time to work out.

Bitch please! You mean you don’t really have a super desire so you make an excuse as to the kids having sports, you having to cook dinner for the family, extra work at the office, etc., etc., yadda, yadda, yadda. Yes, these things are all a part of daily life, and as an incredibly busy single mother myself, my day is seemingly never done. But with a little pre planning, it is possible. Make dinners for the whole week, so all you have to do is stick it in the oven. Or, hey, here’s a thought, maybe that two hours you spend watching t.v. with your husband before you fall asleep, some of that time could be spent working out. Or, hey, here’s a thought, why don’t you try getting up and hour earlier, so you can do it and get it out of the way for the day? (Shrieking… I know… anything but that)

I walk every night.

Ok, not trying to get down on the fact that you truly are making time to do something, but news flash, walking is only really adequate exercise for pregnant women and those with disabilities or recovering from surgery. In order to truly be doing enough to see results, you need your heart rate elevated for a MINIMUM of 15 minutes at a time. So, are you walking up a mountain? Are you doing walking and running intervals until sweat is pouring from your face and you feel like your lungs may give out? By walking do you mean through water for resistance, or with 20 lb ankle weights? No? Ok, than chances are good, you’re walking around the block a few times, although better than nothing, and good for digestion, is not doing enough to see results to get back into those jeans.

I eat really healthy.

Bitch please! Let’s define your version of the word healthy. I bet you didn’t know when you don’t eat all day at the office, and then chow down on dinner, your metabolism has been at a standstill all day and then is suddenly overloaded with food it then can’t burn off. Or those carrot sticks and celery you had for lunch, yes, I give you props you are trying, but you just cancelled them out with the amount of Ranch dressing you drown them in to get them down. That salad you had at the restaurant with your coworkers… same thing…bacon bits, cheese, and croutons drowned in dressing cancels out the good you are trying to do. Let’s not forget, that Gatorade you just pounded at the end of your “workout”… yeah, the amount of sugar in it just sabotaged what you just did. (Unless you are vomiting profusely, you don’t usually need to replace electrolytes. Water is your best choice).

I have this medical condition, X, Y, and or Z.

Bitch please! You may indeed have a medical condition, but chances are likely exercise is some way, shape or form will make your condition better, your pain less, and give you more energy. You just have to find what works well for YOU without aggravating your condition. There is this beautiful practice called Yoga that is noninvasive, simple stretching, while strengthening your muscles and working on balance. Swimming is fantastic for those with injuries, and preexisting conditions. Even conditions causing debilitating pain can sometimes be over come through exercise. So, the next time you see an athletic amputee, you might want to take a second to reflect on how they never let anything slow them down. Sometimes it’s just as much mental as it is physical.

I really don’t eat much, but I’m still gaining weight.

Bitch please! News flash, you could be under eating causing your body’s metabolism to slow to a hault and hold on to every single calorie and ounce of fat and nutrition it can eek out of the small amount of food you are eating. In order to keep your body burning you have to be feeding it constantly, and no, that doesn’t mean whatever you want. So much food we grab on the go is full of empty calories. And FYI, maybe you didn’t eat throughout the day, but between that grande latte for breakfast, that smoothie for lunch, that coke on your break,  and that beer at happy hour, you consumed enough sugar and calories just in what you drank to last you a week.

 

These are just a few of the many, many excuses I hear constantly surely along with almost every trainer, at every gym, every where. We have come to terms with the fact the we will always hear excuses because honestly, it’s easier than the latter of actually holding yourself accountable for your actions, your weight, and your lifestyle. Just keep in mind, those around you who really are getting results, changing their bodies, and their mindset, are working hard to do so. Nothing in life that is truly rewarding came easily or without sacrifice. At Wicked Fitness we understand how trying just life in general can be. So, when you are done making excuses we will be right there with open arms to help you on your fitness journey, and with the tools for your success. It’s always easier with a coach in your corner, and Bitch please, you know we’d love to help you reach your goals!

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Just Glow With It

Masquerade balls, secret societies, even today’s modern Halloween, all invoke a feeling of excitement and mystery, and all have something in common…. We feel safe expressing ourselves behind a mask. This has dated back centuries. Even some of our most loved folk tales involve some character or another wearing a mask. When our faces are “hidden” or shrouded in darkness we feel a sense of freedom to express ourselves in ways we normally would think twice about for fear of being judged. In my opinion, it’s the same reason raves gained such popularity in the 90’s. The freedom to walk into a dark space, only illuminated by magical lights and sounds that play on the senses and suddenly one was free to dance for hours on end with complete strangers.

This is possibly the reason behind one of the hottest new trends at house parties, fraternity ragers, birthday bashes and even fitness facilities, the return of the glow party. Who doesn’t love the allure of being in the dark? Add black lights, iridescent glow paint, neon clothing, and heart thumping rhythms and it’s like magic. Even the fitness industry is getting on board with glow spin classes, and even Rave fitness. In the dark, suddenly even the idea of working out doesn’t seem as intimidating. At Wicked Fitness, we strive to bring our clients new, cutting edge, out of the box fitness experiences, so yes, of course we are jumping on this band wagon too, of course with a wicked twist.

Tribal Glow will be an all-out feast for the senses all while feeling the safety net of being unrecognizable in the dark. Tribal costumes, glow attire, tribal glow in the dark painting, and mesmerizing rhythms will not only have you feeling like you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole, but you can feel free to let your inner self dance freely amongst a sisterhood of other women there to encourage and have fun! Why should kids get to have all the fun? Glow fitness makes you forget how truly hard you are working your muscles. I hope you come hide in the dark with us and at the same time be set free!

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