January Book Club Pick…

FOOD RULES, Michael Pollan

HELLO EVERYONE, and HAPPY 2012! Thanks for joining my Muffintop Makeover book club! At the end of 2012 you will be able to say you made a difference in your own life, and in the lives of your friends and family, which is what life is all about…..making the world a better place, right? The best way to do that is to start with yourself, and, if I have anything to do with it, you are not going to end up like this guy…

So each month of this year, we will read a book on health.  I have chosen books that I know will make a difference in your life, so if you already have a book club, why not add one more book each month? You can keep it as simple as that, or take it to another level by taking it on line, setting up a facebook page with your friends, sharing healthy recipes, exercising together, setting goals, etc. it’s up to you. You can join in solo and be part of our on line group, or create a group of your own.  You can participate as a family, or with friends, whatever works for you!

I look forward to connecting with you. We will be having guest bloggers each month, including authors and other experts who with share and educate with us as well. This blog, along with the fan page, will be a constant source of info and guidance as you and your group move along the 12 months. It is my goal to share with you as much information as possible in order to help you to become a healthier person in 2012…and of course, to help you get rid of that muffintop. :)

FOOD RULES is a great book to start with. Michael Pollan really knows his stuff, and he delivers it in a way that is easy to digest, no pun intended. :)

So get your book and start reading it! Make sure you have “liked” our fan page, because I will be posting on it daily in regards to your muffintop and this book club. Also, please be sure you have signed up to receive this blog, I have many exciting things in the works for 2012!

Looking forward to spending 2012 with you!

Heather Morgan

Join Our Healthy Living Book Club!

OK, ladies, we all know how much fun book clubs can be, right? Well, I want to share with you something my friends and I put into action last year that takes the book club idea to a whole new level…..

A HEALTHY LIVING BOOK CLUB

It is so much fun and, more importantly, it makes you a better you!

My job as a nutrition coach is to help people to get educated about how to live a healthier life, and I have found that the best way to get educated and to make lasting changes is to do it in a supportive environment.  So if you want to make healthy changes in your life, why not do it together with your friends in a fun way?

Here’s how you can join in….

1. Download the healthy living book club invitation and book list from our fan page (after Jan 1st). www.facebook.com/muffintopmakeover.com. There will be a recommended book for each month of 2012- many of them coming out in 2012, exciting new ones! (also check out last weeks post, THE SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS to see the list) There will also be recipes, movies, and articles recommended each month for your group to try and discuss.

2. Meet with your group, set your monthly meeting dates, pick a name for your group, and then post it on this site so we can follow your group!

3. Make it fun! Set goals together, support each other, create an exercise calendar and exercise together. Try some out of the box things!

My group arranged private kick box lessons, ran at the track, hiked, had movie nights, shared healthy recipes, discussed books, cleansing programs and the list goes on.  I can honestly say we are healthier because of it!

4. Share your stories on this site.  We will be giving prizes for creativity, fun, results, muffintop makeover challenge winners and more….The authors of the books will also be guest blogging and participating, fun! Who knows…you just may be featured in my upcoming book! :)

For more info., check out last weeks posts below….also subscribe to this blog and our facebook page, as we will be posting info weekly for you and your group.

Join us, and get healthy while having fun. I will be provide a weight loss program for everyone to follow along with the book lists and info….Lets do this!

Feel free to post comments or questions here and I will get back to you with answers…

Yours in health and fun,

Heather Morgan, MS, NLC

www.morganholistichealth.com

No matter how hard you try….

YOU CAN’T SUCK IN BACK FAT.

So lets get to work! We’re not talking resolutions, here, we’re talking re-programming behaviors, getting educated, living it, and paying it forward to your friends and families….

WE HAVE OUR WORK CUT OUT FOR US…. One of my favorite sayings is, “how you do something is how you do everything.” We are intense creatures of habit, and not only are our habits ours, they are usually shared with those who we associate with, so from a social perspective, changing habits becomes very challenging.  That is why I have established the Muffintop Makeover Healthy Living Book Club…. It allows you to get your friends and family on board with adopting healthier habits, which makes your journey much easier and more enjoyable. Think book club, recipe club, support group, exercise club, all in one….for more details check out last weeks post (The Sixth Day of Christmas).

My friends and I put this into action last year and here is what we did:

We sent out invitations and invited our friends to join our new group. We met for coffee and discussed a monthly meeting time – one evening per month where we would discuss the book of the month and sample and share healthy recipes. We also outlined all exercise activities in the area and set up a shared calendar for the group to use as a reference. We planned fun, “out of the box” activities, such as booking private kickboxing lessons for our group, hikes, outings, movie nights (Food Inc., etc) etc. We set basic, doable goals and made commitments to each other to stick to our goals. We had online communication going weekly, sharing recipes, stories, challenges, and support.

THIS IS A POWERFUL MODEL FOR SUCCESS

As a nutrition coach, I cannot begin to tell you how powerful the group thing is….solo success is possible, but group success is inevitable….join in solo, as a group, or as a family!

Here is what you need to get started in month one….

1) Download the Healthy Living Book Club Invitation and Getting Started Document from our facebook fan page…www.facebook.com/muffintopmakeover. (will be up first week of January) Be sure to “like” our page, because daily announcements for the club will be posted there.

2) Invite friends to meet to discuss details for your group. Make it fun, get creative, because we will be giving prizes to groups for creativity, success stories, and more…

3) Post your club name and details on this site so we can follow you! Share your stories, adventures, and ideas…pictures and videos, too!

Our healthy living book club will feature monthly books, and the authors will be invited to guest blog and participate.  There will be suggested recipes, blog sharing, educational articles, and more. We will also have a quarterly award for our Muffintop Makeover Challenge winners, based on nominations by your group or family.

I suggest having your monthly meeting towards the end of the month, so the group has time to read the book and try the recipes….

That’s it, simple and fun!

If you know of anyone who you think would like to participate, please share…..I look forward to helping you get healthy in 2012! Oh, and be sure to subscribe to the right if you haven’t already! :)

Yours in healthy fun,

Heather Morgan

The Eighth Day of Christmas….

 

 

ON THE EIGHT DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME……totally natural skin care!

Do you ever read the label before you put something on your skin? Please do! Your skin is our largest organ and when you put toxic chemicals on it you are feeding disease.  Whatever you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, so please start using natural and organic products.

My rules for putting products on my body:

1) If you can eat it, it’s ok.

2) If you cannot pronounce it, don’t buy it.

3) If it had parabens, run.

OK, here is an ADORABLE site with a great line of products….You need to know about this, for sure…basically, I want EVERYTHING.

www.arabellasbeautyfromnature.com

ON THE NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME….the coolest Cross Fit shoes, ever.

www.zappos.com

ON THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME…….A book to get lost in…I dare you not too.

www.dianagabaldon.com

ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MT TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME…….this totally cool water bottle with storage…Did I mention water makes you beautiful and helps you lose your muffintop?

Contigo AUTOSEAL Kangaroo water bottle with storage…

www.gocontigo.com

ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME…..A shiny new kettle bell. Learn how to use this properly and you’ll say bye-bye to muffintop.

Well, this concludes our 12 Days of Christmas, and the launch of this blog….thank you for joining me. If you are enjoying this blog, will you please subscribe to it and share it with your friends? I so appreciate the support!

Merry on….

Heather

The Seventh Day of Christmas

The Seventh Day of Christmas

 

ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME……health of spirit!

Well, here we are, just a few days from Christmas, and I am certainly feeling the crunch. Can you say STRESS?? Not to worry, though, I am taking time to enjoy the season daily and reminding myself that this is not about me, nor is it about fancy gifts, fancy food, decorations, or parties. While all of these are present in my world, I am doing a good job of reminding myself of the true reason for the season…

SPIRIT.

There are many paths to God, and whether your celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, both, or none of the above, you are a person with a soul who has to rely on faith, hope, and trust to get through this life. Whether or not you a believer, you BELIEVE. You have to. You are here and your existence is not by chance. So unless you have all the answers, you must have some level of spiritual faith. It’s that faith, that belief in something greater than yourself that you cannot see, that can be an amazing source of strength and guidance in your life.

I happen to be a giant believer. You know why? Because I have discovered through my own personal journey that it works. Big time. Relying on something greater than myself has changed my life. And I know one thing is for certain, there are some things we are just not supposed to know. I am ok with that. I feel it’s my place, humbly, to stay open to all possibilities. I love learning about different approaches to faith. FAITH, in itself, is a rocking word. Believing in something you can’t see….is that not the ultimate surrender of ego? Find what resonates with you and work it baby… if it’s right, you will experience a life of ease, you will see battles dissolve, and the way to your purpose will unfold. True story.

After I became ill, not only did I have a nutritional awakening, but I also had a spiritual awakening. It started with The Secret (Lord knows I needed it, literally) and continued into the Course in Miracles, the Bible, and anything else I could get my hands on that would further my spiritual growth. I found my path on my own, when I was ready, open and willing to look beyond myself to something greater than me.

SPIRIT AWAKENED…..That inner voice that I had always second guessed or ignored. That intuitive gift, spiritual concierge, I like to call it. I was wired with it all along, but the switch was turned off. I had not known it was there or how to turn it on.  I was running on an auto pilot switch called me, myself, and I, and as soon as I realized my greatest source of support was from something I can’t see, miracles started to happen….

DO YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN HAVE A LIFE OF MIRACLES?

The miracle, for me, has been finding my purpose and my passion…. fulfillment that I had not experienced when my spiritual health was being ignored…

So what does this have to do with muffintops? Just know that true health involves practices and disciplines that nourish the mind, body and spirit. Every ounce of that muffintop of yours was created due to some sort of an imbalance of these three. When your habits attend to the harmony of the mind, body, and spirit, your body composition will be a beautiful testiment to a balanced life.

Mind = thoughts of love, positivity, abundance, self-worth.

Body = fed by nourishing foods from the earth, the way it was designed to be fed. Functional movement.

Spirit = connecting with something greater than yourself as a source of guidance, growth, and strength.

This season is about connecting with spirit and expressing gratitude for our existence. If you are celebrating Christmas, I hope you will be reminded this is about the birth of Jesus Christ, and what his life here on earth meant for us.

Each time I sit down to write, I ask God to guide me. Today I had planned to write about gift ideas for Christmas. After the first paragraph, that inner voice took over and this is what we got. My message of health today is about nourishment of the spirit.

Blessings of the season,

Heather

PS. I know you are busy :) Please take a moment to subscribe on the right and then share below….I am grateful for your support in helping me to socialize this blog…..

The Sixth Day of Christmas

The Sixth Day of Christmas

ON THE SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME……….A nutritional library!

What’s more sexy than beauty AND brains? The combo is hard to beat. That is what happens when you get educated on health and nutrition, you become a healthier, more attractive, smarter version of the already fantastic you. How about it?

Knowledge is power, and in this case it’s em-pow-er-ing!

Before I had my nutritional “awakening”, I had no idea how my diet was affecting my health. You would think that I would have clued in to the fact that my  daily sugar habit was part of the reason I felt tired  all the time…. but I didn’t.

Here is the way I used to eat:

Breakfast – Coffee and pastry

Lunch – fast food, deli food, or school cafeteria food (I was a teacher for 8 years)

Snack – m&m’s, cookie, or candy

Dinner – take out or packaged (rarely from scratch) food made at home, followed by more sugar.

Yep, that was me, and after I had children, stress combined with malnutrition and no sleep finally brought me down….pneumonia, menengitis, and ecoli all within six months. An infection in my brain that took me down for a year…all while I was running a business with 25 employees and contractors and raising a 1 and 3 year old.

STRESS + SUGAR+ NO SLEEP+ MALNUTRITION = POOR IMMUNITY

What I needed was rest and nourishment. What I got was a potent cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs. Fortunately, my intuition told me not to take them, and even more fortunately, my intuition told me I needed help with my diet. At that point I was living off of poor quality sugary protein drinks and “health bars”. I ask my Dr. to refer a nutritionist and he said I didn’t need one.  He also said there was no cure for the autoimmune condition that was going on – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Out of desperation, I decided to take matters into my own hands, so I moved on the book store….

IT’S IN THE BREAKDOWN THAT THE BREAKTHROUGH HAPPENS…..

Never mind the fact that never, not once, did a Dr. mention to me that it could be my diet.  Nor did they EVER ask me about what I ate. I cannot, for the life of me, understand how our broken health care system can be missing the most important piece to the puzzle when it comes to solving the health crisis in America. Our diet.

EVERY TIME YOU EAT OR DRINK, YOU ARE EITHER FEEDING DISEASE OR FIGHTING IT

True story.

When it comes to health, YOU have to take matters into your own hands. Don’t wait for the Dr. to tell you what your body has been telling you for years. THERE IS SO MUCH you can do to prevent yourself from getting disease. I was pretty clueless when it comes to health and nutrition until I didn’t have a choice.  I was lucky, I was young, so I had my repair systems working on my behalf. But as we age, our ability to repair diminishes, and our bad habits have a stronger impact. This is when good habits are absolutely necessary.

THIS IS WHY YOU NEED A HEALTH AND NUTRITION LIBRARY.

Consider what you read these days and think about how you might be able to fit in some educational time for your wellness.  Not only will the education help you, it will help the rest of our family. We are a sick nation, friends, and trust me when I say the government, FDA, and health care system isn’t going to give you the answers you need to turn it around for you and your family.

So here are my picks for starting out your nutritional library. If you read one book a month, you will have read them all in a year and you will be more knowledgeable than most of America when it comes to diet and nutrition. In fact, I am such a believer in nutrition education, I would like to invite you to be a part of my Muffintop Makeover Book Club for 2012…..

Here’s how it works:

You can either,

a) Read my recommended book each month, and when you do, get entered into a quarterly drawing to win a special surprise, such as a phone interview with the author, a signed book copy, or something else cool related to health and nutrition. :)

or

b) Gather some friends once a month to discuss my recommended book for the month. Make it fun! Bring healthy recipes to share and share your goals, challenges, successes, etc. Enter your GROUP into the group drawing by sending me a video or picture of your group. There will be prizes for categories such as most inspiring, most fun, most results, etc… The winners will be featured on this site, and you might even make it in to my book! :)

There will also be prizes for most books read, as I will be adding more than just the 12 books to our book club list, in addition to relevant videos and documentaries, too.

Fun!!!, Right?? :)

BTW, if you have a nutritional book that you love, feel free to post it as a comment so others can learn about it and add it to their libraries. I would love to hear about books that have helped you.  Also, if you are looking for a book on a particular subject, ask me, chances are I have read one.  I am a nutrition GEEK…..

BOOK # 1

Perfect book to start with, simple, yet impactful and educational.

Michael Pollan, Food Rules

BOOK #2

Finally! Emphasis on nutrients per calorie…HELLO!

Mira Calton and Jayson Calton, Naked Calories

BOOK#3

Love these simple and nourishing programs…there is one for every lifestyle.

Adina Neimerow, Super Cleanse, Revised Edition

BOOK#4

So important!!

Dr. Mike Dow, Diet Rehab

BOOK#5

OMG! RUN, don’t walk to get this one!

Nell Stephenson, Paleoista

BOOK#6

You had me at SEX DRIVE….

Dr Jen Landa, Sex Drive Solutions

BOOK#7

Need I say more???

Marcelle Pick, Tired and Wired

BOOK#8

Who wouda thunk?

Daniel Amen, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body

BOOK#9

Yep.

THE HORMONE CURE

(No picture available)

Book releases later in 2012

Sarah Gottfried, The Hormone Cure

BOOK# 10

Dr Haas does Detox, for sure.

Elson Haas, The Detox Diet , Third Edition

BOOK #11

You”ll use this ALOT!

Book #12

Pick a book from the Muffintop Library and share a video about what you learned!

****************

OK, Muffintop friends, lets do this. Are you in? Then PLEASE help spread the word by forwarding to friends and clicking on facebook share at the bottom of this post. Form a book and recipe club, so you can set goals, support each other, and have fun learning together….Many of these authors are looking forward to connecting with this community, so we will have a great educational and FUN experience!

THANK YOU for allowing me to share my passion with you,

Heather

The Fifth Day of Christmas……

The Fifth Day of Christmas

 

THE FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME…..beautiful shapewear for my girlie figure!

WE’RE MAKIN OVER MUFFIN TOPS FROM THE INSIDE OUT

From sit-ups to shapewear, we’ve got ya covered…. I seriously HAD NO IDEA there was such beautiful and effective shapewear out there to help muffintop until I started researching for my book. Whether you have lots of stuffin in your muffin, or just a bit of unsightly excess, a little shapewear goes a long way in putting the finishing touches on your figure…

There is something feminine and romantic about old fashioned corsets. They were the fashion workhorses of their time, pulling in loose muscles from having babies as well as the extra fat that came from a high starch diet which was often consumed in those days. They certainly served their purpose, and in many cases too well. There were many deaths related to women wearing corsets because corsets cut off blood and oxygen flow to vital organs, eventually causing organ failure. A large price to pay to look good, don’t ya think?

Fortunately, shapewear has come a long way in terms of comfort and safety. In fact, the shapewear of today is down right comfortable. It holds you in just enough to feel supported, and gives your muscles a hand, while making you look tight and smooth.

Check out this little number for holiday…..

Goes under your dress, smoothes out the chunkiness, if you know what I mean…

…and how about this for every day muffintop makeover?

How sexy is that for a girdle? It’s a thong, BTW. :)

Yep. And how much would your hubby freak out if you undressed and had this on underneath?…

Now that’s what I’m talkin about, serves two purposes, helps your muffintop and your love life.

These are from one of my favorite companies, Yummie Tummie……Check em out, www.yummietummie.com

Thank goodness we have such beautiful stuff to help us look great in our clothes, but what about when we are are in our swim suits or birthday suits??

LET HEALTHY LIVING BE YOUR CORSET

Here is where you come in. You only live once, and how old are you? Remember my words, THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR LOVED ONES IS TO BE HEALTHY….

My next post will be about healthy habits for optimal muffintop control. Between now and then, keep a journal of everything you eat and drink as well as your sleep times and quality and your exercise. OK? the first step in changing habits is knowing what habits need changing. You with me? This is in preparation for our Muffintop Makover challenge coming in January.  Please share this will your friends so they can join in too… and, hey, when they subscribe to this blog and tell me you sent them you just might win a juicer! There is still time (ends Friday the 16th at 10 pm) and the people in the lead so far only have a few referrals, so it’s still doable! Wouldn’t you love to have a juicer to help you get through the Muffintop Challenge?? :)

Thanks, friends, for your support and participation, let’s have fun! :)

Heather

 

 

 

The Fourth Day of Christmas…..

 

The Fourth Day of Christmas

THE FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME……A good nights sleep!

This is Blythe, isn’t she cute? She is having a hard time falling asleep. Check out those circles around her eyes….look familiar?

Listen up, Muffin Friends, you can’t be beautiful and muffin free without plenty of SLEEP! As my mother so eloquently put it, “they don’t call it beauty rest for nothing, duh!”

Sleep is right up there with what  you eat and how you exercise when it comes to muffintop control, so PLEASE hear me when I say GET TO BED! The dishes and the laundry can wait, and so can the next episode of Mad Men…

So here’s the deal. Your body is so brilliant it actually has it’s own biological time clock. It has a natural circadian rhythm that it hopes you will listen to and honor. It also tells you when you are not honoring your natural sleep patters by creating circles under your eyes, fat around your mid-section, brain fog, and much more. But be warned, your body is so loyal to you that it will reluctantly adapt to your habits. I often hear clients say, “I don’t need much sleep”, or “I have always been this way”…. Truth is, somewhere along the line their biological rhythm has gotten off course. This can even happen to babies. Over time, poor sleep habits make a big difference in your wellness of being, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Your body does most of it’s REPAIR while you sleep, and, just so you know, REPAIR = ANTI-AGING.

The bodies natural rhythm is set to wind down and rise up according to the sun. This is why you feel so tired as you head into winter.  Your body is actually speaking to you and asking you to adjust your schedule for more rest as the nights become longer. So why not listen and go to bed earlier?

If your schedule requires you to rise before the sun, then make sure you are making up for it during the day with a nap.

Naps are the bomb. They do much more than just recharge your battery. They recharge your mind, body, and spirit. They help keep you from being that crazy person that surfaces when you are stressed out and tired. Yea, you know what I’m talking about.

So what does sleep have to do with your muffin top?

It all has to do with your hormones, imagine that…. When your body has to push itself to stay awake it calls upon what is often referred to as our “stress hormone”, Cortisol.  Cortisol keeps you going, but not without a price. It also promotes fat storage around the mid-section….another magical way our body lets us know something is out of balance.

POOR SLEEP HABITS = MUFFINTOP.

So here’s a few tips (you have to wait for my book to get the full sleep protocol :)

1) Take Magnesium. A Chelated form is best. A ratio of 2:1 with calcium is also helpful.

2) Cut the caffeine by noon each day.

3) Start moving up your bedtime by 15 minutes  each week until you get to 10 pm or earlier. I frankly believe 9pm is ideal for health and beauty.

4) Clear your mind. Write a list of everything you have to do before you wind down for bed so your mind doesn’t keep racing and thinking about things. Knowing you have written it all down releases you from thinking about it.

5) Keep rich foods, alcohol and sugar to a minimum after 6pm. (and ideally at all times :)

6) Try my sleepy time smoothie recipe: 1 c water, 1 c warm coconut milk, 1 c pitted cherries (thaw and drain frozen works fine), 1 tsp Inositol powder, 1 scoop vanilla paleomeal protein powder. Blend and drink slightly warm before you start your bedtime routine.

Cherries are high in melatonin, whey has tryptophan, Inositol is an amino acid that supports sleep, and coconut milk has good fats to help you sleep. This one tastes great, too. :)

These supplements can be purchased by clicking on the Designs for Health button on this Blog. DFH is a top quality brand found only through health professionals. They do it right, no fillers, sugars, crap of any kind. The raw materials are the best available. I have used them for almost 10 years because they get the best results. The quality is far better than most store bought products. My cart will be set up in about a week. So check back then.

I hope you have a restful holiday, taking time to love yourself and your family enough to SLEEP.  Your family and your muffintop will be better because of it….

z.z.z.z.z.z.z.z….,

Heather

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Third Day of Christmas……

The Third Day of Christmas

THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME……..A conditioning program!

Hi there. Take my quiz to see if you need physical conditioning:

1) Are you a professional athlete?

2) Are you a Cirque Du Soliel star?

3) Are you a super hero?

4) Are you a thoroughbred race horse?

5) Are you a professional ballerina?

If you said yes to any of these, chances are you are highly conditioned and have pretty good muffin top control. If you said no to all of these, you might want to listen up, it’s time to start CONDITIONING your body.

Make no mistake, friends, there is a big difference between “being in shape” and being conditioned. Most people consider being in shape a point at which their clothes fit well, they have pretty good muscle tone, and not a whole lot of fat….fair enough. Being CONDITIONED, however, is where it’s at, and here’s why….

Being conditioned prepares you for the unpreparable. Think cave woman. It is a point at which you are strong, flexible, and agile enough to run from a tiger, leap a brooke, and climb a tree so you don’t become dinner. Ok, maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but you get the picture. It’s athleticism. Skinny is out, wimpy serves no purpose in the aging process, just like it served no purpose in the cave man days. Lean muscle mass is what you want for healthy aging and there is plenty of science to prove it.

REPEAT AFTER ME: HEALTHY IS THE NEW SKINNY.

A good conditioning program takes into consideration aerobic and anaerobic development, strength, flexibility, full body neuromuscular movements, training in running, jumping, pushing, pulling, lifting and much more. This is how you tune a body for longevity and, well, hottness factor.

HEAR THIS:  CHICKS NEED TO PUMP IRON, AND LOTS OF IT.

Exercise science has repeatedly shown us the hormonal and anti-aging benefits of pumping iron. I am not just talking about walking around the gym and picking out a machine to jump on for a while until you are bored and ready for the next one. I’m talking about ass-kicking, free-weight iron pumping until you can’t do any more. Not very common for most women today.

So how will this help your muffintop? Exercising for muffintop control is all about exercising for fat burning, not fat storing. Can you store fat from exercising? That would be a big FAT YES! Your approach to muffintop training should involve high intensity short duration bursts. Add all the other conditioning points I mentioned above and you are on our way….

Now, here is your million dollar muffin tip for today…..get way out of the comfort zone!! If you are exercising the way you did 20 years ago, or if you do the same thing all the time you need to mix it WAY UP!

The best conditioning program on this planet is called CROSSFIT. My husband opened a CrossFit gym a few months ago, and I have to say I was not too enthusiastic about the raw, iron pumping, cave-man approach the CrossFitters take.  I have never been a lover of exercise anyway, and, as a woman, it did not appeal to me at all. My husband is a 20+ year veteran personal trainer, and he really knows his stuff.  So I trusted his belief that CrossFit is exactly what this out-of-shape nation needs. Besides, after two years of living the good life in Sonoma, I had an extra twelve pounds I needed to get rid of and a muffintop that would put anyone to shame. Tail between my legs and fear in high gear, I reluctantly took my de-conditioned self to my first CrossFit class…

First of all, I was blown away at the amount of warming-up and stretching they do.  This is to prepare your body for the high intensity part of the workout. Coming from a girl who has frozen fish sticks for legs this is a good thing. Then, after the warm up, they teach a skill that prepares you for the daily work out.  I love this because it’s the educational part of the class, and you are actually learning and being educated, which is a novel approach, don’t you think? Then, there is a high intensity, short duration, work out, usually for time.  It’s set up in stations and moderated by a CrossFit certified coach. You go at your own pace, modifying when needed, while giving it your all.  You feel GREAT when you are done.

CrossFit is a CONDITIONING SPORT, and it is becoming all the rage.  CrossFit games are now featured on ESPN, and most CrossFit gyms have their own games, which are a lot of fun. CrossFit gyms are typically called “boxes” and their members are referred to as athletes, which speaks to it’s conditioning type of approach. It’s great for sports training of any kind, or simply for getting rid of your muffintop. I am totally addicted and the results have been amazing.

Get CONDITIONED. Your life will change, and so will your muffintop.  :)

A work in progress,

Heather