What is a Challenge Group?

Until five weeks ago, I had never heard of a fitness challenge group. Then, reading through Runner’s World, I learned about fitness groups that live in the same area, getting together to run and workout. The article talked about the success that resulted from being accountable to one another, and encouraging each other.

But an online challenge group is a bit different. We all meet together at http://www.facebook.com/leeschallengegroup  to share our concerns, struggles, and triumphs, without actually being together. Our friends and family may be two miles away, or two time-zones, and we can’t see what we’re all doing or not doing, and we are not actually getting to share a light lunch at the local diner after our runs. I definitely see a value to that person-to-person camaraderie that Facebook can’t match. But, for those of us who are too far apart to fellowship, it’s still a good forum to explore. We share articles on fitness, and advice from pros on everything from proper stretching to clean eating. We commit to follow the program and eat right, and to document our photos, weight loss or gain, and general notes about our shared experience.

Words can lie, but pictures cannot…

And since I see the benefits of a personal challenge group among peers, I am considering starting a local group as well.

What is your experience with challenge groups? Share your stories and advice with me! 

 

AND, if you’d like to know more about my Focus T-25 Challenge group, please comment below, or visit my Facebook page, or order yours today at http://www.teambeachbody.com/leemackenzie and choose me as your coach. My ID# 327883.

Advertisements

The Five Pound Bobber

That damned five pounds that goes up and down and leaves you elated one day and bummed three days later. It’s ridiculous. Why? It’s a five pound bobber because it’s the weight that seems to fluctuate up and down based on body rhythms and what you’ve consumed recently, and what of it you’ve eliminated- or not .

So, today it’s 134. And, I’m just about ready to not give a rat’s ass. I am staying low-carb, drinking a lot of water, diligent to drink my superfood shakeology, and I am working out five days per week. T-25 is not easy. I am also aware that my body is in repair mode a lot right now, as I continue to put micro-tears in my muscle fibers. Repair, in a biological engine like humans have, requires water.  

Meanwhile…I continue to chat up my Challenge group on Facebook. I have one member, and she’s awesome. She has already lost 9 pounds. She’s in the Coast Guard and was super-fit. Having a baby kind of set her back a bit in terms of having a super hard body. She is working hard, though, and is very young. She will be in great shape in no time. It doesn’t happen through wishing and planning. Fitness requires action. 

Everything worth doing requires more effort than you might expect or wish to expend. I like to think in terms of lift and drag. Getting airborne takes monumental effort, but once lift overcomes drag, you’re flying. Life is like that. 

I’ve spent way too much of my life crying over the effort required to fly instead of actually doing to the work to get up there. That has stopped now. I will no longer be content with merely hopping up and down pretending I am moments from flight. I have to back up, make an amazing run, putting everything I have into reaching my goal, and without stopping to be afraid of the height or wondering what I will do when I get up there, race full speed ahead into it. 

When it comes to fitness and weight loss, I know that my way is not the only way. Certainly not. It’s just the best way for me. Lots of others, too. But we are all different in what we enjoy, what we will and will not work hard at. 

Not everyone is going to want to be a coach with me. I will be lucky to find people who are intrepid, adventuring sorts who won’t let a couple of hundred dollars get between them and where they could be. Not everyone has a vision. Not everyone is an entrepreneur, or can see the value of being in business for way less than the price of two Katy Perry concert tickets. 

Most of all, not everybody wants to work hard. It’s just that simple. 

I was that person once. 

Not anymore. 

I will succeed. 

Come with me.

Another Pound DOWN ! Thanks Focus T-25!

So, here I am, still low-carbing it, but now I’ve added a new daily routine. It’s T-25. by Shaun T., creator of Insanity and Asylum. He’s inspirational, and a good coach. I am also a coach now, and so I am thrilled to be seeing results! My ketone strip showed moderate today, from a usual trace or low, and that’s also inspiring. My Shakeology drinks are really curbing my appetite, especially when combined with low-carb. So, actual amounts consumed now are 1100-1300 daily, with a very low amount of carbs, Those come mostly from the Shakeology itself, veggies, and fruit. I am still not eating things like couscous and quinoa, corn, rice, or any flour products, really, with the exception of the occasional low-carb tortilla. I’m trying to stay away from Atkin’s bars, but I do still use them a few times a week. I just feel like they are too lab-generated. I have developed a sensitivity or allergy to something in my life, though, and I am worried it might be something that is completely healthy and natural in my Shakeology, but that I personally might be sensitive to. I have developed strange rashes and bumps and reactions lately to I don’t-know-what. I hope it’s not the shakes, because they are full of good things. I just wonder if I am allergic to the mushrooms, or something?? But, all is well and the workout is INTENSE and amazing! Join me on my fitness quest, join my challenge, and get your own challenge pack and take your fitness to a whole new level! 

Amazing Low-Carb Chocolate & Pumpkin Muffins- Flourless/Sugarless

I was inspired by George Stella’s recipes. He uses cream cheese and egg, along with separted egg white in many of his baked goods recipes. This, I have found, gives not only thickness to a batter, but fluffiness, without flour! In various of my baking experiments without using these ingredients in the way that I did here, the results have been quite disappointing. The other change I made was to use Truvia! Ethyritol is a sugar alcohol, as is mannitol and malitol, without the stomach upset they inevitably cause me. It also tastes great, and is blended with stevia in this product.

So, I found this gem of a butter in the nutrition department of my local giant grocer. (not Walmart). It’s Called Wild Friends Chocolate Almond Butter with Sunflower seeds/oil. Not many seeds, but you can taste the oil. It lended itself remarkably well to this muffin recipe! This was just a eureka moment for me, as I had been wondering how I could it in baked goods since I first tasted it. It’s only 5 grams net carbs per 2 tablespoon serving. 

Here it is, best I can remember from creating it last night!

1/2 cup Wild Friends Chocolate almond butter

1/2 cup Truvia

1 egg and 1 egg white

3 ozs cream cheese

one heaping half cup pure pumpkin – no sugar added. 

2 Tblsp. melted butter

Whip your egg and egg white first, until well mixed, incorporate air into the mix as you whip it, whip it good. 🙂 Add the other wet ingredients above and mix well. Again, keep it infused with air as much as possible. 

Dry ingredients: 1/3 cup almond flour/meal, 1/2 teasp. baking powder, 1 teasp. baking SODA. 

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teasp. salt, a few dashes of cinnamon, and throw in a bit of vanilla- a half teap. is good. I know that’s not a dry ingredient, but I just remembered it. 🙂

mix all of that into the wet mixture, and pour into muffin liner papers, and/or muffin tin that has been “pammed”. I cooked these at 375 until they were browned and no longer gooey, but I wasn’t sure about the inside. I guess it was 16 minutes. I then turned the oven off and showered, leaving these in the oven for that time. About 20 minutes. They are SO SO good. The best tasting low-carb baked good I’ve had in a very long time. No goo, no fake sugar aftertaste. I was quite impressed. The chocolate/pumpkin combo is a total hit. Have fun with these, and don’t be afraid to play around with the ingredients, since I just came up with this last night. 

Commit and Succeed

You can’t actually click on this and get to my site, because I am not able, I guess, to place HTML code on my site, since it’s not actually my site. It’s a rental. And rentals don’t allow for repainting the walls, typically.

http://www.teambeachbody.com/leemackenzie  COACH ID FOR ALL ORDERS= 327883  Set up a free account and tell the system you have a coach, and this is my #. Thank you! 

My Clean Eating Is a Little Dirty…

Yeah, well. I wasn’t worried about the clean eating challenge the week before my T-25 Challenge. After all, I eat right. Lots of veggies, whole foods, very little packaged…at least, I tell myself that all the time.

However, it turns out that a few of my favorite things are not clean. In fact, they are downright smutty.  Let’s look at the Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage links yesterday. I stopped midway through the second link and stopped and said out loud, “Oh, no. What am I DOING?”.  I ate it anyway. I disappointed myself. At work, I drank my usual two Splenda sweetened energy drinks. Not horrible, I guess. I suppose I am not entirely convinced that Splenda is bad for me. I guess I made my own rules, there.

What about the two small spoons of marshmallow cream tonight I had after dinner? Tiny, but that was about 10 grams of carbs, and nothing but delightful, horrible sugar. It seemed to kill my cravings. I worked out tonight, and feel like I might have undone a bit of my progress. I should have held fast. I didn’t. I caved. It might be that I should up my carb count now, with the increasing work outs. Trying to keep it to 25 grams has been harder than ever lately. Today it was probably more like 45. Not a sin for the average eater. In fact, that would be low. But I feel like I won’t lose fat at that rate. I am not sure. So far, I tend to just stay steady at 134-136. Can’t seem to reach that 130 holy grail. Something has to give. I am seeing new definition in my upper abs, but the lower portion still looks like someone who is either 45, (me) had two kids, (again, me, but 19 years ago!) or is using that as an excuse. Flabby chicken skin is not attractive. But guess what? I am still getting stronger. As we age, the skin just doesn’t quite spring back into taut condition, even with fat loss and muscle toning. I won’t let that stop me from trying, though. After all, I really just got started on the ab routine not long ago. I found some great exercises to tone the lower abs on my Yoga Booty Ballet DVD. You use a small ball, and squeeze that tight between your knees as you do a half sit up. The kind that actually work the abs, not kill the back of the neck.  And as you’re squeezing, if you touch your lower abs, you can feel they are actually getting worked.

More to the point, I have found a great way to meet people, a community of low-carb and fitness experts and fans, and it’s all quite exciting. I love the feeling of making new acquaintances and friends along this journey to health.

I have a few more kryptonite food items/substances like nicotine gum to kick out of my life. I need to not need a Monster Lo-carb to feel energetic. There’s still a lot of hard work I need to learn to do. I have whole new levels I need to push myself to. I can do a run one day and feel strong, and push past my old limit, and the very next time I am struggling to get through 2/3 of it. I think the important thing is to never stop!

People like to philosophize that it doesn’t matter- we should just do whatever we want because we all die anyway. But that’s not the point. I know I am going to die anyway. It’s working toward a goal that matters! No matter what that goal may be. Not a goal to see how quickly I can ruin my health and treat my body and mind like they’re worthless. But rather, a goal to strive toward more excellence. In that endeavor, the reward IS the journey, and the life is made worth living. I spend the prime years of my youth wasting the potential I had, partying and not believing in anything, much less myself. Now I find a new strength and sense of purpose in testing my limits. The other argument is that I should not beat myself up for making a slip or mistake. I get that. I’m OK that I messed up, or I wouldn’t have messed up. I chose it. I just don’t want to PAY for it, you see…

Anything you want to add?

 

Would you like to join my challenge? You can use whatever of our DVD workouts you like, and you should get the challenge pack, because the Shakeology is fairly low carb and filling, and has so many vitamins and superfoods in it, it’s unheard of. Besides, it’s a lot cheaper to just get the challenge pack.

and if you’re looking to add income to your life while working in fitness, this is IT. Hit me up for info if you’re ready.

http://www.teambeachbody.com/leemackenzie

If you do want to order from my site, sign up for a free account and choose me as your coach. You gotta use these digits, though.

327883, that’s the number if you want to order from me! 

Get into The Best Shape of Your Life, and Help Others Do the Same!

Get into The Best Shape of Your Life, and Help Others Do the Same!

 

Join me in the Fitness quest! Get support, and a community of work out and nutrition partners to coach you toward meeting your goals. Accountability is huge in helping us all stay on track. I’m starting a Focus T-25 challenge group in February. Let’s get FIT, and I can also show you how you can make your love of fitness and helping others a career!