Tag Archive | "life"

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Being Brooke Stacey Parker – Fitness Model

Brooke Stacey is a Fitness Model currently living in Austin, Texas.  Growing up in and around Austin, Texas, her entire life, Brooke has always had a passion for sports and the outdoors starting at a young age.

It wasn’t until the last seven years that, with a commitment to change, she was able to re-prioritize and redefine what health and fitness meant in her life.

Through consistent weight training, clean eating and a variety of cardio she was able to transform her physique and life. These physical, mental and emotional changes were amazing and helped her transform her life in many ways…most profoundly in her ability to inspire others to live a healthier lifestyle.

On self-love

Self-love is so HUGE! It can start at a young age and grow with you or it could have never been established and you have to find it and create it. At the end of the day we all want to be loved and feel good about ourselves. It is so easy to compare our weaknesses to someone else’s strengths and feel bad about our self.

The key to self-love in my opinion is to maximise our own potential by strengthening our weaknesses, and embracing, sharing and nourishing our strengths.

When you realise and own that there is only one you and no one can replace that, you can also delight in the gifts you are given to share with the world. When you love yourself, it is a positive cyclical reaction and will be seen in everything you do and will be felt by everyone you touch.

On body love

Body love can be so tough for women. Our bodies go through so much in our lifetime between puberty to childbearing years to post-menopausal years. It is so important to put your health first throughout your life, to embrace and pull through all of these challenging times in our lives.

When you take control over your health, you feel better about yourself physically as well as mentally and spiritually. When you feel good about yourself, and have a positive body image of yourself you can perform all tasks with greater ability.

I think it is important to control the controllables and maximise your own potential to be the best you. After you do that, you can’t help but love all of the gifts and differences we all have and share at the same time.

 

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Getting to know Silvia Kramska

Getting to know Silvia Kramska

Think owning your own business takes grit? Multiply that by two, add the gruelling training demanded by fitness competitions and you have an idea of life for Silvia Kramska, founder ofOpen to Play clean protein and Real Food Organic Nutrition. A qualified nutritionist and strength and conditioning coach, Kramska shares her formula for keeping a balance amid apparent chaos.

I have always been part of an active environment centred on wellness. I started to play tennis when I was five years old and continued to play professionally until I was 17. I lost my way health-wise for a while after that, so when I moved to Melbourne I promised myself that I would work in an area that truly makes me happy.

My Open To Play protein business came about when I was prepping for my first fitness competition; I couldn’t find a clean, simple and healthy protein anywhere. I figured there must be other people struggling with the same issue and so I decided to create my own.

I’m proud to say that Open To Play proteins are now one of the cleanest products on the market. The products are designed to be a healthy addition to anyone’s diet – they’re all natural, have only three pure ingredients (including grass-fed whey), and are lactose and gluten free. 

I wanted to make sure the proteins were suitable for anyone no matter their age, gender or activity level. Natural protein can supplement your regular diet, assist in your recovery after exercise and can help support growth and repair of your muscles.

My everyday nutrition is very balanced. I love to start my day with lemon water and I place a lot of focus on the quality of the foods that are going into my body. I eat organically wherever possible and I don’t eat gluten or processed sugars.

I do enjoy my pancakes once a week, on the weekends. I think it’s important that your daily nutrition isn’t causing you stress and to accept that you won’t get it perfect every day.

My current training regimen reflects my off-season preparation and I am focusing on growing my upper body for competition. I am doing heavy upper-body sessions three times per week, and three leg sessions per week focusing on glute development. 

I like to incorporate at least two HIIT sessions per week into my training program depending on my energy levels. I always make sure I listen to my body and rest when I need it. 

I manage stress by soaking in a magnesium salt bath every single night. I also love taking time out to just relax at home, or head to the beach during summer with a good book. 

I wake up early every day because I like to get a training session in while everyone else is still in bed. I then head over to my café and help to set it up for the day, get my team motivated and post on my social media accounts. After work I will normally fit in another gym session and in the evening I make time for family and friends. 

 

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Not sure which diet will work for you? Readers Imogen and Erin share their success stories.   Imogen, 46,  has lost 15 kg on the 5:2 diet in about a year   “I’d been exercising and putting on weight, not losing it (the old ‘eating extra to compensate for the exercise’ trick). I’d reached a weight that was higher than my full-term pregnancy weight with my kids, and decided that it was enough. One of my clients mentioned that she had been on the 5:2 diet for two months and had lost eight kg and could still eat cake, and I thought, ‘That’s my kind of diet!’. “I had tried other diets where I restricted my intake to 1200cals/day. I’d lost weight, but found it very hard, and as soon as I stopped [the diet], it crept back on. I like the 5:2 diet because I can eat out and not constantly deprive myself of the foods that I love. I also like how easy it is, only needing to count calories two days a week, not every day.  I don’t love fasting, but I accept that this diet is the one that has worked for me, and easily, without feeling deprived all the time. [If I’m craving something] I can just tell myself that tomorrow I can have that thing I’m craving. I feel much healthier overall since I lost the weight.” Erin, 37,  quit sugar five years ago “Quitting sugar changed my life. Literally. Children were supposed to be extremely difficult to conceive for me. When I was struggling with digestive issues and exhaustion, my boyfriend, a chiropractor, suggested I eliminate sugar from my diet. Six weeks later, by accident, I was staring at a positive pregnancy test. “I ended up with a second pregnancy right after, and the baby weight was so easy to lose. I’m actually thinner now than I was pre-babies!   Quitting sugar was hard for me at first because I was a sugar-holic. However, it’s gotten easier. Now real (processed) sugar makes me sick. I can tell immediately now if I do eat sugar because I get instant brain fog, and the issues that plagued me in the past immediately come back. “I now have two toddlers, more focus, a thriving business, and less weight to carry around all because I gave the boot to sugar.”  NEXT: Try this 5-day sugar-free diet plan>>         {nomultithumb}  

DIY diet success stories

Imogen, 46, 

has lost 15 kg on the 5:2 diet in about a year

“I’d been exercising and putting on weight, not losing it (the old ‘eating extra to compensate for the exercise’ trick). I’d reached a weight that was higher than my full-term pregnancy weight with my kids, and decided that it was enough. One of my clients mentioned that she had been on the 5:2 diet for two months and had lost eight kg and could still eat cake, and I thought, ‘That’s my kind of diet!’.

“I had tried other diets where I restricted my intake to 1200cals/day. I’d lost weight, but found it very hard, and as soon as I stopped [the diet], it crept back on.

I like the 5:2 diet because I can eat out and not constantly deprive myself of the foods that I love. I also like how easy it is, only needing to count calories two days a week, not every day.

I don’t love fasting, but I accept that this diet is the one that has worked for me, and easily, without feeling deprived all the time. [If I’m craving something] I can just tell myself that tomorrow I can have that thing I’m craving. I feel much healthier overall since I lost the weight.”

Erin, 37, 

quit sugar five years ago

Quitting sugar changed my life. Literally. Children were supposed to be extremely difficult to conceive for me. When I was struggling with digestive issues and exhaustion, my boyfriend, a chiropractor, suggested I eliminate sugar from my diet. Six weeks later, by accident, I was staring at a positive pregnancy test.

“I ended up with a second pregnancy right after, and the baby weight was so easy to lose. I’m actually thinner now than I was pre-babies!

Quitting sugar was hard for me at first because I was a sugar-holic. However, it’s gotten easier. Now real (processed) sugar makes me sick. I can tell immediately now if I do eat sugar because I get instant brain fog, and the issues that plagued me in the past immediately come back.

“I now have two toddlers, more focus, a thriving business, and less weight to carry around all because I gave the boot to sugar.”

 

 

DIY diet success stories

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5 hormones that cause weight gain

Did you know that regulating hormones can help control weight gain, even without reducing the intake of food? Yes, really! Angela Tufvesson finds out more.

 Melatonin

What is it? The hormone of darkness, melatonin maintains the body’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is an internal 24-hour clock that regulates when we fall asleep and wake up. The body produces melatonin when it is dark to encourage rest.

Is it out of whack? Bright light in the evening or not enough light during the day can disrupt melatonin levels, which can result in weight gain. This is a common symptom of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a winter ailment where too much melatonin is produced.

Quick fix: Regulating melatonin levels can help control weight gain, even without reducing the intake of food. Researchers from the University of Granada in Spain believe melatonin might help prevent heart disease associated with obesity, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Small quantities of melatonin can be found in goji berries, almonds, sunflower seeds, cardamom, fennel, coriander and cherries. Melatonin also has strong antioxidant effects and can be taken in supplement form. If you prefer au naturale, be sure to sleep in a pitch-black room.

Insulin

What is it? Insulin is secreted by the pancreas and used to digest the carbohydrates in food. The pancreas secretes insulin in response to carbohydrates being consumed. It then transports glucose – a simple sugar made from the digested carbohydrates – from the food to the muscles to be used for energy.

Is it out of whack? If you have trouble losing weight, despite eating well and training hard, you may have a condition called insulin resistance, says Buntic. “In insulin resistance, the hormone insulin does not function as it should. The muscle cells build up a resistance to insulin, so the body produces more and more in an attempt to maintain the transport of glucose to the cells for energy. “As insulin works to prevent fat being burnt to preserve muscle and fat mass, high levels of insulin can result in a situation where fat is stored rather than burnt, leading to difficulty in losing and maintaining weight.” If left unmanaged, this condition is likely to result in type 2 diabetes.

Quick fix: Insulin resistance can be managed with a low-GI eating plan and exercise including cardio and resistance training.

Ghrelin and leptin

What is it? Ghrelin and leptin are a double act that together regulate appetite. Leptin is secreted by fatty tissue and regulates energy by sending a signal to the brain that you are full, while ghrelin, a shorter-acting hormone secreted by the gut, stimulates appetite. Is it out of whack? Research suggests that when you don’t get enough sleep, leptin levels dive, so you don’t feel full after a meal, and ghrelin levels rise, which overstimulates your appetite.

A study published in the journal Sleep Medicine found that leptin levels decreased by 18 per cent and ghrelin levels increased by 28 per cent when sleep was restricted to four hours per night over two nights. Essentially, when we don’t get enough sleep, we feel hungry, even though we’ve eaten enough.

Quick fix: Keep your ghrelin and leptin levels healthy with good sleep hygiene. Go to bed at roughly the same time each night and get the requisite seven to eight hours of shut-eye.

Cortisol

What is it? When you’re in danger or on high alert – before a big presentation or hot date – the body releases stress hormone cortisol into the bloodstream. It feeds your brain extra oxygen and releases energy from your fat and glucose stores to help you avert the threat or make a good impression on that date. Is it out of whack? Frequent, chronic stress means more cortisol is released into the bloodstream than the body can use. This puts you at increased risk of heart disease, sleep disturbances, depression and obesity.

“If cortisol is elevated for long periods of time, it can promote weight gain,” says dietitian Angela Buntic. “Stress hormones trigger the fight or flight response, making the body’s fuel sources, such as glucose, ready and available for use. However, if you don’t actually use this energy for a physical response, the body stores the released energy as fat, usually around the abdomen, ready for the next threat.”

Quick fix: Take steps to manage the stress in your life, says Sally Symonds, author of 50 Steps To Lose 50kg…and Keep It Off. Eat a healthy diet of fresh fruit and veg, lean meat and wholegrains; practise relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga; enjoy regular exercise; and spend time relaxing with friends away from your stressors.

Oestrogen

What is it? The constant see-sawing of oestrogen and progesterone production keeps the reproductive system running. Oestrogen plays an important role in the menstrual cycle (high levels induce PMS) and pregnancy. It also helps maintain strong bones and may help prevent heart disease. Is it out of whack? Studies suggest oestrogen fluctuations across the female lifespan may help explain our higher prevalence of obesity compared to men.

Low oestrogen is a significant contributor to weight gain in our older years, particularly approaching menopause. In younger women, spiked oestrogen levels can lead to irritability, migraines, depression and a raft of reproductive disorders. “Oestrogen is the culprit for many of our problems, from breast cancer to endometriosis, PMS and cancer of the uterus,” says GP Dr Maura McGill.

“Progesterone can ameliorate the effects of oestrogen gone wild, but if we are chronically short of one hormone, we need to reintroduce the missing hormone in the most natural way possible.”

Quick fix: Avoid oestrogen-induced weight gain in your premenopausal years by eating a wholefood diet and limiting your intake of processed foods. Dr McGill recommends steering clear of high oestrogen foods like chicken and soy products at PMS time.

Source article:

5 hormones that cause weight gain

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Fitness 360: Samantha Ann Leete, Leete’s Fitness Feats

Vital Stats

One of the many things that make Samantha Ann Leete such an inspirational athlete is her realistic, balanced approach to health and fitness. She has a full-time job, coaches cheerleading, participates in bikini competitions, and makes appearances at fitness expos. She’s a busy girl! Sometimes, fitness has to come second on her priority list—and that’s OK. Samantha has learned how to balance her life and her schedule.

Samantha has also become an expert at maintaining a positive attitude despite having a hectic life. She loves fitness, enjoys her workouts, and feels healthy and happy about her diet. It is this positivity—along with a fantastic body— that earned her first place at the 2013 BodySpace Spokesmodel Contest. She’d be the first person to tell you that fitness doesn’t just belong to an elite group of people, it belongs to everybody. As she says, “If I can do it, anyone can!”

If you have a busy life and are looking for ways to implement a healthier lifestyle into your schedule, check out Samantha’s plan. You’ll learn how to make workouts, healthy nutrition, and supplementation work for your hectic day.

Samantha Ann Leete Fitness 360
Watch The Video – 13:58

Samantha Leete's Training Program

Samantha Leete’s Training Program

Samantha likes to work out with various training techniques so her regimen never gets boring. Get the details of her fun, bikini-body program right here!

Samantha Leete's Nutrition Program

Samantha Leete’s Nutrition Program

Just because your food is healthy doesn’t mean it has to taste bland! Samantha knows how to get the best taste and nutrition out of her meals. Check out her nutrition philosophy.

Samantha Leete's Supplement Program

Samantha Leete’s Supplement Program

Learn how basic supplementation helped Samantha transform her body and turned her from being a supp skeptic into a protein shaker!

Athlete For Life

Samantha was an active kid. If she wasn’t running around the track or playing soccer or volleyball, you could find her with the dance team or cheerleading squad. She continued her active lifestyle at Weber State University, where she danced and cheered for two years. But, like many ex-college athletes, Samantha didn’t maintain her activity level. “Once I stopped cheering at college, I noticed my body was changing,” she says. “I wasn’t as healthy as I [once] was and I went through a period that was unhealthy and unhappy.”

In order to turn her life around, Samantha had to find new athletic goals for herself. “I met some girls at Weber who were training for a bikini competition. That’s where I was introduced to the world of bodybuilding.”

Samantha knew her life and body were not going in positive directions, so she plucked up some courage and signed up for a bikini competition. “I needed something I could do on my own. Something that would keep me fit for a life, not just for a short period of time,” she says.

“‘I fell in love with training, making healthier choices, the entire lifestyle.'”

Although she had played sports, Samantha hadn’t spent much time in the gym. “I had never lifted weights before,” she explains. Like any good student, Samantha did some research and found Bodybuilding.com. After that, she was hooked. “I fell in love with training, making healthier choices, the entire lifestyle,” she says.

“Through the obstacles that I’ve overcome, I learned a valuable lesson. When things got tough in my life, I thought I was being responsible and unselfish by not taking the time for physical fitness. Now I know better.” Her choices to stay fit have had positive impacts on every other aspect of her life. Samantha has more energy, is happier, feels more accomplished, and is mentally stronger.

Success Doesn’t Come Easy

Although she’s been successful in her fit life, Samantha has had to make a lot of sacrifices and live with a hectic schedule. “I’ve had to work around multiple full-time jobs, the IRS, coaching, cheerleading at multiple places, working swing, working days, going to school, and all the other things we all deal with on a daily basis.”

Samantha’s dedication to commit to fitness, no matter what, is an inspirational feat. “Sometimes I have to do my cardio at lunch. So I’ll run up and down the stairs in my building or run around outside.”

“Samantha’s dedication to commit to fitness, no matter what, is an inspirational feat.”

As much as she loves fitness, Samantha knows how to balance. “I’d be lying if I told you fitness [always] comes first in my life,” she says. “We all have those ‘life happens’ moments when other obligations take priority over the gym. I want to help people realize that just because they can’t go 100 percent all day every day, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try!”

Samantha knows full well that life can get in the way. “I’ve never been able to plan out my month and stick to it. I’ve had to shift workouts, get them in at odd times, and sometimes improvise meals and workouts depending on where I am and what I’m doing.”

It’s no easy task to live fit, but Samantha just keeps going. “It would be awesome if we could all be full-time athletes and never miss a workout, but that’s just not a reality.” With her status as a BodySpace Spokesmodel, she’ll certainly have a bigger platform to should those great words of advice.

More to Share

What do you like most about being a BodySpace Spokesmodel? Why?

I love being able to share my perspective. I spent almost two years thinking about making a “lifestyle” change but not acting on it because I was scared. I love sharing my experiences with others and then watching them incorporate my advice and successfully make changes.

I want women to be the best version of themselves. We all have strengths and weaknesses. What makes us unique is what makes us beautiful!

I also love being able to share supplements! When I first started focusing on living a healthier lifestyle, I knew nothing about supplements. I didn’t even think they worked. Once I started trying different kinds, different brands, and different flavors, I quickly learned what works and what’s crap. I love recommending products and explaining how they can help people achieve their goals.

What would you tell a person who wants to look like you? What’s the first piece of advice you’d give her?

My first piece of advice would be to not want to look like me. Society has trained us to compare ourselves to others. Usually, it just leaves us feeling inadequate and sad. I want women to be the best version of themselves. We all have strengths and weaknesses. What makes us unique is what makes us beautiful!

If you are trying to build your best self, the first thing you must do is choose a goal. Once you’ve chosen a goal, structure a plan for that goal around your schedule and the tools you have available to you. The best plan is one you can tackle and stick to for a long time. Super quick transformations are impressive, but they’re usually difficult to maintain. Slow and steady wins the race!

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4 spices to spice up your meals and their health benefits

A spice a day may help keep the doctor at bay according to recent research. So add these to your personalised meal plan to help make food more flavoursome:

Wasabi: boasts anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects in your digestive system and may also help reduce the risk of blood clots and cancer.

Chilli: women who eat meals containing chilli have fewer spikes in their glucose levels after food, lessening their risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes, according to research at the University of Tasmania. Capsaicin, which gives chilli its spicy punch, speeds up our metabolism. Research suggests it may also reduce bad LDL cholesterol, help combat prostate cancer and blitz the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers.

Turmeric: in India, where they call curry ‘the spice of life’, the incidence of Alzheimer’s is lower. Turmeric, one of the main curry ingredients contains curcumin which helps reduce the build-up of damaging proteins that cause Alzheimer’s. Further studies also suggest that turmeric can reduce spread of breast cancer and joint swelling caused by arthritis.

Cayenne Pepper: boosts circulation and stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, aiding digestion and in some studies, reducing minor heartburn.

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4 spices to spice up your meals and their health benefits

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2 Stories Of Survival: How Fitness Saved Morgan Wehmer And Elizabeth Aguilera

Vital Stats

When it comes to diseases, lots of syllables often make for a scary diagnosis.

Take melanoma, for instance. Elizabeth Aguilera has it and, according to her doctors, always will. Every two months she meets with a specialist to look for spots on her skin, have them tested, and determine whether to have another surgery. At the tender age of 24, she’s had four already, to remove seven cancerous patches of skin from her stomach 2, leg 3, and hip 2.

“I check myself all the time,” says Elizabeth, a spokesmodel for Oh Yeah! Nutrition. “As long as I keep consistent, and go every two months for the rest of my life, I will be fine. If it advances to a stage 3, or 4, it will get into my lymph nodes and organs. I just have to monitor it.”

Take anorexia–not a disease, but a disorder. Morgan Wehmer, Elizabeth’s sister, has wrestled that dietary demon and lived to tell. She was bullied in high school and took extreme dietary measures because she felt like it was the only thing she could control.

The sisters deal with their dilemmas, with their syllables. They lift each other in hard times. That is what families do.

THE BIG SISTER

Treatment and surgery are intense, and a body needs rest. Elizabeth strives to put in max effort in the weight room, but with regular treatment and surgery, she’s not always able to. She has to be careful, patient, and confident. Each day presents a challenge.

Elizabeth’s efforts inspire her younger sister, Morgan, “On her most horrible days, she’d post the most inspirational things,” says Morgan. “The things that upset her the most, she’d turn into positives for other people. And it was therapeutic for her. It gives me strength should I ever want to complain, give up, or slack off. She’s my other half. How can I slack if Liz would go 110 percent?”

“The sisters deal with their dilemmas, with their syllables. They lift each other in hard times. That is what families do.”

Even before her diagnosis was delivered, Elizabeth was fit, but with her life in the balance, she has taken it to a new level. She took the stage in 2013–in part to mark a check on her bucket list–and finished fourth. But her doctors asked her to take a break in 2014. Her goal to turn pro remains unfulfilled.

That bucket list was lengthy but the sisters have shortened it in the past six months. They worked as models and did photo shoots. Liz has asked photographers not to “edit out” her scars. She wants people to see them. They are markers of his past, and she wants people to know that cancer survivors can still be models.

THE LITTLE SISTER

Morgan Wehmer was suffering from anorexia. She is a tall girl, with long arms and legs, so when she dwindled her body weight down to 113 pounds, she simply looked ill.

In high school, she seemed like a regular kid. She was heavily involved in extracurricular activities, had a boyfriend, and was an athlete. She loved organized dance and sang in the choir. She played softball and ran track. She got good grades and never got into trouble. She was a good kid.

But, high school brought unforeseen torment for Morgan. She was bullied by older, taller, more athletic girls, who called her names. They’d walk behind her and shout “slut” to terrorize young Morgan. That was her first significant freshman experience. “That’s not what you want to happen in that foreign land,” Morgan says. “Girls … there’s never a reason. Girls can just be so, so mean. [Elizabeth] would get into fights with them and protect me.”

The bullying continued for years. Morgan tried to bury the jabs and insults, but their effects manifested in other ways. She and Elizabeth, tight as toddlers, grew apart as they fought through adolescence. When Morgan needed protecting, Liz had her back in the school hallways. When she wasn’t around, the taunts intensified.

When the pressures of dating, studies, incessant bullying, and self-image worries left Morgan reeling, she took control of the one thing she could: food. She started to cut back calories, skipped meals, and found excuses to avoid the dinner table.

“Stop fighting yourself and start fighting for yourself.”

“There was faulty thinking before, and after,” Morgan says. “I feel like I am talking about a different person now. Food was the only thing I could control, but I over controlled it.”

Elizabeth was one of the first people to notice the changes in Morgan. She fought off the mean girls, but anorexia was a more elusive and subtle foe. “Everyone was worried about her,” Liz says. “She was in denial about it.”

THE LIFTER SISTERS

Morgan stewed in her own torment, her thoughts growing more and more negative. Her family broached the subject to little avail. It strained the family, and Morgan saw it. She says something changed in her psyche.

“All of my thoughts about food and what I needed to eat to keep me going…all of that was faulty,” Morgan says. “When I realized I was looking at things in horrible ways, there was this light switch. I can never go back to that.”

What is Anorexia?

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by a person’s intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat. People who suffer from the disorder may practice unhealthy behaviors such as extreme calorie restriction, only eating specific foods, or skipping meals frequently. Treatment includes counseling, nutritional rehab and training, and various support therapies.

She began to research nutrition and very slowly gained her weight back. It took two years, and it’s still an ongoing struggle. She wants more muscle. Morgan’s research produced some unplanned results. She fell in love with the study of nutrition and decided to pursue dietetics as a profession, before switching to another health-conscious field, nursing.

“I wanted to do it the right way, the healthy way,” Morgan says. “I ate a lot of healthy foods, basically double what I am eating now. I was doubling up on carbs and healthy fats, along with working out. I used machines, free weights, and bodyweight exercises. I wanted to build muscle, and it took time.”

While Morgan was flipping the script on her education, Elizabeth learned she had melanoma. Thus began an endless series of exams, scans, surgeries, biopsies, and doctor visits. She took monthly flights to Jacksonville for treatment, then flew back to school for coursework, determined to graduate.

“Looking at Morgan now, it’s hard to tell that she was anorexic.”

“I can’t even fathom how I’d feel about having a constant unknown diagnosis,” Morgan says of her sister’s plight. “As these spots appear, she has to get them cultured and then wait weeks for results.”

To make matters worse, Elizabeth’s husband was deployed overseas as a member of the U.S. Navy. She graduated college during his absence and underwent treatment while he was stationed in Japan. Their separation further alienated the struggling older sister, but she had Morgan to lean on. It’s not that their roles reversed. Morgan didn’t become a “big sister.” They simply grew closer, and each time one faltered, the other offered support.

“Everything is about your attitude and fighting for what you want in life,” Elizabeth says. “I wanted to start my life, and [melanoma] put me on hold. It gave me time to start doing more things. I sat down, wrote down things I wanted to do.”

THE THINGS WE HIDE

Looking at Morgan now, it’s hard to tell that she was anorexic. If you don’t notice Elizabeth’s scars and ask her about it, you might not know that she has recurring skin cancer. Just imagine what all the other lifters are going through. How many battle confidence or body-image issues? Who is sick? Who is mentally ill? You can hide a lot of pain under your gym clothes.

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer. Cancerous growths develop when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells triggers mutations. Skin cells multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. Causes include ultraviolet radiation from sunshine and tanning beds. Melanoma kills an estimated 9,000 people per year in the United States alone.

Morgan suffered from the mental anguish of anorexia for two years before she started to pull out of it. Even then it took two more years before she felt “over” it. It’s hard to talk about. Subjects like this aren’t exactly locker-room chatter. “It’s sensitive subject matter to talk about, but it’s happening a lot more than people think,” Morgan says. “It’s something that needs to be addressed.”

Magazines and infomercials boast about fat-loss techniques, playing on image fears. Fitness and nutrition make headlines, but profound subjects like disease, disorder, and death get overlooked by our mainstream social conscience. “A lot of people talk about weight loss, which is great, but at the same time there are problems that people don’t talk about every day,” Elizabeth says. “People are still battling disease every day, but it’s good to see that there are people getting through these things.”

NEVER ALONE

The distance between a healthy lifestyle and a debilitating one is not as great as you might think. A doctor’s diagnosis or a bully’s attack can change everything.

The support of a sister, a brother, a friend, or even a stranger can help reverse a slide. “[Morgan] came out of it, graduated high school with honors, and she had a greater sense of health and well being,” Elizabeth says. “It changed her life and her career. Everything she went through happened for a reason. It made her who she is today.”

To work on the items on their bucket list, the lifter sisters created a website, a Facebook page, and spread their message via social media. They use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, BodySpace, and their website to reach people all over the globe, and not just to people with cancer or eating disorders. They’re out to help anyone who asks.

REFERENCES

  1. www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma
  2. www.cancer.org/research/cancerfactsstatistics/cancerfactsfigures2013/index
  3. www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/
  4. seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/melan.html

 

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Body Transformation: Newfound Power

The pressure to lose weight drove Idean to anorexia at age 13. With help from Bodybuilding.com, he added 20 pounds of lean muscle mass in three years and helped countless others!

Body Transformation: Fighting Failure With Fitness

Obesity distorted John’s reality. He lost 140 pounds in one year and developed an eating disorder to avoid going back. See how fitness helped him overcome adversity and find self-worth!

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2 Stories Of Survival: How Fitness Saved Morgan Wehmer And Elizabeth Aguilera

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collette mcshane

5 minutes with The HIIT Mum

Pocket rocket and mother-of-one Colette McShane, aka. @TheHIITMum, is a fitness force to be reckoned with. Here, we chat to her about supplementation, passion and just getting stuff done.

I love helping others achieve good health because there is nothing more satisfying than seeing people achieve what they never thought possible. I love making a difference in people’s lives – a lot of parents write to me to say they are getting fitter and healthier, making it easier for them to play with their children.

I always kick the day off with a big, healthy breakfast as it sets the tone for the rest of my day. I make a yummy omelette, frittata or poached eggs with lots of vegetables. Lunch and dinner is anything from stirfry to healthy curries or Mexican-style wraps – again, with lots of vegies and lean proteins.

I snack on the Healthy Way range from Chemist Warehouse, as it’s accessible, varied and forever expanding. I love their vegie chips, all their nuts (I am walnut and almond crazy) and the trail mixes for snacking during the day. 

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5 minutes with The HIIT Mum

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THE-BEST-Activity-Tracker

Why Do I Need An Activity Tracker?

There is no escaping fitness bands nowadays, from TV ads to appearing on your friend’s wrist, they’ve fast becoming a mainstay in the UK. There’s such a range of bands and purposes that you’ll probably be able to find one for any niche (want a tracker to stop you from slouching?

Yep, that exists. Want to see how hard you can kick a ball? Yes, sir.), but at the core of almost every device out there is the ability to track steps, calories and sleep.

They’re not the most sexy of subjects, but they’re three of the most crucial to our health

Visit site –

Why Do I Need An Activity Tracker?

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Muscle Manifesto: 5 Principles Of The Lifting Life

In the world of iron, there are no achievements that comes without great sacrifice and exertion. It takes the deepest kind of commitment, self-knowledge, and hard work to wholeheartedly pursue peak fitness, supreme athletic performance, and to transform the human physique into an arresting sculpture hewn in adamantine muscle. Pursuing your iron goals can be the most gratifying experience you have, but it can also be a lonely business.

“You’re born alone, you often train alone, you go onstage to compete alone, and you die alone,” says Twinlab Fuel Team Militia member Ronnie Milo, an accomplished bodybuilding competitor.

But Milo and his thousands of peers in the Militia around the globe also believe to their rock-hard cores that “alone time” is no excuse to become isolated. They know they can achieve more together, as long as they are united by the right ideals. Strong principles, they know, transcend any specific goals or geography and can make anyone, anywhere better and more capable to move any weight.

These are the five principles making up the Fuel Team Militia Manifesto. They’re not for the flighty or smug. They’re for strong men and women who want to be as strong as they look, and live as strong as they lift.

Meet the Militia

Ronnie Milo

Occupation:
Sales rep, Twinlab
Athletic Goal:
Competitive bodybuilder

“I want to be proportionate, work on my weak spots, and make sure I give 100 percent in the gym.”

Jason Wheat

Occupation:
Firefighter, Florida
Athletic Goal:
Powerlifter, coming back from pec injury

“My goal is to compete in powerlifting again.”

Chris Thompson

Occupation: VP of Sports Nutrition, Twinlab
Athletic Goal:
Ripped physique

“I just want to be as strong, hard, and lean as I can be.”

1 Together, Stronger

The Militia is dedicated to bringing together competitive athletes, powerlifters, meatheads, newbies, and physique junkies of all ages from all backgrounds and walks of life. No matter where or how you train, they believe that you can benefit from being in a supportive, inclusive community dedicated to training at the highest level.

“The Fuel Team Militia is for everyone who is dedicated to getting stronger, being better at what they do, or is interested in the fit lifestyle,” says powerlifter and Militia Field General Jason Wheat. “We get together as a group to do gym invasions; we inspire each other, cheer for each other, and motivate each other toward our goals.”

“We get together as a group to do gym invasions; we inspire each other, cheer for each other, and motivate each other toward our goals.”

When Militia members hold a gym invasion, it’s about strong lifters joining together to push each other to their limits. That could mean helping a teenager new to training hit his or her first 135-pound squat, or cheering on beasts like Milo and Wheat as they squat so many plates that you need a calculator to do the math.

The only thing that matters: Each guy gives his everything to push himself and his brothers, every rep, every set, every time they step into the gym.

2 No Ego

Every lifter was once a beginner. To get better, faster in your training it helps to draw on the wisdom, knowledge, and experience of guys who have been banging iron for years. But when you don’t even know what you don’t know about training, it can be intimidating as hell to work up the nerve to ask someone bigger and stronger than you to take time out of their training routine to help you out. The Militia firmly believes in breaking down these walls.

“There’s a stereotype that guys who like to train are just big, dumb, and egotistical,” says Militia member Chris Thompson. “We want to change the way the world looks at guys like us and create a paradigm shift so that the biggest, baddest guys in the gym will also be the coolest, most helpful, and encouraging guys in the gym.”

To get better and faster in your training it helps to draw on the wisdom, knowledge, and experience of guys who have been banging iron for years.

To do that, Militia members like Thompson, Milo, and Wheat go out of the way to be a resource for other people in the gym, whatever experience level, size, or shape they might be.

“It’s a ‘pay it forward’ kind of deal,” says Milo. “I had older, more experienced guys help me out when I was younger, and in the Militia we feel it’s really important that we be there for other guys, too. I make a point of saying hello to everybody at the gym and making people feel comfortable asking questions.”

3 Sacrifice Is Mandatory

“If it was easy to be huge or have six-pack abs, then everyone would be huge with six-pack abs.”

While the Militia welcomes people training toward any goal from anywhere on the spectrum of strength and fitness, sacrifice is mandatory. Without it, Militia members know, nothing great can be achieved at any level of training.

“If it was easy to be huge or have six-pack abs, then everyone would be huge with six-pack abs,” says Wheat. “I don’t always want to get up at 6 in the morning to do fasted cardio, but sometimes that’s what you have to do to get the results that you want.”

Wheat works on a search and rescue squad based out of a firehouse, and like everyone else, temptations abound at work for him in the form of sweets and treats. “When you have Girl Scout cookies in front of you, you have to think about not letting your Militia brothers down and eat chicken and broccoli instead,” he says.

All those cliches you’ve heard about how results taste better than any treat are popular for a reason: They’re true. Refuse to sacrifice and you sacrifice your chance to be great.

4 Commit to Consistency

Sacrifice goes hand-in-hand with another Militia guiding principle: consistency. “The key to success is consistency,” says Thompson. “Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes consistent. Perfect practice makes perfect. Being a Militia member means you strive to get closer to perfect practice through consistency, and you help your Militia brothers to be consistent, too. You see a kid squatting with poor form and help him do it right and help him get on the right path.”

Being in the Militia means being a teacher and a leader for your fellow members, but just as importantly, for anyone else you encounter in the weight room or in your life. Put another way, it means living how you lift, embodying consistency and dedication to greatness in how you carry yourself, how you interact with others at the gym, the training you do, and in your diet, too, no matter how tough it might be.

Being in the Militia means being a teacher and a leader for your fellow members, but just as importantly, for anyone else you encounter in the weight room or in your life.

Thompson’s job as a Twinlab executive means he frequently travels for meeting and business. But even on the road, he sticks to the same macros at every meal—45 grams of clean protein, 40 grams of carbs from fruits or vegetables, and 17 grams of healthy fats. When he’s hungry or has to do fasted cardio, he’ll reach for a packet of Pro Series MVP Fuel to stay sharp.

It’s a routine Milo knows well, too. “People think I just train and sleep all day,” he says, “but I have a job in sales, and I’m in planes, cars, or face-to-face with accounts. We do what we need to do.” For him, that often includes packing a day’s worth of meals in his car and eating in parking lots between appointments. It means booking hotels near grocery stores on the road so he has access to healthy, clean food.

“There have been times when I’ve made cream of rice using a hotel room coffee maker,” he admits. It’s a total commitment to consistency, but once you make it and accept it, it stops being a challenge and becomes a simple expression of your lifestyle.

5 Compete and Encourage

Milo and Wheat recently made a two-hour road trip from their home base in Orlando to Jacksonville for a gym invasion with other Militia members. “We had 18 guys there training together,” says Wheat. “We were mixing it up, pushing each other. One of the guys there was 140 pounds when he started training with the Militia—now he’s 160 pounds.”

At the end of the workout, Milo and Wheat and other members took turns deadlifting, and when 405 was loaded on the bar, their 160-pound friend stepped up and said he wanted a shot at it. “He’d never pulled 405 before,” says Milo. “But we told him to visualize lifting it, to picture himself doing it.”

He stepped to the bar, pulled—and locked it out. “We were giving him so much encouragement, the whole gym came over and started cheering for him,” says Wheat. “And then he picked it up again and pulled one more rep.”

Competition doesn’t have to happen on a stage, and it doesn’t need a medal to legitimize it. This slender lifter was competing with the iron, with the athletes around him, and most importantly, with every former version of himself who had ever set foot in that weight room. The competition never stops, because there are always bigger mountains of iron to move.

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Muscle Manifesto: 5 Principles Of The Lifting Life

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Paige Hathaway

Paige Hathaway

20 hours 1 minute ago

🌻 I haven’t went on a rant in awhile so if you don’t care to hear it... here’s your chance to exit 😝
MY QUESTION IS: Why do so many of us struggle to find happiness?! - HAPPINESS is at the top of everyone’s list. At the end of the day, we want to feel like we’re happy and have lived well. But oftentimes, we can find ourselves feeling unhappy and we may feel like we’re not sure why happiness isn’t happening for us.
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Most of the time when you have a negative thought or feel unhappy, you’ll read tons of self-help books that tell you to replace that negative thought with a positive one, they may also tell you to spend no more than 60 seconds thinking about it and move on about your day. (Easier said than done) That’s great advice and all but to me, all that does is sweep your negative thinking under the rug and the rug along with that negative thought is still there. Every person who has ever been on a weight loss diet understands this: “just don’t think about food” they say, (again, easier said than done) - this simply just does not work especially for the long haul.
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My thoughts: 💭 The next time you’re having a bad day or a negative thought about something, don’t ignore your emotions or thinking and “put on a happy face.” Instead, try accepting the way you feel and try to identify why you are feeling the way you are. By ending the internal struggle of how you actually feel, you can begin to understand your “WHY”— And by understanding yourself and your thoughts a bit better, you come to life’s choices with the most powerful tool of all: YOUR FULL SELF! To me: I feel as though, this is a much better way to choose happiness for yourself. In the end; YES!! happiness is a choice but to understand yourself better will allow your own sense of happiness to shine in brighter than anything else! ☀️🌈🌸

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