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Myth Buster: “I want to toned but I don’t want muscles!”


Don’t be fooled by the power of muscle- this pictures shows my same exact body flexed & relaxed…

I’m constantly hearing the same description from some women about what they want to achieve with their physiques: “I want to be toned but I don’t want muscles”… This is by far the biggest misconception ever as being toned, being tighter, giving roundness to the glutes/shape to the body/and curve to certain areas require nothing but MUSCLE development!!!!🌀 I know it’s tough to change our way of thinking & looking a things but it must be done as you cannot move forward on your journey without understanding a few facts:

💪❤️You will NOT get “big” from lifting weights & as a woman, unless you’re taking steroids or other enhancement drugs, you will NOT grow at the fast rate you think you will! I have never taken anything- no steroids/no enhancement drugs & although I carry a great deal of muscle, it didn’t happen overnight- it’s happened naturally over 12 years of weight training & only because I purposefully wanted to grow, it’s partly genetic… 5 of those years I’ve been consistently weight training my body with the purpose to grow- specifically to reshape & proportion my body to my liking! So do NOT fear the weights but rather, fear the fact that if you are not eating properly your body fat will still be there on top of the muscle while you build… so muscle & fat can & do exist at the same time, hence giving the look of being bulky! BUT just the same, if you’re eating right the body fat drops & the lean muscle you’re building will look compact & tight, defined, & “toned” (everyone’s favorite word! lol).

✔️BODY FAT diminishes when you eat right!
✔️CELLULITE goes away when you eat right!
✔️CURVE, LIFTING, ENHANCING, & TIGHTENING certain areas requires building lean muscle!
✔️RAISING the METABOLISM so you are a machine constantly burning fat requires building lean muscle!
✔️Burning calories happens when you are physically active. Yes cardio is helpful in burning calories but when overdone it works against you by burning your hard earned muscle which is keeping you tight, firm, & lifted…this is where the term skinny-fat comes in as cardio will shrink you & make you look skinnier in clothing but in all actuality it will keep you soft, saggy, & slim rather than lean, tight, & firm UNLESS you’re consistently lifting weights!

💢If you want curves you’ve never had, then you need to build your muscles!

💢If you want a butt lift, more booty, cellulite free glutes, round & perky butt then you need to build your muscles!

💢If you want a 6 pack, developed obliques, lines/definition on your mid-section then you need to build muscle so you’ll burn more fat but also you need to be eating right because abs are totally made in the kitchen!!!! Remember, it’s body fat on top of muscle hiding what’s there!

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Changing my body Transformed my life


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My big goal was never to compete, or turn Pro, or prance around in a bikini with the fittest of the fit men & women & it definitely wasn’t to be a model, motivational life coach, nutritionist, trainer, or fitness freak… It was simple at the time- I was sick & tired of being sick & tired & something had to give!

I started my journey long before I ever became these things. I was just like every typical 20-something year old, thinking I was invincible, caught up in my independence & allowing my ego to control my actions, living like there were no consequences, & making unhealthy decisions on a daily basis…unfortunately drinking & drugs were also a part of my world. I was one of those “all or nothing” kind of people, overdoing everything, no limits, no fear, & essentially no self-respect. I say that not because I didn’t have confidence but on the contrary, it was my overly confident ego that always took me down the more difficult paths. In a weird masochist sort of way, I liked to learn things the hard way & through personal experience rather than listening to others warnings…I was just one of those people who needed to hot rock bottom in order to turn my life around.

One day I stopped it all- it literally happened just like that…. I woke up & decided I was done! I was sick & tired of waking up hung over, lost, unfulfilled, bored, truly unhappy, confused as to why nothing was ever enough & why not understanding why I craved MORE of everything- more fun & freedom when that’s all I was doing on a daily basis!!! I knew I was missing a HUGE part of what life & happiness is all about, & I knew there was only one person on this planet that could stop this vicious cycle…it was ME! My 25th birthday was the end & the beginning of it all!

This breakdown & build up was a result of my deepest thoughts, my souls desire, my guiding life’s purpose burning inside of me that I could no longer ignore. Imagine you have the key to unlock the door of your ultimate potential literally right inside of you…it’s like a magic key you possess that would give you everything you could ever desire- you can hear it clinking around so Why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to access it??? It’s sooooo easy to ignore what we know is the right thing, it’s soooo easy to shut off our intuition, gut instincts, & inner voice… This is why it’s easy to make bad choices, live sinfully, hurt others, hurt ourselves, & live in a negative state of mind! Trust me, I know first hand how hard it is to truly quiet your mind & allow the love & positive vibes we all possess to come out & take over! But just like anything else in life worth attaining, it’s not easy. It requires first the desire to change, a trust & faith in yourself & the potential of what you can be without ever having seen it (blind faith), & a belief that you have a divine purpose being here on Earth.

There are so many things we do not have control over in life. We pretty much cannot control anything but ourselves…for sure you cannot control or change other people, you can’t control the weather, the good & evil in the world, & you can’t control fate. But when you’re on a search for change like I was & you don’t know who, what, or where to start, you turn to the most obvious thing which is yourself- your body & looks & the physical is something we can alter immediately, put in work to change and see results, & it’s all about looks so it’s fairly easy to change & makes sense that I would be inclined to start there. I thought that would give me an immediate sense of gratification & would put a bandage on my life so that I’d feel better about myself…. But I quickly discovered that the “surface” is only skin deep & you’ve got to dig much deeper than that to discover your truth. You can change your clothes, put on some jewelry,makeup, or have surgical alterations done, get tattoos, or build muscles but to change your actual life & path, you need to conquer the mind, thoughts, & soul! I did however, have a few things about my personality both good and bad, that would challenge me in this process ;I was passionate about everything I ever put my mind to, I had a really obsessive/ perfectionist personality (but to a fault), & I had an ego that was starving for love, acceptance, & approval for society & the never ending feelings of not being good enough. To conquer these traits and use them to my advantage, I had to first be completely honest with myself about what my weaknesses were. Look in the mirror long enough & you will eventually see your true reflection! It’s not always pretty admitting you are a mess but it’s all part of the process!

Changing my body was the first step…my eating habits, my gym consistency & focus, & my overall health was #1 which may sound superficial or selfish but sometimes you need to just do YOU & commit your yourself to bettering your own life regardless of what others think of that! Little did I know that the discipline I developed through living this healthy, regimented, structured, self-serving, self-sacrificing, & positively obsessive lifestyle would forever change not just my body/looks but my mindset & it would finally wake up my soul! When I changed my body, my feelings about myself and capabilities changed, my confidence & belief in my own efforts & abilities changed, & my drive & desire to succeed beyond the average level of achievements was unleashed! There was no turning back as I discovered my truth & forever I would be connected to a purpose much larger than anything on earth!

This experience was my stepping stone & I realized that my desire was to help others break the cycle of living day to day unfulfilled, unhappy, & unsuccessful. My job and purpose is to help others discover their potential, change their thoughts into positive affirmations, & to empower, inspire, & motivate others to manifest their dreams during this lifetime!

Sometimes you discover answers in places you never thought you would & this is why it’s important to always be searching for more challenges to overcome, being open to change, & being better than you were yesterday. You cannot sit around & complain or do the same thing daily if you want different results!!! Think about it!!!! Put your ego aside & forget other people judgments/ opinions, & let go of the control you think you have so that you can allow the universe to take a hold of you & lead you to your life’s purpose!

 

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How to get rid of cellulite…NO SURGERY REQUIRED!


1456696_725316804166768_1523135485_nYes, genetics play a role in the amount of cellulite one carries, the elasticity of the skin, the smoothness & tightness, & the texture & thickness of your body/skin- but that doesn’t mean you are condemned to a life of rippled, jiggly, or cellulite bumps on your body.

Diet plays a major role in the way your body looks and feels & diet plays THE MAJOR ROLE in how smooth & flawless one can look. My programs are designed to not only take your physique to whatever level of fitness you desire, but inevitably because you are eating clean, your skin begins to tighten in texture, looks smoother, & literally becomes shrink wrapped to your muscle as time goes on. This does NOT happen over night- there are no special creams, lotions, or positions to speed up the process either. The change in your body occurs over time- as you gain lean muscle, raise your metabolism, and continue to eat clean & purify your body, your physique will begin to change, be reshaped, & become flawless. Diet kicks in within the first two weeks and most of my clients begin seeing a noticeable difference during that time. The body continues to shrink & becomes firmer only when you are consistent with the diet- stop and go & yo-yo dieting/clean eating is NOT going to cut it. What makes my programs so remarkable is NOT that my clients are transforming as that is possible for anyone to achieve, but whats most notable is the timeframe in which I take bodies of all shapes and sizes to that next level! What some may think would take 6 months, a year, or a lifetime to attain, I provide a plan that takes one body to the ultimate level of fitness in less than 3 months!

Training (specifically weight training) is essential to the transformation program as building lean muscle is vital to raising ones metabolism. The more lean muscle you carry, the more fat you will be burning even at rest! Muscle does not replace fat and fat does not replace muscle- they are two separate things that can both coexist together. My clients are NOT spending 4 hours a day in the gym! Their cardio is kept to a minimum- possibly 20-40 minutes depending on where their body is at and what we are trying to achieve. Weight training is a regular session lasting anywhere from 35-65 minutes a day- that is it! I remind my clients to think in terms of QUALITY NOT QUANTITY! Its not the amount of time you spend in the gym but rather the efficiency in the effort and work you do and put into the process.

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Body Transformation Programs, Competition Prep, Diets, Training, Bikini Body Transformations


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKkllbJfItQ&feature=c4-overview&list=UUzkJQOKmR5IA6ZOp0V1898A

 

 

TRANSFORM YOUR BODY!


1456696_725316804166768_1523135485_nIMG_1920IMG_1765 IMG_2730How to get rid of cellulite... NO SURGERY REQUIRED!

Yes, genetics play a role in the amount of cellulite one carries, the elasticity of the skin, the smoothness & tightness, & the texture & thickness of your body/skin- but that doesn’t mean you are condemned to a life of rippled, jiggly, or cellulite bumps on your body.

Diet plays a major role in the way your body looks and feels & diet plays THE MAJOR ROLE in how smooth & flawless one can look. My programs are designed to not only take your physique to whatever level of fitness you desire, but inevitably because you are eating clean, your skin begins to tighten in texture, looks smoother, & literally becomes shrink wrapped to your muscle as time goes on. This does NOT happen over night- there are no special creams, lotions, or positions to speed up the process either. The change in your body occurs over time- as you gain lean muscle, raise your metabolism, and continue to eat clean & purify your body, your physique will begin to change, be reshaped, & become flawless. Diet kicks in within the first two weeks and most of my clients begin seeing a noticeable difference during that time. The body continues to shrink & becomes firmer only when you are consistent with the diet- stop and go & yo-yo dieting/clean eating is NOT going to cut it. What makes my programs so remarkable is NOT that my clients are transforming as that is possible for anyone to achieve, but whats most notable is the timeframe in which I take bodies of all shapes and sizes to that next level! What some may think would take 6 months, a year, or a lifetime to attain, I provide a plan that takes one body to the ultimate level of fitness in less than 3 months!

Training (specifically weight training) is essential to the transformation program as building lean muscle is vital to raising ones metabolism. The more lean muscle you carry, the more fat you will be burning even at rest! Muscle does not replace fat and fat does not replace muscle- they are two separate things that can both coexist together. My clients are NOT spending 4 hours a day in the gym! Their cardio is kept to a minimum- possibly 20-40 minutes depending on where their body is at and what we are trying to achieve. Weight training is a regular session lasting anywhere from 35-65 minutes a day- that is it! I remind my clients to think in terms of QUALITY NOT QUANTITY! Its not the amount of time you spend in the gym but rather the efficiency in the effort and work you do and put into the process.

Are you looking for a trainer? A Coach? A nutritionist? Or an easy way out?


There are no quick fixes, no magic pills, no surgeries that will instantly zap on muscle, raise your metabolism, give you total health, or instantly transform your mind set to positive thinking. Maybe this is an unfortunate thing to hear as you were hoping that my clients transformations were done with a special laser that gets rid of cellulite or a lotion or cream that tightens, firms, & shrink wraps the skin to the muscle, or a certain pills that magically burns body fat. I’m sorry to disappoint you but that is NOT the case. When it comes down to TRANSFORMING your body, your mind, & your lifestyle it’s going to take some work and that work starts from within. Luckily, if you have the correct tools, the right people around you, & the true desire for change, you CAN & WILL reach your goals…and then some! Take this as a life lesson- THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO ANY PLACE WORTH GOING! 

Trust Yourself! Get clear on what you want! Let go of the things holding you back, set boundaries, & weed out the unnecessary “baggage” you may be carrying. When you put energy & passion behind what you DESIRE, you begin to build power to manifest this into your REALITY!   

What I do, what I don’t, & my personal purpose & goal for all my clients:

1. My MISSION as a TRANSFORMATION SPECIALIST is to get my clients to realize their potential, to take positive control over their thoughts, their lives, & their actions (body, mind, & soul connection), & to help them to discover their inner strength and confidence from within to accomplish their dreams & goals, & life’s aspirations. With one client empowered I hope to greatly influence a dozen others- people inspiring, motivating, and influencing others in a positive way, paying it forward, and greatly impacting each others lives!

2. My JOB as a PERSONAL TRAINER, NUTRITIONIST, & LIFE COACH/INSTRUCTOR is to TEACH the lifestyle so that my clients may become knowledgable about living a healthy life & gaining greater understanding of their bodies- internally and externally. I am working to educate them on proper nutrition & training techniques/form, & exposing them to the positive effects that living this way has on their bodies and their lives. This knowledge can be passed down to their children’s, friends, and generations to come. Also, feeling educated and comfortable in the gym, in the kitchen, & in your own skin initiates the building blocks necessary to create a world only imagined and dreamed of for oneself. Knowledgeable & purposeful positive thoughts drive action, action creates change, & this type of positive change can only lead to greatness!

3. My ROLE as a COMPETITION COACH is to assist my clients in being 100% ready & prepared- physically, emotionally, & mentally for their show. Whether it be a fitness competition, a triathlon, or other sort of competition I coach them with all the necessary TOOL providing them with diet & nutrition guidance which is necessary to be in the right health, create a personal training plan so that physically they are at the peek necessary to complete their tasks/goals, & of course coaching the mental aspects to keep them pushing through inertia & take their minds to a higher level necessary as a competitor in any sport. Its not about receiving a physical trophy, medal, or prize (although that is an added benefit) but rather having completed the goal one sets out to accomplish- that puts a notch on the belt & drives one even further in all aspects of their lives!

WWW.EMPOWERINGBODY.COM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKkllbJfItQ

My Day 5 Bikini Body Transformation Recipe: OAT BRAN MUFFINS


If you have been following my YouTube & Instagram posts lately, then you’ve noticed I’m working on my own personal transformation. I have 3 weeks to transform my body for a fantastic photo shoot I will be doing with the world renowned photographer, Alex Ardenti (www.AlexArdenti.com).

I eat clean all year round and maintain my body both in and out of the gym so that I can afford to splurge, cheat, & enjoy the foods I love- all in moderation of course. This “balance” that I found was not easy but it is possible to achieve. I’m definitely no stranger to dieting, but regardless of how many times I’ve gone through this process, there are moments when its just not that easy- even for me! Being “forced” to buckle down & stick to a regimen  (my own regimen for that matter) is hard but not so bad, as I know the results are priceless & it will all be worth the sacrifice in the end.

CHECK OUT my LATEST VLOG on YOUTUBE: My 5 DAY PROGRESS CHECK IN VIDEO AS PART OF MY 3 WEEK TRANSFORMATION!

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DAY 1
DAY 4 PROGRESS
DAY 4 PROGRESS
DAY 5 PROGRESS
DAY 5 PROGRESS

In my experience with both myself & my clients, the first 2 weeks of any new diet can be the easiest or the hardest. In this case, it has been pretty tough- at 3 days in I was already bored out of my mind with chicken breast and asparagus… Feeling restricted, controlled by food, & unable to enjoy night’s out with friends, I decided to take another route as I ventured down this familiar road of dieting. My theory is, if I get as creative as possible in the beginning with making foods that taste amazing, gourmet, scrumptious, delicious, etc…but still staying in the criteria of “clean” eating & dieting, then I will never really feel deprived! Later on as the diet progresses and my energy level diminishes, I won’t even have the desire to cook & food will become just fuel for my body which means grilled chicken breast, steamed veggies, & plain baked yams will do the trick! LOL!

A typical and vey common breakfast side dish for dieters is a bowl of oatmeal. This can be a treat in itself but on occasion, I truly do miss the bite of bread-y, sweet, tasty  texture you get from breads. And so my recipe, the OAT BRAN BREAKFAST MUFFIN, was born! This muffin is a great carb replacement, gluten-free, low carb, low sugar/ sugar-free, & AMAZINGLY YUMMY!

Oat Bran MuffinsGLUTEN FREE OAT BRAN MUFFINS

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil melted, slightly cooled
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten (or egg whites equal to 3 eggs)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 2 1/4 cups oat bran
  • 1 cup splenda or stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts & berries (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare muffin cups- 12 cup muffin tin.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a larger bowl.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix well.
  6. Add the walnuts & berries, if desired.
  7. Spoon into the muffin tin–fill each cup about 3/4 of the way up.
  8. Bake 18-20 minutes.
  9. Let cool 2 minutes in the pan, then cool completely on rack.

Muffins can be frozen and thawed if you aren’t going to eat them right away.

Michele’s Skinny Paella


So, my friend and client, former Extra TV Host, Dayna Devon recently posted a recipe for Paella on her blog and it looked amazing.  I got to wondering how I can make a healthier version for those days when carbs are a necessity and here’s what I came up with.  If you try it, please let me know how you like it and if you made any modifications.  This tasty, skinny Paella cooks in half the time but tastes just as authentic.  Don’t overdo it…only one serving of this a day and save the rest for leftovers!

Michele’s Skinny Paella

Recipe inspired by Dayna Devon and Tyler Florence’s Ultimate PaellaMichele's Skinny Paella

1.5lb chicken breast (cut into 1/2 inch chunks)

3 Links hot chicken or turkey sausage (casings removed)

2 cups yellow onion (diced)

1 cup red bell pepper (diced)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley (chopped, plus extra for garnish)

14oz can whole tomatoes (drained)

2 cups short-grain brown minute rice

2.5 cups fat-free low sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup dry white cooking wine

1 large pinch Spanish saffron

4oz shrimp (peeled, deveined)

1 cup sweet peas (defrosted)

S&P (to taste)

Chicken rub

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

Step 1:  Combine chicken rub ingredients in a medium size bowl or large zip top bag. Add chicken breast, and toss or shake to coat evenly. Cover and marinate in the fridge for one hour.

Step 2:  Heat a large pot coated with cooking spray over medium high heat. Once hot, add the sausage. Break apart sausage with your spatula, and cook until no longer pink. Remove sausage from pot and set aside. Add additional cooking spray to pot, if needed, and then add chicken pieces. Sear chicken on all sides then remove from pot and set aside.

Step 3:  Add onions, red pepper, garlic, and parsley to the pot, season with S&P, to taste, reduce heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes, using your spatula to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and crush with your spatula. Season with S&P. Add uncooked rice to the pot and stir to combine. Once the liquid is absorbed, add chicken broth and cooking wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 4:  Add the sausage, chicken, and saffron to the pot and stir to combine. Add the shrimp, pushing them down into the rice. Simmer for 15 minutes then add the peas. Garnish with remaining parsley.

Per serving: Serving size ½ cup 274 calories, 27g carbs, 4g fat, 31g protein, 3g fiber

How to Get Motivated to Exercise


Empowering BodyAfter a long day at the office or at home running after kids and managing a household, how many of you really want to lace up our running shoes and hit the pavement? That’s where self-motivation comes in. We are all motivated to lose weight by different things. Whether it be getting into your wedding dress, an upcoming class reunion, or something simple yet profound like teaching your children how important exercise is, in the end, only you can motivate yourself to get up, get out, and do something. But, before you jump into a workout regime, it’s important to identify your motivation to lose weight. Let your goals be your guide and then create a workout that is tailored to those goals. Here are some quick tips on how to get and stay motivated to lose weight so you can lead a happier, healthier life.

1. WRITE IT OUT-Whatever your motivation may be, getting it out of your head and onto a piece of paper will make your goals tangible. Your brain sees goals as written instructions, and therefore more real, which provides concrete motivation for you to strive to reach them. So today, take a few minutes, find a pen, pencil, and some paper, and write down your motivation to lose weight.
2. SET SHORT, ATTAINABLE GOALS-After you write down your motivation, take a few minutes and set some realistic short term goals. These goals can be to work out 3 times a week for 30 minutes, or to fit into those too tight jeans that are hanging in your closet in 30 days. Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to do too much too fast, or by expecting big results too soon. Keep your life in mind when setting these short term goals and include activities that suit your needs.
3. BUY THE RIGHT CLOTHES AND EQUIPMENT-When you invest in yourself, you’re telling your brain that you intend on making these goals a reality. Go get some new running shoes, or buy a yoga mat. Take some time out for you, and spend the money you would’ve spent on fast food, on something that will make you live longer life. You can hit up Old Navy for inexpensive, yet quality workout clothes and accessories, or even get some used equipment for half the price off Amazon.com.
4. START AT A SLOWER PACE- Remember that this is going to be a lifestyle change. You can’t go from sedentary to over active in a week’s span. You have to give your body some time to adjust. Start out slow, and then build your way up to longer, more intense workouts. Initially, if you can only walk for 20 minutes at a time, don’t feel bad. Instead congratulate yourself for even walking at all. Start with 20 minutes, and then add 10 minutes every week until you’re up to 60 minutes. That way you’ll give your body time to adjust and you’ll see how far you’ve come.
5. REWARD YOURSELF-After you’ve attained one of your short term goals, take some time to reflect on how far you have come. Reward yourself…not with food….but with a new book, or some better fitting clothes, or even take yourself out on a date. You deserve it! If you have missed a couple of workouts, you still deserve kudos for being more active than you used to be. We are so hard on ourselves sometimes, forgetting to see the trees instead of the forest. Stop cutting yourself down, as that’s what helped to contribute to your previous unhealthy lifestyle. Instead, encourage, motivate, and reward yourself for the small things you do. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but when it was finally finished, it was spectacular…and you will be too.

Now that you’re all motivated to start losing weight, stay motivated by referring back to that initial list you wrote from time to time, just as a reminder when the aches and pains of building a better you become too much to bear at times. Also, trying new activities like weight lifting, Cardio Barre, or training for a 5K can also help you stay motivated. When all else fails, find your favorite motivating jam, turn it up loud, and just dance. Music has a way of reaching the soul, rejuvenating and uplifting you when you need it the most. Remember…it’s the little things that make a huge difference in our lives.

BE HAPPY!

Interview with Tamra Seghi


Name:  Tamra Seghi

Bio:

  • Age:  41
  • Occupation:  Stay at home mom
  •  Home Life:  Married for 10 years with 2 boys age 6 and 8 and my girl who is a pit bull age 5
  •  Hobbies:  Working Out, snowboarding, wakeboarding, enjoying my kids and their sports activities, educating people on Pit Bulls as amazing pets

 Interview:

Michele- How long ago did you begin your fitness journey?

Tamra- I’ve always worked out since I was in high school; however, I never pushed myself too hard.  My workouts were pretty tame – some cardio and some weights but not heavy enough to really feel a burn or build muscle.  In June 2012 I decided to start putting much more effort into my fitness journey and really cranked it up when I found Empowering Body Fitness online in August and asked you to become my trainer.

Michele- Who or what inspired you to make such a drastic lifestyle change?

Tamra- There are 2 events that I can pinpoint bringing me to a realization that I needed to make a lifestyle change.  First, was my depression over turning getting older which I struggled with for most of the year I turned 40.  I was always in pretty good shape, but after my 40th birthday I realized that since having my two boys, I gave up most of my identity and put all my focus into raising them.  I didn’t work out as often, I gained an extra 10 pounds, and I just didn’t really take care of myself -physically or mentally. Second, both my kids and husband play a ton of sports and one day my youngest son made the comment that I was not athletic.  I always thought of myself as athletic and that made me realize that my kids didn’t see me doing anything to take care of myself,  They didn’t have any reasons to look up to me or see things that I accomplished besides taking care of them.

Michele- What were the obstacles you faced when you first began?

Tamra- I had to learn that it was ok to spend time on me and not feel guilty if I wasn’t at every sports practice, play date, etc.  I also needed to learn how to eat a clean diet and work much harder on my fitness.

Michele- What were your habits prior to your lifestyle change and how did you change that?

Tamra- I ate too much food that wasn’t good for me and had quite the love/hate relationship with sugar!  Love it when I’m eating it and hate the way it would make me feel after. I also had a bad habit of making excuses and telling myself I shouldn’t even try something because I couldn’t accomplish it.  Once I met you, Michele, and got started on her training program, I knew I would be sending her weekly updates – I needed to become responsible for my actions and I just needed to do it- no more excuses!! I spent so much time researching all the success stories women had made in their fitness journeys.  There are so many inspirational stories of women my age and even older who compete and look amazing.  If they can do it, there is no reason I couldn’t and any other woman who puts her mind to it!

Michele- At some point you decided to compete & take this fitness hobby & goal a step further, tell us about that experience.

Tamra- When I told my husband I was serious about making a lifestyle change; he told me I needed to set some kind of solid goal that could really hold me accountable, not just a weight loss goal.  I thought hard about what kind of goal I could set.  I had a friend who competed in a figure contest a few years prior, and after talking to her a light bulb went off – if I set a goal of competing, I knew I would be much more motivated to follow through and do everything I could to feel like I was worthy of stepping on to that stage.  I wanted my family and friends to see that I really worked hard to accomplish my goal.  I was hoping to place at least in the top ten – I never imagined that I would end up taking 2 first place trophies in Masters Bikini, along with a 4th place and a second place in Bikini A in my first 2 contests!!  Wow – what a rewarding experience!!

Michele- What has been the most challenging things for you during the process of dieting, training, changing your mentality, and Tamrachanging your lifestyle?

Tamra- For dieting – realizing that I had to be accountable for everything I put into my mouth.  There’s no innocent snacking – it all adds up!!  Once I realized that, I didn’t have much of a problem following the diet.  I did have to get used to cooking more often and always having my food ready for me.  It’s not good to be hungry and not have the right food available.  Many nights, I was cooking chicken, tilapia, and veggies at 11pm so I would have food ready for my next couple of days.  Training was a blast – I shocked my husband (who knew what a wimp I had previously been in the gym) and found out I LOVE to work out hard and I loved seeing my muscles emerge and the toning process!!

Michele- What would you say are the most important things you got out of this experience?

Tamra- I firmly believe that this experience completely changed my attitude and outlook to a “can do” attitude.  Before I would always let my inner voice tell me I couldn’t do something so I shouldn’t even try.  Now I look at obstacles or new challenges with excitement and confidence – I can do anything I set my mind to!  I’m no longer depressed about being in my 40’s!  Ain’t nothing but a number!!!  I also learned that I can love my kids with all my heart, but I need to love myself also to truly be happy J

Michele- How did this experience effect your family life, your friendships, &/or personal life? How did you manage to balance your home life, family, & personal life?

Tamra- My whole family, especially my husband, was super supportive through my journey and continues to be!  I love them all so much and can’t thank them enough for all of the times they helped out taking care of the kids so I could get my workouts in.  There were times I felt guilty missing time or experiences with my kids, but I know that they have a great support system around them and they were so excited to hear about my competitions and see my trophies.  I feel proud that my kids know their mom worked hard and accomplished an athletic goal just like them!  I did have to become a bit of a hermit close to competition time-  no going out with friends to lunch dates or girls night out, and no joining my family at the fast food places on weekends between sporting events.  My close friends were also super supportive and I’ve loved reconnecting with them since the competition.  I can tell I’ve become an inspiration to many friends with all the questions and advice they ask me!  Competing was the best choice I’ve made in a long time and I can’t thank you enough. Michele, you’ve been an amazing trainer and were always right on point, even when I was freaking out and not sure of my progress.  I couldn’t have done it without you!!

Michele- Would you do this again & if so knowing what you know now, how would you better prepare for this journey?

Tamra- I would love to do it again and I believe you can always learn how to do things better.  I just have to continue to have a positive can do attitude, eat clean, work out hard, and for me, work on having a well organized day so that I can make sure to always have the time and the balance between my goals and my family!!

Total Body Transformations with IFBB PRO, Michele D'Angona!

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