For All You Dad’s…

Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there. Dad 80th bday

For me, I have many reasons to celebrate. Allow me to share and then I’d like to tell you about something called ‘Never Grow Old Fitness‘ – not necessarily for you! Read on…

As many of you know, my Dad suffered a stroke in January. He was in rough shape and we were all very concerned.

We weren’t sure if he’d ever be able to return to his ‘regular’ life of self sufficient living – especially when he was working on basics like swallowing.

The strange thing with strokes is that everyone experiences different deficits depending on how the stroke affects the brain. I have to hand it to my Dad for his consistent hard work with regard to his recovery.

Luckily for my Dad, he’s been able to make a great come back.

In the beginning, he was embarrassed with his inability to do simple things. He hated the silly foot work drills he had to do at a bar in occupational therapy. We’d sit and go through four syllable words and work on enunciation to help his speech. Eating was no fun to say the least – being spoon fed at first, then gradually moving from baby food to increasingly solid food was a long process.

The point is, he never gave up.

He got up and ‘did the work’ with only small increments of visible improvement daily even though he was (and still is) exhausted through it all.

He is a champion.

The good news is that he’s doing quite well now and is back on his own. He’s decided to move into a retirement home where he’ll have a little easier life. He won’t have to cook or clean for Dad retired HQ trophyhimself and he’ll have access to more community and fun activities than he did in his own house.

He’s pretty pumped for the move July 4th. I’ll get to be there to help get him settled.

<====As an aside, it’s funny how NO ONE expects to get old. This ‘trophy’ is in my Dad’s shop from when he ‘hung up’ his work boots and officially retired.

Elderly people (my Dad is 80) are surprised themselves that so much time has passed. I can totally relate; I can’t believe I’m over 50 myself. I’m sure I’ll be just as surprised at my age when I get over 60 or 70 or hopefully 80 too.

My Dad has been active all his life. This has been his saving grace and has increased his overall quality of life. It’s also helped with his recovery from this stroke.

Being active is key.

I had opportunity to speak at the Functional Aging Summit last weekend. It was an amazing event focused on helping an aging population. It was a big eye opener for me…

The fact is, people are living longer and they want more life in their years. And it’s NEVER too late to improve fitness and health.

As one of my readers, I’m sure that your own fitness and health is a priority, but maybe you know someone who could use a starting point?

Maybe it’s your dad…(or some other special someone).

Dr Dan Ritchie and Dr Cody Sipe created just the thing. They have a entry level fitness program that addresses ALL fitness parameters to improve and address healthy functional aging. I know because I’m their fitness model in the follow along videos.

If you have a loved one in your life that needs a little help, please share this program with them.

==>Never Grow Old – Functional Fitness Solution

dan r functional fit 3

I’ll be setting my Dad up with this program so that he can ‘train’ along side me in his new apartment. There are four levels to progress through the Never Grow Old Fitness program so he’ll be set for a bit.

 

 

I’m excited for this next chapter of my Dad’s life.

Dad lazy boy chairSide note: we got him a new lazy boy recliner for Father’s Day, I know he won’t be sitting much in it and that’s just fine by me.

5 Rules I Live By

3 rulesTime flies by; life has a way of getting in the way of plans, doesn’t it? (Speaking of which, if you don’t have time to read this post and want a workout, go here now and read my rules later ;))

Fact is, if we’re not careful, life, and all it’s interruptions will get in the way of goals and big dreams will never come true.

For me, this week I’ve had some fires to put out, nothing earth shaking, just things that need to be attended to – like a failing tile floor done by a shady business man and continuing to execute my Mom’s will and all the fun that goes into that (not).

Honestly, if it’s not these things, there will always be something in our way if we let it.

These things will get us down if we let them as well. It’s best to control what we can and let go of the rest. positive minds

On top of life’s little interruptions, comes the ‘busy-ness’ of the day and if we don’t take care of ourselves then soon we’ll find that we’re falling apart health-wise.

Over the years, I’ve found that no matter what’s going on, taking care of myself helps me face stress or adversity as well as I can function more optimally.

Here are five rules I live by…

(Now I must admit that I was inspired by one of my coaches and I ‘stole’ this idea -even though these are the things I do, I feel I should give him credit for the idea of sharing these tips.)

daily routine be amazing challenge workout

I hope these tips help you to be your best in life, your career and with your friends and family:

1) Eat right. – Yup, I practice what I preach. That means cutting out high fats, sugars, simple carbs, tons of caffeine. These things can cause memory fade, energy crashes, immune system suppression, and adrenal gland fatigue, just to name a few of the things that will slow you down, make you sick, and keep you from thinking and operating at peak levels. You get out of life what you put in and that statement is most true with your diet and nutrition as it relates to your health, well being and performance.

2) Sleep. This means going to bed at the same time every day and waking up at the same time. You probably need more sleep that you think. This is the least sexy tip, but proper sleep will keep you functioning and feeling at your best and it will even help you stay lean.

3) Train. Are you getting in your workout? If you don’t use it, you lose it. Be consistent with your workouts and get your sweat on 3-4 times a week.

4) Own your weekends. Weekends are when you’re most likely to fall off the wagon with your eating, training and sleeping which makes for a Monday where you’re sick, foggy headed, late to work, late to life, calling in sick, working slow, and being “off”. The best thing you can do for yourself is to own your weekends and keep your weekday health and well being rituals up so that you can enjoy your weekends more and have a better week.

be a better person5) Control your head space and the thoughts and people who you allow to influence you. This is one that I overlooked for a long time. When I figured it out and fixed this, I saw an immediate shift in my happiness, productivity, performance and output. Distance yourself from people and things that are negative, downers, damaging, and down right bad for you. I know that you know who these things and people are in your life that are holding you back and causing you stress, anxiety, and depression. You’re the CEO of your own life, so feel free to fire and replace anyone who is not a good fit in your life.

These five things have been huge game changers for me personally. I know that they’ll help you too if you take action on them.

 

Looking for a workout? There’s an all new workout on the blog for you here. This is a bodyweight ‘ripper’ as my good friend, Lisa B from down under would say (and she’s in some of the pics).

Take a look, do the workout and let me know how it goes. workouts to get lean

And be sure to think about the things that keep YOU at your best and make sure to apply your own rules to optimize your own life ūüėČ

By the way, I’d love to hear about YOUR rules YOU use to optimize YOUR life, feel free to share in the comment section.

VIP CLIENT SUCCESS – April 2015

be a better personLifestyle changes aren’t always easy, but it’s the consistent application of a little hard work every day, baby steps forward that take you miles in the long run. I’ve very proud of all my coaching clients, but especially proud of these ladies that are willing to share their story. In sharing, my hope is that they will inspire others to get off the bench and into the game.

A big thank you to each one.

Feel free to leave a comment of encouragement to Fran, Carina, Pam and Kate – they will appreciate it I’m sure.

‘Fran’

The one tip that helped me make the most improvement to my overall fitness was to keep a close eye on your progress, to log it daily & really try to do better the next time working out. You see, I have always logged my workouts on My Fitness Pal, but I was really just going through the motions, occasionally I would pay attention & make some improvements, but for the most part I was content to just workout hard. Now, before I start I have a logged record of what I did the last time with the Work Out & I try to match it or do better….. Remembering of coarse 1st Degree & maintaining proper form, always. It is a very empowering to exercise & always try to do better. I like it a lot!

The group really helped me to stay accountable, especially with my struggle to stay on track with my nutrition. Just knowing I had to post my nutrition daily & make all my good & bad choices public helped me to make healthier choices. I tried to be brutally honest in my daily posts regarding my Workouts, my Motivation & particularly with my Nutrition. I was grateful for everyone’s comments & especially the recommendations given by the VIP Coaching Crew: they were most helpful, especially Suzie Salmon’s healthy choice postings for breakfast lunch, dinner & snacks.

My biggest accomplishment was seeing my fitness level sky rocket into the next stratosphere. When I started this challenge I could do 8 regular Push Ups, now I can knock off 16 of them on a STABILITY BALL, I could¬† do 14 Burpees, now I can knock off 8 of them with a PUSH UP, my Jump Rope skills were very limited…. I could never Jump Rope for 1 minute, now I can do multiple sets of Complex Exercises which include Jump Rope for a minute & I do the Jump Rope section NON STOP. My overall strength training has also improved, when I started I could Squat 50lbs, I can now do 90lbs, I could only Deadlift 50lbs, now I can do 100lbs, all while maintaining proper form.
I am very proud of these accomplishments, I have worked very hard at my improvement.

I would encourage anyone to join this VIP Challenge Club with Shawna Kaminski. Her Work Outs offered within the Challenge are killer. I had been working out to some of them prior to joining the VIP Group, so I was very familiar with her work out routines and I have even purchased more of her Work Out Library since joining. That’s how much I like them. The VIP Support Crew are very knowledgeable & most helpful. I found their feedback quite useful & I’ve put a lot of their recommendations into practice. I also simply love sharing my Weekly triumphs regarding all of the measurements Shawna wanted us to comment & track. I found it very Empowering being able to share this part of my life with other¬† people who are struggling, just like I am. I think I have finally figured out how to incorporate fabulous nutrition into my life…. (because I think I’ve already figured out the Work Outs & the Motivation Aspect of this Challenge).
I would certainly love the opportunity to close this chapter of my Fat Loss journey with the support of this team of like minded people. Three more months & I could figure it out for sure. I also think I have proven my commitment, I poFran before after April 2015 2 anonsted every day of the 3 months & I loved reading & sharing with all the participants. Fingers crossed.
My total weight lost was 6 LBS and my total inches lost were 12 inches.

My Fitness Tests Look Like This: # Of Reps Per Minute
February 28th                                                        April 14th
Push Up Regular  8 Reps                                     Push Up Regular 16 Reps
Modified 12 Reps                                                  Modified 8 Reps
Full Squats 25 Reps.                                             Full Squats 28 Reps
Wall Stick Ups 7LBS 17 Reps                               Assisted Pull Ups (machine) 16 Reps
Paused    8 Reps More
Burpees Regular 14 Reps.                                     Burpees With A Push Up 8 Reps
I’m pretty proud of these stats ….. Now I’m looking forward to doing Shawna’s Pull Up Challenge….I’m gonna figure out how to do them.
It was a pleasure spending the last 3 months together, I must say I enjoyed every minute of it.

‘Carina’

What helped you the MOST during this process and how did the group help you overcome a struggle?
The ongoing support from the group helped me to overcome my sugar addiction and to stay on track because I would have had to post my failures I decided not to eat the wrong things. vip carina apr 15 anon

What was your biggest accomplishment?
I committed myself to stay on Track and to quit eating sugar and carbs. I thought I was already eating well but I did not realize that nutrition is 80% of the deal. I always thought that working out would count more. But it is only 10 % as I have learned from you.

Why would you encourage others to seek out this coaching?
For me it was very important that I was able to do my workout at home but to have someone holding my back and to have a group hold me accountable for what I do. The workouts are great and the changes of the them after 3 Weeks is also very helpful.

How much weight and how many inches did you lose?
I lost 4kg and 27cm

 

 

Pam

It’s been great being in the group even though I am not very vocal on the Facebook page.¬† I have really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts and seeing what they have been doing to keep up their health and fitness goals.¬† Please let me know when you decide to start another group, it really keeps me on track!

The most helpful part of the program are the daily reminders that healthy eating and some kind of movement is important in every aspect of life.  At the very fundamental level, it makes you feel better and everything progresses from that point.  I also like meeting people from all over the world who are also in the VIP group.Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 7.29.10 PM

My biggest struggle everyday is finding the time and motivation to work out.  It is best for me to do this first thing in the morning but I have a family of early risers for work, school, etc. and that disrupts my schedule as I need to get them off for their day. Nevertheless, the workouts are manageable and I can fit them into my schedule.

My biggest accomplishment has been keeping a healthy, clean diet.¬† It’s been baby steps but I have made the transition to where I only want to eat healthy foods and I’m not tempted by the sugary, processed foods that used to be attractive to me.¬† It’s taken awhile to get to this point, but I’ve done a lot of research and as they say “knowledge is power.”¬† Eating healthy keeps me feeling great and I know that eventually the extra weight will disappear if I keep up the good nutrition and exercise program. I make it a point to work out 4-5 days per week.

I would encourage others to seek out this coaching as we all need a little push at times and accountability.¬† This coaching does exactly that…it challenges you to eat healthy and to get moving!

During this session, I lost 11 pounds and 8 inches.¬† I will continue to “chip away” at the weight and inches using the principles I’ve learned from Shawna.¬† She inspired me to challenge myself on a daily basis.¬† Thank you Shawna.

Editor’s note: Pam lost 5 lbs and 5 inches in the previous coaching session. Proof positive that Pam has embraced a healthy lifestyle. Congratulations Pam ūüôā

Kate

I found that the accountability and support from you and the group were the most helpful aspects of this program for keeping me on track and motivated to stick with the program. Team building at its finest.

The consistency of having to check in with you and the group helped me to get through the boredom and stress of my unemployment time. It gave me something constructive and positive to focus on.

My biggest accomplishment was developing good lifestyle habits and a long term desire to maintain my health and mobility. I also gained muscle and definition and improved my performance on a regularly basis because of the workout programming. I found daily life and my other activities, like trail running, became so much easier to do because of the workouts.

I would encourage others to seek out this coaching as Shawna provides excellent tough love ūüôā and it’s so much easier to stay on track when you know you have to report in to someone. Kate Fremlin Oct 2014-Apr 2015

I maintained my weight of 140-145 lbs throughout both 90 day terms because I gained some muscle, but my inches went down about 2-3 inches. I didn’t have huge changes in my numbers but I definitely saw improvements in my strength and performance. I also know that Shawna has given me the tools I need to go farther with my transformation in the future.

Shawna, thank you so much for being you! I love your programming ūüôā and your coaching was super helpful to me. If I’m ever I’m Calgary, I will definitely come to one of your bootcamps!

 

I’m so proud of¬† these four ladies for their hard work and for sharing. My hope is that by reading their transformation of body and lifestyle, you’ll be inspired to look at your own life and make some small changes. Please feel free to leave an encouraging comment ūüôā

If you’d like to learn more about VIP coaching, go here.

I AM ENOUGH (And so are you!)

stopStop it.

If you’re making baby steps towards your goal, you’ll be miles ahead in no time. But you’ll never feel like you’ve gotten anywhere by comparing yourself to others.

Don’t compare your chapter 1 with chapter 20 of someone else’s book. (Thank you to my friend Betty Rocker for this!)

Measure yourself against who YOU were yesterday, not who someone else IS today.

You’ve got your OWN story, your own struggles, and you’re going to have your own triumphs, too.

Let others stories inspire you and not weigh you down.

Keep in mind that you’re being watched. It’s quite likely that your actions and the pursuit of YOUR dreams is inspiring someone else and you might not even realize it.

Too often people (especially those new to fitness) get discouraged by making comparisons to what they see others doing or how they look. It’s a good reminder to work at our own pace, make our own progress and celebrate our own victories.

I get upset when I see people (especially women) compare themselves to others.

To that end, I posted an unedited 6 am pre-workout selfie on Facebook and Instagram and the same pic using a filter:

me and the filter

You can also see the horrible picture and all the support I got on my Facebook wall here (you’ll have to scroll down to April 12th, 2015 – Feel free to like or comment).

Basically, I wanted to get the message out that it everyone seems to compare themselves to what they see as ‘real’ (which is often the ‘unreal’) and when they do, they always comes up short.

My unedited pic was atrocious, but it was real. It made me feel a little horrible about myself, but it likely gave hope to others who also wake up looking like a train wreck.

It was worth it to me to demonstrate that what we see online isn’t necessarily reality and that peeps should stop comparing themselves to others.

This was a demonstration of the physical, but it applies to all aspects of life.

Comparing yourself to others is a recipe for low self esteem.

It’s liberating and better for me to look at how far I’ve come versus where I need to go or where others are. I feel better about myself knowing that I’m creating my OWN story at my own pace and as long as I’m making progress this is good enough.

I AM GOOD ENOUGH. And so are you.

Okay, off my soap box now and it’s time to take some of those baby steps forward where fitness is concerned.

Here are a few awesome things that you may have missed this week:

If you want abs like a fighter => Go here.

If you want an amazing cookbook => Go here.

If you want a nice bum => Go here.

If you want a killer burpee workout => Go here.

And here was my early morning back focused workout for you:

Back It Up!

Count Down 10 to 1 for these exercises:

  • Burpee pull up (burpee or full body extenstion and then pull up alternative like a wall stick up, band pull, DB row etc)
  • DB renegade row (bodyweight option: plank alternate leg lift)
  • DB goblet squat (bodyweight option: prisoner squat)
  • Push Up
  • DB bicep curls wall sit (bodyweight option: wall sit stick up)

Try to finish in under 25 minutes.

That’s it for me today – Go look in the mirror and remind yourself that you’re an amazing person. I’ll do the same – and let’s just forget all about that 6 am pre-workout photo of me shall we?

VIP Success Stories

Take a look at some of the results from my Challenge Workouts VIP Coaching Crew.

This was a 90 day program that went through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas
and New Years – the time of year when most people GAIN weight.

If you want to get serious about your fitness and get in the best shape of your life –
apply here.

#1 VIP Meryl

Testimonial blog 5

It’s a hard choice, but who do you feel has made the best transformation in the Challenge Workouts VIP Coaching program? Please do NOT only consider weight loss, but consider the lifestyle changes that each coaching crew member has undergone. Also, remember that this challenge took place over 4 holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year‚Äôs. Each contestant is a winner already, but who will be the GRAND winner? Read their success stories and GO HERE to vote.
“I liked the accountability of having to check in daily. The group members have been awesome, and I felt that if I were to let myself down by falling off the wagon (so to speak), I would be letting the rest of the group down, as well as myself. Shawna would have threatened more burpees. As I started to loss inches and pounds, it made it a lot easier to stay on track.

The group was there for everyone. If you messed up they were there to positively get you back on the right track.

Overall I have lost 10 inches and 7 pounds. My clothes fit better, but most importantly I feel better.

I have never been on a diet program, but I have learnt about changing my nutritional intact, making sound eating habits, while benefiting from excellent, but fun exercise programs. The group becomes your extended family after a while. I wish the whole group continued success in the future months. Embrace life and enjoy each day to its fullest potential.”

~Meryl

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Meryl HERE

#2 VIP Dana

testimonial blog 1

The VIP coaching program by Shawna Kaminski has made a HUGE difference for me over the last 90 days.

This time frame included the tough food holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

I am 48 years old, and every year it gets harder and harder to bounce back from holiday weight gain.

I was able to lose 10 pounds and 12 inches with a combination of effective nutrition counseling and challenge workout modules that changed every 3 weeks.

The initial 21 day Challenge Diet jump start was great for getting the program off and running, and I was able to put what I learned to good use over the holidays.

Probably the most effective part of the program for me was the individualized attention and support I received daily communicating with the Shawna and the VIP group.

I was able to celebrate my successes with people who were going through the same process and had similar goals.

And when I got down, skipped a workout or slipped up in my nutrition (movie popcorn, holiday candy,¬†wine…), I had friends to encourage and support me (sometimes with some tough love!) to get back¬†on the program.

Having to check in with the group EVERY DAY as far as motivation, workouts and nutrition also held me accountable.

It certainly is much easier to get your head out of a bowl of chips if you know you are going to have to confess to it later!

Besides the obvious physical transformation, I gained an understanding of what works well for my own health and well-being.

I feel better mentally, have more energy, and possess a better attitude when I am eating clean, limiting sugar and processed foods and staying active.

Looking forward to the next 90 days with Shawna and the VIP group!

~Dana

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Dana HERE

#3 VIP Marie

Testimonial blog 2

I decided to join Shawna’s coaching group because I had fallen off the health wagon and wanted, mostly, accountability.

Having someone give me a detailed plan to follow made it even easier!

During those 12 weeks of coaching, there was Christmas and New Year; I also had 2 business trips.

The Facebook community was simply awesome. Everyone was super nice and helpful. We always had access to a pat on the back, a kick in the butt (!) or simply answers to our questions – whatever was needed at the time!

My achievements over those 12 weeks:
– I have lost 4.5 lbs. of fat.
– I dropped 5.75″, 2″ at my waist alone.
– Acquiring the discipline to workout 3-4 times a week, no matter what. Shawna’s workouts are very portable, and never longer than 30 minutes, so there was never an excuse to not getting them in. I also really liked that we changed workout modules every 3 weeks. It kept me interested and motivated.
– I have bought and I’m now using “serious” dumbbells! I went from using 7-10 lbs. ¬†db’s
to 20 lbs. in some movements. They make me feel powerful and happy!

I do not think that my changes have been super dramatic; I’m sure most people would not¬†notice a big difference in a before/after picture, because of how much more I have to lose¬†still. But I do notice a difference when I put on clothes in the morning. I feel more¬†comfortable and confident. I do not spill over my waistband like I used to.

I stuck with the nutrition plan about 75% of the time. Usually that meant 1 meal a day which¬†was “off plan” to some level. I wish I would have been a bit stricter at following the¬†nutrition side, because when I did is when I had the best results. But I did gain good habits¬†from the program. Besides adding weekly food prep to my Sunday routine, I learned to like chia¬†seeds and they are now a daily part of my nutrition! It has also become easier to pass the¬†starchy carbs at dinner, it’s almost never a problem!

Even though I think I could have done better, I feel that dropping 4.5 lbs. of fat during that¬†time of holidays and business trips was a success. Overall, I am happy with the last 90 days¬†and Shawna’s program!

~Marie

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Marie HERE

#4 VIP Kate F

Testimonial blog 3

First off, I wanted to thank you for accepting my application¬†into your coaching program. Over the last three months, I’ve¬†been mostly unemployed and dealing with the uncertainty and¬†stress of looking for a job and questioning what I should do¬†next. I’m super glad I had this program to focus on and look¬†forward to during these last few months as it gave me an¬†outlet of positive change and control over my life that I¬†might not have experienced otherwise. I’ve also really enjoyed¬†interacting with you and the other people on the Facebook¬†group – posting our struggles and triumphs. I especially enjoyed¬†the burpee creativity and videos ūüôā

Even though I haven’t lost over 10lbs or lost several inches, I know¬†I have transformed in other ways.
1) I feel motivated and inspired to do or work towards challenging exercise
like the burpee back somersault, handstand, or back handspring (that’s a
work in progress!);
2) I encourage friends and family members to get active and workout with
me (sometimes virtually);
3) I have developed the habit/addiction of working out at least 3 Р4 times per week and a desire to maintain functional mobility for the duration of my life;
4) I have a hunger to try new activities that challenge me both physically and mentally (like the muscle up!);
and
5) I’ve made big improvements in my pull-ups! I can now do 10 pull-ups in a¬†row!

Again, thank you Shawna for your coaching and inspiration to be a¬†better athlete and a better me. You’ve given me the desire and tools¬†necessary to live a healthy and challenging life style.

Sincerely,

Your fellow burpee lover ūüôā

~Kate F

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Kate F HERE

#5 VIP Michelle

Testimonial blog 4

I believe life is about the journey not the destination. And what a journey the last three months have been.

I joined the VIP challenge crew originally because I needed help. I lacked motivation and I needed someone to do the ground work for me. I am on maternity leave, and being at home with a baby full time leaves little time for planning a workout and weekly meals. I needed quick workouts that provided maximum results. Also simple eating plans that I could fit into my busy day.

When I started this journey I was excited but doubtful that a group of people I had never met would be able to support and help me. But I paid my money and decided to commit.

I quickly saw results, lost 8 pounds the first week and was hooked. The group support helped me on my¬†challenging days. Knowing you have to check in made me accountable. I didn’t want to confess that I was¬†elbow deep in an ice cream container, or too lazy to workout.
The Christmas season has always been incredibly challenging for me. Multiple parties and candies, cookies and leftovers have always resulted in a weight gain. This year was different; motivated by an elimination of 15 pounds and 13 inches, I was able to maintain a zero weight gain over the holidays. I never thought that was possible!

I learned that a cheat meal once a week helps keep me on track. I have also learned that no matter how¬†tasty some foods are the feeling afterwards isn’t worth it. I also learned that when you eat the rights¬†foods and the right times you feel good and look good.¬†One of the key factors of success for me was the daily check in. I quickly began to see myself as part¬†of a team and did not want to let my team down. I was surprised at how quickly some of us became online¬†friends and were able to support each other.¬†In summary the VIP Challenge journey was amazing. The team has left me forever changed in size, mind¬†and heart.

~Michelle

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Michelle HERE

#6 VIP Anne

vip testimonial Iyeshka 2

What a journey this has been! First I want to acknowledge Shawna Kaminski and all of my VIP group friends for the incredible support and unflagging belief in each other and our goals. I know I would not have achieved all this without you. You guys are the best and knowing you were here has helped to pull me through some really tough times.

It was a wonderful serendipitous accident that got me here. I had never considered personal training to be a possibility for me as I thought that would need regular times and a gym and all that. But when I came across Shawna’s ¬†No Excuse poster online I just knew if anyone could understand the challenges I faced and help me, it would be her: 50 (I’m turning 49¬†tomorrow), a mom of busy kids, a multi-business owner…yep, she would have the life experience necessary to help me find a way to my goals.

And what challenges! Even more than I had imagined when I decided to go for the VIP group. I had been struggling with losing and gaining back the same 15-20 lbs. for the past 10 years. A year ago I made a pledge to myself that I would find a way to get in the best shape of my life by my 50th birthday, and there I was almost through the first year…and guess what?…yep, lost and then gained back all of the weight again! And my fitness goals were moving a bit, but not fast enough and I had no idea how I would get where I wanted to go without spending days and days at a gym. And I don’t have days and days to spend. I don’t even have an hour!

I was struggling to find time for myself with a busy full time international private practice, single parenting 3 teen/pre-teen boys, 2 with autism, in start-up (going into year 2) of a new business teaching online workshops, in a fairly new long distance relationship and dealing with aging parents.

This group has been an incredible learning experience. The first lesson was that if I couldn’t find at least 20 min. a day to care for my own health, I really needed to look at what I was doing with my life. I made a commitment to make sure I put on my own oxygen mask first before I headed out to help others. Shawna and the other members of the group were there with support, encouragement, shared frustrations, tears, and hugs when I stumbled.

And stumble I did. I fell down in every way possible. The first hurdle was being intimidated by the exercises. I was a gym rat in my 20’s, but it’s been 20 years since I worked out in any serious way and most of these exercises were completely new to me. And I wasn’t sure I could even do some of them. Shawna was a huge support in coaching me with modifications to help accommodate my bad knees and in finding ways I could start slow and build up. She told me it was possible and wouldn’t let me give up on myself.¬† When I started I was doing incline push-ups and couldn’t get near a full pushup. Well I just did my first full push up with good form last night!!!

I’ve learned to keep focus on my nutrition. Having the group there for accountability was a key element. Reporting in every day to a small group of other committed folks–who quickly became friends–became a highlight for me. I’d look forward to checking in over the day to see how everyone was doing and was excited to be able to report how things were going for me. Even when I totally blew it–slacked off working out for 10 or 12 days, eating the wrong things, not sleeping, not drinking enough water…sneaking candy or chocolate…yep, I fell face first in all of it. Even when I was down in the dumps and struggling, I could still reach out and lift someone else up. And that in turn, helped me get back up too.

I’ve learned to be more patient with myself, to remember that I can get back up at any time that every choice is an opportunity to do better–that perfection isn’t necessary for success–persistence is.

I’ve involved my kids. My home has been transformed into a kind of fitness playground with lots of interesting objects to lift, stretch on, hang from, and roll–even when we are watching TV. Fitness is becoming integrated into the many moments of our day. So how did I do? Well you can see from the pictures that there have been some real changes. I lost 3.5 lbs. and 8.5 inches. And this was through the shared challenges of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. But for me, what is more remarkable was that I also ended my relationship over Christmas and was dealing with the sudden death of a friend’s son. To have maintained enough to see this kind of progress through all of that grief and heartbreak as well stuns me and is a testament to the effectiveness of the VIP group.

This group is a blessing. I could not have come through all of this in the way I have without you. Reporting in kept me coming up for air in the worst days. Even when I wasn’t reporting, I was reading and keeping up with you all and that helped more than you know. Thank you so much. I look forward to staying in touch either ongoing in the group or over Facebook. Much love to you all <3

~Anne

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VOTE for Anne HERE

#7 VIP Katie

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Over the last 12 weeks I have lost 5 lbs and 5 inches overall. This was incredible for me to see. Finally after 4 children and 10 years my MUFFIN TOP is gone. I have fallen in love with skinny jeans again and feel strong and comfortable in my clothes and body.

As a fitness instructor, it paid to feel the highs and lows of a structured program. I am usually really good about workout but not nutrition. The combination was phenomenal and I learned so many easy, helpful tricks to keep me on track. Through the online peer support, I finally felt understood. In my day to day life, friends and family find me obsessed about health and avoid the conversation. Having challenge workout friends allowed me to feel normal and know that others also share the passion for health and well-being. They even find humour in burpees. That is rare to find.
Shawna Kaminski I have followed you for years on line and feel grateful for being a part of this group. You have taught me lot, challenged me and in turn I have started to challenge my participants in a new way. You have created a great program and I wish you much future success. My goal for 50 is to be a stripped as you.

~Katie

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VOTE for Katie HERE

 #8 VIP Donna M

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I have always struggled with my weight. In January 2014 I started the Home Workout Revolution program but then I started getting emails from Craig for various workout products and then Shawna Kaminski’s Challenge Diet referral email arrived in my inbox! This seemed like a great addition/alternative….and it was designed by a woman, who seemed to understand the trials and concerns of women like me! I was able to push through my plateau and am slowly losing the remaining weight. My hypothyroidism has required some medication tweaking and I know it will take a little longer for me to achieve my goal. The paleo food plan works best with my thyroid condition. Thanks to Shawna, I am that much closer to my goal today!

The VIP Coaching program was an opportunity to join a group of committed individuals who want to better themselves. I needed a kickstart to break my plateau. The motivation, tips and and experiences from the group have made this journey enjoyable. We have shared each others’ happiness, sadness, frustration and elation….and Shawna has kept us on track and made us accountable to the group, to Shawna and to ourselves. Thank you, Shawna! In 1 year I have lost over 20 lbs. (28 lbs in 2 years) plus many inches.

What helped the most was getting tips and tricks from the group (exercise variations, great food ideas, etc.) and the never-ending supply of  support from Shawna and the members.

Group help – so supportive when I was still at a plateau and getting very frustrated.

My biggest accomplishment was getting a regular workout pattern at home and finding a food plan (paleo) that helps me lose weight and inches while being hypothyroid. And I feel great!

Why would I encourage others to seek this coaching? Because I can prove IT WORKS! And sometimes, everyone needs a helping hand!

So, now the most difficult part…the photos (which I wasn’t going to do but then figured how bad could it be).

~Donna M

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VOTE for Donna HERE

 #9 VIP Amy M

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What a journey the past 90 days have been! I have always wanted personal training, but it either was not available or I didn’t know who to trust.¬† I have been reading and following Shawna for several months, so when this opportunity came along, I was thrilled.

I am 54 years old and the mother of 6 children.  Many people tell me that extra weight is part of getting old and that my stomach will never be flat or not saggy because I have birthed 6 children. I have never believed that, but I also have never experienced any different, so I was about to start believing it.  I am so thankful Shawna accepted me into this program because I know now that those things I have been told are just not true.

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Before I started I would use travel or company (or just about anything) as an excuse to not eat right or to skip a workout.¬† I have greatly improved in that area by learning that I can often control those situations and I feel so much better physically and about myself when I do make right choices. Even the holidays were controlled because of the support and accountability of this group–not perfect, but more in control than ever.

The workouts change every 3 weeks, which is great!¬† I have also learned that the body will adapt quickly, so change is good.¬† I was introduced to workouts that I have never done and that I would not have attempted had it not been for Shawna’s program AND encouragement.
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I also never would have thought that I would connect with this group of strangers who have now become friends.¬† I wish I could have each of them into my home for tea and talk face-to-face. The accountability and support and tough love have been so valuable.¬† I look forward every day to checking in with them–even on the days when I had to report a not so good day.¬† These people are real and have struggles, trials and pain that we have all shared with each other along with some great joy and victories.

I lost 11.8 pounds, 12 inches and 3.8% body fat during the 90-day challenge and that included Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations along with much traveling and hosting out of town family often. Shawna and this group deserve the credit.¬† Of course, I had to do the work and it was not always easy, but the plan was laid out and the support was always there.

I’m so very thankful for this opportunity and for each one in this group–it has been life-changing.

~Amy M

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VOTE for Amy M HERE

#10 VIP Suzie

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I have what I think is a good nutrition and exercise knowledge base, but I also have a habit of not doing anything with that information. Then came this challenge…90 days of having my eating and exercise routine handed to me AND having to talk about it everyday? That’s gotta get me to do something different. It’s not easy to eat well and exercise for 90 days…but it’s actually pretty easy to post everyday for 90 days. Logically, if I had to discuss the program everyday, then I would be forced to use the components of the program everyday, right?

The fact about anything in life is that you get what you put in. The beauty in this community is that the more I posted the more I wanted to be there for everyone and for myself because we‚Äôre all working towards that same goal. Some days I didn‚Äôt post because I was too far off the wagon‚Ķand when I dragged myself in to confess, everyone in the group was so strong, supportive and encouraging, I was compelled to be better the next day ‚Äď I couldn‚Äôt let that good energy move me in any other direction. And I loved that people‚Äôs good days were a cause for celebration and inspiration.

I didn‚Äôt change much in the way of measurements (bad nutrition is tough to break but I’m chipping away at it) but damn does my body feel so much better than it has in years! From this challenge here are some of whats helped me develop new habits:
1) I now have daily habit of reflecting on my health and fitness goals every night and making a plan for the next day
2) I found that having a detailed workout plan that I was tested on each week made me want to maintain that habit. The workouts were seriously fun, short, challenging, most of all ‚Äď progressive and very do-able. Loved changing it up every three weeks.
3) Shawna is my favourite fitness professional in the whole world for real, and being able to be in a program doing her workouts with her personal encouragement is just awesome. When she super blows up I can say that I was one of the original members of her world famous VIP groups.
4) The most important thing that I got from this program is the knowledge and confidence that I can recommit to better health every single day, and no matter how far I fall I can get back up just as fast.

Thanks for your support everyone, truly inspired by you all!!

~Suzie

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VOTE for Suzie HERE

#11 VIP Pam

I am disappointed with myself that I didn’t do better with the weight loss but very happy about the fact that I have lost inches and “tightened up” my body.¬† Usually during the “holidays” I fail miserably with nutrition and exercising.¬† I can honestly say that the Challenge Group really made me think constantly about what I was eating and whether I was exercising enough.¬† I listened to my body and when I was “out too far”,¬† I pulled back and tried to regroup to get back on track.¬† Reading the groups’ daily posts kept me motivated and when I would start to stray, the posts and the groups’ frankness and honesty would guilt me back into the Challenge.¬† I can’t say enough about peer pressure–especially when I realized that I wasn’t the only one struggling on a daily basis.vip testimonial Pam

I can definitely say I really enjoy eating “clean” and feel so much better when I eat healthy.¬† I now look at food as to how it will make me feel after I eat it.¬† ¬† My exercising is also becoming a part of my daily routine, makes me feel so much better and makes it easier to cope with everyday situations.

It is nice to know that we all have our daily ups and downs and each day is a new beginning.¬† I commend Shawna for her leadership abilities and keeping the group “in line” but also letting the group grow on its own.¬† I’m looking forward to staying in the group and to keep progressing….I might even start posting on the Facebook page (although I really have an aversion to Facebook!).¬† Thanks for everything,¬† Pam

Weight lost:  5 lbs.
Inches lost:   5

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Pam HERE

WINNER WINNER!

The votes are counted and we’ve got an ‘official’ winner – although I maintain that EVERYONE in this post is a winner.

It was a tight race, but VIP #8 Donna M took the win with 22% of the vote. VIP #5 Michelle and VIP#8 Amy were tied as the runner up. Donna wins the next round of coaching and $100.

But guess what? Look what Donna did:

vip winner Donna

Donna chose to donate her prize to the charity of my choice and suggested the ‘Heart and Stroke Fund’. She knows that my dear Dad just had a stroke last week.

What a sweet and generous thing to do.

This is not surprising.

This group is simply amazing and Donna represents them perfectly.

Congratulations Donna, our runners up and every VIP here!