Speaking of our April Classes Bring May A$$es #30in30 Challenge – check out our latest 12 week WLBC’ers and their before and after results! Three months ago these ladies took their New Year’s Resolutions to the max and signed themselves up for a 12 week program that required huge self-discipline, a motivation to succeed and the ability to conquer the challenging journey ahead – and they did it! Getting through the early morning workouts, the two-a-day sweat fests, and the overhauling of their kitchens was task one – overcoming that little voice in their head that kept wanting to quit, give up, or try again later – that was the looming task throughout the entire 3 months. Congrats ladies!

Read these results, give these ladies a high five in the studio, and if this is something you’re considering, sign up for our next camp starting THIS SUNDAY April 5th.

You know you want to. Think about how it will feel looking back on this decision three months from now, and think of all the things in your life you can change once you take control – setting and meeting a goal is where it’s at. (And this camp ends right before 4th of July, so, you know, that’s helpful inspiration too.)

 ***** Sarah *****

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Sarah lost 30.3 lbs!!!

Down 6 inches from the waist
Down 5 inches from the hips
Down 3 inches from the chest
She improved her pushups from 6 on her toes & 26 on her knees
to 16 on her toes and 44 on her knees!
Plank hold went from 1:16 to 2:01
1-minute situps went from 21 to 35

 ***** Amber *****

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Amber lost 22.4lbs!

Down 1.5 inches from the waist
Down 3.25 inches from the hips
Down 3.5 inches from the chest

***** Jennifer *****

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Jennifer Lost: 23.7 pounds!
Down 2 inches from her waist
Down 4 inches from her hips
Down 3 inches from her chest
She improved her 1-minute push-ups from 25 on her toes and 13 on her knees
to 37 on her toes and 15 on her knees!
Her 1-minute sit-ups went from 33 to 47
She started planking at 1:30, now she holds plank for 2:42

***** Jen *****

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Jen lost 13.1 pounds!

Down 4 inches from the waist
Down 4 inches from the hips
Down 2.5 inches from the chest
She improved her 1-minute push-ups from 2 on her toes and 29 on her knees
to 10 on her toes and 37 on her knees!
She improved her 1-minute sit-ups, plank & jump rope as well

***** Cara *****

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Cara lost 19.6 pounds in this session – she keeps continuing the WLBCs and looking amazing!!!
Down 5.5 inches from the waist
Down 4 inches from the hips
Down 3 inches from the chest
She improved her 1-minute push-ups from 16 on her toes and 14 on her knees
to 35 on her toes and 15 on her knees!
She improved her crunches from 36 in 1 minute to 45 in 1 minute

***** Chelsea *****

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Chelsea lost 7.9 pounds!
Down 1.5 inches from the waist
Down 2 inches from the hips
Down 1.5 inches from the chest

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We are so proud of the hard work you guys have given for three solid months. Keep up the motivation and sail right into summer!!!

Click here for more info about our next WLBC starting this Sunday, April 5th

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Can you believe another Weight Loss Boot Camp has already come to an end? (I bet our WLBC’ers can!) We have the results, and if you haven’t seen enough yet, they’re always AMAZING!

As a result of first making the decision to embark on such a challenge, and then actually putting in the hard work of exercising at least 9-12 times per week (if you think regular Fusion classes are tough you should peek into a WLBC hour) and overhauling their diet to change old habits and start new ones all in the same breath – these women stand proud in their ‘after’ shots. (And notice the side-view lifted booties!)

As tough as it sounds, I always hear the same thing from these ladies: the changes make them feel so good that the toughness of it all is in time replaced by a new respect they find for their bodies. This new respect gets them to the studio early in the morning or after work, it keeps them out of the drive-thrus, it motivates their prep work in the kitchen, and they evolve into feeling empowered, not deprived.

For more info on our next sessions of WLBC and AmpCamp starting

March 25th 2014 – click here.

*****Bridget*****

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Bridget lost 8.1 pounds

She took 4.5 inches from her waist

7 inches from her hips (!)

and 7 inches from her chest (!)

Her one-minute pushups went from 9 to 20!

Her one-minute crunches started at 0 eight weeks ago and shot up to 21!

*****Starlin*****

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Starlin lost 19.5 pounds

She took 4 inches from her waist

4.25 inches from her hips

and 2 inches from her chest

She improved her one-minute pushups from 5 on her toes and 30 on her knees to 10 on her toes and 39 on her knees!

Her one-minute crunches went from 21 to 29!

*****Ali*****

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Ali lost 12.4 pounds

She took 4 inches off her waist

5 inches off of her hips

and 4 inches off of her chest

She improved her one-minute crunches from 19 to 39!

*****Erica*****

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Erica joined WLBC Blast on the heels of her first successful journey in the 12-Week WLBC –

This session she lost another 12 pounds!

She improved her one-minute pushups from 35 on her toes to 52 on her toes!

Her one-minute crunches improved from 23 to 32!

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Feeling inspired? We have another WLBC 8-Week Blast starting next week, March 25th! For more info click here  - you’ll find all the details, plus information about our 8-week AmpCamp and 12-Week WLBC. We have every option you need to take that first step. 

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“Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are. It solely relies on what you think.” – Buddha

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In honor of all the Spring Breakers chillaxing on the beach with their margaritas, going out to dinner every night and having the services of hotel housekeepers, let’s talk about happiness. Not for them of course, because duh they’re in paradise for a week, but for us Staycationers, enjoying our blustery Spring Break right here in good ol’ Kansas. ‘Ugh,’ you say, ‘yeah yeah the power of positive thinking, choose to be happy, blah blah. What are you going to tell me next, exercise releases endorphins? I know!’ So you’ve heard a lot about it lately, but after a recent conversation with our WLBC star leader Shawna, a need to share the inspiration we gave each other has arisen.

We were talking about how it’s our kids’ faults that we eat so damn much. Okay, (kind of) kidding. We were discussing how easy it is to rely on the same old excuses each time we’re tempted into eating junk – mostly when some sort of emotion is involved. How eating habits seem so engraved and overwhelming and unchangeable – but how they really aren’t. How all it takes to stop shoving granola bars in your mouth during the after school rush (the only time of day more splurge-inducing as bedtime) – all it takes is the mental strength to stop doing it. But the excuses are good (I’m stressed! The kids are driving me crazy! My blood sugar has bottomed out! It’s still 5 hours till bedtime!) and it’s easy to give in day after day – spiraling to the point of feeling out of control, discouraged, and broken down to keep giving in again the next time. Or shoot, even again that night. And this pattern can negatively affect everything from our eating habits to our relationships to the way we talk to ourselves in the mirror.

What we all tend to forget or ignore (or may honestly have never considered) is that we have the power to control the excuses – those endless streams of thoughts dictating our emotions. We ARE that little voice. When we worry, when we call ourselves fat, when we crave certain situations or fear the worst of others – this all seems to just “be” how it is and we accept it as our reality. But the good news is – everything is yours to choose. Even if you have to straight up tell yourself how it’s gonna be in the mirror. “I do NOT need another granola bar.” “I am NOT a failure because I already had two.” “I am NOT crazy for telling myself how it’s gonna be.” (Let your kids & husband stare – maybe they’ll ease up a bit with the stress-eating they’re creating when they think mom’s finally lost it.) Whatever you have to do to choose your thoughts, it’s time to take control of them and start choosing the good ones.

Read on for four ways to choose happiness (and no, none of them start with Kim Crawford.) (Okay maybe some nights they do.)

♥know yourself♥

“The better you know yourself, the better your life becomes.” Deepak Chopra

We hear it all the time – “love yourself, accept yourself, be yourself” – but before you can do any of these things, you actually have to file_101560_0_Baby_Mirrorknow yourself. Your passions, your strengths, your weaknesses. In a culture focused so intently on doing it all and being the perfect woman, we have this huge pressure to be better better better – but do we really know what we need to be better at? On Deepak Chopra’s website (tons of insightful and motivational articles & exercises here), I came across an article by Traci Porterfield about how to attract love. Not just in a mate, but attracting love into your life in general. And one of her first steps was figuring out how to make your light shine so bright that those around you will be attracted to, and touched by, your own special light. She suggested figuring out what makes you tick – what you’re passionate about – in order to build upon that little light and just let it shine.

‘Um, so how am I supposed to figure out my passions when I’ve got mouths to feed, bills to pay, yada yada?’ True – especially as women, we are very focused on taking care of those around us. But a question we were asked at the inspirational Girls’ Night In last month, was “how would my family/friends/life look without me in it?” Sober point right, but when we deny taking care of ourselves over those around us, we cause an endless list of health problems, both physically and mentally. So set aside a few minutes and ask yourself these questions from Porterfield – really get to know yourself and write in that empty  journal you bought yourself two years ago:

  • What do I love to do?
  • What would I do if I had all the money and time in the world?
  • What do I love to talk about, learn about, or teach to others?
  • What physical activities make me feel alive?
  • What activities spark my creativity?
  • What are the happiest parts of my life?
  • How do I love to spend my days?
  • What makes me smile?

Simple at first, right, but what if you really took the time to think about, write about, plan about the answers you come up with? How can answering these questions help you connect with yourself and get to know yourself better? Be careful to not lose yourself in your responsibilities. Someone once told me to “remember your inner child and treat her with kindness, acceptance, and love.” Think of yourself as the little child you once were, and give her the same compassion you give to your own kids and the rest of your family and friends – and embrace doing the things now that you couldn’t as a child. Once that little light starts to shine, watch out baby, because that’s when things will start to happen.

♥accept yourself♥

“Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not eliminating our weaknesses.” ~Marilyn vos Savant

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Now here’s the kicker – once you take the time to pay attention to who you really are – stop trying to change it! Embrace your strengths and your weaknesses as who you are made to be. Accept your flaws as you accept those of your closest family and friends. Our overall love and acceptance of who they are shields us from the occasional annoyances they create – see yourself through this same lens and share your support with yourself as you would with a friend in need. Sure we can all improve in one way or another, but we are all different for a reason and for every trait you consider undesirable, you have another desirable trait inside you that makes your heart as special as it is.

Porterfield also reminds us to “embrace laughter, joy, and lightheartedness. The world is stunningly beautiful when you walk around with your heart and eyes wide open.” She (along with every other psychologist/self help guru/grandma around) insists one of the greatest keys to happiness is living in the present, not the past. She says to accept the people who have hurt you and be grateful for the lessons they taught you. Release them and all of the anger and hurt so it stops poisoning your body. Live in each moment. Stop wishing you’re someone you’re not – use the old mom adage that there’s always going to be someone prettier, richer, stronger, etc… (so what are you calling me ugly mom?) – and just be yourself.  There is only one best – the best YOU you can be.

Lastly, accept that you are not superwoman, no matter how hard you try. Porterfield asks, “do you need a mentor? Do you need to get rid of some energy thieves around you? Do you need technical help? Do you need someone to tell you you’re wonderful every day? Ask someone to tell you. Whatever it is, take charge and make sure you get it. We cannot do everything on our own.”

♥better yourself♥

“Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” –Maya Angelou

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“Like any other skill, becoming a positive, optimistic person takes practice to develop. Positivity is a muscle and you must build it every day if you want to see any tangible results,” says Porterfield. So instead of letting those useless, self-depreciating thoughts own your brain all day, practice a new mantra and fake it till you make it. “I am happy.” Breathe in. “I am happy.” Breathe out. Etc., etc., and etc. until you feel it.

When we aren’t striving to earn the “best” title from everyone around us, we can start giving ourselves to others to try and encourage their better.

When you focus your attention outside of yourself (this is after you’ve answered the questions above of course), you’ll find such joy and peace in making other people smile that you’ll naturally be smiling more yourself. Porterfield says, “remember that the smallest acts of kindness can have the greatest impact. And when you offer your light, your capacity to love expands exponentially. There are hundreds of things you could say throughout the day to show appreciation for the people in your life. Even something small, like writing a quick note or making a phone call to say ‘I’m thinking about you’ can make someone’s day.”

Why does it feel so good to help others? Leslie Goldman in Four Amazing Health Benefits of Helping Others, says, ”when you read to the elderly, walk a 5K for cancer, or even plunk a quarter in the Salvation Army kettle, the reward center of your brain pumps out the mood-elevating neurotransmitter dopamine, creating what researchers call a helper’s high.” And we all appreciate a good high, right? Studies have shown doing nice things for others, even the littlest things, increase life expectancy, decrease chronic-pain, and lower blood pressure. If all of this is happening to you, just imagine what your good deed is doing for the other person.

♥choose yourself♥

“In the end, happiness is a choice—the frame through which we choose to see.” -Mark Matousek

I have an experiment for you : The next time you’re grumpy as all get-out, when you want to scream your brains out at the car in front of you or attack one of your children (with loving mom discipline) – try smiling. ‘Fake it till you make it’ is proven right here. The tiny act of turning the corners of your mouth up instead of down (really get into it, act like you’re smiling for a picture. Or at Channing Tatum.) and you will instantly release endorphins – creating that high we all crave without even a second’s worth of work. Even when you have to force yourself so hard you look like Jack Nicholson in the The Shining. (Again, this may help the kids & husband back down when mom pulls out her “crazy” smile as they may call it. Behind your back.)

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So if something as quick as a smile can boost your mood and change your perspective, what about furthering that “taking control of your emotions” idea and applying it to your thoughts? ”When you take control of your thoughts and choices you don’t feel deprived, you feel empowered – but you choose to feel that way [kittens.]” Our own Jos – Amp Camp leader and Fusion rock star – talks about being in control of your eating habits in simple terms that we may not always want to hear. “Just don’t eat it.” “Put that sh*t in the freezer so it breaks your teeth off if you do.” She tells us the answer day after day, it’s just up to us if we really want to apply it to our lives and get down to business. Do the dirty work. “But,” she says, “when you take one thing out, when you make a sacrifice, you’re also making room for something new and beautiful.” So out with the old and in with the new – be excited about it!

“Happiness is genetically influenced but not genetically fixed,” says David Lykken, PhD in Mark Matousek’s How to Choose Happiness on Oprah.com. Because we are women. We are American. We’ve got to mention Oprah at some point. “The brain’s structure can be modified through practice. If you really want to be happier than your grandparents provided for in your genes, you have to learn the kinds of things you can do, day by day, to bounce your set point up and avoid the things that bounce it down.” Disproving Freudian and other  ”you’re stuck with it” theories, recent breakthroughs in psychology, neurology, and chemistry – or the ‘positive psychology movement’ or the ‘science of happiness’ as it’s referred to – are finding our brains are a lot more powerful than we once thought. (Phew, I knew we all didn’t want to have sex with our mothers.)

As Jos said above, and what’s becoming our slogan around here anytime our holidays are tempting us to gorge ourselves: “You’re Empowered, Not Deprived.” Direct this powerful statement to anything in life – whether it’s your budget, your eating habits or the way you handle your emotions when you’re upset – and you can see how empowering it really is. Say no to that third granola bar. Shoot, say no to the first one. Damn it feels good to be a (self-disciplining) gangsta.

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” – Aristotle 

 

One year ago Courtney Craig walked into her first Weight Loss Boot Camp. Anxious but determined to change her habits and both her physical and mental health, she made the decision just three days earlier to dedicate herself to the next 12 weeks – she had finally reached the realization that something had to be done about her health.

Shawna Regan and Me

Regan, Courtney & Shawna on the WLBC field

On her one year anniversary of taking control, she has lost over 60 pounds, dropped all of her medications (to the shock of her doctor) and completed four WLBCs back to back. Though weight loss is the typical measurement of success, she is quick to emphasize that though she “watched the scale like a hawk” in the beginning, she began to see her accomplishments through the journey as even more important than the exact amount she had lost/continues to lose. “Like the first day I discovered I could touch my toes…WHAT?! Or the day I just put on my shoes to do a little warm up run before class, and discovered I’d ran 3 miles on accident. And when I went to my doctor who hadn’t seen me since I started this journey – when she entered my weight into the computer it kept bringing up error messages, saying the percentage of weight loss was too great and to re-enter the number. She was ecstatic!”

Courtney spent many years battling her weight – since middle school she was shopping in the plus sizes and says “I was never the tiny girl.” She was raised with healthy perimeters on TV time and “we were kicked outside to play all summer,” but says she never really thought about health and fitness growing up. By the age of 34 she was on the verge of diabetes, taking medication for it and also prescribed cholesterol meds. “Aside from those I had heartburn and headaches all the time so Tums, Advil, Pepcid, etc. were all staples in my medicine cabinet. I’m a numbers girl, so I recently added up what I was spending on medications, even after insurance, and I’m not kidding – it was enough for a down payment on a car!”

“I had always wanted to lose the weight but never wanted to do the work. I had seen other people do it, but it wasn’t until I watched my friend Allison complete a WLBC and saw her tagged in a WLBC Facebook post with her and all the other women’s results that something clicked in me. Finally I thought, this is it, I have nothing to lose. That same day I called Shawna and registered, warning her that I didn’t run, I was crazy out of shape and I couldn’t be expected to do everything Allison did, but if I lost 20 pounds I’d be happy. It was that day that I flipped my switch and three days later started my first WLBC.”

To say it was a rough start would be an understatement. “We started to do our assessments,” Courtney says, “and with our small group it probably took about 15 minutes – and being honest here – after I was done I felt so dizzy and gross that I had to leave the room to go throw up. I was completely discouraged and thought, if I can’t even make it through 15 minutes, how am I going to do an entire hour? A week? The entire 12 weeks? The next morning we met at the soccer field for our first “real” workout and after 30 minutes, boom, I was throwing up again.”

“But like I said I’m a numbers girl,” she says, “and at that point my biggest motivation was that I had paid the money so I was going to do it. Plus I knew if I didn’t go back and continue my plan, this was the end of the road and I would just have to go ahead and get super fat and unhealthy or even perhaps pursue weight loss surgery. Then I did my first Wednesday night with Jacqui and it about killed me. I was in tears. I couldn’t imagine 12 weeks of it and thought, why would I want to go back to that?!”

But go back, she did, and “I’m not gonna lie, I felt awful” – but she kept pushing and pushing until she says she eventually pushed through the wall she describes as her mental barrier – and now nonchalantly  refers to her “pre-Fusion” life in conversation, as it has so drastically changed her physical and mental self. “I started to make friends in the camp who were going through the same things, had the same feelings, and the same challenges. That kept me coming back. Eventually I started to feel better. And I have to say that Shawna and Regan were a big reason I kept showing up. I believe these two women saved my life this past year!”

12 Months Before After Front12 Months Before After

So tell us why Fusion has been the spot you chose to stick with – what keeps you here?

Fusion is my ‘home base’ if you will – as the year went on and I got more confident I started to try other workouts and now I like that I can include running (and also my friend’s studio Pole Fitness when I’m at our family vacation home in Michigan). But Fusion is my go-to because of so many things – the workouts, the women, the instructors, the community. Fusion is where a lot of my friends are now, and friends of mine pre-Fusion are now coming with me to the studio to hang out while we sweat together (and curse under our breath at times.) It makes my heart so happy! Lane was also a big cheerleader for me in my first WLBC, so I’m a loyal follower of her Fat Funeral on Instagram and Facebook and love seeing her accomplishments and continued success.

What would you say you learned here – why did it finally “click” for you?

The biggest thing I learned from my WLBC experiences is that my mind was the only thing getting in my way. I kept having negative, doubting thoughts and when I started to take the attitude of, “I can do this”, “I can do anything for a minute”, “I am the only one that can change my life” – then it all just clicked. I stopped blaming outside forces for my bad choices, I stopped making excuses (too tired, too busy, too expensive, etc.) and I said “Suck it up and get after it.”

What do you say to women thinking about joining WLBC – what has been your biggest gain from your camps?

I know the weight loss is huge, and it’s definitely the bonus, but the absolute best part for me has been getting my mind to a great place. About six or seven months into my journey I realized one day that I had not had a negative thought about my body or myself in months. Do you know how much energy and time I wasted thinking negatively about myself? It was so wasteful. It is so incredibly freeing to wake up and feel good about myself.

Have your family and friends been supportive of your lifestyle change?

Absolutely – my parents have been my biggest cheerleaders as well as my brother. This summer in Michigan I put my cousin through the ringer with bootcamp workouts and she did great – every morning we’d do it in the driveway with our yoga mats and an hour-long workout. We each had to burn 500 calories before we could have our vacation fun for the day!

I have to say my friends have been amazing. When I made the decision to do this, I wrote my best girlfriends (the Sisterchicks) a divorce letter of sorts. I told them I had decided to do this and that I was going to need to separate from all of my friends for a while because I had to put myself first and I knew it was going to be challenging. They were all so supportive and I am happy to report they all started doing healthier things for themselves as well! One was even brave enough to try a Fusion class with me.

Even my work has been super supportive. My boss and his boss both cheered me on all year and if I needed to adjust my schedule to make a class they both supported me – they knew I was a more productive and happier worker when I got to work out and having healthy employees makes the office a better place.

What has been an unexpected challenge during the last year?

Weeding out the toxic people in my life. I know it sounds harsh but honestly there are people in your life that pull you down and do not lift you up. And, as much as you want them to be as happy as you are, they are on their own journey and it’s not your responsibility to change their life for them. Some people drift away naturally and others may say some really cruel things on their way out – which actually makes it less of of a problem to turn away from them. I’ve learned it is out of their own insecurities and you have to choose to love them but let them go and pray they find their own way to a healthy life.

What has been something that has surprised you by being easier than you’d imagined?

Staying motivated! Right now I work out seven days a week (at least getting 45 minutes of cardio in per day) because I want to. Because I am a happier and more productive woman in all areas of my life when I move every single day. I aim for 10 workouts a week, or if I’m really pushing, like during WLBC, I’ll do 12. Honestly, if you can get through the first 4 weeks of WLBC then it becomes easy. Not in the sense that the workouts become easier or avoiding junk food gets easier – but in that your mindset becomes different. You have changed your life so drastically that if you try and slip back into old habits it really feels gross. One thing that truly has gotten easier is the 4:40a wakeup calls and 9p bedtimes. Heck, that’s why they invented the DVR!

What other parts of your life have improved?

The Green Jacket

One of my favorite hobbies is golfing – there are so many great courses in KC and I’ve always loved it and always played with my entire family – but I used to be absolutely exhausted after eight or nine holes. This summer I played 90 holes of golf in four days and had the best game of my life! Thanks to the incredible shape I’m in now, I even won my family tournament and the coveted green jacket!

I’ve kept a blog this whole time, I Refuse to Fail, so I could keep track of my own feelings and share them all with others going through the same things. Sometimes I’ll go back and read it, thinking about where I was a year ago, and wish I could just go back and give myself a hug. Both to say “it will get better” and to say how proud I am of the decisions I continued to make throughout each day, month, and now year. And to encourage others doing the same thing!

How have you learned to control your food cravings?

Water is huge and important. But, honestly if there is something I really want and am fixated with, I eat it. I just eat a bite or a small portion. Most of the time a bite will not taste good and I walk away. But this is life. Sometimes a girl needs a a piece of chocolate. I gave up fast food this year, I gave up cigarettes. But honestly you can have my Diet Coke when you pry it from my cold, dead hand! (That being said I did go from four or five a day to just one and often none. But it’s my treat.) I also thoroughly enjoy pizza, but my version of pizza has changed into a healthier way to eat it – thin crust, heavy veggies and chicken, and watching how many pieces I eat. It’s a balance.

What’s a favorite healthy snack?

Raw almonds or pistachios are my go-to, but I have to count them out and not binge. Half an apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter is also a good one. I’ve been surprised out how amazing it is if you eat slowly and pay attention, how you can curb that hunger. I also love veggies and hummus, but again, it’s important to measure out the hummus beforehand and not sit down with the whole tub.

What’s a favorite breakfast to start your day off right?

Breakfast is when I load up, so to speak, and one of my faves is this egg scramble: half of a chicken apple sausage diced and cooked slowly (I remove the casing), then about two tablespoons of fresh pico de gallo (I’m too lazy to chop veggies in the morning so this does the trick), three egg whites, and a tiny bit of mozzarella. Voila. High protein keeps me going – and if I really want juice I’ll do a cup of Trop 50 cut with water. Yum!

What would you say is one of the biggest keys to eating healthy?

Planning, planning, planning. I make the most of my meals or plan my week of eating on Sunday afternoons – and the crock pot is a fantastic invention. My best weeks are when I have planned every bite and have it all in the fridge ready to go.

How do you get through the challenging days?

Oh, I’ve had rough days for sure. When I had the flu I was down for about a week, but 36 hours after the fever broke I was at the track with one of my WLBC girls walking laps. We had a traumatic loss in our family and all I wanted to do was eat and cry – but I kept thinking of our friend and how proud he was of me so I left the funeral and went straight to class – I cried the whole time but it felt so good to be there working out.

On the rough days, I think about who I was, who I am now…and who I want to be. And I know that based on my improvements so far that I am not too far from the woman I want to be.

The Fun Five

Favorite Restaurant: When I want to go big, the Plaza III! When I’m being super good Seasons 52 or The Mixx for something quick

Inspiring Book: All the Best by George Bush & My Life in Letters and Other Writings by George HW Bush – he wrote beautiful letters to family and friends through his whole life documenting his relationships, his children, his military and political careers.

Favorite Place to Drink a Glass of Wine: Actually my favorite beverage is a Hot Chocolate and I like to drink it walking around the Plaza in the winter. But, summertime patio sitting with friends is fantastic too!

Favorite Beauty Tip: My Grandmother Craig always told me to take care of my skin and stay out of the sun – that a tan wasn’t worth it! I will never be a super tan girl (unless it is sprayed on) but I won’t have leather skin either!

“I Find My Confidence In…”: …stepping so far outside my comfort zone that it makes it worth it when I succeed. Knowing I have a solid base of family and friends to support and love me makes it a bit easier, but confidence is built by pushing past the fear. The best part is looking back at those treks outside my comfort zone and realizing they weren’t so bad after all.

First Session

“Never for the sake of peace and quiet, deny your own experience or convictions.”

~Dag Hammarskjöld

 Think Weight Loss Boot Camp may be for you? Visit our page about both the 12-week Weight Loss Boot Camp that Courtney did, and our 8-week AmpCamp – both programs run continually and our new sessions start again in March 2014. Email us with questions anytime at hello@fusionfitness.com.

5594436-cherry-with-sugar-lips-between-woman-perfect-teeth-macro-mouthDid you know one can of Coke has more sugar than you’re supposed to have all day? Read below for a special blog post from Michelle Whitmore, our Registered Dietician for our Weight Loss & Amp Camps, and offering nutrition consultations for Fusion clients. For more info about Michelle’s background and detailed descriptions about each of her nutrition services, click here. As a special treat to you hard working Fusionistas, now through 2/15 she’s offering 20% off of any nutrition service with your 1-month unlimited Fusion purchase – use the code HEALTHY when you book your services online. Read on for more sugar info, and stop drinking that Coke!

How Can I Control My Sugar Intake?

by Michelle Whitmore

Sugar, Sugar, Everywhere!  It seems like wherever we look, sugar is in everything! From our morning coffee creamer, to our salad dressing at dinner, we find sugar. But what are the differences in sugar and how much should you consume?

Sugar is naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Sugar is also added to many processed foods. Many foods with added sugar contribute to excess calories in your diet but do not provide any nutritional value. Unfortunately, the food label does not distinguish between natural sugars and added sugars, therefore, it is important to always read the ingredient list. (Ingredients are listed in the order of predominance, with the ingredients used in the greatest amount first, followed in descending order by those in smaller amounts.)

According to The American Heart Association, most Americans consume more than 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day.  That’s equal to more than 129,500 calories of added sugar in a year! The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half your daily discretionary calorie allowance. For most women, that is no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. (Remember, most of us are consuming more than 22 teaspoons a day.) One teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams of sugar, so that means you want to try and keep your added sugars to less than 24 grams per day.

For example, when looking at the food label for a 12 ounce Coke, there are 39 grams of sugar. If you divide 39 by 4, you realize there are almost 10 teaspoons of added sugar in one Coke! You also want to look at the ingredient list for added sugar such as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, molasses, and cane juice.  Some hidden sources of added sugar are sauces, salad dressings, fruit spreads, cereal, bread, yogurt and sweetened beverages.

Take the time this week to read food labels and determine if you are consuming unnecessary added sugar. Are there foods you can eliminate from your diet that aren’t providing much nutritional benefit? Aim to eat whole, minimally processed foods, and you won’t have to worry about too much added sugar.

Happy Sunday, Fusionistas!

This morning at Overland Park we had a lot going on that really made me want to jump for joy about how amazing Fusion Fitness is for Kansas City. As I walked up the stairs I heard blaring music from both the spin & regular studios, instructors yelling, drumsticks banging, and finally, applause. Holy moly, I thought, that’s a hell of a lot of energy I’m about to walk into. All at the same time, Jodie was rocking out with her growing-each-week Pound lovers,  we were finishing up a spin class (Kristin Brinkman’s first EVER – she is one of our Weight Loss Boot Camp super alum’s – completing several camps and losing over ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY FIVE POUNDS on her amazing journey), plus we were gearing up the studio for over 60 women coming in to complete their orientation for our three new Amp Camps, starting today. Phew! (And this is just a Sunday.)

All thanks to Darby having a dream and acting on it almost six years ago.

So let’s talk about each of these three fun things happening:

 ***** Pound *****

193We were super lucky when Jodie Schnakenberg asked to bring Pound to Fusion – one of the two only places in Kansas City (she also teaches classes at City Gym) - to offer this have-to-do-it-to-understand-it rocking workout created by two cool chics in LA. Fusionistas may have been leary at first (we workout with drumsticks?) but between the sweaty workout and Jodie’s killer instructing entertaining instrutaining, her classes keep growing and growing and growing…

So if you haven’t popped in on a Tuesday or Sunday yet, come on in to try something new and I promise you’ll have a good time (and leave sweaty.) KC Fit Magazine recently interviewed her, calling Pound a “vicious workout” and emphasizing the feeling of freedom you get from it.

Intrigued yet? Register for your spot here and come release your inner Janis or Jimi or whatever rocker you young people listen to these days. Jodie’s always changing up the tracks, empowering clients with her complete abandon and self-confidence, and snapping photos of her little rockettes she’s just so darn proud of after class. You can also follow her on Facebook here!

***** Fusion Fly Classes *****

Okay so you know I love our Fly classes (even though that first class can be a little intimidating – you can read my first experience entitled Shock Your1511276_10152569526009896_1552098283_n Booty here - and no that’s not a type-0 and I grudgingly chose that title over Shock Your Vagina.)

But what I love even more is that Kristin Brinkman was up in the captain’s chair today, showing her stuff to a bunch of instructors and making her debut as a Weight Loss Boot Camp spin instructor! I love this so much because Kristin has come a long way, baby, and she’s such a kind, genuine person that shares her story and wears her heart on her sleeve because she’s so passionate about helping others that are stuck in the same place she was a few years ago.  She’s forever recorded her ups and downs here on her Facebook page with over 700 followers, and her scale numbers keep going down as so many other things for her keep shooting up.

Fusion Fly may be the perfect stage for her, as in each class the room is dark, the music is loud, and the personal challenges we’re all facing are right up in each of our businesses – there’s nowhere to run from your thoughts when you’re perched on top of your bike, feet literally locked (or strapped) into place, and people have been known to get emotional. (I swear not just me! But don’t worry because no one else can tell the difference between the tears and the sweat running down your face so it’s all good.) If you haven’t ‘flown’ with us yet you may be thinking ‘wtf?’ – but if you’ve been in that dark and steamy room facing any sort of personal challenge, you know the combination of the inspiring sayings on the wall, the powerful songs the instructors like to sneak in there amidst all the booty shaking music we love, and their shout-outs of “don’t give up now – if you give up here you’ll give up out there” and “keep pedaling through the pain, keep pushing like you do in your life – you’re all so strong and lucky to be right here, right now and you are here to challenge yourself” and “be stronger than your mind trying to stop you, just like you have to be in your daily challenges” etc., etc…. you know it’s pretty powerful stuff. So I can imagine the tidbits of wisdom Kristin will be throwing around to her WLBC friends and community. They’re lucky to have her, a woman who knows a lot about challenges and goals and accomplishments – and I was lucky to hear the applause of her first Fly class under her (ever-shrinking) belt. Go Kristin!

***** January Amp Camps *****

995012_10153675978745640_277934560_nThe last thing we were doing at OP today (before we had to be out for our sweaty hot Fire-lovers at 3p), was completing the orientation for over 60 women beginning our three Amp Camps starting this week. I’ve been posting the Amp and WLBC before/after photos for a while here on our blog, copying all the stats and raising my eyebrows in impressed recognition of how many pounds are shed each session and how great these women look at the end of eight weeks – and I’m not just talking about their bodies, but mostly the looks on their faces and their beaming smiles.

But being here on Day One was a really cool experience because I got to witness the nervous introductions, the excitement, the what-have-I-gotten-myself-into butterflies that were apparent in some of the newbies. Embarking on an eight week journey is a huge step, and some women had never even walked in the studio doors, much less completed our killer workouts.

I also got to see the alums, coming back for another session, and their confident walks and smiles of encouragement to others - the “this ain’t my first rodeo” strut coupled with the furrowed brows of concentration and motivation. I heard the heavy breathing and the grunts as women were measured on their minute sit-ups and push-ups, I heard the groans and the “time to face reality” epiphanies when recording their “before” weight, and I saw the excitement in their eyes as they gathered their notes at the end of class and told themselves “this is it, time to believe in myself.” It was a great combination of everyone gathered together for the same reason – to improve their health and find their best selves.

Shawna and Jos were there too, ready to lead another group of women into “battle,” dedicating their Sunday (and all other six days of the week) to teaching women about the importance of fitness and fueling their bodies with the nutrients that will help them accomplish whatever goal they want to set for themselves. Be it to lose 10 pounds or to get through a divorce, or to be a better mom or to wake up each morning with a grateful and strong attitude – our instructors are all about spreading their love of healthy minds and healthy bodies and the power we each have to achieve our goals. They’re human, too, as after Jos was done explaining the affects of alcohol and why it’s not the top tool in the shed for losing weight, she joked, “that being said, when you do drink alcohol, be sure to…” and made her campers aware that life is real, and this isn’t a deprivation diet or unattainable plan. “You should never be starving and you should always feel satisfied – this isn’t just another diet or eating plan for eight weeks, this is just the way your are going to eat now, from here on out.” And with their encouragement, the 60+ women walked out of our doors and into their realities, filled with new knowledge and a motivation to be better at whatever they do – and I did too.

So there you go, I was just really impressed with Fusion today, and my batteries were recharged on why I come to work each day and what it means to be a part of this supportive, loving, selfless community of women. Darby created an amazing place with her energy, her positivity and her passion.

We are lucky to be a part of it!

 

 

MFC.BCK_forblogOk, so we all need a challenge at the beginning of the year!  Join Fusion’s latest challenge !!

MFC.SHRT_forblogRide 300 Miles at Fusion Fly starting January 6th through March 6.
Those that complete the challenge will receive a Fusion Fly mile fly club tank or a cool T shirt for the guys!
Fusion will keep track of the milage at the studio!
Sign up at the OP Studio!

 

winter-girl-playing-with-snowJust a reminder that while we don’t follow the SMSD schedule for weather closings, Fusion will cancel class when deemed appropriate if the road conditions are severe.  If a class is canceled it will be noted online and you will be emailed if you are registered for that class. If you know you won’t make class – please cancel your reservation in advance. 

fusion2-1We had the ladies from Fit Bottomed Mamas check out our Fly classes a couple weeks ago, and we also wanted them to try our DVDs – so we sent a copy of our new Cardio Series to see how they liked Shocking their bodies from home. From “sweating in the first 5 minutes of MILF” to “having the sorest abs of any class in Bikini Boot Camp,” the videos proved once again to be the best – getting a full body workout in with each hour-long class. Check out their full post here, and be sure to follow Fit Bottomed Mamas & Fit Bottomed Girls for the latest and greatest in the fitness world, plus all kinds of fun articles on

Our last session of Weight Loss Boot Camp for 2013 has ended with pounds, inches, and even a few tears shed. These women worked incredibly hard the past 12 weeks learning just how strong their inner beast is – competing with the holidays and cold weather to stay on top of their games even when holiday food and dark mornings were tempting their excuses. These ladies learned about portion control and proper nutrition – feeding their bodies not their minds – and treating themselves with respect by the choices they put into their mouths. They worked out hard – most days twice a day – and ninety days is a long time to keep that motivation when faced with the same challenges we all are faced with – splurging one day, tempted another, seeing results one day and seeing none the next. They kept their spirits up and stuck to the goals they set out to achieve on day 1. Check out their results – not just the number of pounds they each lost, but the inches they shaved off and the improvements they made to the physical challenges set out for them to burn through. Amazing!

Our January 2013 12-Week Weight Loss Boot Camp is enrolling now – starting 1/5, imagine the improvements you’ll make on your mind and body by April. Remember you don’t need to see the entire staircase, just take the first step!

Click here for dates, details and registration.

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Sarah

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Sarah lost 19.6 pounds

Down 9 inches from her waist

Down 5 inches from her hips

Down 4 inches from her chest

1-minute pushups improved from 21 on her knees to 43, 35 on her toes!

1-minute plank went from 1:10 to 1:57!

1-minute jump ropes went from 145 to 165!

Resting and active heart rates improved, dropping significantly.

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Courtney

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Courtney has been an alumni all year, and each session keeps losing AND gaining more and more benefits for her health. She’s outspoken about the importance being not on the smaller clothing (a nice perk for sure), but on the incredible changes she’s seen in her body. She shocked her doctor by no longer needing ANY of the medications she was on before she started her journey, and she’s excited to keep doing more! Go Courtney! Look for a detailed blog about her coming soon – she’ll share the challenges, benefits and what it really takes to stay on top of her game.

Courtney lost 4 pounds pounds this session – 57.5 pounds this year!

Down 2 inches from her waist – 14 inches this year!
Down 2 inches from her hips – 12 inches this year!
Down 1.5 inches from her chest – 10.5 inches this year!1-minute pushups went from from 61 on your toes to 70 on your toes! Courtney started at 9 pushups at the beginning of the year.
Plank went from 2:08 to 2:30! (From 24 seconds at the beginning of the year.)
1-minute sit-ups improved from 23 to 30 in this session!
1-minute jump ropes went from 49 in the beginning of her journey to 140!
Resting hear rate (from 84 in the beginning to 58 now) & active heart rate (166 to 135!) both dropped significantly.
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Courtnay

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Courtnay lost 8.8 lbs
Down 2.5 inches from her waist
Down 1.75 inches from her hips
Down .5 inches from her chest
1-minute pushups improved from 28 on her toes and 12 on her knees to 41 on her toes and 5 on her knees!
1-minute plank went from 10 seconds to 2:12 seconds!
1-minute jump rope went from 121 to 156!
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Jenny

image-15Jenny lost 21.9 lbs
Down 6 inches from her waist
Down 5 inches from her hips
Down 3.5 inches from her chest
1-minute pushups improved from2 on her toes and 20 on her knees to 55 all on her toes!
1-minute plank went from 10 seconds to…wait for it…. 3 minutes 15 seconds…in perfect form!
1-minute jump rope went from 82 to 110!
Her resting & active heart rates both dropped significantly.
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Amy

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Amy lost 16.6 lbs
Down 1.75 inches from her waist
Down 3 inches from her hips
Down 2.75 inches from her chest
1-minute pushups improved from 17 on her toes and 20 on her knees to 35 on her toes and 7 on her knees!
1-minute plank went from 2 minutes 28 seconds to 3 minutes!
1-minute sit-ups went from 29 to 48!
Her resting & active heart rates both dropped significantly.
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Alicia

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Alicia lost 10.7 lbs
Down 3.5 inches from her waist
Down 4.5 inches from her hips
Down 2 inches from her chest
1-minute pushups improved from 26 on her toes and 16 on her knees to 31 on her toes and 29 on her knees!
1-minute plank went from 1 minute 13 seconds to an amazing 4 minutes!
1-minute  jump rope went from 128 in to 149!
Her resting & active heart rates both dropped significantly.
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Becky

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Becky lost 23.9 lbs
Down 6 inches from her waist
Down 6 inches from her hips
Down 2.5 inches from her chest
1-minute pushups improved from 1 on her toes and 23 on her knees to 28 ALL ON HER TOES!
1-minute plank went from 30 seconds to 1 minute 32 seconds!
1-minute jump rope went from 128 to 150!
Her resting & active heart rates both dropped significantly.
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Haley

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Haley lost 15.5 lbs
Down 6 inches from her waist
Down 6 inches from her hips
Down 1 inch from her chest
1-minute pushups improved from 41 on her knees to 18 on her toes and 25 on her knees!
1-minute plank went from 42 seconds to 2 minutes 20 seconds!
1-minute jump rope went from 124 to 152!
Her resting & active heart rates both dropped significantly.
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Jasmine

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Jasmine lost 10.4 lbs
Down 5.25 inches from her waist
Down 3 inches from her hips
Down 4.5 inches from her chest
1-minute pushups improved from 5 on her toes and 34 on her knees to 35 on her toes and 8 on her knees!
1-minute plank went from 1 minute 10 seconds to 3 minutes 46 seconds!
1-minute jump rope went from 125 to 189!
Her mile time greatly improved from 10 minutes to 7 minutes 27 seconds!
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Jamie

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Jamie joined WLBC after a recommendation from her doctor – when Jamie went to her to request a prescription diet pill to lose 25 pounds fast, her doctor refused and instead recommended WLBC, being an alum herself. 25 pounds later, Jamie has not only lost her original goal weight, but gained the knowledge and inner strength to do it the healthy right way – plus be able to keep it off for good. Way to go Jamie!
Jamie lost 24.5 lbs
Down 4.5 inches from her waist
Down 4 inches from her hips
Down 2 inches from her chest
1-minute pushups improved from 20 on her toes and 11 on her knees to 30 on her toes and 8 on her knees!
1-minute plank went from 38 seconds to 2 minutes 2 seconds!
1-minute jump rope went from 105 to 146!
Her resting & active heart rates both dropped significantly.
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Chelsea

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Chelsea lost 8.1 lbs this session
Down 3 inches from her waist
Down 1.5 inches from her hips
Down 2 inches from her chest1-minute pushups improved from 43 to 58!
1-minute jump rope went from 110 to 130!
Your resting & active heart rates both dropped significantly.
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Congratulations ladies, you rocked these last 12 weeks and only have a couple more holiday weeks to get through – then onto 2014! You’ve made changes that will last a lifetime – not just improving the outside of your body but your internal organs are also working better to keep your body running at tip top shape. And possibly the greatest improvement has been on your mind – the way you look at exercise and nutrition has changed and you’re now aware of how much you can accomplish if you focus, work hard, and stay determined. You can do anything!

 

Click here for more info on our upcoming January 2014 camps.

Apps Now Available for iPhone and Android!

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Download the latest Fusion App for iPhone and Android devices. Sign up for classes and childcare right from your phone!

Download Fusion's iPhone Application from iTunes

Download Fusion's Android Application from Google Play

 

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fusion052resizedWe've blended Classic Fusion Moves with Spin to Shock Your Body! Check out SPINtense, Biker Barre and our other unique classes! Come Fly

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