Muddy Stilettos Warwickshire awards 2018

As many of you may have known I was entered into the Muddy Stilettos Warwickshire Awards 2018 for 'best fitness instructor'. I did not expect to make the finals neither did I expect to win. 

On Saturday 19th May I received a phone call from Jane at Muddy Stilettos announcing I had won the 'best fitness instructor Warwickshire' category. I couldn't quite believe it when Jane told me. I received the phone call whilst watching my 15 month old in his swimming lesson with his daddy (this is how we roll on a Saturday morning). 

Unfortunately the award ceremony was a few days later which was when we had planned a family week away to Cornwall. However, I met Jane and Catherine a week later where they then presented me with the award. It was great to get to know them, understand their career journeys and network some more. I am excited to work with Catherine again in the future, watch the space. 

Love and health xxx

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 Catherine @muddystilettoswark and I 

Catherine @muddystilettoswark and I 

My body power expo experience...

Hey guys, 

First of all thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog. I haven't really been on here a lot lately, its been so mad busy juggling mummy duties and my own business. I am sure all you busy mummies can relate to this. Its tough right?!! 

Anywayyyyyyy, last weekend I went to body power. For anyone that doesn't know its an annual fitness event at Birmingham NEC over  3 days. Lots of health and fitness professionals head over there to promote their businesses, sell their brands and products. Or people like me head over there to grab some deals and get some tips/ideas. We went down on the Saturday, so probably the busiest day of the event. We had to que for 20 minutes (despite booking our tickets in advance), I didn't mind this so much- was chance to grab a coffee. I already checked out the line up for the day in relation to guest speakers so kinda knew what I wanted to get to. 

So when we got there pretty much everyone was in 'active wear', which I expected. I had a massive dilemma the night before as to what to wear, I decided to join the crowd and wear my 'active wear' LOL (whilst writing this thinking of this hilarious video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYRENWT8lz8 -CHECK IT OUT, ITS HILARIOUS). There were lots of 'big' men, very tanned people, lots of girls in the latest gym gear and crop tops. I am trying to describe it so you have a good picture in your mind. The atmosphere was buzzing, a really motivating vibe which was great!! 

First stop we listened to Ben Coomber's 25 reasons why you aren't losing fat. This was a great talk, a lot of the points I could relate to in regards to my clients. He talked about having the right mindset in order to achieve your health and fitness goals. For example, I quite often hear people say 'oh well I was so tired so didn't make the gym or I grabbed something quick to eat as couldn't be bothered to cook'. Ben was saying you need to ask yourself why you didn't make the gym and why you grabbed something quick to eat. The answer probably is; you went to bed too late so didn't get enough sleep hence was tired in the morning. Why did you go to bed late? probably because like most people these days you spend hours in bed browsing social media (I am guilty of this sometimes too). So its acknowledging this and then highlighting what needs to change. So in this instance, maybe going to bed an hour earlier. Allowing yourself an hour to browse social media (if this is your thing) and then at say 10pm you put your phone down and you go to sleep. You would then probably find you get 8 hours good quality sleep so then make good choices in relation to your health and fitness. So this was one of Bens examples, you kinda get the idea as to what I'm getting at. Its about recognising the obstacles that are preventing you to make that step to achieving your goals and setting up a plan as to how you will overcome these obstacles. 

 

Anyway, that was a great talk from Ben. We then browsed through many other stands, obviously had to go to the 'Grenade" stand. I stocked up on carb killa bars, my new fav is the cookie dough flavour. You should try it, its amazing. So for those that havent heard of grenade they are a protein bar but unlike others they are low in sugar and actually taste like you are eating something naughty. You can find them in places like Holland and Barratt and I have recently found them in Sainsbury's. Otherwise google them online and you can bulk buy. I would definitely recommend giving them a try. I don't eat these everything day, this is to my 'go to' if I am out and about and can't grab something fresh/high in protein to eat. 

The main reason why I wanted to write this blog is that I came away from the fitness event feeling buzzing, motivated but equally quite sad. Those of you that went may ask why did you feel sad? I felt sad as I can see why so many young girls and boys have anxiety around health and fitness. Nowadays there is so much pressure to look the 'right way', train in a certain way or try the latest fitness fad. To the point that the reason why we should live a healthy lifestyle is lost. In my opinion health and fitness is about keeping yourself 'healthy' both physically and mentally. Surely it doesn't matter what type of exercise you are doing as long as you enjoy it and it is keeping you healthy. There is so much pressure nowadays to conform to a certain training style. Its great that there is so much knowledge and content out there to help people. But you could argue that there is too much. For someone who is new to exercise may now question which fitness activity/programme they should embark in, what should they wear at the gym, what diet should they follow etc. When really its simple to me, choose something you enjoy (that may be hiking, walking, running, lifting weights, cycling, fitness groups/classes) and stick to it. If you enjoy it you will more than likely stick to the programme. Thats not to say that if you are training for a marathon you don't need to follow a programme. Of course you do, when I trained for a marathon I was running 4 times a week along with cross-training. Regarding nutrition, ignore all those fad diets, they really don't work. You might do a no carb diet leading up to your holiday and lose say 1/2 stone but I guarantee you put the weight back on. You ask yourself why? Because it is sooooooo extreme. In order to lose weight you simply need to move more, eat less (be in a calorie deficit) providing your mindset is right . If you are reading this and are a busy mummy don't cut out carbs you need them after all you are probably running around after your children! Carbs are great sources of energy. So nutrition is simple to me, eat a balanced diet and eat those 'naughty things' in moderation. Don't cut them out, just learn to say no. For example, if you fancy a biscuit add it into your calories for that day but stop at the 1 biscuit don't eat the whole packet!! If you would like more information on nutrition drop me a DM.  

 

Anyway I digress...... I was trying to say that if you are new to health and fitness out there. Ask yourself what your goal is before you start any programme and choose something that will help you achieve this. Well done for making the move to exercising more and eating better. Health and fitness shouldn't have this overwhelming anxiety, it should be simple. Move more, eat less. Who cares if you are wearing a old gym t shirt that is 10 years old and you aren't in the latest gym gear. You have made the step to living a healthier lifestyle. 

Well done for taking that step to achieving a healthier lifestyle. If you want any more tips or have any questions surrounding this block just ask I am more than happy to help. 

P.S whilst I was there I met this fella, quite the height difference hey! I am sure he said he was 7ft 4, I am a measly 4ft 11! pretty hilarious I think. 

Cheers to health and happiness 

Mari-Carmen xxx 

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Be bold, Be brave, Be you....

Anyone that knows me or has read my profile will understand that my background is Paediatric Nursing. I qualified over 5 years ago and soon started my career at Birmingham Children's Hospital. 

I have always had a passion for health, fitness and wellbeing; always making time for my own fitness and health. This has always been a high priority of mine in order to live a happy life. Exercise is 'me' time away from all the stressors of day-to-day life. Since I started training over 10 years ago I soon noticed a positive change in my body and my own wellbeing. This positive change has made me want to help others so they can make positive changes to their lives. 

SO....when I had my little boy last February I decided to use the time off on maternity leave (some would call me mad) to train as a Personal Trainer in order to pursue my dream. I did just that and since doing my qualifications last year, I have completed many more developmental courses to complement my Personal Trainer qualification.  I am so proud of what I have achieved over the last 12 months. Also, I am so thankful of my ever growing client base for all your support, its so great watching you all achieve your goals and growing into more confident and happy people. 

As the months went by my client base and workload has increased, so I knew I would have to make some pretty difficult decisions regarding returning to work as a 'Paediatric Nurse'. At the start of 2018 I decided to take the plunge and hand my resignation in at work. I am too busy with my clients to hold down a part-time nursing job too, as well as being a mummy to my beautiful son. This is time I will never get back, the last thing I want to do is be working lots of hours between 2 jobs, and missing spending quality time with my little boy. 

So the point of this blog really is to share with you my journey, my hard decisions I have had to make and give you some inspiration really to go out there and follow your dreams. I know it sounds all a bit 'cringe' but life REALLY is too short, time goes by soooooo quick to not be enjoying what you spend more than half of your life doing; working!! You will always get the people that take NO interest WHATSOEVER  about what you are dong, I personally ignore those people because its you who is doing the brave thing; following your dreams. You are all capable of amazing things, put your mind to it, make a plan and then you'll achieve. 

BE BOLD, BE BRAVE, BE YOU 

 

XXXX

 

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Transformation Thursday...

I am very proud to share this transformation with you all. This lovely lady has been training with me for over a year now. Anna started training with me in 2017, she had never really done much exercise but really wanted to get fit and lose some weight.

I remember our first few sessions (Anna wouldn't mind me saying this);  her strength and cardiovascular fitness wasn't the best. We set some realistic goals and within months of starting Anna was well on her way to achieve her long term goal. Anna soon got the 'fitness bug' and took up running as a hobby and in June 2017 ran the 'Two Castles 10km run" in under a hour!!!!! During our sessions it was evident that Anna was getting stronger and had more stamina, she was kicking the weight racks ass!! 

So since training with Anna she has lost over 3 stone and dropped 4 dress sizes. This is all down to Anna setting realistic and achievable goals. Every 6-8 weeks we would sit down and review Anna's progress to ensure she is staying on programme and then devised/manipulated a plan in order to achieve her long term goal. The main point here, is Anna got her nutrition right (most importantly changed her way of life) and her self determination and dedication got her the results she wanted. WELL DONE Anna, I am so proud! . 

If you would like help on how you can achieve your goals, I would be more than happy to help. Everything is achievable when you set realistic goals and the NUTRITION IS RIGHT!! 

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Work that back...

Hi everyone, hope you are all settling back into work and January isn't too depressing for you all. I personally hate this time of year, its so dark and cold and just wish summer would hurry up. Its so difficult getting motivated to exercise when its so dark outside. However (ha), remember half the battle is getting yourself to the gym to do the workout....soooooooo try not to think about it too much, whack those trainers on and just go for it!! Before you have time to think about it you would have done it and will be feeling super gooooood! 

One of my favourite sessions is when I train my back. Nowadays most people spend a lot of their time sat at a desk at work and do little exercise/strength work, especially for their back. I see a lot of clients who have posture problems(kyphosis and lordosis) and back related pain. Its so important to have a strong back in order to protect yourself from injury. 

Here are a series of exercises I carry out during my back workout, give these a go when you are next at the gym. Any questions please drop me an email @ hello@maricarmenfitness.com 

Enjoy xxx

Burn off those Christmas calories...

So you have all probably over indulged over Christmas and probably haven't done as much exercise as you would have liked. But it has been Christmas so ill let you off, its totally normal and  ok to indulge over the festive season. 

I have put together a mini abdominal circuit you can do when you are next at the gym/home. Watch my video below to see. I have given you 3 exercises to do back to back with 30 seconds rest between each set. Repeat the set a minimum of 3 times.  If you do not have access to a TRX thats totally ok too, instead stick to a normal abdominal crunch. Make sure your back is flat against the floor. With all of these exercises make sure your abs are 'turned on', really concentrate on engaging these muscles with every move. 

Give it a go and let me know what you think. 

Happy New Year xxx 

 

 

New year resolutions....

Hope you have all had a great festive season and a happy new year to you all. January is only 3 days away which means a lot of you will be setting new years resolutions.  I bet one of these is to lose some weight and get fit. I bet this is a New Years resolution that you set every year and by February have already given up. 

There is no shame in failure, but maybe ask yourself why did you fail? You have probably set unrealistic goals and are following some 'fad diet' that doesn't work. Like I keep saying its about setting small achievable goals and sticking to a nutritional plan for life. A diet isn't for life which is why people don't stick to it. Its all about a lifestyle change, looking at your diet and highlighting where you are going wrong, educating yourself about nutrition (the amount of people I hear say 'that carbs are the devil', well thats a load of rubbish, eat too much of any macronutrient and thats just as bad as eating too many carbs, its all about moderation and getting it right) and understanding the importance of looking after yourself. 

You don't buy a new Iphone and damage that do you? NO.......you by a case for it and look after it. But why do so many people abuse their bodies by feeding it with crap and doing so little? I think its because they don't understand all of the above. However, change your mindset by understanding all of the above and then set some goals and then achieve them. Only then will you have made a lifestyle change as you have started to see the results. So stop with the excuses, invest time in yourself, mind, body and fitness.

Check out my January offers on this site or message me at hello@maricarmenfitness to start your fitness journey FOR LIFE not just for January!!

Happy Holidays!

So, the holiday season is upon us and the Christmas parties/socials are flowing I am sure, which only means LOADS of food and LOADS of drink. You all are probably thinking ‘argh its Christmas, why not, I'll worry about it in January’. Fair comment, it IS Christmas and I don’t expect you to be sitting at home chewing on a carrot like Rudolf, I certainly won’t be doing that! However, what I will be doing is limiting the damage by enjoying myself with food and drink in moderation and ensuring I am eating ‘clean and balanced’ meals in between all the socialising along with keeping active over the festive period. After all it is a lifestyle change. 

So my top tip is; If you know you are going out for say 4 meals in one week and you are worried about staying healthy then why not pick one of these meals where you do order what you fancy off the menu (just a main), then save your 'sweet treat' for the other meal you are going out for rather than splurging all in one sitting. Then the other two meals pick something as healthy as possible, there are always healthy alternatives to choose from off the menu. For example, steak, grilled fish, grilled chicken, anything tomato based is always good and try to avoid the ‘creamy sauces’. Swap your chips for boiled potatoes and ask for extra vegetables to fill up on. If you can be healthy throughout Christmas you can do anything!!! Keep focused on your long term goals and you will soon see the gains. 

If you are worried about how you are possibly going to fit the gym in over the Christmas period, again it is what I have said before a ‘lifestyle change’ and should form part of your weekly routine. Why not try and keep some exercise in and try out my HIIT workout below this won’t take you any longer than 30 minutes so anyone can fit this in to their busy day. 

Do each exercise for 20 seconds and then have 60 seconds off. Repeat this 4 times.  

Then why not at the end give your abs a blast and try the following; 30 seconds mountain climbers, 30 seconds Russian twists, 30 seconds single leg v sit ups. 

Happy Monday

HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE!!! Hope you have all had a great weekend in the snow. I have had a great weekend, it was my son's first encounter of snow and he loved it!

Well done again to all those that attended my circuits class on Friday, you all worked hard as always. Look forward to seeing you all again on Friday for the last one before Christmas eeeek :) Don't forget to email me at hello@maricarmenfitness.com to book your place for the term starting January 5th 2018 at 6pm at St.Chads Centre, Bishops Tachbrook. 

So I imagine lots of you have many Christmas parties and social events going on over the next week. I know its the festive period but you will regret piling on all the pounds in January. What works for me is eating really well between these festive events and not making it a whole 'cheat' week of food. Just because you went out for a Christmas lunch with work doesn't mean that you need to starve yourself for the rest of the day to counter out the calories. Draw a line under it and make sure your next meal is 'clean' and 'balanced'. 

Why not try this recipe over the festive period for you and your family/friends https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/fruity-turkey-tagine
If you are not a fan of turkey swap it for chicken. The chick peas in it and turkey make it high in protein which will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Why not make lots so you can take the rest to work the next day to make a healthy lunch.

Remember guys its all in the preparation, this way you will stay on track throughout the festivities whilst still enjoying yourself of course!! Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. 

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***PAYMENT PLANS AVAILABLE FOR ALL ABOVE PACKAGES***

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