Angie and Ashley’s Journals – 2015

Angie Carroll – 8 Weeks to Greatness
Weeks #1 -2: 9/10-9/16 and 9/17-9/23

Willpower and dedication. Those are probably the two most difficult things for me when it comes to food and fitness in my life. While spontaneity and living for the moment is fabulous for the most part, it can get a little tricky when it comes to eating healthy and working out. I’ve been active my whole life and actually enjoy working out (it’s true!), but dedicating myself to a regular schedule has not been my strong suit. “8 Weeks to Greatness” has been the first time in my life that I have worked out more than two consecutive days. In fact, the requirement was to engage in the His & Her Fitness creative cardio plan SIX days a week. So my first hurdle was to overcome my somewhat lax idea of what a “schedule” looks like when it comes to fitness, making a commitment to my friend Jo (a current H&H client who recommended me for the program) to follow through and give this a try.

angie4The His & Her Fitness team evaluated my current fitness status and created a 30-minute cardio routine specifically for me. I love having a personalized road map rather than being set free in a gym and left to my own devices! I’ve started off with weight training 3x/week paired with cardio sessions 6x/week. I absolutely love that the weight training sessions change each time I am in the gym with Christina and Merrit. They truly tailor the movements to MY needs and to whatever part of MY body needs more attention and strengthening.

The second hurdle was my willpower when it comes to food. I have made some pretty sketchy choices over the years when it comes to what food I put into my body. I KNOW what is healthy vs. not healthy — but quite frankly I’ve been making it a habit of eating what I wanted, when I wanted. Now in my mid-40’s with 3 children, that mindset has caught up with me and it’s really beginning to show. Zero willpower often meant running through the drive-through for fast food when in a hurry, eating an entire basket of chips, not concerning myself with overeating after the kids were in bed… the list goes on. I have had frequent headaches, constantly felt too full, and often felt sick after eating something not so good for me. Christina sat down with me and created a plan consisting of healthy foods, correct ratios of protein/carbs/fat, and suitable portions. There is no guessing or calorie counting — and she created 3 great meals with 2 snacks per day. Even when I went out for dinner one evening, Christina helped me select a good option that allowed me to still enjoy myself but stay on course. Using a food log helps me monitor my meals and water intake. The hardest part has been giving up my beloved lattes but even that has gone surprisingly well!

Towards the end of the second week, as a result of combining the weights with cardio, I was feeling sore and somewhat tired. Christina let me know that this time period is more about evaluation, form, and alignment –and to not give up because it can be difficult during this phase. On “Measurement Monday” the challenges of the first two weeks paid off: I have dropped weight, and lost inches and body fat! As Christina says, the numbers don’t lie. I am thrilled and more motivated than ever!

Angie Carroll – 8 Weeks to Greatness
Week #3: 9/24 – 30

This week I have found that planning ahead for meals is so important and prepping for the week ahead is key. Having the chicken grilled, vegetables and fruits chopped, quinoa cooked, etc. has made a world of difference for me. There are no longer frantic moments where I am starving so I grab a handful of crackers because nothing is prepared.

Planning ahead equals no panicking and no excuses — and I love it. My husband, Nick, has committed to eating the same meals with me and it’s nice to be able to keep each other accountable and on track. It feels great to provide my family with healthier food choices and hopefully begin to instill some positive life-long eating habits for all of us.

As for working out, I have started loving the weight training aspect of the “8 Weeks” program. I am past both the awkwardness of trying to figure out what I am doing and the soreness from working muscles that I haven’t used in years. (Or maybe ever?) Having my form improve — plus the encouragement from Christina and the entire wonderful H&H staff — has made working out FUN this week! I never, ever thought I could get up at 4:30am to get to the gym, but here I am… and it’s absolutely worth it.

Angie Carroll – 8 Weeks to Greatness
Week #4: 10/1-10/7

This marks Week Four — the half way point in “8 Weeks to Greatness.” I now feel as if I “have it down.” Working out regularly and eating healthy have been come a way of life — as opposed to something new I am trying out for the short-term. Even though this program is set for eight weeks, I know that the end goal is really not next month, but is to sustain these habits for life.

The structure of my eating plan, maintaining my prep-work, and faithfully sticking to my workout schedule has made me want to be on my game in other aspects of my life. “Getting my house in order” is my new motto. I have found that with my health improving, so has my energy, my sleeping patterns (no more insomnia!), and my ability to stay organized with all the home and school activities for our busy family of five.

The support from His & Her Fitness trainers, clients, friends, and family has been so encouraging. And I’ve been especially excited to talk to my friends about my journey. It definitely keeps me going to be accountable to those who are cheering me on.

Angie Carroll – 8 Weeks to Greatness
Week #5: 10/8-10/14

What I notice most about His & Her Fitness is the ALWAYS smiling, happy, and encouraging trainers, staff, and clients. When anyone walks in the door, they are greeted with an hello and a smile. Clients work hard and they also have a camaraderie and dedication that is inspiring. Not only do I get a great workout, but I leave in a better mood than when I came in — and always have a laugh with someone. It’s been great meeting like-minded and encouraging new friends.

The accountability through weekly measurements and review of my food journal has been keeping me on track with the meal planning aspect of “8 Weeks to Greatness.” This week Christina made some changes and suggestions based upon my progress and specific to my needs. Luckily, I have never felt deprived or bored with the food selections. In fact, the recipes from His & Her Fitness are some of the best I’ve ever made!

I absolutely love that during my personal training sessions, I work every muscle in my body in different ways each time I am trained. Christina and Merrit are great at correcting my form when needed — and I like that I know I am doing each exercise correctly and safely to gain maximum benefit. Every time I’m at H&H I learn something new regarding why certain forms of exercises or cardio are more desirable than others. For me, understanding the “why” behind the program is essential to sustaining healthy exercising and eating for life. Having experts in your corner is invaluable!

And a super fun thing also happened this week! I tried on jeans for the photo shoot planned at the end of the “8 Weeks” program. (I’m so excited!) Christina handed me a smaller size than I have ever worn. I shook my head thinking there was no way they would fit, but shockingly, they did! If that is not an incentive, I don’t know what is!

Angie Carroll – 8 Weeks to Greatness
Week #6: 10/15-10/21

This week has been humbling. I’d been feeling so healthy. I’d lost weight, body fat and inches and then… I went back to some old habits. I chose to eat something completely unhealthy — and that threw everything out of whack. (And it led to several pounds back on!) So I skipped a few meals here and there and then ramped up my cardio to “make up for” the bad eating. In doing so, I went right back to my extreme cardio/bad eating habits merry-go-round. ‘Cuz that’s what I know. Bummer.

In my life I have had well-meaning friends say, “You are already thin enough, so why are you worried about working out?” or something to that effect. Here is the thing, though: they don’t see what is happening inside. I fuel my body with inferior food and the results are anxiety, not sleeping, and feeling lousy. I have felt disappointed in myself for over-indulging and have then overcompensated by pushing myself over my heart rate and exercising to the limits to make up for it. (Punishing myself?) After Christina and I discussed what happened this week, a lightbulb finally went on after all of these years. She told me point-blank that these habits will eventually lead to a stroke or heart attack and I absolutely know she is right.

“8 Weeks to Greatness” is not a program with an end-date to me — it’s the beginning of my journey to be healthy from the inside out. Not only am I trying to get in better physical shape, but it’s been a journey getting my MIND right about creating a new way of being. I’ve had some successes so far and have also made some mistakes (and probably still will), but I am striving to create a healthful, balanced life. I never realized that the support and emotional connections with both old and new friends at His & Her Fitness would be so important. This week they’ve been crucial — and for that I am thankful.

Angie Carroll – 8 Weeks to Greatness
Week #7: 10/22-10/28

I am elated this week at my progress and proud of getting back on track. But mostly this week I am so thankful and overwhelmed at the support from local businesses that Christina has partnered with. Feng, Swim Quik and Addy Rose all contributed to my “8 Weeks to Greatness” gifts — and I’ve already tried on some amazing jeans from a local designer, Lucy Marie, to model in our upcoming photo shoot. Nevaeh Salon donated a haircut and color in preparation for the photo shoot — plus I’m looking forward to a massage, manicure/pedicure, spray tan and facial from other generous partners in my final week. WOW! I have also been able to take restorative yoga classes at Lotus Yoga — and they have provided much-needed balance and relaxation. And Ixl Martial Arts has offered a class pass and I look forward to taking a self-defense class there soon. WOW again!
This week I have also figured out how to select more healthy options at restaurants using the gift certificates donated by Llywelyn’s Pub and First Watch. I had previously considered going out to eat as a “break” from eating healthy and generally had not thought about what I ordered. By making healthy choices, I found I was still able to have a great time with family and friends and walk away feeling good about it.

This week Christina met both Ashley Werthman (another “8 Weeks to Greatness” participant) and me at New Balance for a fitting. Ashley Haynes and her staff at New Balance in Leawood have been so welcoming and supportive — and they outfitted us with awesome workout outfits and shoes for our upcoming photo shoot! My 12-year-old daughter came with me and during the fitting she made my night by saying, “Mom, you look so healthy and fit!” Trust me, when a preteen says this, you take it as the highest compliment! More than anything, this comment made any difficulty I have encountered in the previous seven weeks completely worth it. I love being a role model to my my daughter, particularly as she is entering her teens and facing the physical and emotional challenges that come along with that age. If this experience of mine is something she will remember and carry with her as she matures, I can’t ask for anything more.

Angie Carroll – 8 Weeks to Greatness
Week #8: 10/29-11/5

angie_dressWhat I have realized in my final week of “8 Weeks to Greatness” is there are many, many more benefits to the program beyond weight, inches and body fat lost. First, training isn’t a job to the His & Her Fitness staff and I feel privileged to be part of the H&H family. I’ve repeatedly heard the phrase “FitFam,” and the H&H team absolutely makes it a priority for clients to feel included and valued. This is not a gym that is pretentious or intimidating — I felt welcome at H&H from Day One and the individualized attention is genuine and thought out.

Other wonderful benefits I didn’t expect (beyond the physical results!) are improved posture, clear skin, better sleep, and increased energy. But let’s talk about the physical results, because I won’t lie — I am thrilled beyond any expectations I ever had. Christina and Merrit did the unthinkable: they managed to reshape the trouble spots in my body that I thought were permanent. I honestly feel they have reversed time and now, after forty-four years and three children, I am the strongest and most toned I’ve ever been.

Finally, the pride at having finished this program — speed bumps and all — is immeasurable. The internal improvements have been just as important as the external. I didn’t expect to have to deal with my fears and insecurities concerning my eating and exercise habits, but I am thankful these were things I faced. Now, armed with knowledge regarding food choices, exercise methods that are efficient for my body, and the understanding that my thoughts, habits, and physical results are all connected, I truly feel I am changed for life.

ALL of these results are attainable for any person — even if you think you do not have the time, the energy, the strength, or the dedication. You do. Get past the excuses and negative self-talk and give yourself this gift. Thank you, His & Her Fitness, for one of the greatest opportunities. I will be forever grateful!

Be sure to check out this great video with Angie at Fox 4!

fox4-8weeks-2015

Ashley Werthman – “8 Weeks to Greatness” Testimonial

ashley_before_after200I cannot say enough positive things about His & Her Fitness. I have been to numerous gyms and “specialty” studios — and at none of these places did I receive the personal care that I got at His & Her Fitness. I learned what to eat to fuel my body. I learned how to stay full throughout the day by eating every 3 hours so that I didn’t crave all of the junk! And I learned I don’t have to kill myself in the gym every day to get amazing results. From the moment I stepped into the gym on my first day, I was greeted with a huge smile and a “Hi!” As I got to know everyone at the gym day by day, I enjoyed my time there more and more. I have never been one that loved to exercise and I would dread getting up to work out in the mornings. But not once, did I dread getting up and going to the gym at H&H!

I am a mom. My life is crazy with my three kids’ activities, and we are constantly on the go. I also work from home and take are of my sister’s kiddos, so my days are full. I knew it was time to finally “take care of me” as my fitness would spread into my kids’ lives as well. I feel so much better about myself, have more energy, and know I am being a positive influence on my kids now. My self confidence and happiness radiates to them. My amazing husband has also joined me on this journey by taking care of himself, too. He has been a huge support, and I am so proud of him for taking care of himself — along with me now, too.

I am one of those people that had every excuse in the book for not taking care of myself. I didn’t believe that we had the time or the money. Then I looked at how much we were spending on eating out each month and realized “Wow — there is my taking care of me money.” Instead of eating out, we are now using those dollars to take care of ourselves — and take care of our kids in that process. I can get to the gym at 6:00am and be done before the kids go to school. It works for me, and if I can do this, anyone can do it!!!!

Thank you to Christina and the His & Her Fitness family! You all have helped me find myself again!

BEFORE – Typical food day
Morning: Coffee
Lunch: Leftovers from the night before
Afternoon: Chips, candy, anything “snacky” around the house
Dinner: Fast food out. When cooking at home — grilled hamburgers, baked tater tots, canned green beans

AFTER – New favorites
Breakfast: Fiber pancake
Snack: Strawberries and sliced turkey
Lunch: Quinoa, spinach, chicken, and feta cheese
Snack: Almonds and carob chips
Dinner: Chicken parmesan with side of fresh spinach