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Before you head out to your local sports store to purchase that expensive treadmill or recumbent bike, take a look at my fitness gift guide and see how you can use inexpensive equipment to get in the best shape of your life.

I’ve put together a list of things that I and my clients use. There are no machines whatsoever in our programs. It’s simple and it gets the job done fast! Plus, you won’t have huge equipment hogging up space in your house which means more room for bookshelves! Always a plus for homeschool moms.

Here is a list of my favorite equipment to create your at home gym.

Foam rollers are used both before and after workouts. Foam rollers help release muscle tension, knots and increase suppleness. When you use foam rollers on a regular basis you will improve recovery, lessen muscle soreness and decrease your chances for injuries. Less than $20 and it lasts forever.

Here’s a nice DVD to get you started.

Stability balls are great tools and can replace the adjustable bench in many exercises.

Aaaah the kettlebell! I couldn’t say enough about this beautiful little ball of iron. I like to train with multi-joint compound exercises and this little guy fits the bill perfectly. Training with a kettlebell takes care of strength, fat loss and cardiovascular exercise all in one! This should be a staple in everyone’s exercise program. Women who have not exercised for some time should start with an 8 kg, women with more fitness conditioning can begin with a 12 kg and men can start with a 16 kg.

Need help with nutrition? I always refer clients to Dr. Jon Berardi’s Precision Nutrition. No gimmicks, crazy supplements, or dieting just straight forward science. He teaches you to eat what to eat, when to eat and why you eat whole foods.

The last thing you need to round out your home gym are some dumbbells. I didn’t list them here because you can always find them on sale at your local sports store this time of year.

Now, with all this new equipment, you need a program to get started with. I recommend personalized workouts rather than cookie cutter programs. Also, you need to have a support group, a team of other women to cheer you on, bounce questions off of and a knowledgable coach to guide you and advise you along the way. Inspiration Fitness Club is a great way to start off 2009. You will receive expert advice, personalized workouts, a support group, nutrition coaching, daily feedback and a new body! It’s less expensive than joining a gym and hiring a personal trainer.

Well, that’s it! That’s really all you need to get in the best shape of your life. Surprised! Don’t listen to the sales people at Sears! They’ll have you purchasing treadmills, ellipticals and crazy exercise machines! Less is more!

Merry Christmas!




Yesterday was a scary and busy day for my family.  My husband’s mom and sister were flying in from California so we took the day off from school to get all the last minute cleaning done.  I had to take my 11 year old to an orthodontist for a consultation while my 16 year old drove to the train station to pick up my husband.  What was supposed to be a simple task, turned into something rather scary!

When I got home from the consultation I received a phone call from my daughter that she was lost and in Illinois.  She had jumped on a wrong freeway and didn’t notice that she had until she drove past the “Welcome to Illinois” sign.  Dear daughter was really shook up so we had her stop at a store, go inside and wait until we found her.  It took us almost an hour to finally find her because the store clerks kept giving us horrible directions to the store.  Thank God for cell phones in emergencies.

This got me thinking this morning of how this relates to some women’s fitness journeys.  You begin with a predawn plan or diet and start out with great intentions then something in life causes a detour, maybe an illness, a catastrophic event, laziness – something, and you find yourself going down a different road entirely – maybe the wrong direction.  What causes this to happen?  Why do you do this to yourself?

I think you just don’t have a strong enough “why”.  There will be a lot of people starting New Year’s Resolutions that relate to health, weight loss and fitness.  Very few will actually complete that resolution because they just don’t have a strong desire to accomplish it.  They want to lose weight, get healthier and look better but their is no driving force behind it.  Nothing that will keep them going when the going gets tough, because it will get tough – life happens!

If you are gearing up to get in shape this New Year’s, figure out why you want to do it first.  Don’t just tell yourself you want to lose weight and look better.  Weak reasons! 

Ask yourself these questions:

What is the specific reason you want to lose weight? 
What is holding you back? 
What are you doing that isn’t helping? 
What will you do every day to get you to your goal weight?
What is your goal weight?
What date will you get there? (Don’t be ridiculous now!  Be realistic or you will fail.)
Who will help you?
What will you change in your life?
Why do you want to do all this?
What/Who will it effect?
What will you look like when you’re done?
What will your life be like when you’re done?

Really think about these things this year.  Write your answers down and put them where you can read them every day.  Build that burning desire.

Can you believe it’s December already?  Where has this year flown? 
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We had planned on getting away for the holiday by driving down state a few hours and staying in a hotel with a heated pool and spa.  Unfortunately, I suffered an injury to my tailbone which you can read about here :  http://www.homeschoolfitnesscoach.com/blog/recovery-from-tailbone-injury/
We ended up staying home and having a wonderful time regardless. 
It is very common for the stress of the holidays to cause many to put aside thoughts of fitness and become victims of tradition.  Fitness Coach said what?!  Let me ask you this.  How many of your holiday traditions center around food?  Elaborate meals; endless cookies of all flavors, shapes and sizes; parties with numerous friends that center around food;  decorations made of food (gingerbread house); gifts for friends made of food.  I could go on but I’ll stop. 
Over the last three years, I have made it a point to start family traditions that do not include food.  Going for a drive at a local park that sets up thousands of lights.  Delivering gifts (nonfood type) to our local nursing home while singing Christmas Carols, participating in our church Christmas musical, creating homemade sewn presents for each of my children and so much more.  I’m sure you see what I mean. 
For so many years my focus was on food.  Celebrating every holiday with a huge feast, making special breads, cookies and drinks (non-alcoholic!).  I wanted to change that around to focusing on the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus Christ!  I have truly enjoyed the new traditions we have started. 
I haven’t entirely stopped our old traditions.  I kept the ones that were most meaningful to us.  We still make cookies to give away at our homeschool cookie exchange.  We collect all the exchanged cookies into different containers to give to friends.  We still enjoy a Christmas dinner but with healthier fare. We made miniature gingerbread houses, although my 3 year old got frustrated and ate hers!
I want to offer a challenge to you this holiday season.  Don’t stress on trying to outdo yourself each year.  Enjoy each other this season, reflect on the blessings of 2008, and create some new healthier traditions.  Just one new one a year.  Let me know what you’ve done.
PS.  I am working furiously on finishing up my Transformation Guide for Homeschool Moms to get it done before the new year.  It will contain all the information you need to get fit and strong with exercises that include the entire family.  Lots of fun games to get the kiddies involved.

Well, if you’ve been following my story, I have been enduring a severly bruised tailbone.  I am not 100% better, but I have been able to do a lot more than usual. 

I took all of last week off from exercises because it was very painful.  I am taking today off as well since it is still very sore.  Saturday afternoon I stopped at Sam’s Club to get some water and I made my left glute hurt from using that muscle to lift the bottles into the back of the van.  Ugh!  I need more rest.

Hubby took me out to see the new movie Australia on Saturday.  It was an awesome movie, however, I don’t recommend seeing it if you have a bruised tailbone.  LOL  Two and a half hours of sitting was tough to endure.  I sure wasn’t thinking when I agreed to that!

Today my two younger girls completed a lapbook on Cinderella.  It was a great study on forgiveness and pumpkins.  It sure amazes me how people can read an ordinary childrens book and find deep messages in them.  I sure haven’t been blessed with that gift. 

Thanksgiving was a wonderful holiday for us.  We had planned to drive down to Terre Haute and stay in a hotel, but due to my “rear troubles” we stayed home and had our usual Thanksgiving dinner.  I did make some slight changes to our dinner so it was a little more healthy.  We didn’t have a big dessert offering.  My 11 year old made a light, sugar free pumpkin cake and we had plenty of whole wheat bread (Ugh!).  I love turkey and this year we had one of the biggest yet.  It didn’t fit very well in the huge container I use for brining.  The legs were sticking out!  It was an awesome turkey.  Surprisingly, we have almost eaten the entire bird already.  Wow!

Well, I hope to hear some updates on everyone’s fitness plans for 2009.  I am putting together a 12 week challenge to go along with the launch of my new book.  Let me know if you are interested!


Leading Fitness Experts Give The Gift Of Health To World With Biggest Ever Health and Fitness Giveaway This Festive Season

On Wednesday, December 10, Dax Moy and over 250 of the world’s top fitness professionals will open the doors on the World’s largest ever health and fitness gift-giving, set to generate positive health for over 500,000 people this Christmas

The program, called ’12 days of fitness’ initially began when the UK’s leading fitness professional, Dax Moy, wanted to express his gratitude to his clients and offered them a gift a day for 12 consecutive days as his twist of the 12 Days of Christmas.

Last year Moy shared this idea with fellow fitness professional Pat Rigsby and they expanded the 12 Days of Fitness to include not only their own clients but to the world at large and gave fitness gifts to over 200,000 people who signed up at the site at www.12daysoffitness.com.

This year, with the help of 250 of the world’s top personal trainers, nutritionists, therapists and specialist fitness experts, the 12 days of fitness is set to become the biggest fitness gift giveaway in history with expected downloads of over 500,000 between the 10th and 22nd of December. “There’s never been another health event like this, where so many people stand to benefit from the expertise of true professionals for free” says Moy who has been working flat out to make this year’s 12 days a success.

“Fitness professionals from around the globe have contributed hundreds of e-books, reports, videos, meal plans and other free gifts in their hope of making 2009 the year that anyone, regardless or their location, financial situation or past failures, can finally reach their fitness goals and make those New Year’s Resolutions a reality once and for all.”

Perhaps the best part of the 12 Days of Fitness giveaway is that regardless of a persons health or fitness goals, there are going to be gifts specifically designed to help them achieve success.

“We’ve received gifts designed for busy mom’s, elite athletes, bodybuilders, back pain sufferers and pretty much anyone else you can imagine covering everything from fat loss to rehabilitation and everything in between.

There literally will be something for everyone this year and all of it free, making it, without a doubt, one of the most important gifts anyone will receive this year. After all, what’s more important than health?”

The 12 days of gift giving starts December 10th but those interested are urged to visit www.12daysoffitness.com right away to sign up for their free gifts.

Once enrolled, participants will get a daily email telling them how to access each of the new gifts that are being added each day as well as a reminder on how to access previous gifts.

To guarantee a healthy start to 2009, simply visit www.12daysoffitness.com today.

100_1480I am going to have a crazy weekend. I’m in a Christian band, Spoken For and we are recording our 2nd album this weekend. I never look forward to being away from the family for an entire day or two, but once I get there I always have a great time.

I think the kids enjoy two full days of “daddy time” since he spoils them silly! (Making my angry face)

I have to be there by 8 am tomorrow morning and we will probably record until 6 pm. The guys NEVER eat good. Sherri and I are both avid exercisers so we team up and choose healthy options for lunch.

To survive a weekend like this you MUST plan ahead. I have my handy, dandy cooler that I pack with all my essentials. I make sure I have some cut up vegetables, boiled eggs, protein pudding, a back up lunch in case the options are bad and raw almonds/raisins mix. Those are my standbys. I usually eat these during the week also.

Being at home can sometimes be a hindrance when trying to stay on track because I have a budding chef in the family. She makes the most incredible dishes that I would consider cheat meals most of the time. LOL Yesterday she made puff pancakes with white sugar! Ugh! I didn’t even know we had white sugar in the house. Luckily, I have 4 girls and between them they finished it all off before I could get any. Whew!

I’m sure you are incredibly busy all the time like me. When I look back at all the things I accomplish during the week I wonder how I ever made it through. God is good!

Your key to being successful in your fitness journey is to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Homeschool moms are at an advantage with this because that is what we do with the most important people in our lives. We plan our children’s educations. Don’t neglect your health or the health of your family. They need you to be at the top of your game.

Have a great weekend!