A New Chapter: An Awesome Monday Present and Accountability

This past weekend held some big changes for us. Micah just got a much better job, and I started working a different job as I segway out of my old one. I’m also reaching a new stage in my online coaching business that I mentioned in a previous post.

Micah’s job – the pay is better, the job security is better, it’s first shift. There’s also overtime involved….we’re thinking Outer Banks Camping Trip end of May. 🙂 Never been there, but have always wanted to go! I’m so blessed and thankful to have a husband who works hard.

What I’ve learned about myself is that I’m just not your typical 9-5 girl. This has been a slower month, but last month was so insane for my coaching business that a couple of weeks of rest was more than enough… I’m ready for my challenge/accountability groups to fill up, and hit the road for May. If you’d like to join us, Click Here. It’s free; you just need to bring the tools to succeed. That aside, I love helping people lead healthier lives….if it’s not apparent, then I’ll write it on my forehead in sharpie….LOL…The reason I chose to open a coaching business is because I saw a need that was missing in my own health and fitness journey. That need wasn’t being fulfilled, and it was stopping me from achieving results…I needed to be held ACCOUNTABLE. Accountability is a scary word for many people, but the fact of the matter is, that should not be the case. Accountability means you can be free to make better decisions, and break the cycle of bad habits that are holding you back….I ate clean a lot, and exercised, but accountability made me work on the areas that I needed to work on most, but hadn’t made a priority of, like portion control and the variety of foods I was eating, as well and building my upper body strength. No one is intended to walk through life alone. We need and value the support and opinions of others….Case in point, you’re reading this blog right now. The biggest reward for me last month was seeing a challenger 5 lb, 3 inches off her waist, and 3 inches off her thighs and now how her young daughter doesn’t fight healthier meal choices, as well as hearing Stephanie, another challenger, talk about how much more energy she has now….those are the true rewards, but this reward wasn’t bad either….

The plyo/jump mat is amazing….I tested it out as soon as it arrived yesterday!! That mat doesn’t move either, it stays put! The weighted gloves made my Les Mills Combat workout so intense, I thought I would need a mop later….lol. The moral of this rambling post is…choose to be accountable to someone.. Let go of your pride or whatever may be holding you back. You have no idea how close you are to making better choices until you try.

I hope your week is off to a great start!

Julie

p.s. please check out my guest post and workout at i’m fit possible 

blog! how to get shorts-ready for summer!

Adventurous Weekend and A Giveaway!

 Hi There! It’s been a whirlwind Easter weekend! Micah and I headed to SC on Friday to celebrate my brother’s birthday! We had lots of fun! We even went to this great indoor rock wall climbing center that friends of ours own, called Climb Upstate! Click here for their FB page: Climb Upstate.

I would have never attempted bouldering a few weeks ago! Bouldering is climbing without a harness…you only use a crash pad at the bottom of the route. This was huge for me, since I’m not a huge heights person, but by the end of our time there, I started to get the hang of….pun intended – of how to use my body weight in a different way! I will definitely be making Australian pull-up bars from PVC pipe. 🙂 Had I not done so much upper body training recently, I would have fallen on my tush…plyometrics help too. Bouldering is empowering, and I can’t wait to try it again! This pic is of me half-way up a vertical climb!

I’m so excited about this week! I’m doing my first test group for a 7-day Sugar Shake Off! It’s a challenge where we’ll be replacing 1 meal a day with Shakeology, and doing at least 15 minutes of physical activity every day! I like to use vegan chocolate in a blender with avocado or a nut butter and almond milk. The Shakeology in the giveaway has whey in it, just to make you aware of the protein source. I’ve been on this meal replacement for 60 days, and have noticed a major difference in the health of my skin, and my energy levels and my muscle tone, so I decided to share it with you! Someone will win 3 packets of shakeology this week, 1 vanilla, 1 strawberry, and 1 chocolate. This stuff makes my tummy happy too, and has alleviated my IBS symptoms. I’m not a doctor, so make sure you check with your healthcare practitioner before you take shakeology. Anyway, sharing is caring, so here I am! What is your favorite smoothie recipe? I’m always looking for new ideas, and I’d love to share mine with you!

Here’s my favorite! You can use any chocolate protein powder you like! 🙂

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks as always for listening! Tell me what your favorite smoothie recipe is! 🙂

Julie 

5 Reasons to Strength Train

 Strength training, it’s something not a lot of women look forward to. Many women I know love, or at least, tscles in order to unload the car, and pick up children and do a physically demanding job. Just in case you think some pushy trainer is the only one who thinks you need to strength train, think again! The American College of Sports Medicine makes the rules for strength training, and also has a free list of studies you can read about the positive effects of strength training. http://acsm.org/docs/current-comments/strengthtrainingforbmh.pdf?sfvrsn=4 e

Here’s my 5 Reasons to strength train:
1. It cranks up your metabolism – big time. You need muscle to burn fat. Muscle burns more cals at rest than rfast…aka…staying on the treadmill for hours only burns calories for the amount of time one is on the treadmill. Circuits and tabata style workouts even allow one to combine strength and cardio if crunched for time

2. It builds bone density. Did you know that a woman can lose up to 25% of her bone density over a lifetime? Imagine losing 25% of your height…. yeah, you might want to start pumping bands or iron.

3.Muscle is what causes muscle tone, not cardio. Cardio will help remove any excess fat on top, but what we refer to as tone is actually a healthy, defined muscle showing through skin…no muscle, no tone….skinny flab. Ladies, we only have 25% of the testosterone that a mna has. We only have one-fourth the mass-gaining potential…and the average man does not build muscle like Arnold.

4. It provides me with  a means to live life better, with more energy. Because I do push-ups, I can swing my nieces and nephews around. Because I do dead lifts, my back is pain free.Because I
 do planks, I’m not as winded when I hit those high notes in band practice.

5. It helps me get out of my own head, and take time for me. That’s not sinful, it’s Biblical. I can do something that will allow me to serve others better! If I’m wearing down my body in the name of doing all this stuff for others, but meanwhile, my energy suffers. There will come a day when I’m no longer able to do for others because I didn’t invest in myself. This is more of a personal reason for me, but it’s practical.

I hope you’ll start a new habit, or pick up an old one and try strength training. I feel that at least one of . these reasons applies to everyone, and I know how it has changed my body inside and out!

What’s your favorite format? supersets, circuits, tabata?
Comment Below!

 Julie

5 Tips toSimplify Your Workouts!

Hi! Hope you’re having a great week! Today is Workout Wednesday, and I thought I take today and offer you some tips to simplify your workouts, so you spend less time thinking about what to do and more time DOING! You don’t have to plan your workouts this way, but this will take out some of the guesswork and set up time.

1. Choose your goals first, then your workout according to those goals. If you want to lean out, you may want to choose a circuit or super set workout. If you’re trying increase muscle size…you may want to look into multiple sets of super low reps… It’s up to you! A little homework on format will pay off in the long run. If you’re looking at a home workout program, look for testimonials of people who accomplished their goals with that particular dvd or program.

2. Base your workout around 1 or 2 pieces of equipment. I recently completed a program that only used dumbbells and/or resistance bands. It took soooo much guesswork out of organizing and planning my workouts! Nothing drives me crazier than seeing workouts that are effective, but utilize 10 different pieces of equipment…by the time you gather all the paraphernalia needed, you could be finished with a workout!

3. Get a workout journal, and schedule your workouts a week in advance. Make it a priority…oh and by the way, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel and do completely different exercises with completely different times, sets, and reps each time. Change up just one thing each time. Your body will thank you for it…and you won’t get frustrated because you’ve wracked your brain trying to come up with a workout! Trust me, I learned this the hard way!

4. Have your post-workout snack ready in advance. This will save you time and your metabolism. You need to fuel your muscles…without muscles…there is very little metabolism. This will also keep you from reaching for junk, thus delaying your progress.

5. Less is more…I usually use about 3-5 exercises per muscle group, anything over that tends to be counter productive for me… start or end with isolation exercises to prime you muscles, and put compound moves at the polar end of the workout from your isolation moves.

One of my favorite ab moves to do after a warm-up: (The amazing Edgar Matos took this shot during a Fit Club at my house!)

There! That covers it! I hope this saves you time and energy when you’re planning your workouts! What’s your favorite workout format? Comment below!
Julie Auler Fit
Happy Sweating!

– Julie

Amazing Uses for Coconut oil!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a post on food..quite awhile. There seems to be a coconut oil craze lately. I remember loving coconut from an early age and used to eat shredded coconut with sunflower seeds for a sweet and salty snack…today, I make “almond joy” protein bars that even my anti-health food family members even seem to like! I recently ask me about oil pulling with coconut oil, and although I haven’t experienced it for very long…I can say that my sensitive teeth feel much better after swishing a teaspoon of this superfood in my mouth. Something that not many people think about is that coconut oil can save you money, and lots of it, when it comes to buying toiletries! It also makes g-free baking turn out sooo much better! I recently compiled a list of the ways I use coconut oil, and would like to share them with you! Just remember that you are using your own judgment when it comes to whether or not you can personally safely use coconut oil for these things, especially for those with allergies to coconut. (Stay tuned for a post on olive oil!)Coconut oil is full of vitamin E, and is also anti-microbial! There’s so many benefits to this oil, that I could write a whole book of posts to explain why you should use this oil!

1. Cook with it. I like to add a teaspoon to my oatmeal…It keeps me fuller. I don’t tend to use it with meat however, unless it’s seafood…because it still has a little bit of flavor. Baking with coconut oil makes great pie crusts, cookies, and protein bars!
2. Shaving cream. Just put a little oil in a bowl…and voila…you have shaving cream…
3. Body Butter. I put about half a cup in a blender, add a few drops of essential oils in a jar, and then I have a great body butter and salve that will soothe even the most aggitated skin…it even works on eczema!
4. Conditioner. Just a little dab will do…
5. Deodorant.
6. Massage oil
7.Mix with sea salt for a great scrub for elbows, knees, and feet. (Don’t use on face.)
8. Mix with coffee grounds and brown sugar for a cellulite reducing scrub, and self tanner prep. (This one’s gentle enough for your face!)
9. Mouthwash. It’s antimicrobial, and soothes your gums!

Hope you enjoyed this article!
Julie

Friday 5: The Power of Being Thankful

Here I am on a Friday! I’ve had such a looney past 3 weeks I don’t even know where to begin! Honestly, it’s been a convicting past 2 weeks! I will go ahead and tell you, this post is definitely more on the spiritual side of things, but it’s worth a read because of that reason…

Here lately,  I’ve noticed that we’ve become a culture of entitlement…and ME FIRST…we value our own time, energy, and resources, but want to bicker about paying for this or that…or that we didn’t get the latest and greatest whatever, well, 5 minutes ago…and recently I started picking up this attitude because I was allowing other people’s attitudes to affect mine. And then, it was like God was telling me…”Hey, remove the plank from your own eye!” And it shook me…The power of the attitude thankfulness is powerful! It can change your attitude in an instant! So this weekend…I’m going on a whining detox…I’ve started counting my blessings and I have so much to be thankful, even what’s happened today! Here are 5 things I have to be thankful for:

1. I may have another school added to my music teaching roster in the next month!
2. One of my challengers in my 21 Day Fix lost 3 inches in her waist! And…she’s not even finished with her challenge yet! That made my day that I was able to keep her accountable!
3. My hubby are releasing a new music single tomorrow!
4. My piano student aced his pieces after I left his house yesterday! He learned “Are You Sleeping?” and the “C” scale! He’s only been getting lessons for a month!
5. I’m so thankful for my friend, LizBeth, who came over and did my dishes when my dishwasher was broken!

Oh, and there will be a BIG announcement on Monday!…it has nothing to do with pink or blue! Seriously!

What are you thankful for? Comment below! 🙂

 Have a beautiful weekend!
– Julie

Workout Wednesday: Glute Bridges

Hi There!
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing a strength training move tutorial for the abs….well, today, it’s time for a lower body strength training move! Lower body is my favorite to train, but it wasn’t always that way! (No pun intended.) I love lunges, and plie squats, but bridges are probably my favorite move. Now, I know there has been a glute craze recently, but there are far more reasons to strengthen the largest muscle group in your body other than getting rid of cellulite! Here are 3:
1. To prevent back pain – your glutes are part of the posterior chain of muscles that include the erector spinae (the muscles that run vertically along side your vertebrae) and your hamstrings (backs of your legs). If one link in this chain is weak, then your back health is greatly put at risk, because the largest muscles in your body can’t do the job…think about it.
2. To burn more calories – muscle builds calories. The larger the muscle, the more calories you burn, but steady state cardio will not build muscle. Strengthening the glutes will burn more calories, because you need lean muscle to burn calories, even at rest…no muscle…no burned calories…no glutes, less calories  burned…Make sure you strength train the rest of your body too!
3. To protect your knees – I love squats and lunges, but depending on how they’re performed, a too much emphasis can be placed on the front side of the knee or the quads…Your muscles support your joints, and your hamstrings need to be strengthened as well. Glute bridges also strengthen your hamstrings, and your strength for certain movements, such as running will come from your glutes, not just your quads.

The how to: lie on your back. Feet flat on the floor hip width apart. (Feet should be about 12 inches from your glutes.) Pulling your navel toward your spine, press into your heels, squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off the floor…keep squeezing your glutes as you pause at the top.
Slowly lower your hips back to the start but don’t quite touch the floor. This is a great move to incorporate into the beginning or end of a workout!

Once you master the beginner version try this more advanced version! Just plant one heel into the ground. contract abs and glutes, and lift!

What’s your favorite lower body strength training move? Let me know in the comments below! Want better muscle definition, contact me to find out about a plan to help you get there!

Happy Hump Day!
Julie