My First Detox Experience

My First Detox Experience

I wanted to share my my first detox experience with you.

There’s so much talk about toxicity but what does it really mean?  If you think that living in a toxic environment can make you sick, you are correct.  But did you know that your vital organs act as an amazing filter to keep you healthy and that they are more than capable of handling your daily toxic load?  Our bodies are amazing machines but as with any machine, maintenance is required.  This is why I decided to try a detox tea.

For centuries, Chinese healers have used various herbs in specific proportions to treat all sorts of ailments.  I remember being exposed to some of these herbs as a kid.  Think about this:  When you have a stomach ache, you might drink mint or chamomile tea.  When you have a cold, ginger and garlic are the way to go.  These ingredients are nature’s way of keeping us healthy, IF you choose to use them.

Traditional medicine has been a huge asset to us but I truly believe that herbs and more “close to nature” ingredients can be extremely effective.

I decided to try a detox tea out of curiosity and also because I was beginning to feel bloated.  As we inch toward menopause, hormones begin to fluctuate and fat stores can become more stubborn.  When this happens, we need to recognize what’s going on and act right away.  Thankfully, someone told me about this detox tea which is a blend of herbs and 2 highly beneficial mushrooms that work together to provide a synergistic effect on the organs.  The first order of business is to detox the liver.

An unhealthy liver causes chaos throughout the body, and when it fails, you’re done.  An unhealthy gut makes us feel bloated, decreases our immunity and causes inflammation throughout the entire body.  Inflammation is one of the top causes of diseases such as high blood pressure and even cancer.  Your gut is your second brain.  There have been studies reporting that reducing inflammation and increasing gut health can help reduce anxiety and depression.

For me, it was more about losing the bloat and by helping your gut, you experience this much sought after side effect called weight loss.  I didn’t think I’d have any weight to lose but I lost 4lbs in a week.  More importantly for me, the bloat was gone and I wasn’t spilling out of my leggings. As a fitness professional, I try to look the part.  This helped me flatten my belly and shrink my waist line.

Here’s what I experienced even though I’m quite regular:

Day 1, no change.

Day 2, started going to the bathroom more frequently, experienced some intestinal cramping but I knew it was from the tea.

Day 3, pee’d a lot!  I realized on this day that I had to drink more water to keep flushing

Day 4 and 5, light headache that lasted 2 days and 2 pimples!  I read this is called the “detox flu” so I wasn’t ready.  Side note, this is when I noticed my six pack again!

Day 6, lost almost 5 lbs, flat tummy and leggings fit better

Day 7, better sleep, more energy, better mood

I’m on week 6 because of the amazing health benefits of this caffeine free herbal mix.  The chaga and reishi (ganoderma) mushrooms help to repair the gut but before the gut is repaired, it has to be cleared of the junk.  Think of it this way:  when you purge your closet, you only put back in what you need.

So far I have been very pleased with my results and so have my clients and right now you can take advantage of the Black Friday Special!  Save $50 on the Gold Pack using code DETOX50click here.  And if you are ready to help me change people’s lives, simply e-mail me: totalwellness@marymassey.com and ask me how.

Resistance Band Training

Resistance Band Training

There is so much I could tell you regarding the benefits of training with resistance bands but I’ll just tell you that they work!  If you’re the type of person who really enjoys that muscle soreness on the next day, this is for you.  But most importantly, resistance bands help to strengthen your muscles in a way that traditional weight training does that. Weight-bearing exercise is important for your health, particularly for muscle and bone development. Resistance bands provide muscle-building tension, and can be used almost anywhere. These bands offer safe and effective workouts, and are often recommended by physical therapists for rehabilitation purposes.

Have you ever used them?  Take a look at this set of exercises that I recorded for you using my favorite resistance band.  You can find Vela bands on this website.

You can either go for 10 reps per exercise or time yourself. I like to time my clients at 30 seconds per exercise and then take a break after a full circuit. Rinse and repeat. I promise you will feel those deep muscles cooking!

1. squats
2. squat jumps
3. lunges
4. weighted lunges
5. crab walks
6. lunge with kick back
7. kick backs
8. abductor / lateral raise
9. lunge forward and back (awesome for core stability too!)
10. plank with abductor
11. plank jacks
12. bridges with step
13. bridges with should press
14. assisted weighted squat

From chaos to serenity

From chaos to serenity

Photo credit: Adam Zyto

How a shadowboxing/yoga fusion class re-ignited my passion for intentional fitness

It all began with a rumor about a new instructor teaching a kickboxing class at the Life Time Fitness location where I also teach.  The rumor turned into a raving testimonial from my best friend who happened to take the class and she was convinced that I would also love it.  Normally on Wednesdays her and I would meet at the gym by noon, work out and then go to lunch.  In all honesty, I wasn’t too happy with this new class interfering in our routine; until I tried it.

My first experience with Box and Flow was in the heated yoga studio.  I thought “this dude must be crazy” but I had taken hot yoga classes before and I’m in awesome shape, so surely I could handle teaching my own class and then taking this one just for fun!  Well, I was about to have a humbling experience.

Martesse is what many have called a beautiful specimen of a man.  Not me. I’m married.  I’m just telling you what I’ve heard!  I later learned that he is a former police officer, trained martial artist and 1,000 hour certified yoga instructor.  I’m not sure about the 1,000 hour certification but he sure makes it seem like he has centuries of training.

Now, if you will, please quiet your mind and picture this.  You walk into a dimly lit yoga studio, after waiting patiently in line and hear some dope hip hop beats playing in the background.  If you’re lucky enough to see an open spot, you grab a yoga mat and set it down –quickly– before someone else sees it and takes it.  You don’t know whether to stand or sit because it’s your first time.  You look around and see people talking to each other. Some are taking pre-class selfies and others are buzzing with excitement because maybe Martesse took his shirt off.  Focus now because he’s about to speak.

“Hi, thank you for being here, my name is Martesse.  Welcome to Box and Flow.  The class IS heated so if this is your first time, please pace yourself.  Take a break, but don’t leave.  Make sure you have plenty of water.  Now let’s go over our punches.”

He then proceeds to demonstrate how to stand in guard position and breaks down the jabs, cross punch, hook, upper cuts, kicks and evasive moves.  He has us repeat the moves a few times to get that muscle memory going.  And now it’s time for the warm up.  The music starts and we hit the floor for burpees.  Yeah, that’s right.  I’m thinking (ok, burpees and I get along very well) then we move on to push ups and then mountain climbers and then maybe you hear someone crying in the back row but you can’t look because you’re also a fitness professional and you have to represent!

Are you out of breath yet?  Because at this point in the class, I was already sweating profusely and my shoulders were on fire!  Yeah, they were cooking!  Now it’s time to get up and get ready for the first round.  I’m pretty sure my form was off and I didn’t get the combos but I tried my best.  The song is over and now it’s time for “how many push ups can do you?”  He then counts down from 10 and has us hold the plank as he walks around.  He comes over to me and corrects me.  ME!  I immediately thought “wow, thank you for making me better.” I want you to put this in the back burner because we will come back to it.

After roughly 30-35 minutes of punching and kicking to some great music we stop to regulate our breath and to get ready for 30 minutes of yoga flow.  The first half of the class is all about letting out our aggression, pushing our limits and making our brains work hard to nurture that mind-body connection.  To put it another way, it’s quite chaotic but exhilarating at the same time.

We begin our yoga flow in a seated position followed by table top and then downward dog.  So far so good?  Great!  We proceed to a one-legged downward dog with the right leg up then we bring that knee to the nose, opposite elbow, opposite wrist, right wrist, right elbow.  Repeat 3 more times.  Finally it’s time for our first warrior one.  My goodness!  Somehow, I was able to get through it.  As we continue with our flow I realize how badly I need yoga back in my life and how important it is to have good upper body strength and flexibility.

Before you know it, it’s time for savasana, which is the practice of laying in corpse pose at the end of yoga class.  This time is usually meant for quiet relaxation to rejuvenate the body and feel a deep sense of appreciation for what it does for you.  Martesse uses this time to infuse positive affirmations.  Phrases such as “I am strong”, “I am healthy” “What I think I become”, “I am on my path”, etc.

The class is now over and I’m not quite sure of what I feel.  I introduce myself and thank him.  This was several months ago.

Thinking back to that first experience I believe that I didn’t know what to think because this class became a pattern interruption in my life.  I am not the only one who feels a deep connection to this class and I may not be the only one writing about it.  But I know that we have experienced different sensations in our own, unique way.

Martesse is not just an instructor who leads a kick boxing class.  He’s not just an instructor who leads a yoga class.  The reason this class has become so popular in such a short amount of time is because he brings us from chaos to serenity in one hour.  We let go of our aggression and whatever may be holding us back in order to reconnect with our deep self and that comes from first focusing on our prana, our breath; our life source.  Our breath will either tell us if we are calm or if we are in distress.  Once we’ve connected with our breath we reconnect with our body through the practice of yoga.  That unity between the mind, breath and body is calming, rejuvenating, cleansing and beautiful.  Being able to stretch and hold certain shapes trains our minds to focus and our bodies to let go.

As a fitness professional and life coach, I feel my soul was searching to be challenged.  I teach fitness classes and I train and coach people.  I love what I do and I expend so much of my energy focusing on others and I needed something to help me focus on myself.  Finding that mindset component that I so often share in my own classes be a part of someone else’s class offers me to opportunity to also be nurtured and allows my soul to refuel.

This class has made me better in so many ways.  My focus has improved.  The words I speak to myself have improved. My flexibility has improved.  My strength has improved and my body has once again changed for the better.  I have so much gratitude for Martesse and how he shares his passion for deeper connection through a fitness class.  I tell the instructors that I mentor that when you nurture an emotional connection with class participants, they are yours forever.

It’s not about leading a class because quite frankly, anyone can teach this class.  But it takes someone with undeniable passion, heart, humility and a quiet confidence to deliver an experience worth standing in line and coming back for over and over again.

Namaste.

Follow Martesse on Social Media and be sure to take a live class with him soon as I’m sure he’ll be touring the world!

One Simple Mindset Shift

One Simple Mindset Shift

Often times, the problem is our mind.

Can you relate? I’m extremely guilty of conjuring up problems that don’t exist.  This is mainly because when we allow a single negative thought to enter our mind, it can spiral out of control.  And if you suffer from compulsive thinking, it can seem like the problem is never ending.

The impact a negative mindset can have on our health should not be easily dismissed.

How often have you started and ended a diet?  Or perhaps you’ve tried to stick to a workout plan but quit before seeing results.

This is something that happens time and time again.  I see it often and recognize the patterns right away.

But you know what? If you are one of the many who have started and stopped and started and stopped again, don’t worry.  The issue is not the desire to change because in order for you to start, you must have had the desire to change something about yourself.  The problem that I see with most is that they try to run before they can walk.

Let me share a quick story with you about a conversation I had with someone and how I was able to help Sue.

Sue used to attend one of my Zumba classes and since she knew I also helped people with their nutrition and mindset, she asked how she could lose weight.  First, I asked her what her daily eating habits consisted of.  Because she had a corporate job, there were always donuts in the break room so every day, she had 3.  That’s right.  THREE. I kept listening without judgement.  I needed to know exactly what she was doing, how active she was and what she was eating throughout the day.  Then I asked if she was willing to make some small changes and she looked worried.  She didn’t think she’d be able to give up the donuts.

I told her I understood how important it was for her to not feel deprived.  Her issue was that she didn’t want to deal with being uncomfortable or having to make drastic changes.  This is a very common issue that many deal with.  Some are capable of going cold turkey and giving up everything that made them smile because food had become a source of comfort.  Others are not quite ready for this change because the mental commitment is not there.  That’s what it all comes down to.  The psychological commitment must be there in order to change.

For some, it’s a higher level of commitment and these type of people are super easy to work with. For others, we have to take baby steps so they can learn to crawl, then walk, then run.

For my friend Sue, we cut back from 3 donuts on week 1 to 1.5 donuts on week 2 and to one donut a day on week 3.  On week 4, I had her cut back to half of a donut and I had her enjoy every bite.  I also had her commit to walking up and down the stairs a couple times and to increase that over time.  I had her water down her juice and drink half the soda.  I had her increase her water intake and make sure she eats a small salad every day.

All these small changes compounded into a new lifestyle that was easier for her to manage.  Once she began to notice how much better she felt and how her energy began to increase, she felt more determined to keep going and eventually added some weight training.  She was able to lose 15lbs and grab control of her life.

I hope this helps you to understand how a progressive approach and how making one simple change at a time can lead to a lifestyle you can be proud of.  Telling yourself that you can make these changes AND believe that you WILL is a sure way to help you get there.

If you need help with mindset and being able to finally stick to something will work in the long term, just reach out to me.  I’d love to help!

Thanksgiving: A Healthier Spin

Thanksgiving: A Healthier Spin

As much as we love the classics there are always new ways to do things.  Give these recipes a try for a new spin on a wonderful tradition.  Click to view the individual recipes.

 

Appetizers

 

Main Dishes

 

Yummy Desserts