Suzanne Pelz – You Have a Choice

Suzanne accepting her MVH award at our Hillbilly Hoe-down

You Have a Choice

When I sat down with Suzanne Pelz, 43 years young, there was electricity that I’m certain I was the only one feeling. Suzanne is one of those special people that only comes along once in every 3 blue moons or so yet has no idea the spirit she is. Case in point… She couldn’t fathom why I wanted tell her story in the first place! This is why…

Suzanne has struggled with weight her entire life. Not to the severity that warrants an intervention or giving people that she’s on the verge of discovering a new form of diabetes, but rather the kind of weight issues that a lot of people have yet internalize for fear that it’s not TRULY a problem since other people have it worse. Kind of like when you’re in a bad mood over something that is really stressing you out, then a friend comes along and has a problem that is logistically even MORE stressful than your situation so you feel like you have to swallow YOUR struggle because your friend has it worse. We’ve all been in that situation, and we can all agree that it leads to this overwhelming anxiety that leaves you aching for someone to listen but you don’t feel it’s deserved, so you keep it in until it surfaces when you least expect it. The definition of “The straw that broke the camels back.”

What if you did that your entire life with your weight issue? It’s an issue to YOU, but slight in comparison to the morbidly obese. The fear of hearing someone say “YOU think you have a weight problem?! PSH!!!” triggers that anxiety feeling I talked about a moment ago, and Suzanne happened to be in this category. She never joined a gym or took part in group exercise because she wasn’t comfortable with HERSELF, so how could she be comfortable around other people in the environment that was focused around her insecurities?

Now, Suzanne had always attempted to take care of herself yet always seemed to slink back into bad habits. She’d found success for the first time 13 years ago when she took it upon yourself to learn more about weight management and exercise. She’d hired a trainer for one on one time, lost more weight than she ever had before, and was feeling pretty damn good about herself! To her, it was LEARNING about how her body worked that allowed her to start developing tools and skillsets to be healthy. She’d always WANTED to be fit, just didn’t quite know how to do it until she was proactive about it.

If I had a dime for every person that related to this next part, I’d be a millionaire… After some time, finances became a bit tough and Suzanne had to stop seeing her trainer. She was using the new tools she had developed and things were going smoothly for a moment… until she found herself in a wonderful relationship that added the kiss of death to someone like Suzanne; a comfort zone that gave her something else to focus on.

Cha-ching!

This is where a plot twist gets thrown in. 10 years ago, shortly after the rise and fall of her new healthier lifestyle, she started to feel a tingle in her foot and “off in her feet” when she walked. When the tingling crept up to mid-calve she started to get really alarmed. It was up to her knees by the time she had made it to the doctor. While assessing the situation, the Doctor noticed some eye twitching happening that prompted him to give her an MRI.

Diagnosis: Multiple Schlerosis.

For those not familiar, “Schlerosis” means scar tissue on the brain so “Multiple Schlerosis” means you have multiple areas of scarring on the brain. Due to the tricky nature of the brain and nervous system, everyone has slightly different reactions but the reasons why it is so difficult to deal with is the same… When your brain comes upon roadblocks in the brain (scar tissue) it needs to find a “detour” to get whatever message it’s trying to deliver to wherever the destination is. Similar to taking a detour in a car, it requires a longer distance thus takes more gas. Your brain and body is no different… These “detours” the brain has to take drains more energy than average and effects wherever these detours mainly take place. For Suzanne, it’s her right leg that gets the brunt of the difficulty.

4 years after her diagnosis, Suzanne found herself at the heaviest weight she’d ever been. Energy drained, motivation non-existent, and desperate for a change, Suzanne joined weight watchers. After losing 34% of her body weight, Suzanne found herself in a peculiar situation… She still felt fat and didn’t really feel healthy.

I’ve seen this happen often with people who eat for weight loss but don’t give their BODY the work that it needs to take care of itself as well. When this happens, you lose weight but your internal structure is still not in tune with itself. Losing weight doesn’t always mean your body is going to become “fit” and Suzanne experienced this first hand. Unfortunately, this caused a bittersweet back track that would be a low point for Suzanne yet ultimately be the lesson she needed to succeed in the big picture.

1 year ago, Suzanne was in dire-straights. She had gained almost all of her weight back. She found herself prying struggling to get out of bed with no energy, working a full work day, then going straight to the couch after putting her PJs on after work, do nothing, go to bed, and repeat the whole cycle all over again. This is another “If I had a dime” moments… Her Doctor even told her that if she didn’t get up and do SOMETHING her right leg would deteriorate.

It was a biggest loser program at her work that prompted her to take her body back. Suzanne has herself a competitive streak that would make an Olympian blush, and she coupled that with the realization that she didn’t do any exercising the last time she attempted a new, healthy life style. When you know the problem, you know the solution, and she approached that solution tentatively at first…

A turning point for Suzanne was actually when she tried to talk herself OUT of the program. She approached the director one day and started “excuse vomit” culminating with “I have soooooooo much going on I just really don’t think I can go through with this.” The director responded “That’s not good enough Suzanne, there will ALWAYS be a lot of things going on. It’s time to work past that.”

This opened up Suzanne’s eyes to something bigger than the comfort zone she was trying to maintain. She realized she couldn’t hold herself back anymore. She had a choice, and she was at a cross roads… Either choose to let her situation get the best of her or to get the best of her situation. Thankfully for everyone who knows Suzanne, she chose the latter.

After seeing a lot of posts and excitement regarding a fitness challenge called “Rebel X” she decided to ask her cousin, David Moody (already participating), about how she could become a part. After getting set up with the creator and trainer (myself) she was able to join a couple weeks into this 10 week challenge.

This is where Suzanne hulk smashed her demons in a very visible way… Even though she joined late, she lost the most inches out of everybody. Out of 75 people. Holy hell. Out of 3 possible “Most Valuable Hulk” awards (one per team of 25 people) she won hers in resounding fashion. She’s not only at a manageable weight, but the fittest she’s ever been. She took her journey and put it on display to everyone, become a beacon of light for others who, just like her, have only known darkness.

Suzanne is now off most of her meds. She is attempting to break the record for holding a plank out of all 11 of my challenges that I’ve done. She is the first to show up and the last to leave. She calls people out and enjoys getting called out if someone feels she’s not giving it all. When I leave on a trip, she’s one of the first people I ask to be a “team gluer” to check in with everyone and make sure people don’t stray when “the cats away.” There is NOTHING that can stop this woman from accomplishing whatever she wants, and not only does she know that now, but she screams at the top of her lungs to share to the world;

You have a choice to either let your situation get the best of you or get the best of your situation.

That’s why I wanted to tell your story Suzanne.

-Rebel8

Rebel X Experience

Behold! The story of the 3 month long “Rebel X” journey told in 20 minutes set to music with some added bonuses ;). I will separate the slideshow into song segments in the next day or 2, but for now… I hope you are able to enjoy it in it’s entirety.

Also, be on the lookout for a complete write up of the Rebel X experience in the next few days as well. For now…

AhhhOOOOOO!!!!

– Rebel8

Tom Walton – If It Were Easy, It Wouldn’t Be Special

Tom Like a Bomb!

Tom Walton came out of the blue in regards to joining Hulk/Rebel, and I’ve got to say he’s made one of the biggest immediate impacts on not only himself but everyone who has had the good fortune to work out and rock out with this fella! In all the stories I put out, I’m looking for one common denominator… Inspiration via relation. You can relate to the success story because it speaks to either how you’ve felt before, how you currently feel, what you’d LIKE to do, or all of the above! When you can read about someone “just like you” who is able to pick themselves up by their boot straps and achieve EXACTLY what you fantasize about yet never go for… Well, I’ve found the Chaos theory in full effect here…

“In chaos theory the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane’s formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before.”

It’s up to you… Is Tom’s story the flap of the butterfly’s wings that sets you off like a hurricane? Read on…

If It Were Easy, It Wouldn’t Be Special

When self-loathing, lack of confidence, and overall dissatisfaction with yourself is too much to handle, most people have a subconscious reaction to take their focus off themselves with various different behaviors. Some people become so compulsive with a hobby that it starts to become a detriment to the individual to an outsider… yet to the hobbyist the unhealthy obsession trumps the painful truth that they aren’t happy with themselves, thus the lesser of two evils are chosen. Some people turn to a mind altering substance that wipes the crippling self-disgust away and allows the abuser to feel normal, not like themselves which sadly is equivocal to pain and hurt. Sound like anybody you know?

Then, there’s Tom Walton. Tom Walton learned two big lessons as a kid… 1) To treat others better than you wish to be treated and 2) It’s hard to feel worthy of being treated awesomely when you’re the novelty husky kid so he’d better REALLY stick to the number 1. If he gave everyone all his attention, focus, and love unconditionally and steadfastly well then it would be impossible to save enough caring for himself, making it ok that he didn’t feel confident and comfortable with the person he was.

Interviewing Tom, he was quick to point out that on the outside everything was fine in his world. He came from a good family living in the Northern California suburbs. Although always a very husky kid, Tom was always into sports. He even was a Team Captain on one of his High School’s most successful football teams to date and a gifted wrestler who loved the thrill of one on one competition. It was a good upbringing with good friends that accepted Tom for who he was. The only problem was that Tom didn’t accept himself. Busy loving everyone but himself and unsuccessfully trying to use his outer successes to mask the fact that he was depressed beyond anyone’s comprehension, he did what most people do…

He rode it out. Without saying a word or doing anything about it.

Sound like anybody you know?

Out of High School, Tom started dating his future fiancé, found his current full-time job, and lost his drive to play sports since he figured it was “time to grow up.” On his steady climb to 300 pounds, 6 foot tall Tom had an unsuccessfully successful stint with a popular no-carb diet. For those of you who need that to be cleared up… The no-carb diet is notorious for having rapid weight loss transpire for those willing to put down the breads and pasta but can’t stand the thought of putting down the bacon, cheese, and steak. His intermission to his eventual 300 pound mark found a detour… He had gotten down to 213.2 pounds (he made sure to point out the “.2”) and… Stopped. Fed up with the unrealistic restrictions, toll it was taking on his mind and body, and at the inability to physically continue the no carb madness, he quickly gained all the weight back with interest. The worst part… since the weight loss was so rapid, the method so extreme, and since Tom didn’t do any resistance training to acclimate his body to the rapid weight reduction he felt his body looked WORSE at the low weight he haf achieved. He didn’t take the time to implement a healthy lifestyle… rather took the quickest way possible no matter how unrealistic, unsafe, or overall damaging it ends up being in the long run. Sound like anybody you know?

3 months ago Tom decided to join a gym. He had been yearning to find his former athlete for some time now, but found a hard time finding the spark beyond it being an “I’ll start tomorrow…” after thought. One way I like to look at it is a mighty oak tree at one point started out as a little tiny seed. Sometimes you just need to give that seed a little water to start the growth process… Tom’s seed had been planted; he just didn’t know what nutrients it needed…

One day, while cruising around on Facebook (have you heard of it?) he came across a blog I had posted of a couple inspirational stories that came out of the last transformation challenge I had just completed. Reading the stories, he found the common denominator WASN’T that these successes came of having great genes, the sickening ability to be able to push past but seemingly enjoy the “torture of exercise,” or a trust fund set up allowing for an elite team of professionals to “fix them.” No, the turning point in every single story he read was when the person decided they were worth it and no one was going to give them happiness if they weren’t willing to take it first.

He messaged me right then and there. He wanted to know when the next challenge was, when we met, and what he should do to prepare for it. “… Oh, and hey man!”

When Tom joined the gym, he never looked back. He was sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. He was fed up with being sad about himself and realizing at his subconscious it was up to him to change that. Rather than taking his mind off of himself with food and loving everyone else to the extremes that he didn’t have the energy left to love himself, he was instead FORCED to learn to love himself. He HAD to deal with his insecurities in such a way that if he were to run away he would be adding fuel to the fire that got him so depressed in the first place. Once he had his mind-set that he wasn’t going to quit no matter how badly he wanted to (and trust me, boy did he ever want to quit!) then he only had one option left… To seize the moment. To be the person he didn’t think he could be by doing the things he wasn’t comfortable doing. “If it were easy it wouldn’t be special” I tell Tom time and time again, and not only does he get it… He lives it.

Tom found his stride, but only he could find it. Rather than waiting on someone to save him, he had the profound realization only he could save himself.

The day Tom messaged me about joining my transformation challenge was a tough day. It was a tough decision yet one he knew deep down he had to make. For himself. For once. Tom told me he wanted to be one of the success stories he read about. He told me he was hoping someone could read what he went through and relate to the point of having the same turn around he did. He wanted to stress that it needs to be a commitment to yourself or what’s the point? The thing he REALLY wanted to hammer home was that eating better, exercising, and stepping outside of his comfort zone didn’t kill him. Quite the contrary, it introduced more life than he had ever felt himself worth to be. His comfort zone kept him from being around people that love him as much as he loves the world. Yelling like a madman when we do the pre-workout chant. Taking his shirt off at the beach to enjoy the sunshine a little more. Wearing goofy outfits and taking part in workouts that he never would have dreamed of attempting a few months prior. Tom even cut his hair into a mullet for 80’s night… AND STILL HAS IT 3 WEEKS LATER! His comfort zone doesn’t hold him back anymore.

Well Tom… here’s your story. You’ve lost 45 pounds in 3 months. You’ve signed up for a 12 mile mud run in September. You’ve learned how to eat for life, not for weight loss. You inspire every day. You’ve learned to do what some deem impossible… To love yourself as much as you love others.

“I’m going to be one of those stories because I’m worth it.”

Well Tom is only at the beginning of his story… but mission accomplished. How do I know that?

Because I can guarantee you’re ready to write your own success story…

Go.

I wear this shirt often and with pride

– Rebel8

PS Be on the lookout for everyone’s favorite Tye Rivera’s story to be featured on FitnessRebellion.com! It is one of the next success stories to be published ;). AhhhhOOOOO!!!!

Sam Enos – Learning to Fight

If you’re looking for Sam, she’s smack dab in the middle!

I wanted tot ake the time to share with everyone the write up I did on Sam Enos. It will be up on Fitnessrebellion.com soon (which I highly recommend you go check out to read stories with the same inspirational edge as Sam’s from Rebels all over the country!). In the mean time, I wanted those of you who know Sam to know her a little bit better. Her hope as well as mine is that you are able to elate and be inspired by Sam’s story. Not because she’s lost 200 pounds or climbed Mt. Everest, but because she found happiness within HERSELF. EVERYONE has the ability to find happiness within themselves. The hard part is to stop making excuses for why you think you’re not worth it. To stop placing blame on anyone or anything else in regards to YOUR happiness. At the end of the day, you are your last line of defense. Your body doesn’t do anything you’re mind doesn’t tell it to do first. Own your mind… That’s what Sam did, and she is most certainly never looking back…

Leanring to Fight

On the outside, Sam is a good looking 21 year old with a sweet demeanor and some of the kindest eyes you’ve ever come across. Hidden behind those eyes lie experiences that most can relate to but very few would expect if you were to judge a book by its cover.

In Sam’s words, she’s always felt awkward. Growing up, she was a little on the stocky side and a lot on the “2 left feet” side. To make matters worse, the friends she chose to surround herself with were all naturally teeny tiny and made it very clear that she didn’t quite fit in that way. It was this callous nature that caused Sam to quit soccer at a very young age. With the ridicule and awkward feeling only getting worse as she got older, Sam gave up on sports all together by submitting to the fact that she felt she could never be one of “those people.”“Those people” referring to those that fitness came naturally too. Who looked good sweating and smile that self-fulfilled smile every time their feet hit the pavement during their daily 5am 10k. Who had no problem eating healthy and who visibly and audibly express their disbelief in the fact that it’s “hard to behealthy” for some people.

Even after backing off of sports, including ignoring a strong urge to run her freshmen year of high school, she still found that no matter how hard she tried, she was still treated like the ugly duckling. Whether it was how much she sweat in P.E., what she wore, what her voice sounded like, or the fact that she wasn’t quite as pocket sized as her friends were, Sam was made very well aware on a daily basis. It’s not that she didn’t TRY, it just so happened the she got labeled the clumsy black sheep and could never shake it.

This led to anger… anger at the world for denying her happiness. You see, deep down Sam knew she was a good person. Deep down she knew she had a lot to offer the world in regards to awesome human companionship and baseline considerate behaviors that tend to be lacking these days, yet no one saw it. This made it really easy to withdraw and stoke the flames of anger like she were powering an old time locomotive.

7 months ago, Sam joined AnytimeFitness. She’s participated in my Rebel programs during that time and to says he’s accomplished a lot both inside AND out would be the understatement of the year. These are the reasons that I approached her to be the 5th story I had the honor of turning in. She obliged, and I proceeded to interview her!

Normally, I’d put into my own words the remainder of what we talked about, but this situation turned out a little bit differently…

            The day after our interview, at 7:12pm, I got an e-mail from Sam that summed up better any words I could possibly come up with for her… She sent me the kind of e-mail that makes my year. The e-mail Sam sent me was one that cannot be faked yet everyone can relate to, soI’ll leave it to her to tell you her turn around…

“Hey Josh,

I kind of had a “light bulb” moment today. I started to really think why did I decide to join the Fitness Rebellion and start to make exercise a priority. It’s pretty simple; it was because I wanted to be happy. I think the past few years I have been trying to find happiness/approval in other people, when I am the only person who can really make me happy (well, that and God…but that’s adifferent story haha). Also, in order for me to accept other people and be open to change, I had to accept me for me. I had to be open for change in myself, and find happiness in my own life. Change is a big deal for me, So getting a strong willed, Miss Negative to change was a challenge in itself….I think by putting myself out there and doing something for me for a change has helped me put a big dent in that fear of the unknown. So motivating myself, and having that motivation I was seeing around me helped me to accept change and realize that Ican do anything that I put my heart and mind into. The past 7 months have broken me (in a good way) both physically and mentally, but because of that “fight” I have become a more confident, strong, and independent individual who has found that happiness within myself.

I thought I would share that with you because I am not good when it comes to be put on the spot, or opening up because I hold a lot in….but I feel like others might be able to relate.

–         Sam”

Sam, I think it’s safe to say you are not alone in that fight… Sometimes you just have to be willing to learn to fight. The irony though, is that in that learning process you unknowingly become the best teacher anyone could possibly ask for… Thank you for learning to fight Sam. Thank you MORE for teaching others that it’s NOT “you either have it or you don’t”… No, it’s “you either fight or you submit.” The choice is ALWAYS up to you.

Sam, pictured on the right, after doing the Color Run!

Be on the lookout for Tom Walton’s story tomorrow 😉

– Rebel8

What to do between challenges??

Once July is over, all classes marked “free” will turn into $10 a MONTH for unlimited “FREE!” classes!

As “Rebel X” comes to a close and “The Rebe11ion” lies in the midst (August 18th… Sign up details to come out soon…) There is about a months worth of time in between where I guarantee there will be a lot of motivation looking to get utilized. Well, this post will provide you with acceptable outlets!

Before I continue, I want to let you all know I will be gone the week of July 29th – August 5th to get a little battery recharging in before the dawn of a new wheel emerges :). After that, classes above are as follows:

– Every Wednesday @9am (except August 1st) – Boot camp beat down! A total body blast with a bit of cardio emphasis. Due to popular demand, must be kept to Anytime Fitness members (if you have a working key, you’re good!) only.

– Every Friday morning @9:30am (except August 3rd) – Mud Circuit Training! 12-20 total body exercises set up to test your balance, endurance, coordination, strength, and sheer mental grit as once the workout starts… It doesn’t stop. Designed to train you for the rigors of mud runs (Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, etc.) while giving you a kick butt workout in the process! Due to popular demand, must be kept to Anytime Fitness members (if you have a working key, you’re good!) only.

Every Wednesday @7:45pm – The Rebel-yum! A food group graciously co-hosted by the wonderful Liz Rait! With Bobbi Rivera as the resident recipe provider, this group invites anyone struggling with the food side of this whole health and fitness thing to come on by and talk it out! Get some tips and share your own experiences, all while finding that you truly aren’t alone in this! Click HERE for more info!

And those are just the regular classes I’ll be running! Ask anybody who has done them… Heather’s TRX classes, Michelle’s early morning classes, Angelica’s later classes, and the Yoga are AWESOME! If you’ve waiting for the opportunity to try some of these classes but have been wrapped up in Rebel… Well now is your chance to rock them out! All of their classes will be regularly scheduled the week that I’m gone, so don’t be shy to contact Heather (our wonderful personal training manager!) about any class details you may need. Don’t worry everyone, she doesn’t bite!

Now for the specialty classes I will be running!

– August 8th/15th @ 6:30pm – BOSU class! Back by popular demand for 2 weeks only! This class focuses on total body balance and coordination. Centered around “quiet chaos” this class is different than most of my boot camps… The energy is focused rather than spastic, and the workout is essentially non stop… Testing every fiber your body has got in a way so challenging the time flies by and at the end, you can’t help but want more! SIGN UP ONLY! Due to popular demand, must be kept to Anytime Fitness members (if you have a working key, you’re good!) only. Also, I cannot accept “over the internet” sign-ups. Spots are limited to 12, and you must put your name on the sign up sheet located outside the aerobic room PHYSICALLY at the gym. Cost is $10!

August 9th @ 6pm – Rebel Style Workout: Legs! That’s all the description you need 😉 SIGN UP ONLY! Due to popular demand, must be kept to Anytime Fitness members (if you have a working key, you’re good!) only. Also, I cannot accept “over the internet” sign-ups. Spots are limited, and you must put your name on the sign up sheet located outside the aerobic room PHYSICALLY at the gym. Cost is $10!

–  August 16th @ 6pm – Rebel Style Workout: Core! That’s all the description you need 😉SIGN UP ONLY! Due to popular demand, must be kept to Anytime Fitness members (if you have a working key, you’re good!) only. Also, I cannot accept “over the internet” sign-ups. Spots are limited, and you must put your name on the sign up sheet located outside the aerobic room PHYSICALLY at the gym. Cost is $10!

Also, I will be opening myself up to some more one on one sessions if you’d like to set up some tutorials where I can bring you through a workout and give you a handout of what we did when we were done so that you have the necessary tools to know what to do when your NOT doing a class! Please e-mail me  at AllLevelsTraining@gmail.com. if you’d like to set something up! I humbly ask it be kept to e-mail only and not any other form of communication so that I can best consolidate the various methods of interaction the world now provides :). It makes it easier to schedule via e-mail and e-mail only rather than sifting through your facebook messages, texts, voicemails, tweets, wall posts, and website comments :). Y’all rock!

Lastly… We here at Anytime Fitness at Santa Rosa Ave. have a new, positively AMAZING tool to help lead us all on this Fitness Rebellion… a certified nutritionist! Her name is Michelle LaBlue and she is one of our newest trainers yet started out one of our original members!

Nutrition!

That’s our girl Michelle in the middle!

She is certified through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and has her Nutritionist certification through Sac State. She is capable on every level to help you figure out the best game plan for healthy eating for YOU, not EVERYONE. What’s good for the goose is NOT always good for the gander… She’ll treat you all like the unqiue geese you truly are! The sugar on top is that contrary to the picture above, she has quite the story of knowing the ups and downs of food and fitness so you know that you are meeting with a safe, reliable expert who is going to be able to relate what you’re going through rather than talk to you like “it’s as simple as eat this and DON’T eat this…” A lot of you know my own personal struggle with food and how it pertains to fitness, so I want to remind y’all she MORE than gets my approval!

Michelle LaBlue’s contact information:
E-mail – Fitlabconsults@yahoo.com

If you’re still not convinced, here is a brief bio in Michelle’s own words:

“As a teen and into my twenties, I struggled to find balance between having a social life, exercising, and eating nutritious foods. As a result, I also struggled with my weight. I’d go through periods of trying to out-exercise my bad diet (without results, of course) followed by short-lived starvation diets, which worked temporarily, but were not sustainable and definitely did not support the strong, healthy I was trying to achieve. After becoming certified as a personal trainer, I realized how important it is to fuel your body, not only for exercise, but also to support a healthy lifestyle. I began studying nutrition at Sac State and graduated in May 2012 with my Bachelor’s in Food & Nutrition. 
I am certainly not perfect when it comes to eating “clean and healthy” 100% of the time. I LOVE chocolate and pizza, and enjoy both-on occasion. I don’t believe in deprivation-it is NOT a long-term solution. What I do believe in is finding a healthy balance in nutrition and exercise that fits easily into your lifestyle & helps you reach your health and fitness goals in the long run! 
Whether you’ve reached a plateau, are looking to lose weight or gain muscle, nutrition matters and I’m here to help!”

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend! Full details on “The Rebe11ion” tomorrow, July 16th ;).

AhhhOOOOOO!!!!!

– Rebel8

Rebel X Wrap Party: Hillbilly Ho-Down!

Hillbilly Ho-down!

Don your best denim duds and join all three teams at Keiser Park in Windsor for a down home good time. Bring your significant other, kids, family or maybe some friends who are interested in checking out what Rebel is all about! The more the merrier as we celebrate an amazing 3 months together in true Rebel fashion!
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We will have some great BBQ, salads, desserts and drinks for everyone along with some other surprises!
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The party starts at 1 and will go until the parks guy comes and shuts the gate on us at sunset so come ready to party.
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This is about mingling and celebrating an amazing 10 weeks together. You’ve done a lot, now it’s time to bask in the glory of it! I will be handing out before and after certificates and  individual awards (Including MVH – Most Valuable Hulk) as well as presenting a slideshow depicting the last 3 months and a few other extra videos. This is also where you get to put your stamp on the shovel and sign it. There will also be a showcase of the past 9 challenges that got us to this point in the first place :).
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$20 per person will get you everything listed above. It would also be awesome if whoever is able could pitch in a few extra bucks for the beer/wine or bring something to share! (If you have kids under 8 you don’t need to pay for them)
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I have faith that all of you will dig deep for your inner hillbilly and really go all out with your costume.  Right?
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You can give either myself or Bobbi Rivera the $20 per person any time between now and July 14th. It’s very important that Bobbi gets everyone’s money by then so she can make sure this is the most amazing wrap party yet!
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The best celebrations are the ones that are worth it!

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I just want to take this moment to thank Bobbi Rivera for everything she is doing for this party. The theme, organization, and food stuff is all her. She booked the park, has been collecting money to get this shindig off the ground for the last month or so, and has never faltered in how hard she’s working to make sure this is the best wrap party we’ve ever had :). Bobbi, I can never thank you enough for all that you do 🙂
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I can’t wait to celebrate with you all 😉
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– Rebel8

Train the trainer… What it means to me

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 At the end of every challenge I run, something called “Train the Trainer” takes place. It’s where everyone who I’ve been mercilessly grinding into the floor week in and week out has the chance to show up and work ME out. I mean, haven’t you ever wanted to make the guy or gal who beats you up in boot camp or one on one sessions do the same stuff they make you do? It’s a dream come true from the perspective of the person who gets trained all the time and a nightmare for me, the trainer. I say it’s a nightmare because I’ll be damned if everyone I work with doesn’t get better and better and whooping my butt every single time. I tell people to think of the thing I made you do that you hated the MOST… and make me do it! I tell people to research something crazy and put me to the ultimate test! Whatever floats everyone’s boat, as long as they don’t take it easy on me (trust me, they don’t).

Well, this video was captured by my lovely Unicorn of a girlfriend who I didn’t know was taking a video until after. I wanted to share this video so everyone knows what “Train the Trainer” means to me. I’m putting this video out of me at one of my more openly vulnerable points so that someone, somewhere will understand that it does get better…

You just can’t take “I’m not good enough” as an answer anymore.

– Rebel8

click on the banner for more information on the Fitness Rebellion!

The best part is yet to come…

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Above you will see a video I made of all the workouts I’ve written out from start to finish for this Rebel X challenge. You’ll see the top left hand corner has the dates of the boot camps. Feel free to pause and see all the little notes I’d written on each workout. This notebook has spent the last 2 and a half months growing. A TON of memories and experiences are locked tight within. Thank you all for allowing me these memories to be created. Thank you all better yet for there for the moments. If you didn’t give everything you initially hoped to give or didn’t meet your own expectations, well just remember it’s never too late. Take that feeling you never want to feel again, and make sure you never feel it again.

I look forward to this final boot camp week for Team Ignition, Beast, and Ballistic. After all, it’s not how you start…

– Rebel8

Running sucks.

I had lost 40 lbs here and was feelin’ like a young Rod Stewart!

I was going over past posts on my former blog and I came across this post. It brought a lot of memories back and also made me want to share it again. A lot of people have come into my life since this was written that I think this could help out. Thanks for taking the time to read it :).

“This Saturday, December 31st, I will be running an 8k. That is 4.97 miles.

This weekend, I ran the better part of 9 miles in Pt. Reyes (with a LOT of help from a Unicorn).

For this weekend, I am scared shitless. Wondering why? I’m not.

This weekend, including the Pt. Reyes run, Tough Mudder, and any of the spring lake/Annadel runs I did with anyone BEFORE Tough Mudder (and NOT including any runs I will do this week) will mark about the 10th time I’ve run for any “remarkable” amount of time in my entire life. You see, I never was a runner and never thought I would be. I still don’t think I am. I’m someone who the mere THOUGHT of running sends me into “mini-anxiety” mode. Not because I don’t think I can do it but because instinctively that’s how my brain has ALWAYS been wired.

For me, running is associated with pain and humiliation. Emotional, physical, and mental pain and humiliation that is really hard to shake. I’ve always had chronic shin splints from being so heavy most of my life, and for the first time in my life, they don’t exist… I credit that in large part to my lifestyle, changes in training (BOSU is my BABY!), and consistent commitment. I got the “shins splints always held me back!” out of the way because that is the least of why this 8k this weekend scares me shitless.

You know how someone who is claustrophobic can be absolutely fine until they get into a confined space? That’s when the cold sweat, increased heart rate, heavy anxiety, and nausea sets in. Often times it’s the equivalent of kryptonite to a persons superman. Mental fears can cripple the most able of people. I am one of those able people who has more allergies to kryptonite than most people know.

My heart beats faster when I remember what it was like to be told “we’re running the mile today!” in PE and getting so physically sick that sometimes I was able to get out running it all together. There is nothing more physically degrading than trying as hard as you absolutely can, digging with everything you’ve got, feeling your joints explode and grind with the wear and tear of your obese body chugging along with all the might it can muster, and still running a 13 minute mile. As a prepubescent child who can’t physically do what other kids my age could do, I found out really quickly they never let you forget it. Not in a nice way either, in the cruelest of ways. I’m not the minority though, I’m the majority as far as knowing how that goes. I want to change that…

Whenever I think “I’m going to run” I follow it with “and be humiliated” out of instinct. It was all I ever knew. On top of the emotional humiliation, I always got to look forward to my body feeling like it was going to drop dead of a heart attack, stroke and brain aneurism. A child should never feel that way. Ever. That’s how bad off I was.

So when I got the e-mail that I was actually REGISTERED for an 8k (Pacific Coast Trail Run for those in the curiosity department), my heart dropped and the pit of my stomach flared up with the weight of a dying star. I understand that sounds a little dramatic, but when my brain reverts back to the paragraphs above every single time I know I’m about to run, I don’t care if you think I’m being dramatic or not. Truth be told, there will never be words to describe the anxiety, but you’re going to get my best absolute effort to do so.

Cara is the one who registered me for the 8k, and she has been my running inspiration (along with Tye) for quite some time. The 9 miles we ran together wouldn’t have been possible without her. She doesn’t know it, much like most people don’t know it who I have run with before, but I was terrified. Especially at the end of our run. The final 1.5-2 miles brought back all the familiar feelings of how running USED to make me feel. I felt bogged down, tired, tight, and like I was failing. Trying so hard, yet failing a little harder. That was when I exploded…

“I don’t like eating your dust” Cara tells me.

“I had 2 options… I could have faded away or I could have exploded. I chose to explode” is what I told The Unicorn.

That final mile and a half, I chose to impress myself. I felt the familiar feelings of failure creeping up towards my soul, starting at my toes. I didn’t let it get any farther than that. I reminded myself “You are not who you used to be, and you’re better than you wanted to be” and set out to stay true to my word. I used to fade away, but on Christmas Eve in Pt. Reyes I took that fear that had crippled me for a lifetime and I literally ran with it. With each step I increased the pace. I could feel my hips firing like pistons and my quads taking a lactic acid bath as my strongest muscle, my heart, took over. With each step I ran away from the debilitating anxiety and towards what I have always known deep down… That I can do anything.

In that moment, I chose to live. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. I chose to embrace the fear rather than disgrace it. My fear has made me fearless. I don’t hate fear, I respect it. Because of that, I don’t even fear “fear itself.” I don’t even fear failure. The only thing I fear is forgetting where I came from. I think we all know that will never happen…

In the end, I am scared shitless for this 8k. However, I will embrace that fear and Hulk smash the hell out of this Pacific Coast Trail Run. I will leave a big, green imprint in the dirt as I stir up more dust for others to eat. I will embrace the love of the Unicorn who is my guiding light in this whole process, and hold my shirt up high at the end with a “tell me I can’t do something” shit-eating grin on my face.

Take that failure.

– Hulk/Rebel8

PS I chose to make my most personal “Hulk Talk” ever, public. I have more than 75 people entrusting me during “Hulk: Trinity – Round IX” so the LEAST I can do is leave no stone unturned with me. If you have 17 minutes to spare and would like to get a VERY personal account as to why I don’t accept “I can’t” then click the links below… Merry Holidays y’all!”

I Can – Part 1
I Can – Part 2