Resolutions- Stick to em

Welcome to 2013, a chance to start over, a chance to leave the past in the past, the chance to yes make another New Year’s Resolution. According to a study done by University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology, the top five resolutions for 2103 are:

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Get Organized
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy Life to the fullest
  5. Staying fit and healthy

Out of the 45% of Americans who make resolutions only 8% are successful, most people giving up within six months.

So…what exactly is a resolution?

Wikipedia defines a New Year's resolution as a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. A key element to a New Year's resolution that sets it apart from other resolutions is that it is made in anticipation of the New Year and new beginnings. People committing themselves to a New Year's resolution generally plan to do so for the whole following year. This lifestyle change is generally interpreted as advantageous.

I particularly like the way Wikipedia defines New Year’s Resolution but unfortunately most people miss out on the four key things that will help them be successful:  commitment, goals, habit and lifestyle.

You must first start with a goal. You need to have a goal and write it down. A goal should be something that is attainable, measureable and timely. Once you have the goal established you need to take that goal and define a plan, since I am a personal trainer and the number one resolution is to lose weight, we will start there.

Let’s say your goal is to lose 20 pounds by May. This hits all the must haves for a goal, it is attainable that’s four pounds a month, one pound a week which is the recommend rate of weight loss. Next you have a time period, May and lastly you have the measure which is 20 pounds.

 Now, how do you accomplish this, find something you love to do and get out and do it.  If you hate to run don’t, but if you can dance the night away find a great dance class or gym that offers aerobic classes based on different types of dance.  Then you can make the commitment, join the club, and find a friend that can be your partner, an accountability buddy. Once your mind is committed then you can begin to form the habit, it is said to take 16 to 21 times of repeating this action before it becomes second nature.

Now you feel you are well on your way but don’t forget the most critical part which is lifestyle.  Whatever you commit to make sure it fits into your lifestyle.  If you are not a morning person do not sign up for that class at 6am or change your diet so drastically that by week two you are camping out at McDonalds to get you fix.

I believe the strength is within you and resolution or not you need to be ready to make the change, not just because the calendar says it time.

Remember there are people and resources out there to support you in your efforts because resolutions come and go but lifestyle is forever.



Holiday Wishes Part Three, Managing the Holiday Weight Gain

We are almost there one week away from the big day, Christmas. I am here to say that you have seven big days ahead of you as the party scene kicks into overdrive.

Over the last two weeks I have given you tips from making sure that you eat before you go to that big party to jump starting your New Years exercise resolution now to help keep those extra calories at bay.

Here are two more for you to think about:

1) Be aware that if you had a great time at the party, get back into your regular eating habits and routines as soon as possible. The holiday season is about six weeks long but if you are honest with yourself the actual events and parties are only a few of those days. When you indulge know you need to do something significant to get yourself back on track.

2) I know the holidays and most celebrations are focused around food, but perhaps try to schedule other things away from the dinner table and bar, such as seeing your cities holiday displays,going to the theater, a concert, etc.

If you have been following me, you will see a common theme, be aware and be accountable. If you do this you may be able to escape the holiday bulge. Good luck. 

Holiday Wishes - More Tips For Managing the Holidays

We are in week two of December and the holiday parties are truly kicking into high gear. Everyone's cup seems to be over flowing with commitments and holiday cheer. Last week's blog talked about the weight gained during the six weeks of holiday bliss, which really only averages between .8 and 1.4 pounds. As noted it is the accumulation of this weight over the years that really adds inches to our waist line.

Do not despair hear are a few more tips to help guide you through the season:

1) Eat. Don’t think because you are going to a party you are going to just wait until you get there because you know there will be a ton of food, saving your calories. No! When you are hunger and I mean really hungry, you will eat everything in sight which at most parties does not have a ton of healthy options. It’s like going to the grocery store famished; bad things happen.

2) When asked to bring a dish, bring something that you know is a better option. Even if you go for the crackers and spinach dip or anything wrapped in bacon; you can go back to the veggie tray. There are many cookbooks now that show you how to make some great flavorful dishes with a lot less fat and calories, most folks won’t even know it is good for them.

3) Write it down, even on party days, it makes you aware and accountable. My Fitness Pal is one of the free food tracker programs that help you get a picture of your calories. Even though you may over indulge, being aware is key and may make you enjoy the first round of appetizers but gives you the self-awareness to not go in for round two.

4) Alcohol, this is actually where a lot of folks lose the battle. I will never tell you not to have the wine or beer but try to slow yourself down with water in between. Again, enjoy this time of the year but remember it is not about the food or gifts but the people you share them with that makes this time of year so special.

If you have any questions or need a little extra help, please feel free to contact me or check out my website at where transformation realization is possible. Have a happy and healthy week. See ya next Tuesday with some more tips on how to handle the holidays. 

Holiday Wishes

The holiday season is upon us and with it comes the opportunity to fulfill many things on our holiday wish list. More times than not our holiday wishes are not filled with chestnuts on an open fire, a white Christmas or visions of sugar plums dancing in our head. Instead you hear many wishes such as: I wish my shopping was done, I wish these cookies could bake themselves, I wish I didn’t have to drive to eight different parties in one night, or I wish I knew how I am going to pay for all of this. But my favorite wish is: I wish all these calories didn’t count; I mean it is the holidays. With all of this stress, a lot of people tend to miss out on the most wonderful time of the year.

Since I am a fitness expert, advanced certified personal trainer, let’s talk about the last wish which would be no weight gain over the holidays. Many people over estimate how much weight they may tend to gain, when in reality it is not the 5-10 lbs. which is commonly heard around the appetizer table.

In fact, The National Institute of Health estimates that during the 6 weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans gain anaverage of 0.8–1.4 pounds. According to the NIH, this eating free-for-all over40 or more days accounts for 51% of the typical American’s yearly weight gain. "Although an average holiday weight gain of less than a pound may seem unimportant, that weight was not lost over the remainder of the year," Dr. Yanovski from the NIH, said. When 165 of the study volunteers were weighed a year after the study began, they had not lost the extra weight gained during the holidays, and ended the year a pound and a half heavier (1.4 lb) than they were the year before. The truth of the matter here is that is the accumulation of this weight over the years causes the real problem, not just the short term holiday binge. So, how do we still enjoy ourselves but remain weight neutral? Over the next few weeks I will share some tips to help you combat holiday weight gain.

Here is your first tip:

Don’t wait for New Year’s Day to start that exercise program, start incorporating ways to move a little more every day now, which can be walking a bit farther or taking the stairs. One of the key reasons the average exercise program only lasts about six weeks especially after New Year’s is unrealistic goals. Don’t decide you are going to wake up every day and run 5 miles if you have never stepped on a treadmill or have not seen the sunrise since college and that was because you were just getting home. This needs to fit into your lifestyle in order to be sustainable.

Remember the holidays come and go but our health is a constant, so live life to its fullest but be prepare to put the time back into you, mind, body and spirit.

For more information on my personal training programs please take a look at my website: See you next week with another great tip on how to combat holiday weight gain. In Health - Michele Malo - Wellcome Home Fitness - Together transformation realization is possible. 

Side Tracked

Hi all, so sorry it has been so long since my last post. It has been a challenging month. Not sure what happened but I was sick for about 3 weeks, For someone who should know better and listen to her body, I am still so stubborn, should have increased my Juice Plus intake and saw the doctor right away.  Instead it lingered. I will say it to you, listen to you body and if you are hacking up a lung, go to the doc. Enough of that. Since I last wrote, I am officially a Hip Hop Hustle instructor, which is exciting and terrifing at the same time. I need to buckle down and learn how to lead a class, just have not done it yet.  So I hope by the beginning of the year I will be ready to go and you can come along. I also ran my first 15K in the Hot Chocolate race in Chicago and followed it up with a 10K Turkey trot.  Still not winning any land speed records but as I have said before, I am lapping everyone on the couch.  I am having struggles just as many of you are with the holidays approaching. I am trying to take it one day at a time and refocusing on my workouts and diet when I can.  I am hoping to stay even throughout the holidays.

I leave you with this today... Do you have a strategy to get you through the holidays?

Move A Little More Everyday

Most women are not happy with the image that stares back at them in the mirror.  We have all heard the complaints, I need to lose ten lbs, I wish my stomach was flatter, why are my hips so big and that is within our own minds and does not count the thousands of conversations that take place among girlfriends across the country every day.

But for many, it is not just 10 lbs in fact, they are a part of the obesity epidemic that is crippling the health and wellness of our nation. I know I was one of these statistics at 310lbs.

The CDC has published that as early as in 1990, among states participating in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, ten states had a prevalence of obesity less than 10% and no states had prevalence equal to or greater than 15% of their population. Obese is being defined as a BMI, body mass index, above 30, or about 30 lbs. overweight for 5’4” person.

 In 1999, just nine short years later, no state had prevalence less than 10%, eighteen states had a prevalence of obesity between 20-24%, and no state had prevalence equal to or greater than 25%.

Fast forward ten years to 2009, only one state (Colorado) and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Thirty-three states had prevalence equal to or greater than 25%; nine of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%. That’s right, 30% or one-third of these state’s populations are obese.

If we do not reverse these trends, where will we be ten years from now? What about the rising epidemic of obesity in our children?   It has been noted through the School Nutrition Association that this may be the first generation that on average will not outlive their parents.  This has also become a special mission for the first lady Michele Obama who was quoted at the CNIC – Child Nutrition Industry Conference in Washington, January 2011, this epidemic can also become a threat to national security because as a nation we will not have enough potential enlistees because of the simple fact they will not be able to pass the physical exams for entry into our military. Scary thought.

If we can help adults understand and embrace activity and wellness in the home we may be able to make a small dent into the need for family wellness.  Not to mention the dollars spent in medical bills and insurance benefits for those who will not suffer from obesity related health issues. 

Enough with the doom and gloom how can we start to reverse these conditions starting today. This seems like a good place to start with some of the current guidelines for healthy adults from the American Heart Association:

 The average adult needs to engage in moderate, increasing your breathing and heart rate with aerobic exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week or vigorous aerobic exercise for 20 minutes, 3 days a week; in addition to adding strength training 2 days a week.

Wow, may seem like a lot if you are not currently doing any form of exercise but there is good news, which ties back to my philosophy of moving just a little more every day.

There has been a change since 1995 which indicates that short bouts of exercise of at least 10 minutes can be added up to the total time needed. So moving just 10 minutes 3 times a day, will help put you on the path to a healthier lifestyle; here are some tips: choose to walk up the stairs instead of the elevator, walk at lunch with co-workers, and play with the kids after dinner. You can do that, I know you can!

You can check out your park district for program offerings, such as Zumba or yoga. It can be as simple as getting a group together and be each other’s accountability buddies, meeting for a walk at lunch or in the mornings before work. If you need a little help with the motivation, of course if you are local you can call me and I can help develop a program for you. You can also go online to and enter promo code trainerTRIAL for a free two week trial of online personal training to help guide you in the comfort of your own home or motel room, for all my business travelers.  The key is to find something you love to do and make it a habit. If you want coaching wonderful, if you love to dance, dance your heart out. The key is to get moving, keep moving and live each day to its fullest.


Crap there goes my identity

If you follow my Facebook posts,,, you will see that yesterday, I posted that I was officially frustrated. That is no lie, I am not sure if it is because 40 is just two months away or if I am just doing what I always do to myself which is over schedule and complicate things. I am leaving things on the train, forgetting I am boiling water, obviously attempting to burn the house down and then rememebring I am set for another training class on Thursday in which I just realized never received the book or any information. Great! Did I mention the wind took out my Tower Garden so now my patio looks like tomato soup.  Frustrated yes. Frustration doesn't come close to the emotions I was feeling when I had to give up most of my shoes and clothes this week. I know you lost a ton of weight how liberating. Yes, I am truly excited nothing fits and my feet shrank a size and a half. But as the woman at the consignment shop continued to go through my things. I shook. One, thinking about all the money that has been spent on things such as these that now will be sold at a fraction of the cost. But, in those clothes was my identity. Corporate woman extrodinare! Also, in those clothes was unhappiness and someone hiding. No going back, as I would have nothing to wear. As I move forward through frustration and being uncomfortable. I think it is a good thing. I beleive being scared makes you stronger.

What are you scared of?

Out of My Comfort Zone

Hey all sorry it has been so long since my last post, the last few weeks were a bit stressful but exciting at the same time. They say in order to grow you need to do something that scares you everyday.  Well I am not sure about the everyday part but the last 18 months for me has basically scared the crap out of me but I am getting to do what I love so it is worth it.  This past weekend was a perfect example of putting myself out there. The story really starts about three years ago when I attended my first Triple W Forum workshop.  This is a conference for working woman to help you connect with your passion and find out how you can achieve balance in your life, through wellness, integration and transformation.  The speakers and the attendees were critical in helping set my path towards leaving corporate america in persuit of my dream of self employment and helping others achieve their dream of wellness. After three years of planning and more planning it had come full circle.  I was now in front of this same conference talking to them about my life transformation and how to live a healthier life.  I was terrified. Would I appear credible, would the talk spark a cord with someone? Well it came together proving that you can transform your situation you may just need a spark whether its a conference, friends or life change to just do it because you can!

Keep Swimming, swimming, swimming

I am doing exactly what I was meant to be doing. The last week has been tough though. I know I am doing the rights things, putting the right infrastructure in place and talking to the right people but the lack of progress and honestly getting use to waking up at 4:10am is taking its toll a bit. Then it happens... angels come out to guide you, inspire you and drive you.  These angels came in the form of old and new friends that reached out to me for help and guidance.  They trust that together we can reach their goals and stay or get back on track.  That trust and belief means everything to me. It means I am doing what I was meant to do.  These angels reached out to me when they and I needed it most.  For that I am blessed and thankful.

You can do it

Today I ran another 5K for the wonderful charity Team FOX for Parkinson's research.  Now, I am pretty proud of myself doing a PR of 31:07, getting closer to my goal of under 30.  But that is nothing compared to what I saw at this event.  A gentleman with full blown parkinsons in his wheel chair doing the 5K, the race had some pretty significant hills but he did not give up. He finished the whole race under his own strength. These are the things that keep me motivated and to him I offer my admiration and thanks for making me understand what it means to really dig deep and accomplish anything you put your mind to.


Ponder this: what or who have you witnessed doing something amazing that pushed you to greater things?