May 2016 - Studio ME Fitness

May 2016

May Member of the Month

Meet Michelle.  Michelle has made huge strides in just three months. Please join me in congratulating her and giving her a high five next time you see her.

“When I heard about Studio ME from a coworker in February, I was intrigued — I really didn’t know indoor rowing was a thing, but I was searching for a cross-training opportunity. A longtime bike commuter and sometime endurance biker, my one-sport lifestyle had given me knee problems that were causing misery on and off the bike. Thankfully, by the end of my first Indo-Row I knew I was hooked; this full-body, high-intensity, and low-impact workout was just what I needed.


I just finished up my 12th week as a member and I’m so thrilled about the changes I’m seeing in my body that I feel like a walking infomercial. Lately I’ve been feeling much stronger, and noticing muscle tone and power in places it wasn’t there before — which brings an awesome sense of accomplishment and confidence. I feel stronger and better balanced on the bike, and the knee pain and quad inflammation that were part of my daily life have noticeably decreased. I find myself avoiding stairs less and pushing harder on my commutes, just in time for summer adventures.


Recently I heard someone complaining about the challenge of balancing body positivity with their gym culture, and I had to beam a little about the culture at StudioME. Our focus on personal bests, teamwork, and having fun while working hard has become an island of focus and positivity that I look forward to week after week. I’m so grateful to the awesome instructors and crew that make StudioME what it is!!


I’m looking forward to the coming months: chasing lower split and sprint times, keeping with the foam rolling, getting some serious meters in ahead of my wedding in October, and aiming to be able to join Team Hop Wheels for the MS150 in 2017!”

-Michelle Funk

How is your body image?

“You can’t change a body that you hate.”

-Janell Yule

Have you ever met someone that is happy with their body?  Everyone I’ve met has, at minimum, that one area that they want to “fix” or don’t like. For me, it’s my midsection that I have always been unhappy about. I have always stored my fat in the mid-section no matter how hard I train. Of course, I would love to have six pack abs or washboard stomach and I always think to myself, for as much as I work out I should have these things. Maybe if I were to give up those pesky bad habits I really enjoy maybe my body would be different but I also don’t want to deprive myself. Read my last blog post on Why you can’t out train a bad diet. Because of this, I know that I will never have a “perfect physique”.


Did you know…

80% of women and 45% of men report being unhappy with their bodies.


That is an insanely large percentage of the population that is unhappy in their own skin and why???


We are bombarded EVERYDAY with messages of how we “should” look. We’re hit from all angles – social media, traditional media, healthcare providers, our friends, our family, and our significant others are directly or indirectly providing us with cues as to what our appearance should be.  Social media these days has gotten out of control!


Why is this an issue? Body satisfaction is linked to self-esteem, self-worth, and depression (among other things).  Society is always worried about what everything else thinks. I’m not pretty enough. I ‘m not skinny enough. I’m not tall enough. I’m too tall. You would be surprised. Yes, people are judgmental but no one is  as much as you are to yourself. It’s up to YOU to realistically assess, understand, and change the internal and external messages and cues about ideal bodies and their effects on your self-esteem and self-worth.

Easier said than done, right?


Since I was a child, I engaged in healthy behaviors like exercise and healthy eating because I enjoyed it. It wasn’t probably until after college when my life got more sedentary and I had an office job that my purpose for exercising changed from doing it because I liked and it was part of my life it to doing it to change the way my body looked. For the first time in my life I didn’t like my body image and had a lot of negative self-talk.


And the truth is…


Body dissatisfaction, and negative self-talk are NOT sustainable enough motivators to keep you going.  You will “fall of the wagon” if those are your drivers.


Remember, you and your body are always doing the best they can at any given moment.  Only accepting yourself as long as you look a certain way is NOT an act of self-love.


What if instead you practiced finding self-acceptance and self-compassion?


I always believed that if I accepted myself as I was, that I would become complacent and lack motivation to engage in healthy behaviors…


That couldn’t be farther from the truth!


Self-acceptance is not “giving up,” but rather it spurs us into further action.  Engaging in self-acceptance can free up the mental space that was taken up with negative self-talk to allow us to practice better choices moving forward.


You have to be in it for you and your loved ones. It has to be a way of life. Once you find self-acceptance and practice self-love you will notice a change and be more confident and accept that you can only do so much.


Do I still have days when I find myself engaging in negative self-talk about my body?


ABSOLUTELY! Everyone does.


But it happens much less often, and when it does, I catch it quickly and remind myself that my negative behavior isn’t serving me.  I then shift my attention to something about my body that I am grateful for, or something that my body is capable of…


For example, I am grateful for my strong legs.  They give me the ability to carry me everywhere I go.


Focus on you!

How do you make the mental shift? Ask yourself and start tracking these simple things. It’s amazing how much you can learn when you start tracking your habits. Journal or use an app to track. You will learn a lot.  Below is a great start of what to look at in your life:


  • How is your sleep? 
  • Is your energy good throughout the day? 
  • Are you more emotionally stable? 
  • How often do you get sick? 
  • Are you able to focus clearly when needed? 


These things are all impacted by how you care for yourself:   what you eat, your exercise routine, your relationships with yourself and others, and how much you sleep.


Your body will change because you are consistently practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors.


Training at Studio ME will be more about keeping your body strong, flexible, and mobile versus fixing your appearance.  And when you are strong, flexible, and mobile your outer physical appearance will shift.  You will be focused on ALL OF THE AMAZING things your body can do like nail a shockwave class with PRs across the board.


Your life becomes much more enjoyable when you shift your focus and energy away from having the “perfect body,” because I can tell you the “perfect body” does not exist! Workout and exercise because you enjoy it not because you want to fix your body.

You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet

I bet most of you, if not all of you, can relate to using exercise (training) as a means to be able to eat whatever you wanted. And I’m guessing that didn’t work out very well for you. I know that it didn’t for me…

A Bit About Me
I’ve been active my enter life. From a very young age getting into sports such as T-ball, gymnastics, basketball (yes I know I am short but I was actually pretty good), and later in teen years getting into tennis and track and field and going on to play college tennis. I have never really thought much about diet and food and the impact to my health. I had the mindset that, because of all of the running I was doing, I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted – and I don’t mean more vegetables or healthy fats. I was using the working out that I was doing as an EXCUSE to eat lots and lots of carbohydrates – not in the form of yams or sweet potatoes if you know what I mean. ;-b I’m talking about pizza, nachos, ice cream, bread, etc. It wasn’t until I hit 30 that I soon realized that I can’t just eat whatever I want anymore. Even more so in the last few years with opening the studio and teaching anywhere from 2-5 classes a day. My body was failing me! I was finding that I my muscles were fatiguing from the moment I started moving (while teaching) and I was just constantly tired. I’ve tried a lot of stuff to replenish my body but knowing what I know now, I understand why. On top of not feeling or performing well, I also wasn’t seeing results in my own training… BECAUSE YOU CAN’T OUTTRAIN (OR OUTRUN) A BAD DIET!!!

The Importance of Training
There are several pieces that make-up a healthy lifestyle: exercise, nutrition, sleep, self-care/stress management, social support, education, etc. But the two main components are exercise and nutrition.

Even though exercise is important for many reasons, you can exercise to the moon and back but still be overweight or obese because of eating a poor diet. Or you could be of normal weight and exercise but still be unhealthy because of a poor diet. Exercise itself doesn’t lead to weight loss long-term.

Of course, exercise does have many wonderful health benefits! Regular exercise reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and some cancers by at least 30%.

The Role of Your Diet
In the last 30 years the percentage of people who exercise regularly has stayed about the same, while the percentage of individuals that are overweight and obese have skyrocketed. Clearly there is something else going on here. It’s the food that we eat!

What else has happened in the last 30 years? The number of processed foods have increased dramatically!!! These processed foods are full of sugar, artificial dyes, preservatives, and other chemicals. For every additional 150 calories in sugar a person consumes per day the risk for diabetes rises 11-fold, regardless of how much or little exercise they engage in.

If you are trying to lose weight, exercise alone will not be enough. Exercise is what sustains weight loss, but a supportive nutrition plan is what drives it.

5 Reasons You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet:
1. Your amount of exercise will likely not make-up for a BIG INDULGENCE. Justifying an indulgent meal or food with exercise just doesn’t work with the amount of training that most of us do. Not to mention the fact that all calories are not created equal. It’s not as simple as calories in vs. calories out because different types of calories affect our hormones and metabolism differently. Calories do come into play in certain instances, but you first want to focus on the quality of the food you are consuming.

2. You can’t fuel your body with junk and expect it to perform. Just like you wouldn’t expect your car to run without proper fuel, you can’t expect your body to perform with junky fuel. Processed carbohydrates, sugar, or soda only give you a sugar high. They do not give your body the building blocks that it needs to perform in the gym or life. You won’t be improve your performance and results week after week without eating quality protein, non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats, and the right amount of carbohydrates for your body and activity level.

3. You won’t have the energy to train if you aren’t eating enough calories and/or carbohydrates. Skimping on calories and/or carbohydrates will leave you without the energy your body needs to train consistently. A very restrictive nutrition plan paired with hardcore training, could leave you leaning on muscle mass for energy. Also, by not eating enough healthy fats to provide your body with fat-soluble vitamins like A & D and essential fatty acids like omega 3s. Your body is then unable to produce energy and grow muscle tissue because of lower levels of hormones like insulin and testosterone. Both of these hormones (in the right amounts) are important for building lean body mass.

4. You won’t have the motivation to train if you aren’t eating right. Diet and exercise are a feedback loop. When you eat well, you are more motivated to move, and when you move you are more motivated to eat well. Not eating quality nutrient dense foods can leave you feeling tired and bogged down – not exactly how you want to feel in order to get after it in the gym.

5. You are more likely to get sick and/or hurt. When you are sick or injured you can’t train. Poor nutrition can lead to a weakened immune system. The bulk of your immune system is housed in your gut. Therefore, if you are constantly eating foods that cause inflammation and lead to leaky gut (sugar, alcohol, processed carbohydrates, gluten, dairy, soy) you are much more likely to be sick.

Eating a low-quality diet it can also lead to micronutrient deficiencies and increased inflammation throughout your body, both of which can make you more susceptible to injury. Studies have shown that not getting an adequate amount of healthy fats into your diet may raise your chances for overuse injuries (such as stress fractures and tendonitis), as well as not allowing your body to protect itself in order to stay healthy.

Eat to Support Your Training
Until you have down some basic supportive nutrition habits and are consistently practicing them 80-90% of the time, don’t get bogged down or worried about how many grams of X you’re eating or “should I be taking a metabolic booster supplement?” Small changes over time lead to the big changes – little hinges swing big doors.

3 things you can do to optimize your nutrition and support your training:
1. Eat protein with each meal. Women want to aim for 1 palm size portion (20-30 grams) and males 2 palm size portions (40-60 grams) with each meal. Protein is made up of amino acids that are the building blocks for muscle. YOU MUST EAT PROTEIN!

2. Eat 1-2 servings of non-starchy vegetables with each meal. Non-starchy vegetables are high in fiber and packed with phytonutrients to support your body in many ways.

3. Eat starchy carbohydrates after your strength training sessions. Add in the appropriate amount of starchy carbohydrates (yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes, plantains, etc.) in the meal that follows your training session. To optimize fat loss, have this be the only meal that contains starchy carbohydrates. If you are looking to optimize performance, you may need to/want to add in starchy carbs at each meal.

The amount you need will vary from person to person and depend on your goals, the level of intensity at which you train, and your body’s ability to use these carbohydrates. A starting point for women with the goal of losing fat would be approximately ½ – ¾ cup and for men 1-1 ½ cups. As I stated, this is individual so you will likely need to adjust based on how you are looking, feeling, and performing. When it comes to carbohydrates LESS IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER!

Get more support like this by signing up for THREE CLASSES FOR THE PRICE OF ONE at Studio ME today and join our great community.