Empowering BodyAfter a long day at the office or at home running after kids and managing a household, how many of you really want to lace up our running shoes and hit the pavement? That’s where self-motivation comes in. We are all motivated to lose weight by different things. Whether it be getting into your wedding dress, an upcoming class reunion, or something simple yet profound like teaching your children how important exercise is, in the end, only you can motivate yourself to get up, get out, and do something. But, before you jump into a workout regime, it’s important to identify your motivation to lose weight. Let your goals be your guide and then create a workout that is tailored to those goals. Here are some quick tips on how to get and stay motivated to lose weight so you can lead a happier, healthier life.

1. WRITE IT OUT-Whatever your motivation may be, getting it out of your head and onto a piece of paper will make your goals tangible. Your brain sees goals as written instructions, and therefore more real, which provides concrete motivation for you to strive to reach them. So today, take a few minutes, find a pen, pencil, and some paper, and write down your motivation to lose weight.
2. SET SHORT, ATTAINABLE GOALS-After you write down your motivation, take a few minutes and set some realistic short term goals. These goals can be to work out 3 times a week for 30 minutes, or to fit into those too tight jeans that are hanging in your closet in 30 days. Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to do too much too fast, or by expecting big results too soon. Keep your life in mind when setting these short term goals and include activities that suit your needs.
3. BUY THE RIGHT CLOTHES AND EQUIPMENT-When you invest in yourself, you’re telling your brain that you intend on making these goals a reality. Go get some new running shoes, or buy a yoga mat. Take some time out for you, and spend the money you would’ve spent on fast food, on something that will make you live longer life. You can hit up Old Navy for inexpensive, yet quality workout clothes and accessories, or even get some used equipment for half the price off Amazon.com.
4. START AT A SLOWER PACE– Remember that this is going to be a lifestyle change. You can’t go from sedentary to over active in a week’s span. You have to give your body some time to adjust. Start out slow, and then build your way up to longer, more intense workouts. Initially, if you can only walk for 20 minutes at a time, don’t feel bad. Instead congratulate yourself for even walking at all. Start with 20 minutes, and then add 10 minutes every week until you’re up to 60 minutes. That way you’ll give your body time to adjust and you’ll see how far you’ve come.
5. REWARD YOURSELF-After you’ve attained one of your short term goals, take some time to reflect on how far you have come. Reward yourself…not with food….but with a new book, or some better fitting clothes, or even take yourself out on a date. You deserve it! If you have missed a couple of workouts, you still deserve kudos for being more active than you used to be. We are so hard on ourselves sometimes, forgetting to see the trees instead of the forest. Stop cutting yourself down, as that’s what helped to contribute to your previous unhealthy lifestyle. Instead, encourage, motivate, and reward yourself for the small things you do. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but when it was finally finished, it was spectacular…and you will be too.

Now that you’re all motivated to start losing weight, stay motivated by referring back to that initial list you wrote from time to time, just as a reminder when the aches and pains of building a better you become too much to bear at times. Also, trying new activities like weight lifting, Cardio Barre, or training for a 5K can also help you stay motivated. When all else fails, find your favorite motivating jam, turn it up loud, and just dance. Music has a way of reaching the soul, rejuvenating and uplifting you when you need it the most. Remember…it’s the little things that make a huge difference in our lives.

BE HAPPY!

Name:  Tamra Seghi

Bio:

  • Age:  41
  • Occupation:  Stay at home mom
  •  Home Life:  Married for 10 years with 2 boys age 6 and 8 and my girl who is a pit bull age 5
  •  Hobbies:  Working Out, snowboarding, wakeboarding, enjoying my kids and their sports activities, educating people on Pit Bulls as amazing pets

 Interview:

Michele– How long ago did you begin your fitness journey?

Tamra– I’ve always worked out since I was in high school; however, I never pushed myself too hard.  My workouts were pretty tame – some cardio and some weights but not heavy enough to really feel a burn or build muscle.  In June 2012 I decided to start putting much more effort into my fitness journey and really cranked it up when I found Empowering Body Fitness online in August and asked you to become my trainer.

Michele– Who or what inspired you to make such a drastic lifestyle change?

Tamra– There are 2 events that I can pinpoint bringing me to a realization that I needed to make a lifestyle change.  First, was my depression over turning getting older which I struggled with for most of the year I turned 40.  I was always in pretty good shape, but after my 40th birthday I realized that since having my two boys, I gave up most of my identity and put all my focus into raising them.  I didn’t work out as often, I gained an extra 10 pounds, and I just didn’t really take care of myself -physically or mentally. Second, both my kids and husband play a ton of sports and one day my youngest son made the comment that I was not athletic.  I always thought of myself as athletic and that made me realize that my kids didn’t see me doing anything to take care of myself,  They didn’t have any reasons to look up to me or see things that I accomplished besides taking care of them.

Michele- What were the obstacles you faced when you first began?

Tamra- I had to learn that it was ok to spend time on me and not feel guilty if I wasn’t at every sports practice, play date, etc.  I also needed to learn how to eat a clean diet and work much harder on my fitness.

Michele– What were your habits prior to your lifestyle change and how did you change that?

Tamra– I ate too much food that wasn’t good for me and had quite the love/hate relationship with sugar!  Love it when I’m eating it and hate the way it would make me feel after. I also had a bad habit of making excuses and telling myself I shouldn’t even try something because I couldn’t accomplish it.  Once I met you, Michele, and got started on her training program, I knew I would be sending her weekly updates – I needed to become responsible for my actions and I just needed to do it- no more excuses!! I spent so much time researching all the success stories women had made in their fitness journeys.  There are so many inspirational stories of women my age and even older who compete and look amazing.  If they can do it, there is no reason I couldn’t and any other woman who puts her mind to it!

Michele– At some point you decided to compete & take this fitness hobby & goal a step further, tell us about that experience.

Tamra– When I told my husband I was serious about making a lifestyle change; he told me I needed to set some kind of solid goal that could really hold me accountable, not just a weight loss goal.  I thought hard about what kind of goal I could set.  I had a friend who competed in a figure contest a few years prior, and after talking to her a light bulb went off – if I set a goal of competing, I knew I would be much more motivated to follow through and do everything I could to feel like I was worthy of stepping on to that stage.  I wanted my family and friends to see that I really worked hard to accomplish my goal.  I was hoping to place at least in the top ten – I never imagined that I would end up taking 2 first place trophies in Masters Bikini, along with a 4th place and a second place in Bikini A in my first 2 contests!!  Wow – what a rewarding experience!!

Michele– What has been the most challenging things for you during the process of dieting, training, changing your mentality, and Tamrachanging your lifestyle?

Tamra- For dieting – realizing that I had to be accountable for everything I put into my mouth.  There’s no innocent snacking – it all adds up!!  Once I realized that, I didn’t have much of a problem following the diet.  I did have to get used to cooking more often and always having my food ready for me.  It’s not good to be hungry and not have the right food available.  Many nights, I was cooking chicken, tilapia, and veggies at 11pm so I would have food ready for my next couple of days.  Training was a blast – I shocked my husband (who knew what a wimp I had previously been in the gym) and found out I LOVE to work out hard and I loved seeing my muscles emerge and the toning process!!

Michele- What would you say are the most important things you got out of this experience?

Tamra- I firmly believe that this experience completely changed my attitude and outlook to a “can do” attitude.  Before I would always let my inner voice tell me I couldn’t do something so I shouldn’t even try.  Now I look at obstacles or new challenges with excitement and confidence – I can do anything I set my mind to!  I’m no longer depressed about being in my 40’s!  Ain’t nothing but a number!!!  I also learned that I can love my kids with all my heart, but I need to love myself also to truly be happy J

Michele- How did this experience effect your family life, your friendships, &/or personal life? How did you manage to balance your home life, family, & personal life?

Tamra– My whole family, especially my husband, was super supportive through my journey and continues to be!  I love them all so much and can’t thank them enough for all of the times they helped out taking care of the kids so I could get my workouts in.  There were times I felt guilty missing time or experiences with my kids, but I know that they have a great support system around them and they were so excited to hear about my competitions and see my trophies.  I feel proud that my kids know their mom worked hard and accomplished an athletic goal just like them!  I did have to become a bit of a hermit close to competition time-  no going out with friends to lunch dates or girls night out, and no joining my family at the fast food places on weekends between sporting events.  My close friends were also super supportive and I’ve loved reconnecting with them since the competition.  I can tell I’ve become an inspiration to many friends with all the questions and advice they ask me!  Competing was the best choice I’ve made in a long time and I can’t thank you enough. Michele, you’ve been an amazing trainer and were always right on point, even when I was freaking out and not sure of my progress.  I couldn’t have done it without you!!

Michele– Would you do this again & if so knowing what you know now, how would you better prepare for this journey?

Tamra- I would love to do it again and I believe you can always learn how to do things better.  I just have to continue to have a positive can do attitude, eat clean, work out hard, and for me, work on having a well organized day so that I can make sure to always have the time and the balance between my goals and my family!!

Turkey Salad Delight

Prep: 30 Minutes    Bake: 50 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz. Fresh turkey cooked and grilled
  • ¾  cup Diced celery
  • ⅓  cup Diced red onion
  • ⅓  cup Red/Savoy Cabbagae thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup Diced tomatoes
  • 1½  tablespoon Balsamic  low-fat
  • 2 tablespoon Mustard optional
  • 1 Pepper, dash
  • 1 Lemon Squeeze, optional
  • Optional: Pumpernickel bread, Ezekiel bread, tortilla wraps, rice cakes, Romaine lettuce, or spinach leaves

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°.  Grill or oven roast turkey breast on rack for 50 minutes, let cool.  Chop or shred turkey breasts.  In mixing bowl, combine chopped celery, onion, cabbage, and tomatoes.   Add dressing and mustard mix well.  Fold shredded turkey into mixture.  Additional dressing and/or mustard may be added, if desire.  Sprinkle mixture with pepper and lemon.   Refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Serve on sliced pumpernickel bread, Ezekiel bread, tortilla wraps, rice cakes, or on a bed of Romaine lettuce or spinach leaves.  Serves 5

Turkey Salad Delight

Pumpkin-Spiced Mashed Potatoes

Prep: 15 Minutes   Bake: 15 Minutes    Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Small to medium sized  yams/sweet potatoes
  • 1 Splenda, Stevia equivalent, or other sweetener
  • 1 tablespoon Pumpkin Spice

Directions: Thoroughly wash yams.  Prick yams with a knife.  Place yams on a microwavable plate.  Cook 5-8 minutes or until soft.  Let stand in microwave for one minute.  Carefully remove yams from oven.  Peel skins and discard.  Place yams in mixing bowl.  Add sweetener and pumpkin spice.   Mash ingredients until well mixed.  Serve and enjoy!  Serves 6

mashed sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato Fries

Prep: 15 Minutes Bake: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 small to medium-sized peeled sweet potatoes
  • Olive Oil cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425°.  Grease baking/cookie sheet with a quick spray of olive oil.  Cut potatoes into 3” long and ¼-½” wide strips.  Place potato strips on prepared baking/cookie sheet.  Spray lightly with olive oil.  Sprinkle with pepper and dash of salt to taste.  Bake 20 minutes or until ends of sweet potatoes start to brown.  For crispier wedges, bake longer.  Remove from oven, cool…enjoy

Serves 6

sweet potato fries

Caitlin Wheeler

Age: 27

Occupation: Professional Dancer

Hobbies: Dancing, working out, shopping, beach, catching up with friends, hiking, anything physical, fun and will make me smile. 🙂

After moving to the U.S. 2 years ago to continue her professional dancing career, Australian native Caitlin Wheeler has proved that anything you aspire to do in life can be accomplished- and with flying colors! At 27 years old, Caitlin has taken her beautifully muscular dancing physique to another level of fitness competing in her first NPC Bikini Competition this past summer! 

 

 

 

 

How long ago did you begin your fitness journey & what made you decide to take this route of competing? 

I have danced since I was 5 years old and professionally for the past 7 years, but I didn’t decide to train for a competition until 3-5 weeks before the competition. Fitness and health have always been such a prominent part of my life, but the decision to compete and take that extra step came from a lot of people saying I should compete; this gave me the confidence and push to try it. I decided only 3-5 weeks before a competition to train and diet for it. It was a drastic change to my lifestyle and I was thrown into every aspect of it – diet, training, posing, etc. But it was nothing but positive and life changing!!

What were your eating habits prior to your lifestyle change, how did you change that, & what was the hardest part?

I ate fairly healthy and clean, but sugar was definitely in my diet. I cut it out totally when training for competition! And now barely include it in my diet and am such more aware of it! Cutting sugar was tough…and time management. The most challenging part of this was cooking, preparing food in advance, doing dishes, shopping, time management, the mental challenge of not ‘cheating’, pushing through exhaustion when working out. Proper clean diet and nutrition is a lifestyle. The only lifestyle we should all have.

What would you say are the most important things you got out of this experience?

A healthier, leaner physique!! Seeing now how hard I can push myself even beyond limits I didn’t think possible. I now know my willpower and dedication is unstoppable. I was very lucky to have extremely supportive friends and family, but it definitely effected some social situations. I had a wedding and two birthdays I went to during training and took packed meals. (Yes I looked weird drinking a protein shake at the wedding).

What advice could you give others based on your personal journey and what you experienced?

That it will be one of the most challenging journeys you will have, but also one of the most rewarding. You will discover all new strengths to yourself and that you can achieve anything if you just put your mind to it and listen to Michele!! Lol!

Besides achieving a remarkable body transformation in such a short time, what else did you experience that you would consider “life changing”?

My strange mental ability!! I now feel like I can conquer anything I put my mind to.  This was much more of a mental challenge rather than physical! For me I can put in physical work and sweat it out in the gym all day, but to make myself stick to the diet and push myself to go to the gym; especially, when I was exhausted, was tough at times.

How and why did you end up choosing to work with Empowering Body/Team Sass/ Michele D’Angona?

I found her online and from my first meeting with her, I loved her positive energy and knowledge. I just knew she would get me to where I needed to be and what I wanted to achieve.

 

Caitlin Wheeler & Coach/Trainer/Nutritionist,  Michele D'Angona

Caitlin Wheeler & Coach/Trainer/Nutritionist, Michele D’Angona

As a trainer myself, finding a coach to help me prepare for my first show was important because it really does give you that last push that you need to transform your body in such a short time and in an incredible way… Even though I had a lot of knowledge about by body and training as a professional dancer and gym enthusiast, Michele’s knowledge was crucial to my success! I found her online and from my first meeting with her, I loved her positive energy and knowledge. I just knew she would get me to where I needed to be and what I wanted to achieve. I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone. It is life changing in the best ways!!

 

Crystal Linder

Stay-at-Home Mother of Two
Age:  47
Married
 ” Be PROUD of yourself for making the initial commitment to change your life and transform your body.
Surround yourself with POSITIVE people who support your decision.”
Q. Tell us about yourself…
A. Something some people may not know about me is that I used to be a very private person.  Obviously not anymore!  LOL
Q. How and Why did you choose Team Sass:
A. I found Michele and Team Sass while researching fitness trainers/coaches on the Internet.  I was looking for a trainer who was BOTH knowledgeable in nutrition as well as weight training.
I also wanted a fitness coach who had experience with the National Physique Committee (NPC).
When I met Michele she had the credentials, was confident in the process, and had a track record of getting results!
Q. What was reason for wanting to compete?
A. My goal originally was to get my body in amazing shape.  Then, last year I went to my first NPC competition and that was when my life changed.
I saw the bikini and figure girls on stage and knew I wanted to be up there. With the encouragement of my family I began my preparation for my first show.
I just finished my first NPC bikini competition and the feeling of accomplishment after the show was exhilarating!
I feel fortunate that I found an industry where I can meet other women who support each other and love being fit and healthy!

Q. What are your personal/life goals?

A. Currently my personal goal is to continue to train and eat correctly so I can maintain a healthy lifestyle and look my best.
Q. What do you do for a living?  How does your day job affect your fit life of dieting and training and all the MENTAL FOCUS it takes to prep?
A. I’m a full-time mother who is surrounded by delicious treats and sometimes not-so-healthy food.  I’m also happily married with a busy social life that would
make some wonder why I would even consider getting involved with such sacrifices!Being surrounded by “cheating” food not on my meal plan is difficult to say the least.  The time I used to spend meeting someone for a latte at Starbucks or a drink before dinner
is now replaced with a visit to the gym. For me, the investment in time and the sacrifices to be made are small compared to the rewarding results.
Q. What SETBACKS did u experience prior to working with Michele that may have prevented you from reaching your goals & how have
you overcome them?
A. One major setback that has prevented me in the past from reaching my goals is my busy schedule.  In the past, I would feel guilty if I was working out instead of spending my free
time with family and friends.  Now, I make a point to schedule one hour a day for me!  I’m always surprised at how much progress in the gym I can get done in one hour.My family and friends now appreciate MY fitness goals and support my fit and healthy lifestyle!
Q. Would u say that transforming your body was more of a physical challenge or mental or both or neither?
A. Transforming my body was BOTH a physical AND mental challenge.The process of preparing for a competition was MENTALLY a rollercoaster for me. The strict diet really had an effect on my mood at times.
Some days I was exciting about my progress then there were days I didn’t think I was lean enough
and not happy with my body shape.  I had many days where I was ready to give up because I didn’t think I was strong enough to complete the process.PHYSICALLY it really had an effect on my energy levels.  I remember times when I was exhausted and sore from the previous day of my workout.
The next day after my workout I found it difficult and a struggle to go to the gym and start the process all over again.
Q. They say that proper diet and nutrition is essential to reaching your goals physically.  How true do u think that statement is?
A. VERY TRUE!  I did not begin to see the transformation of my body until I made the decision to stick to the nutrition/diet program that Michele prepared for me.
Q. Besides achieving a remarkable body transformation in such a short time, what else did you experience that you would consider “life changing”?
A. Ironically my transformation was also “life changing” for my family and friends.   Once they got over the initial shock of seeing photos of me in a skimpy bikini on stage
they wanted to know what I did and how I did it!   I have been an inspiration to many of them to begin a healthy lifestyle!
Q. If you could offer some advice to someone attempting to go through the transformation process, what advice would you give them?
A. Be patient and remind yourself daily of your progress no matter how small.  Take it day by day!
If you eat something off your meal plan, miss a workout or have a setback –don’t panic or get discouraged.  Start fresh the next day and have NO REGRETS!Be PROUD of yourself for making the initial commitment to change your life and transform your body.
Surround yourself with POSITIVE people who support your decision.  I could not have done this without the support and encouragement of my family, Michele and the other women on Team Sass.
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Ashley VanBoxmeer

Occupation: Personal Trainer

Age:27

Something you may not know about me… I am a 2x olympian for Team Canada Softball

1) What was you reason for wanting to compete?

I wanted a new challenge & my over all goal was to live a long healthy life, share my knowledge with my family and friends! I am a trainer it was just difficult to find time to make sure I ate all my meals. Being a trainer I did not feel I needed help in the gym as much as I did with the nutrition and posing. 

2) What

setbacks did you experience prior to working with Michele DʼAngona that may have prevented you from reaching your goals & how have you overcome them?

Staying committed to a plan n following through.

3) Are there still areas in your life both physically & mentally that may be holding you back from taking your body, mind, & health to an even higher level? Wh

at are you doing to to overcome these obstacles?

Yes, personal in
securities…. I am going to explore other options to see what is best suited for me and what my needs are 🙂

4) Would you say that transforming your body was more of a physical challenge or mental or both or neither? Please explain.

MENTAL…. trusting the process was my biggest obstacle. my body changed DAILY some good days and some bad but I had to relax and Michelle was AMAZING at helping to reassure me that it would be ok. 
5) They say that proper diet & nutrition is essential to reaching your goals physically. How true do you think that statement is?

100% I’ve never seen my body change so much just by what I put in my mouth… Michele taught me so much about my nutrition, she didn’t just give me my diet and push me away she explained things when I had questions. 

6) Besides achieving a remarkable body transformation in such a short time, what else did you experience that you would consider “life changing”?

The fact that I got up on stage in a MICRO bikini in front of a huge crown and strutted my stuff… I don’t do well with public speaking and or having the attention all on me.

7) If you could offer some 

advice to someone attempting to go through the transformation process, what advice would you give them? (Or What would you have personally done differently in preparation for what you were about to experience, etc.?

Trust the process and follow directions…

In my experience of not only coaching competitors for shows but competing & turning pro myself, I feel that it’s an investment in more than just your hard earned dollars. Competing is not necessarily about getting on stage in posing trunks, board shorts or a figure suit or bikini; but it’s about making a mental commitment to challenge yourself beyond your wildest imagination, developing a discipline you’ve never experienced, & sacrificing a period of time in your life that will ultimately help you succeed in reaching your goals!

When you’re truly serious about this venture & ready to take on this challenge full force, you’ll find the means to do it…BUT, that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to get there. The reality is, that will only cause you unnecessary stress & the competition process can be stressful enough in itself. Over the years I’ve had many clients who come to me asking for idea’s on how they can make competing a reality when they are nearly broke- I personally feel that you can make ANYTHING possible & I’ve never let finances stand in the way of getting exactly what I want out of life! Money, money, money….oh money! The reality is, LOOKING GOOD COSTS MONEY! It’s part of the commitment, right timing in your life, & the sacrifice you make to attain your ultimate mental & physical transformation. From hiring a trainer/coach, to purchasing the food & supplements, there is no way around it but there are many ways to cut corners & get the most out of your hard earned dough!

Necessities for competing: 

Register for your competition & Purchasing your Membership Card (ex.NPC, IFBB)

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First let me say, the sooner the better, as once this happens your goal becomes REAL & you’ll be more likely to finish what you started. The cost can be around $80-150 depending on the show & the amount of categories you’ll be entering. The nice thing is you can usually wait up to two weeks prior to the show to register without incurring late registration fees- so you can budget yourself accordingly…but like I said, don’t wait too long to commit! The NPC membership costs around $80 & doesn’t need to be purchased till the day of or day before the actual competition & once paid for it’s good for up to 1 year!

Check out WWW.MUSCLECONTEST.COM for a list of current California competitions put on by Los Angeles’s best, Jon Lindsay.

Hiring a Competition Coach, Personal Competition Trainer, Competition Nutrition Specialist

My Disclaimer: I may be a bit biased with this subject as I am a trainer, nutrition specialist, competition & athlete conditioning coach, stage posing coach, #1 body transformation expert in Los Angeles, & I also provide personalized diet & nutrition programs for clients with other needs as well! 🙂 

I personally feel that proper guidance prior to getting on stage is ESSENTIAL especially when you’re new to competing! I had been a trainer & nutrition consultant for about 8 years when I decided to do my first show but even then I hired a coach to get me to my goals as I needed to know the in’s & out’s & all the details of getting up on stage. It’s definitely the perfectionist in me but in my head I had to know that I was doing everything I needed to to be not only ready but absolutely flawless on that stage! The fact is about 40% of my clients are trainers or athletes themselves but the only way to truly be prepared for your competition both mentally & physically is with a coach to guide you!

Decide whether you’re the type of person who needs in-person one-on-one support or if you can follow an online type plan without that in-person contact. I actually offer both to my all my clients, some of who are out of the area, some who can’t meet weekly, or for those who want to come in as much as possible- whatever your situation you want to be successful in your program. It takes two things to be successful in your choice of a plan: 1) YOU have to make the “plan” fit/work with YOUR lifestyle. Meaning, you need to be ready to implement & make things work. And 2) Your COACH needs to be 100% confident in their abilities, education, & skills to help you reach your goals.  Without those two parts working together, you will not be successful…nobody wants that so think & choose wisely! 🙂

An in-house LA Fitness trainer isn’t going to cut it- no offense to those trainers but you need to FIND SOMEONE WHO SPECIALIZES IN COMPETITION PREP. If you can, find someone who you you “click with”, someone who does it ALL (nutrition, training, posing, etc.), someone experienced (not necessarily a Pro but someone with Pro qualities), & someone who does it well (not just as a side job to make extra money but a coach who truly treat this like the business that it is) , Someone Like ME! LOL…That would be the best plan of action as you’ll need a specific & constantly changing diet, a training program to follow or a trainer to guide you, along with the details & prep for the stage posing, etc, & of course the mental part of it all- real support, inspiration, & motivation throughout the duration of your journey.

Coaches & Trainers prices vary & can cost a good chunk of change. I feel that you can’t judge a trainer on their rates- choose wisely based on what you’ve heard about them, their proven results with other clients, & the connection you have when you meet with them. You shouldn’t be charged for a consultation & they should be willing to walk you through your program without additional charges as well. My total competition prep rates vary depending on your needs & the duration of your competition prep but I do not charge extra’s. My total programs rates are the true rates- no extra hidden charges: I teach the stage posing & stage presence etc. until you get it right without additional charges, you have full diet planning & support throughout the entire program & as your body changes I change your plan (to avoid plateau’s), I also offer a weekly progress check-in where we train together in person, discuss how things have been going, take pictures, etc… I also offer payments plans & I give all sorts of discounts/reduced rates for referrals! For more information contact the Body Transformation Specialist & IFBB Pro, Michele D’Angona: Email: Micheles.world@yahoo.com

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Other Things to secure down before you commit to taking your body to the next level:

1. Gym Access/Membership- You need access to a gym that is fully equipped to accommodate you. Of course there are plenty of ways to get in shape that require no equipment, no weight, etc…but we’re not just trying to get fit, we’re taking it a step up & actually going to compete which means you’re going to require weights, cardio equipments, & at least some weight machines. (I think the Smith Machine is a must!)

2. Workout Clothes/Shoes- Comfy shoes are a must & one or two gym outfits won’t cut it unless you plan of doing laundry daily! Now you don’t have to go all out & buy brand name crap but you do want workout clothes that fit well, comfortable, & you are going to want to feel good when you’re wearing them- trust me…when you FEEL that you LOOK good in your workout clothes, you will actually feel good mentally & you’ll become your own daily motivation- ready to hit the gym hard! 😉

3. Supplements- The nice thing is once you purchase the basics they should last you throughout your prep- buying in bulk is definitely worth it so watch out for sales on specific products. Again, your coach should be advising you on at least the basic supplements to be taking if not the actual brands they recommend. A word of warning: Walking into a GNC or Vitamin Shop can be dangerous if you’re not quite sure what to purchase. The sales associates are just that, SALES ASSOCIATES…LOL, not that they are ALL sharks out to sell you the next big commission product but some of them may be, so it’s best to walk in with a budgeted list & specific products & only purchase that. One of my favorite ways to shop is online because I can do my research, read reviews, find the best prices, & I don’t have to leave my house. WWW.BODYBUILDING.COM is one of my favorite places to shop for supplements because I can not only read the reviews & see ingredients & nutrition facts, but they constantly have special sales, free shipping, & all sorts of great deals.

4. Food- Grocery shopping will become (if it hasn’t already) a weekly thing. If you haven’t noticed, the foods that are organic, all natural, & healthier for you are more expensive but again, where there’s a will there’s a way! Check for sales- those “buy one get one free” on packages of extra lean turkey, etc…those are the times/sales to stock up & have a freezer full of fresh proteins. Buying in bulk from COSTCO for let’s say, eggs for instance is a great idea or even going to a local farm is worth buying gallon size containers of fresh egg whites. Many times the 100% egg whites gallons purchased from farms come frozen & honestly last a long time! Veggies are best fresh but if you had to buy frozen veggies you could substitute for the fresh stuff. Frozen can save money & time- I always have frozen veggies in stock in my freezer for those days I run out of the fresh stuff & I’m in no mood to go to the grocery store for the 10th time that week! LOL! Stores like TRADER JOES can also be fairly priced & much better of a deal then a traditional market. Also, look online for places you can order your proteins from, bison, chicken, etc…there are more websites than you can even imagine that will deliver fresh, grass-fed meats,etc. right to your door within days!

5. Suits, Heels, Bling, Hair, Make Up, Tan…the little details that make all the difference!

If you’re a bikini competitor, bodybuilder, or men’s physique competitor then the suit/trunks/shorts can be as easy or as complicated as you make it. Figure suits can get very pricey as can bikini’s if you want that extra special touch or bling. I have a lot of great, inexpensive, & custom suit places to shop at both online & local southern california locations..these are just suggestions & if you have other company’s you feel have done a great job on your suit, please contact me so I can add them to the list!

FIND A CUSTOM COMPETITION BIKINI: 

MY TOP CHOICES (In no particular order)

Barracuda Bikinis, http://www.facebook.com/barracudabikinisMermaid Mafia, 

Mermaid Mafia, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mermaid-Mafia-Swimwear/202473173098356Chynna Dolls, 

Fresh Peaches, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fresh-Peaches-Swimwear/8902184261

Other websites to checkout:

www.suitsyouswimwear.com, 

www.teenyb.com, 

www.beachbunnyswimwear.com, 

www.passionfruitdesign.com 

FIND A PROFESSIONAL COMPETITION MAKEUP ARTIST, HAIR STYLIST, & TANNING SERVICE ON SITE IN CALIFORNIA & AT NATIONAL SHOWS: MY TOP CHOICES

I’ve put together a great local team of the best of the best when it comes to the finishing touches needed to get on stage. They take their businesses & work just as serious as I do & their artistic skills & perfectionist ways make them the #1 choice to use when looking your best at your competition on the west coast. These are a MUST for your show & you will not be disappointed with the results. I don’t put my guarantee on just anyone or any company but these are the trusted officials who have made TEAM SASS look like the champions that they are!

  • Professional Make Up: Contact Safoura “FouFou Makeup” www.foufoumakeup.com, www.facebook.com/FouFouMakeup
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Whether your goal is competing in your first show, improving your placing for the next, earning your pro card, or just achieving your own personal level of fitness; nothing should ever stop you from reaching your full potential! You deserve to have all that you want in life & I believe that with strategic planning, the will to success, & with ambition put into everything you think & do you can achieve anything! 

“I’ve been awaken to reality!”

That’s a great way to say it…but without getting too philosophical or being too abstract. I’ll go somewhat into detail (without divulging too much of my own personal examples either! LOL): The last few weeks of my life brought many questions, feelings of disconnect or confusion, & although many positive things were happening & presenting themselves too, I still was unclear of what to do & how to feel balanced in every aspect of my life- business, my personal relationships, my home life, etc… The truth is we all go through times where we’re unclear of what our new move will be, unclear of where we are headed, & unhappy or unsatisfied at what & why particular situations are being presented to us.

I attended this lecture last month that really changed my life- that’s a major statement to be making but I’ll say it again…It really CHANGED my life. It wasn’t idea’s or things I hadn’t already heard but I guess you could say that I was more perceptive & open to LISTENING rather than just hearing. The woman said something that resinated with me within her first two sentences, “Let me start by saying that you are all MEANT to be here tonight & there will be a message in tonight’s lecture for YOU even if I don’t end up speaking directly to you, you’ll just know & relate in your own way. Think about it, there are 1,000 things in the universe that had to line up perfectly for you to have made it here & to be sitting here tonight.”…..WOW, that was a powerful thing to say & maybe because I was open to her idea’s & thoughts I was able to walk away from that night with a better & more secure feeling of my souls purpose. Again, this wasn’t a self-help lecture, a religion based speech, or a money making scheme but rather a message from the universe reminding me that IT was meant to be & what I put out in life is what I will get back…I know you may be thinking of “The Secret” but it wasn’t that either. 😉

Let’s just say we are all on this Earth for a purpose. We all have our own set of life lessons to be learned, things to discover & change/adapt ourselves to without compromising our morals. Just when you think you’ve gotten over one hurdle such as an abusive or unfulfilling relationship, an unhealthy addiction to anything- food/drugs/love, etc…, a major block in business or whatever it might be, something else happens right? Well life happens, will continue to happen, & just as sure as you are that the sun will rise in the morning, something else WILL ALWAYS show up again to challenge your life in some way. It’s what you do with those challenges & how you face those things that will affect the outcome.

You know the saying goes, “When it rains, it pours…”, this can be taken in a negative or a positive:

Negative- 1) Gosh, bad things ALWAYS happen to me & even when I get through over one bump in the road it doesn’t take long before I hit another. For example: I’m running late to work already, crap! Then I spill my coffee on my white shirt as I walk out the door, again! And on top of all of this I end up getting in a small fender bender because I’m rushing, great! So now my thoughts begin spiraling down this path of what I call “Total destruction”…my car is going to take forever to get fixed, it’s going to be so expensive, I can’t afford to take the day off of work my boss with kill me, & on top of all that my favorite white shirt is ruined, why does this ALWAYS happen to me? Whether we say these things out loud or not, your thoughts ARE being heard & the energy you’ve put into these thoughts is only manifesting, festering, & boiling over into all areas of your life.

photo-11.jpg~ My thoughts on this are that; “LIFE happens…and life will constantly happen…for the rest of your life!” LOL…so why not change your thoughts to attract the positive rather than dwell on the negative which only attracts more of that?!

Here’s a positive to the saying “When it rains, it pours” 2) I hit these bumps in the road but I see them as life lessons to be learned, so I take them with stride, I’m prepared & I know that more are coming so I slow my speed, gently roll over them, & keep my speed slow yet constant so nothing get’s in my way of making it to my destiny! So many things (MOST THINGS) are out of our control. The only thing we have total control over is out own thoughts & actions. Now, I’m not saying nothing will ever upset you or get to you- we are human & that is inevitable, but it’s the thoughts that follow that will lead you down either the same path or steer you in the direction you’d want to be going in.

~If we truly have the power of free-will & to co-create our destiny through our life’s thought, actions, words, energy, & hearts, them why wouldn’t you WANT to do all that’s in your power to turn any & everything into a positive?!

So maybe we are here to overcome a few lessons. I know under some circumstances I end up making the same mistakes over & over again, for example: (now this is a true to life example) As strong of a business woman I can be & as independent as I’ve always been, I tend to think with my heart & feelings more often than with my brain & logic when it comes to love, therefore I end up staying in relationship (so called friendships, romantic relationships, etc.) longer than I should. The result of that is that I always end up feeling like time was wasted, betrayed or compromised, not quite settled with my feelings, & regretful. This particular type of situation has presented itself to me again & again- maybe it wasn’t packaged as I had envisioned it to be, maybe it wasn’t with the people whom I thought would ever happen with but none of that matters, what matters is HOW I handle things…HOW I do things differently than the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd time this happened, & HOW I change my thoughts so that it doesn’t affect me negatively again. I had my eyes shut in my last relationship & didn’t want to see what was right in front of my face & in this circumstance I actually got the evidence or confirmation I needed to see clearly what I had turned a blind eye to! Normally in this type of situation I’d stay in hopes of following my heart, in hopes of others changing, or in hopes that I can be proven wrong & love will prevail…this is MY lesson to be learned. I believe that once you can recognize your weaknesses (these challenges) & you can do, think, feel, differently about these things, THAT IS WHEN YOU WILL (as they say) LEARN YOUR LESSON & can move on with life! This is obviously one lesson I’m now working on but have no doubt in my mind that it will be overcome because now I can see that this is just that- a lesson that has presented itself multiple times during my life & now I’m in the right state of mind & developed mentally enough to make a change. This is free-will, nothing is written in stone, & this just proves you always have the power to improve your situation, grow as a person, & move on! 🙂

We’ve all overcome certain things before or maybe it’s that right now at this very moment you’ve been faced with an obstacle to overcome but you haven’t really looked at it in that way- so now is your time!

Most of my readers, clients, & Facebook followers know my personal story. I know for a long time addictions, overindulging in life’s pleasures (partying, drugs, drinking, sex, etc..) were a huge LIFE LESSON that I kept having to face. Well for many years I always took the path I wanted to & didn’t give much thought to anythings else because I told myself that I could do, say, & feel however I wanted & if someone didn’t like it then screw em’! They can do things their way & they don’t have to be around me. Well the truth was I was only being destructive to myself & this lesson (just as all life lessons) was one that I would need to learn on my own, by myself, at the time I was supposed to learn it. So I eventually hit my rock bottom & finally took a different path. This was the same rock bottom I had been hitting again & again but for whatever reason that moment was my AH-HA moment to do something different. Unless I wanted to keep repeating this life lesson, I would have to make a change. And so I did! I used the idea of preparing for a competition, eliminating drugs/alcohol & other mindless things, training my body, & controlling my mind & eating habits to TRANSFORM my life…Self discipline was the life lesson I was supposed to learn at the time & I learned it 100% & was able to move on to bigger & better things.

Whether you believe in God, a higher power, or whatever- the same rules apply & until you stand before your problems, issues, challenges, obstacles, et. with an open & positive mindset, you will never get ahead! Again, LIFE is going to happen….there will always be SOMETHING that reminds you that LIFE isn’t perfect but if you can remember that YOUR LIFE WAS MADE JUST FOR YOU & the challenges or obstacles you are facing are UNIQUE & SPECIALLY CREATED JUST FOR YOU, then I believe you’ll begin to see things more clearly, with a better attitude, & true desire & belief in change!