Wedding Series:#thatbudgetlife

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Long-time-no-see my lovely readers! The past 6 months have gotten crazy that’s for sure! After some technical issues with my blog I’m so happy to be back! I have been keeping up with you on Instagram and let me just say- y’all are killin it out there! I’ve seen you step up your workouts, dial in your nutrition and really start treating your mind/body with kindness. YGG! That’s what the #tiulife is all about.

Today is the first post in my wedding and lifestyle series over the next 9 weeks-that’s right-only 9 weeks until I am a MRS! Woah. So hold on tight, I have A LOT to say 😉 These posts can be applied to most of you even if you’re not getting married.

Today’s topic: #thatbudgetlife

You’re probably wanting to hear more about my workouts and my nutrition-I promise I’ll get there! Something I’m extremely passionate about is personal finances. I truly believe that addressing your personal finances will set you up to be emotionally free and financially stable to be your best self in this opportunistic world we live in. To stand on your own two feet and feel independent will in turn set you up to feel confident in that relationship when it turns out to be ‘the one’. And believe me when I tell you it will come at you 100mph without warning, in the middle of the night, screaming ‘you can’t pass this one up!’ Next post….relationships 😉

1st things first. If I can give you any advice at all, stop using those credit cards.

#1 Get in control!

Like for serious. Right now. I realize there are lots of unique situations, so I suggest by starting to read or listen to Dave Ramsey’s ‘Total Money Makeover’ its got some great basic principles to help you move towards any of your financial goals.  Do whatever you need to do to pay off those cards. Need to take a second job? Take it. Need to cut back on your $200 a month Starbucks habit? Hello….right there, throw that at it each month. Work staff at your local gym or studio-heads up, they’ll probably give you some sort of discount or membership-remove that from your budget right there! I’ll share with you my personal roller coaster that’s really embarrassing. I racked up a ton of debt when I moved to Dallas to be on my own. Eek! I spent when I shouldn’t have, and took vacations that I just ended up throwing on the cc. It wasn’t until I got a second job until I realized I was totally out of control. I worked extra hours from my computer tirelessly for about a year, and it finally hit me that I was spending way more than I was earning. So finally I got serious and used this second income to pay down my debt. I sold a few big items, and after 2 years, I was finally rid of ANY credit card debt.

#2 Set up that Budget!

Two very well-known tools that you should take a look at: You Need A Budget and Mint. I personally, use Mint. Now, it doesn’t work if you don’t stick to the budget. Sure, at first I was really anxious about every dollar and paid attention to my account every single day. But once I started to only spend cash/debit card, I was able to see where my problem areas were and then I stopped being stressed about it. After I was in control I set out to cut back in those problem areas. After that I was able to start saving! In the past 4 years I have been able to pay off almost 30K in debt (yes you read that right, thank you student loans and a car), AND get this-save 10K. I’m not one to boast, but I want to encourage you to tackle a goal that may seem really ambitious. You can do it, and you should do it!

#Easy steps to pay off debt

  • Think outside the box. I swallowed my pride and moved in with my parents for 2 years post college. During this time, I doubled my student loan payments and threw every extra bit of cash and bonuses from my job, at my debt. Looking back I know I could have done much more but I’ve learned so much and that’s what’s important. Learn now, not later!
  • Don’t spend on the useless stuff- coffee runs, buying water bottles, the mall (just don’t go there!) saying YES to everything…work on that one. Eating out every day, living far away from work, going out every single night of the weekend, buying new outfits every week, every month. Those eyelash extensions-girl go to Sally’s! First area to trim down.
  • Budget budget budget….determine what you NEED to pay for each month…evaluate how much is left over, try to save a good portion of that.
  • Budget for the things that are really important to you- if the gym membership is a must, cut back on the clothes, etc.
  • Sell anything you can to make extra cash
  • BYOL- Bring your own lunch….need I say more? This one whittles the waistline as well as the wallet 😉
  • Get educated- don’t be the person that doesn’t even look at your bank account! You really should know exactly where every dollar is going. Start evaluating where you’re at. Read up on some books and articles.
  • FOLLOW-UP…Return those purchases, and call BACK those stupid companies that keep charging your cards for subscriptions you cancelled. This happens all the time. Consistency is key. Don’t give up. Get those credits back to your account and those refunds paid in full. I promise you this have saved me hundreds of dollars just by following up! It’s a pain in the butt that’s for sure. Definitely worth it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these little secrets. It feels amazing to pay off that first group of student loans-huge confidence booster. Paying off debt can be addictive-that’s a good thing. Don’t be afraid to say no! Get it girl. Get free.

Stop back soon to read about budgeting for weddings (as a guest) and as a bride! I am so excited to share all of my planning with you.

Ciao,

Ari

Transformation Tuesday: Jess’s Story!

Happy Tuesday! I’m so excited to be bringing you a new Transformation Tuesday series! I love telling my story, but helping others tell theirs is WAY more fun and I hope you enjoy reading about Jess’s new journey! She has been so incredibly dedicated and she recently WON my March Muscle Madness challenge! My challengers get fitness gift cards or Bikinis when they win! How do you win? By being dedicated to checking in and having fun with your journey! Go follow Jess on Instagram, her page is Ah-Mazing!!! @curlsandsquats
My name is Jess.  I am an air traffic controller from Jacksonville, FL with two pets: Jaxon a golden retriever & Moe a calico cat.
1) What was your main motivation for making a dedicated commitment to your health and fitness?
I had a couple motivating factors for making a dedicated commitment to my health and fitness.  It first began with seeing Ariana’s constant fitness posts and seeing the very real changes in her physical appearance.  We have very similar body types and seeing her get those #ArianaAbs motivated me to focus on my fitness!  It then became personal when I was not feeling confident in my skin after my husband and I experienced our second miscarriage in the 2014 year.  We were medically advised to let my body recover again for a few months after the second loss and those few months turned into MY time to focus on becoming the best physical version of myself and aim to stop sucking in my belly!  “I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday!”
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2)  How has your Beachbody program and meal plan helped you create changes to your lifestyle?
PiYo has helped me realize that reaching your fitness goals is not accomplished by just completing a 30-minute workout, but they’re reached by what you do the rest of the day!  I have increased the amount of water I drink a day and eat smaller portions.
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3) Did you have slip-ups or setbacks along the way? How did you get back on track?  
I know no perfect person.  I certainly am not perfect and that also applies to my fitness.  I have missed a couple PiYo workouts due to scheduling issues and (let’s face it) laziness but I remind myself of how getting those workouts in make me feel afterward.  My fitness planner also keeps me on track on what to accomplish on a daily basis – I am my father’s daughter and I love my check box lists!  Every day I have at least one activity to check off!
4) How has the use of an online accountability community helped you achieve your goals and stay accountable?
The use of an online accountability community has without a doubt kept me accountable and motivated.  Getting involved in monthly challenges (especially the ones that give me an opportunity to win something!) and having to check-in daily with the completed exercises give me a reason to log in to my Instagram account and scroll through so many motivating posts!  So many accounts that I follow are very consistent with their workouts and their posts always push me to get moving.
6) What is your favorite particular Beachbody workout so far?!
My favorite Beachbody workout so far is PiYo with Chalene Johnson.  She is so encouraging and makes you feel like a million bucks every time you finish a workout with her!
7) Why did you want to work with FitGirlMechanic as your coach?!
I wanted to work with FitGirlMechanic as my coach because her body type is so similar to mine that seeing her transformation photos from all of her hard work fueled my competitive nature making me think “I can do that, too!” 🙂  I also know Ariana from a few years back and I just love her heart to help others become the best version of themselves!
8) What’s something fun that your challenge has helped you achieve?!
My challenge has helped me run my third 5K nonstop!   PiYo has definitely helped increase my cardio endurance.  I needed to walk/run my first two 5Ks but this past Sunday I ran my third one nonstop and it was such an encouraging accomplishment!  It was so encouraging that after we finished I told my husband we need to sign up for a 10K 🙂
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9) What’s next and what do you plan on trying next?!
21 Day Fix is my next Beachbody program and I couldn’t be more excited about it!  My meal planning game really needs to be stepped up and I know those portion containers will help in that department.
10) We want to support you and gain inspiration from you Jess, where can we find you?!
Find me on Instagram: @CurlsAndSquats
Would you like to be featured on Transformation Tuesday! Complete a 30 day challenge with FitGirlMechanic and email me at arianamichellefitness@gmail.com!

Apply for the internship!

 

Coaches Wanted

Join the Internship and Apply Below! 

I absolutely cannot wait to get started on this journey together, helping you to build your wealth to financial freedom and your health!  Moving forward, I would greatly appreciate it if you could please take a moment to fill out the form below. The information you provide will be extremely valuable to me as I would love to get to know you. Moreover, it will allow me to better understand your individual goals and your reasons for wanting to be a part of Team Stronger. Thank you again for reaching out! I am really looking forward to hearing from you soon!

 

BANFF Mountain Film Festival World Tour: Near You!

Ahhhhhhhhh! It’s almost Friday! which means it’s time to plan your weekend adventure. Ok ok, the holidays might have you a little tied up, OR you live close to snow which means you’re going out to shred it this weekend with your best #tiusisters and warriors! If there’s one thing that gets my blood pumping in the winter, it’s skiing. I grew up in the north east where a quick 3 hour trip to VT was quite accessible and Fridays were ‘half days’ THANKS MOM 1 and 2! And 3! I don’t think my child hood would have been the same without that sense of anticipation coupled with a slight fear of speed…slowest skiier ever. BUT, with amazing ski instructors and crazy black-diamond chasing, forest-shredding parents and kids around me, I was so blessed to keep trying and try to catch up! I’m serious when I say I was terrified of going down the mountain the first few years, I fell lots, and got lost even MORE (thanks Car, Joe, Laura, and Heather) lol the Shredwood Forest will never be the same… those mountains gave me breathe early in the morning, laughs that filled my belly with joy, and a passion to go a little further when my best friend Heather was soaring a mile past me on her pocket rockets. She is easily my favorite skiier to watch. So it’s that time of year where I’m ready to watch more adventures, so bring it on BANFF, I can’t wait to see what you have waiting for us!

Since 2015 is going to be the most Epic year yet, you need to grab your friends and your enemies, your TIU team in your area and GO TO THIS AMAZING TOUR in a city near you! US, Canada, and International!

You can find the showing locations here, and purchase tickets. 

These videos and documentaries showcase and inspire the most beautiful and daring stories I have ever seen. I have gone almost every year in Rochester, NY since 2008. Never did I ever leave those showings, without wanting to get on some sticks and deep pow to make some turns and possibly tumble a little in the fluffy snow! They inspire me to take road trips, to go rock climbing again, find new ways to challenge myself, and sometimes leave me speechless. Watch the preview and then head over to the site and start planning a date for a meetup!

Where will you take your next adventure? Never Stop Exploring.

You ARE ready. My new Wakeup Call

As 2014 is quickly coming to a close, I’m thinking about how strong I want to finish. I don’t like leaving chapters open when I really do have the opportunity to close them and start on a new goal. 2015 is dedicated to remembering who I am. 2015 is dedicated to the athlete, the fighter, the one that won’t quit when everyone is pulling you in different directions. It’s dedicated to important appointments, and dates, ones that I will stop breaking and standing up for things that do not push me closer to my dreams, leaving my sneakers sad by the door, waiting to hit the pavement or cycle another revolution on my lonely bike. 2015 is not about how dark it is. It’s not about how tired you are. How sore you are. How much you want to skip your workout because your current state of mind says that can’t. It’s about how much you CAN. It’s about how much you will love yourself for that extra 20 minutes of yoga in the morning, that 6 mile long run you’ve been putting of. The 10 mile long run you forgot you could do. It’s about digging deeper, finding your WHY, your reason to drive forward and bring light to those dark spaces in time. I’m planning NOW for later, it’s never too late to start.

2015 is dedicated to the athlete, to finding my max. Because I miss it. I miss the feeling of pushing myself further and accomplishing the unthinkable. January is usually the month that I spend wiping my sorry butt off the floor because I’m ‘too cold’ to run outside, or ‘too tired’ so I end up having no plan, no motivation, and no results. Well this is the last January I sit on my couch making excuses. I know how to honor my body, give it the fuel it needs, the water it needs, and the rest that it needs. But will I do it? This is it, this is the time, I’m going to get those 8 hours of sleep, and my body is going to LOVE me for it. I’m going to get up with enough time to push myself past that snooze button, onto the floor and someone is going to say ‘OH crap, she’s up’. I’m going to teach others to love their minds and bodies, and sweat and dance while doing it! I couldn’t be more excited to finish this year!

Here’s my new wakeup call. I’m going out with a bang 2014 so look OUT 2015, you won’t know what hit you.

I’m ready. You ARE ready.

Top 5 Ways to Keep Motivated. My Typical Workout Routine

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Many of you support me on Instagram (thank you!) which is where I check in with my daily fitness routine, meals, motivation, and the occasional fitspo. Well it dawned on me today…seriously…that my biggest reason for success IS Instagram!

Like I say about being ‘your body’s mechanic’ every single one is different and I can’t give you a secret formula for your personal gene makeup but I can give you lots of ways to get started and stay motivated! What works for me, may not work for you, but a lot of you ask me what my typical routine is like and how I finally was able to lean down and tone up after years of being an athlete.

1) Every meal counts:
This probably sounds harsh but think of it as a way to love your body! Put nourishing foods in it. Every time you have the opportunity to replace something worthless with something rich in vitamins and fiber or protein, you are making an impact on your body! Why does this matter so much? Because it’s literally a formula. One you replace one meal a day with veggies and protein and superfood packed grains like quinoa, it adds up! That’s how I did it. I made a conscious decision to include more of the good stuff into my routine, and less of the bad stuff! It’s clearly added up! It makes indulging a little leave me with zero guilt. I still drink wine and #tiuapproved martinis, know how to make healthy desserts, and yea I still eat ice cream on occasion (favorite brand is So Delicious!) wiggle room is left when you make conscious decisions that propel you forward instead of standing still!

2) Exercise Everyday-Anything Counts
I’m serious when I say everyday. I usually start my week by setting up the times I know I can work our based on my schedule. I’m not very good at getting up every morning! So my current trend is lunch time workouts. But setting my mind to doing something everyday leads me to do MORE than I would if I didn’t set that goal. Meaning, I will probably work out five days a week instead of seven. And to me that’s a pretty successful week! But if I don’t set these goals I might go to days or three days and then I don’t feel as accomplished at the end of the week!

3) Find someone to keep you accountable!
Think back to the days that you played a sport. Your teammates kept you going. Why? Because you knew that they were going through the same tough workouts that you were too. Share in your successes and your failures, pick each other back up, and support each other when you had great victories! I am so lucky to have such an amazing team who I know is working out every day and making healthy choices every day and that makes me really respect those girls and guys! I used Instagram to find these motivating peeps! Seriously. Checking in every day was a way for me to keep a fun diary of everything (because food journals are BORING) to me, and I met people in my new city where I didn’t know anyone!

4. HIIT workouts and Always Change it Up!
There’s a reason I finally lost that stubborn 10 lbs and have been able to maintain it for 6 months now. Because I have done SO many different workouts over the past few years, I have been able to combine my strength training with cardio moves to do 30 minute High Intensity Interval Training. But I learned these from always changing up my workouts. I’ve done pretty much everything…except Crossfit. I tried it in college and it wasn’t for me. But I HIGHLY respect my friends who are that hardcore. It just wasn’t in line with my goals and I really enjoy Turbo Kick and tabata, T25, running, Body weight exercises like planks, push-ups, lunges and squats. I love PIYO, yoga, weight and toning routines I learned from Tone it Up and my NASM training. Honestly it takes lots of practice and repetition to know all these things lol that’s why I love having trainers in my own home. I’ll do a more detailed post on my favorite at home workouts soon! Don’t be afraid to try something new! Ask a friend to join you 🙂

5) Set a Goal, Join A Challenge:
There’s nothing like a little competition to motivate you! This can be a race, or a goal of 100 push-ups and sit ups each day! Or just drinking water instead of soda and replacing the afternoon candy bar with a granola or protein bar. Join a fitness group on Facebook, there are literally hundred of them. I run a 30 Day Challenge every month =)  We are living in a fitness obsessed generation, however not everyone will be thrilled in your immediate circle with the choices you’ve begun to make. And that’s ok they don’t have to! But there is this huge online community that can help you start getting connected to people who have been in your EXACT position. I know I know, it’s super sucky to share personal details about your story. That’s up to you, but you don’t know who it might help. There are dozens and dozens of stories I have heard from you that give me hope of helping someone with an eating disorder, or a lack of confidence, overcoming a bad relationship, lack of support from friends and family, and more. Because we have all been in these tough places and finding someone to relate to is a hashtag away #loveyourbody #strongisthenewskinny

Typically I do something different every day. This month I’m running one mile each day and doing PIYO/Yoga to stay strong and flexible! Do I get it done every day? No I miss days. But that’s ok! I still get in more than I would without a plan. I drink shakeology for breakfast every day, usually a small snack at 10am like yogurt or fruit. A veggie based lunch. Wraps and the occasional paninni but I cut pasta out! I load up on grilled or steamed veggies or raw if in salads. I love zucchini and Brussels sprouts, beets and walnuts, spinach salads with goat cheese and strawberries! I eat a piece of fruit or a protein bar in the afternoon and sometimes I have time to workout at night but not lately. I make sure it gets done before the sun goes down haha it’s easier for me in the winter! I just got a new Stand Up Desk at work that keeps me sitting less and it’s giving me more energy! I take the stairs pretty often (heels people heels!) As the holidays approach I’m trying to drink less so that I can indulge at holiday parties and enjoy the increase in occasions. I drink lots of water and and average of half a cup of coffee daily…I don’t really need it anymore! I hope this helps you get a glimpse of my routine! Doing these things on the reg. really adds up. I promise you. Enjoy the journey, take your time, and stay consistent….people will start noticing and they will ask you how you did it!

♡Introducing P90 , the ON Switch to Fitness

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Never say ‘I could never…’ all it takes is one step in the right direction to start something BIG. I was never a runner! I hated running in high school and middle school. I dreaded the mile! I dreaded those stupid suicide drill we had to do in basketball. But I did like teamwork. I liked feeling fit. In college, that all changed….my mindset that is. When I had a running partner (or two or three) tell me to train with them. It was the last step I needed to take to try this new thing. COMMITMENT. I couldn’t believe what I could do if I set my mind to it. I ran my first half marathon when I was 20…which was a HUGE accomplishment for me! It took baby steps for me to get into fitness. And now I’m in the best shape of my life, and hope to be an active skiier and tennis player when I’m 80. Watch me.

I am so beyond thrilled about the newest Beachbody Home Fitness Program, P90 !!! Brought to you by the MAN himself, Tony Horton!!!!!

If I’m to be totally honest with you, when first announced, I wasn’t totally ecstatic about the launch of this baby … Being an avid Beachbody product lover, I am always looking for something to push me further … and P90 was created to be “the ON switch to fitness”. I was actually a little disappointed. I seem to be attracted to the programs that leave you dripping in sweat and out of breath (WHY?!) haha I don’t know…but this is a total game changer.
No one says that’s the ONLY way! If you actively follow my posts on Instagram or my blog (Thank you!), you’ll notice that I have been so excited about helping people realize their potential even when they think they could give up.
I can’t forget where I started. Everyone starts SOMEWHERE!
Today, I am calling out everybody who’s ever considered starting or rekindling their relationship with health & fitness… if you watch me or any other “fitspo” Instagram account from afar and have thought to reaching out for support… I can totally understand that sometimes even just the act of asking for a helping hand can seem so incredibly daunting (I know it was for me). I would love to get to know you.
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So here’s my promise to you; if you have ever considered getting that healthy happy YOU back or even if you’re starting from scratch, please take this as a sign. I promise to do everything and anything I can to make sure you accomplish all of the goals that you have for this healthy new life and best possible version of YOU.
P90 is a game changer and I’ve never been this excited about a program … PERIOD. The amount of people this program will help is REAL … and this solution is REAL … and I’m real… and I want to help you. This isn’t about some “quick fix” or “magic pill”. Just real sweat, real food, REAL RESULTS.
Have you ever done or heard of the original P90X??? That stuff is crazy hard!!! Have you ever tried P90X and failed?!?! YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I tried 1 (ONE!) workout …(the shortest one on top of that! lol) and gave up because I just wasn’t at that level yet!!!
Do you want to do P90X but you don’t feel like you are at that fitness level just yet? Maybe a stepping stone to build a base level of fitness is just what you need so that you can tackle something like P90X or Insanity !!
Tony Horton and the fine folks at Beachbody saw the need for a program like this. A program that could really HELP more people! Not just another KILLER workout ! They wanted to create a  foundational program that went back to basics and back to the beginning, to truly help build that strength and skill that is so necessary! P90 was designed for people just like you and me! HUMANS! not machines! lol
We want to be in the best shape of our lives RIGHT?  But the thing is, we really need to start at the beginning! We need to build that core strength, stability and learn to have the correct form so that we don’t injure ourselves and end up back at the start again! It’s about creating a safe and effective starting point for people to introduce fitness into their lives.
So Who exactly would this program be for?
Id say its perfect for:  people that :
– People that need an “ON Switch” to fitness
– People that are trying to start their journey and aren’t sure how to.
– People that are not looking for a hardcore workout.
– People that are looking for a stepping stone to a more intense program like P90x3 or Focus T25
– People that don’t really want a crazy workout but do want to lose weight.
– People that want to get back some muscle definition back.
Maybe you are just someone who wants to be in good health, get regular exercise and feel strong !
Then this could be just the program you’ve been looking for.
 
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So what is this program all about?
It’s not a high intensity,  pound your joints type of deal. It’s literally simple cardio, simple workouts, nothing sexy …no fluff just 25 minutes a day for 90 days.  All the moves are always able to be modified (and they show you how) so that everyone can do the workouts. Completely transform your body and your lifestyle. This is so much more than just a workout program. P90 comes with a simple nutrition guide that will help you clean up your daily habits and focus on the right foods to properly fuel your body.
So when can I get P90?
Today!!! The program JUST launched ! You can order through a Team Beachbody coach which is exactly what I do! Check out the “shop” section of my blog and website to see all the details and place your order!
So what’s the plan once I get it?!?!
I want to be the first to tell you ! Lets make 100% sure that this doesn’t become another fitness program that you invest in that sits on your shelf and collects dust. I want to make totally sure that when you get this program in the mail, you rip it open (like i did lol) and you make a plan that you can STICK TO and SUCCEED!
My job as a coach is to do one thing. and that’s to be your support system. I’m here to help you  figure out your schedule, layout the meal plan, help you put together your grocery list, and to hopefully start TOGETHER as a team on October 21st!!
We will set goals, track our progress, stay accountable, inspire each other, stay motivated and encourage one another to get into the best shape of our lives.
So I am hosting an EXCLUSIVE P90 TEST GROUP where you can get support from a me..one on one and you can also surround ourself with other like minded people if you’d like.
And hey! you can even enter to win $500 or more for your transformation! Pretty cool right?
So what is this P90 Test Group you speak of?
It’s a totally private Facebook group where no one but the members of the group can see what is going on. I will walk you through how to set realistic and measurable goals for yourself, how to meal plan, prep, how to set yourself up for success!!
You will log into the group and check in everyday and check out a post of the day. There will be ample motivation, workout breakdowns, tutorials, videos, recipes and tips.
We will track everyones progress through our online group and you will succeed!
 Trust me, if you can 100% commit to this I will give this my ALL! and  I won’t ever let you give up!
Are you ready go for this? What’s the worst that can happen? You could lose a few pounds, kick some bad habits, win a free tshirt and have more energy! Pretty sweet deal!!!!
What you need for the Test Group
All you need to do is purchase the P90 Challenge pack through me as your coach. I can send you all of the details to get the package once you complete the application below. I must be your coach and only my customers and coaches are allowed to participate in this group. The actual group and my coaching is 100% included in the price of the challenge pack.
Make this investment for you. Do this for your health, for your body, for your energy, for your family….for YOU!
I’m only accepting 10 people into this exclusive group. So please complete the application below to be considered for a spot and gain more information!Even if you are the least bit curious or the least bit interested in getting started on a health & fitness journey … leave me your e-mail… I promise you won’t regret it!
All you have to do is make the decision that now is the time for you to make a change!!! Let’s do this together!!! Fill out the application below and you’ll be hearing from me shortly! 🙂