Lani Muelrath has hit the nail on the head with her new book, Fit Quickies: 5 Minute Targeted Body Shaping Workouts. I am in awe of all of the detailed information she has included for her readers regarding her three pillars of successful body transformation: Exercise, Diet, and Mind-set. “When you get all three in alignment, you’re unstoppable…”
For me personally, I began my whole-food, plant-based lifestyle a little over a year ago, and this book touches on so many points that will help me even further with this lifestyle. Lani simplifies matters, in which I was making difficult, which did not need to be. As you will see below, I commented on each of her three pillars of success. Each subject has made a tremendous impact in my life.
Here are more details for you along with some of my favorite quotes from the book.
You might be thinking it is a book about 5 minutes exercises. Well, you are correct about the quick exercises, however they are not just any exercise. Each one focuses on Lani’s core principles, and those principles are paired with specific actions, such as: Position, Anchors, Isolation, and Repetitions. Lani also speaks of all of the amazing benefits of exercise, and how much exercise we really need. Also gives great examples of setting long, and short-term goals in order to succeed.
I also enjoyed the explanation of why too much sitting is hazardous to our health. My full-time job includes sitting all day, so this raised a red flag for me. This section clearly states the solution to this issue. Pretty simple…STAND UP! I could stand rather than sit during some of the phone calls, or take a short walk with every water break. She gave examples of many ways to tackle the dilemma of sitting.
Lani lists out in detail 14 Fit Quickies. Yep, you heard me…Fourteen!! All of the them can be completed in 5 minutes or less. Each Fit Quickie covers the following: the problem, the facts, the fit quickie fix, how to do it (which includes position, anchors, isolation, and repetitions), stretching, common errors, and tips and modifications. The Fit Quickies covers our entire body. I am going to benefit from all of them, but the one I was really drawn to was Fit Quickie #11, Upper-Body SOS. The goal/results are the strengthen the muscles of your upper body and core, lift your bust line, improve your posture; improve your shoulder stability. I notice myself slouching all of the time, so I am really enjoying this exercise. Another favorite is Fit Quickie #8, Tush Tighteners. Enough said
I am so thankful Lani took the time to outline each Fit Quickie in an easy-to-follow manner, in addition to covering all areas of our bodies that can be re-created and re-shaped in five minutes or less. She also made sure to include some Fit Quickie Routines so we can incorporate them into our day or current workout rotations. She is truly a genius!!
In regards to the fitness section in Lani’s book, I was never one to exercise…EVER!! It wasn’t until six months into my plant-based lifestyle, that I made the decision to quit smoking, which happens to be March 6th, 2012. Yes, I realize that I was eating healthier, but still smoking. But, it was an addiction, and my mind-set was not quite in the right place yet to tackle that subject. Well, I had finally made up my mind that I was GOING TO QUIT, and that I would run in a 5k race that was for the American Heart Assoc. For those of you who do not know me, my father passed away seven years ago of congestive heart failure, so this race meant the world to me. I had to find something that would keep me motivated to quit smoking. I truly wanted to quit, but the addiction was a hard battle to get over. I had to make up my mind that I COULD DO THIS. My health was worth it. So, I began training for the race, and within that first week, I quit smoking. As I had hoped, running and smoking did not go hand in hand. It made it easier to give up that bad habit, when I had a goal in front of me.
My point being, due to my determination to quit smoking, I began to exercise. Plus the fact that because I was eating healthier, I actually had the energy, and was able to do it. In the beginning, I could only jog a couple of blocks, but would walk for a bit and get my breath back, and then jog another couple of blocks. I also noticed that my energy level continued to improve, and that my lower back actually stopped hurting, because like Lani mentioned, I was moving my body. The more I exercised, the better I felt. March 6th will be my one year anniversary of quitting smoking, as well as my new adventure with exercising. I am excited to add in the Fit Quickies to my training. I am currently training to run my first half marathon in April. I ran my first 5k last April, so it is exciting to see the improvements exercising has truly made in my running.
Thank you Lani, for providing me with the appropriate steps, and tools required to continue my excercise regimen. I thought running would be enough exercise, but your targeted exercises are already making huge improvements in my running.
Lani shares her journey with us, and helps us realize that we are not alone. She shares how she battled with weight loss, and her ups and downs in finding the foundation of healthy living. The guiding principles are whole, low-fat, plant-based foods. Her plant-based diet is organized around five food groups: Veggies, Starchies, Fruit, Beans, Nuts and seeds. She outlines what her plate looks like throughout her day, by giving examples of what she eats, which are very simple, non-complex meals, which consists of the five food groups.
She explains how much our bodies normally need from each food group, without having to count calories. I love her phrase: “Full without being fat”. I have learned that as long as I eat the five food groups, and keep my plate balanced, based on the necessary servings, and eat when I am hungry, that I in fact can be full without being fat. I have maintained my weight for over a year now, and life could not be simpler when it comes to eating this way, I also appreciate that she also reviews how to deal with food cravings, and letting us in on the secrets for success.
Like I mentioned earlier, I began my plant-based lifestyle late September, 2011, so I feel like I am finally figuring out my health. I recently had my blood work done in January, and I was very pleased with the results. CLICK HERE if you would like to take a peek at my numbers. However, after reading Fit Quickies, I learned quite a few new things. Side note: this book is great for everyone!!
I never really struggled with weight loss, so I thought. After I began my plant-based lifestyle, the weight started to steadily drop. I lost over 30 lbs from the heaviest I ever weighed, which was in 2008. Apparently I needed to lose some weight, lol. Another side note: my husband, Frank lost 80 lbs, got off his blood pressure medicine, and his psoriatic arthritis diminished. I am happy to say that I have maintained my weight for over a year, and that is all thanks to a plant-based lifestyle.
So when I read Fit Quickies, I could totally relate to many of the points Lani touched on, regarding this lifestyle. I ate every time I got hungry, and I always ate until I was full. Lani points this simple idea out on page 204. It makes a huge difference when you put real foods into your body, as opposed to fast food three times a day, as in my previous life. I say previous life, because I truly feel like a new person. I am a completely different person, inside and out.
One of Lani’s secrets for success entails “Always Be Prepared.” This could not be more true. It makes a huge difference when I have meals ready in the fridge, that way I can grab something healthy, as opposed to feeling the need to go get something unhealthy just because it is “quick”. I always have fruit and veggies to munch on at work, as well as at home.
One thing I am going to try to eat more of, that Lani mentions is “starchies”. “Remember the role starchies play in hunger satisfaction and the long-term satiety that your goal of being well fed without fat demands.” I love sweet potatoes, squash, and beans, and these items will fill me up and satisfy me. This is one area that I could improve on.
Lani gives great examples of the common “challenges” the majority of us experience in regards to health, fitness, and weight-loss. Page 232 hit home: “You can have the best exercise and diet plans in the world, but if you don’t use them to your benefit, they’re worthless. The way I see it, there are two main problems here: staying motivated and getting out of your own way. The allure of a better body gets you ramped up for change, only to fizzle with the early obstacles that kick you out of a new, healthy groove. Or you start to have some measure of success, only to find old, familiar habits hijacking your progress. Or maybe you’re doing fine on the new plan and you just get bored. Where’s that part of you that knows how to follow through?”
This is when Lani focuses on how we can change our mind, body, and life, as well as our choices, habits, lifestyle, and destiny. Page 234: “How can you expect to stay motivated when you’re unclear about what you want in the first place?” Find out your “what and why!” Lani spends a lot of time helping us understand why mind-set is so important, and how it ties into the three pillars of success.
One of the aspects I got a chuckle from, and it also stuck with me, was on page 241: The “What the Hell” Effect. “When you set huge goals for yourself, expecting 24-hour turnaround to a new you, you set yourself up to fail. You can’t become a completely transformed person overnight. When you trip up or fall short, even in a small way, you figure “Oh, what the hell. I’m never going to change. I broke my diet. It’s all over so I might as well go back to the way things were.” Setting smaller, specific goals and steps to inch you forward, as well as having compassion for yourself when you do slip up, pacifies those occasions you don’t quite reach your goal those times when your actions come up against the voice that has your better interests at heart. Respecting both of these drives with compassion for yourself disarms the agents of self-destruction.”
Mind-set is an area we ALL could improve on. I definitely would not have come as far as I have with living a plant-based lifestyle, if my frame of mind was not in the right place. I made the choice to get out my comfort zone of eating fast food every day, and eating a bag of lays potato chips and cottage cheese every night while sitting in front of the TV. In my mind, I HAD TO CHANGE, FOR MY HEALTH! Over the last 16 months, I think I have sat in front of the TV a handful of times. I made a conscious effort to change my old habits, and make new ones that were better for my well-being. I literally changed my habits, lifestyle, and destiny, as Lani points out, I created NEW habits, and began my new journey (lifestyle). Lani states, “If you want something different from what you’ve been getting, you need to do something different.” I will leave you this last quote from this fabulous book, “You must change your mind before you can change your body. You control your flight plan.” That is exactly what I did, without realizing it.
Honestly, I will continue to re-read this book, as it is so insightful, and full of life-changing information. Do yourself a favor, and go get your copy today!! You will NOT regret it. Thank you Lani, for providing with me a copy, as I will keep it on hand at all times. Your wit, charm, experience, knowledge, expertise, and compassion are duly noted. Thank you for writing not just a 5-minute targeted body-shaping workout book, but for including the other two critical pillars of success, the food, and frame of mind. This book is exceptional on so many levels, and it has taught me so much about myself, as well as given me to tools, and education necessary to succeed in life.
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I know you all will enjoy Fit Quickies as much as I have! Till next time…now off to do my Fit Quickies
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