Do you believe your whole life could change for the better after six months of eating better and working out?

This is what happened for our client Sara A.

Before joining MPower Fitness Sara says she was working and spending time with her family. She wasn’t exercising at all and she felt terrible.

Six months into her program with us, she says “everything has changed: emotionally, mentally and physicall! I’m so happy with myself. Now I can say that I feel complete: I have more energy and confidence”

Most of us know we have some room for improvement in our health and wellbeing but sometimes we don’t know how bad it is until it gets dramatically better. Sara found us on facebook and joined us for a six week program.  She says before she got started she felt pretty bad about herself. “I was unhappy with my body, depressed because I wasn’t doing anything for myself. Most of the time, I was angry for nothing, no energy at all and complaining all the time because my clothes were too tight!!!”

As she was getting going, she had to take a leap and trust that it would work.  She was unsure about all of it the workouts, the program, the people. “I felt ugly, with low self-esteem and everything was new to me but I made new friends at Boot Camp and I’m so happy now”.

The tricky part for her is that she works the night shift and watches her daughter in the a.m. She knew she was going to need to make some sacrifices to get things going in the direction of fitness. aims to make it for 3 workouts per week and right now she is more than successful!

She has made adjustments to her eating: less sugar and carbs.  Before our program she was prediabetic but she recently learned that all of her numbers are on track and she is doing great healthwise.  

She says the best part of belonging to MPower is that it “feels like a second house for me; I love my Fit Family”.

Two of Sara’s goals- outside of preventing diabetes (which she did)- was to lose 17lbs and return to a size 4.  She has not only done that but also she is down 25lbs, 19.25 inches and 8.4% body fat! Holy guacamole that is a lot of inches, lbs and body fat.  

Hearing more about how unhappy and stressed Sara was before training with us and how things have changed dramatically for her since she got on a better path, makes us so happy and grateful to be able to do what we do!

Congratulations on all of your success Sara!

We are thrilled for you and excited to see your future progress.

This week I’m writing to you with a little trick I learned from our Director of Client Services Rachael Duval. She uses this to wean herself from bad habits, and it has worked for other clients and me too. 🙂 

A little back story though, when Rachael first came to us, she was going through a really really rough time. Her husband had just passed away and she was trying to figure out how to navigate life as a new widow and single mom. 

She told me that her pattern was to drink far too much wine and eat to help ease the pain. (This is not confidential information, so please understand I’m not spilling the beans on a secret)

After she began Boot Camp and things gradually began to shift for her. She started feeling better, she was building more confidence, she saw increases in her energy and she wanted to change her lifestyle. 

About a year in, is when she decided she wanted to start to change her eating and drinking habits. 

She told me recently that what helped her cut WAY back on her wine consumption was to buy bad wine. 

I laughed but I was intrigued. Bad wine? Yuck, right?

She said that when she had bad wine in the house she would poor a smaller glass, have a few sips and then be done with it.

With good wine she wanted more… 

She wonders, as I have often wondered about habits, if it wasn’t the act of pouring something “special” into a glass and taking the time to slow down and enjoy it that was the thing she longed for rather than the wine itself. 

Now wine is a tricky subject because I realize that there are some of us out there who are facing serious addictions to alcohol. I’m not saying that this will work for you, if you have an addiction. In that situation you may need help from a professional, but if you’re looking to swap out an unproductive behavior (that isn’t necessarily an addiction) this could work. It has for other clients and for me. 

Many of you don’t know that I used to smoke. 

When I decided to be done with that solo evening cigarette, I HAD TO REPLACE it with something else.  

What I loved about that time was that I was alone, unwinding and at peace, but I didn’t want to fill my lungs with poison anymore while I was doing it…

I chose t.v. for a while.  Zoned out, uninterrupted etc. And now I prefer a few minutes of reading and meditation.  

But the trick was that I needed to replace the behavior. 

The ritual was important. The routine was necessary.

We all have things that we are doing that interfere with our progress…

  • ​Staying up too late
  • Watching just one more episode
  • Flipping through social media right before bed, or in bed
  • Hitting the snooze button and skipping the a.m. workout
  • Seeking out a sweet right before bed…

You get to decide if it is important to you to change that behavior. If it is impeding your progress, it is probably time to find a replacement for the habit. 

Test it out. 

See if it helps. 

I hope it does. 

We are here for you, 

Megan K and the team

Many of our clients come to us with busy schedules and our MPower for Life Client Rita is no exception.  She was in transition from a very busy schedule as a Realtor to a semi-retired schedule.

She says, “emotionally I was trying to figure out what this new life was going to look like and what I would do with it.  Physically, I went from a highly active life: walking/ running 5 miles on hilly terrain or biking 16 miles in the evening to being too weak to get up off the floor or chair without assistance”. 

She was “scared and discouraged with her declining physical condition and weight and she knew she wanted to get her life back”. Arthritis in her knees and shoulders as well as a rotator cuff issue were slowing her down and were the physical challenges with which she was coming into the program.  But Rita was full of determination.

She says that coach “Amanda watches carefully to make sure I’m not exacerbating the problem and modifies the exercise as needed”. Rita says her experience with MPower for Life has “been fabulous. The small sessions are as close to one on one training as you can get and yet you have camaraderie and friends within the group. Coaches are trained to work around and with the physical limitations of the individuals and the exercises are designed to help us manage our lives safely”.

Since joining MPower for Life Rita says she is “noticeably stronger with much better balance. I have my confidence back and my energy to find new things to do in my new life.The 6 week meal plan that was introduced has me eating better and my husband and I both love the recipes.  I have lost about 17 pounds and at last measure, 9 inches.”

Her goals at the outset of the program were to get her strength and mobility back and now her goal is to water-ski one more time this summer.  Our hope is that not only will Rita be water skiing this summer but that she’ll have many more summers of it…if she chooses. We are so proud of all that you have accomplished Rita and we are grateful that despite physical pain and limitations you took the steps to join the program, get coaching and “get your life back”.

We are thrilled to see what the next few chapters have in store for you!

Megan K and Team

Many of our readers have fat loss and physique transformation goals. Striving for a leaner physique not only can be beneficial in many ways including less stress on the entire cardio-respiratory system and the skeletal system.  Less weight on your frame is less strain on your joints and bones.

When things are going well, it can feel like smooth sailing but when they aren’t it can be frustrating and discouraging.  

Which is why, it is important to identify when you are experiencing what are called “non-scale victories” or successes that don’t relate to the numbers.  

At our MPower Fitness locations we test body fat, weight and take measurements. We also take photos as another metric for measuring our success.  This is especially helpful for seeing changes in ‘muscle tone’ and in the decreases in fat over all. For example, we may have lost fat around our mid-section but not see a difference on the tape measure because of the time of day we are getting our waist measured (or time of the month for women).  Who doesn’t experience an increase in the waist measurement after eating? We all do. We have stuff in our tummies, so of course that will appear bigger. But we aren’t actually up in body fat. So depending on when you get measurements done, this could be misleading…you might be worried that your waist is actually up when it really is down in body fat.

But all the physique changes aside let’s talk about some other non-scale victories that we can look for and celebrate on our health and fitness journeys:

1- Improved Energy/ Stamina

2- Improved Mood

3- Better Sleep

4- Increased Sex Drive 

5- Clothes fitting better

6- Clearer/ healthier skin

7- Less joint pain

8- Less stress

9- Less gas/ constipation 

10- and so many more

The fitness journey is a lifelong one and there is much to celebrate along the way- especially when you look for it. 

Keep at it and remember you can do it. 

Committed to your success, 

Megan K and the team

Sometimes when clients find us they are in pretty rough shape…they aren’t feeling great about themselves, they are lacking energy or they are in pain. Other times things are going okay and there aren’t any problems to speak of but they know they really “should be exercising”.  

Our client Noa came to us feeling pretty good. She wasn’t actively exercising but nothing was out of hand: she had no health problems.  

Noa had been paying attention to what she was eating but she was not exercising- at all. She knew that to really feel great and be healthier she needed an exercise plan.    

She was inspired to exercise and stay healthy and fit by her mom who is a consistent source of encouragement and positivity. Noa says “my mom is always cheering me on and pushing me forward, even when I don’t feel like it”.  

Like most clients, Noa is a busy woman. She has a lot of things on her plate but she fits in her workouts by pre-scheduling them.  “Every Sunday night, I decide which days I am going to workout during the week. I don’t let anything get in the way of my scheduled workouts. Thanks to MPower I now have something that I do just for myself and I experience a lot of enjoyment in doing so”.

When Noa first started at MPower she needed to ease into things. She also felt a bit intimidated by the workouts and some of the exercises. She says, “My biggest obstacle was at the beginning when I wasn’t in as good of shape as I am now. I was hesitant to try all of the exercises because I haven’t done them before and didn’t want to mess up. Thanks to the great coaches though, they made me feel very comfortable and pushed me through it!”

In Noa’s time with us, she is down 13.5 inches including 5 inches from her waist and 4 from her hips. She is down 6.5% body fat and 6 lbs on the scale.  She says, “I feel much more energetic, comfortable in my body and I love buying new clothes. I am so proud of myself for getting to this point. I’ve found a new hobby that I love and I can’t see my life without it”.

We are glad you are proud of yourself Noa and we are proud of you too!  

Fantastic work.

Megan K and Team

Happy Monday, Friends!

When it comes to fat loss the temptations to stray from a consistently healthy path can come from anywhere: 

  • ​family events
  • the break room at work 
  • advertising
  • the sample aisle at grocery stores
  • convenient fast food options 
  • and even well-meaning friends.

One of the most common situations we hear about is the temptation to indulge on the weekends, especially in alcohol and desserts.

As a reminder, the Center for Disease Control states that Heavy Drinking for women is 2 alcoholic drinks or more in a day and for men 3 or more per day.

In general for our health, mild or moderate alcohol consumption (or less) is best.

If you have a fat loss goal, alcohol will only slow the path.

We realize though that this change may feel like a sacrifice and may not be something you want to do.

Here are some tips:

1- drink at least one glass of water preferably 3 after any alcoholic beverage.

2- try switching to sparkling water after a cocktail

3- plan non alcohol involving events with your friends

Ie: instead of happy hour go for a walk

Change takes time.

For change to work, we must want it and be bought into its merit.

We must also be prepared for some set backs.

Any steps toward a healthier you are progress, so just keep at it.

Committed to your success, 

Megan K​ and the team

When we are overworking, under exercising and generally not putting ourselves as a priority things can be very stressful.

When Amanda (the Panda) Christenson began looking for a fitness solutions she says she was “running infrequently and inconsistently”.  She says, “I was feeling sluggish, tired and constantly irritated. I worked 60-70 hours per week and had no time for myself. I was struggling in my own skin-I didn’t feel confident. I wasn’t sure how to fix that and I felt completely alone and lost”.

She was desperate to fit into her clothes again. “I hate shopping and it was either lose weight and fit back into the clothes I have OR spend a lot of money to buy a completely new wardrobe.  I chose my health and fitness!” You should also know that in addition to hating to shop she also hates to spend money so this prospect was really bad for her.

Amanda came in on a 4 session trial and she says part way through her first workout she said to herself, “YEP. This is for me. I love this place” and then she signed up.  

“Honestly, it wasn’t very difficult to add fitness back into my routine regularly. I was committing to 3-4 sessions per week and noticing that my attitude was so much more positive. My new routine inspired my then fiance to develop his own routine as well and eventually join MPower. Having 30 minutes to dedicate to myself is relatively easy to fit into my schedule. It still allows me time to devote to my family and friends as well.”

But Amanda’s journey wasn’t totally free from obstacles.  She says the “ biggest challenge I had to initially overcome was my nutrition. Growing up, I was never a person that ate fast food. As I entered into my first ‘big kid’ job after college, I quickly learned that I didn’t have much time to prepare meals nor did I have energy to even think about it. I turned to fast food for convenience quite often, and man did that cause even more issues with my body. I was gaining more weight, I was eating HUGE meals, and I was having digestion issues. After starting my first challenge at MPower, I realized that some of the meal choices I had considered marginally healthy, really weren’t healthy at all. I found new appreciation for fueling my body appropriately and learning exactly how to do so. It was tough, but I learned a lot and it made a huge difference in my results!

Amanda says that since joining MPower, “my life has completely changed, for the better! I am stronger, healthier, and I have found the BEST community to support me. I have gained so many friendships and muscles too! 🙂 I love exercising and I find that when I miss a few days for “life” reasons, my attitude definitely reflects that. My husband and I eat very healthy throughout the week, but still allow ourselves to indulge here and there-but we CAN because we are committed to our fitness and our health overall. Since commiting to eating better I am known for bringing the healthiest and most enviable packed lunches in the MPower offices.  🙂 I have also helped my mom become more aware of her health and fitness and she has lost over 50lbs since doing so! I have found a career that fits me, that pushes me, and that I have so much passion for!”

The best thing that has happened to be since joining MPower is finding a place where I truly fit in and feel comfortable being me-as a client and as a staff member! I can’t say enough about the focus on body positivity, the encouragement, and the relationships here.<3”

As a side note, Amanda was in a completely different role that she didn’t love, in an office environment where she didn’t feel welcome, happy or encouraged. She was working her part-time and I knew she wasn’t happy in her then full-time role. So when we needed to expand our team I was delighted to be able to offer her a similar salary with paid vacation and to bring her on full-time!  

We have been DELIGHTED to have her as a full-time member of our team. 🙂 And we wish her and her new baby daughter the best!

Whether you’re a client or not I figured that it couldn’t hurt to talk about why exercise is so awesome.

The number one reason that most people are out-of-shape is that they don’t exercise enough. 

I’ve often wished that I could give each and every person a personalized pep talk to get them up off the couch and into the gym, day after day. So here’s my pep talk in bullet form – 21 rewards that everyone will gain from regular exercise. 

Feel free to print this list and post it where you’ll see it every day. When you need motivation or encouragement simply read over this list and feel yourself getting jazzed up about exercise.

You’ll reset your body: Exercise has been described as a giant reset button. A good workout will block appetite swings, improve your mood and even help you sleep.

Your clothes will fit better: Consistent exercise will tone and tighten your body, causing your clothes to not only fit better but to also look nicer. Also exercise ensures that soon you’ll be trading your clothes in for smaller sizes.

You’ll be less stressed: You have enough stress in your life – it’s time for a break. A good workout invigorates your muscles, leaving you relaxed and less stressed.

You’ll have more energy: WebMD tallied research studies and concluded that 90% of them prove exercise increases energy levels in sedentary patients. Next time you feel fatigued, fight it will the most powerful tool available: exercise. Seriously. Crazy right? Move more and have more energy. It is awesome.

You’ll be stronger: Exercise improves muscle strength and endurance, two things that you use throughout each day. When you exercise consistently you’ll be pleasantly surprised when difficult tasks begin to seem easy.

You’ll be less likely to binge: Exercise has a powerful anti-binge effect on the body. This is due in part by an increase in sensitivity to leptin, a protein hormone, which has an appetite-taming effect.

You’ll burn calories: You know that excess body fat is made up of stored and unused calories. Fight back by burning loads of calories with fat-blasting workouts.

You’ll be more confident: Who doesn’t wish they walked and talked with more confidence? A consistent exercise program will do just that. As your body becomes more fit, watch as your confidence sky-rockets. Also, notice you’ll even be standing taller 🙂

You’ll have fun: Believe it or not, exercise can be extremely enjoyable. Remember how fun it was to run around as a child? Tap into your inner child as you find a mode of exercise that gets you excited. One of our clients affectionately refers to his time at FBBC as his “romper room time”. We feel the same way. Movement is fun.

You’ll reduce your blood pressure: Exercise has been proven more effective than medication in reducing blood pressure to normal levels. A single workout has been shown to reduce blood pressure for the day and regular exercise reduces overall blood pressure in the long run.

You’ll lose the jiggles: Regular exercise tightens flabby arms, legs and waistlines. So wave goodbye to the jiggles with a solid exercise program.

You’ll increase insulin sensitivity: Researchers at Laval University in Quebec discovered that exercise improved insulin sensitivity dramatically. Peak after-meal insulin levels dropped by more than 20 percent after as little as 3 weeks of consistent exercise.

You’ll sleep better: Do you toss and turn for hours before falling asleep? Exercise is a powerful sleep aid. Your tired muscles encourage your body to quickly fall asleep so they can get their overnight repair work done.

You’ll lower your risk of heart disease: Regular exercise strengthens your heart and makes it more resilient against disease. A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for heart disease, so rest assured that consistent exercise is your ally against disease.

You’ll feel great: Vigorous exercise releases natural endorphins (happy hormones) into your blood stream that dissolve pain and anxiety. You’ve probably heard of ‘runner’s high’, this can be achieved by any great workout.

You’ll lower your risk of diabetes: Studies show that exercising as little as half an hour each day can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes. If you are at risk of diabetes, or already have diabetes, regular exercise is the most effective treatment for reversing the disease.

You’ll meet cool people: You could benefit from a group of new, energetic friends, right? Gyms, bootcamps, workout centers and even the jogging trail are all great places to connect with fun new friends.

You’ll improve your BMI: You know that maintaining a healthy BMI is key in disease prevention. Exercise is the best way to keep your BMI under control.

You’ll increase your endurance: Do you ever get out of breath when walking up stairs or through the mall? Regular exercise builds your endurance for everyday activities.

Your doctor will be impressed: How many times has your doctor given you the lecture about losing weight and exercising more? Exercise regularly and get your MD off your back!

You’ll look amazing: Are you happy with the shape and size of your body? Regular exercise works wonders on your physique. Within a few weeks you’ll see shape and tone in all the right places.

What are you waiting for? Lace up your shoes and get moving!

If you’re already regularly exercising then KUDOS to you. You’re going to live a longer, healthier, happier life. 

If not, then no worries, we’ve got your back. 

Just give me a call or an email and let’s get you started.

Committed to your success, 

Megan K and the team

A lot of times people ask about the team and how the various team members got started. Sometimes clients mistakenly assume that the coaches have never had their own struggles with fitness, health or body image.  

The reality of it is that, part of what makes us good guides/coaches is that we have also walked the path of transformation.  

Our Director of Operations Roseanne Stephens has had her entire life change in the last 3 years. Her transformation is one that inspires most who hear about it.  

Behind that smile and warmth, is a strength and resilience most of us will never need to know and somehow despite ongoing adversity she remains kind, loving and mostly swear free. 🙂

**What I’m about to share is a lot of information but rest assured I have permission to share**

Roseanne got going with us in January 2016 on our very first ever program at the Maple Grove studio.  Her then boyfriend “forced her to do it”.

She says, “I was not looking for exercise. I just wanted to make some friends.”  

At that time, she felt like she didn’t have friends or a community and she wanted to meet people but she says, “I wanted to meet people at a healthy place not a bar”.  

Roseanne was convinced exercise was terrible because she had previously been in a different type of program where they work you until you want to cry, throw up and pass out.  

She says she actually told her then coach (at the other program)  to “go f*** himself” and that she was never coming back. That was how much she hated the program she had been doing.

Exercise was a definite NO on her list of priorities.  

The fellow she was dating though, promised her he knew of a program where it wasn’t like that.

That man had sold me a car once and ended up on my email newsletter list. Over the years, he had been reading the Thursday transformation stories and the newsletters about how “killing yourself” isn’t necessary to succeed.  

In December 2015, he brought Roseanne to the MPower SLP/ Plymouth studio to sign her up for the program that was about to begin at our Maple Grove studio.  

I remember it to this day because Roseanne was MAJORLY standoffish. I don’t think she smiled at me once during the entire 30 minute meeting (and I’m pretty funny :p ). Also, if you know Roseanne, the no smiling would take some effort because she is usually really warm. But she was crabby when she first came in. I’m sure being dragged there was part of it. I’m sure being worried that exercise was going to make her throw up was also a contributing factor but either way she didn’t really want any part of it.

Roseanne says the first six weeks were hard.  “I was super dialed in. Super committed. I worked out five days a week.   I went from eating Mcdonalds 4 days per week to clean eating and everything was made from home. I didn’t drink. It was hard.

I think because I was convinced the program wasn’t something I needed, I really didn’t feel any different.”  

At the end of the six weeks, her results were not much to speak of…and she told me

“This program is Bull Shit and A Joke”.  

Then she went home cried, ate 2 ice creams and a bag of chips and said to herself,

“Screw this. I don’t need this.”

She didn’t give up though, she spoke to me more and she says  “Megan told me to give it another 6 weeks. Trust the process and just keep going. Half way through the 6 weeks (so week 9) my body figured it out and I felt so much better, stronger. I dropped 3 % body fat.

At that point, I realized it actually worked.”

The results were coming for Roseanne but remember she wasn’t with us for fitness. Losing body fat and getting stronger weren’t really her goals.

She was here for friends.  Shortly after switching to the 6am session she met a woman who is now one of her best friends (ever) Jane W.

Roseanne says, “ I watched Jane workout. She was so driven. So focused. So competitive and I’m not that way about exercise, but I admired her.  Her focus drew me in. She pushed me to be better. She liked to cook. I hated to cook. She didn’t like to get dressed up and wear cute outfits, do hair or make-up and I live for that stuff.  And even though she was fierce in session, Jane had this shy side so I wanted to show her a good time and help her come out of her shell”.

Roseanne and Jane became inseparable and their crew of early a.m. friends began to expand.  

Fast forward a few months and Roseanne was becoming a fitness enthusiast.

I know.  Hard to believe. She even began to switch out her morning chocolate and sugar filled coffee (yes, that was what she would have for breakfast) for a protein shake and some water. Don’t worry the coffee is still there, every morning and sometimes she has chocolate with her protein shake. :p But changes were happening…

She was loving so many things at MPower (then Fit Body) that she kept telling me, “you know I live less than a mile away, if you ever need anything I’d love to run errands or help”.

Nikki and I gave her a “formal” job interview (from inside one of the dressing rooms during a Saturday a.m. session) and she was added to the team as Nikki’s assistant.  

A few months later, she took over billing from Jackson (then Director of Happiness) because he hated that part of the role. By the end of the first year we promoted her to the Office Manager.  

A lot of things happened over the last couple of years in Roseanne’s life.  Levi her youngest son took a liking to being at the studio and appointed himself to the role of official orientation assistant.  Kaytlyn came home from college to live with Roseanne again. A restraining order was issued against the boyfriend who dragged Roseanne to Boot Camp (for both her, me and protection of the businesses) and Roseanne made even more close friends- both on the team and off the team.

Roseanne says, “I feel like I rob myself when I don’t show up. I feel like I’m missing something from my day when I don’t go to Boot Camp”. Lucky for her, even on rest days she gets to be in the studio so she gets to connect with “her people”.  

I haven’t written much about Roseanne’s results because if you’d met her when she started you’d never have believed she had any fat to lose, but she is down 7% body fat and this season she will be with the run team running the Rugged Maniac and the Tough Mudder.  

I don’t often get emotional when I write the success stories. I’m always incredibly proud but I don’t often tear up…

Roseanne’s story is hard for me to write because I could have easily said goodbye and wished her well when she called the program “bull shit” and told me it was a “joke”.

I know the program works and I knew then that she just hadn’t given her body a chance to adjust so I argued with her. I insisted that she, “give it 6 more weeks” and I got the boyfriend’s permission to keep charging his card for her membership.

I’m glad I didn’t let her walk away.

Because if I had given up on Roseanne I don’t know where she’d be or what she’d be doing and I don’t know where we’d be without her either.

She is an institution. She is a big part of who we are and why we are successful and we are incredibly grateful to have her on the team.