Monthly Archives February 2016

You’ve completed a Fit with Tab Challenge, now what?

February 23, 2016
/ /
in Blog
Comments Closed


You have just completed a Fit with Tab program, CONGRATULATIONS!!  The goal is to continue this lifestyle for the rest of your life.  This may require a few tweaks during certain seasons of life, but the premise is the same.  EAT clean, whole foods to fuel your body but leave room for a treat or two. 🙂 That is the beauty of flexible dieting (more to come).  Move your body most days.  Find a balance that works for YOU.

Tabitha’s Rules for Success:

1-Cut out the added sugar!

2-NO back-to-back junk (the next meal after a treat is CLEAN)

3-Map out a plan at the start of each week for workouts

4-Meal Prep:  fruits, veggies and some lean protein on hand and READY to eat

5-Love yourself daily.  Positive thinking.  A negative attitude will sabotage success.

6-Intuitive eating!!!  Listen to your body.

7-Drink AT LEAST 64 oz of water a day, more when working out.

8-Get enough REST

9-Follow the 80/20 rule (clean foods 80%, enjoy treats 20%) = flexible dieting approach

10-Have grace with yourself and others

Did the Challenge, Now WHAT? 

My hope is for you to continue a healthier way of life.  Never stop setting goals for yourself.  Feel free to do this challenge again solo!!  The progression of the exercises will keep the body guessing.  It is a great maintenance program and FANTASTIC for runners (or any endurance sport) in particular.  Make it work for your schedule now that you know what the workouts entail.  If you only have 3 days/week, that is PERFECT.  My only hard line to maintain the strength you have gained, is doing a minimum of 2 strengIMG_8060th training workouts/week.  Cardio is important too but strength training will do the sculpting!

I suggest continuing with Week 7/8 Program layout (of the 8 week challenge) if time permits.  This would be the most advanced week in regards to building muscle and becoming leaner.  After 2-4 weeks of the advanced layout, circle back to week 1.  This time your body is stronger and more conditioned, so your able to push the limits even farther.  And don’t worry, it will still be challenging!  The body is so incredible.

Sample Workout schedule for only 3 days/week:

Monday- Full Body DB workout + 20 minutes cardio (10 sprint intervals 60 seconds on, 60 seconds off)

Wednesday- Choose a HIIT, Cardio Blast or just continuous cardio for 30 minutes

Saturday- Combine an upper and lower body workout (weeks 5-8) into one session + bonus 10-30 minutes cardio


If you do not plan and make a conscious effort to eat well, do not expect to see results.  You can out eat ANY workout!  Diet is the key to seeing your muscles.  Bloated?  Tired?  Sluggish?  Almost always diet related.  The  meal plan I developed for the 8 week Challenge was designed for variety, flexibility and balance.   It can easily be maintained year around.  Find what works for you and your family through trial and error.

Portion Control

Even when eating healthy we can over do it.  Use the hand symbols as a guide for proper portion control.  Reference the Precision Nutrition guide I emailed and shared on my public FB group.  Or go back to my Nutrition Guide where I give a sample meal plan that doesn’t involve counting calories!

MFP & Macros

Logging your food is a great way to stay on track!  It will hold you accountable if writing it down.  Once you know what your eating on a regular basis, it does not need to be continued.  In fact, many people did not use it all and still had great success on the program.  Remember this is a tool for your “toolbox”.  If it is causing stress, cut it out.  Some track for many years!  Find what helps you become most successful while still maintaining balance.  Macros is something I talk about to help you determine how to fuel the body best.  Be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel and website for continued updates on this and many other topics!  Please let me know if you have additional questions.  I am here to inspire, motivate and coach you to your FULLEST potential!

Each body responds differently to macro adjustments.  An average maintenance plan if continuing to use MFP:  40-45% carbs, 25-30% protein/fat

Finding BALANCE 

Whoa, don’t we all crave balance in our lives?  Who wants to be consumed with numbers and exercise and weighing food all the time?  On the flip, who would ever chose to be consumed by self-guilt, resentment, doubt, anger or the lack of confidence that being overweight can bring.  To get the results you want, you need to sacrifice some time to get long term benefits.  In my 15 years of training experience, I have found no other way around it.  But you can still feel balanced!  I’m not going to lie, it takes work.  And planning.  Would you skip a doctor’s visit for a child in order to get the laundry folded?  Would you tell your boss you cannot come to work today because you’re tired?  Nope.  They are priorities.  And so is your health.  DO NOT let the guilt of a heavy to-do list stop you from getting in your workout.  I’ve said it before but 30 minutes of exercise will double your productivity in other areas!  It is worth it.  YOU are worth it.

So,  exactly how do you find balance?  

  1. Get out the calendar and write in exactly when you are working out.  Write in when you plan to “meal prep” (this might just be washing/cutting up fruits and veggies) and also what’s for dinner when kids are starving and possibly hanging from the light fixtures.  Be prepared.  Have a plan.
  2. BE REALISTIC.  This is super important.  When looking at your calendar, know what you can realistically commit to health and fitness.  Then subtract a day and start there.  You might find after getting some results that your willing to carve out more time as needed.
  3. Cut out the noise.  What distractions during the day DECREASE your productivity?  (Facebook, Instagram, Netflix) Write them down, and then designate certain times for social media or TV enjoyment.  Put it in the calendar!
  4. Many people waste time on activities or people that add no value, for example, spending to much time at work with a colleague who is constantly venting or gossiping.  Surround yourself with positive, up lifting people who add value to your life and support your goals.  Be that positive light for others but it is ok to kindly excuse yourself.
  5. Just. Say. No.  Do not commit to an activity unless you are able to fulfill it completely.  I’ve learned the hard way many time!  Even when adding value to others, know your limits.
  6. Make time for down time.  We are so use to packing the schedule full, that we do not get recharged.  I am guilty of this one!  Leave some time open during the week.  When I take even 15 minutes to myself in the morning for quite time, prayer and thanksgiving, my day just flows smoother.
  7. Include your family as much as possible!!  Set them up for a lifetime of healthy living.  Let them do the workouts with you, cut up food or pick out a “healthy” dinner menu.  It might take more work on some days but it is time well spent.

NEVER STOP challenging yourself.  This is just the beginning my fit friends! xo

Much love-


PS- In case you missed my latest flexing picture! 😉  Stay well, stay strong, stay happy.

IMG_8025 Read More

SLEEP is so UNDER rated yet so very NEEDED!

February 12, 2016
/ /
in Blog
Comments Closed



As I open the computer at 9:30pm (average work hours here) I take note mentally of what I can accomplish in the next hour.  I have learned, over and over again, that when I regularly cut sleep short, everything seems to be effected.  Including my husband and children.  And really, look at those cute faces!  I want to be joyful and not grumpy mama with them.

IMG_3086Sleep or no sleep, I can walk into a room full of familiar faces and instantly become ENERGIZED.  Praise God he knew my line of work would be a perfect fit in group fitness.  There is something about getting up in front of those that WANT to be there and WANT to get stronger that lights a fire in me!  So why don’t I experience this enthusiasm for my family all the time?  The ones I love most!  My kiddos can light a fire quite well when they want to… but not the kind I need lit. 😉  My answer is sleep.  When I am burning the candle at both ends, they suffer.  That is when God ever so gently reminds me of what matters most.  Balancing the mess of life can sometimes seem like a full time job!  Just when things start to get comfortable, something falls out of place.  How do you handle that disruption?  I can tell you if I am well rested, I handle it a whole lot better.  And with a family of 6, those disruptions are daily.

That is why I made it a priority in 2016 to shut down the computer and get into bed, or at least start my routine, by 10:30 pm.  I’m not perfect at it, sometimes deadlines make that impossible.  But I am aware of how I feel and become more intentional about my choices.  It makes such a difference in my perspective!  Which also carries into other avenues of life, like FITNESS, and I know you all what to improve there.  Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.

Some other surprising perks to being well rested:

-improved memory

-curbs inflammation

-sparks creativity

-cuts cravings

-lower weight

-less stress

So how do you begin good sleep habits?  Take these tips from

1-Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body's clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.

2-Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual . A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.

3-If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. Power napping may help you get through the day , but if you find that you can't fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.

4-Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.

5-Evaluate your room . Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be cool – between 60 and 67 degrees . Your bedroom should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep. Finally, your bedroom should be free from any light. Check your room for noises or other distractions. This includes a bed partner's sleep disruptions such as snoring. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, "white noise" machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices.

6-Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you andobjects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up during the night.

7-Use bright light to help manage your circadian rhythms . Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. This will keep your circadian rhythms in check.

8-Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening. Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can disrupt sleep. Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep.  If you can, avoid eating large meals for two to three hours before bedtime. Try a light snack 45 minutes before bed if you’re still hungry.

9-Wind down. Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading. For some people, using an electronic device such as a laptop can make it hard to fall asleep, because the particular type of light emanating from the screens of these devices is activating to the brain. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid electronics before bed or in the middle of the night.

10-If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. If you associate a particular activity or item with anxiety about sleeping, omit it from your bedtime routine.

If you’re still having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or to  find a sleep professional . You may also benefit from recording your sleep in a Sleep Diary  to help you better evaluate common patterns or issues you may see with your sleep or sleeping habits.




Read More
Copyright © 2016 Fit with Tab | Health Coach in Grand Rapids MI. Crafted by Grand Rapids Marketing and Design Studio.