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GIVEAWAY & Interview with LiveFitMama Creator, Jaime Mahler

unnamedEveryone wants to start the new year off on the right foot, amiright? As Catholics, when that doesn’t happen, we anxiously wait for the start of Lent to “try again.” Do you remember what your resolutions were at the beginning of the year? Did any of them happen to include fitness goals? Do you feel frustrated with regular exercise programs? I want to tell you about a friend’s new fitness program that is housed on Facebook that is seriously all. the rage right now. It’s called LiveFitMama and it was created by Jaime Mahler, a fellow Catholic momma who graduated from Steubenville. She’s legit when it comes to fitness. I didn’t choose to interview her because she’s just a friend and I like to promote Catholic companies or owners who happen to be Catholic. I chose to interview her because I am currently wrapping up my THIRD round of LiveFitMama. After seeing and hearing about friends’ results, I decided I wanted to try it out. Tired of doing nothing, what else were my options? I won’t bore you with my testimony – there are great ones to read at the bottom. Mark your calendar for the next LiveFitMama challenge on Monday, February 16. TWO days before Lent gets started. Make this your GO time to grow spiritually and shrink physically.

Let’s get started with the interview, shall we? {giveaway details at the end of the interview}

How did you decide to come up with LiveFitMama? What niche were you trying to fill?

LFM grew very organically, I was with a company and wanted to give people the option to incorporate some of the products of that company into their fitness regime. It’s funny because the more I developed LFM the more I realized this was bigger than what I initially planned it to be!
It slowly grew into a great alternative to going to the the gym. I found a lot of people either couldn’t afford a gym membership or didn’t have the time to get to the gym between work, class and dinner having to be made. LFM sort of naturally fit into the lives of busy people and the demand grew from there.

Why did you name your business “Livefitmama”?

I named my business Livefitmama because I realized after doing a few programs named “Fit by the 4th” “Fit by the Fall” and then eventually “Fit for life”, I wanted teach people how to develop a relationship with fitness in the mindset that fitness can be a consistent part of your life and not a fad, trend or phase of your life. Fitness can be incorporated into our lives simply and doesn’t have to be the “worst part of your day”. Once you change your mindset in regards to fitness you can see it becoming a more permanent fixture to your day. Also, I should note you don’t have to be a mom in order to do this program, it’s for the student, the working woman, the stay at home mom and even the husband if you’d like!

What do you think accounts for the momentum in popularity of the program?

I think being a part of a great network of women and also taking on some awesome leaders has helped catapult LFM into a more popular program. Also, the program is affordable and doable! It’s not impossible and I find people love it so much they come back and do another round.

For those people who are considering signing up but hesitant, what do you want them to know?

I want you to know that I designed this program with you in mind. I wanted the program to be different than what you are used to. I wanted the time to not be direly long. I wanted most people with a busy schedule and busy lives to be able to get through this program successfully. Know that you will have support and a community and a sounding board and leaders who will encourage you!

How hard is the program?

While it’s not a walk in the park, it’s not “begging for mercy” hard. It is a challenge, so the way the workouts are designed it will push you but it won’t push you over the edge!

If someone is already very active, would LFM be a good fit for them?

Yes, I just recently was chatting with a challenger about this. She asked why she is finding one of the particular workouts so hard. I asked if she had been doing like 40 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill, etc., as her “go-to” workout. When she said yes, I then explained to her that our bodies like to be “shocked,” then like to have a change up in the routine. So, if you are a runner, or a gym rat and want to try something at home or to switch it up, LFM is a great choice because it will spice up your typical workout! Also, we have Level I and Level 2, so you could even start at Level 2.

How has your faith affected your business?

I think having a network of amazing Catholic women in my life has helped my business immensely. I also realize the more I run the challenges, the more this program is actually changing lives, marriages, and families. It’s odd how something so small can impact so many lives and I can now see how this business is a gift and I need to be a great steward to the blessing this is to myself and others.

What is your advice for people who want to change their perspective on fitness?

As much as it’s hard to push yourself to do something you may not want to do, that is how change happens! Whether it’s LFM or getting to the gym or just taking a walk, our bodies were designed to move. Even where I live – bitter cold NY – stepping outside and breathing fresh air can do wonders!

Inactivity begets inactivity. People who tell you they do much more during the day if they get a workout in aren’t liars! Being active gives you energy, energy you possibly never knew you had without the beloved java. My ultimate advice is try. Lean on us and let us be your motivators, every step forward is a step in the right direction.

What elements of LFM make it different than other programs out there?

Every single thing you need, you are provided with online. Your accountability group, your workouts, the tutorials, and your leadership {several of whom you may recognize as familiar faces and fellow Ink Slingers!} are all just a click away! The workout times for Level I average around 20-25 minutes. Level 2 is closer to 25-30 minutes. The pregnancy challenge is also about an average of 20 minutes. The cost ranges from $20-23 currently for the 30 days and after working at a gym, I know memberships can be pricey. I also am a previous DVD workout junkie and while those can be amazing tools for change, they can also cost a pretty penny depending on which program you choose. All in all, I’m an advocate for change, so if that’s what is working for you, DO IT. LFM is not the end all and be all, but it is here to be a tool for you in the most challenging seasons of your life.

TESTIMONIALS

“What I love most about this group is the support. If one of us is not feeling up to it or is just too busy, there’s always support from each and every one of us. We encourage each other, we applaud each other, and we listen when the person has a question or an issue with something. Jaime is truly great and teaches us how to do each exercise the correct way so we do not injury ourselves. Really a great group of women. I love the accountability, too. I feel like we are a team and if I don’t keep up with the team I feel like I’m letting them down. I certainly don’t want to do that. I definitely feel stronger and I know that I have gained quite a bit of muscle. It really does feel amazing. And to see the transformations in a lot of women is truly inspiring. LiveFitMama is really a great workout program. I would recommend it to anyone. In fact, a few of my Facebook friends have asked about it and two of them have joined the group. So, it is nice to help another woman out who wants to get healthy, in shape, and feel good. I thank Jaime for all that she has done for us. You can totally see how much she loves doing this and how much she wants to help women to be healthy, happy, and to feel good both in the inside and the outside.” Sarah G.

 

“I have had brief periods of less activity than what is ideal in my adult life, but have participated in many fitness activities such as running and walking, group exercise classes, and a few DVD and online workout video programs. I’ve changed my workout routines to accommodate moves, schedules, pregnancy, having another baby {6 times} and I was in another spot where I was looking for what would really work for me as a Mom of 6 children, 1-15 years old, wife to a great guy who works as many as 90 hours a week and a woman who wants a challenge during the time I have to work out! LiveFitMama is, hands down, the best program I have found in 15 years. It really challenges me, but it’s fun because the workouts are varied. It forces me to keep a great balance between cardio, strength and flexibility when in the past I would rarely make time for all of those. I love Jaime’s energy and her cheerful and unflagging support of the LiveFitMamas. The Facebook accountability has definitely helped keep me on track, but it has been fun to get to know others Moms with similar health and fitness goals. It’s the first accountability group I’ve been in with women who are fair and gentle with each other, but who will always help each other persevere and find that time to get it done WELL. Finally, I want to say I can see and feel results! I have even more energy, I’m seeing a lot more definition and tone in my muscles and I had to get new jeans because the others were too large!” Holly K.

 

SHORT TESTIMONIALS

“Today, I felt pretty. Like, flirt with my husband pretty. Working out does so much for our self esteem! And high self esteem does a lot for our relationships.”

“My clothes fit better and I feel better, overall. I’m so thankful for doing this challenge. It really helped me to realize that yes, I can do it even with working and babies and busy life! I can make exercise and fitness a priority.”

“Doing this challenge has shown me that I have the discipline necessary to achieve my goals.”

“Thank you for breaking down workouts into achievable, bite-sized pieces that even I could understand. I appreciate your willingness to explain things to us in a way that was easy to understand, even for the fitness infant that I am.”

“Over the weekend, my mom took me clothes shopping for my {March} birthday. Ladies, every single thing I tried on fit me. And it all looked good. Like, REALLY good.”

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

You can win one of THREE great prizes. TWO winners will join the next LiveFitMama challenge which is set to start on Monday, February 16, 2015. A third winner will walk away with our Catholic Through The Year 2015 printable calendar so YOU can start tracking your workouts using this amazing planner!

FINE PRINT: Winners of the challenge must at least have access to the internet. A Facebook account for the accountability part of the challenge is very important, but not mandatory  {you can do the challenge without Facebook, but please be aware you lose the accountability of the group aspect}. Winner of the downloadable and printable 2015 calendar will need access to a printer or be able to email to a print shop. 

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unnamed-18::Jaime is a mom of 2 little boys and the creator of Livefitmama.  She loves to motivate and empower others. Motherhood has been a true training ground for her, when she is not at home raising her boys, she teaches fitness classes at a national gym franchise. Follow her on Instagram, as she launches a 7 day Love Your Legs challenge in anticipation of the upcoming LFM challenge.::
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Ink Slingers Lynne

Of P90X and the Holy Rosary

“To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ.”*

In this new year, weight loss and physical fitness are high on my list.  But my main goal for 2012 is spiritual:  I want to pray the daily rosary.  And surprisingly, it was an exercise program that brought it about.

My metabolism took a nosedive sometime after forty.  During my last pregnancy my weight reached a record high, and when baby was born the extra pounds didn’t magically disappear.  I could feel my youth slipping into flabby, sedentary middle-age.  I decided to check out P90X—an extreme video exercise program.  Use it for ninety days and you will be thin(ner) and fit(ter).  My sister-in-law did it last year, and she is older than I am.  Why not me?  I began researching it, and was finally sold when I read Danielle Bean’s review on the Faith & Family Magazine blog.  Danielle has eight kids, and is a regular mom—just like me.  If she can do it, I can do it, too!  I made the radical decision to buy P90X and go for it.  I needed to be challenged!

My future paper-weight? I think not!

After making all my P90X plans—I would have to get up early six days each week to fit in the required “hour of power”—I was suddenly reminded that I did not make nearly this much effort toward a prayer life.  My conscience convicted me; I realized that my spiritual life was pretty flabby, too, and needed to be challenged as much at least as my body. God would have to come first, and a quick morning offering would not do.  I knew it had to be the rosary.  This is the story of why.

I have had a love-hate relationship with the rosary since I was became a Catholic twenty years ago.  Perhaps ‘hate’ is too strong; I never truly ‘hated’ the rosary.  I have dismissed it as a useless waste of time, spurned it as unengaging, and  pooh-poohed it as mind-numbingly repetitive.  It just wasn’t my thing, and coming from a Protestant background certainly didn’t help.  I genuinely wanted to be open to the Holy Spirit’s direction, but the rosary?  Not that, surely.

Dutifully, I endured rosaries at funerals, with home school groups, and with old ladies before Mass. I  recited the prayers and tried to meditate on the mysteries, but it always left me unimpressed, and quite frankly, grumpy.  It took so much time, and when I was with a group of people I wanted to talk, not pray—at least not for twenty minutes.  All my cradle Catholic friends seemed to accept it at face value.  Maybe you had to grow up with it to appreciate it, I reasoned.

Yet during all this time, I did honestly try to pray it and like it.  I wanted my children to grow up with the rosary so that they, at least, would esteem it.  So in our family we prayed the rosary—not all the time, and not always all at once, but during Lent we made a special effort and at other times we said a decade or two.  We had a basket full of rosaries, a different color for each child.  We had little rosary books that they loved to thumb through as we prayed.  One son, in particular, always took great delight in his complete knowledge of the mysteries and their assorted fruits.  This pleased me, for their sake.  I was doing what a Catholic mother should, even if I saw no fruits myself.

Then, six years ago, we moved to a rural area.  Once every week or two, I found myself making a half-hour trek to town for groceries. The long drive gave me a wonderful break from the kids and was a perfect time for spiritual refreshment and adult ‘interaction’ via the local Catholic radio station. Or so I thought.

I’m not sure when or how it happened, but God sent me a notice about my drive time: pray the rosary.  I wasn’t too happy about it; after all, this was MY time. I was listening to inspirational, educational Catholic programming.  Wasn’t that enough?  But the message was clear.  And each time I settled deliciously into my seat, snapped my seatbelt into place, and reached for the radio button, God was good enough to put an angel on my shoulder to faithfully whisper “Rosary!” in my ear.  How annoying.  I obeyed, but grudgingly and without goodwill.  Bah, I thought.  Who needs it?

Actually, that might be where I opened myself up. Who needs it?  Just about anybody who’s anybody, apparently.  The list of people who have had undying devotion to the rosary reads like a “Who’s Who” of our Catholic faith.  Of all of these, the one who really convicted me most was Blessed John Paul II—the hero of my faith.  But after all, he was the Pope.  Popes have to pray the rosary, don’t they?  It’s kind of like…their job…isn’t it?  Still, every time I thought of the Holy Father’s love of the rosary, I had to admit that if he felt so strongly about its importance, it was probably something worth my attention.  Holy Father, pray for me, I begged.

Everywhere I turned, I was faced with reminders that so many people whom I admired were people who prayed the rosary with fervor.  And not only did they pray it, but they exhorted everyone else to pray it as well!  What’s with these people?  I wondered.  I don’t get it.  But even if I didn’t get it, I could no longer run from it.  I could no longer pretend that it was meaningless or ineffective.  I suddenly knew that the rosary was important.  I didn’t understand why; I still don’t and perhaps never will.  All I know is that I’m called to pray it.

The cross I must carry.

Which brings me back to P90X.  I have been praying the rosary for a while now, when I’m driving or if I take a long walk—whenever I have quiet time alone, God sends my angel friend to give me the nudge.  But I’ve never made a firm commitment to work at it, daily, as part of my spiritual routine—until now.  If I could commit to P90X, I could commit to saying the rosary.  In fact, it was the least I could do.  A brief warm-up with the Apostle’s Creed, followed by five grueling sets of ten Hail Mary’s, then a cool down with the Hail Holy Queen.  My whole life will be measured in reps, it seems.

My wise uncle recently told me that the secret to exercise is dedication and consistency.  He reflected, “That might be the secret to a lot of other things, too.”  He went on to mention the Hebrew word emunah, which he’d researched for a Bible study.  Emunah is translated as “faithfulness”–acting with firmness towards God’s will–or as he explained it, “a faith that is persistent.”  Dedication.  Consistency.  Persistence.   It looks like working out with P90X and praying the rosary have a lot more in common than I thought.

I look forward to a year of flexing my muscles, both physical and spiritual, in ways I never anticipated.  I’m ready to “Bring it!”   Won’t you join me?

“Simple yet profound, it still remains, at the dawn of this third millennium, a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness.”*


*Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Apostolic Letter of John Paul II