Fit Gal Feature: Ashley Nordman “Passion2befit”

This post hits close to home. Ashley is one of the most motivational and inspiring women who I follow and met through Instagram. Who would have thought that social media would have such a big impact on my life! Ashley’s daily posts are one of the most influential things that pushed me to dig deeper into fitness and really find my passion. After a few emails back and forth, starting with questions I had for her about Cellucor (she is an affiliate), then leading to her giving me a complete meal plan, I could not be more grateful to know her. Not only beautiful on the outside, Ashley is so passionate about what she does and truly finds motivation in helping others with their goals. With that said, I had to get her on the blog for an interview, hoping she can have as much of an impact on you as she has me. So here she is: Fit Gal Ashley Nordman.

unnamed

unnamed (3)

unnamed (2)

unnamed (1)

unnamed (4)

unnamed (5)

unnamed (6)

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your fitness lifestyle.

My name is Ashley Nordman and I am a 21 year old women’s figure competitor. I was born and raised in a small town in Illinois, where I grew up in the country. I was constantly outside playing games, rollerblading, riding bikes, and playing sports. When I reached high school, I fell in love with running. I was the caption of our Cross Country team, and I always played an important role on the Track team as well. When college came around, I was burned out from 4 years of running, and I was also extremely lean. I was uncomfortable with my tiny physique, so I started researching some new types of exercise. I looked on Bodybuilding.com, fell in love with Jamie Eason’s body, and told myself that I was going to do whatever it took to look like her! I started weightlifting and focusing more on my nutrition, and I quickly fell in love. The weights were a new challenge for me, and they helped me put on some much-needed muscle! Throughout college, I grew even more passionate about this new lifestyle, and I was a huge advocate for healthy living. I joined a private gym during the summer of my Sophomore year of college, and this is where I fell into the sport of bodybuilding. I met a personal trainer who was a professional bodybuilder, and he recommended that I pursue it. I loved the idea of a new challenge, so I started working with him right away. In just 12 weeks, I prepped for my first competition, the OCB Midwest States in November of 2012, where I won 1st place and Overall in Women’s Figure Novice! From then on, I knew that bodybuilding was my new sport. Since then, I have competed just one more time, in the NPC USA Coastal in August of 2013, where I prepped by myself and won 1st place and Overall in Women’s Figure Open, which qualified me for Nationals! This year, I plan to compete in Nationals, as well as two other competitions, and I also plan to do my own prep. Along this journey, where my lifestyle involves eating healthy, weight training, and finding inner happiness, I am focusing on being as selfless as possible and to help others reach their health and wellness goals!

2. What are your goals and how are you working towards them?

My current goals are to compete in Nationals this year with the best physique I’ve ever had, to inspire others to work towards their own fitness goals, and to become an IFBB Pro. Each and every day I work towards these goals by being disciplined, putting others before myself, having patience, working as hard as I can, and staying positive!

3. What is your biggest accomplishment so far?

My biggest accomplishment is that I have been able to inspire women to change their lives for the better, and all through social media! I mainly use Instagram and I absolutely love each and every one of my followers!

4. What do your eating habits consist of? Walk us through your average day.

I eat ALL the time! I eat every three hours, and I eat 99% whole foods! Typically, I wake up, eat some egg whites and cream of wheat with a little fruit, and drink a small cup of coffee. A few hours later, I will have egg whites or a protein shake with a serving of almonds and vegetables. For lunch, I typically eat 4 oz grilled chicken with spinach and vegetables, and I also have a sweet potato with cinnamon on top! My afternoon snack is always a Cellucor protein shake (protein, ice, almond milk, and a banana!), and my dinner is usually 4oz ground turkey with oats or brown rice, and more vegetables! Before bed, I often have plain greek yogurt with almond butter.

5. What’s your favorite form of exercise?

My favorite form of exercise is weightlifting! I LOVE lifting heavy weights and really pushing myself out of my comfort zone!

6. What motivates you?

My Instagram followers motivate me, my next competition motivates me, and my friends and family motivate me as well.

7. What piece of advice can you give others who are looking to get fit?

I have two important pieces of advice. The first is to learn and research as much as you can when it comes to healthy eating, working out, and the lifestyle changes that are involved. Read blogs, see what fitness icons do to reach their goals, read forums on Bodybuilding.com, or even ask a friend or personal trainer in the area. Secondly, be patient and persistent! NEVER give up on your goals, and realize that the changes you want are going to take some time. We live in a society where we want things to happen now! But with fitness, that’s not the way it works. We must work for what we want, and we must be patient and let our body slowly get into the shape we want. 🙂

Ashley, thank you so much for all your help and constant support! I seriously can’t thank you enough. 

You can find Ashley on Instagram: Passion2befit

 photo JennaSig_zpse9c98adc.png

Counting Macros

Counting macros. Who does it? Who is against it? Who has no idea what that is?

I have officially gone crazy and am on my first week of counting macros. Macros including how many grams of proteins, carbs, and fats my meals consist of. Wow, this is harder than I thought, requires a lot of brain power and prep time! I just purchased my first food scale and have officially gone off the deep end. 😉 Just kidding, but seriously wondering if any of you count protein, carbs, fats etc? It is not an easy task, but so far so good. This is my first week testing the waters, and I’m not 100% sure I’m doing it right, but I’m sure it will get easier with time. Hopefully in no time, I can just know exactly what to eat and when without having to think about it.

I’m not competing, nor am I obsessing, I’ve just been very curious and want to see how my body reacts. I love the whole learning process of it all, and actually paying detailed attention to what I eat. The prep time is more tedious, but if we want the body of our dreams, we have to work for it! Not only am I wanting to see what physical changes I see, but also how this affects my training runs for the marathon. Food is power, and so far I feel like it may be the key to getting me through grueling 15/20 mile runs. I’m in the muscle growing stages, and to gain muscle I eat, eat, eat. (Turns out this isnt so bad after all) 😉

I’ve been following a truly inspiring instagram account called “Passion2befit”. Ashley (passion2befit) and I have been emailing back and forth and I’ve grown to get to know her through social media. She is an amazing athlete who shares her bodybuilding life through pictures and sets out to help as many people as possible. (I am very excited to have her featured on the blog soon!) Ashley created a meal plan for me, taking in about 1900 calories/day. Here are some pictures that capture my meals (a few snacks not pictured):

PicMonkey Collage

(4 eggs white with spinach; oatmeal with cinnamon; non fat greek yogurt; chicken, broccoli and quinoa; stuffed pepper from Trader Joes with salad; rice cake with cake batter protein powder and blueberries)

I’m sure some of you are thinking, why the heck is she doing that? My intention is to take a peek into a life of a competitor/athlete and learn how to nourish my body, get to know my needs and watch the positive changes that may occur. This is all a learning process for me and so far, I’m loving the journey! Really excited to update you guys on my progress.

Don’t forget to enter the Michelle Bridges program giveaway. (She doesn’t count macros, but gets you on track with a delicious meal plan!)

 photo JennaSig_zpse9c98adc.png

GIVEAWAY! #12WBT

I have some pretty awesome news for you guys. Remember the Michelle Bridges body transformation program that I did a few months back? Well, I am so excited to announce that I will be giving away 2 Memberships of the Michelle Bridges 12WBT Round 1! Yes, you heard that right…2! (Each worth $199)

1-14-2014 1-20-38 PM

This program is EXCELLENT for all fitness levels and gives you all the tools you need to change your lifestyle. I couldn’t be a bigger fan of the delicious recipes, workouts that fit any lifestyle and overall motivation Michelle personally gives. Here are a few more details:

  • Pre-Season of Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation Round 1 is currently in session and open for sign ups! *Pre-Season explained below.
  • Round 1 of MB 12WBT kicks off February 3rd, 2014 and continues for 12 weeks! Remember, members start together, and finish together as a team! You must sign up by February 3rd 2014.
  • Michelle’s 12 Week Body transformation program is delivered online by Michelle herself, where she will be your trainer, coach, and mentor at a cost much lower than a personal trainer. The cost is $19.99 per week or $199 one-time-payment.
  • Pre-season: Like any great journey, preparation is the key! Michelle has designed 12 Pre-Season tasks to set members up for success and get the most out of their upcoming 12WBT Round 1. Every few days of Pre-Season, a new task will be unlocked for members to complete. Don’t stress about fitting them in – each one won’t take much of your time, so no excuses! Prior to the Feb 3rd kick off, try your best to complete each task, as each will give you the prep you need to smash through the next 12 weeks! Pre-Season is open NOW!

1-14-2014 1-51-25 PM

1-14-2014 1-52-34 PM

1-14-2014 1-52-19 PM

www.michellebridges.com/12wbt

More about Michelle:

  • Trainer on the Biggest Loser Australia for over 8 years
  • Trainer for over 25 years
  • People have lost over 1.7 million pounds on her program
  • Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation is Australia’s #1 Online Fitness Program
  • Michelle has been featured in NYT, TODAY show, Access Hollywood.
  • Program is unique because it includes changing your mindset – something other programs don’t – so you can actually discover why you fall back on old habits and overcome those obstacles to change your lifestyle beyond the 12 weeks
  • Success stories highlighting not just weight loss, but people who’ve actually transformed nearly every aspect of their lives for the better
  • Check out these success videos: Video 1 / Video 2 / Video 3

unnamed (1)

How to enter the GIVEAWAY:

  1. Easy entry for all Fitness & the City Facebook Fans
  2. Follow Fitness & the City on Instagram
  3. Follow Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation on Facebook
  4. Follow Michelle Bridges on Instagram

Optional Entry: Sign up for FREE Fitness & the City emails on the sidebar —>

Please leave a comment below letting me know that you completed all entries.

Winner will be announced January 28th. Good luck!

Also, feel free to comment with any questions you may have about the program.

 photo JennaSig_zpse9c98adc.png

Stay connected with Michelle Bridges via: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

I have been financially compensated for this giveaway but as always, all opinions are my own.

Steep Stress Away

I love love love drinking my cup of tea before bed each night. Why? Because it keeps my away from the piece of chocolate I typically crave, has zero calories and helps me to de-stress.  Traditional Medicinals was kind enough to send some of their tea to try and I cant get enough. Seriously. Im addicted. As most are addicted to coffee, I’m addicted to my nightly calming tea. I have a naturally high stress level and am always on the go, so this is my way to finally relax at the end of the day.

tea11

About Traditional Medicinals:

“For nearly forty years we’ve been passionate about connecting people with plants. And we’re equally as passionate about passing along the centuries-old wisdom of how to use them. So even though our look has changed, our aspirations remain the same: help you discover the power of plants. We don’t just make formulas because they sound good. Every tea and herbal product that we make must have sufficient evidence of safety, quality and efficacy in support of our claim statements and formulation rationale.”

More about tea…Did you know?

  • Green tea can help you maintain a healthy weight and interfere with fat formation in the body.
  • White tea can help you look younger by strengthening elastin and collagen.
  • Black tea can help reduce stress levels and risk of heart attack.
  • Tea can help boost exercise endurance.
  • Antioxidants in tea can help protect against a ton of different cancers.
  • Tea is hydrating!!
  • …and the list goes on. (Source)

PicMonkey Collage2

PicMonkey Collage1

PicMonkey Collage

Here are the teas Ive tried and loved:

Easy Now – A soothing blend of relaxing herbs like passionflower, chamomile, lavender and catnip, a mug of this is a great start when you’re looking to unwind.

Chamomile with Lavender – This tea settles your nervous system and relaxes your digestive system. Brew a cup when feeling frazzled or tense* and this herbal blend of beautiful and fragrant flowers and lemon balm will help ease your nervous tension or upset stomach.*

Nighty Night – With the help of passionflower, a wildly intense beauty with calming properties, this tea will aid in relaxation and allow the body to ease into a good night’s sleep.

Do you drink tea? If so, what’s your favorite?

 photo JennaSig_zpse9c98adc.png

Traditional Medicinals sent me products free of charge,  but as always all opinions are my own.

1000+ Calorie Burn Workout

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend! Awhile back when I was taking part in the Michelle Bridges body transformation, I mentioned an awesome Saturday workout of mine which burned more than 1000 calories!! I put a little twist on that workout and have continued to do it about once a week since then. A number of you have asked to share, so here you have it.

super session

If you want to burn a number amount of calories, you have to put in the work! Just getting on the elliptical and going through the motions doesn’t do the trick. You need to really dig deep, find that motivation within and go for it! High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a must for maximum calorie burn. I LOVE doing this workout especially on Saturday mornings when I have a little extra time, as it will take a little over an hour. I can’t even explain how amazing it feels to complete this and see the amount of calories you just burned. Such an accomplishment.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

 photo JennaSig_zpse9c98adc.png

Paris Marathon Training

Hi there! I have gotten a couple requests to share my Paris Marathon training schedule so here it is! I’ll be training and running the marathon with a friend of mine so she has set up our miles and route for each Saturday. Yikes!!! I have never trained for a marathon before (although I ran the SF Marathon), so this is going to be extremely challenging. Along with our long Saturday training runs, I plan to run 3-4 miles about 2-3 times a week.

paris training

If you are in training mode, one of my biggest suggestions would be to find a running buddy. I would not be able to get through this training without a friend running with me, and pushing me along. I am an extremely motivated person, but 26 freaking miles, is much easier with someone by your side.

Also, here is the Half Marathon Training Schedule I have used in past races for those of you looking to run a half.

1535666_613024448764047_284562508_n

I am SO ready to step outside my comfort zone and accomplish something as exciting as a full marathon IN Paris. What a dream!!

Do you have a race coming up? Or would you take a leap and sign up for one?

For more marathon related articles:

17 things running teaches you about life / Tips to fuel before a race / Marathon must-haves

 photo JennaSig_zpse9c98adc.png

Ab & Push Up Challenge

How’s everyone doing with your resolutions  goals?  First, I wanted to congratulate you for taking the first step, Its HUGE! But the real work lies ahead. Have you ever made a new years resolution that only lasts about a month or so and doesn’t make it through the year? It’s not uncommon. But I want to help it stick this time around! I put together this ab and push-up challenge to give you a little boost. A challenge can really push you to stay committed. BUT, after this challenge is over I don’t want you to burn out. I want you to KEEP GOING! This will only make you stronger.

Ab Push up challenge

KEY: side plank = seconds on each side / russian tws = russian twist

I will be doing this challenge along with you, so here are some guidelines:

    • Do this day to day, in addition to your regular workout routine.
    • If you aren’t sure what each exercise looks like, be sure to look them up on bodybuilding.com. It’s important to have correct form.
    • Do as many reps as possible of each exercise without stopping. Hold yourself accountable. Push yourself!
    • I know many women find it difficult to do push ups on their toes (me a year ago), which is why I chose a push- up challenge! If you need to start from your knees, please do, but work your way up to your toes. You will get stronger each day, so it should get easier!
    • Take a before and after picture to track your results. Even if you’re the only person to see them, photos are the best way to see how far you’ve come.
    • Take a screen shot of the challenge on your phone to have handy and ready to go. Set reminders on your phone, or even write yourself little notes around the house to remind you and hold yourself accountable.
    • And for the most important tip: If you want to see ab results, you MUST eat clean. You can do a million abdominal exercises but if you don’t eat clean, you will never see your hard work. Abs are made in the kitchen, but these exercises will help you get there!

So are you in?! Have fun and good luck! xo

 photo JennaSig_zpse9c98adc.png

Happy New Year!

Its a new year. Its time to start fresh again! Stop thinking and start doing. It’s time to work on YOU. Take risks. Discover yourself. You only have one life to live so why not make the best of it. Make a new years resolution and do anything in your power to achieve it, no matter what the cost. You know you’ve got it in you. Make this YOUR YEAR!

2014Looking back on 2013, I couldn’t be more blessed. I stepped out of my comfort zone and ran my very first marathon, I’ve gained new friends whom I will treasure forever (along with the old) and I’ve started a new job at the company of my dreams. Most importantly, Ive spent the past year working on myself. Not just the physical changes that have occurred but my inner peace. Finding out who I am and who I want to be, what my true passion is in life, finding balance and living for myself just as much as others. Ive found that fitness has helped me down this road and honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without it!

Thank you all so much for reading my posts and keeping up with me on social media. You allow me to do what I love and motivate me to keep going, and I am so grateful for that. I have some big things coming up in the new year and happy you are here to experience them with me. 🙂

As for my goals or resolutions, I want to continue down the road of personal growth, push myself to see what positive changes I can make to my physique and possibly my first competition? I’ve been getting the itch, so why not! Looking forward to my travels in 2014, with Paris and London on the agenda (and a marathon in the mix). FINALLY become a certified trainer (no ifs ands or buts!) And lastly, take FULL control of my body, and continue to learn, teach and motivate you to do the same.

ny

With a new chapter about to begin, get ready to step out of your comfort zone, try new things you’ve never done before. Set goals, write them down. Hang them all over your house as a reminder. Do whatever it takes to motivate you. Refocus, recommit, its time to get in the best shape (and mindset) of your life! Let’s make 2014 the best year yet.

Happy New Year my friends! Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014. ❤

 photo JennaSig_zpse9c98adc.png