Keeping FIT the FRESH Way During Winter

Winter can often be a challenging time to stay committed to the fitness routines we’ve developed during other, more pleasant times of the year! Between inclement weather, the “winter blues” many of us can often experience, and our slower metabolisms - fitness isn’t always top of the mind!

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Trisch Richardson, FRESH Start Certified Coach & Master T-Tapp Trainer in Indiana, shares her secret to staying fit in the winter (and in any other challenging times!)...she calls it...

...Sneaky Fit to the Rescue!

Here’s what she shares...

I will often “curl my core” against a wall when my lower back is sore, especially from a long day of standing or walking. Of course, it’s not always easy to find a suitable wall wherever I am! So, just lean against any door after closing it. I used to do it only when I was alone - but after awhile I just didn’t care!

If you have never curled your core against a wall, here is the short version

(I share a longer version in my online programs)

  • Stand against a wall, feet out about 4-5 inches

  • Bring belly button up towards the rib cage (it won’t really go up that high, it’s the activation you are after)

  • Now use the tummy muscles to flatten the lower back against the wall, tucking to accommodate as needed

  • Keeping the core activated to flatten back against the wall, lift the ribs without arching away from the wall

  • Shift knees out, weight off big toe

  • Big inhale, exhale BIGGER! (Note: It WILL be tough to inhale big, do your best!)

  • Step away and kick out

Of course, there are many other ways and methods of squeezing fitness into the cold and blustery days of winter.

You can walk indoors to a Walking Program DVD, stretch to a yoga video via Youtube, or use a jump rope in the living room! There’s free weights, stretchy bands and kettle bells - the options available to us are truly endless these days!

The key is to KEEP MOVING, recruit an accountability buddy to encourage you, and reward yourself with a healthy protein smoothie or extra cup of tea or even a square of dark chocolate for your commitment to fitness through this extra-tough time of year!

To have an instant group of fitness accountability buddies around you, join us in the FRESH Start Club (it’s free!)

We check in often with each other on our realistic yet challenging “small steps” FRESH Living Goals! We’d love to have you with us…find out more and join us HERE.

Run If You Can, But If You Can’t…WALK!

I have so much admiration for runners.

In my mind, they rank right up there with Olympic athletes, professional sports players and marathon marvels! I mean, the PUSH they have for the goal is phenomenal. I love their stories, and to see them BURN as they push past the pain and reach their goal, and they reach it FAST! But can I admit something to you?

I’m so NOT a runner.


I admire them from a distance.

A LOOOONNGG distance, because they run right past me in all their marvelous strength as I walk with my fur baby every morning. Their fabulous calves popping, their breath coming out in puffs, with a look of determination and purpose on their face. Meanwhile, I’m walking. I’m a brisk walker, and science says that counts for something, and in my walking, I’m hoping science is right.

I tried to become a runner once.  “They” told me I could do it, that anyone could run and that I just had to “work my way” up to it. Boy did I find out different. There was a real problem.

You see…I really don’t like self-inflicted pain!

This may not be the case for everyone, but for ME to train as a runner, I quickly figured out that it took PAIN. And lots of it! I suffer from chronic body pain, mainly from a lower-back genetic condition that affects me daily.

I  also deal with an autoimmune disease that weakens my body. So the running quickly inflamed and irritated conditions I had already been dealing with for a lifetime.

I pushed through it initially, but by the end of the second week, with no relief after using all the known methods of reducing the inflammation and treating my pain, I decided not to become a “runner” after all.

Disappointment in my “failure” soon took over…

You see, runners seem to have their own club, and they just…well, they “get” each other. They get to be part of 5ks and wear stickers on their cars that have secret runner’s codes. They wear cool bibs and branded t-shirts and fancy running shoes. They are in a league all their own. And for me to get invited to this elite group, I had to run! And I just couldn’t.

At first, I was operating in an ALL or NOTHING mentality…

Since I couldn’t run, I decided, I just wouldn’t bother being active at all. I had failed, so I shrunk back from fitness altogether for a time.

Don’t we often do that? Go all in or nothing with these things? Hebrews 12:1b talks about running our appointed race in “patient endurance” and “active persistence.”

So I couldn’t really RUN, but did that mean I was to sit down in a huff and not do ANYTHING active for my health?

No, I decided, “patient endurance” in my understanding spoke less of speed and MORE of tenacity.

“Active persistence” told me that hanging in for the long haul and doing it ACTIVELY was a good goal.

So I couldn’t run. I still can’t run. But I CAN walk.

So that is what I began doing.

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I parked further away in the parking lot and walked to the store. I walked the kids to the neighborhood park. I walked to my daughter’s school around the corner.

Then I began to feel stronger…and even a little more muscular! Yes, just walking!

Soon, I set a bigger goal for myself and committed to walking 30 days straight for a half-hour a day. I took off on my challenge, walking with my fur baby, my hubby, my daughter, my son…anyone who would walk with me!

Some days I walked for 45 minutes, sometimes, for an hour! I walked uphill, downhill, on pavement, on dirt trails. I walked early in the day (my personal favorite!) and late in the evenings.

And as I walked, I felt myself breathe better, feel better, and best of all, WANT to make other choices to live healthier!

As I write this, I’ve walked well past that original personal 30-Day challenge I set for myself…and I FEEL SO GREAT!

I’m not in any additional body pain, and in fact, have even seen my back pain diminish a bit!

My prayer life is stronger as I’ve had those powerful moments alone with God and nature as I walk.

My knees feel great, my weight has dropped a bit, my leg muscles (and even butt!) are LOOKING better than ever…and it’s all from walking.

Just walking.

I learned that even though I wanted to run, and run well, it just isn’t MY PERSONAL appointed race during this season of my life.

I still admire the runners as they pant past me in their awesome running shoes.

I still look to their secret society with a twinge of jealousy. But I am secure in my achievement as a walker. I know I am doing my very best right now as I walk every day.

As Hebrews taught me, I CAN and WILL walk briskly the appointed race set before me, and do it with patient endurance and active persistence!

FRESH Living Friends: What about you and your fitness story? We would love to hear your lessons learned and moments of joy in your personal fitness journey!  Share in the comments below!

Fitness Made Easy for the Busy Woman {with Trainer Trisch!}

Our guest expert on this post is our own FRESH Start Coach Trisch Richardson, writing from her hobby farm in rural Indiana! Mom of nine kids (yes they're all hers!) and wife to husband Dallas, she is a busy woman herself - so this helpful article comes right from the horses' mouth! (pardon the pun LOL) Here's a little bit about her and the fitness method she has found WORKS for woman of all abilities, ages, and speed of life!

Whether you're a busy mom with little ones or a CEO, whether you're super active or unable to do much due to health issues, there is one thing we all have in common - we know we need to get moving to get healthy and fit.

Then you read an article that says to maintain your current size and fitness level, you need to work out an hour a day. If you want to lose weight/sizes/inches, you have to work out one and a half hours each day! (What???)

The tension comes when we can't fit in workouts, we don't have space for special equipment (or the kids keep running off with your hand and ankle weights!) or we hardly have enough energy to get dressed, let alone work out for an hour? 

That's where I found myself 10 years ago, the largest (and unhealthiest) I had ever been in my life.  

I was a size 22W, as close as I could tell, wearing mostly loose fitting maternity jumpers because nothing else fit. My baby was 3 ½ months old! I had been working out an hour a day, five days per week, and I had lost absolutely nothing. AND I was getting more and more tired, needing an hour nap about 1 ½ hours after working out. I was a busy homeschooling mama—I didn't have time for that!

I found the T-Tapp workout and that changed everything! Instead of an hour each day I was spending 15-20 minutes. Instead of needing a nap 1 ½ hours later, I not only didn't need the nap—I had more energy! Best part of all—I started losing inches!

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But what in the world is T-Tapp?!

It's a method of movement that uses 5-7 muscles in each move, activating the muscle from both ends resulting in long, lean muscles - as well as efficient and optimal lymphatic pumping! The founder, Teresa Tapp, first created these moves to help women who were undergoing cancer treatments to better tolerate the treatments and minimize getting ill because of them. She also worked in the modeling industry for 20 years as a face developer, so she was able to “perfect” her method of movement to help our bodies—inside and out!

T-Tapp focuses more on inch loss, size loss and health and energy improvements than the scales.

My own story is a “weight doesn't tell the whole story” one! I lost 8 sizes - that's right! From a 22W to an 8, started healing my adrenals, my thyroid levels optimized - I do take a compounded thyroid but haven't had to increase my dosage since starting T-Tapp. My body has reshaped in amazing ways after birthing 10 BIG babies (biggest was 11 lbs 4 oz!) and even now at the edge of menopause, the hormonal fluff has caused me to gain only 1 size back. YET - I've only lost 30 lbs. Muscle density rocks!

As a busy woman with little time to exercise as well as being hypothyroid and adrenal challenged, I have a special place in my heart for those who, like me, are struggling to find the time and/or energy to get moving.

I joke that I am the Queen of Superslow and the Queen of Splitting Workouts! I often only do 10 minutes daily of some of the workouts because I've learned to listen to my body and there are some days that I need movement, but I know I can't push myself. T-Tapp even has a few seated workouts that are excellent for those “not much energy” days or when my hip used to bother me.

Trisch & Her Beautiful Family

Trisch & Her Beautiful Family

I had a beautiful client who had a lot of stress she could do little about. She was gaining in spite of being gluten and casein free. She felt she had to do 15 minutes daily, but based on my own experience, I encouraged her to try just 3 moves daily. She was worried she wouldn't see inch loss, but as I explained to her, if your body is stressed - and yes, over-exercising can stress it - you won't see inch loss. At other times the body takes our new habits and efforts to get healthy and focuses on internal healing first - then it shows on the outside!

My client was able to do 3 moves on average of 4-5 days per week. The other days I had her focus on curling her core as she drove her boys to their therapy appointments or sat at her desk for her home business. In one month she lost 2 ½ inches off her waist alone! Over the next 6 months, doing no more than those 3 moves and curling the core, she lost 4 sizes!

No jumping around, no special equipment, easy on joints, no more than 10 to 20 minutes a day, and yes—you can get results even in a chair! Less really IS more with T-Tapp!  

You can find Trisch at and on Facebook at Be Youthful N Fit

My Purpose is Bigger Than My Plate {Losing Weight Naturally - 141 Pounds Down!}

Rhonda's Story - Losing Weight Naturally CAN BE DONE! 

Read on to find out how Rhonda (now a Certified FRESH Start Coach!) lost over 140 pounds without shakes, pills or surgery...she is a passionate woman living on purpose to now serve others who struggle with weight loss! You will be highly encouraged as you read her amazing story...

Seven years ago on a chilly February afternoon, I decided to bring my friends together to my home for a special Valentine's Day celebration. Most of them were single during the season so celebrating how much they were appreciated and loved was  significant.  I will never forget that day: it was also the day I discovered my internal mantra and message that I would go on to live by and spread as my mission: "I Simply Love Her." I've always had a passion to help others to both recognize and acknowledge their worth and purpose.  In 2009, I even started to host vision board workshops to help women create visuals that represented their self-love and purpose meeting their destiny.

Interestingly enough, I had a bit of problem conveying the message of loving self because I walked around, weighing in at 329 pounds.
— Rhonda Ferebee-Hammond


One life changing day three years ago, I asked a co-worker: "If you came to one of my workshops, would you be able to receive this message of vision from me while I carry this weight?"  Her honest response was: "Please don't get offended by my honesty, but I find it repulsive when people carry around that amount of weight." cut like a knife, but I was determined to take those words as fuel to begin the quest of my life. I was determined to face the fight that I had been running from for years. I ultimately faced my most difficult challenger: myself.

People around me always assumed that I was happy because I always greeted them with an infectious bubbly smile. Nevertheless, inside I constantly struggled with the demon of self control and discipline, earnestly seeking to find the right plan that would finally help me to shed my unwanted weight.
— Rhonda Ferebee-Hammond

In the wee hours of morning faced with desperation and a spirit of willingness, I fervently prayed and resolved that something had to be done; after talking with my husband, we agreed that I would get weight loss surgery.

In June 2012, we embraced the surgery process and started all the testing, awaiting a surgery date. All was going according to plan, until my life was interrupted on August 28,  2012; I lost my job leaving me without health insurance.

Weight-loss surgery was no longer an option for me.

In despair, I attempted once again to lose the weight. I began to take daily walks and boy, was it challenging; I did not realize that I had put on so much weight, that my back would scream in excruciating pain with every morning walk.  Still, I did not give up and began to have faith that an answer would soon come.

One day while watching a commercial on television, a familiar face introduced a woman who shared her stirring, weight loss journey and triumph, encouraging her listening audience to call, to which I heeded.

I heard many a success story of people who lost hundreds of pounds and were able to maintain their target weight without surgery, pills or shakes.

However, plans involving this level of success, usually required a significant monetary investment and since money was tight I decided those types of programs were not for me.  I was referred to a program that required no pills or shakes and just required me to make more deliberate healthy choices at the grocery store.

On January 4, 2013, I started my journey and with the help of Skype I talked to a lady in Africa that began to walk me through the plan.

Since then, I have shed 141 pounds and  I feel amazing.  I have a new look on life; my marriage is renewed because we do so many more things together.
— Rhonda Ferebee-Hammond


My family structure has changed because I'm not in my room loathing over an empty life filled with shame, guilt and depression.  Finally, I look forward to eating healthy, living and sharing recipes with others.

With much excitement and hard work, I started to train in May 2014 for my first obstacle course with a team of ladies from our group, "Team Burn It Up Onpurpose." Since l started my weight loss journey, I knew there would be others that needed the support and accountability of a group to encourage, empower and motivate them through our weight loss journey.

It is personally amazing to hear and see the achievements of others; it gives me the motivation to keep on going and I love it.

As a wife, mother, leader and speaker, I'm constantly reminded of the daily tasks and full schedule I have. However, what I keep in the forefront of my everyday commitments is me, making self-love a priority.  Clean eating and meditation with God is part of my lifestyle, in addition to continually remembering that I need to have a fitness slot on my calendar to keep moving. Fitness is key in maintaining continued success.

My plan follows a 12-step motto and was a bit challenging at first, but it continues to give me discipline, support and the accountability I need. 

Its been over two years and I still have thirteen pounds left to lose to reach my goal of losing 154 lbs; there is no doubt with continued focus and hard work, I will succeed.

This journey has been more than awesome, it's been indescribable and I would not take away one moment.  Most of all I am grateful; before it was hard for me to walk in the message of loving self after a life of failed yo- yo diets, many obstacles,  the death of my mother and living in constant fear.  However, I now have the tools I need to succeed and maintain my success. Some days are up and some are not so up, but  I can truly say there is a new-found fight in me to make wellness part of my story. I now "Simply Love Myself" for making this decision!

To get in touch with Coach Rhonda and learn more about her story, visit her at or on Facebook at!

How to Fit Exercise Into Your Busy Day {With FRESH Start Coach Sue}

Hi everybody! I'm Sue, a Certified Coach with FRESH Start, and founder of Busy Moms Living Well! Today, I'm sharing a few tips with you on WHY and HOW to get the exercise we KNOW we need! As a seasoned "busy mom" of 6, I'm someone who GETS why establishing an exercise routine can be difficult! We all know that exercise is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. It's not only important for your physical health but for your mental & emotional well-being too.

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Why exercise?

  • boost your mood
  • weight loss or maintenance
  • disease prevention
  • sleep better
  • more energy

Those are just a few (of many) reasons you should be exercising regularly. Would you agree, knowing you need to exercise and doing it are two different things?! You MUST have a plan! Without a plan it is so easy to make excuses and skip it. Believe me, I know!

Watch the video below for my tips to help you create a weekly exercise plan.

Create an exercise plan that works for YOU:

  1. Choose a form of exercise you enjoy. If you don't enjoy it, you will likely make excuses and put it off. There are so many options - walking, running, biking, workout dvds, local classes, swimming, etc. Your form of exercise may change during the seasons of the year and that's fine.
  2. Decide how often you will exercise. I recommend 5 - 6 times of planned exercise a week for about 30 minutes, even if that is just walking.
  3. Plan your exercise into your week. Get out your calendar for the week and schedule it just like you would any other appointment. Don't leave it to chance.
  4. Show up for your appointment! You are worth it!

Success = showing up (in this case, for your workout!) even when you don't feel like it.

Come share with Coach Sue how you fit exercise into your busy day on her Facebook page, Busy Moms Living Well!

Walking for Wellness - 7 Tips to Make It Fun

We all know the facts: walking for wellness WORKS! We know that daily exercise prevents disease, reduces unwanted weight and generally makes us feel better! But knowing the facts doesn't always make DOING THE WORK easy or fun! So how to make walking (an easy, light exercise that EVERYONE can do!) fun again?

Would it help you get up, get moving, and get preventing for your own wellness if I gave you some quick tips on making it more FUN?

Tips to make walking more fun:

#1  Walk with your pet – the companionship is motivating, and keeps you committed, as your pet will begin to “ask” you often for the pleasure of a walk – that cute furry face will be hard to refuse, as you justify the benefits of a quick walk! {Confession: this has been my not-so-secret life hack in the last couple furry babies won't let me NOT walk!}

#2  Find a walking partner – you’ll have someone else to get outside for, fun and fulfilling conversation as you move your body, and the walk will seem faster with conversation.  Plus, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone!

#3  See it as meditation/prayer time – how often do you REALLY get to get away from it all, just you and God, and have freely flowing conversation with Him?  Walking with Him is the perfect opportunity to be able to spend that quality time you often crave, but “don’t have time” for!

#4  Play music/audio in your ear – Get a music-playing device or app (they are so affordable now!) and load it with motivating music and maybe even speaking audios that you don’t have time to listen to otherwise – it’s a great way to stay motivated to continue walking, yet still feel like you are accomplishing something, too!

#5  Spend time with family – recruit a family member (or two, or all!) to get out and move with you!  Your child(ren), spouse, or parent would love to have that heart-pumping, quality, one-on-one attention and time with you!  Just sell it to them as time with you, and then they’ll be exercising before they realize that is exactly what they are doing!  They might not be excited the first time or two, but once they realize how rewarding that conversation and undivided attention is, they’ll be the ones asking for the walk next time!

#6  Walk in GREAT weather – Don’t walk in high heat, or numbing cold, it’ll discourage you, and possibly harm your poor body!  Choose pleasant times of the day (and year!) to begin building this habit!  Dusk and dawn are often the best times of the day for mild weather, so be wise and choose the best times to encourage this new habit!

#7  Get a pedometer or use an app to track miles or steps – These affordable tools bring fun back to this very healthy exercise, wear one to encourage yourself as you begin to rack up those miles!  Set an realistic and motivating short-term goal for yourself (i.e. 5 miles, 10 miles, etc) and reward yourself after you meet that goal (i.e. new t-shirt, or pedicure after so many miles).  Make sure it motivates you to set a new goal, and continue developing this new habit of health!  If you are walking with a friend or family member, this is a fun way to motivate them, as well (and hold each other accountable!)

Do you think you can use these tips to increase your walking?  Try them out, and let me know at our Facebook page, FRESH Start for Health, how they work for you!  Have a fun walking idea that I didn't include here?  I'd LOVE to hear it!  Share it with me in the comments here or on the FB page!