Five Things I Learned In A Year Of Glory

A guest post by veteran Ninja Talia Mariani

  1.  You Have to Eat…A Lot – I admit I may be the only Ninja with this problem, but when I first came to MFF I was coming off of an infomercial that had the contestants eating 900 calories a day…no seriously.  And as crazy low as that sounds, I had been doing it long enough that my body was used to that intake of food.  Okay, maybe my body wasn’t “used to” that amount of food, but my mind was definitely brainwashed into thinking that was the maximum amount of food I could eat while still being able to lose weight.  Enter Mark Fisher telling me to eat as many grams of protein as my body weight and my head began to spin.  I emailed him on one of my first days of Snatched asking how someone is supposed to eat this much food (this very email I still have in my “Fitness” Gmail folder that looks like something out of Hoarders).  Mark, in his most loving and nurturing way, responded that if I “was feeling stuffed,” I was doing it right, but to keep eating until I hit my numbers anyway.  I wanted to call shenanigans on the whole Snatched process then and there, but instead I took a chance, put my trust and faith in Mark Fisher, and shoveled down some more chicken.  Lo and behold, numbers were hit and goals were quickly met.  Damn you Mark for knowing me so well.
  2. It’s Okay to be Selfish – When you’re making your personal Health and Hotness a priority, it’s perfectly fine to be a bit selfish in working towards your goals.  For instance, the moment I get my work schedule for an upcoming week, I immediately sit down and schedule my MFF classes and training.  That way, the important factors of my schedule are set, and then any fun plans can be scheduled in accordingly (not that MFF isn’t fun…did you see that photo of BPM naked with the unicorn mask? Hysterical!).  On this same note, when heading out to dinner with friends, be the first to nominate restaurants where you know you can make good choices.  Should your friends choose a restaurant where you know you don’t have a prayer (aka Macbar), be selfish and ask if they’d mind going somewhere else – explain the situation as much as you wish, and as long as they are decent friends, they will understand and be supportive.
  3.  Sometimes You Have to Eat the Damn Muffin – Whether it be for mental clarity, or you’re using it as a shock to your metabolism, once in a while you’ve got to live life and eat that damn muffin (or pint of ice cream, cheeseburger, trough of mac and cheese, etc.). I never thought I would need to take a “cheat day,” but again, digging through my “Hoarders” folder, I found an email exchange between Mark and me where I was frazzled and struggling with a difficult plateau. Mark quickly asked when my last “cheat day” was, and I sheepishly responded “I don’t know,” being fully aware I hadn’t taken one yet. “The Ninja Master” ordered me to 3 whole days off of my usual diet – a task I didn’t think I’d be able to accomplish. (WHAT? Three whole days off my diet??!! Wouldn’t I gain back every pound that I had worked so hard to lose?!) Fast forward three cheat days later, I had not gained back any weight, and better yet, I was ready to return to my usual routine of Health and Hotness with a new mindset and a rested body. I broke through that plateau and learned a valuable lesson. I now know my body and mind better and can tell myself when I need a break or two – trust me, if you pay attention, the same will happen for you.
  4. Run Your Own Race, But Know that You’re Stronger Than You Think – It’s a fine, fine line (Avenue Q anyone?) – it really is – to know when to pull back and ride your own rainbow, or when to drive forward and give that dragon a good tickle (I’m refraining from saying “balls” should my mother choose to read this). I hate to say it, but in a sense it is a bit of trial and error. I know I’ve stepped up to a 36KG kettlebell with good intentions, and after attempting one swing, quickly setting it down thinking “Nope, not a good choice for today.” (No No Cat, your thoughts? But I guess that is where the line falls – attempting that one swing, feeling that it isn’t the right choice, LISTENING to that feeling, and agreeing to put the bell down. The same goes with any exercise, really. Luckily for us ninjas, if you haven’t found that sweet spot of knowing for yourself yet, MFF has the most kick ass trainers that can tell you when to push the limits and when to pull back. Seriously, what do people in regular gyms do?!
  5. Community is Key – This is another one that I didn’t think was necessary for me at first. In fact, I believe I left my “Meet the Meat” directly after the information session was concluded. I didn’t see what this group of people could offer me, and more than anything I didn’t want to be vulnerable to them. WRONG! So freaking wrong! First off, the ninjas at MFF are the best people in the world. Period. Each one is funny, talented, passionate, and ready to help you “Get Better” every single day. So jump off that high board, and fall into the pool that is MFF – I guarantee you will be caught by the softest, most tender waves created by the fabulous Ninja Army. Trust me, get in to it, and allow yourself to grow within this community of ninjas, unicorns, and dragons – I promise you will not regret it!


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