Michelle K. wins the 2012 Your Best Body Challenge and practices Kaizen!

Michelle - June 2012. Kaizen!

Michelle – June 2012. Kaizen!

First of all, what the heck is “Kaizen”?

Kaizen is Japanese for improvement. It’s used to refer to constant steady improvement in business and life. Our 2012 YBBC winner embodies this principle.

Earlier this season we held our annual Your Best Body Challenge, our fitness and nutrition challenge that has helped people transformed their bodies and lives for 3 years. This year’s challenge was a 30-day program aimed at helping the participants get ready for tank top and bikini season (aka summer).

And the winner is…Michelle Kirsch!


Michelle is one of our Havertown boot campers who has trained with us since October. She came to boot camp as an experienced runner and tennis player who wanted to step up her routine and try something new. She liked the improvements in her fitness level so much that she convinced her husband, Noel, to join.

Then Michelle really started to transform. Her first transformation began in January of this year when she did our 8-week, eat squeaky clean, Clean Up Nutrition Challenge. She was worried about doing the Clean Up because she’s a self -described picky eater who didn’t know if she could survive without her daily Diet Coke.  Not only did she survive but she thrived. She cleaned out all the non-food substances from her diet, found a new way of eating, lost 16 pounds, over 14 inches and was our Clean Up winner for Body Transformation to boot!

Then came the 2012 YBBC in May. Michelle was starting a very stressful period in her life and wanted something that would keep her committed to her goals. She didn’t expect to have great results – after all YBBC 2012 was only 30 days instead of 8 weeks like the Clean Up, and she had already experienced amazing results a few months before. She couldn’t strike gold twice?! Or could she?

Well, Michelle struck again. This time she lost 8 more pounds, over 6 inches (3-1/4 of them around her belly) and decreased her body fat by 8%! All in Thirty Days!

Here’s her story in her own words:

“The first day of the 2012 Your Best Body Express Challenge coincided with the first day of the bar review course for the PA and NJ bar exams.  One of the things the professor told us was that during this very stressful time in our lives it is best not to change anything that we are currently doing.  For example, if you are a  smoker, don’t try and quit smoking, don’t give up caffeine, and don’t try and start a diet.  Well, against his suggestion, I started the Your Best Body Express Challenge.  Knowing that I completed the Clean-Up Challenge earlier this year, I knew I could complete this current challenge while studying for the bar exams.  It is true that studying for the bar exams is probably the most stressful thing I have undertaken, but competing in this challenge has really kept me focused.   
I knew that the timing of this challenge would be difficult with graduation celebrations, a wedding, tennis and brunch with two of my professors, and studying for the bar exams, but I decided to accept the challenge.  I prepared myself that I wouldn’t see that same type of results that I did with the Clean Up Challenge, but I didn’t let that discourage me.   
The key to succeeding for me is planning ahead.  Every night I would pack not only my books for the next day’s class, but also the snacks and water I would need.  Bringing my own snacks and water kept me away from the tempting vending machines or a trip to Wawa during breaks.  I also planned ahead what I would do for lunch, whether it was grabbing a  salad at a restaurant near my class or coming home to make a salad.  I also planned out the dinners my husband and I would have for the week.  Once I had a plan, it was much easier to stick to… 
As for exercising, I continued with the Tuesday and Thursday boot camps with [Performance Fitness boot camp instructor] Caitlin and my Saturday afternoon tennis lesson.  I added the Saturday boot camp to my schedule…
Of course I couldn’t have done all this without the support of my husband, Noel.  Although he didn’t compete in the challenge, he did eat clean with me…overall I feel great.  Noel and I plan on continuing to eat clean for most of our meals and, of course. continuing to work out.  The challenge may be over, but I will continue to be aware of what I eat.  I am not going to treat the stress of studying for the bar exams as a license to eat junk.
Michelle is proof that if you commit to yourself and your health you can achieve your goals during stressful times. Not only that, you can keep improving. Congratulations, Michelle!