Christmas is living proof that fitness is sexy, and a badass body is a birthright for one and all. A CrossFit star, professional athlete, former NASCAR pit crew member, Olympic weightlifter, and previously unhealthy ”skinny fat” woman herself, Christmas has identified what women need if they want to get the butts and bodies of their dreams. In the Badass Body Diet, Christmas provides a quick and simple workout plan that tones everything—from booty to total body—and teaches you how to spot-reduce excess fat with targeted meal plans and recipes.
1:47 Christmas’ Journey to Extreme Fitness and Health: After having lived a rebellious childhood, Christmas took a job in Iraq. The experience of working in a war zone was transformative. It started her on the path to health. Taking baby steps, she stopped drinking; smoking and making poor decisions that were endangering her. It took a year before she actually wanted to work out. It was a slow and steady progression.
5:04 Why is the Booty so Important? It is one of those things that everyone wants to see and can be seen. It can be grown naturally through more squats and other exercises that target the glutes. No surgery or augmentation needed.
6:55 The Benefits of Working on the Butt: Christmas feels that it is the core connector. It is connected to your legs. It is connected to your abs. If you have to move, you have to move your butt. It is designed to stand you up, sit you down and move you around. Targeting the butt in workouts synergistically works out the rest of your body.
8:57 Posterior Chain Exercises: Christmas is a big advocate of the home workout. Squats are the classic booty exercise. She really likes lunges: walking lunges, jumping lunges, lunge pumps, weighted walking lunges. Lunges are isometric and work both legs equally. She says to stay slow and steady, keeping form.
11:46 It Isn’t’ Just About Leg Presses and Squats: You need to mix it up with isometrics. Isometrics builds strength quickly. Mix it up with weighted or non-weighted. Mix it up with fundamentals: air squats, pushups, pull-ups, and sit-ups. Christmas finds that doing the fundamentals helps with her body awareness and overall ability to stabilize her positioning. When you only work out weighted, it can hide issues that show up on maximum loads, maximum intensity or maximum capacity. Including fundamentals and isometrics helps to prevent injury, keeps you well rounded and technically sound. Anything can be used as a weight. You don’t have to have a gym membership.
13:33 Injury Prevention: People should recognize that CrossFit is a sport. How you approach it will determine how and how quickly you will be injured. In any sport at any level, you get injured. How you play the game will determine how you are injured and how often you are injured. No sport is injury free. The mechanics of movement need to be worked on consistently. Even 10 years in, Christmas works on refining her form on her air squats. The better foundation you have, the better mechanics you have, the better you move through a workout, and the safer you are during the entire workout.
15:31 The Importance of Recovery: People underestimate the value of recovery. Christmas does a complete foam rolling routine after her workouts. Sleep, water and nutrition are all part of recovery and are key contributors to your success.
17:38 Sweat Equity: When Christmas first started to work toward health and fitness, she would spend 20 minutes 3 times a week on the elliptical. It was only a little, but it was more than doing nothing. When she started to see changes in her body, her internal motivation kicked in. If she could elicit these changes in her body with a small effort, what could she do with more effort? It is important for us to remember where we started, so we can feel proud and so we can feel good about the baby steps required.
19:55 Reward Yourself: Break your goals into small manageable pieces and reward yourself for doing the work. Christmas might have a cheat meal or a food massage at the end of a week where she met her goals. It is your gold star at the end of the week.
21:32 You need Accountability: It is important to have a workout buddy or a food buddy. You need someone to hold you accountable. Christmas says that even she needs to build in accountability for those days when she would rather not workout. When working out at home, incorporate your family or neighbors into your workout and food prep. You don’t have to kill it every time. You just need to be consistent. Christmas writes her annual goal on her bathroom mirror. As she meets her goals, she puts a line through it and dates it. She does not erase them, because it is important to be able to see where she came from. You need the external network resource and you need to be reminded of the path to your goals. You could put motivational reminders on your phone calendar, fo the toughest days of the week to get moving.
27:00 Nutrition According to Christmas: Most of us do not understand the details of our body’s nutritional needs, nor do we need to. Christmas loves seasonal fruit from her local farmer’s market. She also loves dairy products and brings them into her diet when she needs to gain mass. She, like most people, reacts to dairy, so she takes supplements to minimize inflammation. She is not strict paleo because having bread once in a while makes her heart sing and it makes her happy. Christmas says that you should implement your cheat, enjoy it, and have no guilt.
31:30 The Cheat Meal Rule of Thumb: When you start, work up to a 21 day detox, where you do not cheat (no sweets or alcohol) for 21 days. Then implement a cheat at the end of the week. You don’t know how bad sugar and alcohol make you feel until you are able to step away for those 21 days. For Christmas, an end of week cheat is something like a cupcake or a cocktail with friends. If you don’t want to cheat, don’t force it. You don’t get to save your cheat for later.
34:14 Alcohol and Your Performance: Alcohol during the week is not a good idea. It disrupts your sleep and has other negative side effects. It also has negative emotional side effects. Christmas wants people to see alcohol as a cheat and as a poison. When you get rid of the alcohol, you will see a vast difference in your performance, in your sleep and in your body composition, even getting rid of cellulite. Proceed with caution, when consuming alcohol. Make sure that you really want it and you are not just doing it passively. Christmas often drinks pretend tonics when she goes out. It can be soda water with lime in a short glass so it looks like she’s drinking and she doesn’t have to discuss it with anyone. Sometimes even at home, instead of reaching for a wine bottle, she fills a wine glass with soda water and sits down to decompress.
40:05 Creating the Mindset for Belief in Yourself: You are not allowed to speak negatively to yourself. You may not believe it yet, but you still cannot talk to yourself in a negative way. I can’t, becomes I’m going to try. Whatever you believe is absolutely true. The voice in your head should treat you as nicely as you treat your friends. It is only through hundreds of failures do we find success. In Christmas’ mind, if you fall down after a workout, it is like giving it away after all that work. She puts her arms up and gives a warrior yell, because it was her against the workout and she won. She feels that it manifests a mental toughness. On a bad day outside the gym, you can’t just fall down. After your workout, you may need your strength for some situation. Being mentally tough beyond your workout serves you.
43:35 Preparation is the Key: No matter the task at hand, preparation is everything. Christmas prepares seriously as much as possible. It gives her confidence to get the best response possible. Even if the result or response is not what she wanted, she is living to her best capability and true potential. This applies to everything she does.
45:18 Christmas’ Morning Routine: Every day before getting out of bed, she gives a prayer of thanks God for the blessings she receives. If she is coaching a 6 a.m. class, she grabs a two brick breakfast (outlined in her book) and she is out the door. After coaching, she works out and then heads home to cook and eat breakfast. She takes a few minutes to just meditatively sit and reflect before the chaos of the day starts. If she doesn’t coach at 6 a.m. she cooks her breakfast, eats and sits meditatively before starting her day.
47:36 Christmas’ Favorite Micronutrient, Herb, Supplement or Botanical: Christmas has what she calls her Core Three. She takes zinc in the morning, magnesium at night, and fish oil or different natural anti-inflammatory during the day. She sees great results in her energy, recovery, sleep and workouts.
49:36 Lifestyle or Health Tip for Americans: Balance your macronutrients at every meal. Foods are categorized as a carbohydrate, a protein or a fat. There are a few combination items, like dairy products. Look at your plate and divide it into three. You’ll get most of your nutrition from the carbs and protein, but you’ll feel full from the fat. Have a carbohydrate, a protein and a fat in every meal and every snack.