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Getting Fit In the New Year! 

With the new year comes the opportunity for a fresh start. For many people, this means leading a healthier lifestyle and losing weight. If this is your goal, follow these tips to stay on track.

1. Find Your Motivation

What is motivating you to lose weight? Do you want to look better in your clothes, feel more energetic, or simply improve your health? Get clear about what you want, and then use that to inspire you throughout your journey.

2. Have a Plan

If you were to go on a long road trip, you wouldn't just jump in the car and go. If you did, you'd arrive hungry, tired, and fatigued. That's the same way you'd feel if you jumped into a whole new lifestyle with no planning. Before January 1st arrives, outline the changes you want to implement and decide how you'll fit them into your schedule. Keep in mind that it may be best to take steps rather than tackle everything at once.

3. Make Goals

Goals help measure progress. If you don't know where you want to end up, you won't really know how to get there. When making your goals, you need to make SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

For example, a SMART goal would be something like, "I will walk for 15 minutes 3 days for one week." Or, "I will prepare one new healthy recipe each week for the month of January."

4. Track What You Eat

Looking closely at what you eat is often an eye-opening experience. Use FitDay's free online Calorie Counter and Fitness Log to keep track of everything you put into your body. You don't have to do it for the rest of your life, but it is a great habit to start. Tracking will help you tweak your diet so that you can still enjoy foods you love without sabotaging your weight loss or healthy eating efforts.

5. Use Reliable Resources

It may be tempting to try a fad diet, but these are usually unrealistic, difficult to maintain, and sometimes even dangerous. Instead, find a reliable source of information to help you understand nutrition. The USDA offers a number of tools and resources, or you can consult a registered dietitian in your area. An RD is specially trained and can give you tips and tricks to help you achieve your specific goals.

6. Eat Breakfast Every Day

Surely you've heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is! Eat a big healthy breakfast as early as possible. It will give you more energy, lead you to make healthier choices during the day, and keep you feeling full so you eat less later on.

7. Fill Up on Vegetables

Vegetables are filled with nutrients, water, fiber, and very few calories. If you fill half of your plate with vegetables, you'll get fuller faster and cut down your calories without feeling deprived. Use herbs and spices to jazz up vegetables instead of using butter and/or salt to flavor them.

8. Exercise

In order to burn calories at a faster rate and build a healthy body, you'll need to incorporate exercise into your life. Take it slow at first, and then increase your time and/or intensity once you feel comfortable. If you haven't exercised in a while, talk to your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to begin an exercise plan.

9. Take It Slow

A major mistake many people make when trying to tackle a health resolution is trying to do everything at once. This is almost always a recipe for disaster. Spend a few weeks just trying to achieve 1-2 goals at a time. When you have established new good habits, put a couple more goals on your plate. Remember: You want to make permanent changes, and these will take time to implement.

10. Be Prepared for Lapses

A lapse is when you temporarily "fall off the wagon." This is a normal part of the process; no one is perfect. It is important for you to take a moment to recognize that you got sidetracked, but don't use it as an excuse to throw in the towel. Every day is a new chance to start over, so return to your healthy lifestyle immediately.

By Mandy Seay—http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/10-tips-to-help-you-achieve-your-new-years-health-goals.html 


Greenway Student Highlight— JR Miller

Arms around my neck. The blood flow to my brain slowly diminishing. The world slowly seeming to fade as sweat, my own and perhaps someone else’s, begins to sting my eye.


Congratulating my teammate on the execution of a great choke, another Tuesday is in the books. And that is kind of my life now. Waking up, heading into work, and then heading into training at Elite MMA where at any given point I'm rehearsing the best ways to defend myself by constantly putting myself into circumstances that hurt me.

It started about a year and a half ago. I’d lived in Houston for just under a year and recent developments in my life at the time caused me to seek an outlet. I had no idea what to expect when I came through the doors of Elite MMA Greenway the first time, I just knew that people punch things and kick things in kickboxing and at that time that is indeed all I really wanted to do.

Admittedly, even after my first training session, I was pretty hesitant. I’d taken a few months of Jiu-Jitsu (the non-Brazilian form) when I was a kid but I wasn’t yet ready to make the commitment to the program. Matter of fact, I’d gone back and forth with Coach Jose for about an hour before I decided to base my final decision on the feedback from a recently registered student that had entered the room during our conversation. I asked her her thoughts about Elite and she explained that she had signed up a few days before and it had already helped her so much. She wasn't wasting money on partying and now she was actually doing something that betters her. She sold me and I signed up that day.

A year and a half later I have more muscle definition, I’ve earned a few competition medals, am now a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

So I would have to say, for anyone thinking about trying martial arts. Just do it. Whatever is gnawing in the back of your brain that even has you remotely questioning whether you want to try it is enough for you to take your first intro class. Worst case scenario, you find out it isn’t your thing and you move on to your next adventure. Best case scenario, you’ll tap into a whole heap of new, deeper relationships; with your new community, chances are your doctors, but most importantly yourself.



Westheimer NEW Instructor Highlight—Morganne Thompson

NameMorganne Thompson

Birth Place: Dalhart, TX 

Profession: Martial Arts Instructor 

What classes do you teach

Kids BJJ and Kids Kickboxing 

What Martial Art(s) have you trained in:

Shotokan (Kunami-Yama Ryu) Karate 2003-2016

Sanda (Sanshou) 2003-Present

Kickboxing 2006-Present

Boxing 2008-2013

BJJ 2016-Present 

Number of years you have been training in martial arts:

I started training in martial arts when I was 10 years old.  I was in a gymnastics class when I saw other kids practicing karate and was drawn to it.  After convincing my mom to let me participate, I slowly fell in love with anything and everything having to do with mixed martial arts.  I enjoyed training in self-defense, weapons, boxing, kickboxing, karate, and Sanda, which is a Chinese kickboxing/wrestling.  Through my experience in martial arts, I have had the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world; including Bejing, China and Ankara, Turkey.  I am excited to grow and expand my martial arts skills at Elite MMA in Brazilian Jujitsu. 

When did you start teaching at Elite MMA:

I started teaching at Elite MMA in December 2016 after my graduation from Texas A&M.  

What is a memorable moment for you at Elite MMA:

Oddly enough my most memorable moment at Elite MMA so far was my first day working there.  There was a moment when I felt like I had become apart of a family that was truly interested in my personal growth and development as well as allowing me to help be apart of their growth and development.  The feeling of home and family has always been present for me here, and I’m excited for each day to come.  

In your own words why do you enjoy Elite MMA:

Besides feeling apart of an extraordinary family of exceptional martial artist, I love being at Elite because it is an environment that promotes empowerment and encouragement for everyone involved.  The instructors want their students to live their life fully inside and outside of martial arts.  

Do you have any martial arts accomplishments that you are proud of and why:

I am most proud of my 1st degree black belt I received in 2012 from my home town in Canyon, TX.  I pride myself for being a three-time USA Sanda member.  I loved having the opportunity to represent my country at other world competitions.  In the summer of 2016, I won a gold medal in the 56kg division at the 11th Wushu Pan-American Games (that was awesome).  However, my greatest accomplishments have not come in the form of belts or medals.  They have come from being able to make a difference in the lives of kids, women, and men through instructing.

Are there any professional accomplishments that you are proud of and why? 

Professionally I have worked hard to achieve a bachelor's degree in Psychology; although, ironically I worked harder to achieve my associates in arts at New Mexico Military Institute in 2013.  Now I am proud to say I train at a school with such prestige as Elite MMA.

Any sports/activities that you participated in that you are proud of?

I enjoy snowboarding, long boarding, baseball, basketball, rock climbing, swimming, and just about anything else. 

What hobbies do you enjoy and why?

I absolutely love flying airplanes, rock climbing, shooting, wind surfing, and skydiving.  Like any other normal human being I love sitting on the beach and soaking in the sun.  When I get the opportunity I like to travel, hike, camp, and/or simply do some yoga. 

Any memorable family moments that you would like to share? 

My family is my everything.  I love them all, and every moment I am with them is a moment to be cherished

Academic accomplishments:

Canyon High School Diploma (3.96 GPA) 2012

Associates in Arts at New Mexico Military Institute (3.9 GPA) 2013

Bachelor's in Arts in Psychology (3.51 GPA) 2016

If you could walk us through a day or week in your life what would it consist of?

Ha every week is different, and all I know is every week I get to make a difference in others lives no matter if that is in private lessons, classes, at home with my family, or even when I’m at home with my dog, Stud (love him)! 


Nutrition For Our Children


Ashley Nguyen, PharmD  

Zoetic Compounding Pharmacy


Ashley has been a student at Elite MMA since 2005.  She is currently a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  She founded Girls in Gi’s in 2009, which was a project she took on to empower and enroll women mentally and physically and by using BJJ as the platform for that. She is also a wife, mother, and a pharmacist that loves helping people to feel better, perform better, or just feel as normal as possible. 


Kingwood Student Highlight—Scott Preston

What is your name and age?

Scott Preston – 45 

When did you join Elite MMA?

Late December, 2015 

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?

My brother, Eric, was a champion kickboxer. He eventually travelled to Thailand to take on the world’s best kickboxer. It was there that he was brutally beaten and paralyzed by a man named Tong Po. I swore to my brother that I would avenge him. We are also working to secure movie rights.

The less interesting story is that I am a stay at home father of now three year old twins. I joined Elite MMA to get away from them. Seriously. You try spending hours a day with a couple of crazy toddlers that conspire together to take over the world. You would take up martial arts too. They are crazy. I’ve done some Les Mills Combat and P90X workouts before and enjoyed them, so kickboxing seemed like a good idea. 

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?

It was one of those things that I thought was interesting, but never developed the ambition to take the next step. Plus, there is such a wide variety of martial arts types, I didn’t really know where to begin.

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?

Yes, this is my first time taking actual martial arts classes other than the various videos mentioned previously. 

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?

I honestly didn’t know what to expect. The only concern that would creep into my mind was the presence or large men wearing Affliction shirts that were two sizes too small.  The reality was that there was a large variety of people in both the kickboxing and jiu jitsu classes. One thing I really admire is the appearance of the higher belted members of the classes. They look strong and confident without the aforementioned Affliction shirts. It’s hard to describe, but they just have a look or swagger to them without even trying.

 Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?

I do a wide variety or exercise since getting into fitness five years ago. I’ve ridden the MS150 twice, done 100 miles on my bike in a single day, lift weights and have completed P90X, Insanity, etc workouts. I consider myself to be in pretty good shape for a 45 year old guy. Still, these kickboxing classes kick my butt. I have definitely improved my cardio and core strength. My confidence has gone up as my technique has improved. I don’t notice it myself much, but I have been told by several people that I look thinner and more in shape that I have before. The only thing I have not really accomplished is in regards to the jiu jitsu side. I just do not take enough of those classes. I do look to improve on that side in 2017.

Anything else you want to share with someone who is looking to get involved with martial arts or looking to change their current lifestyle?

I’ve discovered that martial arts is a fantastic way to get fit. It can be modified for any fitness level. Although intimidating at first, it gets a lot more comfortable quickly. You make friends among your classmates. They help push you to succeed and make you want to go to class. It is totally worth the time and effort.



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