Lisa’s Blog

No’s vs. Knows

I read a blog recently with this title.  It was business based, but I couldn’t help but think of my successful members and how, when they learned the difference between these words, their world’s opened up!

There are a number of reasons people lose weight or fat and successfully keep it off.  It boils down to what you KNOW and what you say NO to.

Everybody KNOWS that when it comes to weight loss, nutrition is important. Most KNOW that if you want to succeed in changing your body shape, muscle is important.  Saying NO to sugar and empty calories is important to both, too!

But then here is the reality when we walk into the gym. Often we try to outwork a bad diet or a bad weekend of eating by doubling up on workouts or depriving ourselves of carbs, thinking that we can “fix” things in a quick hurry.  We KNOW we should’ve said NO a few more times, but we didn’t, so now we punish ourselves.

I’m encouraging everyone to apply KNOW and NO this week.  KNOW that if you’re eating healthy it’s good for your BODY.  Not just fat loss or weight loss or competition or vanity, but it’s good for your health!  KNOW that it’s ok to eat fruit and protein and vegetables and healthy fat, because those things are GOOD for us.  KNOW that it’s ok to say NO to processed carbs, because those aren’t good for us.  Trust that working out hard for 45 min to an hour a day 4-5 times a week is GOOD for us.  Saying NO to distractions or “crabs” in our life that get in the way of our goals is ok, too!  Focus on the end result, let the process be your success!

Zucchini Bread is not a Vegetable!

Hi There!   

Hey, It’s Lisa at Ellipse!  Do you have zucchini coming out of your ears yet!?  I wanted to share a delicious recipe that my friend Brett Riesenhuber developed a few years ago (This is HIS photo, mine wasn’t as pretty!)  We’ve loaded it to the Ellipse Blog for everyone!

Stuffed Zucchini Squash – Healthy Weight Loss!


  • 2-6 Large Freshly Picked (if possible) Zucchini
  • Pot of salted boiling water, large enough to fit all the Zucchini.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Sliced Fresh Tomatoes
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Garlic Powder
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chipolte Powder (or any chili powder you like)


  • Boil the Zucchini for 4-8 minutes depending on size.  The goal is to heat them through to the center, but not overcook and make mushy.  Allow to cool.
  • Slice in half lengthwise.
  • Scoop out the centers being careful not to break the skin, place in a bowl, and mash.
  • In the bowl add equal quantities of the Panko and the Parmesan and mix.
  • Add 1/4 as much of the sun dried tomatoes as the Panko and Parmesan.
  • Add the seasonings to taste and mix together.
  • Spoon into the Zucchini halves leaving a bit lose (don’t pack it in hard)
  • Layer the fresh tomato slices over the tops.
  • Dust tops with a bit more Parmesan Cheese.
  • Grill on the BBQ, covered until heated through.

Remove from the grill, slice, and serve!

This recipe is great with grilled fish or chicken, and is great as a leftover…Tastes kind of like Pizza!

Enjoy this recipe sometime this week and let us know what you think!  We’ve loaded lots of healthy recipes on our Ellipse Blog! It’s all part of our commitment to serve you on the path to transforming your body, and your life.  And the recipes are FREE!

Want to add even more delicious simplicity to your diet this week?  You may want to consider the Ellipse 8 week jump start program!  We’ve had several members and guests “jump” onto this program after their strategy sessions! It’s an 8 week program, complete with meal suggestions and WEEKLY meetings with a coach to check in and confirm that they’re losing FAT and NOT MUSCLE as the embark on a more focused journey!

Enjoy this tasty METABOLIC BOOSTING recipe!  We’re looking forward to seeing you in class!

Is Your Metabolism Slow?

My recent emails have caused some questions! YEAH!

Here’s one you may relate to:

Thank You for the great information, Lisa!  I love your little snippets of information and look forward to your emails! I feel that through chronic, yo-yo dieting, in addition to my increasing age, that I’m suffering from a sluggish metabolism.  I’m currently trying to lose 20 pounds (again) only this time it’s coming off VERY slowly.  Is there anything that I can do to “repair” any damage that I may have done to my metabolism and get things going again?  I’m a big fan of your company and your classes!  Thank you for your time.


My Response 

Thanks for taking the time to email.  Yes, it’s true that chronic dieting, especially yo-yo dieting can do some real damage to your metabolism, but we do have a great “metabolism-repairing” solution!

It may surprise you–Eat more; exercise more.  Sounds pretty simple, but let’s take a deeper look.  Exercise increases metabolism.  Eating increases metabolism.  The trick is learning to balance the two so that you still create a negative calorie balance if you’re trying to lose that stubborn 20 (again! ha!)

Let me explain.  Sedentary people (those who just sit around and don’t exercise) have painfully slow metabolisms.  This is due to many hormonal factors resulting from a lack of exercise along with the fact that these individuals never really “teach” their body to burn additional calories.  Likewise, chronic dieters share the same plight.  When you chronically under-eat, metabolism shuts down as a starvation protection mechanism.

On the contrary, exercise and eating are metabolism boosters.  That being said, it’s not very likely that eating more by itself will ever do wonders for your fat loss goals.  But when you combine eating more with a high caloric burn via exercise you get the best of both worlds.

For example, let’s say your basal metabolic rate allows you to burn 2000 calories a day.  Knowing this, you go on a diet and begin eating 1500 calories a day, putting you 500 calories in the hole.  Now, on the surface a 500 calorie deficit would appear to be a good thing, but unfortunately you’ve done your metabolism NO favors here.  In fact, under-eating only decreases metabolism with each passing day as you’ve experienced.

So, “dieting” as we know it is not the method of choice for creating a calorie deficit, especially when trying to repair your metabolism.

Now let’s take a similar scenario.  You burn 2000 calories a day, but instead of “dieting” you start eating 300 calories MORE each day and you also burn 800 extra calories through exercise.  The result?  The SAME 500 calorie deficit (2800 calories burned, 2300 calories consumed) but you do so while increasing your metabolism through eating and exercising more.

That’s the power of Rev’ing UP your metabolism.  Apply the concept and watch your metabolism skyrocket.

I do quite a bit of speaking on this subject to local organizations, corporations, schools, etc!  There’s a TON of new research on metabolism and it’s all about creating the “perfect storm”.  Please let me know if your place of work is interested in a wellness workshop and I’ll get you on my calendar!

Also, if you’re not a member and you’re looking for a fitness program to increase your metabolism, well…we’ve definitely cornered that market!  Right now you can work out at Ellipse Fitness for one month for only $39 if you’ve never tried Ellipse!  You’ll get all the benefits of membership and FEEL the results of a Revd up Metabolism! Call our studio today and we’ll help you get started!

Ready For Some Football!?

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!?  It’s not just Footaball season in WI, it’s PACKER SEASON!

Anyway, here is a short-article on one of the greatest coaches of all-time, Coach Lombardi.

Here are some GREAT Lombardi quotes! What a legend!? Enjoy!

1. The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of WILL.

2. Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.

3. A person can be as great as he/she wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price of the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.

4. The only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary.

5. Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.

6. The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.

7. Perfection is no attainable, but if we chase it we can catch excellence.

8. We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.

9. Confidence is contagious. So is a lack of confidence.

10.  Success demands singleness of purpose.

11. The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.

Perfect Plan? No Such Thing…

One of the major blocks to body change is the idea that there is a perfect plan for you and all that is required is to diligently follow that plan without deviation. Since when do things in life go exactly according to plan?

The only certainty in life is that things are not certain and are going to change. The name Ellipse Fitness comes from the fact that “Life isn’t a Perfect Circle, it’s an ellipse!  If you want to succeed you should be planning for change not certainty. This is why rigidly defined plans do not work, because they can’t accommodate the uncertainty of daily living. People say failing to plan is planning to fail, but this is only true if your plan has built in flexibility.

What good is a plan if it only works when conditions are perfect? If you want a system that works, switch from structured plans to flexible blueprints. This gives you “structured flexibility” and allows you to adapt with your circumstances. This allows you to build lifestyles that fit, not diets that don’t.  Did you see the recent article by David Berreby?  It’s a long article, but it really talks about the reason for America’s obesity epidemic.

Ellipse Fitness is currently scheduling FREE 30-45 minute strategy sessions to help our guests determine the right path to help them reach their fitness and weight loss milestones.  If this sounds like something you’d like to schedule before our September rush when these spots fill up FAST, please call our office this week. We’ll get you started with a FREE session and a FREE class so you’ll be rocking those jeans when Fall rolls around!

What to Eat Before Bed!!!

You may have heard that eating before bed is a big-time “no no” for those looking to lose weight. In fact, you’ve probably even heard that eating late at night will undoubtedly cause you to GAIN weight…even worse!

Well, there’s good news, and that good news is that not every food that you eat past 7PM will be automatically deposited to your butt, thighs, and love handles.

In fact, there are certain foods that you can eat as a late-night snack that can actually INCREASE your fat loss results! The key is knowing which foods to eat, and which to avoid, as the evening progresses.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: Avoid carbs before bed in favor of slow-digesting high-quality protein.

Carbohydrate consumption causes significant rise in the storage hormone insulin, which also puts the breaks on your body’s fat-burning mechanisms. That’s a recipe for disaster in the late evening hours as your metabolism is winding down, but fortunately, slow-digesting protein isn’t.

Instead, slow digesting proteins provide your body with a steady flow of amino acids throughout the night to help you recover from exercise and maintain your calorie-burning lean muscle as you lose fat.

Here is a top pre-bedtime choice:

A Slow-digesting, Low-carb Protein Shake – Make sure to use a slow digesting protein, like the one found in the Ellipse Fitness Protein Powder!  It’s a tasty way to end your day. Consider blending the shake with almond butter to get some healthy fats in there!

WARNING: Avoid taking a “simple” whey protein powder before bed…research has show that it causes more of an insulin release than white bread! Instead, you need a slow digesting blend at this time of day! The Ellipse powder includes a blend of slow-digesting, high-quality proteins.

Enjoy that info?  You’ll get 3-4 other pre bed-time tips from the Ellipse Summer Shape Up presentation!  We hope to see you there!  Check out for more info!

It’s the “NEXT STEP” that matters!

“Don’t worry about the last step, worry about the next step.”  Thomas Plummer

I love this!  Thomas Plummer is my business mentor, but this quote definitely applies to those who are striving for health, fat loss, muscle gain, and any type of “getting in better shape”.  When we sit down and consider our ultimate, I mean ULTIMATE goal, it can be scary and daunting.  It’s actually MUCH easier to give up, in almost every case.  Doing nothing is usually easier than doing something, right?

Thom said that many people view decision making in business as an all or nothing game.  This seems to be the same for weight loss and fat loss.  People get frustrated if they eat right for a day, a week or a month and the scale doesn’t budge, or doesn’t budge much, or even goes UP because they also started working out and have grown some muscle.  If you take an all or nothing approach, this could translate to a defeat and eventually transform to giving up, because the healthy approach doesn’t seem to be working.  I’m here to tell you with 100% certainty that…it’s working.

Diet and Exercise ALWAYS WORK.  However, the timing is not always under your control.  Sometimes your body will lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously and the scale won’t change—but your body fat percentage will go down.  You’ll be stronger, and more capable of lifting heavier weight, which OVER TIME will increase your metabolism, which OVER TIME will lead to a fat loss result.

So try this for a week or two—focus on a short term goal.  Don’t focus on the total amount of weight you want to lose or size you want to be—take your focus off those things.  Instead, focus on consuming more vegetables and lean proteins.  Every day journal THAT short term goal.  Let the rest work itself out.  Focus on one thing and only that thing, that eventually will serve as a building block to your ultimate story.  Worry about the next step in your progress chart—only the next step.

Consider adding 3-5 minutes of lower body work to your day 3-4 days a week.  The Ellipse Lunging series is a FABULOUS metabolism booster! You can do it when you are feeding your kids breakfast, or waiting for a friend to pick you up, or even before you climb in bed.  That’s a small step (or series of forward lunges!) toward a bigger result.  Good Luck and let me know how you’re doing!

Let’s Talk “POWER SURGE”!

I received a great email from a fellow fitness pro, Todd Durkin!

It was about the Super Bowl! Not necessarily the game or the commercials, but what caught my eye was what he said about the POWER OUTAGE. He commented on how it massively shifted the momentum of the game. The 34 minute break in action right after an already long half-time almost sparked the 49ers to victory. He thought we should
look at that POWER-OUTAGE as an analogy of life. Sometimes taking a break is what is absolutely necessary to get a major momentum shift. Remembering that sometimes you choose the “power-outage”; and sometimes the “power-outage” chooses you. 

Either way, a POWER-OUTAGE can lead to a POWER-SURGE.We need to DO SOMETHING to ensure momentum is on our side, though.

Here are a couple quick ways you can take a planned POWER-OUTAGE in your normal routine to seriously REV-UP your results! Remember at Ellipse, we believe that we need to focus on 3 areas of our life for long term success. Exercise (of course), Eating Right (absolutely), and Mindset (belief in the process and belief in your success!).

1. Exercise– Remember these 3 Components of a great workout!

1) A single leg exercise.
2) A push exercise.
3) A pull exercise.

This gives you an unlimited number of exercises…because
there are so many variations of each – some even overlap
for a double whamee, such as the Burpee with Double Pushup.

Try this, do 10 reps per exercise without rest between
exercises, and then rest 30-45 seconds after the circuit
before repeating 2-3 more times.

1) Bulgarian Split Squat
2) Burpee with Double Pushup at Bottom
3) TRX Row (If no equipment, do Jumping Jacks)

That should get you riled up for some bodyweight fat burning.

2. Eat Right – Instead of TAKING AWAY from your diet and worrying about what to cut out. Flip that thought process and try adding something to your daily routine! A protein shake every day complete with a scoop of quick absorbing protein (Ellipse offers an awesome new Vanilla flavor that dissolves GREAT—NO CLUMPS!), a ½ cup of Berries to bump up your anti oxidants and a table spoon of flax seed. (a super food with some GREAT health benefits!)
Flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, but it owes its primary healthy reputation to three of them:

Omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.

Lignans, which have both plant estroen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.

• Fiber, Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.

3. Mindset “Get your head on straight” (my dad has said that to me a few times!)
Please remember NO diet or exercise plan on the market, fully prepares you to deal with the emotional and psychological stress of losing weight. If you want to lose weight, and keep it off permanently, you NEED a to change the way you think about fitness and nutrition.

• Calorie reduction techniques historically have helped people LOSE the weight, however, KEEPING IT OFF is hard to do with the deprivation approach!

• Small changes and giving attention to clean eating and a combination approach of watching your carbohydrate and protein intake will more likely sustain the test of time.

• Consider a coach or accountability partner to help keep you out of the calorie cutting mindset! Sometimes it’s about “Unlearning” bad habits!

Start to think about your vision for your success. How will you build something bigger than yourself? What is the end result that you want to create?

Allow yourself to focus on these 3 things in your life and KNOW that all of your small changes will add up to POWER SURGE!

Dedicated to Your Success,
Lisa Welko

Where Everybody Knows Your NAME!

An Ellipse member posted this to my Facebook page after a 4pm workout that I happened to be coaching. It made my day and I wanted to share it!  Honestly, people ask me often…how did you do it? How did you stay with it for 10 years…WHY? We know there’s always heart break and drama behind the scenes, I’m sure there were times you wanted to quit.

It’s hard for me to answer that—

There’s just something really special about what we do. Something special about what WE HAVE created. This IS NOT me, everyone…THIS IS YOU, THIS IS THE MEMBERS THAT MAKE ELLIPSE SPECIAL! Thanks to all of you, and thanks for pointing this out!

Keith, Ellipse member for about 6 months
“I got home and was sitting eating my protein and Amino Acids (I had ended that class barking about eating ASAP and making sure there was protein in that meal, glad Keith was listeneing!)….. AND was wondering…. Why do I, more of a coach potato than a workout kind of guy, like coming to class as much as I do. I had tried some of those other “Fitness” places and didn’t take long to become disenchanted… Then it hit me….. it’s the friendly atmosphere, it’s the camaraderie, and then this theme song came to my mind:

Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.
I guess Ellipse might just be the “Cheers” of Fitness places!!!!

A HUGE Thanks to all my Ellipse Buddies and Coaches!!!!


If you’re an Ellipse Member–Thank you for being part of our day!  One of our core values is to keep our members first.  So let us know what you think!  Our program development does morph and change not only based on science and results based fitness, but also on feedback we get from our valued members that keep us in business.

If you’re not an Ellipse Member yet, I sincerely hope you find a place to work out that gives you the feeling that you wanna be where everybody knows your name!

The Metabolic Effect & Large Group Training

This study was posted by my friends at The Metabolic Effect in North Carolina.  Here is a study that gives us insight to what it takes to change.  It asked a group of participants to exercise for 20 minutes at some point over the next week.


Group 1: Got the instructions above with no other details

Group 2: Were asked to exercise for 20 minutes in the next week and also given detailed information on how exercise helps reduce risk of disease.

Group 3: This group was asked to exercise at some time in the next week. They were also told what day, what time and given a specific location to do it.


Which group was most compliant?

Group 1= 29% did the exercise

Group 2= 39% did the exercise

Group 3= 91% did the exercise


What does this tell us about change and routines?

I like this study for what I would consider obvious reasons.  For one I LOVE group exercise, now called Large Group Training.  Although I’m involved in the programming at Ellipse and have a pretty large “say” in what we do and I can go to the studio even when it’s closed, my preference is STILL to go to the studio when it’s busy and take a class with other like minded people!  I like working out with a group and I like being told what to do in class!  Fitness can be a confusing subject and if you talk to 5 pros you could get 5 answers on what’s “best”. From yoga to functional to meat head lifting, the waters to navigate fitness can be choppy.  Unless you have A LOT of time to study and research, you’re bound to be confused, or worse yet…just walk away.  The other thing with fitness…you NEED to be open minded, because things change FAST! Crunches are out, planks are in. But now it’s no longer just holding a static plank, but we’re moving in the position, sometimes even lifting weight.

If you don’t have the time or patience to navigate all the fitness nuances out there, don’t worry.  Just take a great class and let someone else worry about the research.  Even if you’re traveling and can’t get near an Ellipse, you’ll never regret a work out, right?  Who knows, you may just be reminded of why you LOVE Large group training, too.