Turkey Day TRX Workout – Travel Ready

The TRX is one of my favorite pieces of equipment, and I recommend it to clients almost every single week. This super simple implement is amazing for creating full body workouts, using nothing but our bodyweight. Whether you workout at a gym or at home, incorporating TRX movements is a great way to increase your relative strength and improve stability/balance. Oh, and it’s really flipping fun. Today, in honor of Thanksgiving here in the states (I did a Thanksgiving workout last year too – try it out!), I’ve build a workout that requires only your TRX so that you can take your TRX workout with you anywhere.

TRX Workout

This workout was a reader request, and I’m more than happy to oblige, because the TRX is my go-to when I’m traveling (try out my other TRX workout, too!). It can be used to work your entire body (and doesn’t take up much space in a suitcase).

In fact, when I used to head up to the mountains, the TRX was my favorite piece of equipment. I’d throw the TRX up on the beam outside and do a full body workout. I’d do few movement, then run up and down the stairs leading to the cabin. So fun.

So, today’s TRX workout is inspired by the TRX workouts I did while traveling up to the mountains. It’s gonna work your entire body, with minimal equipment. I filmed the workout at the gym (for ease of camera angles) but this workout is 100% doable at home, using the TRX door attachment.

If you wanna stay on track with your fitness over the holidays while only training at home, you gotta join my #HolidayHIITNess challenge. Grab the details (and your spot) here.

Work your full body with just a TRX. TRX workout for women - TRX workout for beginners - TRX workout routine - TRX HIIT workout

Instructions & real time video demo

For this TRX workout, we’re focusing on strength training. I’m sharing 4 movements that you will do 10 reps each. To make this workout more challenging/metabolic, add 60s of cardio in between rounds. Complete this circuit 3-4 rounds through for an awesome full body workout in 20 minutes.

As always, I’m sharing a real time, follow along video of this workout so that you can workout with me. For exercise progressions and modifications, want this real time demo. I go through one round, in real time, with you, providing ways to make the workout easier and more challenging.

Is weekend eating a problem?

I’ve cleaned up my eating Monday through Friday and am pretty confident with how I’m doing there. But, on weekends I relax a little bit. Am I going to see results or is my weekend eating a problem?

Questions like these are super common in my #ConsistentlyLean coaching group, and to be real, I hear them discussions like this all the time in the hallways at the office. So many of us do well with our eating Monday-Friday but by the time Friday at 5pm comes around, all of our good habits go out the window.

I get it.

Before automating my eating, I ate well all week long but by Friday, I’d overdo it on boozy beverages and treats (hello sweet potato fries). All weekend long, I’d feel guilty and disappointed in my lack of willpower. That guilty feeling can make us feel like we have done everything wrong, but what if we haven’t?

Having a slightly different weekend eating plan isn’t the kiss of death. By asking yourself (and answering honestly) these 3 simple questions, we can figure out if weekend eating is keeping you from seeing results or if there are other things we can change first.

Is weekend eating keeping you from reaching your goals?

If you think weekend eating is keeping you from reaching your goals, ask yourself these 3 questions. weekend eating quotes - weekend eating healthy - weekend eating tips

What are your goals?

Truth is, some goals don’t necessitate eating near perfectly 7 days a week. If we’re aiming to maintain weight or gain muscle, we can be a lot more flexible on weekends (or any other day for that matter).

However, if we are aiming for fat loss, we have to be a bit more careful.

As an example, when I am trying to lose body fat, I only have 2 drinks, twice a month (so 4 drinks in 4 weeks – yikes). BUT when I am in a maintenance period, not trying to gain or lose weight, I drink a couple drinks 3+ times a week without putting on weight.

It’s super important to get clear on your goals so that you can determine if you even need to consider changing your weekend eating habits.

If your goal is fat loss, yes, we probably need to take a look at your weekends and try to get a little more consistent (here’s one of my fave blogs on the topic or grab my #ConsistentNutrition cheat sheet).

Do you have the nutrition basics down Monday-Friday?

Let’s get real. If we eat four meals a day (I do – here’s why), weekends only account for 8 meals vs. the 20 meals consumed Monday-Friday.

Before calling weekend eating the reason we aren’t seeing results, we need to be super honest about how ‘well’ we are eating during the week. Sometimes, it’s easier to blame the weekends because everyone is doing it. Instead, ask yourself these questions about the 20 meals you eat all week long. Check your answers and see if there is room for improvement.

  • Do we have protein at every meal?
  • Are we filling every plate with non-starchy veggies?
  • Do we have nutrient timing down?
  • Are our portion sizes on point?

Check your answers and see if there is room for improvement. If there is room to improve, try focusing on those areas before tackling your weekend eating.

How different is your weekend eating from your weekday eating?

Now, if you’ve made it this far, you probably have a goal of fat loss. Your weekday eating is probably pretty solid.

Awesome!

We’ve isolated that weekend eating could be keeping you from seeing the results you want, but let’s dig a little deeper.

Many of us fall into a lot of nutrition guilt because we are depriving ourselves on other days of the week (here’s how I found the middle between deprivation and guilt). So, to ensure that we’re eating consistently every single day and not stressing too much about being perfect M-F, let’s break it down.

Time for a nutrition audit

Instead of just *assuming* that our weekend eating is so bad, let’s take stock by going through the process of a nutrition audit. Here’s what to do:

  1. Pick a representative weekday and record everything you eat for your meals, snacks, and drinks, without judgment. 
  2. Next, choose a weekend day to do the same. Record everything, without guilt.
  3. After a few days, look at both food logs and compare the differences. Ask yourself the following questions:
    1. What’s the same between these two days of eating?
    2. Are there any glaring differences?
    3. If so, why are they so different?
    4. What patterns do I see?

By the end of this process, figuring out your next step should be pretty easy. Identify one thing to change in your weekend eating habits and do it consistently for two weeks. Then, reassess in the same way.

If you take away one thing from this post, know that weekend eating isn’t all bad.

Having some variability between Monday and Saturday is totally OK, depending on your goals and how different it actually is. Ask yourself these questions and take stock.

My friend, I know consistency with nutrition is hard. We often know what we need to do but implementing it is another story. There are days when we’re really good and days when everything is off. Sometimes nutrition is effortless, but other times, it gets so overwhelming or we get sick of making decisions, so we end up overindulging and feeling guilty later. When these things happen, we feel like there’s no middle ground between restriction and guilt.

But there is.

And I want to teach you with my #ConsistentNutrition cheatsheet. Don’t miss this. 

Struggling to be consistent with food? Apply the 80/20 rule to your nutrition and get consistent once and for all.

Can emotional eating be a good idea?

In the last few years, emotional eating has become pretty taboo. In every group coaching program I run, ladies talk about how eating for reasons other than hunger/nutrition is holding them back from reaching their goals. There are countless articles about how emotional eating leads to weight gain. And honestly, it seems like every coach out there is saying that emotional eating is the devil.

I get it. Eating is a way to fuel our bodies and help us reach our performance and aesthetic goals, so if we are eating for reasons other than fueling our bodies-like for comfort or enjoyment-that seems bad, right?

As a nutrition coach, I totally understand that emotional eating can be a barrier to reaching our goals. But as a human being (and a woman going through a break up), I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about emotional eating and wondering if it is always so harmful.

Well, I’m gonna take a less popular stance and say, no. It’s just not that simple. 

Food is much more than fuel.

Food is social, communal, and fun. Simplifying the equation and saying that we should only eat for fuel is ignoring the human element of eating. We eat with friends out at happy hour, enjoying the conversation and the taste of the snacks. We sip wine because it relaxes us and makes us feel good.

And that is totally okay.

For years, when I was struggling with my eating disorder, I believed that I should never eat or drink something with ’empty’ calories. I would never have a soda or juice, because those calories were not giving my body nutrition. Drinking alcohol was foreign to me, because it only gave pleasure, not nutrition.

Like all the coaches and trainers out there saying “emotional eating is bad (always),” I made nutrition very black and white. But, my friends, it’s not that simple. There are definitely situations where eating for reasons like comfort, relaxation, or just plain enjoyment is perfectly fine.  Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we should always be eating for reasons other than nutrition. 

Instead, I’ve distilled down a couple situations in which emotional eating is okay/normal/not detrimental to reaching our goals.

2 conditions that could make emotional eating helpful-not harmful

Is emotional eating all bad? Talking through 2 conditions that can make emotional eating helpful to your goals. Stop emotional eating - Emotional eating thoughts

You’re doing it mindfully and with full awareness

The true problem with emotional eating comes when we do it without recognizing what the heck we are doing. We all know that feeling, watching TV after a long day and looking down to realize that we’ve just eaten half the bag or chips. Or maybe we reach for a cookie at work because we’re stressed and they’re right in the break room.

Without awareness of our behaviors, we set ourselves up to eat in ways that keep us from reaching our goals.

I’d argue that the reason emotional eating is harmful is because we don’t always recognize that we are eating to soothe ourselves.

If, instead, we consciously choose situations (and foods) that make ourselves happy in the midst of bullshit, we’re actually engaging in a form of self care.

Sangria sorbet cheat day

As I worked through a lot of pain and sadness in my break up, I found myself wanting to eat more foods that I enjoyed. Instead of berating myself for wanting the whole Lenny & Larry’s cookie instead of half, I asked myself why and consciously chose to eat something I enjoy, instead of restricting.

I also recognized that there’s a huge difference between eating for comfort (as our only coping mechanism) and making food choices that are easy, tasty, and enjoyable. When we are going through tough times, it’s important to make things easier and not stress over the small stuff. Part of this is defaulting to our nutrition survival strategies and another part is being aware of our choices/behaviors.

When we are aware that we are eating for emotional reasons, we can consciously ask ourselves if this is the choice we want to make. If so, cool. Have the cookie. If not, maybe do something else.

You’re simultaneously using other mechanisms to cope

At the end of the day, eating foods we enjoy should never be the only thing we do to soothe or relax ourselves. Sure, having a glass of wine or a treat helps in the moment. But, if it is the only thing we do to care for ourselves, eating emotionally can become unhealthy.

We get into trouble when food is the only thing that brings us joy, however, eating for comfort is not inherently bad. It’s just one strategy to help us handle the challenges life throws our way.

Over relying on any one strategy for self care can be problematic.

Eating for comfort should always be combined with other methods of self care, including exercise, spending time with friends and family, snuggling a dog, or talking with a therapist.

If you take one thing away from this post, remember that emotional eating is not all bad. It can be part of a healthy lifestyle and doesn’t have to derail your health and fitness goals. Stay aware, choose options that make your life easier, and make sure that you are practicing other methods of self care.

Looking for more information on how to eat consistently while still enjoying the foods you eat? My #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet can help you navigate the middle between deprivation and the guilt that comes from overeating.

Doing your first (or best) push up: top 3 exercises to improve push up strength

When we think about our fitness goals, one of the most common ones I hear revolves around push ups. I hear from ladies all the time that they’re trying to achieve their first push up from their toes, working on their range of motion, or trying to crush a fancy push up variation. Even in my #ConsistentlyLean coaching group, many of the ladies are working on their push up goals.

And I get it.

Crushing a full push up is HARD. It requires tons of upper body and core strength. And as women, we do tend to have more lower body than upper body strength. But don’t read that as “I’m never going to be able to do push ups from my toes.” There are SO many ways to increase your relative strength enough to complete lots of different types of push ups (the triceps push up is one of my faves).

woman push up

I’ve worked with nearly 100 women online over the last year and have helped many of them achieve their push up goals. So today, I’m sharing my three favorite exercises to progress your push up (learn exactly how to implement them in my free #PushUpPower Blueprint).

 

But first, let’s talk form.

One of the biggest mistakes I see ladies make in the gym is doing push ups with crappy form. They’re on their toes, arching their backs, and barely moving their chests towards the ground.

I get it. There’s pride involved. We want to be able to do *real* push ups. But the truth is, our bodies don’t care if we are on our toes, knees, or up against a wall. Our bodies know the force exerted on the muscles. And with a push up, range of motion is queen. We’ve gotta make sure that we’re correctly progressing (here’s how to progress or regress any exercise) so that we are moving towards a full range of motion (think chest all the way to the ground while still engaging the core).

This is why I won’t default to having clients perform their push ups from their knees; the range of motion is different AND it does not engage the core muscles in the same way. Today, I’m gonna share my three favorite exercises to help you build push up strength so that you can do your first (or best!) push up. If you want me to break it all down for you and show you exactly what to do, check this out.

 

Before we get started…

If you’re working through an injury, follow the cardinal role of working out: don’t do anything that hurts! If you’re feeling pain, stop it.

However, if you’re feeling stiff, that could be a warm up or activation issue. It’s so incredibly important to warm up prior to exercising, but it’s something so many of us skip, because it feels like just another long set of exercises to do before we start our actual exercise. That’s why I warm up like this instead.

Additionally, it’s super important that we activate the muscles we’re about to work, prior to exercising. This (1) decreases the likelihood of injury and (2) helps our muscles work harder during the actual workout. Activation is so important that I specifically call it out in my DARR formula for effective workouts.

Alright.

Assuming now that we’re all warmed up, activated, and ready to go, here are my three favorite exercises to improve your push up strength.

Learn the 3 best exercises to improve your push up. push up challenge - how to do a push up - beginner push up - push up workout

Wall Push Up

If you’re just getting started with push ups, this is the best place to start (yes, instead of push ups from your knees). This exercise will build the strength you need while also engaging your core.

Elevated Push Up

Once wall push ups become too easy for you, it’s time to elevate your hands. By elevating your hands, the movement becomes quite a bit easier (while still forcing you to use your core muscles).

While you’re doing elevated push ups, you can definitely incorporate some push ups from your knees for variety.

Push Up Holds

Once you’ve mastered these push up variations, it’s time to start increasing the challenge. One of the best ways to do this is through push up holds.

By holding yourself at the bottom of the range of motion, you’ll build lots of strength so that you can do even more challenging variations. It’s super important NOT to arch your back while you hold, so be mindful of your form.

By incorporating these three exercises into your routine, you’ll definitely master the push up! Try adding one (or all) to your next workout. If you want a step by step guide, grab my push up blueprint. I’ll tell you exactly what to do and when to do it to get your first (or best!) push up in the next four weeks. Check out all the details here.

How to handle high stress situations without falling off the wagon

When life gets intense, often the first thing to go is our good nutrition and exercise habits. It’s the last thing on our minds. So the question remains, how can we weather the tough times without completely falling off the wagon?

As a coach and trainer, I get this question a lot. And over the last month, I’ve had to figure it out for myself, too.

Dealing with a break up is hard. And with all of the this emotional stress, I basically stopped eating in a way that’s in line with my goals. It felt like everything was completely OUT of my control, so controlling my food intake more closely seemed to give me a modicum of peace.  For a while, I didn’t think much of it – skipping a snack or eating a smaller breakfast seemed pretty innocuous, considering how much my heart hurt. But, after a week or so of wallowing, I came to a tough realization.

I’m struggling, and my actions are doing NOTHING to lessen the struggle.

Well shit.

Tell me I’m not alone here.

stress management - destress - self care routine - self care ideas

Life gets really tough, and all we want is to make it a little bit easier. So, instead of recognizing that we’re having a hard time and addressing the stressors, we slip into bad habits, whether that’s overeating crap, skimping on sleep, or killing ourselves at the gym to numb the pain.

Sound familiar?
Yep, me too; that was my reality during the second half of September. I struggled to maintain my weight, and as I lost weight week after week, things got even harder. Once I realized wtf was happening, I knew what to do to make life a little easier, instead of digging myself deeper into a self-destructive rut.
Today, I’m sharing how I pulled myself out of my bad habits and figured out a better way to cope.

Get back to the basics.

No more counting macros or worrying about what % carbs I’m taking in on non-workout days. I return to my default, using my daily food rules/nutrition survival strategies to guide what I eat.
  • Prioritize veggies and protein at every meal to stabilize blood sugar and satiety.
  • Eat one BIG ASS SALAD  per day to ensure I max out the micronutrients & fiber of veggies.
  • Dark chocolate every day. Keeps me sane.
  • When in doubt, choose dietary fat over carbs. Carbs often leave me feeling bloated and uncomfortable, and I have found food timing to be incredibly important.

Move HAPPY.

Stop being a slave to your workout plan and do the movement that brings you joy. Make your workouts something to look forward to each day by doing more of what you love.

Instead of doing your defined workout plan, maybe it’s time to revert to the the type of exercise that is the most fun for you.

Love dancing? Dance more.

Love running? Run more.

Lifting weights brings out your inner strength? Lift more heavy shit.

Practice gratitude.

When life leaves you reeling, it becomes even more important to center yourself on what really matters. Start and end your day with reflections on three things you’re grateful for – I’m always SO grateful for this girl.

So, the next time you find yourself feeling stuck, sad, or like you just can’t stay on track, return to YOUR survival strategies. Sure. They’re not perfect (who wants to be?), but they get you through absolutely anything life throws at you.
Even at 10 years in recovery, my eating disorder still comes up. These are the two things I do when my disordered eating tendencies show up.

What I do when my disordered eating tendencies come back

A couple weeks back, I got a question that shocked me a bit. One of my past coaching clients/friends, asked me outright: do you still struggle with your eating disorder? Honestly, for a second, I paused, worried what admitting the truth about my disordered eating tendencies would do. I momentarily panicked that it would make me *less* of a coach. I stumbled with my words for a moment, trying to figure out what to say.

But only for a second.

After my momentary slip into imposter syndrome, I confidently wrote back this message.

Yes.The thoughts come up. I just don’t act on them.But I think the thoughts will always be there to be honest, especially when we’re stressed. 

And this is really common isn’t it?

When we’re stressed and overwhelmed, our bad habits and self destructive tendencies show their ugly heads. Whether it’s overeating, drinking a bit too much, or exercising excessively, it’s really easy to slip back into old patterns when life gets tough.

And for me, that’s my disordered eating tendencies. Whenever it feels like shit is hitting the fan, my brain reverts to how I used to handle stress (cuz that’s easiest). The difference between me 10 years ago and now is how I handle it.

Today, I’m sharing the two things I do when my disordered eating tendencies come back.

What I do when my disordered eating tendencies show up

Even at 10 years in recovery, my eating disorder still comes up. These are the two things I do when my disordered eating tendencies show up.

Revert to my nutrition survival strategies

When all I want to do is eat less (or workout for an extra 20 minutes), I immediately return to simple nutrition strategies that make it really easy to eat well (and enough).

I don’t stress about getting enough veggies. I stop worrying about eating too many bars. I snack.

Basically, I make my life reallllly easy when it comes to food, so that I have less room for error and I stress about it less (I talk all about my nutrition survival strategies here).

Recognize when we’re slipping

But how can we do that? Simple. We get super clinical and figure out what’s actually going on.

My favorite way to do this is to ask ourselves why, not just once but about 5 times. As we force ourselves to double down on what’s actually happening we can get to the root of the problem. Below is the exact conversation I had with myself a couple weeks back.

Why am I worried that I’m restricting?
Why am I restricting myself?
Why do I think restricting is gonna help?
Why do I feel like I need to change my body?
Why do I have to diet and restrict to change my body? 

Getting to this point broke my heart a little bit, because I realized why so many of us are struggling: we see restriction and over exercise as the only ways to change our bodies (spoiler: it’s not).

See, I’m a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach. I coach women every single day on how to change their bodies without obsession, stress, or restriction. I absolutely know better. But the truth is, restriction is such a part of who I am, I have to call myself on my BS every once in a while. This doesn’t mean that I give into these tendencies anymore but I have to acknowledge that they’re still present.

So, if you’re struggling, start asking yourself why. Keep asking until you get to the root of the issue. It’s not easy, but it’s so so important.

This kind of personal, vulnerable stuff is EXACTLY what I share with my tribe. They get my best stuff, and I email them weekly. I would love for you to join us. Sign up here or at the link in the sidebar 🙂

Why your body isn’t changing: 4 lies you’re telling yourself

You’re ready to see changes in your body but don’t wanna get obsessive or stressed about fat loss. #ConsistentlyLean Coaching could be the perfect fit for you. Sign ups are open until Sunday ONLY, so grab your spot asap to learn how to get stronger, leaner, and more confident without stress or restriction. 

You’ve been trying to change your body for a while now. You know the basics of what matters to fat loss , so you’re eating more vegetables, exercising, and getting better sleep. But it’s Saturday morning, you roll out of bed, and head over to the scale to check your progress. You can feel the dread in the bottom of your stomach as you step on, and dread turns to frustration when you see that you’re up a pound from last week. As you walk out of the bathroom to get dressed, you’re so angry that you aren’t seeing results.

And if you’re anything like me, that’s when the little voice starts talking (yelling) in your head, giving you all the reasons why you’re failing at this whole fat loss thing.

What if I told you that little voice is what’s keeping you from seeing changes?

Through working with over a hundred women in the last year, I’ve found that a lot of us are telling ourselves the exact same lies. And these lies about ourselves and our fat loss journey keep us from moving forward, making progress, and seeing changes.

If your fat loss journey has stalled, check yourself and see if you’re telling yourself one of these four lies. Heads up, this is a little bit of a tough love post <3

Four lies you’re telling yourself about fat loss

Fat loss progress stalled? Make sure you're not telling yourself one of these lies. Fat loss diet - fat loss workout - fat loss plan - fat loss articles

I don’t have time.

One of the most common things I hear when ladies are struggling to see results is that they just can’t seem to find the time to exercise and eat right.

Look, I get it. Life is busy. We have a thousand things going on, and often the last thing we want to do is fit in a workout.

Truth is, both exercise and thinking about what we should eat take time. But, it doesn’t take up as much time as we think.

If you’re having a hard time seeing results AND you think it’s due to a lack of time, we gotta do two things:

  1. Audit our time – figure out where we are spending our free moments and double check that they’re in line with our goals. Although watching two hours of Grey’s Anatomy (just me?) is fun/relaxing, if I’m missing my workout because of it, be aware of it.
  2. Shorten the amount of time required for fitness & nutrition – I swear, it is possible. If we can automate our eating decisions (one of my fave methods) and shorten our workouts (here’s why), we can stop using the ‘time’ excuse. Often, just a few simple shifts are enough to help us feel much more in control of our routine.

I can’t eat X.

One of the BIGGEST lies we tell ourselves during our fat loss journey is that we can’t eat some specific food that brings us joy.

Cookies…cake…red wine…Mike’s HardER Lemonade…chips…whatever. The actual food doesn’t matter.

Coaches and trainers will tell us, over and over, that we have to eliminate specific foods from our diets in order to see results. And for those of us with any restrictive or obsessive tendencies, being told we can have ‘none’ can send us into a downward spiral.

And I hate to break it to you, but these coaches and trainers are simply being lazy.

Yes. There are foods that will slow down our progress a bit. But in no way shape or form does that mean we *can’t* eat them.

If you’re finding yourself constantly thinking “I can’t eat this,” this is for you.

Instead of completely depriving yourself, let’s find a way to include this food into your eating, without it creating a ton of stress OR derailing your progress.

With my #ConsistentlyLean ladies, I teach them to consciously indulge. Consciously indulging allows us to eat/drink our fave foods, without letting it turn into a binge. This is HUGE.

From one of my clients: Indulging, letting yourself eat (and drink) the things you love without feeling guilty was a huge piece for me.” 

My friends, it IS possible to lose weight while still enjoying pizza and cocktails. I can show you exactly how through #ConsistentlyLean Coaching. Grab deets and your spot here.

I’m already working out, so it’ll never work for me.

One of the most frustrating things is when we are already working out, trying our best on our own to make our body change, but not seeing results.

This happened to me for YEARS as I slogged my way through 60+ minute BodyRock.tv workouts every day. I thought I was doing everything right, training correctly, and doing what mattered to results. Still, week after week, my body remained unchanged. This left me looking in the mirror, thinking that I would never be able to see changes.

False.

If you’ve been training for a while and results have stalled, that does not mean that you’ll never reach your goals. It just means that you need to make a change to your workout routine. Ask yourself these three questions.

  1. Am I actually being consistent with my workouts? Many times, we let ourselves think that we are doing it all correctly but are still missing multiple workouts. Missing workouts is a recipe for stalled progress. Double check that you’re not making one of these consistency mistakes that lead to missing workouts.
  2. Do my workouts continually challenge me to get stronger? If you’ve been doing the same thing for a while, your body knows and has adapted. This is why it’s so important to follow a periodized training program that changes things up often and keeps your body guessing. You can try to do this alone (this post may help) or you can join a program like #ConsistentlyLean where a coach does it for you.
  3. Am I getting enough rest? Often, we are working too hard AND under-recovered. Our bodies actually need rest and recovery in order for us to see results. So if you’re feeling a bit worn down, that could be playing into your stalled results. Check this out if you’re wondering how many rest days you *actually* need.

I just can’t stay motivated.

If we aren’t talking about consistency, I guarantee we’re talking about motivation as the biggest barrier to seeing results.

When I asked a bunch of ladies their number one struggle, this is what I heard:

Staying constant and motivated. I often dread working out.

Consistency & Motivation

Motivation in the face of baby related exhaustion

Eating healthy and being motivated to exercise

Sound familiar?

I get it. Staying motivated isn’t easy when we have dozens of competing priorities. However, we can do two things to make motivation easier (and stop telling ourselves that motivation is why we’re struggling).

  1. Stop relying on motivation to eat well and exercise. To be totally honest, motivation has absolutely nothing to do with reaching your goals. If you’re following a solid program, with plenty of support, and have automated (most) of your eating, you shouldn’t need any motivation to reach your goals. This is why I have designed #ConsistentlyLean to focus only on the things that matter, so that we can take motivation out of the equation. If you wanna try it on your own, this may help.
  2. Get really clear on WHY you’re doing this. When it comes down to it, if we don’t really know why we are trying to make these changes, we’re bound to fail. We’ve gotta figure out the real reason that we’re trying to lose weight/get stronger/feel more confident. So, if you keep telling yourself that motivation is your downfall, read this and start moving forward.

What now?

I know. Fat loss is hard. We can try to do absolutely everything right and STILL not see the results we’re hoping for. With awareness around these four lies, you can start trying to implement all of these changes on your own and make progress towards your goals.

But, if you want a done-for-you exercise and nutrition program, designed to help you lose fat and change the shape of your body without restriction or obsession, #ConsistentlyLean Coaching is for you. Obsession over the details is what’s keeping us from reaching our goals, so Consistently Lean will teach you how to move, eat, and think in a way that gets you the results you’re looking for, without stress. Grab your spot before Sunday night, and start with me next Monday! 

My two step system to overcome your trigger food

Whether it’s ice cream, peanut butter, or french fries, we all have one – a trigger food that makes it almost impossible to stay on track. We generally try to avoid said food like the plague but when we are finally around it, we binge and feel super guilty afterwards (this is why I will never encourage *perfect* eating).

For so many years, this was me and almond butter, more specifically Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter (if you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out). Whenever I had this $17 jar of almond butter around, I couldn’t stop eating it. 

In college, I would go through the entire jar in a week. When I was stressed out, I’d pull out the almond butter and a spoon, sit on my bed, and binge. Of course, I would never mean to eat 1/3 cup of almond butter – I would always intend to have just one tablespoon – but it never worked out that way.

This almond butter was my trigger food. 

The moment I tasted the salty goodness, I couldn’t stop. I’d eat more until I felt so guilty, I had to immediately wash and put away the spoon.

At some point, I just stopped buying the almond butter.

And that’s always our solution, isn’t it? We try to completely remove the trigger food from our environment. And that works…as long as you never have to be around the trigger food again.

Frankly, I think that’s a little unrealistic. What about when we’re visiting family and they have the food in their fridge? We’re grossly unprepared.

Instead, here’s my two step strategy to being triggered by your trigger food.

Use my 2 step system to stop binge eating your trigger food. stop binge eating - trigger food - binge eating help

Eat protein and veggies at every meal

If we focus on taking in lots of protein and vegetables, we will fill ourselves up, leaving minimal room for processed treats. Protein, especially, will leave us feeling super satisfied for hours after our meals, and vegetables offer the micronutrients we need to be truly healthy.

Some of my favorite options?
-Egg whites + mushrooms + spinach
-Steak + roasted broccoli
Mint chip protein shake
-Big ass salad with chicken (I share plenty of these over on Instagram)

Indulge in your trigger food daily

Instead of forcing ourselves to abstain from your trigger food, we’ve gotta make the food less triggering.

The goal here is to make the food available—rather than forbidden—at all times. This is central to #myconsciousindulgence framework: the idea that indulgence CAN be part of every single day, as long as we consciously choose it (learn exactly how to implement #myconsciousindulgence here). I believe that indulgence isn’t keeping us from reaching our goals but UNconscious indulgence can be the reason for our plateaus. When we indulge without being mindful/even thinking about it, we end up eating or drinking so much more.

So, instead of restricting myself, I consciously indulge every single day, regardless of if I’m in weight loss or maintenance mode. You’ll always see me indulging in something small (like a Lenny & Larry’s cookie, Clif Bar, or some chocolate covered almonds) each day, normally before bed.

With your conscious indulgence, I recommend saving it for the evening, because this helps maximize our willpower. Eating it after dark gives us something to look forward to whenever a craving hits. In fact, I save the majority of my carbohydrates for my last meal of the day. This helps me stay on track throughout the work day, because I’ve got some good things coming later!

How to implement

Starting today, I want all of us to pick to pick our conscious indulgences. Pick something that you’ll look forward to each day, and eat it daily for a week. Note your hunger, cravings, and food obsession level. Using this simple strategy will keeps us from over-indulging or binge eating when we’re around foods we enjoy. Real talk, I used to not be able to keep almond butter in the house. Then, I started having a small spoonful every day. Over time, this daily indulgence made almond butter way less stressful for me. I knew I could have just a little bit, whenever I wanted.

If you want to learn exactly how I’ve conquered my trigger foods and gotten 1000x more consistent, check out my #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet. I’m breaking down two of my best nutrition strategies to help us get more consistent without stressing about it. Grab all the details and get your copy here.

My 5 tips to create and implement a short effective workout routine. workout routine for weight loss - workout routine at home - full body workout routine

How to create a (short) effective workout routine – 5 tips

Sign ups are now open for #StressFreeStrength, my FREE 10 day fitness challenge to help you get back on track with your workouts, stress free! Crush 8 workouts over 10 days, and get a chance to win free coaching with me! Join in for free here!

I talk a lot about why it’s so important to workout intelligently and for less time (two reasons to shorten your workout today). But the truth is, I haven’t talked much about exactly how to do it!

Information and knowledge are all well and good but until we learn to implement, we’re stuck in the exact same spot. Honestly, I think this is why we are all still struggling – we have so much great information out there but nobody will take time to show us how to make it work for our own lives.

If I’m honest, I fell into this trap just a couple years ago. Back in early 2015, I knew I wanted to make a change to my workout routine and body composition, so I started researching.

I read one article saying HIIT workouts were the only way to lose weight, so I added an extra 20 minute workout onto my long run.

I saw that strength training workouts were the best way to change your body shape, so I completed 60+ minute BodyRock.tv workouts every morning.

It felt like I was doing everything *right,* listening to all the advice I found and still not seeing results. Talk about frustrating.

Looking back now, I see that my inability to create an effective workout routine was alllllll in the implementation (need help implementing? My #StressFreeStrength free challenge will teach you to get back on track with your workouts without any stress or obsession). Even though I had some of the core ideas right, I failed at creating an effective workout routine that would help me reach my goals.

So today, I’m gonna stop talking about WHY we should shorten our workouts to get more consistent (if you’re struggling with consistency, make sure you’re not making one of these mistakes) and talk more about HOW to implement a short, effective workout routine for yourself. Of course, if you want a done-for-you workout program, #SkipTheGym is always available for ya, but if you wanna DIY, these are my 5 pro tips.

5 tips to create your own short, effective workout routine

My 5 tips to create and implement a short effective workout routine. workout routine for weight loss - workout routine at home - full body workout routine

Focus on full body workouts

One of the biggest mistakes I see is focusing waaaay too much on small muscle groups. I blame this on Pinterest and all of the workout pins promising tone our flabby arms or spot reduce belly fat. We find a pin promising to get rid of bat wings, so we do an hour of triceps extensions and wonder why we still have fat on our arms. Yikes.

While there is some benefit in doing upper/lower body split workouts (example), when we’re aiming for a short effective workout routine, we gotta get efficient.

And full body workouts are efficient (see my full body workout archives here) because by working both your upper and lower body, you force your body to work harder during your workout. Working harder = more calories burned = more results

How to implement

Instead of doing workouts that focus on a single muscle group, work your entire body. Alternate between upper and lower body exercises within a single workout. This is how every #StressFreeStrength workout is set up.

Train with compound movements

A compound movement is an exercise that works multiple parts of your body at once. So, going back to our toned arms example, instead of simply doing a triceps extension or overhead press, we combine it with a lower body exercise to make it way harder.

Below is one of my favorite compound movements to incorporate into my workouts.

How to implement

Take a look at your workouts and identify exercises that are only working one muscle at a time, and sub out these movements for compound movements. Comment on my FB if you have questions or need help picking a new exercise.

Combine cardio and weight training

When it comes to an effective workout routine, we want to find ways to get our cardio and strength training in a single workout.

This saves time and can help speed up our results/push through plateaus.

How to implement

Do not read this tip as: add some strength training to your long cardio workout. That was the mistake I made that kept me struggling. Instead, you can do one of two things.

  1. Add a cardio finisher or primer to your strength workout. Think 5-10 minutes of super intense cardio intervals (like sprints) that you add to the beginning or end of your workout.
  2. Incorporate cardio exercises into your strength routine. Here is a workout where I do exactly that. You’ll notice it works your full body, uses compound movements, and combines cardio and strength.

Lift heavy for you

Doing strength training with weights that are too light for us is not gonna help us achieve any of our goals. In order to force our bodies to change (and show us the results we’re waiting for), we have to challenge them (AKA lift heavy).

How to implement

Grab heavy weights for YOU in that SPECIFIC exercise. It should be difficult to complete the last 2-3 reps of any exercise, and yes, that means you will ideally have multiple sets of weights.

I wrote an entire article on the topic, if you’d like more information on choosing the appropriate weight.

Keep it simple

If you’re doing tips 1-4, it’s time to stop stressing about the rest. Don’t worry about heart rate zones or the number of calories you’re burning. The more we focus on the small details, the more likely we will struggle with consistency

How to implement

If you’re overwhelmed by all the things, pick ONE of these tips to incorporate into your workout routine this week. See how that goes, them add more the following week. Slow, small changes ARE enough.

Ready to get started with a short effective workout routine? Let me do all the set up for you. If you’re ready to dial it in but don’t know where to start or how to get back on track without getting super obsessive about it, #StressFreeStrength is for you.

#StressFreeStrength is unique, because I’m gonna show you exactly how to structure your workouts in a way that keeps you from getting stressed out. The goal is to crush 8 workouts (all 30 minutes or less and doable at home) over 10 days, and every lady who completes all 8 will be put in the running to win free coaching with me.

We get started on Saturday September 9 (yep Saturday!) so sign up ASAP here.

Full body TRX HIIT workout for women. TRX workout for beginners. TRX workout at home.

TRX HIIT Workout – Bodyweight & At Home

When it comes to versatile and portable equipment, the TRX is second to none. This super simple implement is amazing for creating full body workouts, using nothing but our bodyweight. Whether you workout at a gym or at home, incorporating TRX movements is a great way to increase your relative strength and improve stability/balance. Oh, and it’s really flipping fun. Today, I’m sharing my favorite TRX HIIT workout so that you can train with the TRX anywhere.

TRX HIIT Workout

When I’m traveling, my TRX is my go-to piece of exercise equipment, because it can be used to work your entire body (and doesn’t take up much space in a suitcase).

In fact, when I went to Ireland back in 2015 for work, the TRX was all I had. I was in a foreign country, without access to a gym or any other workout equipment. For 10 days, I did a TRX HIIT workout almost every day.

I’d wake up early, roll out of bed, grab my TRX, and hang it up in the door, using the door attachment. I’d scour YouTube and Pinterest for workout inspiration until I found a TRX HIIT workout that looked fun.

Today’s workout is inspired by the TRX HIIT workouts I would do in my corporate apartment in Ireland. It’s gonna work your entire body, with minimal equipment. I filmed the workout at the gym (for ease of camera angles) but this workout is 100% doable at home, using the TRX door attachment.

Full body TRX HIIT workout for women. TRX workout for beginners. TRX workout at home.

Instructions & real time video demo

For this TRX HIIT workout, we’re combining strength movements and cardio portions for maximum results.  We’ve got four full body strength exercises and cardio intervals in between.

We’ll perform 10 reps of each strength exercise before moving into 10 burpees. If burpees are too challenging, substitute a 60s of cardio movement (high knees, jump rope, etc) of your choice. 

As always, I’m sharing a real time, follow along video of this workout so that you can workout with me. For exercise progressions and modifications, want this real time demo. I go through one round, in real time, with you, providing ways to make the workout easier and more challenging.

Complete this circuit 3-4 rounds through for an awesome full body workout.