Is your healthy eating making you unhealthy?

We’re all trying to ‘eat healthy,’ But for some of us, that desire for healthy eating causes us to go overboard.

As a nutrition and restriction recovery coach, I talk to women about nutrition every day. More and more, I’m finding that even if we’re trying for healthy eating, we’re constantly thinking about it.

Maybe you eat plenty of protein and veggies but stress when you want a cookie or a glass of wine (this definitely used to be my main trigger food).

Or every time you go out to eat with friends, you skim the menu and immediately choose the lowest calorie option, because you’re unable to stop counting calories.

Lovely, these situations aren’t healthy, regardless of what foods you’re eating. Healthy eating is SO much more than the foods you eat, so I’ve come up with three questions to ask yourself to determine if you’re on the right track.

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Is healthy eating causing you to restrict?

If your choices are focused on making you restrict/try to eat the smallest amount possible, I don’t care if you’re eating grilled chicken and veggies. It’s not healthy for you.

Is healthy eating making you obsessive?

Are you constantly worrying about making the ‘right’ choices? Do you panic every time that you eat something that’s not ideal? This level of obsession is not what we’re going for.

Instead, we want automated, simple, healthy eating. Here’s one way to think about it. 

What are your reasons behind your healthy eating choices?

Really, it all comes down to your why.

Let me give you an example.

A couple years back, when I still navigating through my restriction recovery journey, I vividly remember having to choose my nighttime snack. I had just discovered Lenny & Larry’s cookies (yes, I’m obsessed) and was loving having them before bed. But on this particular day, I hadn’t worked out and I was going back and forth in my head.

Should I eat the cookie or choose a lower calorie option?
Maybe I should just have greek yogurt..
Or maybe I should skip my nighttime snack all together.
Does the cookie have too many calories?

Ugh…..even just writing out all those thoughts is exhausting. But on that evening, I looked myself in the mirror, said #effrestriction, and ate the damn cookie in a show of protesting my restrictive habits. In that moment, I made the healthiest decision possible.

See, when it comes to our food choices, we have to understand WHY we’re making them and be comfortable choosing what’s right for us, even if it’s different than what would be healthy for someone else.

So if you’re standing in line at Chipotle, trying to choose what to eat and you decide to have a salad because you didn’t workout and you’re stressing about the number of calories in the white rice, that might not be the best option.

The next time you’re making a “healthy” choice, I want you to dive a little deeper and make sure you’re not doing it from a place of restriction, okay? If you need a little more guidance, take my free quiz below to determine if you’re in control of your eating and exercise. Once you complete the quiz, I can send you personalized suggestions of what to do next.

How to stop binge eating and heal your relationship with food

Alcohol is one of the most common trigger foods holding my clients back. They have such a tumultuous relationship with booze that they have a hard time incorporating it into their lives, wherever they are on their restriction recovery journey.

Learn to use your trigger foods to improve your relationship with food! trigger foods diet - trigger foods health - trigger foods weight loss #nutrition #weightloss #stopobsessingaboutfood

It wasn’t until I started embracing my restriction that I learned to use my trigger foods to stop binge eating

For years, I tried so hard to stop restricting. I battled day and night to eradicate restrictive behaviors from my life. But lovely, that kept me struggling.

In this week’s episode of #RestrictionRevised, I’m talking about MY journey to embrace alcohol as one of my biggest trigger foods (I talk more about trigger foods here).

Now, alcohol helps me get a pulse check of how much restriction is affecting my life. I know that if I’m stressing about having a second glass of wine, it’s time to tune inward.

Instead of beating myself up for restricting, I thank my restrictive tendencies for helping me be more aware of how I’m interacting with food and exercise.

I talk to women every single day who tell me they’re constantly thinking about food and exercise. They’re trying so hard to be perfect with their nutrition and every time they fall short, they’re beating themselves up. This means that they’re continually trying to eat well without getting obsessive.

Enter my FREE Rate Your Restriction quiz.

This is the ultimate solution, because by filling outthis super short, 8 question quiz, I can give you personalized coaching advice on what to do to get in control of your eating – and stop letting it control you.

Having a goal of achieving a life without restriction is great but if you don’t have specific guidance on how to get there, you’re just gonna keep struggling. I look around the fitness and nutrition industry and see SO many coaches preaching food freedom and rejecting the perfectionist tendencies but nobody is telling you HOW to actually get there. And let’s be real. That’s sooooo not helpful. So, I felt obligated to create a solution, an actual how-to guide to stop letting nutrition perfectionism control you.

I’m super excited to share this quiz with you! It’s totally free and probably the easiest way to get customized advice on this topic.

Take the quiz below and let me know how it goes!

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.

If you’re concerned that your eating might be problematic, take my free quiz below.

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. Now, I reach out to my awesome therapist (find a local therapist here) and implement the two steps below.

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. Get on the waitlist – we start in February!

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 now! We get started on February 5! 

5 things buying a house taught me about fitness

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that a huge part of my summer was buying our first condo. They accepted our offer in May. We moved in June. We did renovations and updates all throughout July. And now, my lovely friends, it’s August, we’ve made our first mortgage payment, and we’re finally starting to settle in.

We’re almost two months into homeownership, and I already feel like I’ve learned SO much in the process. And I’m not just talking about how to tile a floor, paint a wall, install baseboard, or stain a bathroom cabinet (although I’ll happily talk your ear off about those things). I’m talking about those *real* life lessons that we only learn through a lot of struggle.

So today, I wanna share those with you, because I’ve realized they’re actually super related to nutrition and fitness motivation.

5 things buying a house taught me about fitness motivation

After buying a house, I had some serious realizations that applied to fitness too. Sharing them! fitness motivation - fitness motivation quotes - fitness motivation ideas - fitness motivation meme

We can’t have it all

When we moved into our condo, I wanted to make it our own. It felt like we were crashing in someone else’s house. I immediately wanted to change absolutely everything.

As we sat down to come up with a game plan for updating our home, it became clear that we didn’t have enough time, money, or skill to do it all right now.

We couldn’t hire someone to paint the entire space AND rip up the carpet. 

We couldn’t pay for updates to both bathrooms immediately after dropping our savings on a downpayment. 

Laying down grass in the middle of the summer was just not gonna work.

Writing this now, I know it sounds silly and unrealistic, but in the moment, I wanted to do literally all the things. But the last couple months have shown me that everything is tradeoffs.

We have to choose the things that are most important to us in the moment and go from there.

And this is SO true for fitness, isn’t it? We all want to lose weight, build muscle, run faster, get stronger, and complete our first marathon.

Life is about priorities and tradeoffs.

Is losing weight more important than running a marathon?

Is running faster more important than building muscle?

All of our goals are totally valid, and it’s important to set goals, but we have to be able to prioritize the things we want in the moment and what can wait.

Take a look at your approach to fitness right now, and start prioritizing those goals.

The journey is never over

As we began making changes to our home, I thought I would begin to feel at peace and ready to stop.

Yeah.

The opposite happened.

As we made changes, I continually became aware of more changes I wanted to make. I’m told that this is the reality of a homeowner: always wanting to improve and work on your home.

This reminded me a LOT of our fitness journeys. As we start seeing results and feeling better, we get addicted. We want to keep doing it.

And even though we think that our fitness journey is gonna end when we lose 10lbs/run that first marathon/squat X weight, it never does.

It becomes part of our lifestyle and who we are, same as homeownership.

Perfect is an illusion

As we’re taking before and after pictures of our home and sharing them with friends and family, I’m amazed by the responses. I keep hearing things like: it looks perfect, you did such a great job, you must be so proud, etc etc etc.

And don’t get me wrong. I am incredibly proud and love everything we’ve changed about our home.

But it is far from perfect.

I see the spots where the tile isn’t 100% level. I notice the baseboard corner that is definitely not straight. It’s hard for me to ignore the water spots on the back of the counter.

I nitpick absolutely everything, because it is MINE. And isn’t this the same when it comes to fitness, nutrition, and all the social media representations of it?

We are so much harder on ourselves than others, and I think it’s important to remember that what we see is almost never the reality. It’s also been a great reminder to be more gentle with myself: perfect is impossible, and we’ve gotta remember that when viewing others’ social media highlights.

Patience is perhaps the most important virtue (that I don’t have)

Holy f. When we moved in, I wanted the walls painted, bathroom redone, and carpet pulled up YESTERDAY. Each day has been an exercise in waiting (im)patiently for the things I want.

And of course, life is always there to encourage our personal growth.

The bathroom shelves are still not done.

The flooring we ordered from Home Depot was never actually ordered and arrived 2 days late. 

Half of our furniture didn’t fit through the office door.

And I’ve had to learn to deal with it, accept the process and let go of the things I can’t control. Because, by the time our floors were finished, the desk was in the office, and our bathroom was functional again, it was worth the wait.

Same thing with fitness motivation, no?

We want all the results, right now, but that’s just impossible. We’ve gotta work towards the things that we want, and be patient enough to give it time.

Never sacrifice your life for your goals

When we first moved in (and for most of June/July if I’m being real), all I did was work on the house. I would get up in the morning, write, paint, and work out. Then, as soon as I got home from work, I’d change into my grubby clothes and start painting again.

There were quite a few nights that Andrew and I argued over whether we should have a drink and relax or work on painting/cleaning/moving.

You can probably guess my vote 😀

But as time wore on, I started to figure out that there was no rush. This is my life now, and work will always be there. As a friend of mine said, that’s why we signed a 30 year mortgage. So I started to slow down (not as much as Andrew would like but hey, baby steps), take a few breaks, and actually go out for drinks/dinner again.

And honestly, this reminded me SO much of our fitness and nutrition journeys.

We all want to get to the finish line as fast as possible, so we’re often willing to skip out on drinks with our friends, dinner with family, or an afternoon of hanging out by the pool instead of meal prepping.

But it is SO not worth it.

We’re here to live our lives, not restrict ourselves to a tiny box in the name of our goals.

So if you’re trying to reach some fitness or nutrition/body goals, take a second to ask yourself if you’re truly living your life or if it’s taken a back seat to reaching those goals.

It’s not a race to the finish line. We’re never gonna achieve “perfect” (here’s what I recommend instead). This journey is never over.

So we might as well enjoy the ride.

I hope these truths help you with your fitness motivation, and frankly, your life! Coming to terms with these concepts has been a huge part of my summer, and I wanted to make sure to share out what I’ve learned. If you want more fitness, nutrition, and mindset nuggets, join my email tribe. I share all my best stuff with my email buddies on Thursday mornings. Join the conversation!

3 reasons you don’t feel like working out (and how to fix them)

I hate to say it, but motivation is SUPER fleeting. There are mornings we wake up and are ready to go. We slept well, had a great cup of coffee, and are itching to crush a workout (why not try out #GoldilocksFitness and finish in 30 minutes?!).

But that’s not always the case, is it?

Alarm goes off for the 5th time, after repeatedly pressing snooze. We had planned to get in a workout but staying in bed seems like SUCH a better option. It’s not that we’re sore, overly tired, or injured. We don’t don’t feel like working out.

Motivation shifts and changes, sometimes even throughout the day. As a restriction recovery coach, I work with ladies all around the world, helping them to get consistent with exercise and healthy eating without obsession. And honestly, when we don’t have obsession or rigid tracking to motivate us, there are many times that we just won’t feel feel like working out.

And that’s okay…if it lasts for a day. Not feeling like working out can be a sign that your body just needs a rest. So when my clients are feeling super burned out, I encourage them to take a rest day.

BUT, if the lack of motivation outlasts the rest day, we gotta figure out what’s going on.

After working with hundreds of women online, I’ve found that we often fall into one of three traps. Today, I’m sharing the 3 reasons we might not feel like working out AND what to do about them.

3 reasons you don’t feel like working out (and how to fix them)

exercise motivation - staying motivated - exercise motivation tips - exercise motivation tips

You’re bored

I’m not sure about you but when I’m dreading the monotony of a workout, I have no desire to get my sweat on.

Too often, I talk with women who are doing workouts that bore the crap out of them because they think they’re what they *should* be doing.  Their old personal trainer said HIIT was best for fat loss. They read on Tone It Up that we have to lift itty-bitty weights. BodyRockTV says intensity is key to getting results. So they drag themselves to the gym to do the next popular workout…even if they hate it.

And frankly, this is one of the worst ways to approach fitness, because we’ll never actually feel like working out.

How to fix it

Lady, we gotta add some fun into our workouts, once and for all. Fitness should never be a punishment, and if “working out” is synonymous with dread, something’s gotta change. When we actually enjoy the process of what we’re doing, motivation stops becoming an issue (see the research/my take on it here) and consistency comes naturally (see the three most common workout consistency mistakes here).

Love circuits? Do circuit workouts. (These are what my clients love and are central to #GoldilocksFitness workout programming).

Yoga makes you so happy? Do yoga.

Running helps you be chill AF? Go run.

Even if it’s not the *best way* to workout, do your thing. That’s what’s gonna help us crush workouts week after week.

You don’t know what to do

One of the other super common reasons we may not feel like working out, is we don’t actually know wtf to do.  There’s so much information out there that we can often get into a state of information overload and stop working out all together (this is why I wrote my entire Master the Weight Room series, to break everything down and stop the overwhelm when it comes to strength training).

And this makes sense, doesn’t it?

There are so many ways we could workout, so many trainers we could listen to, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When we feel overwhelmed we’re so much more likely to stay with our current way of doing things (in this case, skipping workouts because we don’t feel like working out).

How to fix it

Follow a plan and take the guesswork out of it. Having someone tell us what to do can be SO helpful if we’re overwhelmed by all the options.

This is why the #GoldilocksFitness Program takes all the guesswork out of the equation. In my free DIY 7 day workout plan, you’ll be set up with a done-for-you exercise program that will help you start seeing results by exercising for *just the right amount*. Get more details here.

You’re frustrated because you’re not seeing results

If we’ve been exercising for a while, it’s pretty easy to lose motivation when we are not seeing results.

My favorite example is when you think about a recreational runner who runs a three mile loop, five days a week, hoping to lose weight (she should be lifting heavy shit but that’s besides the point). At the beginning, she may burn 350 calories over the course of her run and notice some changes in her leg musculature. Pretty sweet. But even within the first four weeks of her starting her running program, the calories burned over those three miles could drop to something like 300 and her body’s not going to keep changing.

At the same time, that lack of body change is going to make it a lot harder to keep crushing the workouts. We begin wondering why to do it if it’s not working.

How to fix it

Results come from effective, challenging workouts done consistently. I wish there was a magic way to change our bodies but it comes down to two things:

Consistency & Variety

Why? Your body ONLY responds to the demands that you place on it. So in that first Studio BARRE workout, you body was working pretty hard to get ‘er done. You were probably super sore and tired afterwards. That second, third, fourth class, maybe you felt the same. But by the thirteenth class, yeah not so much. By that point, your body has adapted to this type of activity and can do it pretty well.

Sooo…what should we do instead?

  1. Stay consistent. Workout 3-5x per week. Here are 5 ways to make fitness your routine today from Running in a Skirt.
  2. Mix it up. Don’t do the same thing week after week.

Two weeks is about how long it takes our bodies to get used to a workout, so it’s time to change things after that 14 day mark.

When we do these simple things, results will come.

If you wanna learn to stay consistent with your workouts, my #GoldilocksFitness Program can help you get there. I hear from women all the time that they’re struggling to know when enough is enough. They don’t know how to exercises consistently in a way that also will help them see results. This program will fix that. For 7 days, I’ll give ya the exact workouts to do to start seeing results without stressing about it. Grab more details here.

Why I’ve stopped being a perfectionist – 2 reasons

Interested in ditching that perfectionist mindset and beating yourself up when you fall short? My FREE #EndEatingPerfectionism course is for you. 

Perfectionism is my M.O. It’s always been. From the time I was a kid in grammar school to my first day at Google, trying to be perfect at whatever I was doing was my goal. I would always get the A, make the team, get the job, and be the best.

And if I wasn’t? I wouldn’t do it.

I remember one time in high school when I was working on a paper. Sitting in the library with a bag of trail mix on the corner of the desk, I feverishly wrote my “rough draft” of my paper. This paper had just been assigned the period before lunch, and the perfectionist student I was believed that I had to complete the first draft ASAP so I could spend the rest of the week getting it reviewed by my teacher, editing it multiple times, and making it absolutely perfect. Even though I had plenty of time to write the damn paper, I still skipped lunch to indulge my perfectionist beliefs.

I was trapped by the idea of perfection and didn’t know how to get out. (here are the exact strategies I used to separate from perfectionism)

Lovely, this was my reality for as long as I can remember. But recently? I’ve ditched perfectionism in favor of “good enough.” And there are two main reasons why.

2 reasons I’ve stopped being a perfectionist

 

I was trapped by the idea of perfection and didn't know how to get out. (here are the exact strategies I used to separate from perfectionism) Lovely, this was my reality for as long as I can remember. But recently? I've ditched perfectionism in favor of "good enough." And there are two main reasons why.

Perfectionism forces us to disregard the progress we’ve made

When all we think about is perfect, we belittle progress. We belittle the changes we’re making that are getting us where we want to be.

When I first started as a trainer and coach, I was super guilty of this. Even though I’ve ditched perfectionism in many areas of my life, I would look at pictures of myself (PS. I’m talking even more intimately about perfection and sharing my most recent progress pics with my email buddies this weekend. It’s probably the most vulnerable email I’ve ever sent. Get on the list here if you wanna read it), and nitpick them apart until I was in tears.

My arms look flabby.

I’m nowhere close to a six pack

My legs have cellulite.

dynamic stretching

I’d constantly compare myself to the other coaches and trainers out there, believing I looked nothing like the (perfect) trainers I saw on Instagram. This attempt to reach perfection made me completely ignore the progress I’d made and the reasons I should be coaching.

I disregarded that I’ve started squatting 1.15x my bodyweight.

I’d ignore the fact that I’ve coached dozens of women in the last year away from restrictive and obsessive eating and exercise patterns.

My recent chin up progress (5 reps stringed together on a good day!) meant nothing.

These things are super important. But if I were super focused on perfection, I wouldn’t even notice or care about these things.

These steps are the

Perfectionism makes us think in black-and-white

By looking at ourselves as perfect or imperfect, we perpetuate a mindset that makes us think in black-and-white. We only see perfect vs. us. If we continue as a perfectionist, we imprison ourselves into this false dichotomy where there’s only the perfect ideal and everything else that doesn’t measure up. We start thinking that we’re either Karena and Katrina from Tone-It-Up or we’re a piece of shit, because perfectionism doesn’t let us see that middle ground. And let’s be real, recognizing that middle ground is what helps us make progress. (See how stopped falling off the healthy eating bandwagon every single Saturday here)

Wine, Protein, Veggies

During my 10+ year battle with anorexia, I could only think in black-and-white. My brain literally could not see the shades of grey in between.

There was only that 90 minute BodyRockTV workout and sitting on my butt.

I either ate lunch and felt super guilty about it or I didn’t eat and felt in control.

These were my only options.

And by continuing life as a perfectionist, we don’t allow ourselves to see the moderate options in between perfect and imperfect (this is why I felt compelled to create my free training to #EndEatingPerfectionism. See more here).

How you can stop being a perfectionist, too

I hate to break it to you, lovely, but perfection doesn’t work, because a) no one can actually do it, and b) it perpetuates feelings of inadequacy that only lead us to eat more crap, and taking us even farther from our goals. Perfectionism is a myth, and is doing all of us a disservice.

Why?

Perfection is impossible.
Perfectionism sets us up for failure.
Aiming to be perfect is super stressful.
“Perfect” really is unnecessary.
And honestly? It ultimately leads to obsession, restriction, and guilt.

Thankfully. There’s another option – consistency and support. If you want a bit of help with consistency, get started with my #ConsistentNutrition cheat sheet.

Conventional wisdom touts the importance of listening to our bodies. I swear, in every single workout video I watch and fitness blog post I read, we're told to "listen to your body." But what about when we have no effing clue what that means? That's why I'm sharing my three best tips to listen to your body, even if you don't know wtf that means.

3 ways to listen to your body when you don’t know how

Sign ups are now open for my signature coaching program, Consistently Lean Coaching! If you’re ready to lose weight, get stronger, AND stop obsessing about fitness and nutrition, this is for you.

Conventional wisdom touts the importance of listening to our bodies. I swear, in every single workout video I watch and fitness blog post I read, we’re told to “listen to your body.”

But what about when we have no effing clue what that means?

For years, as I worked through my eating disorder, doctors told me to listen to my body. After being put on bed rest for three days because my heart rate was grounds for hospitalization, I remember my doctor telling me I could do light yoga or go for a walk, if I “listened to my body.” I shifted my weight on that exam room table, hearing the crinkly paper under butt, trying to figure out a way to respond. I realized I had no idea what the fuck it actually meant to listen to my body.

I had gotten so good at tuning out my body’s signals–hunger signals, exhaustion signals–that I couldn’t even hear them anymore.

Sound familiar?

Whether we’re eating disorder survivors, hardcore fitness enthusiasts, or perpetual dieters, we get good at ignoring our bodies. And sometimes ignoring our body’s signals can even help us at times.

Pushing through the discomfort in a tough workout

Ignoring that 3pm sugar craving when we’re trying to lose weight

But what do we do when we’re told to listen to our bodies after years of ignoring them?

Simple.

We start incorporating little actions that (1) help our bodies recover from our intense exercise and attempts at perfect nutrition (get my exact nutrition strategies to lose weight without obsession in #ConsistentlyLean) and (2) help us get just a little more in tune with ourselves. Below are my top three strategies.

3 ways to listen to your body (when you have no idea how)

Conventional wisdom touts the importance of listening to our bodies. I swear, in every single workout video I watch and fitness blog post I read, we're told to "listen to your body." But what about when we have no effing clue what that means? That's why I'm sharing my three best tips to listen to your body, even if you don't know wtf that means.

Get more sleep

The average American gets 6.8 hours of sleep per night (source – Gallup poll) compared to the expert recommendation of 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

And here’s the thing: sleep is soooooo important (love this PN article on sleep) to how we feel every day, our ability to recover from our workouts, and even our body composition.

So, if we don’t know how to listen to our bodies, getting more sleep is a safe bet. Because, honestly, everybody could use more sleep. I prioritized sleep when I had no idea how the F to listen to my body. It was the first change I made. I’ve felt worlds better since getting at least 7 hours of sleep on weeknights and 9 hours on weekends (#grandmastatus).

Eat more protein

Most of the women who come to me for nutrition guidance aren’t eating enough protein to sustain their active lifestyles. So, if we’re having a hard time listening to our bodies, adding more protein is a good place to start.

Protein

Increasing protein intake is an awesome step towards listening to our bodies, because:

  • It keeps us feeling satisfied.
  • It helps stabilize our blood sugar over long periods of time.
  • It’s also much harder for our bodies to turn into body fat.
  • It’s the building block to rebuild muscle tissue broken down by exercise.

If we try to eat some protein every time we feel hungry, we can naturally decrease our cravings, help our bodies build, and stop getting hungry 10 minutes after we finish a meal.

Prioritize recovery

Recovery is super important and super un-sexy, I get it. For those of us who love working out, taking a rest or recovery day sounds awful.

dynamic stretching

The more intensely you are training, the more recovery your body needs! So, really, the less we want to take a day off, the more we need it.

So, if you’re struggling to listen to your body and you’re working out consistently, it’s time to prioritize recovery. Below are my favorite ways to facilitate recovery in my weekly routine.

  • Foam roll tight muscles.
  • Take an epsom salt bath.
  • Practice yoga or meditation.
  • Watch a funny movie (no really).
  • Take a long walk instead of hitting the gym.
  • Rest 1-2 days per week at a minimum.

(I wrote a whole post about recovery a while back. If you want more info on how many rest days to take per week, see here)

Using these three simple tips helped me start to get a little more in touch with what my body needed. Implement them all or try one at a time to listen to your body.

I get it. After a summer of overindulgence, many of us are ready to get back on track. We want to lose weight and tone up but don’t know how to do it would obsessively counting calories, tracking macros, or spending hours at the gym.

If you want to get in shape but are worried that rigid tracking or long workouts will send you into an obsessive spiral, #ConsistentlyLean is for you. Learn more and grab your spot before signups close for the rest of 2017!

Would you call this an eating disorder phase?

I almost deleted this post at least three times. But I’m sharing anyway. Sometimes, something fires us up so much that we have to share, even if it’s super scary, vulnerable, and raw.

A few months back,  I was listening to a recent episode of one of my favorite podcasts, The FitCast (be sure to check it out). I was especially excited to listen to two strong women talk about strength training (another fave). I was minutes away from my office, I had just exited the freeway. There were only a few minutes left when one of the guests made a passing comment that irked me.

I went through a disordered eating phase.

As I heard those words and drove into the parking structure, something turned in my stomach. It felt like she punched me in the stomach with just 7 words. And although I knew exactly what I was feeling, it took me a little longer to understand why.

I sat with those awful feelings and that pain all morning. I prayed about it. I talked with a close friend. And sometime in the middle of all that, I realized what hurt so much.

I didn’t have a disordered eating phase. I had an eating disorder.

I had a brutal battle with anorexia for over ten years. It made my high school and college years miserable at times. It made me, at 5’7″, beat myself up when I could no longer fit into size 2 jeans (thank GOD I found Stitch Fix). It made traveling a stressful nightmare, lost me a job I loved, and taxed relationships with my family and friends. It wasn’t a “phase” that I could snap out of, like my emo Evanescence phase.

If it were, I could have stopped self-destructing before my fifteenth birthday (not my twenty-fifth).

If it were a phase, March 31, 2005, the date of my clinical diagnosis, would not still stand out in my mind. I had been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa the day before. I kept saying to myself: no no no, there must be a mistake; I was just trying to lose a few pounds. I’m not super skinny like all the real anorexic girls. I didn’t even cry when she told me I needed more help than she could offer. I just kept thinking to myself, I’ll just start eating again; I’ll be fine by summer.

It was the next day that I realized that this quick fix would not be happening. In an attempt to “get better,” I forced myself to bring more for lunch but when I was faced with the prospect of eating the additional 35-calorie wedge of Laughing Cow Light Cheese, I burst into tears and threw the cheese away, disgusted with myself. It was in that moment that I understood that I had a problem. A normal, rational person who was trying to lose weight would be able to eat more if a doctor told them they needed to: I couldn’t.

Does that sound like a phase to you?

I look around the fitness industry, and all I see are trainers who make disordered eating this messy thing all women share. And honestly, there is some validity to that. Many women have an unhealthy relationship with food, whether that’s over-eating, under-eating, emotional eating, or assigning morality to the foods they eat.

I almost deleted this post at least three times. But I'm sharing anyway. Sometimes, something fires us up so much that we have to share, even if it's super scary, vulnerable, and raw. Finally sharing my story as an eating disorder survivor. But eating disorders are a different beast all together (please get help if you’re struggling). When trainers comment about their “disordered eating phase” they minimize the struggle many of us faced and fought our way through. I’m not okay with that.

I’m an eating disorder survivor.

So instead of alluding gently to an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise, I’m speaking my truth and standing up for the women who have reclaimed their lives from eating disorder hell. Instead of continuing to hide my battle scars, I’ll continue to speak out about about my journey to moderation and accepting my body, because the scars make me the woman I am today.

A coach, dog mom, partner, and friend

A personal trainer, nutrition coach, and eating disorder survivor (warrior).

I’m passionate about helping women move through their eating disorders, battles or phases.

Just a couple years ago, I wanted to make a change but my doctor’s voice rang in my head: you’ll never be able to diet or lose weight like a “normal person.”

Needless to say, I thought losing weight, getting stronger, and feeling better were out of reach. I was so scared that my eating disorder tendencies and obsession would stop me from reaching my goals.

But now? In 2017, I’m living, breathing proof that it is possible to love our bodies and also change them, WITHOUT reverting back to our eating disorder tendencies.

My friends, are you ready? If you want to take that step towards lovingly changing your body, without obsession, restriction or stress, let’s talk. I’m passionate about working with YOU to reach your goals, because life is so much better outside of restriction.