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 #SkipTheGym and do it at home?!).

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 trainer and nutrition 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)

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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 #SkipTheGym 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 #SkipTheGym takes all the guesswork out of the equation. In my at-home exercise solution, you’ll be set up with a done-for-you 4-week exercise program that makes it nearly impossible to miss your workouts. 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.
  2. Mix it up. Don’t do the same thing week after week.

This is why #SkipTheGym includes a workout calendar that changes after 2 weeks. 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, #SkipTheGym is a great option. I created a 4-week blueprint to consistent, efficient workouts that you can do without going to the gym.  In my four week #SkipTheGym program, you’ll get 10 full-length workouts, 3 of my favorite warm-ups, and a suggested workout calendar so that you can build a consistent workout routine, without ever stepping foot in the gym.

Each workout is designed for maximum efficiency so that you can warm up and complete the entire workout in less than 35 minutes #MoveSweatMoveOn.

Grab all the info and sign up here.

Five things that have changed the way I think about exercise

We believe morning workouts are the only way to go; we can’t understand how anyone could hit the gym in the evening. Or maybe we hear coworkers talking nonstop about SoulCycle and can’t understand why they would ever spend $35 for a cardio class. Or maybe we see the CrossFit games on TV and think those, those are the athletes to emulate.

We all think about fitness and exercise but we rarely stop to think about why we think the way we do.

Almost a year ago, I shared one of my most popular posts yet. In it, I chatted about the five things that radically shifted how thought about food, eating, and nutrition. It was such a popular post that I wanted to switch gears about talk about exercise.

Below are five events or milestones in my life that have impacted my fitness and my overall approach to exercise. Some are more serious than others but they’ve all changed me into the coach I am today.

Five things that have changed my approach to fitness. Exercise. At home exercise.

Five things that have changed my approach to fitness

Competing in half marathons

Running was my first love. As a chubby middle schooler, when I discovered there was a sport allowing me to run for extended periods of time without having to throw/kick/catch anything, I was hooked. I vividly remember going to run club at 6am…as a thirteen year old! High school cross country & track filled my days. Even when traveling, going on service trips, or during the off season, I would throw on my shoes and just go for miles. It provided me a calm I had yet to experience in any other part of my life.

By the time I got to college, I realized I was pretty good at it, too. I started racing in competitive half marathons and even placed second in my age category.

April 2013

Running competitively taught me how to think about fitness from a performance mindset. It taught me how to set goals and work to reach them. These are all skills that I still use today, in my and my clients’ fitness journeys.

Discovering strength training

As I mentioned, in high school and most of college, all I did was cardio. I was queen of the long run, treadmill, and elliptical.

Because of this, I constantly exercised to burn calories; that was all I could ever think of.

But when I started lifting weights, I realized there was something much more important than burning: building. Calories stopped being those pesky things I needed to get rid of, and they became the fuel I needed to change my body. Strength training gave me a way to build myself up, instead of always trying to be smaller.

Completing P90x3

When I originally started lifting, my workouts were long. I would do sixty minute lifting workouts, because I believed that if it wasn’t an hour long workout, it didn’t count.

Towards the end of my college career, Andrew and I decided to try P90X3, which included 6 30 minute workouts per week. It was my first exposure to shorter workouts that still could give results.

I’m not and never will be a Beachbody coach but I’m grateful that I discovered the program so that I could finally quit the idea that I had to workout for a full hour.

Being put on bedrest

In the summer of 2013, I was in an exceptionally unhealthy place. I was working out two+ hours a day, eating nowhere close to enough, and constantly thinking about my body, trying to get smaller and smaller.

I can vividly remember dragging myself away from the beach on vacation with my family and Andrew to get in my second workout of the day. It was so hot that I was wearing just a sports bra and shorts, barefoot, doing my second Insanity DVD of the day.

I called out to my mom, “It’s just 20 minutes. I’ll be there soon.”

In my heart, I wanted to be out there, watching the sun go down with the people I loved, but I couldn’t pull myself away, so sure that I would gain weight on this vacation if I didn’t do my two workouts per day.

Almost as soon as we got back from that vacation, my doctor told me I had to stay in bed for three days, no exercise at all. My heart was not stable enough to handle the incredible amount of stress I was putting on it. I could either do the bed rest at home or go into the hospital.

Well shit.

Real quick I had to rethink my approach to eating and moving. This rude awakening was what I needed to stop restricting and start moving towards eating disorder recovery. It was one of the hardest times of my life.

Becoming a personal trainer

I’ve always been super interested in fitness. I had lots of knowledge bouncing around in my head but didn’t exactly know how to apply it or how to use it to help others. Becoming a NASM CPT in May of 2016 helped me implement my knowledge and love of movement to help others.

Fitness is such a big topic, and we often have thoughts without fully understanding why we feel the way we do. That’s why it’s so important to break it all down. When we understand why we feel the way we do, we’re better able to make a change.

If you’d like to shift the way you think about fitness, I’d LOVE to share free workouts with you. I’m currently beta testing my newest workout program, #SkipTheGym. For the month of July, I’m sending out free weekly workouts so that we can all learn to stay more consistent with our workouts, without ever having to set foot in the gym. Grab all the deets (and your first workout) here!

3 reasons to skip your Monday workout

Your alarm clock sounds on Monday morning, and it’s way too early. The weekend went way too fast, and you’re still dead tired. Still in denial, you reach for your phone to scroll through Instagram to help you wake up. As you scroll through the countless images, you’re flooded with pictures of men and women dragging themselves to the gym on Monday morning, always tagged with #nevermissamonday. After seeing these images, you wonder if you should crush your workout, even though you’re exhausted.

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s a little too much fun over the weekend or a lack of motivation, we don’t always feel like working out on the first day of a work (or school) week. And even as I see trainers across the internet touting the importance of nevering missing a Monday, I completely disagree and often tell my clients to completely ignore the #nevermissamonday hype. I completely disagree because I’ve struggled with the obsession that comes with believing missing a single day will derail our progress.

I remember one Monday morning in particular; I had recently graduated college, started a new job, and was living with my boyfriend. We had had friends over to our apartment the night before. We drank wine, watched movies, and had an awesome time. When I rolled over to look at the clock, I felt nothing but exhaustion. The idea of dragging myself out onto the pavement to run five miles sounded like torture. But when I walked into the bathroom and looked in the mirror, I knew I was going to go anyway, because there was no way I was going to let myself miss that workout. For years, this is how I lived.

3 reasons to skip your Monday workout

Monday workout motivation. Monday workout quotes. Monday workout at home. Monday workout inspiration.

So, now, as a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I work with women all across the United States to help them change their bodies without any obsession or extra stress. And even though #nevermissamonday encourages accountability and motivation on the days we’re dragging, it also:

Encourages an ‘all or nothing’ mentality

Central to the #nevermissamonday mentality is that we’re either working out/active/good/on track or we’re completely off the wagon. So if we miss our workout, we might as well eat fast food for the rest of the day, right?

Yeah. No.

Maybe we don’t feel like a full workout but can squeeze in a longer walk with our dogs. Or maybe we need an extra rest day, so we focus on cooking healthy, delicious meals.

It’s never all or nothing, and we can have a healthy Monday without an intense workout.

Maybe, all you have time for is a quick #PushUpPower circuit to improve your push up strength. And that’s totally okay, too.

Ignores the importance of listening to your body

Let’s be real. Sometimes, we just need a break. An extra rest day can actually be better than a workout when our bodies are wrecked or we’re super stressed. When we stop listening to our bodies, we set ourselves up for problems in the long term, including overtraining, injury, or illness. This is definitely not worth it.

dynamic stretching

Listening to our bodies can be tough. Here are my three ways to listen to your body when you don’t know how.

Hands over our power and motivation to a ‘day’

I think what bothers me most about #nevermissamonday is the insinuation that if we skip a Monday workout, we’ve somehow doomed the rest of the week. There’s no reason that missing your Monday workout is more detrimental to your progress than skipping a Wednesday workout.

At its core, we’ve got to view each day is its own separate entity. This empowers us to make a decision of what’s best for us in that moment. Some Mondays, we are ready to go; others require a little patience and ease. Both are okay, and neither dictates the outcome of the rest of your week.

So the next time Monday comes around and working out isn’t top of our priority list [make sure you’re not making these consistency mistakes, too], we all need to ask ourselves one question: why?

Exhausted or hurting? Yes. 

Sick? Yes.

Stressed out by every other part of your life? Yes.

Bored of your current routine and just kinda don’t feel like it? Probably not. Do something completely different to mix it up, like focus on your push up strength for a month in #PushUpPower!

Because we are all on a long-term fitness journey, it’s important to remember that no one workout is separating us from success or failure. Whether or not your balanced approach to fitness it includes this Monday’s workout is irrelevant. As long as you find what works for you, you’re golden.

Single Kettlebell Workout – 6 minutes per round

You’re looking to stay more consistent with your workouts when you don’t have the time to go to the gym. #SkipTheGym could be a great fit. Try it out for free. 

Sometimes, we just need a workout that doesn’t require a ton of equipment. Whether we’re traveling, have to work out at home instead of hitting the gym, or don’t have much workout equipment available to us, having bodyweight (see all my bodyweight workouts here) and limited equipment workouts in our arsenal can help us be so much more consistent with working out.

Without them, we can slip into what I call the “fuck it” mindset. You know what I’m talking about, that moment when we’re weighing trying to fit in a workout vs. crashing on the couch to watch a few Criminal Minds reruns with a can of Mike’s HardER Lemonade, and we go “f it, I’m skipping my workout today.” (Are you making one of the top 3 workout consistency mistakes?!)

I get it. Just a couple weeks ago, Andrew and I were moving into our new condo (learn the full story on my recent IG post). We were painting, moving heavy stuff, herding the dogs, and trying to figure out why the guest bathroom toilet was flushing so dang slowly…all in 100ºF heat. Carting my crazy home gym equipment from our old apartment was the last thing I wanted to do.

I could easily have gone into that “fuck it” place, skipped my workout, and been done. But, instead, I grabbed just one piece of equipment—my kettlebell—and crushed the workout I’m sharing with you today (get free workouts delivered to your inbox every single week for the month of July here).

I had tested it out at our family cabin, and let me tell you, I absolutely loved it. It’s super simple, quick, and will work your entire body. And the best part? You can complete the workout with barely any equipment.

Full body single kettlebell workout breakdown

Full body kettlebell workout. Kettlebell workout video. Fat burning kettlebell workout.

The workout has six exercises that you’ll do for 12 reps each. In between each exercise, we’ll complete 12 kettlebell swings. The kettlebell swings are great for bringing our heart rate up within this strength workout.

Follow along with me real time in this video and repeat the video 2-3x, depending on how much time you have.

This workout is perfect if you’re traveling for the 4th of July and don’t wanna carry around a bunch of equipment. Complete this kettlebell workout with a single kettlebell or dumbbell.

If you enjoyed this workout and want more free workouts, sign up to beta test my newest program, #SkipTheGym. For the month of July, I’ll be sending you free weekly workouts until the program drops on August 1. Grab more info (and get free workouts) 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.

end eating perfectionism. learn to stop being a perfectionist and actually get consistent with healthy eating.

And I’m going to show you how. Starting on June 26 (MONDAY!), I’ll take you through a free 5-day training via FB live video (don’t forget to follow me) along with my exclusive nutrition workbook. Every night, at 6pm PDT (replays always available), I’ll walk you through a specific strategy that I’ve implemented with myself and my clients to help them eat well without getting obsessive. By the end of the 5 days, you’ll have the tools you need to get consistent with healthy eating once and for all and ditch the perfectionism that’s holding you back.

Grab all the details and get started here

Are you still trying to eat perfectly? 3 reasons it’s not working

If you’re sick of falling short of your perfect nutrition goals and are ready to get consistent once and for all, my #EndEatingPerfectionism free training is a game-changer. Grab all the details here.

Scrolling through Instagram, we see all these women sharing their week’s worth of healthy meals, displayed with pride on their counters as a symbol of their ability to eat perfectly all week long. We can’t help but be inspired by the hundreds of pictures of meal prep containers full of chicken and broccoli.

Motivated by others’ self discipline, we believe we can eat perfectly, too. Whether it’s prepping meals ahead of time or following a strict meal plan, we’re constantly aiming for perfection when it comes to eating.

And still, with all of our best intentions, we end up letting our prepped food wilt in tupperware, noshing on ice cream after a stressful Thursday at work, or waiting for a massive cheat day on Saturday. 

We feel so frustrated, wondering how we slipped up again, and make grandiose plans for a stricter, more specific, perfect plan for next time.

But I hate to break it to you, lovely, next time isn’t gonna work either.

Multiple times a week, I hear from women all over the world who are so frustrated with themselves for their inability to eat healthily on a consistent basis (here are the 4 main reasons why they’re struggling). They hold themselves to a super high standard in attempts to eat consistently but but constantly fall short, overindulging and subsequently beating themselves up.

And let’s be real. I get it. For years during my recovery, I would follow a super strict meal plan until Friday night. With all my willpower gone, I’d drink a few too many Mike’s HardER Lemonades and have one too many bites of ice cream. By the next morning, I’d be beating myself up incessantly, wondering how it was possible that I slipped up again…just like last week.

I now realize, as a personal trainer and nutrition coach, that my willpower was not the problem; my perfect eating goals were. Although there are hundreds of coaches and trainers recommending their clients eat perfectly, I believe that’s the biggest reason we all still struggle to stay consistent with healthy eating.

Three reasons perfect eating is failing you

Perfect eating is stressful.

Everything gets so much harder when we try to eat perfectly. Our social life goes out the window.

Eating out with friends is too difficult, because we can’t control everything that goes onto our plate. Instead, we feel like we have to prepare all our food ourselves.

Happy hours are off the table, because we can’t fit alcohol and bar snacks into our meal plan. These little indulgences are just too much.

mimosa cups

As we aim for perfect, we narrow in on the minute details of our eating, making every decision a little more difficult. It’s this difficulty that stresses us out to the point of giving up.

Sure, it may not happen immediately, but eventually we stop being able to navigate all of complexity, so we fall off the wagon.

On the other hand, finding a sustainable eating solution eliminates food stress so that we can stay consistent once and for all. In my #EndEatingPerfectionism series, I’ll teach you exactly how to eat well without getting obsessive, using the exclusive strategies I’ve employed with my clients. Grab all the details and get your workbook here.

Perfect eating makes us restrict.

For years, I battled with eating perfectionism too. I tried EVERYTHING to eat clean and perfectly. All week long, I’d eat only the foods my trainer wanted me to eat: so many dry chicken breasts, soggy broccoli, and brown rice (I hate rice). I restricted all week long.

And, every Saturday morning, I found myself staring in the mirror, so frustrated that I drank 3 Mike’s HardER Lemonades. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just make myself eat perfectly like everyone I saw on Instagram.

Wine, Protein, Veggies

But here’s the thing. Perfection doesn’t work, because it makes us restrict our eating in the name of being perfect. And that’s why perfectionism is a myth, and is doing all of us a disservice, because our continual restriction and bingeing keeps us from eating well.

Perfect eating makes us feel like failures.

If perfect is actually impossible, aiming for perfect eating means we inevitably fall short, doesn’t it? Even if we’re eating pretty well, we look in the mirror, frustrated that we couldn’t just resist that chocolate in the break room.

These feelings of guilt and failure hold us back and keep us from staying consistent, don’t they? When we feel guilty, we restrict even more. And that restriction? It makes us binge more later.

And let’s be real. Feeling like a failure serves no one.

I know perfectionism is our default, but it doesn’t have to be. There is another way to eat well, see results, and feel better…without all the guilt.

I wanna show you how.

 

In my #EndEatingPerfectionism 5-day free video training series on FB live (from June 26-30), I’ll take you through the 5 strategies (one per day) I’ve used with myself and my clients to help them eat well without getting obsessive. Using the tools included in my free workbook (grab your copy early here), you’ll be able to get consistent with healthy eating and ditch the perfectionism that’s keeping you from reaching your goals. I can’t wait to get started!

Grab all the details and join me, here.

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. 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.

Full Body, Bodyweight Stair Workout

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!

When we are pressed for time and have zero equipment, sometimes it’s best to turn to the things that are already around us. Whether traveling or at home, we often aren’t far away from a set of stairs. So that kind of makes it the perfect piece of workout equipment, doesn’t it? That’s why I decided to share today’s newest full body stair workout.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a workout, so after Andrew and my trip to Healdsburg (see the shenanigans on Instagram), I wanted to create a workout we can do while traveling.

As I started thinking about the workout I wanted to create, I started thinking about the time in high school I went to Washington DC on a class trip. Thousands of high schoolers flocked to DC to see the 2008 election. Apparently, my school had worked out some sort of agreement with the hotel that barred the students from using the hotel gym. Now, I was in the throws of my eating disorder and absolutely panicked at not being able to work out. We were seeing museums and sitting in buses all day. There was no way I wasn’t working out.

I remember weighing the options in my mind and settling on using the stairs. I was so scared to wake up my roommates that I simply walked up and down ten flights of stairs for an hour.

Looking back now, I had options (quick bodyweight circuit in the hallway anyone?) but this memory got me inspired to create a workout JUST using the stairs. I’m sharing that workout with you, today.

What is it?

Today’s stair workout will work your entire body. One round will take about 6 minutes to complete, and I recommend completing 2-3 rounds for a full workout.

Today's full body bodyweight stair workout will work your entire body. One round will take about 6 minutes to complete, and I recommend completing 2-3 rounds for a full workout.

As always, be sure to incorporate a warm up and some activation per the DARR Formula for Effective Workouts.

If you’d like to follow along with me, you can use one of my favorite warm up routines.

What do I need to complete this stair workout?

You’ll need a flight of stairs. That’s it! I’m using the stairs (there are 12 steps) leading up to my second story apartment

If you have more stairs (like a set of bleachers), that works too. I’d suggest breaking up the exercises into reps of 12-16.

How should I incorporate this stair workout into my routine?

This stair workout incorporates both conditioning and a bit of strength training. Given that we’re not lifting super heavy weights, you can include this workout 2-3x per week in your workout plan (learn more about how I create my workout plans here).

As always, take it to your level. I’ll provide modifications and form cues in the demo video below. If you’re looking to progress this workout without adding any equipment, I’ll show you how here.

Let me know if you have questions! I hope you enjoy this one (more bodyweight workouts here) as much as I did!

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.

What’s your workout today!?