True Life: I Haven’t Worked Out in 4 Weeks #andThatsFine

16875667It’s true. I haven’t been to the gym or worked out since the beginning of January. Why? Honestly, because I didn’t flippin feel like it. Call it Minnesota winter, call it too much Ben & Jerry’s, call it lazy, call it whatever you’d like.

We all go through ups and downs. We all struggle with consistency.

Coming through the other side of it though, we all have two choices:

Choice 1: Beat yourself up about it, tell yourself how crappy of a person you are and how lazy and worthless you are because you didn’t stick to a fitness routine.
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Choice 2: Look in the mirror, notice that you’re a little squishier or lost muscle, love yourself anyway, laugh, and say “Welp! Time to get back to it!”

Choice 1 comes from a place of self hate, choice 2 comes from a place of self love. If you’re working out because you hate yourself and you hate your body, you’re working out for the wrong reasons. It does you 0% of good to beat yourself up about your lack of fitness or healthy eating. Shame is something you should never allow yourself to feel. Easier said than done, I know.
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Some days I have abs, some days my stomach looks like this. Both are totally fine. It’s funny, we tend to post on social media only the things we want other people to see. Welp. It’s time you see this too.

It took me many years of surrounding myself with the right people, reading the right books and finding the right information that resonated with me to finally love myself and not beat myself up over “slips” in health and fitness. You fail, you learn, you grow, you keep going!

No one is 100% on their game 100% of the time. And. That’s. Fine. Know your goals, know your body and ultimately know yourself. Oh and don’t forget to love yourself no matter your body fat percentage.

I’m always here for YOU! If you need support, advice or just want someone to nerd out with over fitness related things, shoot me a message.

Follow along with my daily fitness journey on Instagram and Twitter! Happy Fitness!

3 Things You Thought You Knew About Health and Fitness That Are Actually Total Bullsh*t

1. Fat Free & Sugar Free Foods are Healthier for You.
NOPE. No. Long story short, you’ve been lied to. By who? By advertisers.

As American’s started to realize “holy crap… our waistlines are expanding faster than ever before, we need to be a little healthier!” advertisers realized they needed to market more “healthy” products for consumers. Or at least have us believe what we are consuming is healthier. Whoever came up with the marketing scheme of fat free and sugar free, honestly, hats off to YOU. You’re a marketing genius.sugar-free

What really happens when companies take fat out of food?
They just put in MORE sugar (for taste).

What happens when they take out the sugar?
They add more CHEMICALS (random fake crap for taste).

Skip the fat free and sugar free items. You’re better off eating full fat cream cheese than reduced fat. Anything sugar free, calorie free, “diet” or fat free just means chemical sh*t storm. Avoid!

2. Spending an Hour on the Treadmill Will Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals
Unless you’re a distance runner or training for an event longer than a 5k, you don’t need to spend any longer on the treadmill than 15-25 minutes. Is your head exploding right now? Good, keep reading.

Let me guess, your gym routine includes maybe a little bit of ab work, looking at the tumblr_o21yr58iLk1uae2w5o1_500weights and machines like they are some kind of mythical creature that you’d have to tame in order to use correctly, and then jumping on the treadmill for an hour?

Allow me ask you a question that might change your life: Would you rather run really really fast for a total of 3-5 minutes or jog for 30-60 minutes?

According to a study done by the University of Western Ontario, researchers had 10 women and 10 men train 3 times per week. One group did 30-60 minutes of running at a moderate pace on a treadmill, and the other group did 4-6 30 second treadmill sprints with 4-6 minutes of rest in between.

tumblr_nxoaks7ny31skla5oo1_500The results? The group who sprinted lost MORE fat than the group who jogged/ran for 30-60 minutes.

Translation: *Do 3-5 sets of 1 minute SPRINTS with a walking break in between and do NOT jog/run for 30-60 minutes.

*this is if your goal is fat loss

3. Lifting weights (as a female) will make you bulky.
Let me guess, you see women who body build or do bikini competitor competitions and think “Oh wow… They are huge! Lifting all those weights must make you look like them.” Noooooooope. As a personal trainer one thing I hear constantly from my female clients is that they just want to get toned and don’t want to get too bulky. Let’s think about what being “toned” actually means for a moment, shall we? When you are trying to give the appearance of looking toned, what you’re actually saying is that you want to lose fat to show off your muscle definition. If you have more muscle then you won’t have to lose as much fat in order to see muscle definition. So in order to get toned, you would create MORE muscle and lose fat.

2014-03-03-whatwomenthinkwillhappenliftheavye1360469567159.pngPlease understand, in order to look like a female body builder or bikini competitor it takes CONSTANT monitoring of your food/nutrition/macros, they have their work outs down to a science to increase the size of their muscles. They take a crap ton of supplements to make sure their muscles stay “pumped” and they work for their physique every day. Some even take steroids to look the way they do.  It’s the first thing they think about in the morning and the last thing they think about before they go to bed. You’re not going to be able to look like them without a CRAP load of effort. So chill out, you’re not going to get bulky.

PS- Women do not produce as much testosterone as men so women will never put on muscle like men do.

Next time you’re at the grocery store, skip the fat-free and sugar free. Next time you’re at the gym, don’t run for so long, SPRINT! Next time you look at the weights, don’t think you’ll get bulky, you’ll actually just end up looking awesome.

Happy fitness everyone!

Follow along with my daily fitness journey on Instagram and Twitter!

Weight Loss New Years Resolution? 3 Things To Know Before You Hit The Gym

Going to the gym is awesome! Chances are if weight loss or fitness is your New Years Resolution then you likely haven’t worked out in a long time. It can also be really overwhelming if you have been out of the gym for a significant amount of time.

Check out these 3 tips that will make the transition a lot easier:

1. Start Stretching, NOW!
Mobility plays a key role in keeping your body healthy and ready for exercise. Not only will you feel better but it also helps to prevent injury. Starting to stretch before you start working out can help your body start remembering what those muscles feel like to be used! I would try to stretch for at least 10 minutes a day, and switch up body groups daily.
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2. Start Eating Better
If you try to do some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) after eating cheeseburgers, you’re gonna have a bad time. For 3 days before you go to the gym for the first time, start eating healthier more nutrient rich food. Your body will use the nutrients you gave it and make sure your workout is awesome! I’ve worked out eating unhealthy food and worked out eating healthy food, the healthy food actually makes working out FEEL easier. I promise.
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3. Drink Water!
If you haven’t been paying very close attention to your health, chances are you are under hydrated (most people are, don’t feel too bad about it). Start drinking water throughout the day. You’ll be a little bloated at first but trust me you’ll sweat it all out anyway during your workout!
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Going to the gym for the first time in a long time can be pretty intimidating. Now you have 3 things you can do before that time comes to make the transition go smoother.

Happy Fitness everyone!

Why Have One Resolution for 2016 When You Could Have 16?

2016 is a MASSIVE year, friends. Expect the unexpected, expect miracles and expect to surprise the crap out of yourself with how much you grow and what you will be experiencing.

Because of this massive year, I’ve decided to focus on some MASSIVE categories through my “New Years Resolutions” or what successful people call them– GOALS.

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At first I just wrote down things that I wanted to concentrate on in 2016. What started as vague goals, I turned into more concrete goals. When goal setting it is VERY important to give yourself some guidelines. Your brain doesn’t do well with vague concepts and neither does your motivation.

I’ll share a few with you for you to use as an example when creating your own goals.

Water: In January 2016, I will buy 7 gallons of purified water each week, write intention on each of them and drink (or do the best I can to drink) 1 gallon of water per day. Further, I will create fruit and herb infused water 2x/week.

Athlete: I will do sprints 4x/week for the month of January. I will lift 5x a week and I will do Crossfit/Crosstraining 1x/week.

Write: I will create 2 blog posts/week, write down a book topic idea 2x/month and take a free online grammar test/course 2x/month to increase my writing skills.

Yoga: I will learn 1 new yoga pose per week in 2016.

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For most of these goals I will be reviewing them each month. Let’s say in February I look back at my January water goal and realize that maybe a gallon a day isn’t all that manageable. I will then look back on that goal and tweek it for February. It’s important to set aside a time to reflect and change goals if needed! If one of your goals/resolutions doesn’t excite you anymore, it’s either time to ditch it or switch it.

Happy Goal setting everyone! Let me know if you have any questions or need support in any way. I believe in you! 🙂

Happy 2016!!!!

“Running is Bad For You”

I was speaking with a client who had had a few interactions with co-workers about her training with me. Throughout her conversations with them, they warned her, “Running is bad for you.” She repeated to me what they had said … Continue reading

Becoming Someone Worth Following

Often I encourage my friends to live their lives out loud. How I define “living out loud” is to not be afraid to share publicly your achievements, your journey and your thoughts.

Sometimes I will hear people say things like, “Yeah but no one cares what I’m doing” or “I’m not doing anything important enough for people to want to follow me” or “But I haven’t done anything noteworthy, yet.”

By living your life out-loud you give others “permission” to do the same. Of course they don’t need your permission, it’s just a lot easier to go down a certain path when you get to read about and watch someone else go down that path as well. It encourages people by giving them some sort of framework of what may happen to them emotionally, physically, spiritually when they also decide to take a similar path. It takes out a little bit of the uncertainty. It creates a sense of belief in another person, because we aren’t all that different from each other at the end of the day.

You are already someone worth following. I promise you, you are. Just make sure you stand for something worth standing for.

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30 Day NO ADDED SUGAR CHALLENGE Details.

I’ve had a lot of questions about this 30 Day No Added Sugar Challenge, I’m going to answer all of the questions here! Yay!

I’m glad so many of you have taken an interest in the 30 day no added sugar challenge. As you can see, my results even so far are pretty freakin’ awesome.

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Day 1 vs. Day 7 vs. Day 14

I’ve also been working out 6 days a week so this isn’t JUST because I’m not eating sugar, it’s clearly a combination of the two but I know for a fact not eating sugar is helping me shred fat at a faster rate.

Question 1: What do your meals look like?
Breakfast: 
For Breakfast I’ll usually have a shake. I use Evolv shake (vanilla or chocolate). With Chocolate shake I’ll mix in NATURAL peanut butter, 1 organic banana, ice, and water. With Vanilla I’ll add frozen mango chunks (some days I also add a banana to this one, it depends) and water. If I have organic baby spinach I’ll add that to my shakes as well as Chia seeds. On occasion I mix my fuel in with the shake if I’m working out in the morning. If not, I wait to take my fuel (basically an all natural pre-workout/energy supplement) before my workout. So Shakes for breakfast!!! Yay!!! And yes, clearly there is a crap ton of sugar in this meal and it’s DELICIOUS. Haha, I’m not afraid of naturally occurring sugars. Some people are, I’m not. Take that or leave that.
The shake has all my daily nutrients and I’m also getting nutrients from the other fruits, veggies and seeds I’m adding. It’s a phenomenal pre-workout energy breakfast and it’ll fill you up but not leave you too full to the point where you don’t want to go to the gym right after.

Lunch: 
SALAD! I love salad! Kale, Mixed greens or spinach are my go-to for salads. You’re wasting your time buying ice-burg lettuce and even romaine isn’t all that great. To get the most nutrients you’ll want kale, spinach or mixed greens. What do I put on my salads? Anything I want as long as it doesn’t have added sugar. I love epic/huge salads.
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Kale, yellow bell pepper, strawberries, sunflower seeds, lemon goddess dressing. 

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Mixed greens, hard-boiled egg, avocado, buffalo chicken, cucumber and lemon goddess dressing.
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This is one of the few dressing brands I found that doesn’t have added sugar. Not all of the flavors don’t have sugar so you have to READ THE LABEL to make sure it doesn’t have it. This dressing is seriously AMAZING tasting.

Dinner:
I’ll have a meat and a vegetable. Usually chicken, sometimes fish, sometimes turkey. Vegetable is usually Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, or green beans or (sweet potatoes, I’ll still add a green veggie too).
You’d be shocked at how much this fills you up! Fiber and Protein!

Snacks:
FROZEN GRAPES! Other than that I really try not to snack.

Some days I’m more hungry than other days and if I’m hungry, I eat. I’m not going to sit here and starve myself because that’s silly. Fill up on good NUTRITIOUS foods and you’ll be just fine. Some days will be better than others and that’s fine.

Question 2: What foods CAN’T I eat?
See, I feel weird about this one because I feel like it’s probably a lot easier for me to cut added sugar out than it will be for most people. I’ve been reading nutrition facts for YEARS and tend to know what’s what when it comes to ingredients. I’m not really shocked that sugar is in anything anymore while the average person WILL be shocked by how much they really do need to cut out of their diet if they are cutting out sugar.
Here’s a list of things that have added sugar that I can think of, there are probably more so CHECK THE FREAKIN’ LABEL!
– Soda, obviously. No don’t drink diet soda either. Both are horrible for you.
-BBQ Sauce & Ketchup (A lot of condiments have added sugar)
-Flavored yogurt (greek AND regular unless it’s plain)
– Fruit drinks/juices
– Spaghetti sauces
– Bread/Pasta
-SPORTS DRINKS! Ugh! Poweraide, Gatorade, just say NO!
– Milk
– Granola
– Pretty much all cereals
– Coffee shop drinks
– Instant oat meal
– Jelly and Jam (obvious one)
– Protein/energy bars
– Some dried fruits
– Obvious ones like ice cream, cookies, etc…
– Canned/Packaged fruit
– Pudding
– Muffins
– Frozen breakfast foods

So by this point some of you are probably like…
“Um… okay… soooo… what CAN I eat?”

Which brings me to
Question #3: What CAN I eat during this challenge?
– Meats
-Veggies
-Nuts
-Fruits
– Honey (small doses people don’t go overboard)
– Unsweetened drinks like tea, almond milk, coconut milk etc..  (Note: You actually have to look for the unsweetened kind because most have added sugar)
🙂

Alright and
Question #4: What does your grocery list look like?
So I’m kind of a freak of nature and I mainly just buy the same things every time I grocery shop and I realize not everyone is like that, but either way here is my grocery list:
Veggies/Carbs:
– Frozen Brussels Sprouts
– Frozen Broccoli
– Frozen Green Beans
– Frozen Asparagus
– Cucumbers
– Peppers
– Kale
– Spinach
– Mixed Greens
– Sweet Potatoes

Meat/Protein:
– Skinless Chicken Breast
– Ground turkey
– Shrimp
– Cod or Salmon
-Tuna

Fruit:
– Bananas
– Frozen Mango chunks
– Apples
– Strawberries

GOOD Fats:
– Eggs
– Chia seeds
– Avocados
– All natural peanut butter
-Coconut oil

DO NOT BE AFRAID OF GOOD FATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’d say that 100 times if I wanted to copy and paste that 100 times, which I don’t.

And then other:
Fresh garlic
Sea salt
Cayenne Pepper
Frank’s Red Hot
Bacon (sometimes)

Alright I think that’s all the questions so far! HOPE THIS HELPS!
If you have any other questions do not hesitate to ask.

Want to join the challenge? Go right ahead. Right now there is nothing “official” it’s just… stop eating sugar… for 30 days… maybe I’ll start monthly challenges if there is a response for it… HMMMMMM.

Passion.

Passion is an interesting thing.
I always like to ask people what their passion is.
A lot of people don’t know what their passion actually is.

What I have come to realize is that passionate people understand other passionate people. We may not have the same passion but we recognize it within others. No one will EVER be able to comprehend your passion in the same exact way that you do, that’s why it is YOUR passion. And that’s fine.

“Haters” come from a dark place where they lack passion, haven’t found theirs yet, or gave up on their passion.
A person who is passionate about something will NEVER tell you to not be passionate about what you’re passionate about. Even if they think it’s a dumb idea they understand that it is your PASSION.

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If you’re a passionate person, surround yourself with other passionate people. Collaborate with them. Create something with them.

If you are NOT a passionate person I urge you to figure out what your passion is. The thing you would be doing all day if money and paychecks didn’t matter.

But no matter what, if you lack passion, please, do NOT try to stand in the way of those who are full of it. You’ll lose friends quickly.