Motivational Personal Development

Is This One Thing Holding You Back?

Have you ever heard of the saying… “addition by subtraction”?

What that means is… by removing things from your life, you can actually add other good things in!

By subtracting, you MAKE ROOM for other opportunities!

This is probably one of the most effective changes you can make, right now, that will help you see results faster no matter what your goal.

The thing you need to remove may be so ingrained into your daily habits that it would seem almost impossible to remove.

For me… it is video games.

Each day, I probably spend 1-2 hours playing them.

I knew I had to remove it, at least temporarily. It takes away from my relationship with my girlfriend, and pulls me from my business.

Our current life is a product of the daily actions we take. And although I am happy with what I have and where I am, I am no where close to where I want to be.

So, I deleted every video game off of my computer. 

When I hesitated to delete video games even after knowing that it would negatively affect my relationships and business… I knew then I had to cut it.

Do I want to play video games… OR have the relationship and business I want.

I’ll take the life I want.

You have a decision every day to move closer to the life you want.

What’s the thing that is holding you back.

Would you rather ____________ or have the life you want? 

You know what you have to do 🙂

If you’re having a hard time with this, email me! I’d be happy to help you out.

Nutrition Personal Development Strength Training

5 Secrets to Fat Loss for Women | Fat Loss For Women at Home

This Video Goes over my 5 “Secrets” to Fat Loss.

These secrets fall under 3 categories:

1. Exercise
2. Proper Nutrition
3. Mindset

If you know the daily actions of what you need to do within those 3 categories, you can progress towards your goals!

Personal Development

Grateful Plateful

When your heart is full of gratitude, there’s room for little else. On Sunday I sat down with a giant piece of paper and some giant colored pencils to make a gratitude wheel. I went around and around writing many things for which I am grateful. I thought if I did this everyday for the week, how could I even have room to think about anything else, and wouldn’t that be a great way to walk into the Thanksgiving holiday?

One can’t help but see the plate parallel as it relates to Thanksgiving dinner. Whatever you choose to fill your plate with, will leave room for little else. I know you all will manage those choices in the way that best supports your goals, so this post is about more than veggies and stuffing. This is really an invitation to fill your own grateful plateful. I have about 100 different headings on mine so far, one of which is community. One of my local communities is Hybrid Fitness, and I’ll share the little side plate here.

When I think about Hybrid Fitness I have a lot of gratitude. I’m grateful for Hunter and the team of trainers who introduced me to barbells and kettlebells and showed me how strong I am and how to move my body in new ways. I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made and all the support that we give each other. I’m grateful for all the lovely comments and messages you all send me after you read my posts or after a great workout together. I’m grateful for learning how to be accountable to my friends and helping them be accountable to others so ultimately we can all be accountable to ourselves. I’m grateful to have found Hybrid Fitness at a time on my journey that was really critical to creating a path to a healthier me.

This is my grateful plateful. May your plate also be so full of all the things for which you are grateful that there is room for little else. Happy Thanksgiving.

Motivational Personal Development

Focus on Form Before You go Fast

As a fitness coach, I always preach mastering form before you go faster in an exercise.

Having proper form requires you to give each repetition everything you have.

All of your focus and energy is given to a single movement. Eventually, perfect form will become a habit.

Form starts to fail when you go too fast. Too often, the trigger to breaking form starts with the idea that going fast will get more done and get you better results.

Unfortunately, getting more done and being effective are not the same thing.

If your form does breaks down, you can get injured which could set you back for months.

If you practice perfect form and it becomes a habit, you are able to get steady results and not have to stop due to injuries.

WE HAVE ALL GONE TOO FAST, myself included.

And this doesn’t just apply to exercise. It applies to our relationships and our jobs.

We think that crossing more off of the to do list means success. But if we half ass all of those things, we have already broken form.

And if we break form, its only a matter of time before we get hurt.

When was the last time…

You were at the dinner table with your spouse or bf/gf but were on the phone whole time.

How many times can you do that before they start to think you don’t care as much as you used to?

When was the last time..

You did the bare minimum to make your boss content but you didn’t go the extra mile to benefit the customer.

When will the next person come along that goes above and beyond and takes your position?

When was the last time..

You became too busy in the endless tasks of being a business owner and stopped doing what you are best at, helping people fix their problems.

The quality of your service will drop and people will find a better solution.

I have done every one of these things. But, if we can catch our faulty form, we can correct it and avoid injury.

We can correct our form by slowing down. Take one task at a time, and give it your all.

You may not get as many things done, but the ones you do will have a MASSIVE effect.

Lead with your heart, not your head.

Let’s all aim to be a better husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, employee, coach, business owner, and friend today.

Have a kickass Friday…

Nutrition Personal Development

Change! Eat for the Season

Change. It’s the obvious topic of conversation this time of year. We get a little nostalgic, reflective, and there’s a certain romance to the falling leaves and the amber hued palate of autumn. Many of us are resistant to it. We grumble at the disruption of routine or we dread the uncertainty, while others thrive on the excitement and challenges of new experiences. Love it or dread it, change happens. With the dramatic fall colors, it’s hard not to talk about the unavoidable and gorgeous change in landscape. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love our fall colors. When I’m faced with any change I try to look for the gilded leaves in the landscape.

One thing that also changes with the season is our nutrition. There are many subtle cues that can be heard. Can you identify different cravings or sleep patterns recently? Have your activity levels altered and therefore your micro and macro nutrients needs are different? As we spend fewer hours in natural daylight during these shorter days, our bodies are deprived of vitamin D, which for some of us might cause fatigue. This is a worthwhile cue to heed. Take inventory of these cues and see how best to support these needs.

Change makes its way to the dinner table in more ways than just conversation. One thing I get excited about is the menu change this time of year. There is an abundance of root vegetables at the market, and there are good reasons to embrace them. Squash, rutabaga, parsnips, sweet potatoes, turnips, etc. Give them a second glance and consider these benefits:

Reasons to eat for the season:

1. Flavor – fruits and veggies that are freshly picked have more flavor. A recent harvest yields a plate full of scrumptious bites, as opposed to bland off season options.

2. Nutrition – plants deliver some of the vital nutrients during the final stages of ripening. Don’t short change your dinner and your body with items that were picked two weeks ago and have been packed in a crate for shipping. Choosing fooods that are in season locally when you can, insures a more nutrient dense choice.

3. Economics – foods that are in season are abundant. It is simply a matter of supply and demand. One precious peach shipped off season from far away is going to command a higher price.

4. Variety – cooking and eating seasonally gives you an opportunity to try new recipes, supporting your body with a variety of nutrients.

5. Seasonal needs – our bodies have different needs at different times. Summer fruit helps hydrate us. Spring greens help heal and detox us. And who doesn’t love a ruby red grapefruit in February to ward off the seasonal cold with a blast of vitamin C?

So, stop and listen to your nutrition cues as we transition through the seasons. Your body is likely telling you it is time for change.

Coincidentally, as I write this I am literally flying over the Rocky Mountains. I recall the thrill and terror of leaving everything I knew to move to these amazing hills more than 20 years ago and the thrill and terror of leaving them when I moved to Maine. Those were two of the biggest changes in my life. As with any change, big or small, I listened to the cues and hints to know what my body needed to support it. More rest? Different exercise? Other foods? This time of year, make a healthy batch of potato leek soup, embrace the change, and enjoy the gilded leaves of a different landscape.

Motivational Personal Development Strength Training

Building Muscle, Building Confidence

I’ve been weaning myself off of the barbell for a few months. I decided to change up my training and depart from the go-big or go-home approach. I’ve gone from high weight/ low repetitions to high reps/ lower weight. I cap my weight increases and change my tempo for a greater challenge. I’m exploring how this feels and listening to my body. Sometimes in a large class I feel a little bit on the outside because my goals might be different, not going for a personal record. But then I remember that everyone’s goals are different all the time. So I just do my thing. One reason I’m backing off the big weight is it does a number on my central nervous system. I’d like to minimize fatigue and brain fog. It’s been a stressful few months, and while I have lots of strategies and mechanisms for copying with stress, my reserves are low. A good strategy for me is to minimize extra fatigue from compound exercises like deadlifts. However, the personal records are important too, and I’m happy I have them. I’ve been reflecting on the value of the p.r. One of the greatest take-aways from the deadlift and rack pulls specifically is the byproduct of self-belief. Yes, fat loss, gaining strength, and feeling good are also amazing byproducts, but the unexpected result is self-belief. The surprise of this discovered confidence makes it even more of a gem.

I’m a pretty confident person about most things, but most things I do, I do all the time. When it comes to the weight room, for the first year especially, most of it was new and most of it came with the thought, “I can’t do that.” I think many of us would agree that so quickly for all of us this initial thought becomes, “I can do that.” How exciting and empowering to have this new narrative. Honestly, sometimes we wonder if we will ever be able to get through the warm up without stopping, or do a one minute plank, wall sits, or bear crawls, let alone any weight lifting. But we do and we believe in ourselves a little more with each success.

When we start thinking about our own #s, setting goals and accomplishing them, in some way we are rewiring our brains for self-belief. By setting our sights on something that seems out of reach and then achieving that, we boost our confidence and this carries over into other parts of our lives. What else in my life would I like to achieve? What goals can I set? How do I prioritize my routine to get there? What are the steps I need to take? Once you apply the structure, the discipline, and the process to get there- Boom! You reach new p.r.s in your life. For me the barbell is a reminder of all the things I never thought I could do, but actually can. Coincidentally, barbells are not in our routine this month. I’m glad I didn’t have to quit cold turkey, and had self directed through the weaning process, but I look at them fondly with memories of my personal records. Fortunately for me on my last rack pull p.r. of 300#, my workout buddy, Michelle asked if she could take my picture. I’m glad she did, and like Bogart to Bergman in Casablanca , I can say, “We’ll always have Paris.”

Cultivating your self-belief is a wonderful byproduct of attending a gym. What would you like to accomplish that you never thought you could, because you know what? I bet you can!

Motivational Nutrition Personal Development

In a Relationship

What makes a successful relationship? Whittling down the answer to this question to the essentials leaves a simple formula.

A healthy relationship:

  • Is a priority
  • Brings value to my life
  • Honors who I am
  • Requires cultivation

In other words, when I prioritize a relationship I put aside time for it and plan for it. I feel nourished by it and feel like I have something to offer at the same time. When I cultivate a relationship, I take time to learn about the person and allow for growth and change.
In contrast, an unhealthy relationship might feel rushed, fit in between other things, easily distracted during interactions by texts, calls, work, or t.v, etc. I might go so far as to label it “bad” when I talk about it, or feel I have to justify it, not be completely honest about it, or see there is no substance to it.

The same is true with our relationship with food.

There are many strategies for building healthy habits for eating well and supporting good nutrition. Some people have success with 3 meals a day, some with 5 smaller meals. Some people count macro nutrients. Some count on protein shakes. There’s intermittent fasting, intuitive eating, (my favorite), meal prep, recipe apps, food journaling, and more. Any, none, and all have worked for me at various times in my life. Recently I went through a very stressful time, and I could feel my eating habits changing. I found that I wasn’t able to pull a strategy from my tool box to help me. Day after day went by and I’d start over finding myself ending at a place I didn’t like. I’d forgive myself and try again, but I was getting discouraged. What I realized through that process was that it wasn’t about the food, the habits, the 3 meals, or the high protein. It was about my relationship with food that was having the most impact on whether or not I was successful executing my healthy eating habits.
The best way for me to reset my habits was to do what I would do to improve any relationship.

  • Make it a priority. Eat slowly, not rushing through a meal or snack on the go. Be present and mindful.
  • Make sure it brings value. Eat nutrient dense food with quality ingredients.
  • I’ve been told I have exceptionally high standards for most things in my life. To honor who I am, why wouldn’t I hold my food choices to those same standards?
  • Cultivate my relationship with food. Enjoy the process. Explore new ideas, recipes, flavors, and resources.

By taking inventory of my relationship with food this way, I am actually addressing the root of many food habit issues.
What does a healthy relationship look like for you?

Motivational Personal Development

The Skill of Restarting

We’ve all had that time in our lives where everything is going perfect.

We have our perfect routine down. We’re getting enough sleep. Eating Good. Being Productive at our jobs…

But then out of no where, something hits us, out of our control – and that perfect routine quickly squanders into a memory of how good we “were” doing.

In fact, this really doesn’t happen just once.

It happens many times, throughout our life.

And at my ripe age of 21, each time I see this pattern repeat itself in myself and in the people I work with…

I feel like I get one step closer to cracking the code to ultimate consistency.

About a month ago, I had my perfect routine down. It consisted of waking up at 5:30, teaching my outdoor boot camp class, and coming back home immediately to make a big breakfast and writing an email.

I was prepacking 3-4 meals a day, getting 8-9 hours of sleep.

But before I knew it, I got drilled with a fever – and I’ve literally been sick for the past month.

Yes, I’m okay. My Lyme disease came back negative, and my fevers are gone.

But anyways…

My motivation went down the drain, so I stopped packing my meals… I stopped writing early in the morning when my brain was sharp, and now… I’m back to square one.

Except I’m not. I’ll never be back to square one.

Because this is not the first time this has happened to me, and I have learned a skill over the years (all 21 of them) that is going to get me right back to where I was.

This skill is called, “the skill of restarting”.

The skill of restarting comes into play when you get hit by a obstacle that changes your life so much that your daily routine goes out the door.

The better you are at restarting, the less time there is between that obstacle happening, and you getting back to your regular routine.

Here is the first time I’ve written some content since that obstacle hit me.

One month.


I had some days where I really was hard on myself.

I felt so unproductive and honestly… like a piece of shit.

But my eggs and oatmeal happened this morning… and I know it can for you too.

If you’re going through a tough time right now, try not to be hard on yourself.

I know it will happen – there’s no way around it… but instead – look at it as a challenge.

And also, look at it as an opportunity to improve your skill of restarting.

Because we all know that that obstacle will come again soon.

Do one thing today to bring your routine closer to where you want it to be, and you too, can have your eggs and oatmeal.

Have a great day,


Motivational Personal Development

Harvest Time – Reap What You Sow

September’s harvest moon was impressive this week if you had a chance to watch it climb over the horizon at nightfall, its abundant light matched by the mounds of zucchini squash and cucumbers gathered from our gardens. It’s harvest time and the generosity of the land is shared with family and friends throughout the county. One of the simplest pleasures in my daily life this time of year is seeing the shining faces of sunflowers. I have planted them at the end of my driveway for many years. At the end of a long day at work, on the water, or away from home, there is little chance I won’t be cheered by the joyful visage of the head of a September sunflower and its golden greeting.

Years ago I had a brief illness and a serious bout of fatigue in May and early June. Being fiercely independent, I held things together with the gossamer threads of strength I had left (and it did not occur to me to ask for a little help). When July and August rolled through, I was fully recovered and back on my feet in full, but I had not planted a garden – no vegetables, no annuals, and no sunflowers. When September came, my arrival home each day was void of that cheerful glance. My empty garden bed and the corner void of sunflowers were a constant reminder of the importance of the seeds we choose to sow.

Sometimes we are not in the position to rototill, plant the seeds, water, and weed a whole acre. When life gets busy or difficult, when we have disruption or crisis, it is not uncommon to get through with doing just that which is necessary to get by. What I learned those years ago, is how important it is to plant even just a few seeds, so when harvest time comes, and you are long past the hardest part of something, you are able to reap the rewards of even the smallest of efforts. I recognize this not just in my garden, but also in my wellness plan. When life is hectic, when crisis hits, when schedules are askew, it can sometimes feel easier to let your habits slip: maybe you sleep less, eat more ice cream, skip working out, etc. But if you plant the seeds, like an extra gym session, or committing to your water intake, or 15 minutes of stretching, whatever your little bit is, when things calm down again, there will be a harvest for you.

What small seeds can you sow when planting the big garden is too much to handle?

Personal Development

Stress and the Missing Sock

I am missing one of my favorite socks and now I’m late for work. It’s walking Wednesday which means I pack my tennis shoes and extra socks for my lunch break walk. For some reason my sock drawer is empty, and I can only find one sock in the dryer. And so it begins- I spend way too long looking for a match, and I still need to pack a bag for the gym; and I need to get dressed for work; and where is the lid to my glass lunch container? and what did I do with my keys? which purse was I using last week? and where’s my water bottle? We’ve all been there, right? Then we’re hitting every red light on the way to work, coupled with the plague of summer traffic, which is four cars at every stop sign and people driving 20 in a 50 taking pictures of the cormorants on the float. I’m breezing into the office at 8:59 heart pounding, with only a, “Sorry I wasn’t here sooner, but I couldn’t find my sock.” This is what stress looks like.

This is as bad as it gets for me- mini earthquakes over socks and stoplights sneakily eroding my sanity until about 20 minutes into the frenzy and I say, “Ah ha! I’m onto you, Stress. I’m listening.” I am grateful for stress. It sends a loud and clear message that I am off track and need to realign myself. It is time to strategize and turn this around. Thank goodness for stress to send up the s.o.s. smoke signals before I spiral off the edge in my unmatched socks.

The missing sock is a symptom of a bigger issue-a busy schedule. I’ve been traveling, visiting three states and another country in the last 2 weeks. The laundry from the suitcase is washed and dried but not folded and put away. It’s summer. The days are jam-packed full of fun. It’s not supposed to be stressful. But, well, it is when the little routines get off track and you can’t find your favorite sock.
We tend to have strategies for handling big stress; family emergencies, work issues, or health scares, but the little stuff can be just as dangerous when left unattended. The more we experience stress the more susceptible we are to illness, fatigue, weight gain, troubled sleep, and fuzzy brain. So as soon as I see the s.o.s. smoke signal I do the following:

1. Breathe. I take a deep breath and get centered. (Try this now. Doesn’t that feel good?)

2. Identify. I look at my circumstances and surroundings and identify the stressors.

3. Assess. I decide if I can change the circumstances or if I can work on my reaction to them.

4. Gauge. On a scale of 1-10 how big are the stressors? Most often I find they are 5 or below. That’s not too bad in the scheme of things. This perspective alone helps mitigate the stress.

5. Affirm. I assure myself I can handle this. A quick affirmation keeps me calm and confident instead of self-critical and overwhelmed.

6. Write it down. I make list of what I need to address. I prioritize these in order of most pressing or easiest to handle, and then feel good about meeting them head on.

7. Relax. I keep doing the things I love and find relaxing: walk, read, garden, stretch, exercise, cook, visit with friends. These moments fuel me and are important to maintain. I try to not make a habit of giving up what feels good because I feel bad.

8. Plan. Time management allows for the unexpected while handling what’s already on my plate. A well planned day is like a well loaded dishwasher: you can fit more in, even the oddly shaped things, if you start with some order.

9. Put away the laundry. As tempting as it is to skip the mundane tasks to go do exciting things, the mini earthquake of a missing sock isn’t worth it. Honestly, at first I just bought more socks. Then I set aside a reserve stash of walking socks. These short term solutions just prolonged the inevitable.

Whatever it is that starts a stress spiral for you, try to meet that head on as soon as you see the s.o.s. You’ll start to see the small signs if you look for them and listen, and you’ll be grateful for this too. Stress has a way of showing up just when we need it to help us realign, reprioritize, and regroup to relax.