Author Archives: fitwithadele

The Best Core Exercise You Never Thought Of And My Weekend At A Glance

I woke up this weekend and immediately stretched, extending my arms overhead into a slight backbend and whoa was I sooooore as can be through my abdominal region. I am hardly ever sore through the front part of my core and had not done one abdominal exercise all week. The only thing I did differently was a set of two unassisted pull ups and I knew right away that was it. As much as a surprise it was in the moment, it was really not much of a surprise as I know how much effort a pull up takes throughout the whole body.

Lesson shared here. The best ways to work your core are not only core specific exercises but bodyweight exercises such as pull ups,  push ups and lifting heavier weights. Whether you feel it or not, whether your core is sore or not, you are working it!


Love me some pull ups!

And my weekend at a glance…..


A visit from Mom, made my weekend.


Fish tacos from Eureka Burger on Friday night.


A farmers market excursion on Sunday morning with my mom. She “captured the moment” in this shot.


The best berries you ever did taste from the famers market.


A post workout selfie to show my sister I’m rocking the tank she bought me. “She is strong.”

Sometimes you just need a low key weekend to catch up in life and that is exactly what my weekend was. 🙂

Rollin’ Solo

I’m pretty sure I stole the title to this blog post from some hip hop song but it is perfect because it is how I have been living this year. For the first time in my life I am living alone, well if you count my furry haired companion, Lulu, then not so much, but I am the lone human in my household. And household being studio apartment where I eat, sleep and chill out in the same room.  No television, no kitchen table, and my dog jumping up on my bed in the middle of the night because my room is her room too. IMG_1003 My previous roommates, besides my 18 years of living with my family, range from my best girlfriends from college, to ex-teammates and an ex-husband. I always had my space and freedom but I never had the full solitude, the full responsibility or full independence of what it is like to truly live on your m own. I found my way back to the most darling, quaint and beautiful neighborhood I always loved.


When searching for places I knew location was my number one priority, even if it meant that I gave up the extra space. In college my volleyball team use to drive through this neighborhood to get to our matches and I remember gazing out at the tree lined streets, historical houses and walking distance to shops and restaurants thinking, if only I could leave here some day. What do you know? Here I am living in this neighborhood, not the way I imagined it but life has a funny way of working out sometimes.


People ask if I am lonely or if it is weird to live in a studio with so little space and I find it quite the opposite, it has been quite refreshing.  I have gained so much independence and strength by facing fear head on and have been able to to look back on the year as a year of growth, reflection and new experiences. Has this year been without struggle, tears or pain? Absolutely not, but I feel I am able to look back on this year quite content in my space and in my mind.IMG_0469

You realize a lot about what you really need in life.  A large house is just a big structure with a roof and lots of furniture and decorations when filled with loneliness and distance.  A home is where you feel safe, secure and free to be who you are and who you need to be when the outside world is storming or even when you have your own storm going on in your head. I have been able to de-clutter quite a bit,  not only my belongings but my emotional clutter as well. I have enjoyed living by myself, spending my at home time doing whatever I want to do. It has been a wonderful opportunity to be selfish (because that is ok), reflective and peaceful with my time.

Ultimately my ideal home is a home in which I have someone to share it with but I feel so grateful to have had this time and space to myself because it has given me an actual experience in life that shows that when all else fails I have myself to rely on.



The #1 Thing Holding You Back In Life

I have found a common theme in what holds me back in life. It can come in form of work, it can come in form of relationships and it can come in form of doing the things I want to do on a daily basis. That common theme falls under one thing – not taking action.

There are many reasons we as individuals decide not to take action. We are fearful or have doubt about the outcome,  we are unmotivated and feel lazy, we would rather stay in our comfort zone, or we fall into victim mode and and find all the reasons why we can’t do something: it’s too hard, we don’t have the money, time, or understanding of what it is we really want or what we really need.  We let others dictate our lives with their critiques and criticisms of what they think we cannot do. We fall into the trap of wondering why our life is a certain way and experience reoccurring negative emotions , yet we do not do anything to change it. We do not take action.

I am a person who thrives it security, comfort and routine (at least I think I do) but about 8 years ago,  I decided I wanted to become a Pilates Instructor. It was something I had contemplated on and off. This was not a weekend and your you done kind of thing. This was a huge time and money investment and a huge step into the unknown and unfamiliar.  I calculated the hours I would put it, how long it would take me to make the money I invested back and outlined the courses and classes I would need.   I knew I wanted to do it and I took the steps to make it happen.  For me this is a rare time in my life where I took a huge step into the unknown but looking back I feel so proud because  I took action, I took the steps to make it happen. I did not let any doubt, fear or anxiety about whether or not it would work out overcome me.

Do you ever have thoughts about how you want your life to be but rather than take action, dwell on why things are not the way they are? Or maybe you have a dream or plan you are really excited and passionate about, yet never take action to make it happen. We find excuses and blame others when really the only thing that is stopping us from wanting to our lives to be a certain way is ourselves.

I struggle with this as well but I find the easiest way to calm the thoughts of doubt, victim mode and negativity is to take action. I even find this with something as simple as a to-do list. I think of all the things on that list and stress about it. Yet when I take action, when I check one thing off that list, I feel better, more accomplished. I am actually doing something rather than thinking about it.

When we experience these emotions, whether that be of doubt, fear or stress, we must look them directly in their eyes and practice overcoming them, rather than letting them overcome us. This is actually an amazing concept to think about, that we are so gifted and blessed to have the consciousness and ability to make a change.

We must face these challenges and ask:

How do I fix this?

What actions can I take to change this situation?

How can I practice this on a regular basis to see progress and change?

We can apply this to any and every situation. Are you unhappy with your body? List three things you can do to change it, and then take ACTION.  Are you unhappy with your job? List three things you can do to change it, and then take ACTION. Do you want to take a trip around the world? List three ways to help you accomplish this and, take ACTION.

Remember that while awareness of what you is the first step, action is the second. A failed action is better than no action because attempting something is better than doing nothing at all.

When Your Baby Sister Has Babies Before You

First of all, Happy Mothers Day to all the mamas out there. I for one, am in awe of all you and your role as a woman and mother. Whether you have chose to stay at home or work part or full time, whether you are a 28 year old mother of two babies or a 55 year old mother of 20 somethings you are appreciated, respected, and loved for all you do. DISCLAIMER: The only baby I have right now is my dogbaby, Lulu. This is simply a tribute to my sister on Mothers Day. 😉 Ok back to the blog. So my baby sister is not exactly a baby, and not even the youngest of the three sisters. But she will always be my younger sister, Jenny.  At some point being the oldest just becomes a title and even though you may have been looked up to being the oldest all your life, there becomes a point where you realize you look up to your younger siblings for different reasons. IMG_2300

Honesty, Jenny was MEANT to have babies before me! Her patience, love and care absolutely amaze me day in, day out. When my mom visited the week Jenny’s first was born, my mom would wake up in the middle of the night withJenny to see if she could help (ahhh just a mom thing to do). Jenny would just say “Mom, I am fine. I have to learn how to do this on my own anyway.” I told our Mom, “Mom do not expect it to be this easy when I have a baby someday.” I didn’t know if Jenny’s patience, calmness and independence would translate into motherhood, but it sure did.

I have watched her natural mama instincts evolve and in the midst of chaos Jenny remains calm, thoughtful, proactive and reactive. And I have witnessed the whole process! I watched her give birth to her baby daughter, Peyton, and son, Elliott. I watched her hold them for the first time in her arms, the first eye to eye contact and the first skin to skin contact of a mother and child.  I watched her husband, watch her, in strength, proudness and amazement. I observed her first sleepness week (ok, weeks and months) home, the first time the babies was sick, the first time she didn’t know what to do in a particular situation. I watched some of the first steps, heard the first words and felt the joy it brought to my sister. And I have been able to experience it as well.

I only see glimpses of her full life but I have learned so much from her. I know I am strong in my own ways but this strength is what I so admire from Jenny.  To be able to hold her own and embrace motherhood in such an honest way, true to who she is as a woman, mother and person.  Her stern patience when needed to discipline, her genuine interest in being engaged with her children, wanting to find the best for their well-being, her ability to take care of her self eating healthy and working out, her ability to overcome the hard times and unpredictable situations, yet remain (or appear to be) calm and collected. And note to Jenny, even if you are not so calm and collected and needed to have a mini breakdown you know I would admire you just the same.

As a mom, you learn, give up and gain so much in such a short period of time. I did not know anything about about taking care of a baby, having not been around many in my life. I have learned how to change a diaper, feed a baby, put them to sleep, take them out of bed in the morning (my favorite), comfort them, not freak out when they cry and all the things in-between. When Jenny left me for the first time with Peyton as a newborn, I had no clue what to do, but Jenny left me with directions and instructions and as she walked out the door she said “Ah I just feel so comfortable leaving her with you.” Must be that sisterly trust cause I was freaking out. I sat and stared at her for three hours straight so I didn’t miss a damn thing.


I am living through her what I thought I would have at this time in my life. And you know what, at this point I am ok with it. It simply is not my time, I needed Jenny to show me the ropes first. 🙂 I am exactly where I should be. Exactly. And I love those two babies with all my heart. I love seeing them straight from the womb (literally people, straight…from..the…womb, That is a whole other blog) to where they are now. Their first giggles, sounds, words and steps bring me so much happiness, and they are not even my own.  I share in their joys and accomplishments and I love being an aunt.

So for the time being our lunch dates and shopping trips are not all that often, our dance parties in the living room now have a 3 year old, our conversations includes more baby talk and interjections from the babies but our bond is still ever so strong.  And I love listening, observing and learning and getting this preview into motherhood. And I will be honest, sometime its scares me shitless but I can see and feel the reward, love, and purpose it brings to life.

I love you Jenny, Peyton and Elliot! Happy Mother’s Day!

Everything In Moderation, Even Moderation


I posted this quote on my Instagram the other day because it speaks the truth to me. Awhile back someone mentioned to me how much they despise the word moderation. It’s annoying and overused were the words spoken verbatim.

As I thought more about it I did agree with her comments. I tried to think of different words that delivered the same message. However I kept giving the same advice to my clients about moderation. Moderate this, moderate that. I could not really come up with anything better.  As annoying as it is, it is used all the time because it speaks the TRUTH and can be DIFFICULT for many to apply to their lives.

Too much of most things usually send us overboard? For example:

Too much food.

Too much alcohol.

Too much working out.

Too much stress.

Too much spending.

It is okay to indulge in food and alcohol but can you moderate it to control your life?

It is okay to workout hard and often, but can your body recover?

It is okay to be stressed out about work, workouts, family and life but can you bring it back down?

It is okay to buy things for yourself and spend money, but does it build uncontrollable debt?

Can you moderate it? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves.  Most of the time it is important to moderate things that can affect our body and mind to different extremes. In my opinion moderation is a great tool in many aspects of our life. But sometimes, sometimes it is ok to not be moderate.   Sometimes you just have to live life and not worry about following whatever rules we have in our head about moderation.

It is okay to enjoy a huge meal to your hearts content!

It is okay to have a few extra drinks every once in a while!

It is okay to workout twice a day!

It is okay to be stressed! (Stress can be good to a certain degree)

It is okay to splurge on a fancy dinner or an unnecessary item that you don’t really “need.”

These things may be breaking moderation, but we need a break from moderation every once in awhile! Moderation is important because with all of these example we know that indulging too much in any of the above can have small, moderate or severe consequences.

With all the effort we put in to doing things a certain way, doing what we should and should not do, and finding balance through guidelines  society has set, moderation itself needs a break too.

Everything in moderation, even moderation.


One Person Everyone Needs in their Life



Rarely do we capture the sad moments in pictures. This picture was taken about an hour after an emotional breakdown, but in this moment I was truly happy, truly present and truly free. It seems whenever I have gone through a hard time in my life or sad circumstances there is always moments to find joy, laughter and appreciation for what I do have. And one of the most important things I have is the people around me who support me no matter what and help celebrate joys in life and stand by me through the tougher moments.

I have often thought that we have so many different people in our lives. We have them for a variety of reasons and we help each other in different ways, with unique and individual perspectives. One person we all need in our lives is someone to comfort us in our deepest sorrow but not let us dwell there, and that is what my “little” sister, Crista, does.

This particular time I was visiting her, in her beautiful hometown of Bend Oregon, and we decided to spend the afternoon at a nearby lake. I was going through a very difficult time in my life and we were soaking up the sun on the shore chatting about all things life..the whys, the what ifs, and if only’s, getting deep in our discussions, like we always do. We were laying on our stomachs and my head was buried in my arms as, I was in quiet, obscure tears the whole conversation, surrounded by dozens of other lake goers enjoying their day.

She ever so calmly listened, let me cry, gave me her perspective and words of wisdom. I finally looked up and she gave me the oddest look that was mixture of compassion and laugher. “Aww honey your nose is bleeding.” Having only packed for a quick trip to the lake, she handed me a sock to clean up. She was trying hard not to giggle too much and I was half laughing through my tears, at how pathetic I felt, and probably looked, in that moment. She gave me a hug and actually told me how sorry she felt for me. Gotta love sisters. 🙂

As I got my situation under control she gave me a swat on the butt and said, “Let’s go swim to the dock” pointing to the middle of the lake.

“I don’t feel like it” I replied.

“Come on, let’s go” she said as she stood up.

“Seriously, I don’t want to” I said firmly.

She adjusted her bathing suit and in her hippie, free spirited self, commented on how beautiful our surroundings were and how often am I visiting such a beautiful, serene space on this planet and have a chance to be surrounded by such nature. (She literally says stuff like this).  Her positivity was genuine and relentless and she gently brushed off my comments and refusals. I was slightly annoyed in that moment especially as she started to walk away from me towards the water. Deep down I think she knew I would follow. As I looked around I realized I could sit there surrounded by happy strangers with my bloody sock or put one foot in front of the other and move.

I reluctantly followed her to the lake where she was already waist deep in the water. The water was chilly and the shore full of sharp rocks that were jabbing into my feet. This physical discomfort just made me well up with tears more, but ahead of me was my sister coaxing me along. She knew we had already had our heart to heart, acknowledged my pain and sadness, but being the smarty she is, she knew in that moment we could sit there and keep dwelling in my sorrow or change the moment and break out of that pain, even if it was just for a short time.

Once I finally dunked my head underneath the water, I caught up to her and we began doggie paddling our way out to the dock. The water was pretty damn cold and it slightly numbed my body and mental anguish. It actually felt refreshing and by the time we made it to the dock my mood had completely changed. We climbed on the dock and laid down. And it was beautiful! All the blues and greens of the water, sky and trees surrounding us, gave me a sense of appreciation and contentedness. In that moment I was truly peaceful.


And that is what I needed.  Crista knew that too. I needed to get away from my all consuming thoughts and sadness and for someone or something to pull me out of that mindset. In the moment, I completely resisted. It was easier to be sad then snap out of my mood to be happy. Anything other than sad was too much effort.

To break through sadness and pain it does take effort, even when we know the outcome can be happiness, it is still extremely difficult. We have moments of hope and light that keep us going forward. And as time goes by, we can uncover more of these moments and feelings and can work through the pain and sadness, coming out stronger on the other side. Crista did not give in to my pity party, but she DID let me have it. She let me feel what I needed to feel, say what I needed to say and she did the same in return. In that moment it was time to move on, even if it was brief.

Our steps backward are as important as our steps forward in life.  Sometimes they vary in count and sometimes they are great big steps or small steps in either direction, but ultimately they bring us to where we need to be.  Crista gave me a few small step forward that day on the lake and I always keep that in my head when I don’t know what to do or which way to go. Just move forward and find happiness, even for a moment.



Should You Limit Carbs And Cauliflower Rice

Low carb is the craze and while it is true that some people do better with low carb eating, there are certain times when it is more beneficial and certain times when it is less beneficial. Recently I sent out a newsletter to my subscribers talking about when the best times are to eat starchy carbs was (pasta, rice, potatoes, etc), along with some ideas for post-workout nutrition.  Simply put, the two best times to eat carbs are:

  1. Post-workout and

2.  First thing in the morning aka Breakfast 🙂

This is not to say that eating carbs at any other time of the day will inhibit your weight or fat loss goals, but eating carbs at these two times are a must to control your hunger, craving and energy levels and maintain lean muscle mass. Now if you feel that carbs are preventing fat or weight loss here is what I would suggest. Try limiting carb intake at night only. Just make this one change in your eating habits and see it benefits you.

Enter Cauliflower Rice.  This is a great low carb recipe to make that will give you the feel as if you are eating rice but not. 🙂 For those who are limiting carbs at night,  are grain free, or are trying to increase veggie intake this is a great option!


  • chopped head of cauliflower
  • a small onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1.5 tbsp of coconut oil
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder



  1. Chop cauliflower and pulse the pieces in a food processor until it is reduced to the size of rice and remove.
  2. Chop onion finely.
  3. Saute onions in the butter and coconut oil over medium heat until they are translucent.
  4. Add cauliflower to pan and mix to coat cauliflower.
  5. Season with the desired amounts of salt, pepper and garlic powder. (You can experiment with all kinds of seasonings)
  6. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes until done. The goal is so it has a rice texture. Not too crunchy, not too mushy.
  7. Wa-la! You are done!

Easy and pretty cool if you ask me. I am no cook but was fairly impressed with the way my “rice” turned out. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.


Have a happy and healthy day! 🙂


How Often Do You Need to Work Out?

One of the questions I get most often from people is, “How often do I need to workout to reach my goals?” I think there is a misconception that in order to reach your goals, you need to workout 6 days a week, hours on end, for an extended period of time.

I truly feel the answer to that question highly depends on your lifestyle and goals. No one really likes that answer as it doesn’t specifically answer anyones question. But it is true, it does depend on several different factors. However a good starting point is to workout with some type of weights and cardio, or a weight routine that gets your heart rate up, three days a week. However consider the following.

Do you have a significant amount of weight to lose? You may need to add in activity a couple more days a week.

Do you have 5 hours a week to workout? Or do you have 2 hours a week to workout?  Consider that you may just have to start with three days, 30-45 minutes a workout. Try working out 2-3 times a week and see how you feel and look after a months time. Adjust from there.

Do you want to see results quicker or are you trying to maintain? Adding in an extra day a week can help speed results.

Do you enjoy working out at all? If you do you may want to workout 5 days a week. If not, the standard 3 WILL get you to your goals if you have you nutrition on track.


Additional considerations.

Move most days of the week. Be as active as possible. If you drive to work, sit at a desk all day and then come home from work to sit on the couch, it is going to be impossible to improve your health and fitness. Even stretch breaks or short walks throughout the day can help improve your health.

Have fun with your fitness! I love to workout but I get that not everyone feels the same way. And I understand that some days you just do not feel like it! Life happens and we choose other things over our workouts, which is absolutely ok! But what if you find a way to enjoy fitness, to enjoy moving? This can range from walking, to swimming, to yoga, to dance, to gardening, to playing frisbee etc. Find what you love (or can tolerate) the most and go from there.

Mix it up. I love trying new things! I attempted Zumba for a few months, I participated in a master swim program for a year, I did CrossFit for a year. I experiment with kettlebells and the TRX for a while. I have done yoga on and off for 10 years. I add Pilates weekly. I throw in boxing occasionally. I took up running for a while. Now I am lifting, walking and doing yoga once a week and loving every bit of it.

Basic Example Workout Schedule

Monday- Full body weight workout designed in a circuit fashion to get your heart rate up.



Thursday-Same as Monday


Saturday-30 minutes of cardio of your choice.

Sunday-Yoga, hiking, walking, Pilates, you choose.

Final Thoughts

Mobility, flexibility and strength will keep you active and independent longer. Movement is key. Recovery is vital. Consistency is more important than finding the perfect workout. The right fitness routine for YOU is the one that works for you and is one you will stick with.

Happy Training! I am always here to answer questions! 🙂

Have a happy and healthy day!

The Secret to Getting the Body You Want – Be Less Strict!

Say what ?!? I talk to people every…single…day about this kind of stuff, not only because I am personal trainer but because I am a friend, a sister, a co-worker, an acquaintance, a customer (if I am ever out with my “trainer” shirt on, you better believe I get fitness questions all the time).  My point being that I have the discussion on a regular basis about what is the best way for people to achieve their physique goals.

Everyone is different and you have to find out what works for you. 

This is my number one piece of advice when people ask me about health and fitness.  Have you ever had a friend get killer results for their Paleo diet, Zone diet, Shakeology drinks, marathon training, Jillian Micheals dvd? You get the idea. Then you try to put one of these things into place and it just does not work for you.  There are many factors that you must take into account that range from your metabolism to your lifestyle.  Say you decide to try the Paleo diet but you really dislike meat. So now you are scarfing bacon and beef everyday, miserable every meal. How long do you think that is going to last.  Or you hate running, but that friend got a killer body running. And then you try to implement a running schedule but you do not stick to it because you absolutely hate it. I understand why completely. My advice to you is to find what works for you, and adapt it to your likes, you body, and your lifestyle.

Be Less Strict

My second piece of advice is usually a harder concept to grasp, and is something I am currently working on myself.  I want to preface these paragraphs by addressing those who have  specific physique goals. If you are going for a six pack ab physique, then yes you DO have to be more strict and take in to account how your diet and workouts will affect your body.  It is also important to realize that usually when training or dieting for that look, you will not be able to keep that look without being super strict. Then it becomes more about deciding if you want to eat and train that way for the rest of your life to achieve and keep that look. If you do and find a way that works for you, then by all means have at it. But generally speaking most people struggle when trying to be super strict.

Ok,  so here we go. What typically happens when you decide to “be more strict” on your diet?  When you decide on a plan or diet, you usually do great for the first few days, weeks, maybe months if you can hang in that long. You are pumped, excited and motivated to begin. Then as the reality sets in and your schedule gets hectic you slowly begin to fall off the plan.  Maybe it is a binge meal or a binge day and you just say say screw it and say you will begin again on Monday. Maybe it is a night out with friends and you planned to eat a salad and drink water and then the night turned into pizza and wine. You get angry at yourself for not having enough discipline, enough willpower or enough motivation to be able to stick to that plan. You repeat the same thing the following week, starting off strict and then falling off, all the time bashing yourself for not being able to be disciplined with your diet. Eventually this cycle gets old and most people resort back to whatever their normal eating habits are. So is being “more strict” really helping you? The key is not to be more strict. It is to be less strict.

From my personal experience I have learned that whether I am more strict or less strict it really does not change my body a whole lot. So I can choose:

A – More strict and worry/stress more


B-Less Strict and worry/stress less

I am working towards option B. I went through a phase where I prepped all my food in advance for the week and portioned it out properly. It was great and I was motivated for a good solid month but then what happens when I didn’t have my food prepped?  Could I eat a regular meal or would it throw off my diet. Would I lose what I had worked so hard for? No, not in one meal I have learned. You do not build or break you physique in one bad meal or one bad day. Remember the opposite too though, you will not make it in one good meal or one good day either.

Now a word of warning. You should not take this advice and think that you can not care at all about what to eat. Don’t think, “I read in Adele’s blog I can be less strict and have all the food and drink I want and have the body I want.” You must find a balance with what works for you. Set yourself up for success by acknowledge that there will be times and events in life where you will want to have some drinks, have some birthday cake and have some burgers. And that is ok. I encourage you to have those in moderation and be ok with it and get back on track the next day to your workouts and regular way of eating.

When getting my Precision Nutrition certification, one fabulous piece of advice I learned was the 90% compliant rule. That being if you are compliant to your eating 90% of the time, you can indulge the other 10%. So for example, if you eat 5 meals a day that is 35 meals a week. So you can indulge in about 3 meals and still keep on track to your goals. By indulge I mean glass of wine not bottle, and 2 pieces of pizza, not whole. 🙂 This is just a general guideline to follow. Maybe you try this and find that 3 indulgences a week is just too much but maybe you do great off 1 or 2. But you can see what I mean here, that you do not have to be 100% super strict for a lifetime to reach your goals. The best diet for you is one where you can look, feel and perform your best for life.

Remember consistency is more important than perfection. Every choice you make with your food is taking you closer to or farther away from your goals, or is keeping you right where you are.  And it is ok to be right where you are for the time being, if you know the plan is going to work long term.  Try to steer away from an all or nothing approach and find a way of eating and exercising that works for you. Every workout and/or meal is another chance to get back on track.

Is the Advice Eat Less, Exercise More For You?

I have been following this advice my entire adult life. That is the advice we are given isn’t it? Essentially it sounds about right. Create a caloric deficit and get the results you want: lose fat, gain muscle, maintain weight etc. Recently I stumbled across an article by Metabolic Effect that broke down the eat less, exercise more mantra and how it may not work for everyone. I think I am one of those people. I began to think about the times in my life where I tried to eat less and exercise more. It usually started off great. I was motivated, I saw results. But, was I able to maintain that in an effortless way of living? The answer has always been no.

In your order to lose weight/fat, whether you count calories or not, you need a caloric deficit. That is without question a true statement. However, what Metabolic Effect pointed out that I hadn’t thought about before, was that you also need hormonal balance. How do you find out if your hormones are balanced without extensive testing? A general way to find out is if you hunger, craving and energy are in check. If you are getting the results you want you are probably doing a good job with your workouts and way of eating. Keep it up! If not, you do not have to be a slave to eat less, exercise more. Find out if a different approach might be best for you (it’s always about what works for you).

Are your cravings out of control?

I for one, am always craving one more bite, something salty, something sweet and never feel satisfied or full. Or even if I do, I still want something else. This has become mindless and has become a habit. I never really associated it with anything other than my stressful eating habits until recently when I really started to look into the association with exercise and the increase that it has on hunger and cravings. And it should! I am using more of my bodies fuel, my energy, and in turn, it literally needs more.

What has been more difficult for me is that my entire life, I have always tried to eat less and exercise more, while being an avid exerciser. Through my childhood and college it was just sports, sports, sports that kept me exercising without even giving it a second though. And I ate food without giving it a second thought. Fuel up, workout, repeat. Post athlete years, I just kept going, working out on a regular basis but something changed. I started to become more focused about calories and began to restrict my intake. Or attempted to anyways. I have spent my years putting way to much effort into trying to balance my food intake with my workouts.

Are you relying strictly on your workouts?

I always would think, “There is no way I can exercise less. I have too big of an appetite and I will not be able to maintain my weight without it.” But to be honest, I have never really given it a chance. As I am learning more about my body I am realizing that I do not want to spend my life freaking out if I cannot get a workout in and relying on my workouts to keep my body the way it is. Life happens, we go on vacation, we go through periods where we do not feel as motivated, things come up that interfere with our workouts. I want to be able to have my hunger, energy and cravings under control and be ok if I miss workouts.  Don’t get me wrong, I am an active person and one of those people who actually enjoys working out, but not when it is draining my energy, time and well-being.

Eat less, exercise less. Say What?

Metabolic Effect pointed out two different approaches to working out that while I have probably always known, I have never really thought deeply enough to try it. Eat more, exercise more (typically for muscle gain and/or for people who love to workout hard and often) or eat less, exercise less (typically for fat loss, for those with hormonal imbalance, or who don’t like to or don’t have the time to workout). It is a like a lightbulb went off in my head. If you are working out harder and more often, you need to eat MORE not less. Now when I say more, remember the calorie deficit. Typically you can’t eat to your hearts content and expect the exercise will just take care of everything. The point is that you need to eat enough to manage your hunger, cravings, and energy. Are you tired of those words yet? 😉

Now what about the opposite? Eat Less, exercise less. It seems like such a taboo concept in our modern society. But in my head it makes perfect sense. I lower my caloric intake slightly and quit trying to kill myself in the gym 5 days a week. I focus on movement like leisure walking and restorative yoga to help balance my hormones and throw in two weight workouts a week. This idea just thrills me! I love to lift, so I am looking forward to my two days and my body has more time to relax and recover.  There will definitely be periods in my life where I will eat more and exercise more, but right now I need to get my energy in check.

A word about lowering caloric intake.

I am still eating, I am just trying to eat a little less and less often. I am use to eating 6-7 meals and snacks a day and what I have done is trained my body to be hungry 6-7 times a day. It is not right or wrong but it has me constantly hungry and craving food. I am trying to take my meals down to 3-4 times a day and eat bigger meals so I feel fuller longer and not obsessing over when it is time to eat. Eating multiple times a day and counting calories and macronutrients is a modern day way of thinking. Our ancestors were not sitting around figuring out if their meal had a balance of carbs, proteins and fat. I am not saying that we have not made advances in our knowledge of nutrition and metabolism that could better suit us, but I do think we have become obsessed about rules, and what is the right and wrong way to do things. Do what works for you. And the only way to figure out what works for you is to give it a try. 🙂