Category Archives: Mindset

Happy Birthday Fit Life! And healthier blueberry cobbler crisp to celebrate!

Exactly one year ago this month I launched my website and blog, The Fit Life with Adele, knowing one thing for sure! I wanted to share my knowledge and love of health and fitness with others and help people along the way.  Coming off one of the most emotional years of my life, I intended many of my posts to be fitness related only, but couldn’t help but share my personal struggles and challenges as well. The strength in independence, importance of self acceptance and lessons in trusting the timing of my life were equally as important as my beloved squats and simple recipes. Hence the mindset focus of many of my posts. 🙂

With all my blogs this year, I do not think I created one saying exactly what The Fit Life means to me! And exactly what I want to convey to my readers about my philosophy of food, fitness and life. And at the end of all this I promise, I do have my Healthier, Blueberry, Cobbler, Crisp recipe for you!


Why do I encourage training with heavier weights?

It is pure empowerment in life.

I believe in being strong. And I believe physical strength begets mental strength. It builds confidence. It increases motivation. It creates freedom in your life now and in years to come. There is really no way to describe leaving a challenging workout, feeling you are on top of the world and can conquer anything. We NEED that kind of limitless feeling in our everyday lives to help us realize our full potential. I truly believe that fitness and wellness lead to empowerment, self actualization and each person has their own unique formula to achieve a fit and healthy lifestyle.

What is this eat simply business all about?


It is my eating philosophy. It is kind of boring and it may or may not have grabbed your attention. It is not as enticing or interesting as Paleo, IIFYM, gluten free, whole foods only, and in the past couple years I even threw my clean eating title out the window.

I don’t eat strictly organic or only whole foods (though I believe they should be eaten more often). The thing is I really truly love veggies, fruits, omelets, chicken, peanut butter, coffee and chocolate. I do use artificial sweeteners on occasion,  I like to chew gum, and have protein shakes and bars weekly. I am not a sugar or salt fanatic and have acquired a taste for foods that are more on the bland side. Don’t get me wrong, when I have a piece of pizza or chow down on some ice cream it is ah-ma-zing, but I love plain brown rice and steamed vegetables more often and it makes me feel better too.

I turn down dessert and drinks when I don’t feel like it and say yes when I do. I don’t fast or do detoxes or juice cleanses, but I have found a way of eating that I enjoy, and while sometimes I struggle with food, I never feel deprived! Fitness and food does not have to be complicated. It should enhance your life, not be a burden on your life.

What up with all this mindset stuff floating around on your posts and blogs?


Because honestly, its not really about food and fitness. Everyday I find myself in conversation with someone who is not enough.   I often experience not feeling enough. Yet in this world we all strive for love, purpose and belonging. How do we achieve these things without a full sense of self?

Brene Brown says it best. “If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.” When we worry less about what other people think we can focus more on our own worthiness, our own process and be content right in this very moment, not when we have achieved some lofty goal. Not when we have more money, are more successful, own a home, lose weight or go on vacation. When we can have compassion for ourselves and find gratitude in every situation, we realize that we have enough and more! Compassion and gratitude are underrated. It is not something we automatically achieve either, it is something you have to be intentional about every single day.

Where is my blueberry cobbler crisp you promised me?


Okay here it is! 🙂

Filling Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of frozen blueberries (or fresh)
  • 1/2 heaping tsp of cinnamon
  • 6 packets of truvia
  • 1 tsp of lemon zest
  • 2 tsp of constarch

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup of gluten free flour (regular flour can be used too)
  • 1/3 -1/2 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 heaping tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/3 cup of butter melted


1. Preheat oven to 375.

2.Mix all the dry toppings together in a large bowl. Drizzle the melted butter in and rub the mixture together until the butter is evenly dispersed.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the cinnamon, cornstarch, blueberries, lemon zest and truvia and toss until the berries are coated.

4.Spray a 9×9 dish with cooking spray and pour the blueberry mixture in the dish. Sprinkle the topping evening over.

5. Bake for 40 minutes.

6. Remove and cool.

7. Ice cream is a great pair, or if you are a health nut like me you can eat it as a snack with greek yogurt or cottage cheese.

The leftovers were just as good, if not better!

Thank you for being a part of my journey! Here is to 2015!




How To Not Break Your Promise To Yourself in 2015

In 2015, I will ________________. Fill in the blank. The promise of this statement is actually more exciting than actually doing the work to get there.

Excitement. Motivation. Relentless optimism. These are all great things, and all thing we feel when making a decision to change. With 2015 upon us most of us have created a vision for our future. Eat better. Workout more. Save more money. Be successful in business. Spend more time with family. Spend less time on Facebook. These are all wonderful things but they elicit  slightly different emotions then actually implementing behaviors and following through with them.

When making the decision to change you get a rush of feel good emotions, as the promise of change is way more exciting then actually making the change itself. It is more motivating to start, give up, start give up, start give up, then to start and follow through. We look more often for an opportunity to start again with a fresh slate and get motivated about the change, then going through the process and actually doing the work the work the first time.

I am going to apply this concept to getting fit but the not so secret secret is that you already know what you need to be doing, you just have to find a way to implement it. This is why I created my FREE 15-day challenge, not some crazy promise, but a program that focus strictly on the developing the habit of working out. If you are interested you can register here by January 3rd at midnight:  and find the details here!

Interestingly enough we actually give more credit to our future selves, then our current selves as Kelly McGongial points out in the book The Willpower Instinct.

“It is one of the most puzzling but predictable mental errors humans make: We think about our future selves like different people. We often idealize them, expecting our future selves to do what our present selves cannot manage.”

This is almost sweet in sense, that we think so highly of ourselves and really think that our future self will want to eat better and lose weight and implement the necessary steps even when our current self does not do that. If we can take that compassion and apply it to ourselves now and implement small, doable habits into our daily lives, we can set our expectations as high as we want, knowing that these small steps will get us there.

No matter what you promise to yourself in 2015, create high expectations, but realistic behaviors by using the following perspectives.

 Be neither pessimistic, nor optimistic, be realistic.

“Optimism can make us motivated, but a dash of pessimism can help us succeed. Research show that predicting how and when you might be tempted to break your vow increases the chances that you will keep a resolution.” The Willpower Instinct.

Optimism is important. You must believe that you can achieve what you set your mind to. Set your expectations high but put realistic behaviors into place. If you want to lose 50 lbs, that is a big expectation and you can absolutely achieve that goal. But do not commit yourself to 5 hours of workouts, if you are having trouble finding 10 minutes to workout. Know that if you can squeeze in 10 minutes a day, you are well on your way to achieving that goal. Do not give up just because you are only doing 10 minutes.

Have a back up plan. 

If you want to eat better and workout more often, list typical challenges you face when you are tempted to eat more and skip your workouts.


My husband always brings ice cream into the house.

I always walk in the door at night starving and eat everything in sight.

I never have a snack on me when I am out and about and end up grabbing McDonalds.

I have time to workout but it is hard to get motivated.

What back up plan could you create for these scenarios? That way when you face them, because you know you will, you already have thought about how you will workaround it.

Active Acceptance. 

You can accept where you are right now by working to where you want to be. If you want to lose weight do not assume that when you lose the weight it will be happy. Be happy NOW why working towards where you want to be. If you wait until you achieve something to be happy you will miss out on a lot of time being happy, even if it is not exactly where you want to be.

Your reality is what it is and there is nothing you can do to GO BACK and change it, you can only change it going forward.You already know what you need to be doing.

This is simply amazing in itself. That you do not need to search for a magic bullet or the perfect way of achieving success. You just need to keep doing the little things that need to be done each to day to be where you want to be. Again, applied to health and fitness. You know what you are suppose to eat and that you are suppose to move more, so you do not have to go searching. Like Nike says, Just Do It!

My Fitovate2015 program does all of the above to help you develop the motivation to be fit. Sometimes we just need a little guidance along the way and that is why I am here to help you get started.

Register here. ——->

Registration ends at midnight, January 3rd.

All the details ——->

You just have to do it!

Wishing you a joyful 2015 filled with gratitude and success, anyway you define it!





Are guilt and stress useful tools for getting your workouts in?

At the beginning of the week you are all set. You have your workouts planned, your gym bag is packed, you may even sleep in your workout clothes the night before.


And then it happens, a kid gets sick, you hit the snooze button one to many times, and get invited to a social gathering almost every night of the week. You skip your workouts day after day, even though you had the best intentions. You feel stressed, guilt and criticize yourself for falling off track yet again.

But do these emotions really serve us, make us more successful, and increase motivation?

Initially most will say that you must set expectations, follow through and give yourself some tough love, otherwise you will have no pressure or motivation to reach your goals and your willpower will fly out the door. The more pressure you put on yourself and the higher expectations you have, the more likely you will be to workout.

While this makes perfect sense in most peoples heads, it is actually the exact opposite!

Kindness and compassion towards one’s self are actually associated with more motivation and more self-control.

Say what? Studies actually show that instead of criticizing yourself, it is actually more beneficial to forgive yourself. Whether it is from a string of missed workouts or even a late night eating binge, stewing in your own guilt can actually have a negative impact on your motivation rather than a positive one.

What to do instead.

The next time you miss a workout, eat something you feel you shouldn’t have or the combo of the two, keep in mind the following.

  • Address yourself with self compassion and forgiveness.
  • Acknowledge that you were not inline with your goals (personal responsibility).
  • Troubleshoot about what you can do next time to get your workout in.
  • Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and move on quickly.

Chances are you are more likely to hold yourself accountable and learn from your experience. When you go into problem solving mode you give yourself an opportunity to create a solution to a challenge. When you go into stress, shame, guilt and anxiety mode you do not put yourself in a position to fix the problem itself.

Starting implementing this tool and see how it works for you. Prioritizing your workouts are essential, if they are important to you, but giving yourself permission to forgive when you miss one is a lot more powerful than most people realize.

Confessions Of A Former Clean Eater

I guess you could say I am a clean eater in recovery.

Clean eating used to seem so inline with goals. Eat foods as close to a minimally processed state as possible, eat 5-6 meals a day, drink 2 liters of water, avoid products with sodium or sugar, only eat ingredients you can pronounce, give yourself one treat meal a week. It sounded so streamlined and ideal, but what I found is that instead of eating with ease, it actually created a lot of stress with eating, creating a dynamic that food was either good or bad, on or off plan.

In the past year or so I really have turned from labeling myself as a “clean eater” to more of an intuitive eater. Eating based on what is in line with my goals, making me look, feel and perform my best.If I want dessert I have it, if I decline I feel ok with it. I might make paleo cookies but that doesn’t mean I won’t eat my greek yogurt later. I might try a gluten free recipe but that does not mean I will not eat pasta the next day.

While I realize I have complete control on how I choose to view food here are a few ways why I think the concept of clean eating, and other forms of set, standardized eating, sets us up for failure and a few ways I have learned to shift my mindset, and how you can too.


1. It gives food a good or bad name. Chicken and steamed vegetables = good. Cookies and pizza = bad. If you have chicken you are on plan, if you have cookies you are off plan. I do not want to be on or off a eating plan. I may have moments where I want to get back on track, if I eat too much and notice my jeans a bit tighter or my energy levels suffering, but ultimately I want food to be food.

2. It is impossible to have a social life. How many times have you stressed about having to go to an event where you know it will be difficult to make good food choices or any food choices at all because they are “off” plan.  You may fear that one night of food that is off plan, you will ruin your diet all together. That may even be the reason you choose to follow a certain way of eating because you don’t trust yourself that you will be able to stop at one cookie or one glass of wine.  You may fear you must have a plan or else you whole way of eating will go down the drain. You are not alone, I have been there.  But I have also learned that being super strict leads to less enjoyment with food and the social joy that goes into celebration with food.  The good news is you can still make healthy food choices where you go, or a bring a dish yourself. And this is the perfect time of year to practice TRUST in yourself and your eating choices. That you can go out and enjoy food and drink without going overboard.

3. It can develop a poor relationship with food or how you think about food. Sometimes eating turns into defining who we are. When we eat “good” food, we are in turn good. When we eat “bad” food, it defines our worth as bad. When we cannot stay on plan we feel guilt and anxiety and when we do stay on plan we are worthy. Here’s the best thing you can learn to do. Eat in a way that is in line with your goals, and when you have that cookie (because you can still have that cookie) do not stress over it.

4. It is not sustainable. It doesn’t matter what type of eating you choose to follow, clean eating, zone, paleo?  The question is, can you stick with it day in, day out, without anything “off” plan. Why? Because dictated types of eating do not align with our lives and our desires. Birthday parties, vacations, drinks with friends, holidays etc., are all a part of life. And I can’t think of ANYONE who follows a certain way of eating exactly to a “T” every single day of the year. How do you know if your diet is working for you? You can sustain it 365 days a year! If you can good for you, you are one step ahead of the game.

So what do I do to counter what I have been practicing for so long?

If you have followed me for some times you know I talk about my AES (Automatic Eating Strategies) quite a bit. My Wine and Cupcakes newsletter was probably the best way I could possibly explain to you how I think about food and my day ahead, and while it may have seemed complicated, it really is effortless to me. These tools I have developed help me eat in line with my goals, while not feeling deprived. Super strict is not the answer but eating with reckless abandon is not either. I know if I eat that way I will not feel well either.

1. Use my Automatic Eating Strategies. Some include thinking about my day ahead and making my choices in advance, always taking an apple or protein bar with me wherever I go, so if I am in a bind and need something to hold me over, I am covered. I eat lean protein and vegetables often throughout the day and something with protein and carbohydrates post intense workout. I always have something chocolate every single day.

2. Sample bites. I love taking bites of other people’s foods and this usually works best with people I am super close with, ha! I think sampling my boyfriends foods has been one of the best things that have happened to my eating habits because I get to taste everything but binge on nothing. My boyfriend is also pretty good with moderation when it comes to sweets. He can make a pint of ice cream last two weeks. Just a bite a day. For other tips on eating out click here.

3. Do not give food a name. Sometimes I still have a hard time with this one. I really try not to label food as good or bad, on or off plan. When it comes down to it, it is just food. It is food that is used as energy for our body. It is food that we use to enjoy social gatherings and it is is food that allows us to live our daily lives, and yet so much stress surrounds food now a days. Our food choices can keep us healthy or not, but they surely do not define us.




3 Ways To Stop Eating Everything In Sight At Night

“I eat really well during the day, but I have a hard time controlling what I eat at night.”

I hear this from so many clients, friends and family members as one of the number one reasons as to why it is difficult to lose weight.  I too, know what it feels like to walk in the door after a long day of work and snack from dinner time until bed. You may be stressed, irritated, exhausted, drained and despite all your hard work throughout the day of eating well and even getting your workout in, you somehow, in the moment, don’t really care about how this may be affecting your long-term physique or health goals.

You may even justify your behavior, saying you did well during the day so you deserve it, or it is just one night and you will do better the next day. All the willpower you have mustered up throughout the day has somehow dissipated and your fallback method is your habits. And when your habits are going straight for food without even thinking about it, they are difficult, but not impossible, to break.


A little humor for how a day like this may feel. 🙂


Here are three ways to stop eating everything in sight at night.

 Practice self control in a way that has nothing to do with food.

In the book, The Willpower Instinct, by Kelly McGonigal, she says,  “It’s the habit of noticing what you’re about to do, and choosing to do the more difficult thing instead of the easiest.”

Whether you are walking into the kitchen, opening the fridge, or have your hand in a bag of Doritos or spoon in the peanut butter (oops that is me), it is SO easy to just stay in the moment, and so difficult to just stop. So instead of trying to scrounge up every ounce of energy and willpower you have to break the habit at the hardest moment, why not try to practice changing your habit in a small way, that practices self control and works toward strengthening your willpower, without the internal battle of why you are eating when you shouldn’t be. 

McGonigal also gives examples of ways to improve self control that have nothing to do with resisting food but maybe resisting different,  smaller challenges. For example, for one day, try to brush your teeth or open any door with your nondominant hand. Try not to say “um” or “like” when you talk, or try not to use any swear words. This type of challenge helps the brain get used to thinking about what it is doing before acting. And while it does take a little extra effort to complete these tasks, it is not as overwhelming as trying to resist night time eating. These trivial self-control challenges may translate into bigger self-control challenges.

 Be less strict during the day.

You may fear that loosening up on your diet during the day will derail you from your health and fitness goals. However, if you come home at night feeling deprived and/or starving, you may be more likely to binge and overindulge.  Instead of oatmeal for breakfast, a plain salad at lunch and chicken and  veggies for dinner, try adding more satisfying foods in throughout the day, that will help keep your hunger and cravings in check. Add peanut butter to your oatmeal, a palm full or rice with your salad, a piece of fruit in the afternoon and protein to your lunch and dinner.

Sometimes being more strict can cause us to binge more at a later point because we never truly feel satisfied with what we are eating. You see this all the time a super strict meal plans which most people are only able to follow keflex. They may lose the weight initially but have a hard time keeping it off because it is not something that is sustainable. Ultimately, isn’t what you want something you can do forever? Eat healthy and indulge occasionally, while maintaing a healthy weight and a healthy and happy relationship with food.


And lastly, do not fall for the halo effect.

I only had a salad for dinner, so that means I can have dessert.

I only had three slices of pizza, it’s not like I had the whole pizza.

I worked out really hard today so I deserve a big dinner.

I ate healthy all day so I deserve to eat what I want tonight.

I had to eat out and that is why I could not make good choices.

McGonigal describes the halo effect in this way. “The halo effect is a form of moral licensing that looks for any reason to say “yes” to temptation. When we want permission to indulge, we’ll take any hint of virtue as a justification to give in.”

It even has a name in the dieting world, called the health halo. We tend to find any reason to not feel as bad about the choices we make.  Often times we look for validation when it comes to giving into temptation, a reason that what we are doing is ok. A reason why we are deserving of our hard work, even though it may affect our goals long term.

Instead of justifying your behavior ask yourself if the choices you are making are in line with your goals? And in order to do this you need a concrete way of measuring whether or not they are.

One reason I like the  not eating after 8:00 PM rule, is because it gives you a very concrete way of determining whether or not you can stay out of the kitchen at night, by a simple yes or no.  Studies show that sometimes it’s not so much about when you eat but the culmination of how much you eat throughout the day.  Yes it may be better to eat smaller meals throughout the day, but if you are struggling with night time eating implement this rule.

Try implementing one or more of these tools to help tame your night time eating and always remember the “why” behind your goals. Why are you so intent on reaching your goal and why are your stopping yourself from getting there.


16 Insights to Improve Your Relationships


Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for my FREE 10-day  Gratitude Guide, here, that will lead you right up until Thanksgiving, giving you tips, tools and insight, on not only how gratitude can reduce stress, improve relationships, improve your quality of life, change your perception, and even help you reach your goals.

Gratitude cannot only drastically improve perspective in our everyday lives, but it is also so crucial to the relationships in our lives. Relationships can bring us so much joy, happiness, and companionship, and ironically, so much hurt, stress and loneliness at the same time.  In fact, it is safe to say every relationship you have in your life right this very moment, will go through some sort of strain, hurt or discomfort at some point, and probably have gone through this as well.

With some of those relationships we have to learn how to let go and move on from, yet many we keep moving forward despite knowing that there will be challenges and struggles to come. I love reading, discussing and learning about ways to improve relationships and here are 16 insights I have gained in the past year.

1. Surround yourself with people who bring you up, not put you down.

2. Take the higher road. Show respect and kindness to all even when people do not do so in return. “Cruelty is chicken shit.” Brene Brown

3.  Give people you don’t know a fair chance.  Be open to more learning and less judgement.

4. Practice forgiveness and let go of resentment. Resentment consumes you more than the person you are directing it at.

5. Do little things everyday to help others out. And say thank you when people help you out, especially with the smallest of things, to your spouse for doing the dishes, to your co-worker who assisted you, to the stranger who held the door open for you, etc. Those two words genuinely spoken mean so much.

6. Reach out to people close to your heart and let them know how much they mean to you. Write a note or make a phone call to someone important who you do not see often, and leave a note of appreciation for someone you live with, work with etc.

7. Do not make assumptions. Making assumptions leads to make believe stories in your own head, and create drama that does not exist.

8. Have relentless positive thinking. The alternative is drowning in a pool of negativity.

9. Do not take things personally. Remember it is not always about you.

10. Show up authentically in your relationships, imperfections and all.

11. Avoid comparison. There will always be someone out there with more or less than you in some way.

12. Take people for their word. And trust that you will know how to handle the situation if their word is not true.

13. Practice self trust. Be brave to show up in life as you are, and let people respond as they will. You are enough.

14.  Practice gratitude and joy. This is what will get us through the inevitable difficult moments in our life. To be grateful, to have hope and to find perspective, even when times are tough.

15. Communicate with an open heart.

16. Have faith that you will put everything you have into your most important relationships, even when you have no idea what the outcome will be.

I am so excited to share more detail with you in The Gratitude Guide! There are some great frameworks, based on some of these insights that will help improve your relationships so you can in turn improve your happiness and wellbeing. Here is a brief outline.

Part 1. Defining Gratitude, Awareness, Appreciation, Mindfulness. Part 2. Gratitude for Myself, Confidence, Accepting what is, Breaking Perfectionism, In Food and Fitness. 3. Relationships, Expectations and Assumption, Benefit of The Doubt, Personal Responsibility, The Flip side. Part 4. Changing Perspective, Eliminating the Victim Mindset, Taking Action, Four Steps To Make A Change.

Sign-up so you don’t miss out! Last chance until 2015!


Why I Have 3 Fitness Coaches

I do not find it ironic at all that I am the most successful when I have a coach.  I grew up playing sports and once my sports career was over, I realized that just because I wasn’t playing in an athletic sport anymore didn’t mean I didn’t need someone to help me with a plan to reach my goals, someone to motivate me and someone to hold me accountable. And that is what I kept in mind while creating the Drop A Size Fat Loss Program, my 5 week, at-home program, weights based program that will help anyone start, or restart, getting back into shape.

Back in 2001 my aunt let me join her in her personal training sessions for a summer with her trainer Jack. Jack was straight out of a bodybuilding magazine, with huge muscles and one of those revealing  tank tops and short shorts. He took me through a traditional/bodybuilding workout. I loved it and I learned a lot.

That same year I headed off to college and for the next four years was introduced to the world of strength and conditioning and coach Matt. Box jumps, power cleans, agility ladders and some major ass kicking overall. I loved it and learned even more.

In 2007 I became a STOTT Pilates Instructor quickly followed by earning my NSCA-CPT.  I transformed from the client and student, to the expert and teacher.  And during this time I had a few years of mourning not having a coach but I made trips to the gym, continued yoga and focused a bit on running. It was decent enough to keep me coming back for more.

Over the past 4 or so years, I turned back to hiring a trainer, (as a trainer), joined a Crossfit gym for a year, and have finally made my way back to more personal training. I laugh at myself because currently I have 3 coaches right at this very moment. I have an in person, personal trainer, I am in the Best of You online coaching group with the ever so brilliant Jill Coleman and my strength coach from college who I consider my mentor from afar. I drop in for occasional workouts for myself and pick up some of the best and latest coaching and training tips.

While I put in the work, I attribute a lot of my success in maintenance of my physique in having a coach or trainer. Or even a workout partner. Just like in life, we can go at it alone, but having someone by your side helps you become better.


Here is how I see it.

Motivation and Accountability

Being a trainer myself, I am not unique to the fact that I don’t struggle with motivation. I struggle with motivation all the time. Yes I work at a gym but I have had days where I walk into the weight room, do a 5 to 10 minute warm-up, grab a pair of dumbbells, sit on the bench and then just put them back and walk out of the gym. Ha! I’m right there and I can’t do it. However this never happens when I have a trainer, or even a workout partner. Remember you don’t have to go at it alone. It is ok to struggle with motivation and it’s also ok to seek extra support. Consistency beats perfection in the gym.

How? What? Where? Why?

I have had days where I walk into a gym and wander around without a plan in mind and I can put together a pretty decent workout. It’s my job, it’s what I do. Although when I create my own training programs, and my clients, it lays out exactly what needs to be done based on exactly where you want to go. It saves time and energy and allows me to create a system to track progress and evaluate the results. How will you know if you are making progress in the beginning if you do not take note of it. Write them down, record your weights lifted or miles run and plan them in advance.  If you are not sure, ask for help. It may be easy to put together a single workout but when you are trying to put together a plan over time, you will have a much better idea of where you are headed and how you are going to get there.

Pushes you out of your comfort zone.

As hard as I work on my own nothing matches that little extra push I get from someone else. When things get hard it life, we want to stop. When we feel discomfort in our workouts we want to stop too. But just like in life when we get through the struggles, we grow, learn and become better. When you finish that last set that you thought you could not do, you grow and you learn and you become better. If someone asked me if  I thought working out could teach us a lot about how to be resilient in life my answer would be, hell yes! Maybe hiring a trainer is out of your comfort zone. Give it a shot. Maybe pushing yourself in your workouts is out of your comfort zone. It is only temporary and the mental and physical strength you will gain is incredible.

Online accountability

While having an in person trainer is awesome it is amazing what the support of an online group can contribute to your life. Just to be able to check in with others who have a similar experiences or can offer support and advice is crucial. Whether it is daily or weekly I love checking in and sharing my progress and over coming my struggles with like minded people in my coaching group. Sometimes it fitness and nutrition questions and sometimes it is an obstacle or issue I am struggling with. It is like all my best friends from a far.

Just like every thing else in life, when you need help you ask. Fitness and training are no exception. My Drop A Size program launches today and ends this Friday. It will not be back until 2015, so take advantage of this great opportunity to help put a plan in place and get the results you want.



How Fitness Makes You More Resilient in Life Part 1

As I was reading about cultivating a resilient spirit in life, in Brene Brown’s book, The Gift of Imperfection (which is a MUST READ I might add) I was fascinated about her research about some of the most common factors of resilient people. I started to reflect on the struggles that I see my clients, friends, family go through and the struggles that I myself go through and more importantly how we handle them.

How do we adapt to challenges, struggles and adversity? Why do some people handle it better than others? How and why do people handle it better than others? Regardless of the struggle, each individual suffers from pain and negative emotions, but how do some people rise above easier and some people suffer longer. It all has to do with our choices and how we balance our emotions and our ability to positively handle stressful times and situations.IMG_9446

With this in mind, I headed to the gym and to workout.  During my first exercise I was struggling with motivation. Mid set I put the weight down because it was “too heavy.” I paused and debated for a split second if this was a physical limit, that I literally and physically could not pull that weight any more, or was it a mental block that I just did not want to be uncomfortable (experience any physical discomfort). I picked the weight back up and for the remaining 8 repetitions, I questioned, physical or mental? As I let the weight down each rep I questioned my mental strength and as I pulled the weight up I would question my physical strength. I made it through the rest of the set and knew that the whole game was pushing through the physical discomfort, mentally.

I have always known that fitness has made me a better, stronger, more capable person. And this set was that re occurring “ah ha” moment of why fitness is such an important and meaningful part of my life and why I am beyond thrilled that my career allows me to share that with others.

It has shown me that I can get through the discomfort, not only from my workouts but in life. Life can be uncomfortable at times, life can be uncomfortable often. Feeling of shame, inadequacy, negativity, jealously, hurt, loneliness, anxiety and fear are emotions EVERYONE expierences. No one is exempt from these, though sometimes we feel like we are the only ones struggling with these emotions.

With that said *how* we handle these emotions and *how* we overcome them are what makes us resilient.  Do we give up on the workout? No. We push through. Do we give up on important relationships? No. We push through. Do we dwell in negativity and let  adversity bring us down. No. We find the bright spots and figure out how we are going to make the best of any given situation.

Instead of taking a situation and saying screw it, I take the situation and the problem at hand and ask how am I going to fix it, how am I going to make it work for me. I have learned to become a good problem solver. When I am not seeing progress with my body in the way I want it to, whether it in terms of how I look or my energy levels I re evaluate. What and I doing right? What could I be doing differently? Instead of just giving up and accepting what is, I figure out a way to adjust and adapt and give myself a bit of a break. I am doing the best I can.

No one is immune from struggles and hard times but they are necessary for us to grow. Just like our workouts, if we don’t put our bodies under a little stress, under a little discomfort they would not change.  Fitness is one way to help us learn to embrace challenges and become stronger and more resilient. If you do not feel challenges in your workouts, your body will not change and get better and if you do not face challenges in life you will not grow and get stronger as a person.

The good news is resiliency is not some magical ability that only some people have.  Resiliency is a practice that can be learned and developed. Here are a few take aways that you can apply to your workouts and life.

1. Question the discomfort. Is it physical or mental? How can I overcome this situation?

2. Become a good problem solver. Make a list of ways you can solve the problem at hand. Set small steps to conquer that problem and achieve your goal.

3. Resiliency is a learned practice that will take time to implement. YOU are highly capable of taking your struggles, learning from them and learning how they can make you grow.

Stay tuned for Part 2. Coming soon. 🙂



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.



For the Love of Lulu

I know, I know. I’m ridiculous with this post, but I have officially become a dog person.  I take selfies with her, I worry about her when I work long hours, and my clients ask how she is doing as if she is my child. I never even liked dogs until her.  Their slobber, their jumping. Eww, gross dog get away from me. I never had a dog growing up either, although golden retrievers have always had a special place in my heart. Maybe because of Comet on Full House or my cousins golden named Buster, but they were always so loving. So kind. Loving and kindness always resonate so well in my heart.

Anyways, It’s my dog child’s birthday and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate, besides homemade dog cookies and playing catch, then to share why she has been such a constant in my life, during her 3 years on earth.

I remember picking her out from her litter and the ride home. She whimpered and squirmed in my lap and tried to cuddle against me but I held her awkwardly away from me, like someone does in the movies when they don’t know what to do with a crying baby, or how I do in real life holding a crying baby.  I realized she was mourning being away from family, and as I looked at her adorable face and sloppy ears I pulled her in close. I realized that I would be responsible for her comfort and well being in life. And little did I know, she would be responsible for mine.


She seems to have this innate sense of what it means to enjoy life and love unconditionally. And if I could hear her thoughts, this is what I think she would say.

1. I follow you around because I just want to be a part of your life. In all you do, whether you are at home doing the simplest of things or you are getting in that car to go somewhere fun, I like to be by your side. When you take out the trash or get mail, I like to accompany you just because.  When I snuggle at your feet while you drink coffee or lay in the middle of the kitchen when you cook or do dishes, it is just because I like to be close.It is being together that counts.

2. Even if you do not have time to take me on walks,  forget to fill my water bowl or forget to feed me breakfast,  I understand.  Life gets overwhelming and people make mistakes. We cannot do everything, all the time. But it is ok because I love you unconditionally. I know that you are doing the best you can and I appreciate that.

3. Appreciation and love are important and are things that we should not take for granted. When you come home from work that is why I am so flippin excited to see you, every single day! My excitement is immense and I want to let you know how happy I am to see you. That is why I wag my tail uncontrollably and retrieve my tennis ball, so I can show you what I have been up to all day. Just because time goes by, does not mean these things should change.

4. I think it is important in life to find a balance between play and rest. We need to get out of  our comfort zone, try new things, enjoy sunny days, run around like wild, chase after what we desire, have fun and soak up everything life has to offer. And then we can go home and nap. Be lazy. Release from our minds the things we have to do, and the expectations that are placed on us, whether that is from others or ourselves. Whether it is a moments rest or a lazy afternoon, that is what rejuvenates us and keeps us going strong. We need to rest up so we can have more time to play.  Xoxo, Lulu.

So to my precious Lulu. Wishing you an exciting, playful and restful day. <3

Happy Birthday Lulu!