Archive for March 24, 2016

Have Vision Beyond Your Circumstances



There are times when it can be hard to see or recognize the promise and potential outcomes of our actions, our daily hard work and efforts.



Times when we’re thick in the middle of ‘it,’ whatever it may be (a new nutrition plan, working out, building new skills, starting a new job…), when we feel stuck.



We feel unsure of our efforts–we feel unsure that our efforts will pay off or pay out the way we want them to so badly.




We’ve invested ourselves, with our precious resources: time, energy, sacrifice, money, and although we’ve been putting in the effort, we’re not sure we’re making headway.




This is the time when we have to do what I call ‘Grit forward with faith.’




We have to continue to invest ourselves in the pursuit of our goals/dreams, because transformations (of every kind) take TIME.



They take MORE time than we think they *should.*



That doesn’t mean our efforts aren’t working, that we aren’t getting closer to our goals/dreams; it just means we can’t SEE the payoff…YET.



It means we need to continue to invest our time, effort, energy, and hopes. It means we see beyond the place where we feel ‘stuck,’ and to recognize that, however slow it may be, progress is progress.



It means we need to, as Brendon Burchard says, have vision beyond our circumstances.



Keep your eye on the prize. Never doubt that your hard work today is fruitless; truly it’s the only thing getting you closer to your goals, to being that person you wish to be in the world.



See the potential for a different future for yourself, and keep gritting forward in faith.





Workout Wednesday: Let me introduce you to the Leg Blaster.



It’s Workout Wednesday!



Today’s workout is a simple but brutally effective finisher. I say finisher, because I wouldn’t want to have to use my legs for anything else afterwards. lol 😉



I picked this one up today from the Mountain Tactical guys as part of the Military Athlete Advanced Training Program, so I didn’t make it up myself–BUT I can vouch for its effectiveness!



Leg Burner Finisher:
Perform 3 (or more!) rounds of:
20 Air Squats
20 Lunges (10/side)
20 Jump Lunges
20 Jump Squats



No weights additional weights needed–trust me.



3 rounds took just a few seconds over 5 minutes for me today, so this would be a big bang for your buck workout if you didn’t have much time, too. And trust me, you will feel it.



Can you say Jello legs??




If the reps are too high, then scale them down to 10 and add rounds. It’s more important to do them well and keep control of every rep than to push through sloppily.




You can always work up to doing more!




Try this one out, and let me know what YOU think of it 🙂


Maybe next week I’ll try 4 rounds….




{Trainer Tip Tuesday} What’s your sign say?

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Today’s Tip: Look at your challenges as opportunities to grow rather than signs of failure.



When things get challenging it can be really easy to automatically think that it’s a sign something can’t be done, that it’s not ‘meant to be.’



Maybe it’s an eating habit you’re working on forming, maybe it’s an unhelpful behavior rearing its ugly head. Maybe it’s life circumstances, interfering ONCE AGAIN with your best laid plans. Maybe it’s a skill you’re working on that’s just, well, not working like you’d like it to. Maybe it’s a challenging personality somewhere in your life.



When these things happen, it’s so easy to want to just throw in the towel and call it good. “At least I tried,” we can say…although that one is too often followed by an internal “See, I knew it wouldn’t work” or “I know I just can’t (fill in the blank), I’m not (strong, smart, disciplined, etc.) enough.”



Here’s the thing: what if we look at those challenges as opportunities for us to learn and grow (however hard and uncomfortable they might be for us), rather than a sign that we’ve failed? What happens then?



I’ve gotten to revisit this one personally, more than a few times over the last 2 years in particular. There have been plenty of brick walls thrown up, personally and professionally, and there were plenty of times I just plain wanted to quit–usually those moments were accompanied by a “I’m just not good at ______.”



Except…except I found that I COULD be better at those things, IF I gave myself permission to totally f— up from time to time, and then learn from those mistakes. I could be better if I got over needing to be perfect, right out of the gate, or accomplished in a set amount of time.



This was totally reinforced by recently reading “Mindset: The Psychology of Success,” by Carol Dweck. It’s her belief, based on years of tests and studies, that we are capable of greater things IF we adopt a ‘growth mindset’ over a ‘fixed mindset.’


In a growth mindset, we are capable–and really, open to, change. We then see our frustrations as opportunities to learn and improve, rather than setbacks or signs of failure.



So when I really started to forgive myself for being imperfect, and accepted that I was human, like everyone else, *gasp* and had relative strengths and weaknesses THAT COULD BE CHANGED, my world expanded.



Here’s just a simple example: Yesterday, the conditioning portion of my workout included Double Unders (jump roping) in every other interval. In other words, in order to finish the workout, I had to complete 8 different intervals of 15 Double Unders to finish a timed workout. In a large group of people.



Have I mentioned I can barely string 3 in a row together??



It was frustrating. So frustrating.



It had the potential to be demoralizing–I finished dead freaking last, by 2 minutes, out of a group of 25 people.



I was so tempted to say, “I’m bad at these, I hate these, I suck” at different moments, but then had that gorgeous moment of clarity–I wasn’t good at them in that moment, but I COULD be.



Just like all those other skills I’ve worked on over the years–personal, athletic, professional–I could, with time and effort, improve.



Just that little flip of the mindset switch allowed me to see my (potentially demoralizing) performance as one step on the path to greater athleticism, rather than a sign that I was uncoordinated, or less worthy than or not as strong as all the other individuals there.



What a huge difference a little mindset shift can make!


–>  In the one case, we’ve failed or proven ourselves failures, or less worthy.



–>  In the other case, we’ve simply learned a lesson–one of many–that will add to our eventual success AS LONG AS we stay positive, open and persistent.




So if there’s something that’s got you down, frustrated, or feeling like throwing in the towel, I suggest you try looking at it through another lens.




Try looking at it as another opportunity to grow and stretch in your abilities; to see it as one more way you can become a fuller and greater version of yourself.



Is that challenge a brick wall set there to stop you, or a test to see how you get around/over/through it to accomplish even more?



Whatever it is, it’s what you choose it to be.




Trainer Tip: Make Your Breakfast Meet YOUR Needs.



Today’s Trainer Tip: Make your breakfast match your needs.


I used to be an avid breakfast eater–I always had a hearty breakfast and was usually starving when I woke up. Of course, those hearty breakfasts needed to fuel me for a few hours of training clients before I did my own workout.



These days, I wake up, get the kids to school and get my workout on early in the morning–and these workouts are most often pretty demanding ones. As a result, I’ve totally changed my breakfast regimen to meet my current needs.



Since I work out early in the day (and I have a sensitive stomach), I try to make my breakfasts on the smaller side and easily digestible–which means light on the protein and heavier on the carbs.



My workout breakfast go-to’s: apple pie steel cut oats, basic oatmeal, or banana breakfast cookies for the most part, WITH a cup (or two!) of coffee, of course 😉





But on days when I’m not working out early (aka: weekends!), I aim to have more protein and maybe a bit less carbohydrate and throw in fruits or veggies as well. That means eating any assortment of scrambles, cottage cheese protein pancakes, not-quite-gluten-free banana pancakes, greek yogurts, etc, and even a salad with hard boiled eggs on occasion. Gotta get those greens!


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Bottom Line: There are no absolute hard and fast rules about what’s best to eat for breakfast. It’s just one of many meals you’ll get throughout the day.



–>If you hate eating first thing in the morning, don’t! Technically, anything you consume in the first 3 hours qualifies as ‘breakfast.’



–>Don’t like ‘breakfast foods’? Eat whatever you want! Leftovers from last night’s dinner, if you feel like it.



–>If you have a big morning ahead of you, it’s a good idea to eat slower-digesting foods that will keep your energy level for a few hours–protein and lower GI carbs and veggies.



–>If you have a big workout ahead of you, maybe you want to eat on the lighter and quicker to digest (and give you energy) side, like some of the options I listed above.



**Whatever you choose, make it work for you–for your current body, lifestyle, taste preference and scheduling needs!**



And if you’d like to get the recipes for ALL the breakfast foods I mentioned above, they’ll be going out to my inner circle peeps in Friday’s email newsletter along with the workout of the week.


Grab your copy by signing up here!