25 Books That Will Make You a Better Human in 2018

If you know me, you know I’m a HUGE nerd and PROUD introvert.

For me, reading, solitude, and thought are the ULTIMATE acts of self care.  In fact, I purposefully set an alarm a full 90 minutes BEFORE anyone in my house will even THINK about waking up so I can commence my morning ritual of

  1.  Coffee – cause, duh… it’s life.
  2.  Candles – sets the Zen tone I’m wanting (recent new upgrade)
  3.  Book – cause reading quiets my fast paced brain that wants to immediately dive to work.
  4.  Bullet Journal – to organize my thoughts, ideas, and responsibilities

No t.v., no iphone, no email, and NO NOISE is allowed until 6:30am!  (And on the mornings I coach at 5am, I STILL get my reading time in!)

Reading is a habit that provides me so much energy, joy, creativity, peace, and problem solving knowledge that I forgo sleep in order to ensure I don’t miss my reading time.  I literally CANNOT  imagine who I would be (or WOULDN’T BE) without my book addiction.

And it’s in that spirit of self transformation and elevation that I offer you the 2017 books that had the biggest impact on my psyche.  (I actually sprinkled in 4 books from a few years past b/c they’re just too good to miss in my opinion.)  These books created “aha” moments as well as “ugh” realizations.    

I hope this list inspires you to #nerdout with me in 2018 and become a better, badder, more evolved version of yourself.  Grab a Kindle, go audio book style, or, if you’re old school like me, open up that book cover and dive in!  I’ll be sharing tons more like this in my newsletter, sweatunfiltered, so if you dig this kind of stuff think about click to join.

P.S.  These books are in no particular order but my absolute super faves of the year have an (*) next to their names.   

Continue reading “25 Books That Will Make You a Better Human in 2018”

5 Reasons You’re Still Over Eating And How To Stop

“If I could just stop over eating at night, I’d finally lose the weight!”

“If I could just control my portions at dinner, I’d get rid of this belly.”

Not a month goes by where I don’t hear some form of this complaint.  It’s super common, btw, for both men and women.  This is not a “girl” eating problem.  It’s a busy AF HUMAN PROBLEM so if you’re constantly “missing the mark” or “off track” with dinner, let’s chat.

First, you need to know that I 100% relate and empathize w/ anyone struggling w/ the non-stop, continuous, calorie bomb dinner as this was one of my biggest issues as well.

When hangry, I can out eat a large, adult male no problem.  “Healthy” food, “junk” food and everything in between food… if I’ve let my hunger get away from me, it’s gonna be gone, cookie monster style.  

Every single excuse/fear/obstacle below while it might be yours, you need to know, it was my own once upon a time, as well.

I get it.  I lived it.  I struggled with it.  I beat it. 

Continue reading “5 Reasons You’re Still Over Eating And How To Stop”

5 STEPS TO GETTING STUFF DONE, MOTIVATION FREE

I’m waiting …

  1. for my work schedule to slow back down.
  2. for the weather to get warmer.
  3. to finish up this project.
  4. for my kids’ baseball season to end.
  5. for my big work trip to pass.
  6. for the holidays to end.
  7. for life to settle down.
  8. for kids to go back to school.
  9. to find the time again.
  10. to feel motivated again.

Sound familiar?

More often than not, getting hard things done, is a series of uncomfortable sacrifices.

It’s no wonder we create a WAITING game!

We hope one discomfort will end, settle down, or pass by before adding in another to our already busy lives.

It makes total sense… until we really sit down and consider how powerless this leaves us.

To wait means that our wants, wishes, and desires and completely DEPENDENT on someone or something else.

Rather than design, carve, or battle our way through, we take a complacent route and allow any resistance to fade or diminish on it’s own, if it so desires, whenever it pleases.

Continue reading “5 STEPS TO GETTING STUFF DONE, MOTIVATION FREE”

The struggle is real but suffering is optional

Early this summer I was casually chatting with a friend over just common #momlife problems. Towards the end she made an innocent statement about how good it felt to simply know “I too, make mistakes.”

Brene Brown, a social researcher, professor, and author, talks extensively about the tremendous impact hearing the phrase “me too” has when people are in the midst of a struggle.

In fact, one of the main reasons I started to talk and continue to talk so openly about my various eating disorders and body image problems was your very own HEALING impact on ME.

When I revealed not only my bout with anorexia but also binge eating, I got dozens of emails back saying some form of, “ME TOO!!”

And then again, when I became open about how brutal a financial and emotional blow creating sweatlocal was in the midst of unemployment, another set of dozens of “ME TOO!!”

 

Not that everyone was mounting businesses, of course, but my pain in the struggle resonated with yours and yours with mine and that dark shame that hides behind isolation seemed to give way to hope.

 

Here’s the thing… my friends surprise that, “I, too, make mistakes” stems from reading my newsletters and blog posts and not seeing that what I write about are things I’ve spent countless HOURS pondering and reflecting over, WEEKS studying and reading, and MONTHS practicing, experimenting, and failing fast to find solutions.

I PURPOSEFULLY do not share my PERSONAL LIFE PUBLICLY in the midst of a storm because if I have no solutions, insights, or growth to offer then all I’m doing is complaining, venting, wallowing, and whining and that is indulgent, unhelpful, and not worthy of taking up real estate in your inbox and your precious time.

Continue reading “The struggle is real but suffering is optional”

3 Healthy Habits to question (and actually get healthier)

If you know anything about me and how I coach fat loss, you know I love mindset but I’m also not afraid of numbers.

I’m totally fine getting formulaic with calories and macros and deficits  in a world where “just listen to your body” is all the rage.

And it’s an awesome protocol, btw.

YES!… you should ABSOLUTELY listen to your body!!!!!

The thing is, that “kumbaya” diet advice fell hella flat with me back in the day when all I was doing was binge eating at night, feeling ashamed of my inability to follow my goals, and frustrated that I “couldn’t stay on track.”

WTF does “trust your body” mean to a person who habitually finds themselves standing in front of the pantry, frantically stuffing cheerios into their mouth, promising themselves this is the last handful only to reach back in again?

I felt BETRAYED by every single hunger/fullness cue my body sent my way??!!??  Your fat loss solution was trust… HA!!!

I don’t start fat loss coaching with numbers because I believe numbers are inherently better than an intuitive eating approach.

I just know at my peak of frustration, the assumption that I had a strong enough relationship with my body to TRUST it, was laughable at it’s best and punchable on most days.

So yes, in Diet Rebellion, my fat loss coaching program, we get right to work on finding basal metabolic rates, total daily energy expenditures, and deficits because I am working with people, who like me, believed their bodies were deceiving them at every meal time.

With that said, numbers alone, DON’T HOLD THE KEY either, so from day 1 we also dive into some of the behaviors and beliefs that created the patterns that keep us stuck.

Below, I’ve listed 3 for you to consider and none are contingent on you trusting your body cues at meal times, btw.  All three points are loaded, however, and I plan to expand each farther Thursday night at 7:45pm (June 8th) on Facebook Live.  

In particular, myth #2 and the statement  ***Create a calorie deficit you can COMPLY with 80-90% of the time.  Both are loaded and require a good bit more explaining, especially if you’re walking in highly distrustful of your body.

Myth #1:  More information means better and faster results

Information overload is a real thing.  At some point, we simply know ENOUGH to commit and the quest to find an undiscovered trick in the bag leads to CONFUSION, DISORIENTATION, and the FEAR of getting things wrong.

“I read a Facebook article that said to eat more fat, but then this other one said to eat less fat.”

“My friend sent me a Facebook article that said carbs pre-workout are optimal but I read one that said they are better post workout.”

“This girl I follow on Instagram is doing keto, maybe I should too.”

We end up doing everything and nothing at the same time.

Turn down (or OFF) the volume on details with words like “optimal” and “greatest” and put your energy GETTING BACK TO THE BASICS!  

*** Create a calorie deficit you can COMPLY with 80-90% of the time.

  •  Myth #2:  “healthy” and “fat loss” are synonymous

As healthy as almonds are, you CANNOT eat a jar of them a day and lose weight.

Stop mindlessly eating them because every single magazine article and blog post lists them as an OPTIMAL midday snack option!!!

If a small amount isn’t actually satisfying your hunger WHY ARE YOU EATING THEM?????

Seriously, why?

Because they are “good” and other things are “bad.”  Because “clean eating” makes you a better person than eating “dirty” foods.

Almonds are great, sure, but they do pack a caloric punch that adds up fast.

YES… Sometimes you should EAT THE CHEEZ ITS for the simple, honest, and human reason that they’re going to hit the spot, you can finally stop craving, and in the long run eat LESS calories because you did so.

  •  Myth #3:  Just eat like a bodybuilder

I get it.  A bodybuilders methods work.  You get shredded.

Quick question, though… do you REVERSE DIET like a bodybuilder too?

Oh, don’t know what that is because Shape magazine always seems to forget to publish the other side of the shreddedAF industry, right?

Reverse dieting is when you take the BRUTAL 12-16 week 6 pack meal plan and work backwards from stage ready so that you don’t gain a DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF FAT back after such hardcore dieting.

Shredding for the stage is HELL FOR YOUR METABOLISM and anyone in the sport of bodybuilding who aims to stay there actually goes (or is supposed to go) through another long ass period of reverse dieting beginning their off season.

If you can take the 4 oz tilapia, 1 cup broccoli, and 3 oz of sweet potato meal plan for 12 weeks, you eventually have to learn to eat more moderately anyways.  Your body WILL NOT ALLOW YOU to stay shredded like that or eat so minimally without real and major repercussions.

One of those being HABITUALLY binge eating!

(Light bulb moment for me!!!!)

Okay… so this his blog post is by no means comprehensive.

I consider it a starting point for introspection and discussion and that’s why I’m excited to do and think it’s necessary to do a Facebook Live, Thursday, June 8th at 7:45pm.  Gah!  I love coaching live and in person!

@sweatlocal

 

 

 

The #7DeadlySins Journal and that fru fru mindset stuff

I’ve been blogging consistently now for two years, but I’ve journaled on and off my whole life.

Did you ever own one of those journals w/ the lock and key?

Yeah… I stayed stocked and when at the book store, I would salivate at the thought of owning more.

So, it’s really not all that surprising that last summer when I was introduced to bullet journaling as a way of organization that it would stick.

Here’s what most folks don’t know… along w/ the “to-do” list and “chore tracker”… my method of bullet journaling is so loosely structured that when the moment arises and I want… NEED… to capture my thoughts into words, I jump inside whatever page is ready to receive it.

And, as a naturally high strung persona recovering perfectionist one might say… I find an instant release after I’ve let my pen have it’s say.  In fact, writing turns my RESTLESSNESS into instant CLARITY and FOCUS.    

That simple pen and paper (or flashing scroll when blogging) takes my brain that moves a million miles a minute and forces it to SLOW DOWN to a snails pace so I sit WITH my discomfort, feelings, confusion, expectations, and mistakes.

My past and present CAN’T GET DISMISSED as a flashing thought…

… that fight I had with my husband, that riff that tore me apart from a friend, my unexpected miscarriage, my late night rendezvous with all the candy in the pantry… all get dealt with or at least begin the sometimes arduous journey towards understanding.

In other words… I can attribute a huge part of my personal growth to taking the time to put MY STORY into words.

That’s where the magic of journaling happens and that’s truly my end goal with this whole email journaling series,  #7DeadlySins of Fitness (and anything else really), jumps off on June 5th.

One email per week.

One journal entry.

Each topic dealing with the 7 Deadly Sins – wrath, gluttony, sloth, pride, envy, lust, and greed.

It’s not just, hey! read this super indulging email and write how you feel about it… you’d never journal or get the benefits of journaling if it was structured that way!

I want you walking out of the next 7 weeks having learned a solid PROCESS on how to at least start to get to the bottom of madness that is holding you down.

So much of our “problems and issues” with eating, exercise, comfort foods, judgement on eating and our relationship with our bodies… doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with calories, macros, burpees, or cellulite.

You can’t effectively work through all those tangibles until you’re willing to work with what’s happening INSIDE your head first! So…

Here’s how this whole journaling thing is going to go down… and even if you’re not doing this #7DeadlySins thing I highly recommend that the next time you attempt to journal you’re doing so with these 4 parts key elements in mind…

  •  What’s your ANECDOTE?

Every email will start w/ one of my stories in wrath, pride, gluttony, sloth, lust, envy, or greed to prompt YOUR OWN story.  These “sins” are UNIVERSAL… not a one of us have lived this life without having become victim to them all at some point.

BE HUMAN.

I certainly plan to be, but the point of the email is not my story but yours!  SOMETHING about what you read is meant to trigger one of your past or present experiences on the same topic.

However, this time… you’re not allowed to just THINK about this experience, we’re going to slow your brain down to that critical snails pace so you sit with the memories and the circumstances and WRITE FREELY.

That’s the other thing… forget periods, good grammar, correct spelling, or political correctness.  Give yourself permission to get totally UNCENSORED!  Super important so that the next steps have an impact!

  •  How are you ACCOUNTABLE?

Read over your story and ask yourself, where am I playing the role of victim?  Yes… super hard and can piss you off but such a key point when personal growth is an end goal.

Stop being the angel who got trampled on.  Stop being a martyr.

We may not be responsible for how things started, but we sure as hell all are accountable to how we REACTED to it.  We can control NO ONE but ourselves so this part is about putting the focus on us rather than wishing and hoping someone else would do x, y, and z.

What is YOUR x, y, z towards resolution?

Lose judgement and exchange it for RESPONSIBILITY.  Own your part.

  •  Are you willing to/should you ADAPT?

Whether it’s a deeper sense of gratitude or learning how to set new boundaries with people, every experience carries a valuable lesson.

The third step in this email journaling series is to … RE-WRITE your story having taken into account where your responsibility lies.

How would things be different if you had… not screamed back, assumed someone’s words were meant to injure, or stayed completely silent?  Write a new ending to the story so that you can truly understand what RESOLUTION would look like for you.  Then…

  • What’s the next immediate ACTION?

Big or small, forward progress is on YOU.  Doing, not thinking, creates change!  

Little things can get taken care of fast but if you’re dealing w/ something complicated you’ve got simply find that small thing you are responsible for today, right now, to closer to being at your best again.

Action cures anxiety.  The best thing you can do is NOT try to do all the things at once.  Start small, but DO something!

You guys, I’m super excited about June 5th… again, not because it’s about my story, but because I have felt the benefits of journaling (and blogging) for so long and hope to pass it along!

I’d love to have you along for the ride and hope to provide for you lots of light bulb moments that will propel you out of some of those sad or dark hang ups in friendships, food, exercise, and body image.

When Resentment Changes Responsibility

2012 was a year of abrupt and major change.

  • Lawrence and I opened up sweatlocal.
  • 24 hours later Lawrence lost his job.
  • I got notice that my teacher certification had expired (so no backup plan.)
  • I went from stay at home mom and “hobby trainer” with all the time in the world to full time business owner.

The ripple effects of that shift continued to shake our family well into 2013 and 2014.

Financially “starting over” is no joke.

 

In fact, it didn’t really feel like starting over… b/c when Lawrence and I first began our life together we had zero kids, no mortgage, no day care costs, no car payments, and most importantly…

 

NO STANDARD OF LIVING.

Right?!?!  We were like fresh out of college life!  We were young, wild, free and without much expectation of what this world “owed” us.

 

Our peers were beginning their lives and careers as well.

 

We were all in the same boat together.

 

By 2012 that was not the case.

 

As we were “losing it all” my friends were renovating kitchens, adding square footage to their homes, buying boats and second homes.

 

I, on the other hand, was visiting the bank weekly draining our savings to make sure we didn’t lose a home and kept food on the table.

 

Listening to my friends’ “problems” about whether to put dark or light slabs of granite on their new kitchen islands was so utterly out of my league I spent a good 12 months avoiding every possible outing I could.

 

I just COULDN’T relate!

 

It’s like when you have a baby and your friends are bitching about how tired they are because they stayed up too late drinking at the bar…

 

Their all “I’m so tired and sleep deprived!”

 

Meanwhile you’ve breastfed an infant 3 times through the night for the past 6 months so you just want to slap your girlfriends in the face b/c they actually HAVE NOT A CLUE what sleep deprivation really feels like.

 

Same with counter tops!

 

You don’t to rain on their home dreams parade but really… Is that what we’re calling a problem these days?

 

Granite?

 

So for a long time I sat RESENTFUL of what I was going through.

 

And let me be clear… what I struggled with is child’s play in comparison to what others have gone through and are dealing with today.

 

I by NO MEANS want to give the impression that my suffering has much grandeur at all.

 

What I want to highlight is that MY PERCEPTION of my friends and my circumstance was exaggerated by MY INSECURITIES and MY LIFE LENSE.

 

My perception of them was a

REFLECTION OF ME… not them!

 

Full on Ownership.

Full on Responsibility.

It was in these 12 months that I realized how much of my personal SELF WORTH was wrapped up in my bank account, car, kitchen, house, vacations.

 

I felt ashamed, unworthy, annoyed, and angry not because ANYONE ELSE was making me feel that way.

 

I MADE MYSELF FEEL THAT WAY.

DAMN IT!  Here I was believing I was really “a simple sort of girl” just because we lived within our means… without credit card debt, I didn’t buy expensive purses or spend lots of money getting my hair done.

 

Yet, when life threw me a curve ball and took away COMFORTS and LUXURIES (I felt entitled to) I wanted to hide… to retreat.

In other words…

 

I didn’t want others to see me

if I wasn’t at my best!

I was not so humble a person after all.

HARD PILL TO SWALLOW.

But I did.  And truth be told… I needed it because before 2012, I just couldn’t see that I was existing simply to enjoy all the things this world offered me instead of ENJOYING ALL THE THINGS I COULD OFFER THIS WORLD!

 

Right?

 

Okay… so I can’t enjoy square footage in a house, a brand new kitchen, a new car, a week to Disney.

 

There’s no six pack, tiny waist, perfect marriage, or angelic kids to envy here either!

But aren’t I (and aren’t we ALL) so much more than all those tangibles?

 

  • That’s when I threw myself headfirst into sweatlocal.
  • That’s when I started writing honest and blunt emails.
  • That’s when I showed up on social media as plain ‘ol regular me.
  • That’s when I started being transparent about food and exercise struggles in my blogs.
  • Hell… that’s when I started cussing again.  LOL!!!

It was a lightbulb year …

1.  where I took #radicalresponsibility for my thoughts and actions (check out Jill Coleman for more on this!)

2.  showed up #imperfectAF and let the chips fall wherever they may

3.  and learned to be grateful for the #unpinterestable parts of my life and body.

As it turns out learning to be authentic AT MY WORST, gave me more happiness and value than I ever imagined.

I know that life’s roller coaster is not done with me yet and there’s plenty of obstacles that will come way in the future.
Shit… if they are anything like 2012-2014, I’m in for some falls, spills, and sucker punches.
It’s going to suck.  Of that, I’m certain.
Not looking forward to it… but here’s the thing… next go around I know I’m not trapped.

I may not be in charge of my circumstances, but I am 100% responsible for how I conquer them.  

With all of that super personal and vulnerable info, you should know that this post is just the tip of the iceberg.

 

For anyone ready to descend themselves into some major mindset shifts like the ones above, I’m finishing up a 7 week, 7 minute journaling email series focusing on the 7 Deadly Sins of Fitness (and actually everything)…

 

Yup… Gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth, and the super juicy envy and wrath.  How are they showing up and making you feel worse about your body, how you eat, what you eat, how you judge yourself, others, the bigness/smallness of your body?

 

I’ll be sharing with you my own personal stories and questions to uncover and yes… absolutely to TRIGGER your own worst struggles and turn them into positive shifts.

 

This email series is NOT for everyone btw… there are no free meal plans or free workouts involved.

 

This is all about head space… sitting in your worst… in the hopes of getting to your best.  Join here FREE!  

 

Everything begins Monday, June 5th and every Monday til July 17th you’ll get 1 email and 1 journaling exercise to flip your inner script.

Are You Addicted to False Progress? – That 600 calorie diet says you are.

Our fascination with the scale is broken.

Or better said… it has broken us.

On a regular basis this machine inspires moods and actions filled with anxiety, despair, hatred, disgust, and impatience.  The very last thing we think about when we consider weight is that it’s simply the force on an object due to gravity.  And so even though we understand scales to be tools fit to equip our science labs, at home we’ve warped them into the equivalent of a fancy 8 ball that determines the quality of our day, disposition, and diet.

Continue reading “Are You Addicted to False Progress? – That 600 calorie diet says you are.”

10 Holiday Food Rules (that you don’t eat like a rabbit or kill your bikini dreams)

Pet Peeve:  I am going to start my diet AFTER ___________ (insert any holiday of the year.)

Have you looked at a calendar lately?

There’s a candy/food holiday or celebration AT LEAST once per month.

Add in birthdays, showers, weddings, sporting event celebrations, GNO, vacations, and work events and you are LUCKY to ever find even just 10 days worth of uninterrupted  “just workin’ on my abs over here” time to focus.

Why are we trying to figure things out by EXCLUDING the obviously IMPORTANT and REOCCURRING holidays that add some fun and flavor to our lives?

We are doing ourselves a MAJOR disservice on #shredmode by trying to lose weight and NOT figure out how to incorporate celebrations WITH OUR FITNESS GOALS!!!!!

Since Easter is right around the corner (and then Cinco de Mayo, and then Mother’s Day) I wanted to provide 10 super fast and actionable tips that will help set you up for big time success 365.

(1) Eat as normally as possible until the actual holiday event –

Continue reading “10 Holiday Food Rules (that you don’t eat like a rabbit or kill your bikini dreams)”

4 (politically incorrect) reasons I effin’ CRAVE exercise

I don’t want to talk about being healthy.

I mean … yes… healthy is great and it’s important, but can we pull back the curtain for a sec?

Can we talk about some of the juicer things that aren’t “proper” for us to say out loud that actually motivate us to not just go though the motions and say we worked out, but do things like:

  • rearrange our day and not miss the gym
  • sleep in our workout clothes so we won’t hit snooze at 5 a.m.
  • use our lunch hour for exercise instead of eating
  • book a babysitter on a random weeknight rather than miss a training session.

If I’m being transparent, WELLNESS, by itself, is NOT a big enough driving force to make me exercise the way that I do!

Continue reading “4 (politically incorrect) reasons I effin’ CRAVE exercise”