Archive for category reach goals

A calorie is a calorie. Nope. Not really.

You’ve heard that before, right? Losing weight is literally just about calories in vs. calories out. You burn 3500 calories more than you take in and you’ll lose a pound. Well, that’s true. But. Not so fast on the whole “a calorie is a calorie” thing.

It’s true there’s been people to experiment with this. There’s that guy who lost weight by eating twinkies only. He kept his total calories low enough to where he still lost weight. So yes, in the short term, this can work. If that’s all you’re looking to do is lose weight short term.

But if you’re like most of us – and you’d like to lose some weight, or lose some fat, or tone up, or get healthy, or get fit…and all those wonderful things…and you’re not looking for a short term fix…then here’s what you need to know.

A calorie is not just a calorie.

Here’s the deal. You still will want to keep your calories in check. You should figure out how many you should be eating, and shoot for it. But – 100 calories of a twinkie is NOT the same as 100 calories of greek yogurt. Or 100 calories of whole grain crackers. Or 100 calories of fruit. You get the idea.

Here’s why:

* Sugar, artificial colors, preservatives, etc slow your metabolism down, are processed like JUNK (which they are) and give you no nutrtition and no benefits

* Nutrients like protein and fiber that are found in fruits, veggies, whole grains are actually utilized by your body, help to raise your metabolism, keep you fuller, and on and on.

So if I ate a 100% whole grain bagel that was 300 calories, I would benefit from the fiber that it has that the 300 calorie white (or asiago cheese, or sesame, or ‘wheat’ that isnt’ 100%) bagel does not. The fiber will keep me fuller, and helps move food through my system, helps prevent diabetes and heart disease and helps aid in a healthy weight (

So even though both bagels are 300 calories, it is much more beneficial to choose the whole wheat one. (just make sure you don’t choose breads that say ‘wheat’. Those are 100% whole wheat!)

I hope that helps clear up the myth that ‘a calorie is a calorie’. While it’s literally true…it definitely isn’t a healthy way to look at your diet.

Eating in an overall healthy way, looking for nutrients and whole foods, is a much more healthy and sustainable way of life. Getting healthy isn’t about a quick fix, it’s about a lifestyle change and eating for fuel.



, , ,

1 Comment

Eating. How to do it. {And other stuff}

Wondering what to eat to lose weight? Or maybe you want to know what to eat just to be as healthy as you can?

It’s no secret, diet is extremely important to weight loss and health and wellness. You can work out every single day, but until your diet is clean, you won’t see the best results possible. Some people will tell you that a calorie is a calorie. If you want to be literal, yes, I suppose it is. If you have a lot of weight to lose, counting and cutting back calories and thinking about little else will definitely help. But there will come a time when you’ll plateau. Not only that, if you’re eating low-calorie junk, you’ll still feel like crap. Not to mention, eating low-calorie junk food will not help your actual HEALTH any. A healthier choice at the SAME calorie count will mean more nutrients, more fiber, more filling, etc.

So, put down the 100 calorie snack packs, the pretzels, and the diet ice cream. It’s worth it. You’re worth it. Your results will be SO noticeable, and you’ll feel SO much better once you clean up your diet.

But I know you’re still asking… “How do I eat clean?” True, 100% clean would be nothing store-bought, really. Maybe bulk grains and of course produce from the store, but anything in a box would be a no-go. I try to work toward this, but I’m not there yet.

Instead, I want to share with you what I believe is some of the most important things to eat (and not eat) that will make a big impact but also be reasonable for those of us who still need a little convenience in our lives…

Here’s my “Rules to eat by”:

  • Get rid of enriched wheat products. Replace with items that specifically say “100% whole grain”. Doesn’t have to be wheat as the grain, you can think about rice, barley, oats, etc
  • Drink water all day long, every day
  • Get rid of sodas, inculding diet sodas.
  • Eat at least 3 servings of veggies every day. (1 serving of leafy veggies like raw spinach is equal to 1 cup. Small veggies like chopped carrots & broccoli is 1/2 cup as a serving.)
  • Eat 1 serving of fruit every day
  • Buy organic as much as possible, especially the types of produce and fruit that were directly exposed to pesticides and all that garbage. Berries, greens, apples, etc are especially important. Things that you peel, like oranges and bananas are less important.
  • Eat 1 serving of beans every day
  • Combine the ‘must eats’ as much as possible. Try having a big salad for your lunches…include beans, seeds, etc & plenty of veggies, then you get it all in at once!
  • Eat every 3 hours or so. Snacks can include small stuff if you’re not super hungry. Think nuts, greek yogurt, fruit, etc
  • Try to keep meat to only 2 meals a day to start. Try to work your way to 1 meat a day, then if you’re feeling amazing like I think you will be, you can go from there.
  • Get rid of as much packaged food as you can.
  • Check product labels, look for stuff with only real ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.
  • Remember to keep your meats lean. Stick to chicken, fish, and turkey as much as possible.
  • Treat yourself some, but be reasonable. Have a drink once in a while if it’s important to you. But be real with yourself about how much you’re eating/drinking, measure it out. Stick to dark chocolate (72% cacao or darker), or red wine..or just a couple cookies a week,etc). This shouldn’t be a daily thing, work to kick your sugar habit. YES you can.


A few random *other* tips for well-being & weightless/healthy living success:

  • Sleep 7-8 hrs every night. No excuses
  • Take time every day to relax. No, sleeping doesn’t count.
  • Drink more water (Yes, I know I said that already. Must be important, huh?) 🙂
  • Work on speaking to yourself in a positive voice.
  • Write out your goals. Not just your fitness goals. Write them all out and revisit often.
  • Laugh alot.
  • Make new friends.
  • Find old friends.
  • Help someone in need.
  • Be nice to yourself and to others, even if they may not deserve it.

Soooo….what your FIRST step going to be?? Tell us in the comments below!

, , , , , ,


Do you ever wonder… HOW some people LOVE their workouts??

Okay, you know what I’m talking about, right? You power through your workouts, but you dread it. Half the time you’re thinking of reasons to skip it. It’s a chore. So how come some people you see or know seem to LOVE working out? They’re crazy, right?

Well, maybe.

But that’s beside the point.

There’s a secret to loving your workout. Do you want to know it? It’s all about your MINDSET. Yep. That’s it. Of course, finding a workout that is fun to you is important, too. That’s the best workout! But first and foremost you must re-teach your brain (and body) that working out is your drug. It’s what will make you feel amazing. Remind yourself of those endorphins you feel after a good workout. Think about the results you’ve seen…or that you know you WILL see if you stick to your workouts (and healthy eating). Visualize having fun, and visualize the results you want to see (or feel!). You can absolutely do this!

Here are some tips to re-train your brain:

  • Start by smiling. Smile before your workout. It’ll make your brain think you’re happy.
  • Now, think about the reasons you’re getting fit. Is it for your health? For your family? To set a good example for your kids? To fit into your old jeans? Repeat your reasons out loud to yourself 3 times each. Write those reasons down and post them everywhere!
  • Good! Now here’s the hard part. Any and every time you think of skipping your workout, or you find yourself dreading your workout, remind yourself — “This is NOT punishment”. Your workouts should never be about punishing yourself. They’re about giving yourself what you deserve.  You deserve that time out of your day. You deserve the stress relief.  You deserve to have fun, feel great, and have a better day. And the RIGHT workout will do all that for you…if you let it. Keep reminding yourself. In fact, change your screensaver on your computer to something that reminds you of this. Repeat it 5 times every morning and before your workouts.

Before too long, your brain will realize your workouts are a GOOD thing. Something that’s FOR you. Not just something you have to do.

I mentioned that the right workout is key. This is very true. The best workout is one that you enjoy. For a while, I ran. I started running because my friends did, and I knew it was a good calorie burner. And for a while, it was enjoyable for me, I looked forward to it. (after the growing pains of the first month or so!). But at some point I started trying other workouts and found myself really, REALLY enjoying those. Even looking forward to them for real. And I was dreading running. I listened to my body and realize that this was because the other workouts were just more fun. Embrace what’s fun. If running is fun for you, then GO FOR IT! If it’s not, then don’t force yourself. But don’t give up, either. Instead, try other workouts. Check out a yoga or Zumba class. Try Insanity, Turbo Fire, P90X or Chalean Extreme. Personally, I found the intensity of Insanity way more engaging than most workouts. I felt like a BEAST after every workout; like I’d climbed Mount Everest. And I keep going back to Turbo Fire because there’s a huge variety in the choreography from workout to workout AND the music is actually GOOD. Imagine that!

So you see, you have control over whether or not you’ll love your workouts. Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every day is like nirvana. Of course, we alllll have days we just don’t feel like working out. But. Once you’ve found that soulmate workout, you’ll have less of those days. Oh. And on those days, do yourself a favor, just START your workout. Give it 5 minutes. I almost can guarantee you that after 5 minutes you’ll be into it. It’s worth a shot, right?

So. Tell us, why do you want to love your workouts? Why do you want to be healthy?


If you’re looking for more information on the top-rated workouts out there, I am a Beachbody coach & I’d be happy to help you find your soulmate workout! email me at or you can read up on the programs at:

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Workout Results

Ever start a workout and give up because you don’t see the results you expect in a few weeks? I know the feeling.I It’s tempting.

But remember, you didn’t put on the extra weight in a few weeks, so it’ll take longer than that to lose it. Even if you don’t have a lot to lose, maybe you’re just trying to tone up a bit, it’s going to take a little time. They key is consistency.

In a few weeks, you’re likely to see *some* results yourself. It’ll probably take double that time for other people to notice the difference. And to get to your goal, you’ve got to be in it for the long haul. Often there are body parts that take much longer to respond. But I’m here to tell you that it WILL happen.

ImageDo the right things, eat well (that’s responsible for about 80% of  your results!) And get your workouts in. Even on days you’re not really up to it, do something. Shoot for cardio a few days a week and weight/strength training a few days a week and keep going.

To keep your motivation up, try taking measurements before you begin and each week after. Write it down each time. Even try taking pictures every 30 days. When you see numbers going down on the tape measure or changes in your pictures, it can be VERY motivational! 

Don’t give up!

Tell us below, how long did it take you to see the results you wanted — or if you’re not there yet, tell us how long it took to see ANY changes & let us know what you did to get them!

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

How hard should I work out?

I hear that a lot.

And totally get it. There’s SO much confusion about how often we should work out, what types of workouts to do, when to work out, and how hard to push yourself.

So here’s a good way to determine if you’re working hard enough….

A. Ask yourself if you FEEL like you’re challenging yourself. This goes for cardio workouts AND resistance/strength training. Many times just paying attention to yourself raises your awareness and you’ll know immediately that you could work harder.

B. For strength training, your goal should be to reach failure for each muscle group you’re working. If your finish your set – or your entire workout and your muscles feel like you could have done a few more, you didn’t work hard enough. Lift heavier next time, lift more slowly. Concentrate. Fatigue those muscles! You do want to build muscle. It’s what makes you look strong, healthy, and it raises your metabolism, keeping you burning calories and fat allll day long. Can’t beat that!

C. For cardio, you should be pushing yourself past your ‘comfort zone’…BUT you should still be able to hold a conversation (albeit a short conversation with short sentences!). And if you’re doing HIIT training once in a while (you ARE doing HIIT training some, right??!) then you should only be able to spit out one-word replies during the HIIT portion…but remember, those high intensity segments are short-lived and followed by a recovery. That’s the beauty of these short workouts, you really kill it and your reward is a shorter workout and wonderful fat-burning results.

If you want results like this:


Then start working like that!

I know that doesn’t seem like much direction, but that’s exactly how to know if you’re working hard enough. It’s that simple. I hope it helps! Do you feel like you push enough yourself during your workouts? If so, how do you keep yourself pushing?


Leave a comment

Sneak a workout in by playing outside

Sometimes we forget…a workout can be more than a structured event. This weekend was absolutely beautiful and perfect. So my hubby, my pooch and I went out on a little adventure to Pocahontas State Park. We went on a hike around a serene lake and it was lovely. I was quickly too hot, but dealt with it. There was even this lovely boardwalk. It was an unexpected break from the terrain 🙂


My hubby’s a little crazy, so anytime we came upon a hill, he ran up it…with the dog. Poor Sari was exhausted after about a mile and a half. After 3 miles, she was ready to be carried….she’s spoiled, but look how adorable she is!

So. Being out there was wonderful, and didn’t feel like work (most of the time). Yet we were sweaty and my legs were sore late. So that reminded me that fun stuff like that is really like a workout. I still managed to get another workout in at home later of course. But I wanted to take this reminder to you….as the weather warms up, have fun out there and sneak in a little workout by doing it!

What’s your favorite outdoor activity?

, , ,


What do you want?

That may have sounded snide or rude, but I certainly didn’t mean for it to be rude.

What I mean is…have you thought about it lately? What do you want? What are your goals? Why do you want to be healthy? Thinking about your WHY is very helpful in keeping your motivation. Making that your North Star can help you when you stray. When you don’t feel like working out. Or when you don’t feel like eating a healthier lunch.

So think about it for a minute.

Why do you want to be healthy and fit?

My hubby and me in Ireland

Is it to set a good example for your kids?
Is it so you can be around to see your grandkids grow up?
Maybe you just want to feel better?
Or perhaps you want to fit back in those old jeans?

Now that your reason. Write it down. Put it everywhere. Your bathroom mirror, your smart phone, your screen saver. Tell your significant other, your coworkers. The more people you tell and the more places you put it, the more likely it is that you’ll stay focused more often. Tell yourself every day why you want this. You may just find yourself making more and more decisions in line with that.

For me, my reason for wanting to be healthy is because I want to be able to enjoy my family and my friends and to continue to be able to travel and enjoy myself. I want to look and feel good and not having any physical or health problem stand in my way. That’s what keeps me going when I don’t feel like it. Now that the habit of working out and eating well is engrained in my life, I really do enjoy it and look forward to it. But some days, I still don’t wanna…for some reason. And that’s when I revisit my WHY.

So tell me, why do YOU want to be healthy and fit?  Share below, please!

Some of my whys:

With my hubby and his parents, enjoying the NC State Fair

My mom and me celebrating New Year Eve

Team Penguin! Wonderful friends, Amy, Troy, My hubby & me about to run a fun 5k

Besties: Christina and Kathy and me, celebrating a great friend's birthday

My wonderful hubby, me, and our baby enjoying the beach in fall

, ,


Mixin’ ‘Em Up

Stewie. From Family Guy. Every time I hear or say the words “Mixin ’em up” I think of him. If you know what I’m talking about, I bet you just giggled just then. Otherwise…sorry for the randomness 🙂

For anyone who wants to see what makes me giggle for some unknown reason here’s a short clip from that episode:

Okay, now onto the real reason for the title . I want to talk about mixing up your workouts. While I’m a fan of actual ‘programs’ (as you probably know from my elated-ness with Chalean Extreme), there’s still a part of me that yearns to do other stuff too. And that’s a good thing. So I do it all and I’m a proponent of having a well-rounded routine. I still love yoga. And I love my newest program, Brazil Butt Lift, and I even sorta love P90X (once in a while!). I used Imageto like running. Now, not so much. But you know what? That’s okay. Instead of dragging myself out there when I don’t want to do it, I found stuff I do like to do and just built my schedule around that.

Mixing up your workouts can do several things. First, it keeps you more interested. If you get bored easily, doing one program over and over can get reallllly boring. For instance, going to the gym became a big no-go for me – and it really seemed to hinge around the boredom part. It was the same thing every time. 20-30 minutes on the elliptical and then 20-30 minutes of random weights. blaaaaah.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. You don’t have to be bored or hate your workout time in order to get fit. Map out a schedule of stuff you LIKE to do. If you haven’t found what you like to do yet, keep reading. (keep reading even if you have found it, there’s some info you’ll like to see too!)

ImageAnother reason mixing it up helps is that it makes you more likely to be doing the things that are effective. For instance, walking is a great way to get active and lose some weight. But there comes a time where if you want more results, you’ll have to do more than walking. Weight training, for instance, is what you need to do to get more toned. If you’re doing different workouts, you’re more likely to hit on the things your body needs – cardio, high intensity interval training and strength training. Doing these things and changing every 30 days or so will help ensure you don’t get stuck at a weight loss or results plateau. BOOO for plateaus – they’re such a motivation killer! Don’t let it happen to YOU!

And finally, doing different stuff helps you find your soulmate workouts. For me, that’s key. Finding something you truly love is the key to long term success. Keep trying new workouts until you find one that makes you not only feel amazing, but also makes you look forward to your workouts. Now, this isn’t to say you’ll feel that way right away. Especially if you’re new to fitness, but it’ll happen. Pay attention to  your body, your mood, everything! You’ll start noticing what makes you feel amazing and what you’re really loving. Stick with those. Don’t drag yourself through workouts you hate. They shouldn’t be punishment! Here’s my newest love. Never thought that would happen, but alas, it has. (and as I type this I’m literally counting down the hours until I can go throw these around a bit)


So. Go out and try some new things. I am constantly doing a variety. Partly because I have exercise ADD, I think. But  it’s also because it keeps me engaged and interested and having fun. Try new DVDs, check into some new classes, try running if you haven’t. And if a program is mapped out for you, go for it if you want. Or if you want to mix something else with it, create a hybrid. I do that all the time by printing out blank calendars, taking the recommended schedule for a program and then adjusting it to incorporate what I want. See my post about that here:

Always wanted to try Zumba? Do it, make it your cardio day instead of your run (unless you love your run). Thinking about a bodypump class? Go for it. Make one of your strength days bodypump. Thinking of trying Turbo Fire but don’t want to give up something else? You can do that, do it a few days a week in place of your cardio/HIIT days. See what I’m getting at? YOU have control over your happiness and engagement in your fitness journey.

Do you do more than one workout? Which ones?

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Tips to keep workouts on track (and keep you more motivated!)

I think I am asked at least once a day how I stay motivated. How I don’t get bored with my workouts. How I even know what I “should” be doing every day for my workout.

So, I thought I’d give you a couple of my tips here in case you were wondering about those things too. I hope it helps you!

First, I make a workout schedule using a blank calendar every month. Yes, a month at a time! I find this extremely motivating and obviously it helps me keep on track and never wonder what I should do. By having it laid out there, there’s no wondering, and wondering leads to NOT doing, in my experience. After each workout I complete I put a check mark on that day. That’s the motivational part for me. If I miss a workout, that day gets a big, fat X. I don’t like seeing those, so I’m very likely to just do my workout even if I’m feeling a little lazy that day.

(By the way, my deal with myself if I don’t ‘feel’ like working out is that I’ll just DO it for 5 minutes. If I still want to quit, I will. But that never happens once the blood gets flowing…because then I’m pumped and feeling good, so I finish it)

Here’s a pic of my actual schedule for this month just so you can get an idea. 🙂

I print out a blank template from a site like and then fill in the days according.

For my current schedule, it’s a hybrid of Chalean Extreme and Brazil Butt Lift. I used the two pre-made schedules with those programs and blended them to work for me.

Another thing that keeps me motivated is, frankly, the fact that it’s a habit now. The feeling I get when I workout (that endorphin kick!) And of course the results I’ve seen are extremely motivating, it makes me want to keep going. So. If you’re brand new to a workout…my advice is to make a schedule, use check marks, stars, x marks, etc to visually reward yourself. Keep a picture that motivates you nearby (maybe on your bathroom mirror?). This could be an old picture of you looking great, maybe a picture of an outfit you want to fit into. Or maybe a picture of the beach you’re going to this summer. Maybe it’s a picture of your kids. Whatever it is, make it something that reminds you of WHY you want to be fit and healthy. Once you get into the habit and start feeling and looking better, I suspect your motivation will come from that.

I hope these ideas help or at least help you think of something else that may work for you. I’d love to know, what do YOU do that keeps you on track and motivated?

, , ,


It’s a NEW year, what will YOU do with it?

It’s a fresh start. Even if you don’t like the work ‘resolutions’. I personally think New Years Resolutions are a fabulous idea. Call them ‘goals’ if ‘resolutions’ bother you. And I think you SHOULD reach for the stars with them. Have you ever read the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill? You should. Basically the book explains, what you DECIDE you’ll accomplish, you will. You must believe it, make it so in your head…and it WILL become. So why not reach for the stars? Don’t be afraid of setting goals, that’s how you grow.

Having said that, it’s also known to be beneficial to set your goals and tell others about them. They can help you keep accountable, even if they don’t mean to. So go ahead, take out a sheet of paper RIGHT NOW. Think about the one thing…that if everything went perfectly, you’d just LOVE to accomplish. What’s your perfect life like? Be specific. Don’t just say, “I want to be rich”. Instead, say, “I want to finish school and start my own business in my field, and help a thousand people with widgets this year”. This may lead to you being rich, but that’s not the goal. See the difference?

So do it. List your one big goal. Now list 5 or 6 little goals that you’d need to do in order to reach that goal. Put it on your fridge. Or your bathroom mirror. Don’t be afraid to look at it every day. And then WORK toward them all, starting today. No excuses.

Would love to know some of your goals for 2012! Comment below if you’d like! 🙂

~To Your Health~

1 Comment