#morethanthat – Battling Myths Together

MorethanthatI’m Mad About Myths

The lies can be well..deceiving.

There are some myths that I want to take on this week – lies that I have definitely given in to and maybe you have to. But today – we are going to knock them out one at a time!

Myth 1:  Do any of these symptoms describe you?  I want to battle the myth that we have to work out 4 hours a day to see results.  

  • decreased performance
  • decreased appetite
  • insomnia
  • disinterest in exercise
  • fatigue
  • fat gain
  • mood change

If so – you may be going a bit overboard in the exercise.  Things to consider? Be sure you take a rest day or two each week. If you give it your all in our boot camps, you are getting an intense workout so you have to recover.  Get 8 hours of sleep each night when you can. Fuel your body.  Consider your workout schedule and make sure it is balanced with cardio and strength and REST.  If you aren’t sure – contact me and I can help!

Myth #2:  LESS IS MORE.  I want to battle the myth that we have to starve ourselves.  

I am sure we have all given in to this lie right? If I just eat LESS then I will lose weight. And you know? To start with – you will. But we are not created to be walking around starving zombies. So when your body (as amazing as it is) figures out it is hungry – it goes in to starvation mode or “adaptive thermogenesis.”  This means your body is fighting to protect itself.  Your metabolism slows in order to conserve energy and what happens when your metabolism slows? You stop burning.  So when you work HARDER to lose weight (ie cut MORE calories) your metabolism pulls back harder too and shuts down even more.  Other symptoms of this include:

  • headaches
  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • obsession with food (you can’t stop thinking about it because your body is craving it all the time)
  • weight regain

So if this sounds like you a bit – it is something we can work on together and try to make sure you are fueling yourself properly for the efforts you are putting in.

Today I just want to battle these myths that I have even succumbed to at some points.  I want to be a light of shining hope for you as we work through this together.  I am seriously on a quest for me, for you, for daughters, for women – everywhere. I am on a search to help us figure out TOGETHER what FITness looks like for #reallife.  How are we going to make this a lifestyle, a marathon, a sustainable journey?

Well #1 – we get MAD about what we are seeing

#2 – we get SMART about the lies we are being told

I want you to spend time reflecting on your diet, your workouts, your results. Are they lining up in a holistic way?  Are you giving your body time to heal and recover?  If you need help- just message me! That is what I’m here for!  We will figure this thing out TOGETHER.  

Goal Setting for a FULL Life

We were so fortunate to have Tracy from Slingshot Health Coaching join us for a chat on Goal Setting for  FULL Life. I absolutely jived with everything she had to say. If you missed this super informative, uplifting, and applicable chat – you must watch now!

And don’t forget – check out this blog post for more information on Tracy, contacting her, or even checking out her latest book!


PowerFull Mental Messages – Amy’s Tips

powerfull-mental-messagesAs part of our series on PowerFull Mental Messages, I’d like for you to meet Amy. I love having this lady as part of our community and I love the tips she shares about her own journey and how she created PowerFull Mental Messages.  Make sure you take time to read this blog about why what we think is just as important as any other part of our FITness journey.

Today, Amy shares with us.

First off, what “challenge” were you facing? Was it more of a nutritional thing you needed to change or a physical/fitness thing?

I had lost weight but still wasn’t feeling particularly healthy. And my mom, who is only 75, is really deteriorating mobility-wise. I became determined to be healthier and stronger than I’d EVER been and also to NOT age the way my mom has.

What do you think you were most “scared” of?

I was scared of looking stupid. Being the one in the worst shape. I was afraid of not being able to do it.

Why did you have that mental block about your newest goal?

Not sure why I was scared of those things and not really sure how I overcame them except that I just kept going to class and started seeing a difference in my body.

How did you keep going?

There’s always a bit of a negative voice – saying “give up. You aren’t an athlete and never have been. This is too hard for you.” But then other voices – yours, Stephanie’s, Eileen’s and Amanda’s drown the negativity out!!!  I keep going because of the people there and because of the improvements I’ve seen in my strength and health.  I really find that I am most successful at Piyo and doing that class helps calm negative voices best. I am SO cranky if I can’t do a full Piyo class at least once a week.

What is your major piece of advice you’d give another woman who may be struggling with the mental road block of her FITness journey?

My advice is to not say “I can’t…” Can’t get up that early? You’d be surprised. Can’t exercise?   You can ease in at your own pace.

Thanks Amy for sharing with us.  Guys – you can do this!  Find the class YOU LOVE like Amy did with PiYo whether it is barre, boot camp, piyo, toning or speed and make it happen.  

Fit Tips from REAL Moms – Relaxation Style

fitness tips logoThis week for our Think Twice Thursday challenge, we chatted in our boot camp group about mental relaxation.  I wanted to share the original challenge and the ladies’ awesome tips with you!

First off, I asked the girls to “think twice about their mental health” – it isn’t all about what we eat or how much we exercise. We have to consider our mental state as well. Here are a couple of tips you can try today to cut back on that anxiety build up!

    • Are you stressed? Think about signs that may show you you are stressed even when you don’t realize it. Anger, exhaustion, inability to sleep, short temper, loss of appetite….experiencing any of these things?
    • Don’t say yes to everything! Think twice before saying yes (I have to work on this) to make sure that what you are saying yes to fits into your life stage right now. Don’t over commit so that you can give quality attention to the priorities you have right now.
  • Organize – sometimes we are stressed because we feel out of control. Take some time to go sit and organize yourself – work out the calendar, plan meals, cancel things that don’t matter! Maybe you just need an afternoon to organize the pantry or put away clothes. When we get our environment settled, it can help our mental state.

I think asked the ladies what tips they had to share on how to “bring it down a notch?” and I got some awesome responses.

Sarahbeth said:  Awesome tips! I have been working so hard this year on saying no to extra curricular things… it’s hard but you can’t do it all! I have learned many lessons!

Eileen followed up with:  This is important. You don’t have to say yes to every birthday invite, to every party, every outing, every school event, every sports practice .We want to make our families happy do “fun” things but in the end if mama ain’t happy ain’t no one happy.

Laura said:  The dry erase wall calendar lets me see our major commitments (visitors, trips, out of the house plans) so that I can see when a week or month is just getting too full. I find it helps me stagger our plans and say no to things that put us into crazy territory. My Google calendar merely shows that I’m “free” which can lead to over commitment.

Eileen also said:   I also do the “10 second tidy”..this comes from Molly and the Comfy Couch, a kid show from long ago (dating myself here). In a nutshell, I “take a few minutes” to tidy each bedroom upstairs, bathroom every single day. Sounds crazy, but it really keeps it from building up. I clorox wipe the bathrooms, make sure beds are tidy, clothes put away (for the most part I have taught my kids to do all this) but there is always something. If I keep up every day, its never overwhelming and my house can always welcome visitors without being a nightmare.

Tricia asked Eileen: How do you get the toys cleaned up? Do the kids actually do it and if so how did you convince them to get it done every day?

Eileen responded:  From the time my kids are super little we sing the BARNEY clean up song!!! Google it! I’ve just always had this rule (its my OCD really) but we don’t move from one thing to another until the toys are cleaned up. Meaning, if we want to go outside and play then the family room gets cleaned up. Make as much mess as you can, but it gets cleaned up. Do I help?? Absolutely. I also have a basement that is very kid friendly…it does not get cleaned daily. More like weekly. Sometimes I pay a child to clean it. Sometimes I go on the warpath and everyone chips in..but if I left my whole house this way I’d be the angriest, meanest most yelling mom ever. Everyone helps clean. Everyone. Its never a choice.

I love the way Jamie is taking this lower stress thing literally!  She says:  In the last few days I decided to stop worrying about selling this huge bag of maternity pants that weren’t my size, and just donate them so I can have my bedroom floor back. It’s not worth another 6 months of stress.

Hillary adds some awesome advice too:  Self care. Do it. Do something indulgent for you every day. Even if it’s only 15 minutes. You won’t be your best for everyone else if you aren’t taking care of you too and sometimes, that means taking a bubble bath or reading by yourself.

Laura has her time slots down for self care:  Yes! I aim for the 15 minutes right before the bus comes or the first 15 minutes after bed time. These seem the most consistently doable.

Tristan has some practical strategies for doing this:   I was in a training once where I heard that you should really only have 5-6 “roles” in order to avoid feeling over stretched. It’s hard! I know we all want to volunteer for every thing for every kid & for our churches, our neighborhoods, etc. Also, “mom” does not also mean, “cook, housekeeper, household manager” etc. Those are all separate roles. If you are the sole housekeeper, how is your partner helping out with household stuff? So if you feel overstretched, start saying no to some things and don’t feel bad…or ask for help! I legit asked my mom to help me clean my house for my birthday. I didn’t want a present. HAH!   I will always be a friend, a sister, etc. but sometimes those aren’t your every day roles. If a friend needed me, I would drop something and maybe “cook” would drop out of my roles that day. An example would be, When my sister was planning her wedding and I was her MOH, that for sure put “sister/MOH” in the forefront of my roles for a few months, but something else had to give.

I hope these tips help you find ways to handle it all, say no to some things, and live life to the FULLest!! And isn’t it awesome that this community of women at PowerFull Fitness just shares and helps like this? I love seeing these notifications pop up throughout the day – giving me motivation and accountability all day long!

From Real Moms!


If you look back, I shared a post here about some awesome hunger-pain smashing snacks. These are snacks that are packed with protein and vitamins and fiber and really get the job done. Because – let’s face it – as moms…we don’t have the luxury of sitting around all day and picking away at snacks here and there. We need power packed food that will fuel ALL the things we have to do.

When I shared the list with my boot camp mamas, they had some awesome ideas for snacks that I thought I would share here too. They are just too good to keep secret.

  • ok sweet potatoes weren’t on the official list but they should have been. And what about sweet potatoe w/greek yogurt and black pepper? Thanks Jennifer and Rachel!!
  • I bake eggs, egg whites, red pepper, mushrooms, spinach (and a little feta) in the pampered chef brownie pan (so they come out in little squares). Yum Jennifer!!
  • Ideas for oatmeal:
    Adding some vanilla extract helps to not add so much sugar too – perfect tip Naomi!
  • You can also add cocoa powder, vanilla and raspberries! I use a small amt of real maple syrup to sweeten. – Genius Rachel and totally happening for me tomorrow!
  • I add almond butter to my plain oatmeal! Extra protein! Double bonus!! Thanks Tristan!
  • Now here is one I haven’t thought of…ever.
    I like instant Irish oatmeal, I’ve been eating cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with cream cheese & hot sauce ! (Pickappeppa) Suzie and Janis are creating some serious flavors over here!
  • I have discovered my new favorite breakfast after seeing the idea in a magazine…scrambled eggs with cottage cheese on top…it is SO yummy!!! Thanks for the tip Laura!
  • Genius way to make popcorn:
    Trick for microwave “Air Pop” brown lunch bag, 1/4 kernels (maybe more been a while since I did this), folder or twist or secure the top with a microwave safe material. Not sure how long, but do it by ear. – Thanks Kristin!
  • You guys are soo great for sharing. Do you have some good hunger-smashing snacks/meals up your sleeve? Share them with us!

#SpecialKindofCrazy Superstars: Sara


Let’s meet Sara!

  1.       Tell me about how you got “into” fitness.

I played soccer through high school, and then starting taking a wide variety of fitness classes in college and began distance running in college as well. I’ve always felt so much better and stronger- inside and out, when I get a good workout and no I love helping others achieve their fitness goals and feel the same way!

  1.       What is your typical routine like now?

I typically cycle twice a week, run 2-3 early mornings a week, and weight train or boot camp 3x a week. Variety keeps things interesting and cross training also helps to prevent injuries!

  1.       What is your favorite type of exercise?

I love using Kettlebells in my weight training and home HIIT workouts. They can really be used for a full body workout that really targets the core.

  1.       What is your least favorite type of exercise?

It’s not a “type”, but PUSH-UPS! I will do anything to avoid them, ha! I have some arthritis  in my wrists and every time I feel like the wrists are better, I always feel so weak when I’m starting to build up my push up stamina again up-down planks are my favorite way to hit those same target muscles with out having to do a push-up!

  1.       How do you find time to exercise with kids?

Wake up at 5 am ( or sometimes at 430 am to make it to a 5 am workout). Get it done before the kids get up and then everything else in the day is a bonus!

  1.       Let’s chat nutrition: what is your FAVORITE splurge?

I LOVE the dark chocolate sea salt kind bars! Surprisingly low in sugar…

  1.     What tips do you have for staying on track with your nutrition?

Use My Fitness Pal or another app to track your nutrition, and be honest and consistent in  your food logs even when you overindulge! Seeing it in print seems to make it less likely to happen again.

#SpecialKindofCrazy Superstars: Amanda

superstarLet’s chat with Amanda!

  1.       Tell me about how you got “into” fitness.

I was always active, even as a kid.  My parents put me in sports and although I wasn’t that coordinated, I was fast.  That helped on the softball and soccer fields and most importantly the track.  I was always surrounded by athletes, coaches and weight rooms and it honestly never occurred to me that after my competitive sports life was done to change that.  Kids certainly made it more complicated but it’s just a part of who I am.

  1.       What is your typical routine like now?

Until about 3 months ago, my typical routine would involve running and if I could sneak it in a lifting day.  I recently had to come to terms with a chronic back injury and running is out of the picture for a while and so I have really had to start all over with establishing my routine.  I try to do something 5 days a week.  I alternate between low impact cardio (elliptical, stair climber, swimming, modified boot camp) and strength training.  The order in which I actually accomplish that is dependent on my three little dictators, their schedule and their moods.  

  1.       What is your favorite type of exercise?

I really do like weight lifting.  I’m not a big fan of machines, and prefer free weights.  One of my favorite things to do is go into the free weight section of the gym, all 115lbs of me and start my workout next to all the refrigerator size men.

  1.       What is your least favorite type of exercise?

I really am not a fan of yoga.  I know, I know, it’s good for you, great for body mind and spirit but it’s too quiet for me and I may or may not have fallen asleep the last two classes I tried.

  1.       How do you find time to exercise with kids?

Before Laura, I tried the gym child care and all three of my kids hated it.  So now I try to plan my workouts to fit into nap time (I still have one napper), I plan longer workouts with my husband so he can man the ship while I go swim or hit the elliptical, and most recently I let them join in whether at home or at Mommy and Me Boot Camp.  It may make my workout a little longer to step around little people doing burpees or sitting on my stomach while I do abs, but they are learning about fitness and that is worth the extra time and effort.  

  1.       Let’s chat nutrition: what is your FAVORITE splurge?

Any dinner out.  My youngest has severe food allergies and so we are fairly restricted at home in what we can eat.  When my husband and I manage a night out, we order whatever we want and just dig in.  From 5 star restaurants to dive bars – it’s all so good.  

  1.       What tips do you have for staying on track with your nutrition?

Don’t “diet”.  NOT ONE DIET WORKS – NOT ONE.  Healthy eating does.  Period.  Make good food choices every day.  Splurge when you want, but be accountable for that.  If you eat that chocolate cake at dinner, you better be up the next morning work it off.

#SpecialKindofCrazy Superstars: Sarah

Meet Sarah!  

Sarah has been a regular of mine from the beginning. I am so glad that I have had the opportunity to meet this amazing woman and her family!  The best part of my job? All my new friends.

  1. Tell me about how you got “into” fitness.

I struggle to see fitness as a part of my identity, but that’s just the self-doubt talking. I played sports regularly from 6-16, when I stopped because of a variety of reasons. From then on I’ve been someone who exercises but not always consistently. In my late 20’s I had a spurt where I was counting calories and working out a lot, and even did 2 mini triathlons. I like working out but I struggle to push myself and I think it comes from a place of not seeing myself as a true athlete. Last winter I knew I needed to get back on the horse for real this time and that’s when I found you. Doing your bootcamps has been such a gift because you help me push harder than I push myself. I’m developing muscles in a way I never have. For the first time I’m starting to see myself as someone who can be truly, consistently strong.

  1. What is your typical routine like now?

Currently I’m only doing one bootcamp per week because of a busy schedule but I can’t wait to get back to 2 per week.  That keeps me motivated because then I try to get at least one 1-2 mile run in, or ½ mile swim at the gym once a week, plus 1-2 days of strength work from your videos. If I can get 4 days of working out in per week I’m feeling really good.

  1. What is your favorite type of exercise?

I love swimming because it’s a total body cardio workout and I don’t sweat! For some reason the part of my brain that tells me I’m tired and need to stop doesn’t come into play when swimming, although I can get bored after 30 minutes. Aside from that, I really love the bootcamps because they’re always different, they’re challenging, and I feel STRONG afterwards, plus doing it with the other great momma’s is fun!

  1. What is your least favorite type of exercise?

I have a love/hate with running. I have a hard time pushing past 2 miles, but I do love that you can just go out and get it done, and destress while doing it.  Otherwise, burpees and other push-up variations pretty much suck even though they work.

  1. How do you find time to exercise with kids?

When the weather is nice I run the mile to my daughter’s preschool to pick her up. I’ve incorporated some strength work when we’re at the playground (incline push ups, squat jumps, step ups, tricep dips, etc). And of course boot camp! I mean that’s how I really get it done.

  1. Let’s chat nutrition: what is your FAVORITE splurge?

You mean a non-healthy splurge? Probably wine, lol. I like dessert but I’m realizing sweets don’t entice me as much as the nectar that makes my kids whining have less of an edge!   But I’d be lying if I didn’t mention chocolate. A good chocolate chip cookie (or 4) brings me to a happy place.

  1. What tips do you have for staying on track with your nutrition?

I don’t buy goldfish crackers for my kids anymore because they are a weakness for me. I’ve started stocking my fridge with chobani yogurt, which still has more sugar than I’d like, but it gives me a good dose of protein in the morning or as a snack. I try to include large portions of veggies and minimize carbs with our dinners (not always successful). I rarely use white sugar (sub honey or maple syrup) and try to reduce the amount used in recipes. I’ve learned we don’t need nearly as much sugar as we think!

#SpecialKindofCrazy Superstars: Margaret

superstarMeet Margaret!

Margaret is a regular attendee in one of my boot camp classes and I wanted to share her story! So inspiring.  I’m going to let her tell you her journey in her own words!

“Here I am, 20 pounds down and 10 more to go!  The journey began last May when I knew that I needed to “do something”. Each year, I was on a roller coaster, lose 8-10 pounds in the summer, gain 12 pounds in the winter.  The pounds were adding up.  Since I’ve been working out regularly for the past 2 1/2 years, I knew that there was a fit body underneath the fat.  I tried to resurrect the 17 day diet to no avail….I kept cheating.  Finally in early June, I contacted my sister in law, Lynn Veenstra who is a certified health coach, integrated nutritionist and a certified trainer. She encouraged me  to make some changes.

She recently asked me what was most helpful.  Here is what I said:

Things that I have found to be essential in this process:

  1. Someone to cheer me on. (thanks Lynn, Kira, Rodney)
  2. A commitment to working out regularly.  I really make it a goal to workout 5-6 hours a week. I believe that it was helpful to sign up for a long race so that within my training I had to run more than an hour at a time for my long runs.  This same intensity could be met by adding time onto regular gym sessions, it’s just easier to do when you are training for a race.  I have my friends, Kira and Deborah to thank for pushing my limits. I recently ran a 5 K in under 10 minute miles.  Now to get closer to 9!
  3. My VitaMix- a super awesome blender that has a huge container and makes prep work easy….I just quarter an apple and throw the whole thing in: peel & core included, and it comes out blended.
  4. Having a mindset that supports change:  “I want to fill my body with nutrition” and is adverse to junk food, “I do not want addicting sugar to mess with me’.  I also each day write an “I am” statement. Something positive about what I am doing. Some statements that I have written include, “I am eating nutritionally” “I am putting whole foods into my body” “I am feeding myself good foods”.  You get the idea.  My sister in law  has encouraged me by calling me “girl on fire” and posts inspirational quotes on FB for me.
  5.  Having a plan for vacation. I took my blender with me and engaged in healthy eating as I was able to control it.  Breakfast and lunch were always healthy. Dinner, I went more with the flow.  I purchased a fitness magazine that had a great 10 minute workout to supplement training runs.  

Of course, it never hurts when others notice that you’ve lost weight. Perhaps I’m vain, but I love it when someone says, “wow, you are looking great what did you do?”  This has been hard work.  Whenever I get off track, it’s tough to get myself back in the groove.  I love eating healthy but I also love my sugar.  So the encouraging words help me to stay on track….they keep me going, so to speak.
Early in this process I spent two evenings getting fired up by watching two documentaries that I highly recommend just to fuel anger towards sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  Fed Up and Hungry for Change can be  rented on Netflix. Tossing and turning in bed last night, I realized that I need to watch at least one of these again as I have recently been challenged with a lure to sugar and I’ve noticed pounds going on rather than off.  I also want to motivate myself by finding a reward for accomplishing 2 weeks without sugar and for identifying a consequence to eating sugar.  I just need that to get me jump started again.  There are far too many temptations this time of year.

Things that I found to be helpful in this process:

  1. Compliments, & encouraging words from others.
  2. packing healthy snacks to fill in between my meals.  I eat (chew) something every 3 hours.
  3. cookbooks that provide healthy dinner options such as my favorite cookbooks: SouthBeach, 17 Day Diet, Joy Fit Club, to name a few.
  4. the before and after: photograph & measurements.”

#SpecialKindofCrazy Superstars: Tristan

superstarLet’s Meet Tristan!

  1.       Tell me about how you got “into” fitness.

I have always been active in sports leagues growing up, but never found “my sport”. Between 12 and 15, I had 3 knee surgeries and really shied away from sports. I was scared of getting hurt again. Later, I found a love for running and spin class. These helped to keep me active in college, despite the weight gain! My interest in Pilates and strength training came later, as I learned more about my body postpartum. Pilates was a necessity for me, in order to get my running body back. Notice I didn’t say “lose the baby weight”. I wasn’t concerned about the weight as much as my strength. To me, running helps to keep me happy and sane. I was frustrated with some postpartum injuries that wouldn’t allow me to run without pain. I realized that if I was struggling, I’m sure it’s more common than I realize. This lead me to become certified in group fitness with an interest in working with new moms.

  1.       What is your typical routine like now?

I love to train for mid to long running distances. My favorite distance to race is ten miles, because training doesn’t take over my already busy mom life. I’m currently training to check the Disney Princess Half off of my bucket list.  This has me running shorter distances 2-3 times during the week (mostly with a stroller!) and one longer run over the weekend.

In addition to running, I take Pilates once a week outside of my home and do at home workouts using PiYo (blend of Pilates and yoga with some cardio mixed in) and workouts from Blogilates (found on YouTube). It’s hard for me to get to the gym, but when I do, I bike or use the stair stepper to cross train.

  1.       What is your favorite type of exercise?

Running will always be my favorite. It’s a time where I can be alone, even if I’m pushing a stroller. I typically listen to podcasts and just enjoy myself.

  1.       What is your least favorite type of exercise?

Zumba or anything with a dance routine that I don’t already know.  I always get lost!

  1.       How do you find time to exercise with kids?

I do a lot of things at home. My 2 year old usually climbs on me and my 4 year old tries to participate with me, but I get it done. My husband is really supportive of my running schedule and we work out when I can get runs alone and when I’ll need to take the stroller.  I also really value my once a week Pilates class. My husband is responsible for dinner and bath/bedtime. As a stay at home mom, this is important time to have!

  1.       Let’s chat nutrition: what is your FAVORITE splurge?

A very hoppy IPA. I would take good beer over wine any day!

  1.       What tips do you have for staying on track with your nutrition?

No one is perfect and it’s extremely difficult, not to mention unrealistic, to stay on track all of the time (see above question!) in order to allow splurges, I make sure that I’m active for at least 30 minutes each day, even if it’s a “rest day” and I take a walk or run around with my kids. Also, I plan my meals for the most part and keep healthy snacks around to grab. Knowing that I eat healthy, real foods for the majority of my diet, I’m ok with the splurges. I like to use the 80/20 mindset a lot!