You Are So Much More Than A Number!

How are you doing with your goals for 2023?! I sincerely hope your motivation hasn’t fizzled, but if it has – why? Is it because you’re losing interest or because you aren’t seeing the results you had hoped to see by now? I want to encourage you to hang in there! Stick with it! If you have already invested time and/or finances into becoming healthier, more fit, and/or stronger, make that investment pay off!! I want to revisit a blog topic from last year in order to give you a more hopeful perspective – Non Scale Victories.

It’s no big surprise that the vast majority of the population is preoccupied with either losing or maintaining weight.  One of the most-used tools for measuring weight is the dreaded scale. . . Yes, it IS an important number, but it is most certainly not the most important number!  Watching that number go up or down can do more damage to your motivation than you think.  

The first thing to consider is body composition.  Even uber fit, muscle-bound athletes with very low body fat will have BMI (Body Mass Index) numbers in the “obese” range.  This scale does not take body composition into consideration!  Anyone who carries a good deal of muscle can weigh the same as someone who carries a good deal of body fat, and have the same BMI.  You can see how this number is not really helpful!  Body composition is made up of:

  • Body Water
  • Bone mass
  • Muscle mass – skeletal muscle AND lean muscle mass
  • Body fat
    • Body fat percentage
    • Subcutaneous fat (under the skin)
    • Visceral fat (around the internal organs)

Clearly the goal in any journey to a healthier lifestyle is to lower body fat and increase lean muscle mass.  Staying hydrated and getting in enough water is also key to maintaining a healthy body composition.  Depending on the type of scale you use, you may only have access to one overall number for body weight.  Do NOT let that number define you or cause you undue stress.  You also do not want to let this number guide your view of success.

Your overall body weight number on the scale is only a small part of your whole story.  Yes, the most common presumption is  to see that number drop daily.  However, if your training program incorporates any resistance training (which it should), you are building muscle.  While that number on the scale may not change much, your body composition very likely is changing!  Taking this into consideration, let’s look at what I LOVE to call NSV – Non Scale Victories.  These can be big or small improvements you notice in your body, health, and/or fitness level!  Here are a few examples:

1. Your clothes are fitting more loosely.  Maybe you’re even wearing pants or an outfit that you haven’t been able to wear in a while!

2. You have more energy for your workouts AND for your day to day activities

3. You find that you are sleeping better, maybe getting more restful sleep and/or waking feeling more rested and energized.

4. You’re seeing personal bests in your workouts!  You are faster, stronger, and have more endurance.  What once seemed nearly impossible is now easy.

5. You notice that your balance, flexibility, and mobility are improving.  These can lead to an increased ability for you to enjoy activities or hobbies you weren’t able to for a while!

6. Your focus and memory are sharper.  Maybe you even notice that your attention span has improved.  Cutting out sugars, processed foods, and increased activity all lead to improved brain function!

7. Your skin looks more healthy.

8. Keep track of ALL of your measurements!  You may find that you’ve lost inches!

9. You find that you’re managing anxiety and/or stress better.

10. You find that chronic pain is lessened!   More activity and lower body weight eases strain on your joints, and can certainly help keep arthritis inflammation at bay.

11. You realize that your mood has improved; you feel happier more often.

12. Additional and/or improved community – your new workout buddies are THE best!  You look forward to seeing them and to working out with them.  You find that you have incredible encouragement and support within this community.

13. Health and medical numbers are improving!  Maybe your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers, as well as blood sugar levels are better.

14. Your financial accounts are a little healthier if you’re eating at home and not in fast food drive-throughs regularly.  You are also less likely to need over-the-counter medications or doctor visits due to improved health!

15. You feel more confident in taking on any new challenge.  You’re definitely more comfortable in planning healthy meals and in tackling new workouts.

Look back over these non scale victories again – how many have you already experienced?  I recommend starting a journal, if you haven’t already.  This can be hand-written or digital – it’s up to your personal preference.  Go back to your Ground Zero – your first few days.   Include photos of yourself, weight, and any measurements you had taken.  Date that first entry, include the things listed above, as well as your reason(s) why you began a journey to become healthier and more fit.  List any goals – short and long term.  Every two or three weeks, start a new entry that includes updated weight, body measurements, and make note of ANY of the above non-scale victories you’ve realized since the first few days.  List anything, any improvement, you want to celebrate that’s above and beyond the number on your scale.

Yes, I DID say celebrate.  I meant that – celebrate your successes!  That doesn’t necessarily mean you eat a piece of cake or 23 cookies.  Maybe you earned a new pair of leggings or a new workout shirt!  Maybe you earned a new gym bag, hat, ponytail scrunchies, shoes – some reward that feeds back into your new lifestyle!

If all of this sounds promising to you, but you’re unsure how to get started, I would love to discuss it with you.  Having an experienced, knowledgeable trainer in your corner can surely be a wise investment.  Feel free to contact me on my site through the Contact Me link, or email me at!


Tis The Season

Are you wondering how to stay on track with your goals AND enjoy the holidays? Well, here you go:

The Christmas season is here and in FULL SWING!  It can certainly be stressful, but take a minute, Sis, and just breathe.   Focus on the magic of the season instead of the stress.  Let’s talk about ways to manage the busy, stressful “to do” list and stay on track of your goals all at the same time.  There really is no need to sacrifice yourself or your goals to the chaos.   

Keeping Workouts in the Holiday Schedule

The Christmas bustle may have you thinking there’s just not enough time to get everything in, so your workouts will just have to be on hold.   Okay, we all have more on our list this season, so we have to be a little more creative.  Just don’t give up!!  The best way to manage the added stress is to burn it off with exercise.  Getting in a good workout will:

* relieve stress, 

* boost your energy levels,

* improve your mood and release endorphins,

* promote better sleep,

* help maintain weight,

* help maintain your productivity in other areas of your life, and

* strengthen your natural immune system.

Maybe increased traffic, holiday parties and programs, cooking and shopping are making getting into the gym almost impossible.   That does not mean you can’t get that workout in!  Evaluate your day – look for times in the morning, during lunch, or in the evening where you can plug in a workout.  Maybe wake up 30 minutes earlier three or four days a week and get in a HIIT circuit, body weight exercise, or yoga session.  Maybe a 20-minute workout on the stairs at your work or at home.  Crank up some music at home and dance – throw in some squats, lunges, crunches, pushups, etc.  There you go – workout done!!

Holiday Hacks to Stay on Track

Don’t ever forget that YOU are the only one truly in control – not circumstances, not your emotions, and not food.  If you stay on track with your goals and make healthy choices, I promise you will feel so much better!   Eating unhealthy foods will take its toll on your body, and you will end up with headaches, digestive issues, joint problems, and guilt.  Making healthy food choices will alleviate all the above, and give you improved energy without the guilt!  It’s about balance for the holidays.  Of course enjoy the treats and holiday dishes.  Just make sure you take in more healthy meals, and that you EAT ENOUGH!  Under no circumstances should you ever skip meals.  That does more harm and is the quickest way to sabotage your progress.

Here are a few healthy holiday survival tips:

1. Drink water!  Drink a LOT Of water!

2. Eat a healthy meal BEFORE you attend that holiday party

3. Get your workouts in; be creative with your schedule

4. Modify your recipes – use healthy alternatives! (Cook with extra virgin olive oil instead of butter)

5. Don’t “graze.”  Eat healthy meals and healthy snacks

6. Eat more vegetables, especially if you’re eating treats

7. Eat normal portions, don’t eat until you’re stuffed

8. Be intentional about the treats you choose; don’t waste your calories!

9. Be prepared; keep healthy snacks in your work bag or purse

10. Enjoy the holiday dishes in moderation

You see, there is no need to add any more stress or guilt into your holidays. Take a good look at your calendar, your schedule, and find a little time to get some type of workout in at least 3 or 4 days each week. Be proactive and intentional about packing healthy meals and/or snacks to take with you. Drink lots of water. You’ll find that you feel better, and are less hungry throughout the day. And, you’ll find that that balance of clean nutrition with holiday parties and treats leaves you moving forward with your progress without guilt.

As always, if I can help you at all with nutrition, time management, and or workouts, I’m here for you! Please just let me know.

Wishing you all a blessed and memorable Christmas season!

Just How Important Is Hormone Balance ~ Part 2

Let me open with a sincere apology for taking so long to back up this hormone balance blog!  And with a warning that this is a longer-than-normal blog.  Total transparency:  when I said I was dealing with a hormone imbalance, I was slap in the middle of an imbalance crisis!  Well, perhaps that’s a tad dramatic, but it surely felt like it.  

The first step is still, and will always be, to see your doctor and get blood work done.  Make sure you have a physician whom you trust and who will really listen to you.  Knowing your major numbers (cholesterol, thyroid, and vitamin D for starters) and hormone levels will be your “ground zero.”  

I completely, fully believe that a healthy lifestyle with clean nutrition and a comprehensive workout program is crucial.  Not just for hormone balance, but for overall wellness and healthy aging.  In the previous blog, I mentioned the various hormones and how they affect us.  Clean nutrition and specific foods will be discussed a little later in this blog!  

First, let me explain why I emphasize seeing your doctor and having blood work drawn as your first step.  I can share my own personal example.  Aging plays havoc on our hormonal balance – this goes for men as well as women.  In my case, I had a hysterectomy seven (7) years ago.  My doctor left my ovaries, so I wasn’t immediately thrown into menopause.  Three years ago, I was convinced I was dealing with menopause due to horrendous hot flashes and night sweats.  I went to see my doctor, who checked my blood work.  We received quite the surprise – my thyroid was slow, and I was deficient in Vitamin D.  As much as I hate taking prescription medication, it was necessary.  Over a few months, my symptoms improved a great deal with no side effects.  In fact, I was able to come completely off of the thyroid medication, and my numbers have been in the middle of the normal range for the past two years.  I attribute this to my nutrition!  

Fast forward to this fall – just in time to begin competition preparation.  The hot flashes returned with a vengeance, and this time they did not come alone.  I had been experiencing, in addition to the hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, extreme fatigue, inflammation causing pain in several joints, brain fog, random pockets of fat in hips, and even heart palpitations.  As I was already in competition prep, I knew my nutrition, workouts,  and water intake were on point.  I added a lot more of the foods I’ll list below in just a bit, got outside for fresh air and sunshine as much as possible, and tried to nap.  Blood work confirmed that my thyroid was normal, and that I was NOT Vitamin D deficient.  It took a while to get in to see my doctor, and I had a list of things I really wanted to discuss with her.  I did not want pellets, or injections of any kind, nor did I want to take any prescription pills.  As a natural bodybuilding pro, I also have to abide by an extensive banned substance list.  Remember when I said to make sure you trust your doctor, and that he or she really listens to you?  I have a PHENOMENAL doctor!  I never had to say any of the things I just mentioned; she knows me very well and was completely prepared. It was the easiest conversation, and I left a very happy and hopeful girl! 

The blood work showed that my estrogen level was less than 5.  The range for post menopausal women is less than 30, and the optimal range for women over 50 is from 50 to 100.  No wonder I felt like I did!  My doctor prescribed an estrogen patch, which I’ve been using for about two weeks.  It’s already making a difference – with no side effects!  

All of this to say how important it is to know where your “ground zero” is, and how to proceed from there.  If, like me, your hormones are truly and grossly out of balance, simply cleaning up your nutrition and implementing an exercise routine might not give you enough relief.  If someone already feels defeated and betrayed by her own body, and making a lifestyle change like this doesn’t fix the problem, she might be inclined to just give up.  Please, please, please DO NOT ever give up on improving your health and wellness!!  Remember, your fitness level comes from any exercise you get.  This will improve your balance, flexibility, mobility, and strength as you age!  It really is crucial!

Now for the nutrition!  What you put in your face is so very important!  Hold on – you can still have balance and enjoy what you eat!  Who doesn’t love a good, easy-to-use list, right?  Well, here you go!  These lists will be broken down into groups to aid in meal preparation and grocery-list making.

Plant Proteins


Black beas

Pinto beans


Red beans

Lima beans



Animal Proteins  **I highly recommend organic, antibiotic and hormone free sources!!



Grass-fed beef


Fish (Mahi, Orange roughy, Triggerfish, Tilapia, Tuna)

Fruits And Vegetables

Berries – all of them!

















Brussel sprouts

Essential, Healthy Fats

Extra virgin olive oil

Coconut oil

Grapeseed oil


Natural peanut butter


Almond butter

Sesame seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Sunflower seeds

Flax seeds

Gluten-Free Baking Flours And Grains

Almond flour Brown rice

Coconut flour White rice

Brown rice flour Quinoa

Buckwheat flour Buckwheat

Recommended Herbs And Spices

Pink Himalayan sea salt









Black pepper

Cayenne pepper



I know that’s a lot of information, but isn’t it wonderful to know that you are not at all limited by your choices?!  You can definitely prepare healthy meals, full of flavor AND nutrition!  I do want to remind you just how important it is to use organic sources of foods rather than processed foods.  Even the beef and chicken sources most accessible are full of hormones and antibiotics.  I guarantee the little extra money you might have to pay is well worth it.  The flavor and texture of chicken, for example, is SO much better in organic, hormone-free and antibiotic-free chickens!  

To wrap this all up, plug in any or all of these foods.  Be creative, and enjoy the process knowing it will make a huge difference!  First you’ll begin to feel the difference, and before you know it, you will SEE the difference.  What have you got to lose, except your excuses and feeling bad?  Go ahead and make that appointment with your doctor, then make your grocery list.

If all of this leaves you feeling a little overwhelmed, I’m here to help you.  Believe me, I’ve been through it!!  I would love to help you put together and implement a plan for improved nutrition, exercise, and both!  Email me at, or click on the “Contact Me” link on this site!  

You’ve got this – your future is looking SO bright!!

Just How Important Is Homone Balance?!

Women know all too well what chaos our cycles bring into our lives every single month.  And –  even though pregnancy brings our little bundles of joy, it also brings a bundle of CRAZY with all of the hormone level changes.  Since hormones run our bodies, they also run our lives.  We are all aware that hormones change and surge, but just how important is hormone balance?  When they get out of balance, it rains down a ridiculous amount of maladies on us.  This can also affect men!

Each stage of life brings different challenges as well as physical changes.  Anyone over the age of 18 has experienced or at least heard of PMS, pregnancy hormone changes, post partum changes, and menopause changes.  Don’t forget perimenopause and post-menopause.  Hormones are always present and working in our bodies!  The balance is what is most important.  Personally, I am post menopause for a couple of years now.  These hormone levels change and get out of balance, which affects us in SO many ways – some of which may be very surprising!  

This has directly affected me, so I felt led to dig in and research this.  According to many sources such as,,, hormonal imbalances can drastically affect our general health.   Typical symptoms of hormone imbalance are hot flashes, night sweats, brain fog, low libido, fatigue, and mood swings.  A surprising sign of a hormonal imbalance is also inflammation, including joint pain, swelling and stiffness.  Digestional issues that indicate poor “gut health” may also be caused by a hormonal imbalance.  

In addition to these general health disruptions, a hormone imbalance can also directly affect our metabolism.  Signs your metabolism is suffering from hormones being out of balance are:

  • Rapid or slow heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Fatigue, lack of energy
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea or more frequent bowel movements
  • Numbness and/or tingling in your hands
  • Higher than normal cholesterol levels
  • Uncommon anxiety or depression
  • Being unable to regulate body temperature (unable to tolerate cold or warm temperatures)
  • Dry, coarse hair and/or skin
  • Irregular body fat distribution
  • Darkened skin in armpit area or back and sides of your neck
  • Skin tags and/or skin growths
  • Extreme thirst and frequent urination

First things first ~ what are these hormones, and what purpose do they serve in our bodies?  Here is a brief breakdown, courtesy of research by

Estradial / Estrogen:  influences the way joint tissues assist with bone production and rebuilding, promotes muscle growth, and decreases muscle breakdown.  Estrogen protects joints from weakening, protects against osteoarthritis, and reduces the likelihood of joint replacement.  Lower than optimal estrogen levels have been repeatedly linked to osteoarthritis.  

Progesterone:  is widely reported to be anti-inflammatory.  Our bodies convert progesterone into cortisol, known as the “stress” hormone, one of the more powerful anti-inflammatory naturally recurring resources in our bodies.  Studies have shown that progesterone actually reduces neuropathic pain.

Testosterone:  as an anabolic hormone, it aids in the building and strengthening of tissues.  It has also been proven to reduce inflammatory markers.

Cortisol:  reduces inflammation and controls the body’s immune response.  Our adrenal glands release cortisol in stressful situations; this is intended to be short-term to handle a serious, unexpected stressor, (for example, sudden braking or swerving to avoid an auto collision) and should then return to normal levels.  Chronic, long-term stressful situations cause a problem in that the adrenal glands are active too often, which depletes cortisol levels.  This depleted cortisol level leads to inflammatory processes being out of control which leads to pain, swelling, and tissue damage.

So, how do we know for sure a hormone imbalance is the culprit of a myriad of problems?  What do we do about it?  

The very first step is to make an appointment with your doctor.  Have your blood drawn, and a full hormone panel run to find out what your numbers are and where your levels are.  Discuss all of your concerns and symptoms with your doctor, and any options available to you.  I cannot stress enough just how crucial this first step is!

The next step – you’ve likely already guessed!  Exercise and nutrition!  Chemically enhanced and processed foods are YOUR ENEMY!  Just don’t eat them.  Seriously.  There are so many delicious clean, healthy, whole foods that taste delicious and will make you feel better!  I’ll break down some specifics with nutrition in next week’s blog.  For now, please work on eliminating (or at least decreasing) foods with dairy, gluten, and excessive sugars in them.  Shop around the outside of the grocery store.  If you look at the ingredient list on a bag, box or can, and you don’t recognize most of the things listed – put it back on the shelf.  

Make sure you’re taking a good multi-vitamin daily.  It would be a great idea to add a probiotic, and ground flaxseed or flax oil into your daily routine as well.  

Exercise!  My friends – just get up and move.  Find what you enjoy and do more of that.  Do you love music?  Try dance fitness classes!  Do you love being outdoors?  Go on more hikes and walks!  Get a group of friends to work out with you.  Group walks, boot camps, workouts – any of these things will beat sitting on the couch eating unhealthy things!   Find an accountability partner or group.  If you are local to me (McDonough, Georgia), you are more than welcome to join FTM Wellness Boot Camp and Yoga classes!  (Just click on the tabs in the menu for more information.)

If any of these things hit home with you, go ahead and make that doctor’s appointment.  Choose today to eat cleaner and move more.  If it’s all a little overwhelming, and you would like help navigating  these things, I would love to help you!  


Some days that #momlife hits harder than others, doesn’t it?  Just this weekend, I took my youngest son for his senior pictures.  My BABY boy. . . So many “lasts” this month!  The last open house, last back-to-school shopping trip, his last first day of school. . .  Many of you are likely experiencing something similar, whether it’s the first year of preschool, first year of Kindergarten, last year of elementary, last year of middle school – so many emotions!!  And so, so much to do.  Getting back into a daily school-day routine has its ups and downs.  Choose to look at the positives, and keep going!  Set a new schedule for yourself; one that includes self care.  It IS crucial, and here’s why!

  1. Sweet Mama, you are always teaching your littles.  Whether they are tiny littles or older, they’re watching everything you do and hearing everything you say.  Yes, I know teenagers seem to be blatantly oppositional and uninterested, but they ARE watching and listening.  They learn as much, if not more, from what you do over what you say.  Establishing healthy habits and guidelines, then sticking with them, is putting your money where your mouth is, so to speak.  Set your legacy for your children, and make it a healthy one!
  1. Taking care of yourself is absolutely NOT selfish!  Your family is depending on you.  Be proactive with your health to ensure that you will be capable of being active and present for your children and your spouse.  There will always be doctors appointments, school programs, daily homework, music and/or sports practices, concerts, games, birthday parties, etc.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle includes nutrition, exercise, and proactive medical care.  Believe me, establishing a clean diet and exercise program will also help you tremendously in handling stress, and minimizing chronic health issues!  Your emotional and mental health are just as important as your internal, physical health!
  1. Your longevity is at stake!  Even if your children are really young right now, I promise they will be grown in the blink of an eye.  God willing, we all get older.  Wouldn’t you want to be just as active and present for your grandchildren as you are right now for your children?  Maintaining your physical health has the added benefits of maintaining (if not improving) your balance, flexibility, mobility, and strength.  None of us want to go into our golden years in a diminished capacity.  And the simple fact is – it’s up to us to maintain what we have!
  1. As mamas we are always taking care of others.  Of course, we would rather be the one giving care than to be the one needing care.  There is absolutely NO reason that getting older should slow us down.  Being proactive with your health, and active in improving or maintaining your fitness level will ensure that you can level up instead of ramping down.  Get out there and live your best life!    

The choice is yours, sweet mama.  My hope is that you choose to live WELL!  You are more than capable AND deserving.  If you need help getting started or in implementing a plan, I’m here for you!

Managing Stress Like A Boss Babe

Oh my goodness, ya’ll – this summer break has flown by!  We’re heading back to school next week here, ready or not.   How are ya’ll feeling?  Your little people have been home for the summer, and you’ve been so busy trying to keep them fed AND entertained. . . that is a full-time job!  Mix in playing referee, short-order cook, vacation planner, and back-to-school preparation CEO, and summer isn’t so easy breezy anymore.  Making sure everyone is happy, healthy, and ready for what comes next is definitely stressful.

So – have you been able to really enjoy this summer?  Have you invested in any self care?  Going back to school will bring its own kind of stress, but it will also bring routines back into most of our lives.  I’m a firm believer that we all function better on a schedule – littles AND grownups.  Please make sure you utilize that to your advantage in scheduling some self care things!  

You can go ahead and prepare for this!  I’m sure you already know when your child’s school day begins and ends, and whether you will be taking and picking them up from school or a bus stop.  Even if they will be involved in fall sports (before you know practice and games schedules), you can add yourself into the daily routine.

  1. Workouts:  Really look at your daily schedule.  I promise you will be able to carve out at least 30 minutes three or four days each week to get in a workout.  If there’s no time or room in your budget for a gym membership, work out at home.  You can get incredible results, I promise!  The location doesn’t matter – your consistency does.  Even if you wake up 30 minutes earlier each day, consistently, you will successfully achieve your goals.
  1. Nutrition:  Will you be making lunches for your children to take to school?  Why not go ahead and make yours?!  Pick one day that is the least busy for you, or even a couple of days with a couple of “down time” hours.  Plan a menu for the week, make a grocery list, then get your grocery shopping done.  Remember, any time you spend waiting in a car rider pick-up line or sitting at a sports team practice is perfect for building an online grocery order.  You can then just swing by the store and pick your groceries up from the parking lot!  You’ll need one afternoon or evening to prepare meals ahead.  Find a good cookbook or use Pinterest for inspiration and planning.  Once your meals are done, portion them out into individual grab-and-go containers to store in your refrigerator.
  1. Show Yourself Some Love:  Find what relaxes you and what helps you unwind.  Plug in time for some yoga.  Plan a massage.  Read a book.  Have a relaxing soak in your tub.  Plan regular date nights with your spouse.  Plan a game night and/or movie night with your entire family.  Schedule those pesky medical appointments (dental cleanings, mammograms, physicals).  While these things in particular induce stress, you’ll feel so much better when they’re checked off of your to-do list!  And, if there’s something that has seemed off (fatigue, headaches, etc.) but you’ve just not taken time to deal with it – you’ll likely get answers and a plan.  Investing in yourself will make you feel better.
  1. Sleep:  Far too many people underestimate how important adequate rest is.  Your overall health is directly impacted by the amount of quality sleep you get each night.  Healthy, sustained weight loss and/or maintenance is much more successful with adequate rest; conversely, any weight loss and/or muscle building plan is sabotaged by inadequate sleep.   Getting enough rest is crucial for balancing hormones, strengthening your immune system, recovery from illness and injury, and managing stress. Make sure you plug in a bedtime routine for yourself, just like you do or did for your kids.  

Being a great wife and mom has to include taking care of yourself!  If you’re not feeling well or stressed out, you cannot give your best to your family.  Your loved ones are depending on you, so think of anything you do for your own health and emotional or mental well-being as an investment for them.  And, honestly, you’ll enjoy your time with them so much more if you’re happy and healthy!  You cannot pour from an empty cup!

Let’s Get Real

Isn’t it crazy how fast this summer break has gone by?  This entire year, for that matter?!  Have you reached our goals yet?  If you haven’t, why not?  Did you set any goals for yourself?  If you didn’t, why not?  Are you better / healthier than you were in January?  If you aren’t, wouldn’t that be a fantastic goal?

Here’s the thing  – in order to make sustainable changes, a 14-day or 30-day diet simply will not be effective.   Any kind of life-altering change requires overall lifestyle changes.  Bad habits need to be broken, and new, healthy habits need to be formed.   This is the reality, so how bad do you really want that healthier life?  Are you already feeling defeated because you think you just cannot make these changes?  Are you worried about what you’ll be giving up more than what you’ll be gaining?  If so, I can promise your focus is in the wrong place.  We are Divinely designed, friends!  Our Heavenly Father created every cell in our bodies and gave us all we need to live healthy, purpose-filled lives.  The Bible tells us that with God, all things are possible.  So – let’s look at this one more time in a different light. . . you might doubt your own ability and your own strength, but don’t ever doubt Him!  

So, let’s start over.  You CAN begin this new school year and upcoming fall season with brand new goals, and make spectacular progress by Christmas.  You’ll need a pen and your journal, or some paper.  (If you haven’t started a journal, this is the perfect time!)  Yes – right now.  Stop reading; get the pen and paper.

  • Goals:  First, write down any and all goals you want to meet.  These can be big goals and/or smaller, more short-term goals.  These can be physical, health, aesthetic, spiritual, – all of the above!  Add time frames for these goals.
  • Obstacles: Secondly, write down any and all obstacles – anything that you believe has prevented you from achieving your goals in the past, and anything you believe that may be a problem for you in the near future.  
  • Now for the hardest part – review your goals, then review the obstacles.  Honestly evaluate each goal, and each obstacle.  Are the goals you listed realistic?  Are the obstacles you listed true obstacles or excuses?  Obstacles can be met with solutions, and excuses need to be thrown away.  
  • Be honest with yourself, and realistic in your expectations.  If your health is in a decline, and you’ve gained a considerable amount of weight over the past year or two, it’s unfair to expect major changes to occur quickly.  Healthy, sustainable weight loss takes time.  

Now it’s time to put it all together!  Tweak your goals if you found that they might have been unrealistic or overly optimistic.  Set yourself up for success!  For example, if you want to drop 50 to 75 pounds, make that your long-term goal, 9 (9) to 12 months.  Then set smaller goals – 12 pounds in 30 days, or drinking 1 gallon of water a day for 30 days.  Achieving smaller goals on your journey to that long-term goal is incredibly motivating, and decreases the amount you have to lose for that overall goal.  Write these down in a journal, and in your calendar.  

Next up – obstacles!  Hopefully you’ve already crossed off the things that are actually excuses.  Obstacles can be overcome or at least worked around.  If time is an issue, especially time where childcare is concerned – maybe working out at home before everyone wakes up is your solution.  You will see great benefits and results from just 30 minutes three (3) or (4) days a week.  Is proper nutrition and meal planning an obstacle?  Use Instacart or order your groceries online to pick up on your way home.  Utilize a slow cooker to prepare meals, at least your protein sources, that won’t require you to stand over the stove.  Purchase produce that’s already chopped and ready to cook.  These little steps can help you make the best use of your time and still prepare healthy meals for yourself and your family.  

Please keep in mind that non-scale victories are MORE important than the number on the scale.  How your clothes fit, increased energy levels, increased strength and stamina, improved mobility, etc., are successes!  

Now you have your homework – get started before your kids go back to school so you’ll have a plan in place.  You’ll be way ahead of the game and ready to tackle the busy season of Fall while crushing your goals!!  

Don’t Wait! Act Now!

Life can certainly throw some surprises at us!  We’ve all been caught off guard by health issues, family crises, home and vehicle repair needs, etc.  Such a WIDE range of things!  Most of us have our heating and air systems serviced to keep things running as smoothly as possible, and we keep our vehicles serviced (oil changes, tune ups) to keep them running as smoothly as possible to prolong the life of our cars.  In keeping with this proactive thinking, why not be proactive with your health and overall wellness?!   A lot of you may already have healthy habits in place.  If you don’t, what are you waiting for?!  The Covid pandemic took the world by surprise, and certainly put our health and wellness front and center.  If your health and wellness is already a priority, you have a little less to worry about.

Making your health a priority is NOT being selfish; in fact, it’s an investment in your loved ones.  Why wait until some illness or injury occurs to re-act?  Much like keeping your cars maintained, being proactive with your personal health is a very wise choice!  There will always be things out of our control; however, there are things we can do to prolong a healthy lifestyle!  These are:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
    • Avoid fad, trendy diets, and embrace a healthy lifestyle!
    • Cut out processed sugars, enriched breads, and sodas
  • Decrease the amount of dairy you consume
  • Increase movement!  Dance, walk, run, lift weights, stretch, etc.  
  • Instilling “anti-aging” habits
    • Include a quality multivitamin in your daily routine
  • Add a quality probiotic, and Omega 3’s into your daily routine
  • Make getting enough rest a priority
  • Avoid tobacco or vaping products
  • Limit the amount of alcoholic beverages you consume
  • Use sunscreen, and apply a quality quality lotion after each shower
  • Improving and strengthening your immune system
    • Remember the quality multivitamin?  Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamins B, C, and D!
  • Quality sleep is important here, as well. 
  • Avoid sugar!  There are various forms of sugar hidden in most of our foods (including spaghetti sauce and alcoholic beverages).  If you cannot cut sugar from your diet, at least limit it.  Sugar literally suppresses your immune system.
  • Include at least three (3) servings of green vegetables into your diet daily!  
  • Improving and strengthening your mobility
    • Include some form of resistance training at least three times each week
  • Include quality stretching.  I highly recommend weekly yoga classes!
  • Be aware of and intentional about your posture!  Keep your back straight, and your shoulders back and down; whenever you feel yourself slouching, roll the shoulders back and down!
  • Move often throughout the day, even if you have a mostly sedentary job.  Standing up, walking around your office, doing arm circles, bodyweight squats, etc. will be helpful!
  • Maintaining a healthy hydration level
    • Make a new habit of drinking at least 72 ounces of water each day
  • Any time you feel hungry, drink an 8-ounce serving of water
  • If breaking a soda habit sounds impossible, start easy.  Replace one soda or sweet tea drink a day with water.  Add lemon or lime if you’d like.
  • Get a fancy or pretty cup that you love!  Use a straw.  If it encourages you to carry it with you and drink water – it’s almost a necessity!

Putting healthy habits into place will keep all of your systems (central nervous system, respiratory, cardiovascular, etc.) operating at full capacity, and keep YOU operating at full capacity as well.  

Here are just a few examples of how being proactive can serve you SO much better than being reactive.  

  1. Nutrition:  Reactive nutrition looks like grocery shopping and meal prepping on the go; running into the store and snagging things on sale, putting things in the buggy based on cravings, emotions, and “on a whim.”  Proactive nutrition looks like menus have been planned out, a proper grocery list was made, and maybe even ordered online to pick up (via InstaCart, etc) outside the store without additional emotional or unplanned purchases.  Cook and eat according to your plan and what’s in your own home!
  1. Exercise:  Reactive workout plans are the ones where workouts rarely happen.  Once you get out of work, you realize you either don’t have your gym bag or forgot tennis shoes, ear pods, workout clothes, etc.  You don’t have a plan, or any accountability, so you go on home planning on another day.  Proactive workout plans are the ones that happen each and every day necessary because the gym bag was packed the night before or stays packed with charging cords, extra shoes, sports bras, socks, ponytail holders, etc.  There most likely is a workout partner, personal trainer, or fitness group that is expecting you to show up AND expecting YOU to hold them accountable as well.
  1. Weight Management:  Reactive weight management most likely resembles a yo yo; weight fluctuates more than 15 pounds every few months, and no real changes have been sustainable.  Reactive weight management basically reacts to weight gained by severely restricting calories (including necessary nutrients) and attempting to adhere to a fad or trendy diet only to return to old habits and gain weight back, plus some.  Proactive weight management combines clean, healthy, whole foods daily, and consistently maintains this for life.  Proactive weight management includes a consistent exercise program in addition to taking enough calories from meals made up of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, green vegetables, and healthy fats.
  1. Immune System:  Reactive immune systems are typically weak, and, well, reactive:  prone to catching any and every bug, and commonly more prone to chronic health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis issues, etc.  Reactive immune systems are also prone to be on various medications, both over the counter and prescriptions (which cause various side effects and other health issues).  Proactive immune systems are typically stronger and resistant to most common bugs. Even if someone who is proactive with her immune system catches a cold or virus, it isn’t as severe and is short-lived.  Someone who is proactive with their immune system typically is free of most prescription medications, and does not suffer from the most common chronic health issues.  Even arthritis symptoms are easily manageable without prescriptions through exercise and clean nutrition. 
  1. Anti Aging:  Reactive aging creeps in – slow weight gain throughout the midsection, stiffness in the joints, difficulty in getting up after sitting for long periods, difficulty getting up from the floor or a low seat, dry skin, low energy levels and frequent fatigue.  Proactive aging is ANTI aging!  It consists of eating a clean, healthy diet, staying sufficiently hydrated, staying active, maintaining a consistent exercise routine, getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, less achy joints, more fresh air, and less screen time!

Wouldn’t you prefer to be proactive and invest in your longevity? Being reactive can also drain your energy and time dealing with health and weight management issues that, quite frankly, could be avoided completely with a proactive mindset and proactive habits!  Decide today, for yourself and for your loved ones, to be proactive about the things you can.  Does all of this leave you feeling overwhelmed?  You don’t have to be!!  Pick just one area to start with.  Make a checklist for yourself, in this one area, of the things you can put into place this week.  Start with small steps – the things you can manage this week.  Once you get a few new habits in place, you’ll feel much better and more confident.  Then build from there!

If you really want to make some serious lifestyle changes, but don’t know where to start, a good personal trainer can be the best investment in yourself.  I would love to help you!  There is no reason why you can’t be healthy and live your best life – at any age.  Please feel free to reach out to me if I can help you!  Email me at, or contact me through the link on this web site.

Here’s to healthier habits and a proactive mindset!!!

Eight Reasons Why I Love Yoga ~ And Why I Think You Will, Too

How do I love yoga?  Let me count the ways!  I know that’s such a cheesy opening. . . but it’s honestly SO true!  Yoga has tremendous benefits ~ ones you feel instantly and from the inside out.  Yes – even after your very first class.  

You do not have to be at any certain fitness level to practice yoga.  The beauty of yoga is that it is FOR YOU – where you are right now.  Your practice changes, grows, and improves as your body and fitness level change.  Some true, long-time yoga practitioners are definitely advanced in their physical fitness ability, flexibility, and ability to get into and maintain challenging postures.  But their capabilities were not automatically present at their first class.  It’s called “practice” for a reason!  In any physical fitness activity, there’s always room for growth and skill development.  Yoga is no different.  

  • Your yoga is just that – all yours!  Every time I get on my mat, whether I’m teaching a class or taking one, that time is all mine:  learning more about what my body needs, what I’m capable of, and mostly recovering from daily and/or weekly stresses (emotional, mental, and physical). Today’s yoga session may be completely different than tomorrow’s, depending on which muscle groups are sore or tight and how stressful the week has been. 
  • Yoga is “time friendly.”  Thankfully, there is no minimum or maximum amount of time required!  A good yoga session can last from 10 minutes up to 90 minutes.  The decision is completely up to you.
  • Had a few hard workouts that left your muscles feeling sore and tight?  Yoga sessions can target those areas!  Let your yoga instructor know if your lower back or hip flexors feel tight or if your shoulders and upper back have been bothering you.  A good yoga session can definitely help relieve that tightness and aid in recovery.  Actually, weekly yoga sessions can greatly improve your recovery and help maximize your workouts.
  • Yoga is one of the best ways to relieve stress!  Settling onto a yoga mat, concentrating on your breathing, and stretching tense muscles will calm your heart rate and release a great deal of tension and stress.
  • Recovery yoga before bed will greatly improve the quality of your sleep.  Tense muscles are stretched, stress is relieved, circulation is improved, and your body is relaxed.
  • With each yoga session, balance, flexibility, and mobility improve.  Especially as we age, these help us maintain our independence so we can continue to lead an active, healthy lifestyle.  Each time you perform a difficult pose, your body improves!  Those tight muscles and tissues DO remember and respond.  Even repeating a pose later in the same session will be improved. 
  • In addition to the obvious muscle stretching, yoga also incorporates resistance training as we use our own body weight to hold stretches and in moving in and out of poses.  Not only are you improving your balance and flexibility, but you’re also gaining strength and endurance!
  • No two yoga sessions have to be the same!  Remember, it is for you!  Each instructor has their own style, and each app or video is different.  If you’re plugging yoga in at home, you can play music or nature sounds.  Your room can be brightly lit or have low light.  You can incorporate aromatherapy with candles or oils.  I love that one day my class utilizes low light and the sounds of ocean waves, while another class is more about fellowship and communicating while we stretch.  A yoga practice can be more flowing in and out of poses, or lingering in stretches for longer periods of time.  Each yoga session can meet your needs at that time!

If you haven’t tried yoga before, please do yourself a favor and give it a try.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!  Many gyms offer yoga classes if you don’t have a yoga studio near you.  The Down Dog app is one of my favorite go to’s for my own practice at home when I don’t want to plan my own practice.  If you’re local to me, please check the Yoga tab on this web site for class opportunities!  

As always, please feel free to contact me if I can help you with your healthy and wellness goals!

What’s The Deal With Inflammation?!

Recognizing symptoms of inflammation and managing it is crucial to your overall wellness journey.  There are so many common, chronic symptoms we all experience from fatigue, headaches, and even congestion/runny nose that may actually be a symptom of inflammation rather than allergies or a cold.   Most often we associate inflammation with an injury or arthritis, but it can warn us about other health issues.  If your body has excess inflammation, it’s trying to signal you that something is off in your system.

After researching this more in depth (from,, Medical News Today and Harvard Health), I’ve learned that there are two types of inflammation:  Acute and Chronic.

Acute Inflammation is what actually happens at the onset of an injury, such as a sprained ankle or wrist, that actually helps us heal.  The swelling, and oftentimes heat, are our bodies reaction to an injury; these symptoms are fighting the injury and signal us to rest that area as the swelling goes away.

Chronic Inflammation is serious, and if this isn’t treated, it can start a domino effect in our bodies of other issues.  Here are a few signs of chronic inflammation:

  • You’re tired all of the time. Can you believe that too little or too much sleep can lead to inflammatory reactions in your body?  Irregular sleep patterns can cause cells in your body to respond as if you’re dealing with an illness.
  • You have aches and pains that cannot be attributed to an injury.  If you experience pain at either end of the range of motion, you could be dealing with inflammation or arthritis.  Either should be checked out with your doctor, just to be safe and to keep you on the right track.
  • You’re experiencing digestive problems.  If you’re dealing with ongoing excessive gas or diarrhea, this could be caused by inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract.  Chronic digestive issues should never be ignored!  This could be inflammation from food allergies, Crohn’s Disease, Diverticulitis, etc.  These definitely need to be checked by your doctor.
  • Your lymph nodes are swollen. These are located in your neck, armpits, and groin area.  Swelling in your lymph nodes is a definite signal that something is wrong with your immune system.  A viral or bacterial infection will cause these to swell, but as the infection heals, the swelling decreases.  If your lymph nodes stay swollen, this should be checked with your physician as well to determine if there is something more serious going on.
  • You have a stuffy or runny nose.  The obvious sign for allergies is inflammation in our nasal passages.  At the onset, we believe it’s all due to seasonal allergies or a common cold.  However, since inflammation is the body’s way of fighting a foreign substance and protecting itself, a stuffy nose that persists could be a sign of something else. 
  • You’re experiencing skin irritation or break outs. Internal inflammation can sometimes make itself known by breaking out on our skin.  If you’re experiencing a new rash, dry skin, eczema, etc., it could be a sign of internal inflammation.  If it becomes a chronic issue, having a doctor check is always a good idea.
  • You’re having problems with focus or are noticing “brain fog.”  Inflammation can definitely affect us mentally.  We become a little more forgetful, have trouble focusing, lose track of what you’re saying during a conversation.  If we treat internal inflammation, mental clarity improves.  Our nutrition plays a huge part in this!  Fast foods, processed foods, convenience, and restaurant foods can lead to nutritional deficiencies.  Our brains, and entire body, operate at optimal levels when we are fueled appropriately!

Chronic inflammation, untreated for an extended period of time, can lead to any number of health concerns.  These include:

  • Diabetes
  • cardiovascular disease
  • Arthritis and other joint diseases
  • Allergies
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

So, what can we do?  Can we avoid chronic inflammation?  The answer is YES!  At the very least we can minimize our risk.  Here are a few factors that typically lead to this type of inflammation:

  • Older age
  • Obesity
  • A diet that is rich in UNhealthy fats and added sugars
  • Smoking
  • Low hormone levels
  • Stress
  • Sleep problems

You likely already know that I’m headed straight to the nutrition and exercise fix, right?  Because proper self care is ESSENTIAL for our health and wellness right now, as well as our long-term health, wellness, mobility, and longevity.   Wouldn’t you prefer a better quality of life as you age?!  

So let’s look at nutrition.  First, there are so, so many foods that can not only lead to inflammation, but actually cause it.  These are:

  • Processed, refined carbohydrates (white bread, donuts, etc.)
  • Fried foods (french fries, tater tots, etc.)
  • Sodas and all sugar-sweetened drinks.  This includes Gatorade!!!
  • Red meat that is fatty (always choose the leanest possible) and processed meats (sausage, hot dogs, bacon, etc.)
  • Margarine, shortening, and lard

Now onto the good stuff!  Please DO NOT PANIC!  You will not be giving up flavor or enjoying your foods, I promise.  In fact, you will likely be pleasantly surprised by how good you feel without the “crap” foods listed above in your system.  Here are some examples of ANTI-inflammatory foods:

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Nuts like walnuts and almonds
  • Salmon and tuna
  • Strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
  • Coffee (Yup!  Without the sugary creamers and sugar)

Not only will these foods help decrease any inflammation in your body, a diet rich in these can also help prevent inflammation!  This can also help control your blood sugar levels, decrease body fat, and increase your energy.  

Movement and getting in an adequate amount of exercise can also tremendously decrease inflammation.  If working out only reduces stress for you, you’re still ahead of the game!  We all know there are more benefits than that.

The bottom line here is to cut back or eliminate the foods that are unhealthy and cause inflammation.  Eat a diet full of the anti-inflammatory foods, and get moving.  You will feel so, so much better!   If, of course, you are dealing with any of the signs above of chronic inflammation, go ahead and see your doctor.  If there is a problem, you can be on your way to resolving it.  If not, you’ll have peace of mind and a direction (healthy nutrition and exercise) to go.

As always, if you want or need help with nutrition and/or a workout plan, please feel free to contact me at, or through the Contact Me tab on this web site!