Strong, Fit, Healthy and Beautiful: Putting ED in his place

Strong, Fit, Healthy and Beautiful: Putting ED in his place

Perpetual diets often land us on a completely different path than expected.  Many of us find ourselves on the frontline of Eating Disorder recovery, or fighting off the ED thoughts that a lifetime of dieting encourages.  April shares a reflection of her mental journey with ED, an amazing encouragement for those still in the struggle.

beforeIt’s been about two years since I met Kiki and Lucia and the EM2WL society. Two years since I started really listening to the advice given to me. Two years since I started fighting the false need to restrict and purge, two years since I threw out the 100-calorie meals and traded them in for what my body really needed, two years since I put down the baby weights and picked up a barbell.
It hasn’t been easy.

The summer of 2012 is when it all began, and I remember it so well. With the encouragement of EM2WL, I’d started to eat a bit more, quite a bit more, and lifting just prior to our summer vacation in Canada. I was still working out like a maniac, getting up at 5am for cardio and then following it up with weights after work. The idea of going to a foreign country without any specific workout schedule was debilitating. The weeks leading up to vacation, I had mini panic attacks that only slowed to a mild fear once my friend secured me a 3-day pass to the Y for our visit.

Also during those weeks, I started to bloat. The extra calories I was consuming (and needed) were throwing my poor body out of whack. My metabolism was such a mess from years of underfeeding it that my body had no choice but to bloat up. My children’s size 12 jean leggings were starting to get too tight, but I shoved myself into them during that vacation. I still fit into my double zero shorts, but barely, and I could see the bloat. I didn’t help matters by drinking a lot of wine that week and staying up late after everyone went to bed to binge on “healthy” snacks I’d brought with us. They were calories I needed, but I ate most of my calories all at once late at night along with a glass of wine. I was so tempted to purge, but I couldn’t since it wasn’t our house, and it was a small house. I would have been heard. I’d never felt so fat.

Once we got home, we had a few weeks before our next vacation – a long weekend on Chincoteague Island. I spent the time detoxing and getting back into my workouts, and I started to feel a bit better. My body was still bloated, and I bought children’s size 14 jean leggings, but for the most part, I still thought I could fit into my double zeros forever. I was determined to do so. Somehow, despite the recent bloating, the four days on the Island were the last days I ever felt “skinny.”

Then we came home, and I started the New Rules of Lifting for Women. Now I REALLY gained weight. I still ate more and lifted heavy, and I was forced to face facts: I would have to buy new clothes.

Over the next year or so, I pretty much hated myself. I’d spend nights binging and sometimes purging. I stuffed my body into clothes that were too tight, praying for my weight to drop. I played with the idea of restricting again, and occasionally, I gave in. Sometimes I changed my mind about lifting and went back to cardio, but nothing changed. Throughout it all, Kiki and Lucia and a handful of others stuck around. They listened to my complaints and encouraged me to keep pushing forward. They filled my head with more and more knowledge about how to eat and what was happening to my body and why lifting is so important.

Eventually, I bought clothes that fit and started to feel marginally better. Gradually, I learned what kinds of workouts my body could handle without destroying my mental state. I finally stopped killing myself with 2 workouts/day and limited most of my cardio to HIIT (albeit LONG HIIT) and hid my scale away which made a HUGE difference in the way I felt about my body.

Enjoying familyI can’t pinpoint the exact date or even the exact month, but at some point during 2013, my metabolism evened out. The bloating disappeared. I was still heavier and larger than I’d been during most of my late 20s, but I started to have “sleek” days. I started to enjoy lifting and to rejoice over the NSVs.

I can confidently say that 2014 has been the best year of my life in all the ways that matter. I’m learning about lifting phases and how to plan my workout rotations to keep my body guessing. I no longer stress my body with long HIIT or steady state sessions which means more time with my family. I FINALLY allow my body 2 days of rest each week, and to my surprise, that small change filled me with such relief! It was as though I was finally giving myself permission to sit back and enjoy those weekends without the stress of choosing a workout and trying to burn calories. Most days, I feel great!

I still stress sometimes over calories numbers – calories burned during workouts and calories consumed. I still have my “yuck” days, and I am still TERRIFIED to take a full rest week during vacation this year!

But I’ve learned so much over these past two years and come so far, it’s hard to believe I’m the same person. I no longer look at the pictures of myself when I was 90 pounds and yearn to be that small anymore. I’ve thrown out all of my double zeros and don’t even care what the number on the tags are when I go shopping for new clothes. I have everything from small to large, from 4 to 9, and I just don’t care anymore so long as it fits well and looks good. I’m more confident than I’ve ever been. I’m talking my entire life. I still have the parts of me I’d like to make better, but for the most part, I’ve given up the comparison to other women and the self-name-calling. I’ve given up looking at myself every day and walking away “knowing” I am fat. Because I’m not. Because I’m strong and fit and healthy and beautiful. I don’t feel that every day, but I almost never hate myself.

I could never have gotten here without all of you. Never. Thank you all so much for your love and support, for encouraging me through this journey rather than giving up on me. Here’s to the journey, no matter how tough. The end is nowhere in sight, but possibilities are endless.

Happier and healthier!

Strong and fit!


Disordered Eating: The New Normal

Disordered Eating: The New Normal


Dani Shugart

Dani Shugart

After following Dani for some time, I was so excited to finally have an opportunity to get into her head a bit deeper.  This figure competitor knows firsthand the dangers of disordered eating and helps her clients break the cycle and rebuild their relationship with food.

EM2WL: Thanks again, Dani, for agreeing to be interviewed. Just to give everyone a brief background, you started lifting in high school which led to competing and winning several competitions, most recently taking first place in novice and third place in open at this year’s Axis Labs Northern Colorado’s figure competition. You’ve also authored several articles and recently published The Sound of Secrets: End Disordered Eating, recounting your sister’s battle with the disease.  Why did you feel the need to write this book?

Dani: I wrote this book after losing my big sister. She struggled with anorexia for nearly two decades, and a few months after her death it occurred to me that my sister’s struggle, though extreme, started somewhere fairly benign, at a place where a lot of women find themselves now.

I wrote the book to stop women (and men) from going down that same route, and to help them break out of the eating habits that make them feel and look miserable.

The Sound of Secrets by Dani ShugartE: In your book you labeled disordered eating as the new normal. How do you think society has come to this state?

D: I don’t know if we can blame any one thing. It would be easy to point the finger at Photoshop, the media, and the underrepresentation of strong, healthy bodies. But I think it’s more complicated than that.

I have to wonder if the rise in disordered eating is just a backlash (a strong and adverse reaction) to the rise in obesity. Maybe people are just trying to avoid becoming the norm but going about it in counterproductive ways. There’s a general misunderstanding about how to be lean and healthy for the long haul.

Another thing that might have something to do with it is the increasing availability and consumption of hyperpalatable, processed foods. The salt/sugar/fat trifecta makes a lot of people compulsive overeaters. (It had that effect on me.) And when people want to be thin, yet become addicted to foods that do the opposite, they resort to compensatory actions instead of building a healthier relationship with foods that nourish.

Any level of disordered eating is a thief of our happiness, sanity, health, time, self respect, and potential.

E: Do you feel that many of today’s popular diets like paleo or IF contribute to the problem? What are your thoughts on IIFYM?

D: I think modern diets are just a symptom of a problem that’s already there. Sure, they can contribute to it and overcomplicate it, but diets are not where the problem begins. The problem begins in the mind, and it begins with our perception of what will make us healthy, fit, lean, and happy long term. Those who are obsessed with weighing less at the expense of their health are at risk for disordered eating, no matter what diet they subscribe to.

IIFYM (like many dieting strategies) can be beneficial or harmful depending on what your mindset is when using it. If you’re really focused on nourishing yourself then it can be used for good. It has its place, but it’s not a way of life. Counting and measuring everything you eat for your lifetime is insanity. Are you going to take scales and measuring cups with you everywhere you go? At some point you have to trust your ability to eye-ball an appropriate amount of food, and then eat according to your hunger. At some point you have to trust that your metabolism will work in your favor and use everything you consume.

Another thing — avoiding hyper-palatable food, the stuff that’s engineered to make you eat more, is a good idea. But I don’t see that as dieting, just self-defense. And filling your body up with what you know will nourish and satiate, is the best way to take care of yourself and become leaner in the process. No diet necessary.

At some point you have to trust yourself


E: When most people think of disordered eating, images of purging or extreme restrictive dieting come to mind. Would you consider behavior where someone regularly over indulges on the weekend and then tries to ‘burn it off’ or restrict calories afterward to be disordered eating?

D: Yes, this is definitely disordered. Anytime you overindulge and then try to compensate for it, you’re engaging in what I described in the book as the “binge-punish” cycle.

When working with clients, I also refer to it as the Good Girl/ Bad Girl cycle or Good Boy/Bad Boy cycle. People perceive their behavior as “bad” when they lose control, and then they perceive their behavior as “good” the next day when they try to undo the damage. A lot of folks go through this cycle every single day and don’t realize it’s disordered… all they see is the weight gain that happens as a result. So when I work with clients who are want to lose weight we have to address this cycle first.

E: In your book you describe the 5 phases of the binge-punish cycle which start with highly addictive engineered foods and ends with bingeing. What are some ways people can break this cycle?

D: There are so many ways to break the cycle and they all depend on the person. But here are three that I often use with clients:

Breaking the cycle begins when you have the most control. If you end the day famished and tired, you’ll be more likely to default to whatever behavior is easiest or most habitual. This often means choosing the most convenient food – whatever it may be. So if you’re used to eating food that makes you crave more, you’re going to grab that in a moment of weakness. To break the cycle, nourish yourself early and often, and you’ll prevent the need to reach for things that don’t serve you.

Break free from disordered eatingAnother way to break the cycle is just to make sure that your (home and work) environment accommodates it. Make sure you have healthy go-to foods available everywhere you are so that even if you are tempted to seek foods that trigger more eating, you have another easily available option.

Another way to break the cycle is to find out why you’re eating. Is your reason for eating physical or psychological? Check in with yourself and ask, “Am I eating this because I’m really hungry, or am I looking for a distraction and mental relief?” Strong emotions can start the cycle, and if you can get down to the bottom of WHY you’re reaching for food in the first place, then you can begin to establish strategies to deal with these emotions aside from food.

E: How important is it to have self compassion when trying to break free from disordered eating?

D: Self compassion doesn’t come naturally for most of us because we operate under the assumption that if you’re hard on yourself you’ll be more successful. This is a giant misconception and I think it’s what keeps people locked in their disordered eating.

Fighting against yourself instead of fighting on the same team makes it much harder to reach your goals. Once people really grasp this, they’re able to help themselves and break free. Self compassion is getting on your own team, and I think it’s essential for success.

For those that are suffering from disordered eating what are some steps they can take toward rebuilding their mindset about food?

Seek understanding. Find resources (books, coaches, articles, other people) that can help you change your mindset. Focus on changing your thinking and behavior instead of your macros and calories.

Women tend to get excited by weight loss no matter how it’s accomplished.

E: Fitness and strength training have obviously been a big part of your life. At EM2WL we encourage women to lift heavy weights and often run into the ‘fear of getting bulky’ objection. What do you say to women when faced with a similar concern?

Woman Weight Training At GymD: This is one of my favorite things to address. If you’re trying to change your disordered eating you have to change your disordered thinking. See if you can let go of the smallness goal because ironically, the strategies that make you weigh less initially are the same exact ones that either backfire and make you gain weight in the long run, or enslave you in a life of wasting away.

When you lose weight without building muscle you become a “smaller” person. And as such, you have to eat fewer and fewer calories (otherwise you’ll go right back to the same weight you were). But muscle changes that. It makes you expend more energy, and it requires you to consume more energy to grow.

Muscle not only ups your metabolism it also makes you look leaner. No matter how much weight you’re carrying, muscle will change the shape of your body like nothing else. And in order to have muscle definition, you have to have muscle. There’s no way around it.

E: Thanks again Dani! How can our readers hear more from/follow you?

D: Thanks for letting me share! Get in touch! Here’s where you can find me:





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Comparison: Thief of Joy (A realistic look at fitspo)

Comparison: Thief of Joy (A realistic look at fitspo)

At EM2WL, we believe whatever your fitness goals, you should enjoy your journey and celebrate the moments along the way where you are achieving small victories.

a realistic look at fitspoNothing can rob you of that joy more than comparing yourself to others.

Daily, we are blasted with messages from social media, blogs, and even friends and family regarding fitness.  We are wise to be on top of our mental game by eliminating messages that will cause us to second-guess the journey we’re on.  Surrounding yourself, as much as possible, with like-minded people is a great way to keep you moving forward and motivated.

However, its easy to look at those that motivate us and begin to wonder why we aren’t experiencing the success they are.  We can move rather quickly from thoughts like “Wow, look at her, she’s doing great and I’m so happy for her!” to “I wish I had that kind of success, but I’m obviously doing something wrong.”  We start to nit-pick the path we’re on, and pretty soon we’re convinced that if we did x, y, and z like so-and so, we would be able to manufacture their success.

Listen, everyone is different.  Each of us has a different set of genetics, metabolic capacity, and body type.  Beyond that, each one of us experiences different life circumstances.  Stress can add in an additional variable to manage.  Even if you were able to follow your best friend’s diet and exercise plan to the letter, you would get different results.  Comparing yourself to others can only introduce an additional stressor that can do more to hinder than help your progress.

a realistic look at fitspoUnderstand that fitspo is not real

We’ve all seen them, the pictures of super-ripped (read: unrealistically lean) headless females with some saying that is meant to motivate the masses…

Strong is the new skinny

Eat clean, train dirty

When I lost all my excuses, I gained all my results

Try harder, you’re worth it

You get the idea.  Gag me.  Apparently a picture of a headless chick in a thong and heels doing deadlifts are apparently supposed to motivate us to swear off carbs for the rest of our lives, train so hard we feel one step away from death at the end of our workout, and finally lose all that weight so we can prance around night and day in a bikini.  The fact is no one can look like the headless models in these pictures, day in and day out.  Some serious photoshopping goes into most of these pictures.  Even those models that really do look like those pictures only do so for a short time because it’s very unhealthy and unsustainable to carry such low levels of body fat.  Getting a physique like the models in these pictures is generally the result of an extremely restrictive, short-term diet, not a healthy lifestyle.  See them for what they are.  Be your own fitspiration!

a realistic look at fitspoPut yourself on a media diet

It’s not just the fitspiration that’s the problem.  Even if we are careful to surround ourselves with a “fit fam” who shares the same mentality and goals as we do, it can be easy to get sucked into the comparison game.  Try to limit your time online.  If you start to compare yourselves to your online inspirations and are struggling with feelings of inadequacy of failure, it might be time to take a step away.  Make sure that your life is about more than your fitness goals!  There is a considerable amount of time that goes into planning out meals, scheduling workouts, and training in the gym, but don’t let it become your sole priority in life. Make time for the things that truly matter-your friends and family, your significant other, your spiritual life, rest, relaxation, a personal hobby.

Make sure your goals are your own 

Regardless of your goals, make sure that you are setting goals for you, not based on the goals you think you should have.  Think about what achieving your goal will mean to you personally and what it will require for you to achieve that goal.

Be proud of mini-successes along the way 

Remember that this isn’t a sprint, but a marathon.  There are sure to be ups and downs along the way, so make sure to check in frequently with yourself.  You may or may not have a goal weight or goal size, but try to set up mini-milestones along the way that are sustainable and achievable.  Setting a few performance-based goals in the gym can be sanity saver and gives you many reasons to celebrate along the way.  You never know, you may find that achieving that elusive goal weight was never the real goal anyway.

BeccaBecca is a busy wife and homeschooling mother to five children ages 5 to 13. About three years ago, she embarked on a journey to health and fitness that resulted in the loss of approximately 100 pounds. Today, she is a competitive powerlifter and strongwoman who loves ice cream and deadlifts.  As an ISSA certified personal trainer, she is passionate about helping women to get started on a lifestyle of strength and fitness.

February Challenge Calendar

challenge calendar

Click to Enlarge


Are you still committing to making this your best year yet?

In January, the EM2WL team enjoyed hearing about your 2014 goals. We are celebrating with you when we hear victories of overcoming obstacles. Many of our readers are experiencing the joy of living life while accomplishing their fitness goals.

In the month of February, we will continue working towards our goals in five main areas:

Goal setting

It is worthwhile to reflect upon your short term goals frequently. Remember to continue to frame those goals in a way that is positive and behaviorally-based, rather than results based. Are you making the choices and lifestyle changes that are necessary to see the results you desire?


As you work towards your goals, it is important to enjoy the journey. Many valuable life lessons are missed if we are solely focused upon a long-term goal. Reflection challenges will help you to appreciate the mini-victories along the way.

Intuitive Eating

While EM2WL does encourage the use of tracking food and workouts as a way to gauge whether or not you are meeting your unique nutritional goals, this is meant to be an educational tool, not a crutch that you will need to depend upon for the rest of your life. Your ultimate goal should be to learn to eat an appropriate amount of food while listening to your body! Intuitive eating challenges will help you to focus away from the numbers and learn to trust your instincts.

Eat to Fuel

Food is fuel! At EM2WL, we are passionate about using food to fuel our workouts and daily activities to keep those metabolic fires burning! However, we believe you should enjoy this part of your lifestyle. Trying new foods and recipes that fit into your goals can help you to ward off boredom and remain consistent. Who wants to eat chicken, brown rice and broccoli every day? Learning a few new recipes will help you stick to your plan without feeling like you are missing a thing!


Fitness challenges are meant to take you out of your comfort zone and teach you some new strategies to have fun, be more efficient, recover better, and maximize your workouts. We believe fitness should be fun!

Are you ready for your best year yet? Join us in the month of February in coming one step closer to our goals!

BeccaBecca is a busy wife and homeschooling mother to five children ages 5 to 13. About three years ago, she embarked on a journey to health and fitness that resulted in the loss of approximately 100 pounds. Today, she is a competitive powerlifter and strongwoman who loves ice cream and deadlifts.  As an ISSA certified personal trainer, she is passionate about helping women to get started on a lifestyle of strength and fitness.



Getting off Track – Defining Your Fitness Goals

Getting off Track – Defining Your Fitness Goals

Getting off track defining your fitness goals

Many people start their new year off strong, dedicated to the goals they set.  In the beginning, when your willpower is strong, it’s easy to make those changes for a happier, healthier and more active version of yourself.

But let’s face it.  Life is very rarely a smooth journey.  If you live in the real world, there are plenty of road blocks and obstacles along the way.  How you approach difficulty is going to make a huge difference in where you are in regards to your fitness goals a month, six months, or a year from now.

Some obstacles are foreseeable.  For these, it’s important to have a plan of attack.  What will your biggest obstacle be?  Do you struggle to find time to get in a workout? Is it difficult for you to remain consistent with your eating?  Are you challenged to get enough sleep?  Think about your options and write down a concrete plan in your fitness journal.  You may decide to wake up early to make it to the gym before the day’s obligations overwhelm you, or spend a Sunday afternoon prepping food for the week ahead.  Decide to set yourself up for success by coming up with a concrete plan that will carry you through those times when willpower is fading fast.

1. Redefine healthy eating.

At EM2WL, we emphasize not viewing your life as being “on track” and “off track.”  One of the greatest added benefits of fueling to lose is that you are taking in sufficient calories so you can plan for that piece of birthday cake or special date-night dinner.  Special treats can and should be incorporated into any healthy eating plan.  Rethink “healthy!”  Your healthy eating plan should be the one that will help you to reach your goals, taking into account the challenges and obstacles that you face.  Taking in sufficient calories to support your activity level and planning for consistency should be a major consideration.

Getting off track defining your fitness goalsWe are inundated with messages and lists of foods that are “good” and “bad.”  Let’s be realistic though, no one can exist forever on a diet of coconut oil, kale, and chicken breast.  Your healthy eating plan should be such that it accommodates real life-birthdays, holidays, date nights. Food is a part of many of our celebrations and should be enjoyed (in moderation, of course)!

It requires a major shift in your mental paradigm to accept that things we’ve labeled “bad”-things like sugar, carbs, and gluten can be a part of eating for your goals.  Instead of focusing on eating less (or eliminating) “off-limits” foods, focus on eating more wholesome, nutrient-dense foods and allow yourself a treat when you genuinely want it.

2. Forgive yourself!

Everyone who has been successful at making health and fitness a lifestyle knows that they can’t be perfect all the time.  There will be times you overdo it on sweets, or miss one too many workouts.  Do not beat yourself up!  If you feel like you’ve veered off track, determine to just move on right from where you are.  One or two days that are less-than-perfect are not going to spoil your long-term success, but don’t let a couple bad days turn into a week or a month.  There is no reason to stress out over choices you’ve made that are in the past, or attempt to undo the damage.  Instead,  review your fitness goals and your motivation for making this change.  Revisit your plan and stick to it.  Is there something you could do differently in the future to prevent future slip-ups?  Look at these slip-ups as learning experiences to prepare you for the obstacles and challenges you will run into in the future.

3. Strive for progress, not perfection.

Perfection can be the enemy of progress.  Many people look at making healthy changes with an all-or-nothing approach.  Too often, a minor slip-up can lead to an all-out binge as you figure, “Oh well, I’ve already blown it.”  Perfect adherence to your plan is nearly impossible.  Instead, strive to make progress each day.  In the end, you will find that small changes are more sustainable over the long-term.  Consistency is essential for success.

Getting off track defining your fitness goals4.  Look at slip-ups as learning experiences.

Slip-ups can be a great learning tool!  Not every slip-up can be prevented, and sometimes you truly need to just put the past in the past and move on.  But you may be able to look at a situation and come up with a future plan of attack.  Are you more prone to binge on sweets when you are overtired?  Make it a point to turn off the TV an hour earlier so you can get adequate rest.  Lacking motivation after work to make it to the gym?  Consider waking up early to get your workout in first thing in the morning.  Struggling to make healthy choices on your lunch break?  Spend a Sunday afternoon doing some food prep so you can have some easy grab-and-go choices.

5. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

In our fast-paced society, its tempting to want to see quick results.  Remember that you are creating healthy habits that will change your lifestyle.  Be patient with yourself and be committed to trusting the process!  This doesn’t happen overnight.  Just keep moving forward, and you will be amazed when you look back and discover the healthy habits you have established are about as second-nature as brushing your teeth!


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Becca is a busy wife and homeschooling mother to five children ages 5 to 13. About three years ago, she embarked on a journey to health and fitness that resulted in the loss of approximately 100 pounds. Today, she is a competitive powerlifter and strongwoman who loves ice cream and deadlifts.  As an ISSA certified personal trainer, she is passionate about helping women to get started on a lifestyle of strength and fitness.


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Framing your Goals – The Key to Success!

Framing your Goals – The Key to Success!

key to success

A huge key to success is properly framing your goals.

State your goals in a positive manner rather than a negative one.  So, instead of listing all the things you’re going to give up (i.e. stop eating processed food), list the things you will gain (i.e. eating more whole foods).  Believe it or not, re-framing your goals in the positive can help to remove mental blocks and get you closer to your goal.  After all, no one wants to be restricted from doing something.

In our last post in the goal setting series, Trish talked about setting behavior-based versus outcome-based goals.  To recap, setting behavior-based goals are specific, measurable actions that you can take to accommodate the results you desire.  For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose 5 pounds this month,” you might say, “I will log my food to make sure I nail my macros.”

Today let’s talk about how you frame your goals.  It may seem like a silly technicality, but whether we approach our goals in a negative or positive light will make a huge difference in how we approach this journey.

If you begin your journey with a list of things you must not do or must not eat, your fitness life can seem like a very negative and punishing place, full of restrictions.  Who wants to live like that? The more that you tell yourself you can’t (or must not, under any circumstances, WHATSOEVER!!!!!!) have something, the more you tend to want it.  It is simply human nature to want that which is forbidden.

key to successThink about it.  If you’ve ever dieted, you can probably relate to this scenario.  You determine you are going to cut out every bit of added sugar to your diet.  What happens the first time you have a little slip-up and allow yourself a piece of candy?  Are you able to stop at just one, or are you compelled to finish the whole bag to get that pesky craving “out of your system?”

Instead of thinking about the behaviors that you need to stop, or do less of, what behaviors do you need to begin or do more of to accomplish your goals?

Increasing the frequency of healthy, goal-oriented behaviors will automatically crowd out the unhealthy, goal-sabotaging behaviors.

For example, instead of telling yourself that you need to eat less junk food, perhaps you could challenge yourself to try out some healthy alternatives to your family’s favorite fast food meals.  Think about challenging yourself to incorporate one new healthy habit each month until they become second nature.

Even if your body is adequately nourished with a proper number of calories, impeccable macros, and sufficiently hydrated, you may feel mentally restricted if you are still telling yourself there are foods you cannot eat.  Make sure that you plan to incorporate some of your favorite treats along the way as you progress towards your goals.  Unless you have an actual physical intolerance to a certain food, there is no reason why most foods cannot be part of your healthy eating plan, regardless if your goal is to lose fat, gain muscle, or work on body recomposition.

This approach can be applied to your fitness goals as well.  Instead of thinking, “I need to tighten up these flabby thighs,” focus on the changes you need to make to see the results you crave. Instead, you might focus on adding 25 pounds to your squat or improving your 5k time.  key to successFocusing on becoming a stronger individual in the gym will most likely lead to positive changes in your body.  However, prioritizing strength and athleticism over physical appearance puts the control in your hands, and you will get to experience the empowerment and satisfaction of setting new PRs and watching yourself become stronger each day!

Enjoy the road ahead!  Be kind to yourself as you work towards your 2014 goals.  This journey is challenging enough without adding negativity and self-hate.

Keep your eyes fixed on your goals, and enjoy every moment and the lessons you will learn along the way.  Here’s to your best year yet!


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Grab our FREE quick start guide!

Are you curious about how the process works, or wondering what's in our Starter Kit E-Book? START HERE. We'll send you a free breakdown of the basics, exclusive videos explaining why everything that you've learned about diets have only led you astray, and an action plan to take your life back immediately.

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Photo credit: jscreationz, ambro, David Costillo Dominci, annankkml of

Becca is a busy wife and homeschooling mother to five children ages 5 to 13. About three years ago, she embarked on a journey to health and fitness that resulted in the loss of approximately 100 pounds. Today, she is a competitive powerlifter and strongwoman who loves ice cream and deadlifts.  As an ISSA certified personal trainer, she is passionate about helping women to get started on a lifestyle of strength and fitness.

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