Resets, new beginnings, how to motivate yourself.

The sport with no finish line. Every day moves you further along, even when it seems ‘boring’ or uninspired.  It comes with time and energy..

Ahhhhh… beginnings…New beginnings!

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I’ve been doing fitness for a long, long time.. but that does not mean that it isn’t a struggle to stay motivated. Fitness ebbs and flows. It does because life does. I’ve done years where I’ve been on prep, or focused on body building shows exclusively.  I’ve had years recently that focused on mental health and learning more pole, performance. None of these things are wrong. I grew weary of being in show prep. My body was just sick of it.

So let me tell you what I have done since day one, without fail.  I have done workout, selfies and progress updates.  I have everything uploaded into drop box and I can see exactly every point of my journey.

I can see freakish lean, buffet fluffy. I can see off season perfect as well as times when I struggled in my macro journey. I can see when I was in my saddest times, the times I felt good and the times I felt really strong.

Every one of these pics are snapshots of my journey.  The good, bad and the gym hair, don’t care, ugly.

Why is this meaningful?  I look at this pic of my back when I first started getting ready for a show. This was probably back in 2012. I was so motivated to do my first show. It’s all I thought about. I’m sure it bored everyone around me. I thought I looked awesome and I was getting better and better. Motivation and adrenaline level 3000.
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Time passed. Shows came and went.. I probably felt less motivated and had to focus more on strategy for subsequent shows.  It became habit and skill.  But.. I probably beat myself up plenty because I didn’t look IG ready all the time. I probably said negative things in my head about being too this or too that and not good enough. I’m sure of it.
That’s really normal for me.

But…as it turns out..some changes happened.

I probably work up one day around that time and felt bad about myself. I probably allowed my negative self talk to focus in on the things I didn’t like about myself.
But I made gains. I made progress.  It’s real.. because I often forget to look up or see how far I’ve come. I’m always digging into why I’m not perfect or 100 percent better. /

There is no finish line though. There is progress. I need to focus more on that!
Progress pics tell our story!

Think of your progress pics, in the same way you track your lifts, and your macros. It’s information!

If you don’t know how to take good progress pics.. go here

I decided to produce my own show in 2020 and I’m very excited to put a new transformation into play. I’ve been working very hard for 2 years on my CPTSD.

I want to touch on that for just a second. Not every day is good.  There is a lot of fatigue and some days it’s hard to do much.  I think this is a really nice goal for me to put some energy into this show and creating something I have never seen before.

I am about 23 weeks out from that and have decided to make a new physique shape for my show. Something I’ve never done before.  It’s a great challenge. I’ve picked out my wardrobe for the show so it has to be spot on.

I spent yesterday digging through years of progress pics. I decided that I do have more skills, more muscle, more knowledge, more information than any of those days before. I’m capable of digging in and creating a new improved process to get to my next set of goals. My journey in pics showed me so much and inspired me to remember where I came from.

My point of this blog is to just give you some real life.. not every fitness guru is showing you the reality of what being fit is. It does flow and sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes health and life issues get in the way. Sometimes we are on fire and sometimes we are not motivated.  We have to figure out how to create the life we want and still achieve our dreams.  I love the idea of always documenting our journey.  It takes very little time, but it’s so powerful to see changes!!

If you need help getting your plan set up.. please check out my site or reach out to me. My page is

Your next level self

Do you every think about losing weight?
Getting lean?
Seeing your abs?
Getting healthy?

What does it take to get that?
It takes a whole lot more than you are doing now.

Sorry if that sounds harsh.   You probably want to stop reading now!
Hear me out.

I’m a comfort zone person. I actually dislike change. I’m not thin, I’m not athletic, I struggle with binges, I would sell my soul for cupcake icing. I’m never ever freaking satisfied with my physique. I never have been. I just never could find it within my self to master the stuff that held me back.

I have never once minded working hard. I will kick azz at any time or place.  I just never worked hard enough on the things I needed to change to reach my goals. That would have meant leaving my comfort zone!

Mastering the stuff you are no good at
I’m going to get to the point.  There is something you don’t have the skills to accomplish the goals you want.  There is something that you haven’t put the time /effort in. You have made excuses as to why you can’t do it.
In your heart, you know what it is. This is the time to stop making generic resolutions and focus on that issue.

For most of my clients and myself, it’s the food.  Studies have shown that more people would rather learn to do their taxes than ‘learn’ how to eat for their physique goals.

What is it about the food? Do you suffer from FOMO? Fear of missing out?   Sometimes clients tell me,
I want to see my abs, I need to do more ab work.
Once again, trying to throw the same old solution that hasn’t worked thus far at the problem.

My answer:  You need to get your food right.
You know in your heart that abs are not going to show up while you are posting giant margaritas on Facebook. You have to decide that mastering your food means that you will get what you want and you will give up giant margaritas to do that.
Fear of missing out on all the good food?  Sure, but is what you are doing making you happy.  Are you riding the same hamster wheel year after year because you can’t quite commit?  If your commitment is to over eating
and complaining about being overweight then you have accomplished that goal. That’s not even funny. Move forward past that. That stuff is always there.

My blog is filled with strategies to help you have the things you love while you are getting your physique on point. The hard part is the actual  commitment to the project.

Arbitrary goals: meh
The most wishy washy of goals is the “I want to lose weight”. Whatever.

Ooo. my mom bought some keto stuff and lost 10 pounds without even exercising.

She gained it back right away plus 8 more.
Try to understand that no changes were made. No next level was present in this. It was a restriction, with a fast track back to old habits which we all know keep us in the place we are unhappy. Same level, same results. Year after year. Decade after decade.

Never give .up

Listen.. I have been the worst at beating myself up when I ‘fail’.  I will throw myself under a bus.. over an extra cookie.  Here’s some truth bombs for you. Nothing grows in shitty soil.  I said it.  If you are trying to harvest a bounty in a junkyard, it ain’t going to happen. We have to start being kind to ourselves as we take this journey.  We must be willing to know that change will come when we understand where we need to change and try new things to problem solve.  Do you see what I’m saying? When it doesn’t go the way we like, we can use that information and learn from it.  We can use it as data.
We can wake up tomorrow with a new plan.

Life sometimes happens and we aren’t perfect. It’s fine. We can look forward, not backward. Beating myself up never made me better. What makes me better is understanding.

Hack:  in the last 37 years of clients I have discovered (myself included) that negative self talk is swirling the drain as we head toward self abuse. WHAT?   Have you ever thought “I’m my own worst enemy?”  I have.  I’ll find the sneakiest ways to self abuse.  I ate a pickle off my show prep and beat myself up like I was the worst on the planet.

I am human and I have added those macros to my tracker. I will plan my snacks out so I have some good options and not let myself get so hungry.

That was 100 x better than “You are a piece of garbage who will never look good on stage and everyone will know you suck.”.

Wow.. that was heavy.. right?

Perseverance/ consistency wins.
As you being to learn to master the skills that will take you to your next level, you will
be sore
mess up
be frustrated
begin to see change
feel proud
mess up
want to give up (trust me)
keep going
because next level YOU is never a straight shot to success. 

I think my success should be a straight shot to the sun.. just sayin.

Striving for consistency over perfection is key in your next level journey.
Create a plan and manage that for the 18 hours you are awake.
If you falter, so freaking what! Move on and start the next day with the next level mind set.
I’m telling you that you can have what you want if you get out of your comfort zone!

I have done more in my last 6 years than I ever thought I could. I have mastered so many aspects of food. Those things drug me down in my life so many times. You have no idea.  When I find myself back in those places where I’m not my next level self, I have to remember that now,  set backs are temporary. That is a huge part of being your next level self.  You can rely on the fact that you  have it within you to move forward.  When you uncover your next level YOU.. the possibilities are endless!


Secrets to successful fat loss/prep

When I began competing, it was all I thought about. I was in beast mode 24/7. I started with the determination and will of steel.
The next time I competed, I was fired up, but had a hard prep. I was sick and injured. I relied on sheer will when the motivation was lacking.

Maybe you have also felt that way when you began a program.  You were excited, on point until you got weary.
I’ll be honest.. sometimes I think of quitting when I smell the neighbor’s bbq .

Then I have to re-evaluate my whole life.

Motivation fades and discipline has to take over.

This year, I am doing a long cut. I am not interested in a fast weight drop with the potential to rebound so I have made a decision to take it slower.  I think in some ways this is a different struggle than being handed a menu with six meals of chicken turkey or fish.  I HAVE to make good choices.  I have to make choices that further my goal and it’s all on me.

The other day we drove by a QuikTrip. I saw lots of very overweight people leaving with their slushies and bags of treats. That place is heaven on earth. Every craptastic snack treat under the sun is present and accounted for!

All the people leaving looked happy.
They looked like they were going somewhere fun!
For a moment I asked myself “Why do you want to be an elite athlete?”
“Why get leaner? Those people look so happy”.

Now, I know in my heart that I would never and have never been happy eating mounds of junk food. I straight up do not feel well.  Been there. I know better, but that internal dialog is a real B.  I chose my sport. I know it so I need to level up and
get my cut done.

The Mister has been with me in every prep. He seems to know the right thing to say to help me out.

Prep in our house lasts only 18 hours.  I have to get through these 18 hours.  I can do anything for 18 hours!
That means I’m eating this weird elephant 1 bite at a time. I’ve always had better luck if I don’t look at the project as a huge undertaking.  I’m better off stringing together lots of successful days . This feels much more do-able than 4 months on cutting macros.

Cutting is hard. It’s not fun,  you do the best you can to make it as delicious as you can but the bottom line is you are eating less.  Take your project and create a small incremental goal.  One day, one week , YOU CAN do it.

Macro counting and social situations

tell me
Macro counting is for people who have specific physique goals.
WOW.  Hear me out.  If you want to be leaner, you have a specific goal.
Now, it’s time to acknowledge that you have the magic at your fingertips. YOU
control how well you do. If you want to reach your goals, then you must consistently
count your macros. And that  means on the weekends and at social events.

You  could have just joined Jenny Craig..
But, you chose macro counting to get lean, so this doesn’t have to happen.
Saying “screw it” and eating whatever you want will continue to wreck your physique.
You will feel bloated-because you are.  You certainly won’t be happy when you check in with your coach.
You are reinforcing negative behaviors that probably got you to a point where you are now.

What do you want?
What do you want?

How to be successful.
First and foremost: Set a goal. If you don’t have one, get one and write it down! What are you aiming for ?
How about 1 pants size?  Write that down and eat according to that goal.

Flexible dieiting is great because you are not limited to turkey chicken, fish and lettuce!
But it’s not a free for all. You must reach your macros consistently +5/-5 each day.

***. You can eat foods you like so There is no need for binging.

2. It’s YOUR  job to plan your events. If you have a party to attend, hold back some carbs.
As long as your carbs equal the total amount you have for the week at the end of 7 days, you are good to go.

3. Having social situations is going to happen all year round. When is the best time to lean?  it’s right now, you made the decision to do it!
4. Finish your cut and reverse to maintenance macros so you can eat more food!

Social situations solved (good housekeeping circa 1972)
But I don’t know what they are going to have to eat there?
Eat before you go. Nibble. Don’t stand near the cheese table. Drink lots of water.  These things all still apply because you are trying to get lean.

We are going out to dinner but the macros aren’t online for this restaurant.
You can order off the menu.  Ask for the food you want and have it prepared as you want. Hold the bun, steamed veggies instead of fries, dressing on the side, no croutons?   These things all still apply.  You know what is in a burrito, you can use for ingredient macros.

Stragetgy: Bank some carbs and fats for the end of the day. Eat lighter in the earlier part of the day so you have macros for your event.

A word about cutting: 
Everyone wants to get lean, but some  forget that cutting is an uncomfortable situation.
To get lean,  you must be in a caloric deficit.  That means, you don’t get all the food you want. If you are currently overweight then you have been eating in a surplus of calories and now you have to stop doing that. By nature, this will be uncomfortable.
Beer, craft beers, ball game beer, float trips, all the beer, and Limaritas you would like to enjoy while on your cut are not going to fit in your macros for active fat loss.  So you are going to have to say no to them, while you are leaning.  If you are in a social situation and need to make alcohol fit, be sure you are tracking it correctly.  See this blog post.
Do not simply add it to your tracker or worse, NOT add anything. Be accountable.

This is Your project. Never use excuses to reason why you can’t get lean. Yes you can. This is your decision and
you can problem solve!

More  strategies here including how to do faux drinking!

Motivation Monday: Suriving cheat related set backs

I think my success should be a straight shot to the sun.. just sayin.
I think my success should be a straight shot to the sun.. just sayin.

Set backs are a part of life. No matter what your goal you are going to have set backs.


Knowing this information doesn’t make it one bit palatable. I’m an over achiever and I suffer the highest level of frustration when I have a diet related set back. It’s the worst! Super-human, over achievers don’t give in to the urge to cheat! What???
No matter how hard I push, or how much I want to reach my goals, sometimes I’m my own worst enemy. And while my lifestyle is very clean and an occasional binge may look to others like a non issue, in my head it’s the ONLY ISSUE and it’s bad.


This is my shirt.
This is my shirt.

I know you too have had moments where you just said “whatever” and ate and drank outside your meal plan. Maybe you run all the scenarios in your head of how you’ll”work it off tomorrow”, or how you “owe it to yourself for being good on your plan”. Been there! Frankly, slip ups, and over indulging happen to most fitness people so it’s really not that big of a deal. Just as having one healthy meal won’t make you “a healthy person” eating an unhealthy meal won’t undo your hard work. Now the real world is much different than what’s pounding around in a Type A brain.

When I come off a over lax cheat, the next whole week is a mess. My body can hardly function any more on bad food. I’m usually sick at my stomach, bloated and feel unmotivated. My next workouts are miserable and I’m a raving crab apple from the sugar-YOU KNOW it’s always sugar. The next day feels like day one. It’s miserable. My brain says.. “you get what you deserve”. “You should know better”. “You ruined your progress.”

Sound at all familiar?

I never say “I might as well give up” because I do know better, but I sure do teeter on “why do you even bother”.


Taking back the brain:

Let me just say that my brain is no where anyone would want to live.  I notice a lot more negative self talk after any sugar, white flour, white potato or simple carbs, sanctioned or not. So I recognize this as chemical.

I also do know that repetitive negative self talk is a behavior and it creates little grooves in the grey matter of the brain. You can cease to feel negatively about yourself, but that little record of negativity will still play in your head. You can stop that by stopping that behavior and changing it to something else. Switch the negative to the positive and those little grooves will change too!


My post food disaster protocol
Waking out of a bad food coma with a sugar hangover and pink icing my hair is no fun. Getting myself back together is like walking though fire in a gasoline G-string. For the next 4-5 days I feel like the Stay-puff marshmallow man. I usually dress all in black to mourn my loss of self control. That’s a joke, but black is slimming so….


My Secrets to surviving a cheat related setback.
Consider this..

Leave it behind!!  It’s over!! 


Depression is in the past:
If you are down, you are thinking about the past. What has happened, happened and it’s over. Slip ups don’t define us.
Put that cheat in the past. Don’t think about it, don’t dwell on it. Don’t talk about it. Don’t panic and tell the world you ate cheese.
Don’t commiserate with others. It’s over. Let it go.


Fear is in the future
If you are worried that you will never make your goal you are thinking in the future. Fear=future.


Be in the present
The best advice I have ever received is to put the past away, only think about what I can do today.
I will set a goal for today and give myself  a success. I know I’m not running on all cylinders so I will be kind to myself and not make that goal 4 hours of cardio. My general practice is to fight the urge to over compensate at the gym and stick to my original plan. I also set my water goal and try to flush.. These are very positive steps that give me control of my food choices. Now is NOT the time to cut back on all your meals and skip carbs. I eat on my meal plan as written. I KNOW I can do that even if I have to just do it for today.

Resist the urge to drop calories down to poverty macros to compensate. We tell our clients to just go back to your normal routine and it will sort itself out.  It does.

The best protocol for me is to simply look at my plan as a daily goal. I know what my big picture is. Living in the present keeps me focused.

I will string together successes each day and focus on change. My results will come in spite of my self!

How do you handle cheat related set backs?