Nutrition and Recipes

Flavor Explosion in T-Minus 30 Minutes: Sweet Potato Hash

My sister…basically super mom

I LOVE meal prepping. It embodies the kind of mother and working professional that I long to be – organized, sophisticated, practical, a true go-getter.

And some magical days, it is all true; life finds a way to bring the moments of my day a beautiful and effortless tapestry of efficiency.

When I do manage to pull it off, I give all the credit to my sister.

My sister is a master meal prepper. She is a master at almost everything mom-life. From Halloween parties to baby showers to nights out with friends to baby-breakfast gatherings, her house is spotless, her children groomed and thriving, her hair perfectly curled and her brows expertly micro-bladed. I might hate her if I didn’t love and admire her so. Did I mention that she meal preps by the week? As in, she meal preps weeks out – 14 perfectly portioned chicken breasts in 14 perfectly sealed containers with green beans, potatoes, and pepper.

Me…ehh, not so much

I will be honest – I am not my sister. I try. Sometimes I fake it – but there is no denying it.

I might love meal prepping; it doesn’t change the fact that I am TERRIBLE  at it. I don’t know what I’m going five minutes before I actually do it  Planning my meals for a week? Really? It’s almost 3 and I still have no idea what I am making for dinner…and I still won’t…as I’ll most likely get distracted by something else that needs doing post blog…Pre-baby, my idea of meal prepping was downing my beer sampler post bike ride.

So, while I preach meal prepping to my challengers, I know from personal experience that it doesn’t always happen and it isn’t always possible. Thus, I need a collection of easy, healthy, veggie first and taste most recipes that I can make on a moment’s notice.

Enter the sweet potato:

See the source image

Who doesn’t love this incredible starchy, sweet, sexy hunk of Earth? And guess what – it is even BETTER when assembled with other veggies.

Enter my fav mid-week super mom hack – sweet potato hash.

My husband loves it; my son loves it; my mother-in-law got seconds! It can also easily be made vegetarian (just more veggies, less meat) and is already beautifully gluten free. It works best and is healthiest with venison sausage (venison mixed with a bit of pork sausage, chorizo style) but can be made with turkey sausage or even good old pork sausage. It makes a great meal and better left overs; it has the feel of a slow cooked casserole, but can be made on a stove in half the time.

It is basically perfect.

And as with all things, let your personal tastes and spice tolerance guide you.

Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash (in a Pan)

Prep Time     15 minutes

Cook Time    20 minutes

Total Time    35 minutes

Ingredients (if going veggie, omit sausage and add more root veggies)

  • 1 lb Bulk Sausage (of any kind – I love venison or full on pork – turkey works, but you should add some fat of some kind to give it more body)
  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • LOTS of spinach
  • 1 red pepper
  • LOTS of portabella mushrooms
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • Salt + pepper
  • 1/4 c. Cheddar Cheese (if desired)
  • 1/2 c. water or stock

Instructions

  1. Saute sausage over medium heat until cooked. Drain excess fat. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large sauce pan.
  3. Add garlic and onion.
  4. Add sweet potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat or until outside of potatoes are browned.
  5. Add red pepper, spinach, and mushrooms. Stir and continue to cook over medium heat. 5 minutes.
  6. Add water and stir. Cover. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
  7. Decrease heat. Add sausage. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir.
  8. Add cheddar cheese. Cover and let sit on low heat for 1-2 minutes.
  9. Serve!
Fitness Challenge, Nutrition and Recipes

Ready 2B Fierce and Free: Mindful Eating Program Launches Today!

Let’s establish a few facts:

  1. Life is more than beautiful – it is all there is, all we have, and the only thing worth fighting for as all else depends upon it.
  2. Life is also chaos, but that chaos and uncertainty is what drives innovation, growth, and possibility. You may not control the whims and winds of the universe, but you CAN control your own story. YOU dictate who you are, where you go, and how you get there. Things happen – but you control what that happening means and where it takes you.
  3. Your body tells a story; it is the vehicle through which you move through the world; it is a temple, a miracle – it should empower you to celebrate the gift of your life and to move through the world (and all its possibility).
  4. To live your best life, you must nourish that body, write your story, and take responsibility for your health and wellness.
My best life? Big sunglasses, bigger earrings, a hearty brew, and a beautiful, healthy baby boy to snuggle.

These facts leave us with two critical questions: How do you live your best life? How do you write your story?

In the world of fitness, we hear the world “control” a lot. And for good reason.

Control, aka awareness and purposeful action, is essential to realizing any goal and to living that best life.

You must know what was, what is, and what you want/need to realize your best life, to make critical choices, and to manage and direct your thoughts, emotions, and actions.

But control alone is dangerous and, well, miserable. It leaves no room for possibility or transformation – for detours or growth, for the unexpected. It does not allow for life to happen (and these happenings are essential to your becoming).

Control MUST be balanced with self awareness and flexibility.

Flexibility cultivates vision and compassion – the grace needed to bounce back, to expand out, to adapt, and to move forward.

Self awareness empowers you to see yourself as you are and as you might be without filters, without guilt, and without shame.

Control then ensures that you craft an effective “plan of attack” for realizing that best life and the determination to see that plan through.

One does not work without the other – but in the fitness world, “control” is usually all you get.

Most fitness programs demand that you CONTROL what you eat (your portions, your calories, even when you can eat). They demand that you CONTROL your nutrients (eliminating entire food groups), that you DEPRIVE yourself to the point of starvation. That you DEPRIVE yourself of the joy and connection that food provides (birthdays, holidays, dinners out, wine Wednesdays, etc.) and that you replace that joy with fear, shame, guilt, and self-loathing.

thin woman's back, naked, spine protruding
Dieting is self-induced starvation; stop the cycle.

While some control is a good thing, too much not only damages your body, it fosters a dysfunctional and negative relationship with food and nutrition which makes living a healthy lifestyle (and that best life) impossible to realize in the long term.

During my last challenge, I was obsessed with losing weight and being successful. So…I didn’t do anything. I didn’t go anywhere for two months. I didn’t eat out. I didn’t have lunch with family or friends; I didn’t go to birthdays or out with my husband. I didn’t do anything but count, obsess, and worry that I was still eating too much (or not enough).

You can control your calories, exercise, and food intake to the point of obsession for weeks, months, maybe even a year…but eventually real life is going to happen. Your control and best laid plans will falter. And without flexibility and self-awareness, they will break, leading to an ongoing cycle of starve-binge-starve-binge, marked by the latest diet trend and an unhealthy dose of shame and guilt. You will lose weight – then gain it back. You will blame yourself. You will develop a collection of internet memes, telling you to just “be stronger, have more control, be more disciplined” and then next time will be different. You will believe that you are not good enough and that your plateau is a sign of your inadequacy.

STOP.

This cycle isn’t one that is meant to be broken. It will NEVER be different unless you change how you see yourself and food. You will NEVER be healthy if you do not have a positive and nurturing relationship with food and nutrition as your baseline.

What is a healthy relationship with food?

It means being able to realize a healthy weight without starvation, obsession, fad diets, cleanses, or restrictions.

It means building self awareness and self love.

It means resolving the underlying issues that lead to disordered eating, binge eating, emotional eating, and stress eating.

It means enjoying food without guilt or shame.

It means balancing that control with flexibility and a bit of grace and compassion.

It means mindfulness, tuning in to your body and its specific needs.

It means no more despair or self-loathing, no more counting calories or containers, no more “kitchen ab” memes.

It means STOP – stop abusing your body, stop the guilt trip, stop the cycle.

And it means breaking free – to rediscover balance. To stop fighting your body and to start nourishing it; to STOP obsessing over your life and to START living it.

Let me show you how.

Enjoy your life (and all the brews that come with it!)

The Ready 2B Fierce and Free Mindful Eating Program Registration is now Open! Day 1 begins May 14.

Exercise is not required (but is optional and encouraged). There is no calorie counting, no portion containers, no restriction, no starvation, no gimmicks. It is a knowledge and education based program meant to foster self awareness and flexibility while building confidence, promoting healthy weight loss, and ensuring a positive relationship with food and thus, with yourself.

Are you ready to break free of that cycle, abandon the guilt and gimmicks, and embrace a new way of eating, living, and most importantly, of celebrating you?

Click here to connect and to learn more.

Fitness Challenge

80 Day Obsession Review

80 Day Obsession took my winter by storm; it was a simple invitation and a seemingly simple challenge – eat like an athlete; train like an athlete; every day.

As a self-proclaimed athlete, this seemed relatively straightforward. I had committed to various exercise and training programs in the past. I had explored all the diets and food plans – from starvation-inspired cleanses (lemon juice for three days anyone?) to the “I-am-a-ski-bum-I-eat-ALL-the-pizza” (and whatever whiskey someone buys me).

For the next 80 days, I would eat less (a LOT less), and I would exercise more – a LOT more.  I would lose weight. I would gain muscle. I would plateau. And then, begin all over again.

Like clockwork – right?

After day 1, however, I realized that, while the program was simple and straightforward, the journey would not be. And, in fact, much of my journey would involve shattering misconceptions about fitness and rediscovering the power of community and its importance to health, wellness, and athletic performance.

About Me

I am a 32 year old mother to a kind, happy, and active 11 month old boy, Atticus, whom I am breastfeeding. I am also a teacher, a writer, and a self-proclaimed workaholic (80 hour weeks? I love them). Prior to becoming a mother, I took pride in my label as a mountain athlete. Skier, mountain biker, hiker – even yoga star from time to time – I did it all. I was also a recovering anorexic and have struggled, in the past, with weight, body image, and nutrition. I still tended to fluctuate between extremes: eating next to nothing in desperate bid to whittle away at my already petite frame and reclaim some measure of control over my life vs. eating everything and anything I had previously forbidden in a desperate attempt to silence those insecurities and affirm that my disorder was far, far behind me.

And while I had reached some measure of stability weight-wise due to my passion for mountain sports, I still battled old demons.

I was also the queen of “cycles.” In the “on” seasons of summer and winter, I was extremely active – playing in the high alpine mountains surrounding Crested Butte, Colorado every possible moment. In the off season, I slacked and binged to equal extremes. Getting fit again for “on” season often required extreme diets and, worse, simply “diving in” – going on brutal and demanding expeditions and ever more extreme feats (I believe they call this “skiing yourself into shape”). These were usually successful; though, from time to time, they also led to injury (the “blown knee” kind of injury that comes from hucking a cliff early season with Jim Beam-soaked noodles as opposed to quads).

None of these extremes were healthy and they both had a negative impact on my mental health, my physical strength, and of course, my athletic performance.

Thus, while I looked healthy (and from outside appearances was strong and capable), I often realized that appearance through unhealthy means; my relationship with food and nutrition was particularly terrible (I would often eat a pack of Skittles prior to a bike race for “energy” – a practice I inherited from my Grandfather who, naturally athletic and opposed to “prissy things” like training, would eat Snickers and down a 40 prior to his 40+ mile swims – then feel guilty and fast for 8+ hours).

During my pregnancy I had gained about 45 pounds (which felt like 60 on my frame); my husband and I had also lost our housing (renting in a ski town is rough) when I was 8 months pregnant, prompting a cross country move, the purchase of a new home in a different state and community, the rush to find a midwife we trusted, and the chaos of giving birth at home while still unpacking.

In short, my life was chaos and my body reflected this.

My Goals

Physical fitness had always been a structuring force in my life (and after a ridiculously chaotic move followed by the birth of our son and a lengthy recovery, I NEEDED structure and focus); what’s more, if I wasn’t strong and capable, I couldn’t wander in the mountains – and this was not an option. The mountains helped me to recover from and to keep the symptoms of my eating disorder at bay. They were a force of life, joy, and goodness which demanded strength, stamina, and respect. I NEEDED to get back out there (with my son in tow), and I needed to be strong to do this.

My goals were:

  • To lose any remaining pregnancy weight
  • To regain my previous levels of strength and endurance (and more!)
  • To increase muscle mass and strength, particularly in my glutes and shoulders
  • To reestablish a sense of structure and stability in my life
  • To improve my mood and manage depression and anxiety in a healthy way
  • To improve nutrition and cultivate a healthy relationship with food
  • To ultimately get back on my bike and back into the mountains in time for a summer of adventures

And most importantly, to accomplish each of these things while still breastfeeding my son, caring for my household, and maintaining my career as a writer and a teacher.

As a new mother, I knew that my previous strategy (if you could call it that) of weight loss and strength training were NOT an option (and I refused to pass on or model any unhealthy habits to my son). Thus, at the encouragement of my yoga instructor, Keileen Dillon, I registered for 80 Day Obsession.

80 Day Obsession: An Overview

Summer = more of this!

80 Day Obsession is the brain child of fitness trainer, Autumn Calabrese, and is offered through Beach Body and Beach Body on Demand. It is the “big sister” of Autumn’s previous programs, 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme. In my opinion, it is an ideal program for “shredding” and for muscle growth as it targets and works the abs, core, and glutes extensively.

The 80 day program combines daily 45-60 minute workouts with timed nutrition and a clean eating program. Specific foods are consumed at specific times to fuel the body, promote muscle growth, increase endurance and stamina, and slim and tone.

Key to the nutrition program is a period called a “workout block” – with specific foods, in a specific ratio, consumed at specific times before and after a workout. Shakeology and the performance line are integrated within the nutrition plan seamlessly and are a vital part of its success.

Every day, we completed a unique workout to prevent plateau and to ensure continuous results. The workouts, while unique, followed a pattern with each workout targeting different goals and a different area of the body (legs, cardio, core, etc.).

The program was divided into three key phases, each with its own goals:

  • Phase 1 promoted weight loss and an opportunity to dial in nutrition and adapt to both the workouts and the concept of timed eating.
  • Phase 2 involved heavier lifting; weight loss slowed; the pronounced goal was to increase strength and muscle mass.
  • Phase 3 was the “shredding” phase where plyometrics were added in addition to more complex movements and strength training to elevate heart rates, promote fat burning, and increase endurance.

Mom Concerns

We give “modifying” a whole new meaning.

As a new mother, I had several key concerns (and a few blessings).

At 7 months post partum, I was still breastfeeding; we could not afford formula and thus, losing my supply was NOT an option. My son was also extremely attached – we baby wore almost constantly; he refused to sleep; I was exhausted and unsure if I could manage to separate myself from him for 10 minutes, let alone 60.

The timed nutrition added another layer of concern – I barely had time to shower, let alone prepare healthy, clean foods in specific portions, and to then consume said food at specific times. My breakfast consisted of coffee, my lunch – well, it was often grabbing some chips while racing to and from the nursery and my office. How the hell was I going to pull this off?

Finally, when I calculated my nutrition per day – I was shocked. I was going to be eating a ridiculous amount of food.

Deliciouness? Anyone?

In fact, I often struggled to eat enough. I had always lost weight in the past by cutting calories and food in take – not by drastically increasing it; many of the members of my team expressed this concern as well – with some confessing that they were going to say they were eating in one food bracket while secretly cutting calories by an additional 500 or so, just to be safe. This became so common that Autumn addressed this in a live stream (and royally reprimanded us in the process).

Completing the program was one concern; committing to and trusting the program? That was something else entirely.

Breaking Through

Phase 1 was a struggle; it took a great deal of flexibility and adaptation to make the system work. What’s more, as the program was very different from my previous fitness experiences, I was unsure if it was or would work. I was completing my workouts – but I was never “destroyed.” I was eating more than I had in years, and I was actually working out less (I wasn’t in pain, I wasn’t running 10 miles on empty and then rocking a hot yoga class, followed by a bike ride). I was fairly certain I was wasting my time. But I had committed to the process and the program. I was not going to cheat it or myself; I was going to trust it. And so, every day, I pushed play. I aimed for sobriety. I became a meal prep queen. I dialed in.

24 days later – phase 1 pictures revealed something astonishing: results.

Progression

In phase 2, those results became even more pronounced.

Phase 3? You get the idea.

80 days later…

I was not perfect on nutrition, unfortunately. There were mistakes and slip ups (maybe a glass of wine here or there). I needed heavier weights. My son refused to sleep. But I never missed a workout. I stayed committed. I did my best.

And in doing my best, I learned a great deal about myself, about fitness, and about life long health and wellness. Namely:

  • Eating more of the right foods is critical to wellness and fitness
  • Your body needs to be nourished to transform; self care and self love is critical to realizing gains and success in any fitness program
  • Soreness is not an accurate measure of developing strength or transformation
  • Community is the secret weapon to a successful fitness program

The Importance of Community

The key to this success was my community. As a member of the Sol Unleashed Project, I made a promise to a circle of likeminded women and men – I promised to commit, to give the best of myself, to finish strong, and to support them in the process. We each had our own journeys, goals, and destinations; but we walked those paths together, embracing each other’s successes and struggles with grace, compassion, and of course, strength. I drew upon that strength and used it nearly every day to inspire my progress and to do the hard things, day in and day out. I can honestly say that, without my community, I would have most likely quit in week 3 when the initial excitement ran dry and life stepped up to bombard me with setbacks.

Criticisms

Autumn is not everyone’s cup of tea; she is an incredible trainer and often a source of inspiration. However, I did not enjoy just how much talking there was, often prompted by Autumn who shouted at the cast for conversation (which I could not hear as no one else had a mic). It was a distraction, and, not only did it seem out of sorts and character, it also seemed forced and unhelpful. These conversations were often social and not particularly helpful in regards to form, advice, or recommendations. I am not one who likes to converse about anything but lifting when lifting; I like to get the form down, crank the tunes, and buckle in with minimal chit chat (but this is simply a personal criticism and preference).

I also found, at times, that the pace of workouts was varied to an extreme; there were times when each rep seemed to take much longer (with pauses for conversation and comments + unnecessary rests) and other times when it seemed like a race to finish (most likely due to those increased and unnecessary pauses and the pressure of the clock and of BOD to finish in under 60 minutes).  This is something that could easily be dialed in.

Praises

The overall format and the emphasis on nutrition AND exercise (and the union of the two) was profound and ultimately, life changing. To quote Donald (one of the challengers), it “gave me a new way to live” – a new way to think about nutrition, eating, fitness, and exercise and a healthier way to integrate this philosophy into my daily life.

While there were some workouts that I preferred (and others that I dreaded), none were a waste. Each was inventive, unique, challenging, and effective.  The combination of core work with cardio, and the creative use of both bands and sliders to reinvent well known movements was powerful and, well, fun.

With regards to my criticisms, I did appreciate the organic feel to the program and the workouts. There was little pressure, an incredible amount of support and encouragement, and a sense of being “in it” with Autumn and her team. We were all learning together which prompted changed, adaptations, and a true sense of community.

Would I Do the Program Again?

Absolutely! I plan to revisit both Phase 2 and Phase 3 regularly (sorry phase 1) in preparation for future mountain adventures. I also plan to integrate specific workouts within larger programs and training regimens.

Most notably, however, I plan to stick with the nutrition. It has been a revelation and has resulted in an incredible transformation, both physically and emotionally. For the first time in my life, I feel as though I have a positive and health relationship with food and that I now have the tools to care for and nourish my body for life.

In short? What I gained is more important than what I lost. I lost weight; I lost inches – I gained:

  • Confidence
  • Community
  • Health
  • Strength
  • A sense of purpose
  • Joy
  • Agency
  • Hope

Are you interested in joining our community and starting 80 Day Obsession? Click here to purchase your challenge pack. Next round starts May 1.

Click here to see more transformations from the Sol Unleashed Project.

Coach Life

What is an online fitness coach? (And why do you need one?)

Modern Fit Magazine recently ran a feature on the advent of the Online Fitness Coach (with yours truly included! – check out the issue here). These lovely individuals are not fitness models; they are not personal trainers or nutritionists; they are not youtube stars or TGR heroes. They are not gym owners or professional athletes.

We aren’t perfect…and that’s the point.

So…what exactly are they? What do they do and why are they changing the way we think about health, fitness, and wellness in our modern world?

These individuals come from a variety of different backgrounds – from yoga instructors and chakra queens, to fitmoms, professional skiers, bad!@# grandmas, power lifters, and stay at home dads; from Crossfit instructors to weekend warriors; from mountain gypsies to city kings; from alpine tundras to Manhattan high rises; from fitness advocates to those who are just getting started.

Coaches understand the potential struggles and incredible triumphs of health and wellness; they understand the importance of fitness and are actively working towards their own goals (whatever those might be). Along the way, coaches share their story, organize challenges, and build communities to inspire and support others.

It sounds simple, right? And it is! But within this simplicity lies the accountability and support necessary for lifelong health and wellness. To understand the power of fitness coaches (and why your coach will empower you to realize your health goals), we first need to explore why committing to fitness can be such a challenge.

Why do most fitness journeys end short?

Fitness mean embracing struggle and triumph.

If it was easy, everyone would do it…

That’s the thing about fitness – it seems easy: eat healthy foods, be active, and take care of your mental and physical health. Not only is this equation simple, it is also positive – it feels good to take care of one’s mind and body. 

You may be well aware of the physical benefits of exercise – from the big things: increased life expectancy, decreased risk of a host of terrifying illnesses – from cancer to health disease and everything in between…to the little things: the ability to play with your children, for example.

The benefits of exercise, however, go far beyond your physical form. In fact, in a 2011 article, the American Psychological Association made a compelling argument that psychologists should be working with patients to incorporate exercise into existing treatments.

As immediate past president of APA’s Div. 47 (Exercise and Sport Psychology), she’s well aware of the mental health benefits of moving your muscles. “I often recommend exercise for my psychotherapy clients, particularly for those who are anxious or depressed,” she says.

Exercise has a dramatic impact on one’s mental well being. In fact, according to Psyblog, when it comes to the mind, there is very little that exercise can’t do. Exercise has been clinically proven to:

So, exercise paired with clean eating = a longer, healthier, and happier life. Why, then, is it so difficult? Why do so few realize their health and wellness goals?

Exercise is hard (and it should be).

Fitness is empowering…and inherently difficult

Transforming your body and mind isn’t easy. It cannot be. The benefits of a healthy and active life demand that you push your limits, that you challenge your body and mind over and over, day after day. At a biological level, to build strength, your body must literally eat its own fat reserves, tear muscle tissue, and build that tissue back (stronger than before) while you sleep. At a mental level, you must push beyond self doubt and fear to challenge yourself. In fact, fitness depends on failure – you must work to the point of failure, fail, then rebuild, and try again.

It is (literally) much easier to just sit on the coach or better yet, move – but not really push it (the casual, slow treadmill trod + gym, make-up selfie comes to mind – if your fake eyelashes are still in place after a workout, you are doing it wrong). What’s more, as a general trend, we like being comfortable. We do not like failing. We do not like pushing limits. We do not like risk. We do not appreciate challenges that demand change, effort, or transformation. In fact, as a culture, we have associated this kind of hard work with negative stereotypes and erroneously believe that when we are rich enough, fit enough, successful enough,  we can stop working so hard; our success will be portrayed by our constant ease and effortless existence (Mai Tia’s on the beach anyone?).

Not to mention the fact that exercise (in the gym and treadmill sense) is, well, really boring.

Fitness (and just about any level of success) demands intense and consistent effort. It demands that we continuously move beyond our comfort zones in pursuit of something just beyond, always – not just until we realize a specific weight or dress size.

You cannot eat whatever you want.

Tacos? Anyone?

You know what else releases all those feel good endorphins? Food. And my God, do we have an unhealthy relationship with it. It is a source of pleasure and guilt, of joy and torment. And this dysfunctional relationship makes any nutrition program difficult. In short, diets don’t work. To realize life long health and wellness, we need to fundamentally change the way we view food and nourishment. We cannot simply cut out food groups or drastically cut calories. Exercise is hard work; it will make you hungry. To exercise, you must eat – but we also cannot eat whatever we want whenever we want. We need to learn how to fuel and nourish our bodies, how to read and satisfy hunger cues, how to foster a healthy relationship with the foods we eat. This takes time and effort; it demands knowledge and agency.

And, just like physical activity, it takes work – from the inside out. Did we mention that work is hard? Yes. yes it it.

The Trap of Routine

As human beings, we adore routine. We are creatures of habit, and we like to know what to expect; we like to feel in control and we appreciate the semblance of control that our routines provide. But routines, while they can provide a sense of stability that we all love and admire, are detrimental to fitness and wellness. In fact, that gym routine is working against your fitness goals. To continue to realize the benefits of a fit and active lifestyle, you must challenge yourself – meaning, you must purposefully avoid and push past your comfort zone.

All this hard stuff? You have to do it forever.

Health and wellness isn’t a journey with a definite destination. This journey? It is a lifelong process.

The problem of motivation

Doing hard things forever is difficult – even if those hard things are incredible for you (and make you feel and look fabulous). To be successful in the long run, to make good choices every day from this day forward, you are going to need motivation – intrinsic motivation.

All the little external tricks that we use (that brownie for completing that run? that dress you bought? that trip to the spa you promised yourself?) are not the ticket to permanent transformation. Traditional forms of motivation (losing a specific amount of weight, fitting into a specific dress size, competing in a run or charity event) have a definite end. They are dependent on external cues and, once those cues have been met and satisfied, the motivation to stick with and do “the hard things” fades.

To be and stay motivated long after the initial glamour collapses into a pool of sweat, to continuously pursue challenge and possibility, to push beyond your comfort zone time and time again, you need to build an internal motivation source. In short, to motivate external transformation, we have to first change inside – internally.

How Coaches Create Intrinsic Motivation

The question then: what motivates us at our cores? What are the deepest needs and desires motivating our daily choices and actions? On a daily basis, we need:

  • to be accepted and loved
  • to interact with others
  • to feel empowered and powerful
  • to feel important
  • to be organized and “in the know”
  • to feel unique
  • to be supported
  • to feel as though we are a part of something more or greater

Coaches, thus:

A little helping hand makes it all that much easier (and more fun)
  1. Build and maintain online fitness communities (fitfams) that support long term health and wellness goals, inspire healthy choices, and encourage individuals within that community to overcome challenges and to continue moving forward. These communities enable members to share their journeys and to share in the journeys of others, appealing to our natural desire to be a part of something greater than ourselves while simultaneously cultivating acceptance, support, and social interaction – anytime and anywhere. In your community, you are surrounded, virtually and physically, by others who understand your struggles, who support your fit lifestyle, and who share in your triumphs and set backs (making those triumphs that much sweeter, and those set backs just a little bit easier).
  2. Run fitness challenges, utilizing various tools, programs, and incentives. Coaches don’t simply build a community and then set you loose to wander, aimlessly (I have definitely walked into a gym more than once and, unable to figure out how to work that $#! thing, walked out)! Using a diverse set of programs and tools, coaches establish expectations along with specific workout and nutrition programs. They provide the knowledge and the means to realize these expectations, step by step. They take the guess work out of fitness, tailoring your program to your specific goals and unique needs/concerns while providing the knowledge, support, and guidance necessary to realize success – day in and day out.
  3. Enable you to pursue fitness any time and anywhere. Coaches understand that we all lead busy lives. Thus, they provide the support and tools necessary for you to integrate fitness and healthy choices within your daily “routine.” Your coaches are always just a message away – and while you are still responsible for you, coaches empower the members of their community to take an active role in their own transformations by requiring active engagement, accountability, and above all, positivity.

If you are looking for something that works, if you are ready to take the next step forward and commit to a healthy life and lifestyle…

You aren’t looking for a gym membership, spin class, or the next diet craze. You are looking for a coach.

Ready to take the next step? Click here to make me your coach.