3 Essential Tools for Success

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Hey lovebugs- I want to talk to you about success. No one magically achieves their goals. 

But guess what? With the right amount of effort, motivation, and strategy, it is completely possible to:

  • Achieve the body you want
  • End the cycle of calorie restriction and hours of cardio
  • Transform your self-esteem and confidence
  • Become fit and strong from the inside-out

I have clients doing these things as we speak, and they are changing their lives! I’m so thankful to be a part of their journeys.

But getting there wasn’t a breeze.

They have all had bumps along the way. Over time, I’ve come to realize that feeling “stuck” is generally caused by a lack of three things:

1. Courage: the ability to move forward in spite of fear.

It takes courage to move out of our comfort zones and try something new. Investing in ourselves and taking a leap of faith is essential to achieving our goals.

When I took that leap of faith, I was able to completely transform the person I am. Your fear won’t go away, but you have the choice to overcome it.

2. Motivation: Know exactly what you are fighting for and why.

Do you have a clear picture of what things will look like once you “get there”? How will things be different? We are ignited by a unique energy that comes only from the pursuit of something that will transform us into the person we want to be. My energy was ignited two years ago when I started my own journey, and it was been burning bright ever since.

3. Guidance: having support from someone who has been where you are.

Whenever I’ve needed advice or someone to confide in, I have always been able to turn to my mom, my best friend, and my fiance. As wonderful as they all are, none of them had every been through the journey that I was on. I read all of the free exercise and diet articles online and did my best to apply it, but nothing was as powerful as working with someone who gone through this journey before me. This journey isn’t meant to be done alone.

I’ve created “Invigorate” to give you the guidance you deserve. There’s no reason to wish or wait for success any longer.

Registration for “Invigorate” is currently open!

In this high-level program, I’ll give you everything you need to finally achieve your goals:

  • 1:1 coaching
  • Personalized workout guides
  • Tools for optimizing the mind-body connection
  • Strategies for overcoming obstacles

You’re never going to feel completely ready, and it’s never going to feel less scary, but believe me girl- everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side.

Love,

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I Stopped Worrying About Calories and Finally Got the Body and Life I Wanted

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It’s no secret that fitness is a pretty important part of my life, but it hasn’t always been that way. I stumbled on to it during a difficult time when I was transitioning out of a long-term relationship and into single life. I had little confidence or self-esteem and was using drinking and partying as a way to cope. I spent my weekends partying until the early hours of the morning, with only blurred memories of my nights. It left me feeling empty and unfulfilled. I was unhappy, but I didn’t know how to change.

In the midst of my unhappiness I stumbled onto strength training and fitness, and while I didn’t know it at the time, it would soon become the catalyst I needed to change my life and finally find happiness (and strength. and confidence. and peace within myself. but I digress!).

[Want to get started making a change in your life too? Click here for your free 5-Step Guide from Lift Beautiful!]

THE COLLEGE YEARS

I wasn’t always interested in fitness. During college, the party scene ruled my life. I took full advantage of my newfound freedom and spent my time partying and living off pizza and fast food.

The drinking and unhealthy eating started to catch up with me and during my sophomore year, I put on the dreaded “freshman fifteen”. It wasn’t a huge increase in weight, but my self-esteem was already low and insecurity about my body began to creep in. To combat it, I cycled back and forth between barely eating and doing hours of cardio in an attempt to cancel out the food I ate. I was developing a very unhealthy relationship with food and exercise, but all I cared about was being skinny and partying.

That lifestyle continued in the years after college, although to a lesser degree. To accommodate the 9-5 lifestyle of a working adult, I limited my heavy drinking to the weekends and drank wine a few nights a week to unwind from work.  I was religious about getting 5-6 hours of cardio in every week in an attempt to keep the weight off, but despite the regular exercise and restricting my food intake, I found myself struggling to make any progress. I was getting frustrated- I was sure that calorie restriction and cardio were what I needed to “get skinny” and I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t working. I resigned myself to the fact that as I neared my mid-twenties, my metabolism was slowing down and there wasn’t much I could do about it.

THE TURNING POINT

At 26, after a particularly wild weekend of partying, I spent a full day on the couch nursing a hangover and unhappily recalling my drunken antics from the previous night. That’s when it hit me: I didn’t want to do this anymore. I hated the fact that I was using alcohol as an outlet for my unhappiness, and more significantly I didn’t like who I was becoming. I didn’t want to continue being this party girl, but I felt lost. I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Fast forward a month and the gym I belonged to was offering two free personal training sessions to members. Although I had no desire to work with a personal trainer (I just wanted to go to the gym, get my cardio in, and leave) they were giving $100 gift cards to anyone who completed the two free sessions, so I decided to go through the motions and get my gift card- I had big plans to use that free $100 for a massage!

I considered myself to be in decent shape from all the cardio I was doing, so I  went into my first personal training session with little enthusiasm. However, after one quick 30-minute session, I was quickly humbled. I was sore for an entire week- everything hurt! Even walking and laughing were difficult from my sore legs and abs. We had done a lot of very basic moves like push-ups, lunges, and squats and I couldn’t believe how sore they had made me! I humbly began to consider that maybe I wasn’t in as good of shape as I thought, and that incorporating some strength training into my cardio-only routine might be a good idea. 

[Want to learn more about the 5 exercises that helped me burn more calories than the treadmill? Click here for all the deets from Kristen.]

I had no clue how to workout with weights, so I bought a couple more sessions with my trainer to learn. She had sparked my interest with her style of strength training. It wasn’t the slow, low-intensity workout I had always pictured it to be- she pushed me hard and  I was always sweaty and exhausted after that 30 minutes. While the workouts were tough, they left me feeling accomplished and with a desire to get stronger and improve (and not simply a desire to burn calories). I don’t take for granted that I ended up with a trainer who had a profound ability to motivate and inspire me. Life has a funny way of gently pushing you in the right direction, and this was my push.

FINDING MYSELF THROUGH FITNESS

As I learned to incorporate strength training and circuit training into my routine, my confidence grew. My relationship with food and exercise also began to transform: the workouts I was doing were tough, but they left me feeling empowered and strong. In the past  I had always looked at exercise as something I had to do in order to burn off the food I ate, but with my new workout program I was starting to get stronger. My motivation for working out slowly shifted: I cared less about calorie burn, and more about getting strong.

I also started noticing how much better my workouts felt when I ate good food, and enough of it. Eating 1,000 calories a day meant I couldn’t get through these kinds of workouts, so I stopped restricting calories so severely and began to focus on eating good, healthy food instead. My viewpoint was beginning to shift: I started to see food as fuel.

Four or five months into working with my trainer, I was regularly strength training and circuit training and I loved how good my workout program was making me feel. Still, I continued to spend my weekends partying which meant that Saturdays and Sundays were spent hungover on the couch. I started to resent the fact that I was nursing hangovers every weekend when I could have gotten a workout in and felt energized. Though it happened slowly, I was coming to an important realization: fitness made me feel better than partying.

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Over the next year, I slowly cut back on drinking and started finding other things to do in my free time. I started dating someone who fully supported my decision to spend less time partying, and we found other things to do on the weekends: hiking, movies, local festivals, etc. I didn’t give up alcohol completely, but learned to enjoy it in moderation.

Looking back, fitness became the foundation on which I rebuilt my life. It was the catalyst I needed to stop burying my unhappiness with drinking and partying, and find the strength to live life fearlessly. It became a stepping stone for building self-esteem and confidence, and has transformed me into the fit, strong, confident girl I am today.

This journey has taught me that we truly have the power to create our own future- we just have to be strong enough to take that first step. If you’re continuing to struggle with restricting calories and spending hours doing cardio without seeing results, I want you to know: it doesn’t have to be that way!

If you’re ready to make a change, download your free copy of my guide “5 Exercises that Burn More Calories than the Treadmill in Less Time” and you can get started TODAY!

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10 Small Things to Get You Through a Bad Day

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So you’ve had a rough, no-good, just-plain-terrible day. The kind of day that makes you want to crawl into bed and not wake up for a week. While that does sound kind of great, I think we all know that hiding under your covers might not be the best way to deal. Try a few of these ideas to decompress and rekindle that fire inside you:

Get some fresh air

After a tough day, fresh air is a must. Nature is good for the soul and taking in some fresh air will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed. It brings you clarity and increases serotonin levels, meaning your mood will get an instant face-lift.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the most effective and overlooked stress relievers and mood boosters out there. Just 10 minutes of exercise, whether it’s a simple walk or a more intense HIIT workout, will get your body producing endorphins guaranteed to boost your mood and bring you a sense of clarity. Even better- take your workout outdoors to increase those mood-boosting and stress-relieving effects.

Have a good laugh

The internet is a fantastic place to find silly, goofy memes and pictures- take advantage and pin your favorites to a Pinterest board for easy access when you need a good laugh. Not a Pinterest person? Hop on over to YouTube or throw your favorite comedy in the DVD player to put a smile on your face.

Take a hot bath

Soaking in a hot bath has a way of making your stress and worries feel a world away. Turn down the lights, put on your favorite music, and let it all melt away.

Make a list of the things you’re grateful for right now

After a sh*t day, it’s easy to lose perspective. Grab a notepad and start listing the things in your life that you’re grateful for right at this very moment. Your mom. Your sister. Your dog. Your muscles. Seeing a concrete list of all the great things in your life is a gentle reminder that while today wasn’t great, there are a number of things to thank your lucky stars for.

Light a candle and stretch it out

Do yourself a favor: light your favorite candle, grab your yoga mat, and stretch. The stress you’ve been feeling all day makes your muscles tense, and stretching helps relax them, in turn helping relax your mind and bring you a sense of calm.

Grab your furry friend

Animals are the best kind of stress relief and bringers-of-happiness. After a long day, there’s nothing better than coming home to a dog who is JUST SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU. It’s impossible not to feel better. Don’t have a furry friend of your own? Hop on http://cuteroulette.com/#/ or Pinterest to find some adorable animals that will put a smile on your face.

Read a book

Ahh there’s nothing like a good book to turn off your brain and let your mind get lost in the story. Picking up your favorite read is shown to help de-stress and un-frazzle our minds- so grab your favorite Harry Potter book and get to reading.

Vent it out

To your best friend, your mom, or whoever your person is. Not big on talking about your feelings? Grab a notepad and vent your frustrations on paper. Whichever your preferred method, get those frustrations out! Once they’re out, it’s easier to get your sense of calm and clarity back.

Pull yourself together

You’ve gotten your fresh air and taken a hot bath. Now it’s time to pull it together, girl. Elizabeth Taylor said it best:

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MORE IS MORE

THE PROBLEM WITH CALORIE CUTTING AND HOW IT CAN HURT YOUR PROGRESS

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Excuse this snapchat pic, but it too accurately depicts exactly what I’m trying to get across. For a very long time (we’re talking years), I was religious about doing 6+ hours of cardio per week and eating less than 1200 calories a day, but was always left wondering WHY in the world I wasn’t losing weight. I always came to the same conclusion- I must be eating too much. Better slash some more calories.

AGH.

There are a number of things wrong with the approach I was taking to losing weight, #1 being that I was absolutely tanking my metabolism, and #2 being that I was incorporating zero strength training into my exercise routine. So if drastically slashing calories and doing hours of cardio aren’t the answer, what is??

FAT LOSS

When we look at fat loss, in theory, decreasing caloric intake and increasing exercise sounds like the logical way to go about it, but in practice it doesn’t always work that way.While we need to have a caloric deficit to lose body fat, it can’t be simplified down to “calories in vs. calories out.” Our bodies are complex and adaptive and this can make trying to lose fat a huge pain in the a$$.

Because our bodies are so adaptive, when you decrease your calories, your body will respond by slowing  down your metabolism. When you drastically cut your caloric intake over and over for extended periods of time (hello, yo-yo dieting), you will slowly wreak havoc on your metabolism, making it harder to achieve the goal you’ve set out to achieve.

UM WHAT? So if we can’t eat too much and we can’t eat too little, what are supposed to do????

BE PATIENT

You have to cut your calories for fat loss, but it’s BE SMART about it: for the typical person, this would mean a decrease of 250-400 calories a day from your normal intake.

I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING: “but Krissy, if I only cut between 250-400 calories a day, this is going to take FOR-EV-ER.”

Stay with me. It’s tempting to jump right in and cut 600,700, 800 calories every day, but that is very much like putting a band aid on a broken leg. A few weeks down the road, your metabolism is going to start slowing down, your workouts are going to feel sluggish, and your progress is going to stall. If you want it to last, you gotta go slow!

STRENGTH TRAIN AND HIIT

Speaking of metabolism, did you know there is a fantastic, wonderful way to amp yours up?

If you’re not already incorporating strength training and high-intensity training (HIIT) into your workout routine, they are both a MUST. After consistently doing them 2-3 times a week for a year, I was eating 2000-2500 calories a day (that’s double what I was previously eating) AND I was leaner than ever before.

How does this work you ask? 1. Strength training builds muscle, which burns more calories. 2. High-intensity training causes an “after-burn” effect, so your body burns extra calories for up to 24-hours AFTER you’ve finished your workout. These are free calories people- what are you waiting for!

To summarize: weight-lifting and HIIT = more food and less body fat.

STICK WITH IT

Real results require consistency and patience. Make strength training and HIIT a priority, fuel your body properly, and you WILL see the results of your hard work. PINKY PROMISE.

If you’ve been training harder and still aren’t seeing the results you want, we can help- Contact us today!

 

Quick and Healthy Breakfasts for When Your Morning is Chaos

Put down the poptart! These tasty suggestions can be whipped up in minutes and will keep you full ’til lunch:

TOAST

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So delicious, yet so overlooked. Slather it with your favorite nut butter, top with fruit and
chia seeds, and you’ve got yourself a grade A breakfast.

 

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– Chocolate protein powder
– Frozen berries
– Water

1,2, and 3- Just like that- the most delicious smoothie you’ve ever laid hands on. You might never need to ice cream again- it’s that delish (but let’s be real- we’re going to have ice cream again. It’s ice cream). If you have a few extra minutes, throw it in a bowl with your favorite toppings for an all-out smoothie bowl.

 

PROTEIN GREEK YOGURT BOWL

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Excuse my paper plate, but I was eating this on the go at work (the ultimate beauty of it).  Mix plain greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons of chocolate protein powder and top with fresh fruit and a small handful of granola. So good that I literally can’t even.

 

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For those times that you have the stroke of genius to plan ahead, overnight oats are a GAME CHANGER. Grab and go as you’re running out the door. See full recipe here.

 

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And finally, a fan favorite: eggs and avo. If you have ten minutes to spare, this heavenly creation is the best kind of breakfast, any day of the week. Easy, healthy, and so very delectable.


Pin it!

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Strength Training Makes Your Whole Life More Awesome- Here’s Why

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WHAT UP FRAAANDS! I’ve been feeling re-invigorated about my fitness routine lately- especially about strength training. Obviously I love the fact that lifting weights has helped me decrease my body fat, protects my bones, blah blah blah. But putting aside those (wonderful) physical results, lifting weights and feeling strong has had a crazy wonderful impact on my whole life, and I want YOU to know why you should be adding strength training to your weekly exercise routine:

It pushes you outside your comfort zone
Comfort zones are a wonderful thing- so cozy and safe, like curling up in sweatpants on the couch on a cold winter night (or if you’re like me, a hot summer night- my beloved sweatpants are on no matter the season). As humans we’re wired to seek comfort- but nothing great is ever achieved by staying nestled inside your comfort zone.

Change is a very, very good thing. And if you want to change, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable! Lifting weights requires you to do just that: get comfortable being uncomfortable. Every time you try something new, every time you push through the last couple of reps when you’re muscles are burning, you accomplish a feat; you gain confidence. You open yourself up to new possibilities both in and out of the gym. Keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and see how much bigger your life gets.

It increases your self-confidence
Strength training comes with the obvious benefits- you’ll get stronger, burn more fat and calories, and look more toned. But beyond the physical benefits, strength training has an amazing ability to make you feel more confident in your own skin.
 
When you feel strong, you start carrying yourself more confidently, putting yourself out there, and doing things you once never thought you could do. By boosting your self-esteem, strength training can change who you are, inside and out.
 

You’ll start to look at food as fuel

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For years, I saw exercise as one thing: a way to burn off the calories I ate. Images like the one above promote the idea that you have to “earn” your food with exercise. I say this is BOGUS. 

We NEED food to function (yes, I know, that is science coming at you). There were days when I thought eating 900 calories a day was the way to obtain the body I wanted, but in reality I was simply tanking my metabolism. I should have focused less on calories, and more on quality. And when I started strength training, that’s exactly what began to happen. My motivation for working out began to shift. Instead of thinking about how many calories I was burning during a workout, I became more focused on getting stronger.

When you start lifting weights, the effects that food has on your body begins to be SUPER amplified. You’ll start to notice how great your workouts feel when you eat chicken and veggies, and how sluggish they feel when you eat donuts and cookies. You’ll start choosing the chicken and veggies over take-out pizza (okay not every time, but sometimes), not just because it’s “healthier”, but because you know how much better your body is going to feel the next day- how many more reps you can do, and how much further you can push yourself. It really is a beautiful thing!

Simply put- you’ll start to see food for what it is- fuel.

You learn the value of discipline and consistency
Results from strength training don’t happen overnight. Consistency is key if you want to see progress. It took four months of lifting and gradually cleaning up my diet before I started to actually see visible results of my hard work. Six months in people at the gym were suddenly telling me how lean and “cut” I looked- I had people asking how I did it. So often during those first months, I resigned myself to the fact that my body just wasn’t meant to have abs or defined muscle. Despite that, I loved how strong I felt,  so I kept at it. And wouldn’t you know- the results eventually came.

So get out there! Pick up some weights, focus on getting strong, and watch your life change.