This has officially been the longest I’ve ever gone without posting a CROF Weekly Update since I started my online business. I cannot wait to catch you up on everything that’s been going on with me, my clients and tell you all about what’s to come for CROF this spring/summer!
First of all, Happy 2017!
Going into 2017, I made very few New Year’s resolutions. If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw this post:
If you have your health (or the drive to prioritize doing your best to take care of yourself), time and giggles with the ones you love, friends who call to say hello, favorite snacks that aren't hard to find, someone who even just the thought of inspires a smile, warm cozy sweats and plans to do something fun on your calendar, you're gonna be OK this year. For me, I don't have any hard and fast resolutions this year (gasp!), but I have a short list of habits I'm going to be more mindful of (listed at the end of this). I have some big exciting things on my calendar, but not because I want to make 2017 a "thing;" I have them because they're in my nature and I'm constantly moving and doing what I love. In 2016 I had a LOT of fun. I giggled as much as I did when I was 7 and hunter was 5 (he always cracked me up). I stayed out late. I woke up early. And I worked really hard. But that's the thing, hard work doesn't guarantee success. All it guarantees is comfort in knowing that you're owning your passions and not giving up on yourself. Hard work brings me clarity and happiness, and so I KNOW I'll continue to "grind." For all of you out there without SUPER SOLID resolutions (like me), let's make little baby resolutions. Mine are as follows: be very polite and courteous, continue to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, smile more, hug harder, show strangers compassion, be neater, drink more water. My biggest fear for 2017 is that I won't get to spend as much time with dear friends as I did in 2016, because that was the biggest blessing for me– I got to spend quality time with everyone (I know and love). You've got you and your dreams; that's all you need. #powerfullyin2017 #daretomove
And I noted that my few, basic resolutions were: be very polite and courteous, continue to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, smile more, hug harder, show strangers compassion, be neater, and drink more water.
Simple enough, right? And so far so good! I’ve traveled a lot already this year, hit some lifting PRs (which I’ll discuss further in the training session), begun #bikiniprep for a competition April 29th, and added a new human into my life, my handsome boyfriend Jeff.
Jeff an I were set up by one of my Barry’s Bootcamp and #DTE clients and our very first date was a 17-hour snowboarding date. Our second date was less than 17 hours after our first date, at an aquarium. And the rest is history. Because a lot of you are dying to know more about Jeff, I’ll give you three facts: he’s uber outdoorsy, (as in, he hunts for food he then cooks it for me), he works in finance, and he can do a pull-up with me hanging on him (he’s STRONG!).
As for me, during what we will call a #writersbreak, I’ve traveled quite a bit. You see, not only have I taken a break from writing/posting CROF Weekly Updates and articles, I’ve also taken a month-long hiatus from working on my book, Dare to Move. I finished the full Manuscript of the novel, (#DTMthebook) and spent most of January reworking Part I. After Part I was completed, I put the whole re-working process on pause for February and this first half of March. I’m still TBD on whether or not it will be out for summer like I initially planned, but long story short, I’m still working on it arduously.
While on my writer’s break I went home to Indiana twice to see my new baby brother, Quincy.
Then in February I went to Rincon Puerto Rico for the Mother-Daughter Surf Trip you read about here. Since surfing, Jeff and I have gone to Vermont, Florida and New Hampshire to snowboard and attempt surfing/sandboarding. This weekend I will be headed to New York City and then Snowmass, Colorado the following. Phew!The silverlinging with all the travel is that it gives me time to write for you, and inspires new nutrition strategies!
Speaking of nutrition tips, many of you are familiar with the Fat Loss Tips for Summer Series, Parts I-IV, which I wrote in 2015. This month I’m launching a second series of Fat lOss Tip, titled Fat Loss Tips for Spring, so get excited!!! The first one will be out next week. The article is based off of a Dare to Eat Diary (audio article) on MoveWith.com’s MoveWith app for fitness. The Audio class titled “Dare to Eat Diary: How to stay on track without Counting Calories” and it will be live this week. (Scroll all the way down to the bottom of this update for a secret coupon!)
If you haven’t tried any of my audio classes, head on over to MoveWith.com The audio classes are now live and unfortunately no longer free. However, a $6.99 subscription allows you to be able to exercise with me as your coach anywhere in the world! I offer classes like “Lower Body Blitz” using dumbbells, or treadmill workouts featuring playlists created by me! It’s a crazy thing, but kind of cool to know that my Dare to Eat clients can do workouts coached by me, even when I’m not there! Checkout my instructor profile here. (Coupon at the end of this update).
The final part of this longest CROF Weekly Update Intro ever, is about my Dare to Eat Group Program. At the commencement of 2017 I launched an 8-week group program with 14 people in it and there was enough interest in a second group that I’m currently running two programs at once!
All clients in the January 1st group crushed it and 75% of them wanted to keep going. As I find 8 weeks of dieting to be incredibly short-term, I was willing to let all of them continue on for a second cycle, which launched last week!
For the first time ever, I have clients doing essentially what is a 16-week program. But, to show you a little bit about what one can accomplish in just 8 short weeks, I’ve shared a few testimonials and progress updates from 8-week clients! In the Client Spotlight you’ll also find progress updates from group members who’ve worked with me in come capacity for over a year! So cool! Don’t miss the Client Spotlight at the end!
The Dare to Eat Lemon Group is in week 5 of 8 at the moment and they are crushing it as well! If you are interested in the #DTE group program, check out the testimonials in the Client Spotlight and let me know if you want to pre-enroll for the next group, launching April 10th!
And now, without further adieu, read on to find out more on my Training, Nutrition & tips, What I’m Reading and the Client Spotlight!
If you’ve followed me for at least a year you know that I lift 3 to 4 times a week. I have a bench press (upper body) day, a squat day (when I focus on glutes primarily) and a deadlift day where I focus on back, chin-up practice and hamstrings. If I can fit in a fourth lifting day it’s a front squat and upper body mixed day where I add in what I feel needs the most practice.
Until last week I was teaching 1 to 3 spin classes a week, which helped me keep up some cardiovascular endurance. On weeks I taught only one spin class, I’d take a Barry’s Bootcamp class.
For about 10 weeks leading up to February 8th I was training to compete in my third powerlifting meet in the USAPL federation. I got snowed into Boston and was unable to make it. It was a bummer for sure, but I didn’t let it hold me back from attempting one rep maxes. I was relieved to not have to cut weight for weigh-ins, though! Friday evening the 6th I attempted my lifts, even though I’m typically a morning lifter.
I was tired from lack of sleep and a lower calorie week since I was planning to cut weight, and managed to still perform fairly well.
You may have read my article “Alternative Motivations” the week before where I discuss my powerlifting goals for 2017. I wanted a 300 pound deadlift and a 225 back squat. As for bench, I simply wanted to lift more than 115 pounds, since I hit that goal last year and I really don’t care about bench press.
When it was all said and done, (without spotters might I add!) I ended with a 225 pound squat, a 135 pound bench press and a 275 pound Deadlift (matching my old PR). Video footage shown below.
Flights out of Boston were canceled. Getting to Indy and then Chicago to compete wasn't feasible. And I'm not that mad; avoiding stressful airports is okay with me! But I wasn't going to NOT test my 1 RMs this weekend!!! I didn't eat jelly beans, I didn't cut weight and I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night. But I wanted to go for the tests anyway so I have recorded benchmarks as I am approaching the 10 weeks out marker from my next bikini competition. Because there was nobody here to spot me, I was not only cautious on loads but also with form; my depth wasn't really there on the squat, I lifted my heals on bench and didn't have the adrenaline from a crowd to go higher than 275 on the deadlift. My squat was 225!!! A 25 pound PR from last January's meet. My bench was 135!!! A 20 Pound PR!!!! My deadlift remained the same but I have strong feelings that 300 will happen in 2017 and I can't wait!! Glad to have these 1 RMs on film and in the past– I'm so ready to pump and lean out!! I absolutely love my body at 125-126 pounds, but, everything feels a little easier when you're lighter. I'm posting this because I want to demonstrate how consistent effort in the gym over TIME will produce results. But it doesn't have to be your entire life! I've been snowboarding the past two weekends, doing gymnastics all year, taking yoga once a week and two weeks ago I taught 4 spin classes. Do what you love and you won't ever be "on" or "off." Strength is a skill and strong is power. Own it. Practice it. Be proud of it.#daretomove #powerlifting #fridaynight
If I’d been at a meet and had judges, I doubt my bench would’ve counted because I bounced it off of my chest (instead of a firm pause), but I was also nervous without spotter (don’t try this at home alone!).
My squat wasn’t terribly low due to fear of being alone in a gym without spotters, too. I was tapped out by the time deadlift came around, but overall I was very impressed with my ending numbers. I’ve come a long way since 2015 when I missed a 225 pound deadlift, squatted 170 and benched 107!
You will have to excuse me, but in this section I’m going to go on a mini-rant when it comes to my opinions on strength training and exercise frequency. All of my #DTE members, feel free to like this post on Facebook if you agree and can relate to unlocking the power of “eat less, do less.”
But, before I rant, I’ll update you with my training since the mock powerlifting meet: there’s no big changes!
For my training, I’ve tried my best to do a bench, squat and deadlift day each week. My fourth day has typically been a Barry’s class or shoulders/triceps or biceps workout with Jeff.
As I look forward to my bikini competition in 7 weeks, (April 29th), my workouts will shift to become a bit more hypertrophy focused (higher reps) but powerlifting WILL remain a constant as it always has in my last two bikini competition preps.
As for my mini-rants, I want you all reading to understand that unless it is your goal to train for an endurance race/triathlon etc, you don’t need to workout for two hours every day! Heck, you don’t even need to workout daily! Taking two rest days a week is a smart move, if your typical workouts are very intense. And no, you will not gain weight from taking rest days! Part of what I love about the Dare to Eat Program is that it teaches people how to strike a more moderate balance between exercise and nutrition. No more chasing cardio minutes to “burn off” excess weekend calories!!
My rant was inspired by a plethora of fitness posts I follow on Instagram that makes it appear that we (fitness people) workout all day, every day. And I know all about how fitness is a “hustle” and somedays you might have to teach two classes, I’ve been there! But general speaking, as a fitness professional, walking the walk is important and I would never want to lead by exercising three times a day, because 1) I do not need to workout 3 times a day to get lean 2) nobody has time to workout 3 times a day and 3) working out three times a day is not sustainable in the long run.
I might add a 4th reason…. exercising in a bunch of fitness classes can and will make strategic training for a strength goal or fat loss compromised. It’s hard to wrap your hands around what you’re eating or what is a good amount for you to eat on a normal day, if most of your normal days are filled with hours of exercise. And it’s hard to strategically program for an athletic goal if your “workouts” are random exercise you cannot quantify or repeat.
In a few weeks I’ll have an article out on how I structure my strength training workouts and the science behind why, stay tuned! If you want to know more about how I train, click on any of the past CROF Weekly Updates and you’ll be able to read more about my training and get several free workouts! I usually post all training logs in this “Training” section and will start again next week!
In this section of the CROF Weekly Update I typically take a moment to touch on my current physique stats if I’m in a competition prep mode, discuss nutrition articles I’ve written or share recipes I’m trying.
This week I’m going to demonstrate what SLOW but steady progress looks like via my MEASUREMENTS since January 1st!
I’m not going to show you photos or scale-weight numbers… just simply measurements. Before I tell you/show you how mine have changed since January 1st (roughly 11 weeks!!) I want to note a few things about my “diet:”
- I have NOT omitted alcohol
- I’ve eaten cake
- I’ve strength training 3-4 times a week
- I’ve taken four barry’s classes
- I’ve been out on dates and traveled out of state 6 times
I’m consistently at the highest bodyweight I’ve ever had in my life, but feel strong. With more muscles comes a higher scale weight. My stage weight in 2015 was 113. In 2016 it was 116. I expect it will be 116-118 this time around.
Here are my measurements:
Thighs: 21.75 to 21
Chest: 31.5 to 29.5
Butt: 35.5 to just over 35
Hips: 34.5 to 32
Waist: 31.5 to 27
Bust: 35.5 to 34.5
arms: 11.4 and 12.4 to 11 and 12 even
In sum, I’ve currently lost around 11-12 inches total and my scale weight has only shift about 4 pounds.
Obviously there were many benchmarks in-between January 1st and March 5th, but above you have the beginning to a week ago. This week is my time of month so I will not be taking new measurements until the end of this week. What’s interesting is that the biggest changes I witnessed were in the first four weeks. Then the next three weeks I barely saw any changes, and then in the last few weeks I saw a little bit more progress.
By the time my bikini competition comes, I hope to be about another 5 inches down from everything. I hope to lost another 5-6 (on the fast track now!!) before my competition. For instance, my wait at my first bikini competition was much smaller 24 inches and it’s currently at 27 inches on my period, so I’m hoping that it will be smaller by this Friday.
My three biggest fat loss tips/secrets so far this third prep are: waiting for dinner, sitting down for dinner, keeping protein higher and waiting for meals, not munching at the first sign of hunger. Dating Jeff has made dinner more exciting. No longer do I hunch over my computer and eat a random bowl of oatmeal or have a second late lunch and skip dinner. Lately we’ve been cooking meals and sitting down together, eating slowly and enjoying the meal. I find that practicing this helps me enjoy my food more, eat less and prepare more balanced meals.
Simple enough, right? I was guilty of not doing this simple strategy for so long! Try it tonight, I DARE you!
As I talk about a lot in the Dare to Eat Program, there is no perfect timing for meals. What matters is what timing will keep YOU on track. For instance, if you are the kind of person who will eat way too much if you wait until you feel ravenous to eat, perhaps having a snack in-between would help you. On the contrary, if you are someone who gets angry easily and *can* be moderate with snacks, maybe having several smaller meals a day is the better way to go! All that matters is how many total calories you get at the end of the day. If you have questions on this– comment below!
Some interesting facts about my nutrition during this prep so far is that I’ve had a lot of elk and a lot of alcohol! Jeff hunted an elk last fall and made an incredible elk stew we’ve had. He also brought over some elk back-strap, a very tender part of the meat from which we made elk tacos! It tasted like very lean steak.
As for drinking, as long as you can track what you are having, (vodka and tequila are typically the lowest calorie options) you CAN drink and stay on track. I had alcohol during both of my past preps and did well, so I haven’t held back this time either.
Next week I will reveal my progress photos in my new purple bikini! Stay tuned!
What I’m Reading:
- Returning to Exercise After a C-Section via Girls Gone Strong
- This Food Mindset is more effective than anything else via Fit University
- 8 Signs you Should Invest in Tech Neck via Death of the Desk
- How you can feel Amazing at Work via Death of the Desk
- Women are not Delicate Flowers Stop Telling us to “Be Careful” via Megahn Callaway Fitness
- Rincon “Life” School via Crossroads of Fitness
- Back to Basics: Creating an Effective Fat Loss Plan via Syatt Fitness
- Coping with Losing and Having the Best Contest to Date via B Dimez Training
This week I want to share two client testimonials from Dare to Eat Group members who have worked with me for over a year!
First up, Marisa! Read below to learn more about her physical and mental transformation! She’s worked consistently hard to attain these amazing results!
“I wanted to take a moment to tell you just how much this DTE program means to me and how thankful I am.
I didn’t realize that I was using food and exercise as punishment until, honestly, recently. I no longer do cardio for hours after “cheating/binging” in fact I honestly don’t binge anymore. Ive had higher than high days and can count the hangover’s ive had in the last year on one hand sure, but I feel so IN CONTROL, and for a very type A, perfectionist, organized person like myself thats the best part. If I go over, I know how to tweak things to get back on track in a healthy way – without restricting and without overexercising. I have NEVER in my life eaten so much and worked out so little. Seeing progress and knowing that a rest day is helpful as opposed to detrimental has been so amazing. These are things everyone tells you and people pretend to believe and to do but nobody really does. I finally feel like that elusive balance is mine. Tracking and knowing that I don’t have to eliminate my favorite foods so long as they fit has been so liberating, I Honestly don’t think i’ll ever go back to anything else. It may not be for everyone, but for me it is everything. The mental (and physical) changes i’ve seen over the last year I truly believe have helped propel other areas of my life too, my friendships, my career, my general happiness and well-being, and for that nothing I say will ever really truly explain how much of a transformation, inside and out, I feel but seriously, thank you. I’m so excited to keep going, get stronger, get tighter, and keep crushing goals one day at a time while still LIVING my life, enjoying wine, enjoying Halo Top, and making memories.
It’s been a long week so this is probably not worded or written well but I felt it important that I tell you how much I really believe in what you do. I have had an opportunity to coach some of our members through our weight loss challenge recently and while I of course don’t do anything diet or calorie related because I am not trained to, i’ve been sharing some of my opinions/experiences, some of your articles, answering frusterating emails. My job is so rewarding but this has made it even more so and I really don’t think I would have been in a position to offer help a year ago based on where I was mentally more so than even physically.
LETS DO THIS!”
Next up is, Sarah! She has truly come so far and I could no be MORE proud of her!
Sarah has gone from 149 pounds to 132 pounds in less than a year. She’s maintained progress over holidays and crazy summer weeks when she’s traveling and enjoying life, but then set her mind to Dare to Eat 8-week group programs, after completing a one-on-one with me. 17 pounds in a year is NO JOKE. She exercises when she has time, enjoying the Kayla Instines programs and spin classes. She and Marisa are both currently in cycle 2 of the January group program and they both hope to lose about two more pounds in the next 6-7 weeks. Keep it up, Sarah!
Third we have Alicia! Alicia is a brand-new DTE member. Read her story below!
Alicia lost 11 inches total. Her weight went from 139 to 134, and her sizes and body composition changed dramatically! Her biggest takeaway thus far has been mental relief. We stopped having her weigh in because for a few weeks the scale wasn’t moving, but she knew she was feeling lighter and more comfortable in her own skin. We learned to say ‘F” the scale and trust the numbers, nutritionally speaking. I cannot wait to see all that she accomplishes in this second 8-week Cycle! Go, Alicia!!!!
Next week have my beautiful and STRONG client Sarah, who just joined the 200 club deadlifting! She was stuck around 170 for a while, but with great form, she made it over the 200 pound hump with EASE!! Check out this sick video from last week! Way to ROCK, Sarah!
You might remember my client Lindsay from her badass powerlifting meet last year, but this year in the DTE Group Program she’s been doing the Group Strength program as well as nutrition and crushed a 285 pound deadlift and a 200 pound back squat!!!! Check out her back squat video below! Way to go Linds!!!!! I count get her video to upload so stay tuned for her videos next CROF Weekly Update!
PS: If you want try the MoveWith workouts for FREE and you haven’t already downloaded the app, head to this website and type in the promo-code: PRESSPLAYNOW-GW.