Happy May!!

Last week I was dealing with editing my book, moving stuff and oh yeah, PEAK WEEK so I cut myself a break and skipped the CROF Weekly Update! This means that today’s update is JAM-PACKED with cool stuff! Hang on to your hats!

First and foremost, I am proud to say that I won 6th place last weekend. Read about the experience of my 3rd bikini competition here!

I’m also incredibly proud of my former client, longtime friend and now TEAMMATE Lauren Palm for also KILLING IT last weekend! The competition was fierce, but as always we had a blast!

Aside from traveling for the competition, I’ve been feverishly writing in efforts to finish the final round edits to the full manuscript of Dare To Move (the book) by August.  Then  I plan to launch www.DTMthebook.com and market the book for a December 9th publishing date! Woo!

My clients are CRUSHING IT– see the Client Spotlight section to read about Torey’s 20 Takeaways from her first 12-week #DTE cycle, learn about how Karyn lost 7.2 pounds, how Lauren feels about her wedding prep and see how my other bride-to-be, Jillian is leaning out despite travel and living in Mexico!

The rest of the update will be short and sweet. The Nutrition section will feature how I navigated “Peak Week” (the week before the bodybuilding show) and also cover how I managed my “Post-Competition Refeed” weekend/treats. The Training section will note some of the workouts I did during Peak Week!



As mentioned, last week was Peak Week. During Peak Week some people say you shouldn’t work out, others say you should do bodyweight exercises only… I say, do what works for YOU.

For instance, in the past I’ve woken up the day after an intense deadlifting session and felt super lean/jacked. I like the way I look when I’m lifting heavy, frequently. But here’s the thing…..this past prep (read about it here) my heavy lifts took a little bit of a back seat, and I added cardio into my bikini prep for the first time ever! (In the past I taught spinning but never counted it as “cardio” since I modified as the instructor and it was already a part of my lifestyle).

And, in Peak Week the number one thing you MUST do is NOT CHANGE MUCH! Therefore, since I’d been doing six to seven, 30 minute cardio sessions a week, I kept those in there. Training was simple and looked like this:

Monday: 40 minute weighted vest walk, shoulders with Jeff in the evening

Tuesday: Moderate deadlifts, hip thrusts, hypers and chin-ups, power walk 20 minutes at night

Wednesday: Heavy Chest day, 20 minutes of jogging/sprinting Power walk in the evening 20 minutes

Thursday: powerwalk + biceps

Friday: 100 kettlebell swings and walking at the airport

Needless to say I turned up the cardio volume, didn’t even get to do a squat day and to be honest it’s all a bit of a blur (thanks, low carbs)!


Jeff and I kicked off Sunday night, (Day 1 of Peak Week) with some ahi tuna steaks. I cooked them in a marinade of molasses (~60 cals/tbsp) and Tamari, (GF soy sauce). We ate the tuna with brown rice, broccoli and mushroom!

Monday night and most of the week I ate flounder, as Jeff was busy packing up his place. The entire week, my diet stayed consistent with a lot of rice cakes, a few No Cow bars, a TON of flounder (to keep carbs) low and also a TON of egg whites.

Speaking of egg whites, on LOW CAL days I had 2-3 servings of 1 cup of egg whites, enjoyed with low-cal, low-sugar ketchup and parmesan cheese. Sounds weird, I know, but I love it. I also ate a lot of asparagus because it’s low calorie and SUPER filling. I enjoyed it with ranch seasoning sprinkled on top!

Thursday night before I left for the competition, Jeff and I ate bacon wrapped cod! It was about 140 calories per serving…. 35 cals for the turkey bacon slice and 90 for the cod! It was super filling and tasted so rich! I bought low sodium just to be safe, since the last thing I wanted to do was change my sodium intake. I must note that I hadn’t been monitoring it at all, however, I had NOT been eating bacon at all and didn’t want the additional sodium to throw anything off.

On the plane I packed some beef jerky, plain oats, a PB&J and roasted asparagus. I had my cup of egg whites before I left with a No Cow bar. I tracked everything the day before the competition and the day of, until dinner….

The Competition “Refeed”

My amazing Mom brought us donuts from Taylor’s Bakery in Indianapolis. We both loosely tracked 300-400 calories for the donuts and then planned to include them in our 1200-1400 calorie “Competition Day.” That night we wanted to enjoy a “free” meal to celebrate and unfortunately although we had the BEST TACOS OF ALL TIME (only one each) we both got sick form either the pork taco, the duck on the salad or the bread we ate with olive oil. We both felt queasy and had to leave dinner early. It was a bummer!

On Sunday, my original plan was to go back to tracking but after a long day of travel and little sleep I let myself eat whatever I wanted… I decided to enjoy some vanilla Fluff butter (vanilla flavored protein-peanut butter) two handfuls of dried prunes, and a Muscle Cookie I found in my cabinet. For dinner Jeff and I went to Whole Foods and I got a big plate of broccoli and un-trackable chicken salad. I ate what sounded good. I’m sure that I ate close to 3,000 calories! But today I weighed in at 124.2 only 1.5 pounds higher than I weighed in the day before the show. Two days will NOT kill you! In next week’s update I’ll talk about the Reverse diet– currently experiencing Week 1 now, and so far, SO GOOD!

Client Spotlight:

Torey’s 20 Takeaways:

A little bit about Torey:

She was down 5.4 inches total from various body measurements in 10 weeks. Her weight hasn’t changed a ton because she began lifting, so it can mess with her head, but the measurements don’t lie. She is killing it. Now I’ll let her do the talking…

1.      The scale is not everything. In fact, it constantly fluctuates so I can’t let it be my everything.  

2.      Cardio is not the answer. I had to change my relationship to cardio. I was so used to feeling like I deserved to torture myself with cardio after a “bad day” of eating. I shouldn’t be using cardio to maintain a lifestyle. It should be intelligently integrated into the program to help maximize progress.

3.      Carbs aren’t the enemy. Think of them as fuel instead. I’ve eaten pasta, potatoes, pizza, and pancakes throughout this process and have actually seen progress. Pancakes for progress!

4.      Freedom! There’s freedom to eat what I like and freedom to make choices without feeling like I’m constantly sacrificing. If I want pizza and vodka I make room for it in my macros.

5.      Plan ahead – especially in the beginning because on most days I shouldn’t magically expect to hit my protein goal without some preparation.

6.      Measuring everything brings me peace of mind. And made me realize how much olive oil I used to cook with…yikes.

7.      Be nice to myself. Feelings are subject to change with each passing moment but I have a choice in how I interpret them. I have a choice in how I react.

8.      It’s okay to be frustrated sometimes…if I’m following the program. If I’m having a day (or a few days) where I’m not committing then I don’t reserve the right to stress at weigh-in.

9.      Track progress through multiple factors – progress photos, measurements, PR’s in the gym, etc. For me it’s been the ability to do more push-ups, higher dumbbells, more endurance, stronger core, etc.

10.   Trust! Once I committed to this program I promised to whole-heartedly trust in myself, trust in you, trust the program, trust my body to handle the work, etc.

11.   This is a journey. It’s not a diet or a quick fix. This is about the long-term and I’m only just beginning.

12.   Be honest with myself and my coach. The more I can articulate and share my truth, the smarter we will both be.

13.   Self-awareness is key. It’s important for me to note how my body and mind feel each day; check in with myself; pay attention to how my gut (literally) feels about the macro levels or the new products I’m trying.

14.   Self-doubt is a waste of time. Some days are harder than others but I need to try to remove self-doubt from the internal dialogue. For example, when I see progress in measurements I somehow doubt that I’m accurately taking the measurements. Even though I am consistently measuring in the exact same spots, my mind wonders, “It can’t be possible that I’ve lost nearly 6 inches overall – can it?” Of course, it can. But somehow that old self-doubt wants me to believe otherwise.

15.   Don’t try explaining this program to others who don’t share in this lifestyle. In my experience most people are used to traditional “dieting” like I was and therefore can’t understand this program. They fear carbs and resort to cheat days. Co-workers would look at my lunch of sweet potatoes and chicken and say with judgment, “wow that’s a lot of potatoes…”. Or they’d offer sympathy when dessert would be offered at a meeting because surely I couldn’t have that. (Eye roll). I learned early on to keep quiet about the details and just trust in this.

16.   Don’t expect to see the scale move each week. Just don’t.

17.   Put in the work. I don’t need to kill myself but I understand that I have to put in the work to see improvements.

18.   That said, listen to my body. If I’m super tired then I’ll rest instead of lifting. If I’m super hungry then I’ll adjust macros and have a snack. I probably need it at that point.

19.   Consistency is everything. Every-thing. I’ve seen faster results with past “diets” but they don’t stick. That’s what led me here in the first place – I needed a long-term solution. I needed to finally understand how my body functions. I needed to gain control over my mind because that’s most of the battle. Stay the course. Don’t give it up.

20.   Be vigilant. For me that means tracking everything, getting in at least 3 workouts a week, committing to my daily check-ins, weekly weigh-ins and taking the dreaded progress photos.

Karyn’s measurement DROPs:

“Befores” on the left, “Week 110 Update” on the right. Scroll down to see Week 12 bikini progress!

Karyn has lost 7.2 pounds since February 27th. She’s seen the scale stall out MANY times, but has prioritized her strength no matter what in this journey and she ALWAYS plans ahead. Recently she hosted a friends and family get together and instead of serving pizza or cheese and crackers or chips and dip they did a really neat spread of grilled meats and veggies, she enjoyed wine and they had a few treats. Little changes like that make ALL the difference. See her fat loss chart taken by her trainer below, followed by her progress photos. PS: she deadlifts 145 for 10 reps!!!!

Looking good, Karyn!!!!

Lauren’s Journey:

Lauren is preparing for a wedding and highly motivated. Sine beginning the program I’ve seen her grow so confident and also FIERCE in t he gym! She has increased her activity and output using the MoveWith app! I’ll let HER tell you more 🙂

Garrett’s program is not a diet. It’s not a get-thin-fast plan, a plan that will require you to forgo actual food for shakes, or a plan that leaves you feeling hungry all the time. There’s no gimmicks, there’s no product to purchase. Garrett’s plan does require you to change the way you think about food and eating. It’s a lifestyle change, and it works.
I started this program to prepare for my wedding, and, at first, I was concerned that the scale wasn’t necessarily reflecting the numbers I wanted to see. But I trusted Garrett, and once I started looking at my pictures and taking measurements bi-weekly, I started to really understand what body re-compositioning is about. (At this point, I’ve lost 8 inches over my whole body.) Right now, this is about more than looking good in my wedding photos, this is long term.
Not once have I felt deprived or like I couldn’t have something. However, as I started looking at the balance of what I was eating every day – protein, fat, carbs – it became clear when one choice should be swapped for another to keep things even. The MyFitnessPal app has been a godsend with tracking all of this and it will even allow you to put in the daily calorie goals Garrett sets for you, and it will also show you the breakdown of your macros throughout the day so you can stay on track if something has come up that may throw a wrench in your daily plan.
At first, I was intimidated by this program and the intensity of which I would need to be monitoring myself (weighing everything on a food scale, planning every bite of food in advance), but after the first week it was almost like second nature. Now, I don’t even have to think about it that much, and when my one-on-one 12-week program with Garrett ends, I’ll keep doing this. It’s forever changed the way I look at food. I feel better throughout the day, more energized, and even my “nervous stomach” issues have subsided.
As for exercise, I’ve never liked it that much, and this program doesn’t demand that you go hard every day. But it does require that you lift weights a few days a week and challenge yourself incrementally with that. I enjoy weightlifting. There’s an app called MoveWith where Garrett is one of the instructors so you can do her workouts, or any of the others – there’s a nice array. Or you can find your own circuits with online resources. I think my biggest problem when going to the gym in the past has been going without a plan. Again, having a plan and printing it out and making notes whenever you do something is a little bit of a chore, but it’s only a slight extra effort up front for something that then makes all your workouts more productive.
Thank you, Garrett, for offering something that’s different than anything else out there, but that’s also just a simple guideline to living well. I’m excited for my wedding next month, but I’m more excited for the rest of my life of staying healthy, balanced, and active!

Jillian’s halfway photos:

Jillian is an old sorority sister of mine who recently moved to Mexico! Despite being away from her fiancé and adjusting to living in a new country, this bride to be is UNSTOPPABLE. Her body recomposition is undeniable as her shouldered abs are becoming more and more defined, since increasing protein, carb, and calorie intake! WAY TO GO JILLIAN!!!






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