Coaching With Courtney
5 Moves to Have You Memorial Day Ready
February 28, 2018
Summer isn't quite here... yet, but it is approaching fast

And I can't wait! My soul is giddy with excitement but I also understand the small twinge of panic that can begin to set in for people, when they realize that bathing suit isn't very far away. 

So how do you get that bikini body? 


Put a bikini on your body!

If you have a body and a bikini already and you want to feel even more amazing and confident walking on the beach this year check these few exercises out. 

I have put together 5 key exercises to help take your confidence, strength, and fitness to the next level this beach season. 


✳️ 1) Hamstring Curls

Many people have over developed quadriceps (muscle in the front of the legs) and under developed hamstring (back of the legs). 

The imbalance of strength here is one of the factors that leads to knee injuries and pain. 

Doing these hamstring curls will help strengthen the back of your legs, keeping your knees happy, but will also tighten and smooth that area back there. 

Start by doing 6 reps slow with control.
As you get stronger increase the reps to 10-12 repetitions for 2-4 sets.

  •  Keep your glutes squeezed and your hips high throughout the movement.
  •  Raise your hips as you bring your ankles towards your butt.
  •  Slowly let your legs return to start posistion

✳️ 2) Goblet Squats

Squats are an incredible exercises for total body, not to mention the legs. Squatting involves every muscle of the thighs and legs as well as the core, especially with the goblet squat variation.

If you are new to squatting begin with your own body weight, focus on controlling the entire motion through 5-8 reps. 

As you get stronger increase the load with added weight. 
Work between 5-15 reps depending on how challenging your weight is for 2-5 sets.

The lower the reps the higher the weight should be.
The higher the reps the, weight should be moderated to light.
However, no matter the weight or reps, every reps should be spot on!

  •  Bring the kettlebell or dumbbell to the front of your chest. Pinch your elbows down.
  •  Take a breath in, push your hips back and lower your body down. Keep your knees apart and your chest high.
  • Push through your heels to return back to your start positon. 

✳️ 3) Hip Thrusts

Butts! Have become the newest crazy. One I can really get behind, all pun intended, because in order for your glutes to change you need to put some muscle on back there. 

Instead of always wanted to be smaller, this encourages a different mindset of become stronger! 

When doing hip thrusts use the mind muscle connection and “squeeze” or contract them as much as you can through out the movement. 

The glutes are unique in that they can handle large volumes (lots of reps and sets), loads (weight / time under tension), and frequency (how often you do it) – all fancy jargon for you can work the glutes 3-4 times a week and should if you want to see them grow, tone, and tighten.

Start by doing 8 reps slow with control.
As you get stronger increase the reps to 10-25 repetitions for 2-4 sets.

  •  Place your shoulder blades against a bench or box that is the same height as your shins.
  •  Keeping your hips, shoulders, and head in line lower your hips toward the ground then raise them until you find yourself in a table position.
  •  Bring your chin to your chest, tuck your hips, and squeeze your glutes.
  • Keep your spine neutral lower yourself back down and repeat.

✳️ 4) Inverted Row

The row is probably one of the most under-utilized, yet highly effective and important movement there is.

Increasing the strength of one's back decreases back pain, keeps the shoulders happy, and even improves posture. 

Start by doing 8 reps slow with control.
As you get stronger increase the reps or decreasing the angle of your body to the floor!
Work up to 10-15 reps for 2-5 sets!

  •  Keep your body in a straight line from your head to your ankles
  •  Pull your body to your hands, pulling your shoulder blades together and being sure to keep your glutes and core engaged.
  • Lower yourself back down to the start position with control. 

✳️ 5) Sprints

Sprints are the most metabolic way to strengthen your whole body!

Core, hamstrings, quads, glutes, arms, you name it, it works it! Everything from your feet to your neck is being engaged. The legs are used to help transfer the forces your glutes and quads are producing to propel you forward at maximum speed. The hamstrings help recovery your leg for the next step, while your core is fully engaged by transffering the forces from your arm action to your lower extremities all while keeping your from flopping over like a limp noodle. 

PLUS! It is a huge calorie burner. Double whammy!

Start by doing hill or tredmill incline spritns, the incline reduces risk of injury while giving you added metabolic benefits.
Try 15-20 second all out sprint with full recovery.
As your fitness level increases sprint for longer with the same intensity for 20-30 seconds. 

Do 5-10 rounds

  •  Start in an athletic position.
  •  Keep your arm action sharp and effective by keeping your elbows locked at 90 degrees with all the motion coming from your shoulders. 
  •  Strike the ground with the ball of your foot.
  • When slowing yourself down to finish the sprint get low to the ground and make your steps short and choppy. 
There you have it my 5 key exercises.

Summer will be here before you know it! 

My wish for you is to feel happy, confident, and fit so you can enjoy life to the fullest!

The next 8  Week Nutrition Course is starting soon (right on time to be completeing it by Memorial Day). If you need help navigating nutirtion join me here!

Overcoming The Cycle Of Binging & Restricting
February 14, 2018
Whoops... I did it again... ate a whole half a pie of cherry cheese cake (a family specialty).

Listen we have all been there. Even the people seemingly in the best of shape or who have it "all together."

When 1 cookie turns into 4.

The day just couldn’t be won, so next thing you know, you’re mindlessly munching on everything in front of an open fridge.

When pizza at 2 am after dancing the night away is the best and only idea (because well, pizza).

Where you’re white knuckling it all week long, depriving and resisting everything remotely “bad.” Then Saturday comes and the rabid dog breaks off his chain and eats whatever is in sight, whether it is tasty or not.

It is so frustrating. Feeling inadequate and disappointed in yourself because you were a failure at reigning in your cravings and overindulged … AGAIN.

But life doesn’t have to be like that: a constant tug-o-war with food and emotion.
The thing that gives our body nourishment and essentially life should not be the source of anguish, anxiety, and stress.

Believe or not food is a part of life. It should be enjoyed!

I mean, come on, when in Nashville, eat hot chicken. Duh.
So what is there to do? 

Similar to anything else that is sustainable – it is going to take time and a shift in how you handle and see your environment. A mindset shift.

And tons of practice.
Here are 6 ways to help begin your process of breaking the cycle of restricting and eating everything in sight.:

✳️ 1) Lose the completely restrictive diets. 

I very rarely ever do the traditional “meal plan.” Why? Because I have learned that those unbelievable foreign and restrictive diets don’t do much for majority of people besides stress them out and set them up for failure later.

It may sound crazy but get off the fix, detox, cleanse, or whatever else you want to label a ridiculously strict or hard diet to follow. If you can’t stick to it forever you’re going to end up quitting. And you never want to get into the habit of quitting.

Instead I like to use guidelines, simple strategies that grow into habits you no longer have to think about. It becomes automatic. 
  •  This might mean starting with a list of food to stock their kitchen with.You can use these different foods to build healthy meals, of your choosing, that are delicious and appetizing to you.
  •  You can also try and focus on not only what but how you eat; are you rushing? Mindlessly munching? Eating to the point of feeling overstuffed? How we eat it just as important as what. Building the habit of slowing down, sitting, relaxing and taking at least 15 minutes with every meal helps us stay in tune with our own hunger cues. Allowing us to feel satisfied but not stuffed, and stop when we are 80% full.
  •  Then there is the 80/20 rule! 80% of the time eat whole, nutritious, and healthful foods, while 20% of the time allow yourself to enjoy life, drink a beer, have a cone of ice cream. Why? Because life is supposed to be enjoyed. You can have a healthy and fit body and still have some birthday cake here and there.

✳️ 2) Start with smaller action steps.

It is similar to the whole, “I’m going to start on Monday” routine. If you have to gear up, strap on some ammunition, and seriously pump yourself up to start a new nutrition plan or diet – it sounds like it might be like something we mentioned above.

Instead try to take bit sized pieces, so-to-speak.

Instead of overhauling your whole life and trying to change everything all at once, pick 1 think you know with 100% confidence you can handle. You wont be stressing about a tiny change, you will be able to execute and do it all of the time – forever. 

You’ll feel successful and good about yourself. Those positive vibes will make it easier and less painless to continue.

I’m talking about doing something that seems so easy, you roll your eyes when you consider taking on that task. I use this with my clients, somethign so simple they literally roll their eyes at me and say "BUT I CAN DO MORE!" 

Sticking with something eye roll worthy means you'll actually be able to STICK with it and after two weeks or so it automatically becomes a healthy habit you no longer have to think about doing. It is automatic. It could start with something like drinking a glass of water everyday as soon as you wake up or going for a 30 minute walk twice a week. You will be surprise how big of a dent these, seemingly minuscule actions, can do for you.

✳️ 3) Keep a journal.

I’m not even talking about a food journal where you write down all of your food for days and weeks on end. Yes, that can be helpful – but I actually want you to start somewhere a little deeper.

Every time you get a craving or find yourself with your mouth full and fingers reaching mindlessly in front of the fridge or cabinet, I want you to pull out your journal and write down how you feel. 
It may seem a little frew-frew but many times our mindless or excessive eating or over indulgences come less from: “I’m hungry” and more from: “I’m sad” or “I’m bored” or even “I’m happy”.

Figuring out your emotions and what is triggering the self sabotaging habit is going to be the real tool in breaking it. If you deal with the actual root – the emotion that is driving the action you nip it right in the butt and wont need life hacks, distractions, or healthier alternatives.

✳️ 4) Have a plan.

I know for me if I fail to plan, especially after a long time on the floor coaching, I get home famished. 

Which is a problem. As I am preparing and cooking my meal I can’t resist “picking” on whatever is in my path. This leads to me not being hungry for my actual nutritious meal and often over eating.

Having a plan is the best plan! Prep foods. I’m not talking about meal prepping every meal and having your fridge stocked with cold Tupperware of the same meal. That to me is pretty unappetizing (see number 1).

What I mean is have healthy foods on hand that can be thrown together quickly. 
  •  Often times I will go to the store and get the biggest cut of salmon they have. I’ll season it up, bake it in the oven then divvy it up into 6 or so portions. From there 3 of those go into the freezer and 3 go into the fridge. I have the main part of any meal ready; now all is left is to tailor the rest of my food around that based on what I am craving that day. Broccoli and quinoa one day, sweet potatoes and stir fry the next
Having stuff on hand, that can be prepared in minutes, helps ensure you never get to the point where you black out from hunger and wind up on the kitchen floor dipping tortillas into peanut butter (yes that has happened, and yes there is a picture to prove it – but I couldn’t find it hah).


Maybe give it like 30 minutes then have the damn thing. 

 Trying to avoid or replace the thing you really want with something “healthier” may work for some people but I find that isn’t the case, more often than it is. Instead of eating yourself orange with carrot sticks trying to replace the thing you really want, only to then eat that thing 45 minutes later....

This definitly isn’t the best for our goals or psyche.

Try and wait 30 minutes. Do something in that time like go for a walk, play with your kids or pets, get something done you have been putting off. Chances are you will probably forget about it.

However, after the time is up and those sugar plum fairys are still dancing in your head - just have it! 

Have a responsible, adlut, portion and put it to rest. 

(However, usually, I find the craving  goes away – because why I wanted in the first place had nothing to do with being hungry or some other physiological reason. It once again was more of an emotional response that I now have worked through or forgotten.)

✳️ 6) Don’t be so hard on yourself and stop expecting perfection.

Life and you,  are anything but perfect. 
It took me a while to finally realize that (sometimes I find myself getting sucked back into that thinking, which we all will), but wow what a weight off my shoulders.

Realize that you are going to slip up, make mistakes, and eat a half a box of cinnamon toast crunch every once in a while. 

That doesn’t make you a bad person, a failure, or ruin your shot at feeling confident and happy in your own skin. It is a learning process. A moment when you get to show yourself a little bit of kindness you would part on anyone else and move on.

Punishing and torturing yourself for days after just breeds even more “negative” and bad behaviors. Take it for what it is and keep moving forward. 

Just like one good meal isn’t going to make you, one slip up or bad meal isn’t going to break you or your chances of having the body of your dreams. It is what you do for the long run, over time that really counts.

Take these tools, put them into action, and move slow! It took years to build unproductive eating habits and unhealthy relationships and feelings about food. 

It is going to take some time to come to a place of balance and build more constructive habits.

And if you need help naviagating that all, let me be your sherpa! Get the coaching and guidance you need to make real change.

How To Stay Motivated ...
What  "Health Nuts" and "Fitness Freaks" Know That You Don't
January 10, 2018
"I exercise for a while and then I stop... I can’t seem to stick to it.”
"I eat really well & meal prep like crazy for like 7 days... but then it get's to be too much work..."
“I just CAN'T stay motivated!!!”

Do you find yourself thinking or saying one or all of the above?

You're not the only one! Infact this funny video inspired this article today and got me thinking... has the motivation from the opportunity of a New Year already started to lose it's shine?


Here is the biggest lie your local personal trainer has been telling you: "You're lazy, unmotivated, and lack commitment or the "want" to make a real change. 

Motivation is an emotion that is driven by expectation. 

I'm going to break that down...

1. Motivation is an emotion because is comes and goes. 

Ever wake up on the "wrong side of the bed"? And just feel off, sad, or depressed all day? Does that last forever?


How about the flip side... Ever wake up in the best mood ever and not sure why? Does that last forever? 

No! Motivation is the same way! Sometimes you will have it, other times you wont.

2. Motivation is driven by expectation. 

Let me share a scenerio with you:

Let's say Lisa has decided enough is enough and she is ready to finally lose weight and do WHATEVER it takes to make it happen. So... for the past 4 weeks she has been going to the gym for a hour 5 times a week consistently. She has been meal prepping, eating nothing but veggies and protein, skipping wine, and even eating "clean" when she (rarely) goes out.

When she weighs herself at the end of those 4 weeks she is apaulled and frustrated... she has only lost 4 lbs! She is frustrated and feels like a failure, because after all she has been doing everything right but the scale only says "a few" pounds down!

Her expectation of  what should be happening is now affecting how she feels about the work and the action she has been taking.

Nevermind the fact that, that this is in the normal  healthy fat loss range, actually at the high end of the normal range (.5-1 pound a week). But her expectation of what she thinks should be happening, that it should be more, is now making her feel like this is all for nothing...

Sound familar?

It is hard to stay motivated when you have unrealistic expectations, fail to see the progress beyond the scale and are solely riding on emotion. 

The reason why most people fail at losing weight... is because they think they aren't making decent progress. 

What the major difference is between those "health nuts" and "fitness freaks" and someone who is struggling just to get the wheels spinning is understanding the truth about motivation and having realistic expectations. 

"I've ONLY lost 4 (6, 10, 12) pounds!!!"

I can't tell you how many times I have heard people I work with say that back to me after measurements. 

Is this you too?

Downplaying, and even sometiems, refusing to recognize the great progress they have and are making, I'm not just talking about the numbers....

✅ Remember .5-1 pound a week is HEALTHY & SUSTAINABLE weight loss. Anything more and your chances of putting the weight back on quickly, skyrockets.

✅ The day in & day out of decent nutrition! The biggest win of them all!
 The kids are having pasta and meatballs & you really want some but say no, you even don't pick at it like you normally would. 

✅ Been going to the gym consistently 4-5 times a week when normally you would have given up or made excuses by now.

✅ Went out on date night and DID have 2 slices of pizza and a glass of wine. Normally you would have helped finish the pie and drank a whole bottle, but you were practicing moderation.

THAT sh*t is f*#king HARD!

That everyday, day in, day out, small habit changes are hard! 

That is where the real wins lie. 


What "health nuts" and "fitness freaks" do, think, and look at differently that allows them to see long term success and stick to a healthy lifestlye change:

✳️ They don't solely measure their progress off the scale or the numbers. It's like trying to solve a mystery with only 1 peice of evidence and your eyes closed. How can you have a good understand of what is going on if you don't take everything into consideration?

Instead they look at the WHOLE picture, not just 1 aspect of the evidence. 

Things like:


✳️ They don't rely on motivation to take action. Remeber motivation is an emotion, sometimes you'll want to, other times you wont. But when you set clear intentions, like I will go to the gym for 30 minutes, 3 times a week, it is easier to just get it done. And when that motivation wind comes... they harness it to it's full potential!

✳️ They look for, and celebrate, the small wins that have nothing to do with their physical appearance or the number on the scale. 

Wins like: ate a healthy breakfast everyday this week, got in 10k steps 5 times this week when normally they don't, was able to do squats with the 30lb kettlebell instead of the 25lb kettlebell, got their first perfect pushup, was able to sleep soundly for 8 hours through the night, had more energy, etc. etc. 

✳️ They don't put a strict time frame on the weight loss/fitness goals they want to achieve. This goes back to the unrealistic expectations I mentioned earlier. When a time frame is strictly set, there is more pressure to get there, and when we don't, or come super close but just miss it  we fail to give ourself credit and feel like failures. 

Instead have an idea of that goal and chunk it down into small, daily, aciton goals, like going to the gym x times a week, eating a healthy breakfast everyday, etc. Those are the things that really matter and that you have control over!

✳️ They understand that having fun and enjoying the process is just as important as eating right and going to the gym.

Start practicing eating in moderation, especially those fun and free foods. If you are always saying no and restricting those fun foods, eventually the process will become unrealistic because it isn't enjoyable. 

Do include 2-4 (proper portioned) fun/free meals. This way you are nurturing your psychy as much as you do your body with the healthy food and fitness.

✳️ They aren't so hard on themselves!! 

Show yourself some damn compassion! Just like you would if a friend came to you and told you the scenerio I shared earlier, that they have been working SO HARD for a month and ONLY lost 4 pounds. 

Would you tell them, "Girl! Just quit already!"

If you would, you're a terrible friend.

More than likely you would encourage them, tell them how they are doing everythign right and to keep going! "You came so far and made so many changes with your habits already, don't stop now!"

Most of all remember that mistakes, life, and sh*t happens! You might take a misstep, you might eat a "bad" meal or over induldge sometimes, you won't always feel like it and sometimes that will get the best of you... 

Same this happens to those who appear to have it all together and are always motivated...

And just like they deserve the best changes of success so do you!

So ensure you are giving yoruself a fighting chance by showing yourself some compassion, letting go of feeling like you have to be perfect to get to where you want, and remember that as long as you don't  give up you will get there!

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Never Walk Into A Gym Intimidated Again...
December 20, 2017
Have you ever walked into a gym and instantly got overwhelmed?

Yeah me too! And I’m a fitness professional!

For me, as soon as I step foot on the floor I’m trying to asses the situation and figure out what exactly I should do according to the equipment they have there and available. See, I know what to do, just not where to do it.

But, maybe you feel overwhelmed because you aren’t sure what it is you are suppose to do. You really want to tone up (build lean muscle) and lean out (burn fat) but aren’t sure which exercises to do or even how to use certain tools like dumbbells (DB) or kettlebells (KB).

You feel stressed out, lost, and silly. And not to mention it is almost a full time job trying to avoid the muscular guy with his nipples hanging out of his shirt. (There is always one of those guys ahaha!)

So, you decide to stay where you feel safe and comfortable, on the elliptical. Yet you’re frustrated because you have been glued to those cardio machines for 2 years and aren’t seeing the results you feel like you should have earned by now?
GIRL! I get it.

I use to running endlessly on boring treadmills for hours and never really noticing a difference in the way I looked, felt, or performed. But where the real change happened is when I peeled myself off of the cardio machines, worked up enough courage, and ventured into the weight room.

Then I had no idea what I was doing.

But you can be different! I have put together a guide to help you know what to expect and what do, so you look like you know what you're doing when you hit the gym! You can download that guide
HERE! Go ahead, download it really quick befor we move on to exercises!

Weight training increases your results tenfold by increasing strength so your cardio sessions are more effective, increasing muscle mass so you look toned, and it increases your metabolism by helping you burn more calories throughout the day, while you’re not training.

OKAY! But how?! What exercises should you be doing and how do you put a workout together? 

I'm here to help! 

I put together a list of the 6 most fundamental movements everyone should include in their total body weight training sessions; beginners to advanced. Because, you deserve results just like that sweaty meat head fogging up the mirror.

Use these, with you're Ultimate Gym Guide, to take the guess work out of your work out giving you a set program and game plan. No more walking in the weight room intimidated and scared but confident.

By taking 1 exercise from each category you will be getting a complete total body workout that will increase your metabolism and get you looking lean and toned.

Plus! They are simple and can be done with dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell – all of which are a staple at every gym.

A great place to start is to pick one exercise from each category and complete 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps. Less sets and reps if you are just starting out.

Knee Dominate Movements: Squats
TRX Squat
Body weight Squat
KB Goblet Squat
SA KB Front Squat
BB Squat
Reverse Lunge
Horizontal Push: Push Ups
TRX Chest Press
Push Up
Dumbbell Chest Press
Vertical Push: Overhead Press
DB or KB Over Head Press
DB or KB Push Press
Incline DB Bench Press
Horizontal Pulls: Bent Over Rows
TRX or Ring Rows
DB/BB/KB Bent over row
3 Point Row
Vertical Pulls: Chin Up
DB/KB Up right row
BB/DB High pull
Body weight or assisted chin up
Lat or resistance band pull down
Hip Dominante/ Hinge: Deadlift
Glute bridges
KB/BB Deadlifts
KB/DB/BB Romanian deadlifts
Single leg Romanian dead lift
BB/BW Hip thrusts
If you avoided weight training because you feel like you didn’t know where to start or what to do, or that you didn't belong in the weight room – well, here you go!

I hope this gives you the courage and the push to leave the hamster wheels in front of the TVs and begin your journey with weights.

If you need help putting them all together download The Ultimate Gym Guide, inside includes a 4 week beginner weight lifting program. All of the exercises are linked to videos and explainations that show you exactly how each exercise is done. You'll know EXACTLY what to do!

And if you need someone to keep you accountable and help you navigate the process of body transformation apply for the next 12 Week Better Me Program! I help take the confusion and guess work out of your training, nutirtion, habit change, and mindset. Plus have access to a really cool, positive community of people just like you from around the world! 
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Thrive This Holiday Season, No Guilt Required...
November 15, 2017
The holiday season can be a quite a challenge, not just for your body composition, but mentally as well. 

The average American reports to gain 1 to 6 pounds of fat between Thanksgiving and New Years. Think about it, it really isn’t that hard to do!

The extra food:
Every weekend there seems to be a dinner or holiday party. There is more baked goods, sugar cookies, and delicious treats. You try to steer clear of all not-so-nutritious food but one day your willpower breaks and you’re 4 sugar cookies in and figure “Heck, whats one more?”

The decrease in activity:
You promise yourself that you will continue to stay super consistent in the gym. Afterall you feel like you have to make up for all those extra treats, so you wake up early, push yourself a little harder, and train maybe just one more day a week. But that is unrealistic especially when it is pitch black at 6 AM and below freezing. Instead, you promise to leave work at a certain time to make the evening sessions – but when in doubt something always seems to come up!

The extra stress:
The gifts, the parties... the PEOPLE - why is your family so crazy?! 

The holiday season packs extra calorie-dense, nutrient lacking food with a decrease in activity, plus, the extra cortisol (stress hormone). So it is easy to see why we might not feel our best once the New Year hits.

And when most people’s New Year Resolutions of getting fit, fall flat, you find yourself feeling frustrated and like a failure.

Nothing is worse than feeling like a failure.

Instead of doing the same thing you have done many years before, all with the same (or no) result, I challenge you to leave the yo-yo diets behind and practice strategies that really work. Not just during the holiday season but, forever.

Now, I’m not the kind of nutrition coach that believes in total restriction or being a slave to your healthy lifestyle. That could be necessary for a small margin of people for a short period of time. But hell, if I did that myself 100% of the time everyone would hate me and so would I.

Instead, I believe in the 90/10 or 80/20 rule.

Meaning, 80-90% of the time make good choices, eat whole, healthy foods that nurture and allow your body to perform at its highest level. While the other 10-20% of the time, indulge and enjoy life.

A typical person eats between 21 (3 meals a day) and 28 (4 meals a day) meals in a week. 

If you apply that 90/10 ratio: that leaves 2 – 3 meals where you can have anything you want. Have that cinnamon bun, cheese burger, 2 glass of wine … or 3, all while still getting to your body goals relatively quickly.

If you subscribe to the 80/20 rule you would get even more free meals. With this ratio, you have 4 – 5 meals a week that are free for pure junky-ness. Obviously, the 80/20 ratio done right will produce results but over a longer timeline than the 90/10 will.

Here’s what Taylor had to say after losing 10 pounds and 14 inches in 8 weeks. We followed the the 80/20 approach, broke her all or nothing mentality, and she can’t believe how much success she is seeing while eating more food, including those deamed as "bad".

 Either way, this doesn’t mean you get to drink the whole bottle or eat the whole tray of cinnabons and still call it only 1 of my 10% meal! Proper portions apply both to the healthier choices and the other choices.

The way I see it the holidays are about enjoying life and the people you love.

We all want to enjoying life. After all my personal motto is: if it isn’t fun, it isn’t worth doing. Everyone needs time to relax, laugh and let their hair down... which maybe includes a glass of eggnog.

Where it gets tricky is trying to find that balance. 

See, we all have goals we also want to achieve. However we don’t want to be robbed of all the fun. The balance is the sweet spot where you can still fully enjoy events, people, and situations and still see the results you desire within your body. Finding that balance for you takes some trial and error plus time to trust the process, let go of ‘diet’ mentality, and figure out the strategies that work best for you.

The good news is that if you have been consistent with your training and nutrition for the many months before this time of year, a day or two of moderate celebrations will not even put a dent into all your hard work.

But we could all use a little help during this time! Here are my favorite strategies and tools that have worked with my clients and students when it comes to navigating our favorite time of the year happily and healthfully!
  • Have A Plan! 
  • I bet you think I am going to say meal prepping! Well sorta…
  • What I mean here is, I want you to have a loose game plan. Take a look at your calendar and the upcoming events, parties, or obligations you have. Prioritize the things that are the highest on the fun list for you. For those events schedule yourself a free meal. This way you can be free to have the things you really want without the guilt.
  • Practice The 80/20 or 90/10 Ratio! 
  • If you know there is an event coming up where there will be foods or drink you want to participate in, schedule them for your 10% meal. The other 20 plus meals (80%) in the week fill your plate with tons of vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  •  Refrain From Drinking Your Calories! 
  • Steer clear of empty calories that are found in beverages like soda and juices. They pack quite a lot of sugar and calories and can easily add up to 500 plus calories without you even realizing it.
  • Unless you prefer a nice cocktail to the baked sweets flying around; then that counts as your scheduled free-be.
  • Take A Once Around. This is one of my favorites!
  •  Ever get to a buffet, don’t know what is offered so you just grab a bit of everything? That was totally me! Instead, work around the room and find everything the party or event is offering. Once you have a good lay of the land (or spread) decide on the foods that really speaks to you. Then have those things. This way you don’t waste your time or palette on things that you really didn’t care about.
  • Think, “Am I eating just to eat?”
  • Sometimes I catch myself putting something in my mouth I don’t even really like or enjoy all that much, and mid-chew I ask myself why am I eating this. If you don’t really like sugar cookies and that’s all they have to offer, don’t just eat one just for the sake of it.
  •  Eat Slowly!
  • This is a HUGE one! 
  • Our body takes on average 20 minutes to figure out whether or not we are content or full. The problem is the average person eats so quickly that though the food amount might be just right we still reach for seconds because we haven’t given our body enough time to cue us we are full. So try slowing down. Chew thoroughly, take a sip of water between each bite, put your fork down, and/or engage in your company!
  •  Stop Eating When You're No Longer Hungry!
  • This and eating slowly go hand in hand. When you are able to slow down you become more in-tune with your body’s fullness signals. When you feel you are no longer hungry or at 80% fullness that is your body’s way of saying ‘I’m good, you can stop eating now!’ This is a powerful skill and will take some practice perfecting, so be nice to yourself!
  • Try to enjoy the people, company, and conversation fully.
  • Being present is a really tough thing for people to do, so this might take practice! Instead of thinking about the list of things, that cheesecake on the table, or texting your friend, really listen to the person you are talking with. Fully engage in the people around you! Not only will it distract you from food and help you slow down while eating, but you’ll probably strengthen a bond with a person that could use a little re-enforcement.
  •  Drink Lots Of Water!
  • The oldest trick in the book, chug some water. Before. During. And after! This will help fill keep you hydrated, help with digestion, and allow you to better feel your fullness cues.
  •  And if all else fails, tomorrow is a new opportunity.
  • It is okay to fall, stumble or feel like you fell off the bandwagon. That happens to the best of us, especially when you are figuring out your balance. Afterall this isn’t a diet but skills to help you be successful forever!
What is not okay is to fall off and play possum on the side of the road for 3 months after. 

Right after that event, meal, slip up, or unplanned snack you are given another opportunity to practice your skills and conquer them. That very next second. So, be kind to yourself and seek to see all the ways you are creating wins in your life not missing the mark.

Remember, you really aren't doing as much damage as you think during the holiday season, unless you let is snowball into 3 months... 

You can spend another year saying, “Tomorrow, January 1st, next year.” Or you can spend the last few weeks of 2017 being conscious of your choices and actions, becoming a little better everyday.

A year from now you can be exactly where you imagine if just got a little bit better today, then tomorrow, and the enxt day... in 1 years time you would be a whole new person. And the whole process wouldn't feel tiresome or insanely hard.
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