CHALLENGE: One Week Without Negativity

Overheard in the gym last week:

I suck at that movement
That WOD was the worst. I did so bad.
But I’m fat and slow.
I can’t do that.
I’m not fast.
I’m not very strong.
This workout looks impossible.
It’s too heavy.
I don’t want to do it.
It’s going to take me so long to finish this WOD.

For a community of positive people who are goal oriented and dedicated to improving themselves, we witness (and sometimes admittedly participate in) an astounding amount of negative talk in the gym.

You might think, “Well, that’s just things I say. But I don’t really mean them.” Beware….

“Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.”

What kind of person are you? The kind of person who focuses on the negative and lets themselves stagnate in mediocrity, or the type of person who approaches a tough situation with the knowledge that if they do their best, they will succeed and improve over time?

If you go into a workout with a negative outlook, you WILL have a bad time. The weights will feel too heavy. Your legs will feel too slow. Your lungs will burn. You will need to take lots of rest. If you modify to your level and push yourself a little harder when things get tough…if you lean into the obstacles rather than try to find an easy way around…you’ll find that you’ll be a happier person on the other side.

Negative SELF Talk:
Since we are NICE, albeit negative, people, we direct 99% of this talk INWARD to ourselves. I’ve heard things come out of your mouths that you would NEVER say to/about your friend or fellow gym members.

Every day, we tell ourselves, either in our heads or out loud, that we are not good enough.

Imagine raising a child and telling them that every day? Or having best friend and pointing out their weaknesses and never celebrating their strengths?

You treat yourself worse than you treat the people who are most important to you; but aren’t YOU the most important person in your life? You deserve more credit than you give yourself.

As people who are focused on improvement, we are all to ready to assume that we are not good or worthy at the moment. We discount all of the hard work and progress that has already been made to get to where we are, and we instead focus on the things we cannot yet do.

Why don’t we flip the switch and start a new habit? Approach each workout by thinking about your favorite part of it, the best way to approach and pace it, and with a success-based mindframe that allows us to succeed by simply giving our best effort.

CHALLENGE: Starting with TODAY’S WORKOUT, go ONE WEEK without negative talk. If you catch yourself saying something negative about the workout or your own abilities, drop and do 5 burpees or 10 cals on the Assault Bike on the spot.

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Working On Your Winter Body

“I’m working on my winter body, lol”“It’s bulking season, haha”… That’s what we normally say as we laugh and stuff our faces from from October 31st – Jan 1st.

But, of course. We know better. Whether we are intentionally bulking, or cutting, or maintaining, we know which foods to eat in order to perform well at the gym and look the way we want.

We use the “holiday season” as an excuse to eat poorly and we pay for it in late spring when it’s time to wear shorts again.

But we already know that caring about our health, longevity, performance, aesthetics needs to be a YEAR ROUND thing.

Here’s what I propose:

How about this year, when things get tough, you lean into that uphill battle and BUILD YOUR BEST BODY despite the dreaded lunch break room baked goods, countless attempts by other people to pull you off track, holiday parties, and family gatherings.

Today begins your journey to build your WINTER BODY, which will naturally turn into your Spring body (remember Spring? The time of year where everyone is pasty and fluffy and afraid to transition back into shorts and tank tops?) and will give you a head start on looking good for the summer.

BONUS! You will look good in (and out of) all of your clothes…all…year…round!


  1. THROW OUT the Halloween candy. Halloween is over. If your kids “need” their candy, then at least be an adult and stop stealing it from them!
  2. RAID your cabinets. This is where most of the non-perishable “non-foods” hide. Non-foods are edible things that are make in a factory and are marketed as food. Non-food edible items include any/all baked goods, any/all boxes crackers, pretzels, cereals, etc. DONATE these to a local Food Bank ASAP. The only foods left in your pantry should be dried fruits, nuts, meats, tuna fish, and canned vegetables.
  3. STOCK your fridge. Fill it with only vegetables, meats, fish, eggs. Add in some rice or potatoes as needed.
  4. COOK all of it once a week, if you are short on time during the week. The internet has all the recipes! (HINT: If you set up the AllRecipes app on your Alexa, you can tell Alexa the ingredients you have, and it will tell you recipes to try).
  5. PLAN OUT meals into 3-4 portions per day. Stock up on cheap To-Go containers for this.
  6. JUST SAY NO to any/all offerings or temptations for sweets or non-food edible items at work or anytime you leave the house. Keep carrots and nut butter at work to quell cravings.
  7. WEEKENDS: Plan ahead. There will inevitably be holiday parties, so HAVE FUN. And if you eat badly or drink too much, just get back into the rhythm of cooking and eating good foods the next day.



-Alcohol is a poison that stalls fat loss in particular. If you choose to drink, save it for the parties. Be extra strict during the week to help jumpstart fat loss.

-ADD, don’t TAKE AWAY. Make your goal to ADD as MUCH nutrition as you can, into each meal. Don’t deprive yourself – give yourself MORE. More vegetables, more meals (4 smaller meals, rather than 2 or 3 big ones), more post-workout protein, and more water in between meals.  Add more clean eating to your life, so you avoid snacking in between meals. Keep in mind that real food (meat,fish,veggies) has a lot less calories than fake food, so you might be eating bigger portions that you are used to. And that’s OK.

-You don’t have to do this for anyone but yourself. Don’t worry that no one can see your body as you lose weight or gain muscle and then cover it up with a big sweater.

-But if you need external motivation…Get naked! Or, rather, close to it. Take a picture in your undies or a bathing suit now and keep it on your phone as a reminder. If you don’t love the way you look, make your goal to change that picture (without using photoshop!). Take another picture every 3-4 weeks until the summer to make sure you Winter Bod is moving in the right direction

-Grab a buddy. If you are the type to cheat on your plan, or conveniently ‘leave out’ snacks when you put them into MyFitnessPal, then make sure you have a close friend or family member help keep you accountable. Only choose someone who is on your team, who will support you no matter what, and who genuinely wants to see you succeed. They are your Winter Body Buddy. Use them as needed 🙂


GOOD LUCK on making this winter the BEST one yet!

Need more specific info on what to eat? Ask a coach!

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Why I Ran 100 miles: An argument for NOT making your goals about YOU.

Goals, both long and short term, are great to have – If accomplished, they help keep us on track and lead us to become better people overall. Dreams are fine too, but goals can actually get shit done.
So why do we so rarely accomplish our goals?

Some of us treat our goals like a crockpot: Set it and forget it. We neglect to work on the micro-goals that lead to the main one. We simply don’t put in the work. And then wonder why we are stuck.

Most us, though, we at least TRY. We have good intentions, a positive attitude, and we start on the journey to change, but we stop early or sabotage ourselves, almost every time.

What if we didn’t stop though? What if we accomplished every goal we set out for ourselves?
How though?

My recommendation: Make your goal BIGGER than you. Turn your goal into a positive thing for someone else other than yourself.

Pull someone else’s well being or happiness into your goal, and see what happens. Tag on a friend, an organization, a loved one, your family, onto the goal. Make your accomplishments into a benefit for them.

During the month of October, I ran 100 miles. That’s not a huge feat for a runner. But for someone who typically runs 3 miles a week at most during Run Club, it was a big change in routine and I sacrificed time, strength, and class workouts to do so.
In the wake of our former member, Brianna Allen, passing away too early, I decided to set myself a goal of 100 miles in order to raise $100 for her husband. (I encouraged the rest of the gym to also run, and we raised $800 in total with our miles! Great job, guys!)

I set the goal high and I actually stuck to it, because I wasn’t the only one who would be affected by my success or failure of my goal. Someone and something else was at stake.

If the charitable component wasn’t there, if I hadn’t thought about Brianna every single time I went out for a run, I would NOT have run 100 miles.

I had a bunch of times I felt like calling it quits – After I fell on Day 1 of the challenge and scraped up my knees and shoulder…or after I rolled my ankle during Week 3 and had to take 6 days off….or while on vacation in Florida after nights drinking…or on the days when I just didn’t feel like running… when had to go to the doctor for my tight calves…when I just wanted to walk back inside and lift a barbell instead.

I would have normally given up way earlier in the process.
Instead, I kept going. For her, not for me.

The next time you set yourself a goal, tag on another person or cause to the goal. Affect someone else, and see how it affects your own performance.

Chances are, you’ll accomplish something extraordinary.

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