My Version of Healthy Eating

Healthy eating can be define differently by many people but for me, it goes beyond what you put in your mouth or the labels on the packaging.  It’s about “why” you are eating what you are eating and it begins with a healthy mindset.  For as long as I could remember, my relationship with food was horrendous. As I got older, it became more destructive and I never thought I would be able to get out of it.

Through therapy and my first prep, I began to learn the reasons behind my disordered eating and learned to identified emotions that were attached to my impulsive, self-abusive episodes. I rebounded terribly after my first show and even though I added 30 pounds really quickly, I noticed something shifted inside of me. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror but I didn’t hate me.  It took some time to level out my post-show binges but when I did, I made the decision to spend the next 3 years eating what I wanted with no fear.

I accepted my body but this was easier said than done.  I always had aesthetic goals of losing fat, but my failed attempts to limiting my food intake was a clear sign that I wasn’t ready to categorize my food again.  Slowly but surely, my weight became just a number, I enjoyed my workouts and embraced my athletic physique.

I stopped categorizing food.   We live in world where if you don’t follow the categories of food then you are doing something wrong. Well, I said “F*ck that!”.  Obviously, I knew that certain foods were more nutritious than others. I knew sugar wasn’t great, too much caffeine can negatively impact you, processed foods can be damaging…etc. but I didn’t care.  My fitness friends would often make comments like, “We have to earn that meal!” or “We shouldn’t be eating this.” I would respond with, “Who’s we? I eat whatever I want.  I have no fears…” I’m sure they didn’t get it, but I didn’t care.  Saying out loud that I eat whatever I want wasn’t for them, it was reinforcement for me.

I stopped “earning” meals”. This was probably one of my biggest pet peeves with society.  The idea of earning meals.  What the hell is that?! I don’t need to earn my meal! I’m human; I need food to survive, I enjoy food for pleasure and the only thing I should be earning is the money to afford to put that food in my mouth. I cringe anytime I hear or see people saying that they earned a meal as I feel that it puts this negative meaning behind delicious food.  “I must torture myself in the gym so I can feel less guilty about eating something I enjoy and don’t want to live without!” No, that won’t be me.

Don’t get me wrong; if you have aesthetic goals then you need to eat accordingly.  If you want to gain muscle and keep your fat increase at a minimum then you need to strategically eat above your maintenance.  If you want to lose fat, then you need to restrict your intake.  There will be foods that you should or shouldn’t eat based on your goal and foods that are more healthier than others, but these decisions should be based on the purpose of your goal not the purpose of your happiness.  I needed to spend the 3 years not being afraid of carbs, not regretting indulging, appreciating what my body looks like and is capable of doing, but most importantly, enjoying life and not letting food dictate me. It hasn’t been an easy road and I still have my struggles, but I also have a lot of self-awareness to recognize when I need to take step back and focus on my mental health.

We all have our food issues, but my hope is that my stories can help someone else work through theirs and stop fearing food because it’s pretty freaking amazing. Oh and get this, when you start taking care of your mind/body, your mind/body will start taking care of you!

Continue Reading

3 Tips to Persevere in Fitness and in Life


I wanted to start my day with a positive thought of gratitude and purchased the Affirmators! 50 Affirmation Cards to Help You Help Yourself – without the Self-Helpy-Ness! .  This was a great way for me to provoke a positive internal conversation.   The recent decision in transitioning to intuitive eating (discussed in the 3rd EP of Episode of “In My Skin”) was perfectly supported by the first card.   As I soaked in the message of this card, I thought about my past accomplishments and the meaning of perseverance.

Three tips that I’ve followed to persevere in Fitness and in Life!

Stay Optimistic

It can be extremely difficult to stay optimistic at times.  If fact, it can feel nearly impossible to not want to throw in the towel and give up and there is nothing wrong with that.  But it is important to circle back to the goal, get back on your positive path and keep pushing forward.  This could be spending the time to yourself and journaling, going for a walk on your favorite trail or talking with your biggest cheerleader to help you put things into perspective.  Either way,  you may end a day in a bad mood  but find a way that works for you to start the new day funky fresh dressed to impress and ready to party!

Embrace the “Fails”

In a moment of “failure” or what we consider to be a failure, we assume that this is the end all be all, but it’s not.  It’s not a fail, it’s a setback.  A setback isn’t there to ruin yourself esteem and give you the opportunity to beat yourself up.  A setback creates the opportunity to  analyze your plan, reassess your goals and create a different plan.  After you get over the disappointment of your setback, find the lesson and use it to propel you forward.

Stop and Smell the Roses

It’s extremely easy to get caught up in your setbacks and the plan.  Everything about this can consume you and you are determined to make shit happen! And while this is great, don’t forget to stop and smell and the roses!  Take a look around you and celebrate all the small victories you have accomplished.  Reflect back to when you first started on the fitness journey and compare that to where you are now. Are you 10lbs lighter? Are you curling 20lbs instead of the 10bs you started with?  Have you cut back on the sugar?  You may not be where you want to be but these are major milestones to celebrate.  So while you focus on the path to success, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses no matter how small they are!

“It seems you’re on a massive journey right now…the mountain you are climbing is huge and formidable, but so is your ability to climb it.”

Complain all you want, get back on your path and find those moments where you can enjoy the ride. The path won’t always be bumpy but you won’t know that if you quit. So Persevere my friends, you’re almost there!

If you liked this article, check out You Don’t Get to Quit and 4 Ways To Stay Motivated When the Scale Stops Moving.

Don’t forget to check back every Wednesday for a new episode of my YouTube Series, “In Your Skin”.

Continue Reading

“Comparison is the Thief of Joy” – Eleanor Roosevelt

We often hear that quote in a relationship with other people, but how about with ourselves?

We’re all hard on ourselves and we set these expectations of ourselves that tend to lead us to failure and disappointment.  I don’t believe in thinking small. In fact, the only way I believe you can achieve your best is by setting high goals.  However, sometimes we can’t reach those goals due to factors beyond our control.  Sometimes we can reach those goals but the time frame is unrealistic.

In moments like these, it’scomparison is thief of joy ok to fail and to be disappointed.  It’s ok to want this high goal and to keep working at it, but it’s not ok to compare yourself to this person you have in your head that would have reached that goal if she was different.   So you didn’t succeed?  Get the fuck up and keep trying.

The person you have in your head that “could” have done it, isn’t the person you really are today.  It doesn’t mean you can’t be and it doesn’t mean you won’t be, it just means this isn’t reality. Stop dwelling on your imagination and use the energy that is beating yourself up and convert it into something to push you forward.

Think Big. Be Determined. Work Hard. Be Disappointed. Feel Unsatisfied & Keep Fuckin’ Going!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Continue Reading

Thoughts at Thirty

I have been trying to collect my thoughts and sort them out; my head was spinning with a bunch of words and emotions that didn’t make any sense.  Exactly a week ago was my birthday, but not just any birthday, THE Birthday….I am officially in my thirties, y’all.  People have asked, “how does it feel?” and while my initial response is, “great”, my internal thoughts were of a bipolar person. Am I happy, sad, or indifferent?  It wasn’t until now that I realized I am thankful at 30.
Truth be told I never saw my life in my thirties.  It was almost like I never expected to be here at 30 years old and by “here” I mean as the woman who I am today.  Three years ago it was hard to imagine what happiness, confidence and self-love was like.  I never really understood that depression didn’t have to be permanent, confidence didn’t have to go in waves and I didn’t need someone’s approval to love myself.

I have The Gym to thank for that. 


The Gym gave me oxygen so that I could learn how to breathe.  It gave me the chance to save my life and be my own super hero. I didn’t need a man to save me from the internal hell I was creating and I didn’t need the support or the encouraging words that everything would be ok. I saved myself without using someone else’s back bone and I learned to love myself without someone telling me that they loved me back.

The Gym
taught me strength, discipline and a new perspective on my body.  I no longer hated what I saw when I looked in the mirror nor did I emphasized my thoughts on my “problem areas”.  I began to look past the body fat and saw shape, definition, and new curves that I didn’t have before.  The best part of it all was that I created this.

The Gym taught me self empowerment.  I learned that I didn’t need to continue to be a prisoner within my skin and that I had the abilities to change my circumstances.  I had the power to change my physique in any way I wanted;  If I wanted bigger muscles then I could make it happen.  If I wanted to slim down then shit, let’s get to work.  If I wanted to throw all my physique plans in the trash and just lift shit for funzies then I did that too.   I felt empowered to do what ever I wanted and I wish someone would have tried to stop me.

The Gym taught my patience and perseverance.   Changes didn’t happen overnight and I experienced many frustrated days, weeks and months, but I kept going despite my negative thoughts and screw ups.  After all the pity parties I attended, I still managed to make it out and reach my goals despite it all.

The Gym has been the greatest gift to my life as it has made me realize how special I am at thirty years old.  I could sit here and think about all the things I thought I would have had at thirty like a husband, family, booming career and my own home or at least be very close to some of these things.  I am not close to marriage, a child, owning my own home and in many ways I am just beginning my career.  I could let all that break my heart but instead it just makes me smile.

Because of The Gym I realized I’ve been given a gift to create the life I want without any obligations to anyone or anything but myself.  I am not a prisoner of my circumstance and with some patience, perseverance and a lot of self-love, I am capable of creating the most amazing life ever imagined with or without a person by my side.

So, cheers to be thirty! May these be the best years of my life with the biggest Glutes I can possibly build!

thoughts at thirty

Continue Reading

“Will Power” is a Practice

I’ve always despised hearing people say “Will Power”.  It made me feel like this was a way to describe someone with supernatural powers because not everyone, including myself at times, possessed this skill.   I despised it so much I even wrote a post on it at one point, however, my thoughts on will power have changed.

Towards the end of my prep I realized something; Will Power is a Practice.  Although this last prep was much easier and smoother then my first, I would be lying if I said it was a perfect one no thanks to my “Will Power”.  See the thing is, I screw up to and then I ask myself, “Why did I do that?  This is my goal and those actions don’t support my goal.”

It occurred to me during one of my self-therapy sessions that this will power that people possess does not always come so easy but it doesn’t mean it can’t be developed.  Whether you are training for a show for the first time or trying to lose 50lbs the entire journey is a process.  The further you get through it the easier it will become, but you will continue to make mistakes a long the way.  As you continue to grow and continue to get stronger, your Will Power strengthens as well.

I bet if you look at the bigger picture and dissect your actions from what you were like when you started and what you are like now, you can find a stronger Will Power.  Everyone has Will Power and some are able to flex bigger Will Power muscles then others.  But just like that scrawny teenager that has grown into a massive muscle man your Will Power cannot change over night…it just needs a little practice.

What are your thoughts on Will Power?

Join the rest of the Beauty In The Buff community for more health and fitness tips!

Continue Reading

Be Thankful for the Body You Have…at Every Stage.

Imagine what life would be like if you lost the ability to pick up a plastic fork and feed yourself dinner? Or if your significant other and two little girls had to wipe you down with a towel and call that a “bath” as you laid in a hospital bed? It’s hard to imagine, right? Unfortunately, those are the kind of memories that are so embedded in my brain that I don’t remember what life was like before my mom got hurt. My mom was as healthy as any woman could be minus the ruptured disk in her neck that would forever change her life.  Despite the chronic pain, you can never dream of a day where your only two choices in life were to either learn how to move a body that no longer felt like yours or lay in bed and watch the world crumble in front of you.

As I get closer to the show and the urgency of getting lean is increasingly emphasized, I start to nitpick all the things I need to see change. My lower belly isn’t flat enough, my shoulders aren’t round enough, my butt isn’t round enough…should I do more cardio? Work out harder? Sleep more?…. My weight, my weight for crying out loud isn’t moving!

I won’t be effin’ ready.

And then I remember that this show is only a tiny part of what is important in life.  Having a body that is capable of going through these intense changes is a blessing and I am lucky to  have the opportunities that I have been given, the support team around me and most importantly my health.   While I am over here stressing out about a flatter stomach there is someone in the world, like my mom, who lost the ability to be in control over their body.  It’s funny how the tiny bubble we live in weighs so heavy on our shoulders that we forget how blessed we truly are.

So yes,  getting frustrated over your fitness progress will happen and that is ok.  I mean, if you didn’t really want something then you wouldn’t make the effort or give two shits about what results you’re getting.  But lets not forget how fortunate you are to even have a body to take through this journey.

After all, you could be learning how to feed yourself again…


Enter your email below to join the rest of the Beauty In The Buff community as we celebrate our love for fitness with new recipes and workout tips!

Continue Reading