This is Personal – That Time I Hit Bottom

Do Not Fear Failure
photo: some rights reserved by Tomasz Stasiuk

You’re likely familiar with the expression “spill your guts”.

This is what that looks like.

I’m finally ready to share something incredibly personal with you – one of my greatest failures – for reasons explained later in this article. Are you ready? I am.

You’ve heard of celebrity sham marriages that ended in a matter of days, or even hours. Heck, there are also people who go to Vegas for a fun-filled weekend and get hitched in a drunken stupor because . . . Vegas. (“Do I? Of course I do! Now pass me that whottle of Biskey.”)

Where is this going? you’re likely wondering. Now (drum role please) while I don’t have the record for shortest-marriage-ever, I was probably pretty close.

Eighteen months.

That’s how long my first marriage lasted. And, no, it wasn’t a spur of the moment Vegas-style, alcohol fueled ceremony either. I was 20 when I got married and a ripe 21 (yes, that’s sarcasm) when it ended.

I’m by no means proud of my 18 month marriage that can be summed up as an epic fail. Heck, that’s why I’m just now mentioning it, almost eight years later. But I’m not ashamed of it either. That experience provided me with some valuable, life-changing lessons, and that is why I’m sharing this with you.

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Fast & Furious Bodyweight Ladder Workout

Fast & Furious Bodyweight Ladder WorkoutYes, I know the title is somewhat stupid (okay, really stupid) for a workout, but it’s catchy. It’s also appropriate because . . .

Sometimes you just want a quick, tough workout.

Sometimes you need a workout you can perform at home when you can’t make it to the gym.

And sometimes, when you have a home gym and it’s a frosty and frigid 20 degrees in the garage and you don’t feel like putting on 37 layers of clothes and doing an extra long warm-up just to work out, you need a back-up workout that can be done in the comfort of your living room.

The latter applied to me the other day when it was in the teens outside and I wasn’t in the mood to bundle up and face the cold in my garage home-gym. Instead of skipping my workout all together and sipping a hot cup of peppermint tea, I decided to do a bodyweight workout in the comforting warmth of my living room. This is a perk of bodyweight-only workouts; you can do them absolutely anywhere.

Moving on . . . I wanted a “fast and furious” workout – something that would force me to work hard but I could complete quickly. What I came up with was a 25 minute(ish) bodyweight workout that included four exercises done in a 10-1 ladder fashion. You’ve seen how to use ladders for building strength on Lift Like a Girl before, but the 10-1 ladder in this workout results in much higher reps per exercise and isn’t focused on building maximum strength.

Let’s look at the workout and explain how to perform the 10-1 ladder.

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Why I No Longer Set Goals and Why You (Perhaps) Shouldn’t Either

Goals
photo: some rights reserved by Angie Torres

Say whaaaaaat?

We just celebrated the new year and while most people are discussing their goals for 2015, I’m just over here saying, “Goals? Nah. I don’t have any.”

No, I haven’t given up on life or becoming the best version of myself.

I’m simply choosing not to have specific, time-dictated goals. And I think I’m going to be better off because of it.

We already discussed 5 reasons why you shouldn’t have (fat loss) goals before, but today I’ll explain further why I’m not setting any specific, time-dictated goals, and why you may want to join in too.

If Not Goals, Then What?

Ditching goals doesn’t mean I’m just going to wing-it through life. I’m saying good-bye to goals, and hello to The Process.

Months ago I stopped setting specific, time-dictated goals in practically every area of my life. Now, that’s not to say I don’t have things I want to accomplish – I’m just choosing to not focus on the goal itself, and the results have been amazing.

Here are some examples so this makes sense.

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5 Reasons to Avoid Detoxes & Cleanses (and How to Start Your New Year Off Right)

Say NO to Detoxes
photo: some rights reserved by Livin’ Spoonful

It’s almost the New Year, and you know what that means.

New Year resolutions.

Briefly scan your social media newsfeed and you’ll see articles and advertisements for detoxes and cleanses and “Lose fat fast!” promotions.

Glance at the cover of most magazines and you’ll see plenty of ways promising fast fat loss and a flat stomach in a matter of days.

Walk through a pharmacy or an aisle with vitamins and supplements and you’ll notice plenty of “kits” for detoxing and jump starting your health and fitness regimen.

They. Are. Everywhere this time of year.

And the temptation is real. I mean, who isn’t tempted by the promises of quick, drastic, noticeable results? Who would rather lose 15 pounds in a couple of months than in only a couple short weeks?

Regardless of the sexy promises, I still encourage you to avoid detoxes, cleanses, and other drastic approaches this New Year. Here are five reasons why.

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Here’s Your Gift – the 6 Week Lift Like a Girl Strength Training Program (and a BONUS Gift)!

Lift Like a Girl GiftYes.

Yes this is the first time I’m giving away a free Lift Like a Girl Christmas gift. And by “free” I mean completely free. No money or even email address required. Just save this thing and enjoy.

Why am I giving this gift?

Because I truly appreciate that you take your time to read the articles (and newsletters) on Lift Like a Girl. I know your time is valuable and I’m honored you spend some of it right here.

This gift is my way of saying “Thank you!” for reading AND leading the way in the world of women’s fitness.

What is the gift?

Your gift is a the 6 Week Lift Like a Girl Strength Training Program. The goal is to introduce you to the Lift Like a Girl way of strength training so you can experience how strong you really are while becoming a more awesome version of yourself.

Strength training should build you up and make you stronger, no just physically, but mentally as well. And it should also make you proud of what your body can do and not just put the focus on how you look.

The six week program calls for three strength workouts per week on non-consecutive days and the goal each week is to improve your performance from last time – perform another rep or two, or add more weight to the exercise.

Get your gift!

Ready to get to work with the 6 Week Lift Like a Girl Strength Training Program?

Just click the link below and save the file to your device(s) and you’ll be all set.

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What Would Happen if You Focused on THIS and Not That?

photo: some rights reserved by ihtatho
photo: some rights reserved by ihtatho

Does this sound familiar?

  • I want to lose fat
  • I want to go down a pant size or two
  • I want to weigh less
  • I want my thighs to be more firm and my belly to be flatter
  • I want the willpower to work out consistently
  • I can’t do X, Y, and Z exercises and activities

These are very common statements. I’ve heard them all from clients, family and friends, and I’ve even uttered most of them myself at one point.

But how many of us are truly happy with our progress, and how many of us are still chasing “goals” and aren’t yet satisfied with what we’ve achieved? How many of us are doing these things because we hate how we look?

And what if there’s a better way?

What if . . .

What if we (you!) didn’t focus on any of those things?

What if we completely changed our mindset? What would happen, and what could we accomplish, if we focused on different things?

What would happen if we ditched specific goals and embraced the process?

What if we focused instead on:

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Redefining Fitness (or Just Another Stupid Fitness Article But You Should Read It Anyway)

photo: some rights reserved by Olivier Noirhomme
photo: some rights reserved by Olivier Noirhomme

Fitness is expressed visually. It’s something you can see.

After all, if you’re lean and toned or at a healthy bodyweight then you must be fit, right?

Not so fast.

When it comes to defining health and fitness, physical appearance is not the most important thing.

I believe that your body should ultimately serve you and allow you to live a high quality life.

That that sink in for a moment. It’s a far different story than what’s on the cover of practically every health and fitness magazine which promises to reveal “secrets”, the best exercises, tips for getting rid of cellulite, and super-foods for fat loss.

Bottom line – health and fitness should not be solely about how you look. There are more important factors to consider and as a result “health and fitness” should be redefined.

Why? Because things aren’t working, or not working as well as they should.

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Why You Shouldn’t Have (Fat Loss) Goals

fat loss goals
photo: some rights reserved by Ben Watkin

Whaaaaaat? Abandon my fat loss goal?

Nia’s gone crazy!

No. No I have not. At least, not entirely.

Goals can be a good thing, but sometimes they may not be the best thing to focus on. This can especially be the case when it comes to specific fat loss goals.

If you have a fat loss goal such as reaching a certain body weight or body fat percentage, then I encourage you to abandon those goals for a period of time . . . and to focus on the process and the actions you can take on a daily basis instead.

And I have some dang good reasons why.

But first, let’s look at some common fat loss goals people have:

  • Weigh X amount
  • Obtain X percentage of body fat
  • Wear X pant size
  • Reach X waist measurement

Seems harmless, right? By striving to reach that goal of weighing less or wearing a smaller pair of jeans you’ll be motivated to keep working out and eating well.

Not so fast. Let’s discuss five disadvantages to having specific fat loss goals, like those mentioned above.

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4 Reasons to Simplify Your Nutrition & Workout Habits

photo: some rights reserved by Chris Potter
photo: some rights reserved by Chris Potter

I’m a fan of minimalism.

Whether it’s being a minimalist when it comes to material possessions, having a website without ads or sidebars to put the entire focus on the articles, and definitely when it comes to building and sustaining a health and fitness regimen – I’m all about minimalism and keeping things simple.

Minimalism, in regards to fitness, allows you to keep things simple because you’ll only focus on the few, important things that truly matter and provide the majority of the results.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” as Leonardo da Vinci said.

There are several reasons you see a “sane and simple” theme in the articles on Lift Like a Girl – because keeping things simple . . . works.

Why Simplify?

Here are four reasons why you should simplify your health and fitness regimen.

1) Less stress. Your health and fitness regimen should enhance your life. It’s something that should REDUCE stress, and not increase it.

When you keep things simple you won’t be overwhelmed or stressed out as is common when trying to revolve your life around a rigid diet and complicated routine.

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Stop Binge Eating – 33 Ways to Break Free

33 Ways to Break Free from Binge EatingLast year the article 20 Tips for Breaking Free from Binge Eating was posted to Lift Like a Girl.

And the response has been huge. Since that article was posted I’ve received a LOT of emails, oftentimes several per day.

While I’m honored that sharing my story has helped a lot of people, it deeply saddens me that so many can relate to my experience with binge eating and disordered eating habits.

Why do some many people fall into binge eating habits?

I believe part of the reason is because many of us get off track. We began a health and fitness lifestyle with the intentions of improving our health, losing body fat, and just become better versions of ourselves.

But somewhere along the way, we started dieting harder, working out longer, and before we knew it, we were constantly obsessing over food and hating our bodies. Then we got trapped in a vicious cycle of binge eating, restricting, and guilt with no end in sight.

That’s why I wrote 33 Ways to Break Free from Binge Eating. It’s a book written from the heart that shares in more detail my own experience with binge eating and the things I did (and others have done) to break free once and for all.

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