How to Respond When Life Kicks You in the Ovaries

Life is beautiful.

Life is amazing, and I couldn’t love mine more. I’m blessed with an incredible family, I’m married to my best friend, and I couldn’t ask for a better career. In short, I have zero complaints.

Life, however, will at times give you a swift kick in the ovaries (or another organ for you men).

Life isn’t always perfect and there will be inevitable times of sadness, pain, despair, and other circumstances we would prefer to never experience. I’m grateful that at this point in my life I’ve dealt with a select few terrible events. I’ve lost loved ones to cancer and old age, been in a nasty car wreck, and experienced some other less-than-ideal events. But, overall, my 29 years have been filled with an overwhelming amount of joy and love.

For that, I’m thankful.

But as life tends to do on occasion, I experienced a swift kick to the ovaries yesterday, and it will take some time to recover.

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The Ultimate Guide on How to Not Care About What Other People Think of You and Live the Life You Want

Live Life to the Fullest
photo: some rights reserved by symphony of love

Yes, this topic is very different from most articles on Lift Like a Girl, but it’s important nonetheless.

Fitness and lifestyle are not separate. If you want the best results from both, they should work in unison, and that’s why you’ll start seeing more lifestyle-relevant articles on Lift Like a Girl. Fitness should have a positive impact on your overall life, and your lifestyle should affect your health and fitness regimen.

Yes, I want you to build the body you want, but I also want you to have a high quality of life, and live it to the fullest.

That’s why I must ask the question: Why do we care so much about other people’s opinions, even those of total strangers? Why do we do things, or not do things, because of how we expect others to react?

Why do we care so much about what other people will think of us?

No matter the “why” the truth is, at some point or another, we’re tempted to base our actions and decisions on how we anticipate other people will perceive us. As a result, we don’t always do the things we want to do, because we’re afraid of what others will think.

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Operation Play More, Work Out Less

Operation Play More, Work Out LessExercise.

Work out.

I’m not sure about you, but sometimes those words have a negative undertone. Depending on how they’re used, it can make your fitness regimen sound like a chore – another item to check off your to-do list.

Does this sound familiar after a long day at work? “Ugh. I have to go work out.”

Perhaps you’re like me. I’ll go through spurts where I love strength training. I genuinely look forward to every workout and enjoy it from beginning to end. Sometimes strength training, in whatever form, be it bodyweight workouts or hoisting heavy barbells, is quite addicting, motivating, and just plain fun.

But then there are times where working out can be, well, boring. Sometimes you lose the zeal for training you once had and you just don’t want to work out. This happens to me on occasion and for the past year or so it’s been happening more often than usual.

My workouts started to become a chore. I didn’t look forward to them, nor did I enjoy them. I did them partly out of obligation but also because I know the importance of resistance training for women. And as we know, it’s easier to maintain a certain fitness level than to start back from zero down the road. I don’t want to lose the strength I’ve built over the years.

But I still wasn’t enjoying my workouts, and I finally realized about a month ago that things had to change, and the solution was simple – play more, work out less.

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Total Body Workouts You Can Perform with a Swing Set (or Suspension Trainer)

Swing Set Workout

I love working out at the local playground and oftentimes when I travel, I’ll choose a playground over a gym, as shown in this playground workout.

Playground workouts are a great way to get outside, breathe some fresh air, get some sunshine, and change things up a bit from traditional strength training with free weights. If you’re getting bored with your current workouts, then this may be just what you need. It’s also a fantastic way to get some cheap amusement by terrifying passers-by, which will discuss later.

One of my favorite playground toys to use is the swing set because you can treat it like a make-shift suspension trainer. Every playground I’ve seen, no matter how small, has at least a couple of swings. You can perform a bunch of different exercises with a swing set and work your entire body, so this makes it a great playground-tool.

Below you’ll see several videos that demonstrate exercises you can perform (from beginner to more challenging variations) on a swing set. From chest and shoulders to legs and glutes, you’ll be able to work your entire body with this single piece of equipment. And please note, you can also do these workouts at home, or anywhere else, with a suspension trainer. The playground isn’t mandatory – it’s just fun.

We’ll begin with the video demonstrations and then you’ll see some complete total body workouts you can perform with the swing set.

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Lift Like a Girl TV with Jill Coleman: Give Your Mind a Makeover (This is the Ultimate Game Changer)

Jill ColemanLet me be blunt – if you want to take things to the next level, you need to watch this latest edition of Lift Like a Girl TV with my friend, Jill Coleman.

At the very least, read the Show Notes provided below the video.

Jill is an amazing woman and an incredible source of knowledge, experience, and insight. And in my opinion, she consistently shares some of the most unique and helpful information in the world of women’s health and fitness. And today, in addition to chatting about fat loss and nutrition, she also covers the hugely important (and often overlooked) topic of mindset.

And I get it: some people think all this “mindset” talk is stupid, unnecessary, or just not for them. In fact, I used to think the same thing. But once I actually explored this stuff (with an open mind!) I realized that it can be the missing link for building the body, and life, you truly want.

As the saying goes: don’t knock it ’til you try it.

Chances are high that if you’re struggling to achieve, or maintain, the results you want, then this information can make a HUGE difference.

In this episode of Lift Like a Girl TV, Jill and I discuss:

  • Why you must make a mental shift before changing your body
  • The missing link for long-term fat loss
  • How to harness a positive mindset that can drastically increase your rate of success
  • How to take a more relaxed, laid back approach to nutrition
  • Willpower – how to increase it
  • Tips for creating the life you want to live
  • Book recommendations
  • And much more

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For Transforming Your Body or Changing Your Life, Perspective is Your Greatest Tool

The following is a guest post from my friend and phenomenal life coach: the wonderful Jill Coleman. She’s going to reveal and explain why perspective is your greatest tool. Whether you want to lose fat, build a better body, or change your life – it’s all about perspective. This is powerful stuff and Jill is a Jedi Master when it comes to mindset. Enjoy!

Perception

Hello readers of Lift Like a Girl! Today I don’t want to talk about nutrition or training. I want to talk about perspective, and specifically why it’s, well, everything.

Perspective is your greatest tool.

First, I want to share something with you: I’ve been off my game lately. Not with food or exercise, but with my perception and mindset.

See, over the last couple months, I’ve had a few challenges pop up – one in my personal life and one in my professional life, both of which I’ve had a hard time moving past.

In short, I’ve taken the victim stance (i.e. wondering “Why is this happening to me?”) more than I normally would, and way more than I have in the last three years. I’ve been quicker to blame others. I’ve been deflecting and defending more readily, and I’ve shirked my responsibilities in these scenarios.

And do you want to know what my responsibilities are?

EVERYTHING.

I am responsible for my attitude, my effort, my choices, the situations in which I find myself (even when someone else’s actions may have put me there!) and most importantly, I am responsible for my perception.

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You Don’t Need a Gym to Get Fit – Try This Playground Workout

Playground Workout
photo by Carl Wycoff: some rights reserved

Outdoor workouts, or, in this case, playground workouts, are a terrific way to not only get in an effective workout, but to also get some fresh air and sunshine.

While lifting heavy barbells, hosting dumbbells, and using other machines and tools  available at your local gym are certainly terrific for strength training and building the body you want, it’s not mandatory.

In fact, I have a home gym loaded with lots of goodies, but it’s not required to get fit, improve your health, lose fat, and have fun with your training.

As I’ve discussed before, sometimes I get downright bored with traditional workouts and crave a change of pace. This is when playground workouts can really come in handy. You can get outside, do something different (which can be just a mentally stimulating as it is physical), and even have some fun.

Below is a video I filmed in the late winter of 2013 when I was visiting my home state of Tennessee. Instead of using the workout facility where we were staying, we stumbled upon a great little playground area. Check out the exercises we performed (in addition to some . . . umm . . . productive “resting activities” between exercises) and then I’ll show you how to make each exercise easier and more challenging.

Here’s the video:

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When “Health and Fitness” Isn’t Really Healthy, and What to Do About It

Health and Fitness
photo: some rights reserved by Jeanette Goodrich

Health and fitness.

Think about that phrase for a moment: health . . . and fitness.

What does it mean? While the exact definition my vary from person to person, I think it expresses a sentiment of improving your quality of life by building a strong, resilient, functional body that ultimately serves you.

The details such as exactly how’s that’s accomplished (whether through strength training, organized exercise, sporting events, physically active hobbies, etc) can be debated, but one would think it’s about establishing sustainable habits so you not only reap short-term benefits, but long-term benefits too (e.g. decrease risk of disease, etc). And, ultimately, a health and fitness regimen should enhance your life, and not dominate it.

However, if you thumb through some of the latest magazines and scroll through popular websites, that’s not always the impression we’re getting.

Health and fitness.

Some resources have turned it into a game of constantly striving to reach a lower body weight coupled with strict dieting methods and long, grueling workout routines. Often it looks like a race to see who can eat the least and work out the most. And sometimes the information is just downright degrading.

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Lift Like a Girl TV – Molly Galbraith of Girls Gone Strong: Body Image, Motivation, and Developing Long-Term Habits

Molly GThis episode of Lift Like a Girl TV features the amazing Molly Galbraith, co-founder of Girls Gone Strong.

To say that Molly shared a wealth of information is, quite honestly, an understatement.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the topics covered in this episode:

  • How to deal with feeling obligated to look a certain way
  • How to be comfortable in your own skin at all times
  • The importance of, and how to, practice compassion and self-love
  • Why motivation won’t last forever, and what to do instead
  • How to stop obsessing over “forbidden foods”
  • The downside to cheat days and what to do instead

And a whole lot more so be sure to watch this.

There may even be a random dance sequence.

(My camera froze a few times so you’ll see some glamorous still shots. At least you’ll get a good laugh. You’re welcome.)

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A Great, Underused, Single Leg Exercise You Should be Performing

Lateral LungeThere are so many great exercises that some of them, unfortunately, can go unnoticed or get left behind.

Today you’re going to see one of my personal favorite, underutilized, single leg exercises.

The lateral lunge.

You’ll also see the many benefits this exercise has to offer, reasons to include it in your program, and several progressions from beginner to advanced variations.

First, let’s kick this off with the demonstration video and then I’ll provide some additional coaching cues and information for proper performance.

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