Is Motivational Stuff Stupid?

photo: some rights reserved by opensourceway

“Nia, why are you constantly telling women to ‘be the strongest, most awesome version of themselves’ and write motivation type-stuff? Why don’t you just post more workouts and training-specific things? After all, your website is called Lift Like a Girl.”

There was a time I strongly disliked self-help and motivational “You can do it!” type stuff. I didn’t like to read it and certainly never expected to write about it. But many articles on Lift Like a Girl can be classified as “motivational.” Even though some people think motivational stuff is stupid (and I did too, once upon a time) I’m perfectly fine with that, but I’ll keep writing it anyway.

One reason is because I know too many women who feel like they’re fighting a battle they’ll never win. Too many women feel obligated to look a certain way, to reach an “ideal” bodyweight, attain (and forever maintain) a low body fat percentage, or other standards that value them exclusively on their physical appearance. Day after day they hate their bodies and are constantly looking to the next diet or “miracle” that will help them lose weight and reach society’s standards.

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13 Ways Women Can be MORE, Not Less

be MORE, not less
photo: some rights reserved by Scott Swigart

Take a glimpse at the cover of most magazines and you’ll see several headlines promoting tips and tricks that will help you eat less and weigh less.

“Lose up to 10 pounds in one week!”

“Simple tips to eat fewer calories!”

“Shrink your stomach with three easy exercises!”

Eat less. Weigh less. Shrink.

What is this obsession with encouraging women to be less?

I don’t know about you, but I’m dang sick of it. There was a time when I  used to look for, and practice, a lot of these “be less” tips so I could come up with sneaky ways to eat less food and decrease my bodyweight. But one day I thought, “This really sucks. Constantly trying to eat less and weigh less is mentally exhausting.” Not only that, but if you fail to eat less or weigh less (as I did several times), you end up experiencing shame and feeling like a failure, so then you move on to the next tip and hope that it’ll work.

But going day after day constantly striving for “less” is exhausting, frustrating, and definitely not fun. That’s why it’s time to choose to be MORE, and stop looking for ways to be less.

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Is Your Fitness Regimen Making You Awesome?

awesome“Become the strongest, most awesome version of yourself.”

Train to be awesome.”

“Live an awesome life.”

These are all phrases I say frequently, and it clearly demonstrates that I need to expand my vocabulary. But, nonetheless, today’s post is all about discovering your level of awesomeness.

So . . .

Are you awesome? Let’s see how you measure up. Which of these statements best describes you?

You work out twice per week. You’re awesome.

You work out seven days per week. You’re awesome.

You compete in powerlifting. You’re awesome.

You do crossfit and love it. You’re awesome.

You work out for the sole purpose of getting stronger and improving your performance. You’re awesome.

You don’t give a damn about getting stronger and work out for the sole purpose of looking great. You’re awesome.

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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!


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?


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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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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Health and Fitness Gone Bad – When It Degrades Women, And What We Can Do About It

Health and Fitness Gone BadI was once told that my Lift Like a Girl t-shirt was degrading. That the whole lift like a girl manifesto was degrading to women.

I took the statement for the ignorant comment it was, laughed it off, and simply went about my day.

But later on I couldn’t help but think about the messages that are still, unfortunately, being spread in the world of women’s fitness. The ideas, statements, and philosophies that are degrading.

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What’s Your Excuse? (Why This is a Stupid Question and What to Ask Instead)

What Is Your ExcuseThere was a picture floating around the social media world with the question, “What’s your excuse?” posed to the reader.

The photo was of a mom and her kiddos and, in essence, the picture stated she was a busy, working mom but was still able to build and maintain a great looking body.

“What’s your excuse?” was being asked to those who can’t, or haven’t, been able to do what she has done. She works, takes care of her children, doesn’t get a ton of sleep, but still looks great. So, why don’t you is the question she asks.

But here’s the problem: asking “What’s your excuse?” is the wrong question. While it motivated some people to start a health and fitness regimen, it came off very negative and shaming to others.

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You’re Stronger Than You Think You Are

you are stronger than you think
photo credit: some rights reserved by Live Life Happy

I get it, really I do.

Sometimes (not for most Lift Like a Girl readers, but definitely women who start strength training for the first time) the thought of lifting a heavy barbell is intimidating.

Some women think (or have been brainwashed into believing) they’ll never be able to do chin-ups without any assistance.

Perhaps a double bodyweight (or more?) deadlift is out of reach or too hefty of a goal to strive for.

But, and here’s the important thing — you’re much stronger than you think you are.

You’re capable of much more than you realize.

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Confessions of a Personal Trainer: Experiences with Binge Eating and Over Exercising

confessions of a personal trainerIf I sit still for a moment, close my eyes, take a deep breath and relax, I can remember it like it was yesterday.

The disordered eating habits I battled. The binge eating episodes. The horrible, cruel, and negative things I would say to myself on a daily basis about my diet failures and how I didn’t look a certain way. The high standards with nutrition and working out I placed on myself. Basing my self-worth on the number displayed on the bathroom scale.

Obsessing over my perceived “flaws” and trying so desperately to “fix” them. Feeling like a total failure when I couldn’t stick to my diet and spiraled into a restrict — binge — restrict cycle. Forcing myself to perform extra workouts because of the frequent binge eating episodes.

For several years, this was my reality; disordered eating habits combined with over exercising and an abundance of negative self-talk — and I hated it.

After all, I was a personal trainer. I was supposed to have everything under control.

I knew that my actions and thoughts were wrong — binge eating, revolving my life around a diet, constantly engaging in negative self-talk, working out at least twice a day to the point of total exhaustion — but I just couldn’t break away from the horrible habits I had developed.

I felt like a hypocrite and total failure.

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