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What a REAL FITNESS Lifestyle Means to Me

A couple months ago, Coach Jenn wrote a great article here titled, “What a ‘Lifestyle’ Is To Me.”

I loved it so much that I’m taking a stab at answering the same question(s) myself: ”How would I describe my lifestyle? Why do I do it? Why is it important to me?”

So here goes…


The way I eat doesn’t have a name or a label. It’s what works for me. It’s the way of eating that:

  • Helps me stay lean and healthy;

  • Gives me steady energy throughout the day;

  • Ensures I never feel deprived or crazy around food.

I eat real food, and I eat ALL 3 macronutrients: protein, carbs, and fat.

I eat protein and produce at every meal and it makes up the majority of food on my plate. I adjust my carb and fat intake based on my activity level and goals.

I believe food should taste good or why bother?! For example: I eat good dark chocolate almost every day, put half & half in my coffee, and put homemade salad dressing and good cheese on my salads, etc. I have a treat meal once every week or two where I eat whatever I want, and then I go right back to normal eating.

Eating to get and stay lean and healthy is not a chore and it’s not torture. I genuinely love the way I eat and do it every day, no matter where I am or what I’m doing.


I walk 10k steps every day - usually more. Rain or shine. Hot or cold. January to December. Walking is non-negotiable!

I lift weights 3-4x a week and do interval based cardio 1-2x a week. I prefer bodybuilding-style workouts, and that’s how I program workouts for our clients in the STRONGER TOGETHER Training Club.

For example, I’ll do a “push day” that targets chest, triceps, and shoulders. I’ll do a “pull day” that hits back, biceps, and rear shoulders. Then I’ll do a “leg day” that hits legs, hips, and glutes. My workouts average 45 mins. long, and I do most of them in my garage gym.

For cardio, I’ll do Les Mills BODYCOMBAT or SPRINT, or I’ll hop on the treadmill in my garage and run fast intervals for ~30ish minutes.

I take 1-2 rest days per week.

That’s WHAT I do. Now why do I do it?

Here are My Top Reasons for Living a REAL FITNESS Lifestyle

1. I never have to worry about my clothes fitting.

I love clothes and I love getting dressed up!

Even though, as a fitness professional, I could justify wearing athletic wear 24/7 - I still prefer to get up and put real clothes on every day.

Getting dressed and feeling good in clothes I love changes my energy. It lifts my mood and increases my focus.

For me, there are few things worse than stressing out about what to wear: “Will it fit? Will it look good? Will I be uncomfortable?”

As a business owner, I want to feel put together and confident when I show up online or at client events. Living a REAL FITNESS Lifestyle means no more crying in the dressing room because nothing fits and nothing looks good. It means saying YES to events and showing up confidently, wearing what I want to wear - not being limited by “the only thing that fits” or worse yet, canceling because nothing does.

2. It frees me up to focus on the most important things: my family, career/business, and LIFE!

Fitness and nutrition is my full-time job, but I don’t want to spend my every waking moment thinking about it!

We live in an age of information overload, where people can say almost anything online and everyone has their own version of the truth.

Consuming all of this information and opinion content can make for a VERY messy and conflicted headspace - especially for those with body change and/or health goals.

“I wonder if I should try the ______ diet? Is this the best diet or is that? What should I eat today? Maybe I should start a Whole30. Hmmm…barre classes look interesting. I should sign up for a half-marathon. Should I be vegetarian? Is meat bad? So & So just started doing ____. Maybe I should do it too?”

Living a REAL FITNESS Lifestyle is like putting blinders on and getting focused on the only thing that matters: YOU. What works for you and what gets you sustainable results. What works with your real, messy, everyday life.

I don't live in the kitchen OR the gym, and while nutrition and training are really important to me, they aren't THE MAIN THING. They aren't my identity, and they aren't where I spend the majority of my time and energy.

This way of eating, training, and living has given me a sense of mental calm and focus - and that’s priceless.

3. So I can set a good example for my family - especially my daughter.

I don’t come from a family of athletes or “fitness people.” Almost all the women in my family struggle with their weight, and I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want that for myself.

Now that I have a 1-year-old daughter, I’m even more grateful for the good influences who came into my life and helped me fall in love with fitness and living a healthy lifestyle.

I will NEVER have to explain to her…

…why mama isn’t eating when everyone else is (aka “fasting”);

…why mama has to eat special pre-packaged meals/shakes/bars, while she eats different food; or,

…why mama has to cook and eat separate meals from everyone else in the family; or,

…why I “can’t eat” certain foods because they are “bad.”

I would be proud to teach my daughter the way I eat and move and train. In fact, she’s already following my example: she loves exploring the food on my plate (it must taste better when it’s on mama’s plate) and copies certain movements I do.

She will never hear her mother complaining about her body or talking about losing weight or going on a diet.

4. So I can live in the middle ground: 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

I love holidays.

I love travel.

I love cooking and baking.

I love trying fancy (and not-so-fancy) new restaurants with my husband and friends.

But, as mentioned before, I also like fitting into my clothes…

None of these things would be possible if I was constantly hopping from fad diet to fad diet, always looking for the next food “boogeyman” to eliminate from my diet. Always losing weight and gaining it right back.

By living a REAL FITNESS Lifestyle, I never go to the extremes in either direction with how I eat and train, because there’s no need to. Extremes ALWAYS backfire.

If I’m consistent with my nutrition and workouts week after week, month after month, all year-round, then one special occasion, one meal, or a holiday is like a drop in the bucket.

There’s no need to ever “get back on the wagon” because holidays and special occasions are already built in to this lifestyle.

There’s ZERO guilt for having an amazing dessert at a Patisserie in Paris.

ZERO guilt for having homemade Paella and red wine in Spain.

ZERO guilt for having a slice of my daughter’s birthday cake at her 1-year-old birthday party.

If you want to spend your life obsessing over food and workouts - you do you.

But I’ll be over here doing what I do and loving life: Drinking great coffee. Eating meals that don’t suck. Having the occasional dessert. Wearing clothes I love. Feeling great. Being fit and strong. Running my online business and kicking ass. Spending time with my family and friends. Going on about my life without obsessing over food and how many calories my workout burns.

For me, that’s what a REAL FITNESS Lifestyle is all about.

I created this program in 2013 because it didn’t exist and I needed it to. (Back then, it was called "Fat Loss Cooking School"!)

The only options I saw were insanely low-calorie diets where I worked out to “earn points” for food (looking at you WW), or eating ALL THE THINGS, whatever I wanted, and then trying to burn them off by working out for 2-3 hours a day.

Neither one of those gave me the kind of body or life I wanted. So I created my own lane, right here in the middle.

I’d be happy to show you how you can create a sustainable lifestyle you love, too. Our next 4-week online program is starting soon. Click the button below to learn more about Fat Loss Lifestyle School.

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