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Retreat Details and Week 14 Circuit Workout

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I’m super excited to announce the details for my next yoga, fitness, wellness retreat! Last year’s retreat in Bali was a huge success so I’ve decided to offer a retreat every fall partnered with some of the best fitness/yoga/wellness professionals I know! This time I’ve kept it closer to home and shorter to allow more people to attend. Many people expressed last year they couldn’t travel too far and many couldn’t take a whole week off from work and family. So here you go! Next year will most likely be longer and further away (I’m thinking Greece or Brazil!!) so take advantage of this retreat if you fall in the mentioned categories.

All the details can be found at this link!

I really hope you can make it! 5 days, 4 nights in beautiful Mexico with like-minded peeps is exactly what you need!

Week 14 Circuit Workout
3-4+ Rounds through the circuit
40 seconds hard/20 seconds recovery, up to 45 second rest or active recovery at the end of each completed circuit
All you need is one set of dumbbells

1. Mountain Climbers
2. Squat w/ wood chop (alternate sides, holding one dumbbell)
3. Reach and Tuck (opposite arm and leg, one side at a time)
4. Reach and Tuck – other side
5. Overhead Dumbbell Press
6. Glute Kickback – right side
7. Glute Kickback – left side
8. V-ups

If you try the workout let us know how you like it in the comments!

Week 1-13 Circuit Workouts at this link!

Posted on 05/22/2015 | Leave a Comment

Birthday Celebration and Week 13 Circuit Workout

Yogi_Birthday

So this was a pretty good week. I turned 36 on Wednesday. I started the day with a yoga class and pondered growing older. In this photo I’m standing next to a tree that my father planted in our front yard when I was about 6 years old. I’ve watched it grow to be the biggest tree in our whole neighborhood. It literally takes my breathe away when I look up at it, it’s so huge (and I kind of worry about the safety of our house if a big storm came!!). I remember when it was no taller than me! I had my dad take a photo of me in tree pose next to it to symbolize all the growth I’ve experienced over the years and the strength I’ve learned to cultivate.

I stand tall as I turn 36 and look forward to a new chapter in my life. I’ve signed up to do a yoga teacher training immersion in India in September (pushing my move to Portland to November). This is the first birthday where I didn’t feel like celebrating like crazy. Usually I would party all week, even all month. I’m not sure if it’s just getting older or whether this time of transition has me in a bit of a funk, but having a simple dinner with friends was all I needed. I used to be afraid of getting older but each year gets better and better with more experiences to be had!

Here’s to great health, following my passion, living my bliss, and helping the world around me to be a better place to live. I feel blessed to share this space with you! Namaste.

Now onto the workout this week! I was able to record this at a friends apartment gym. It shows a sample of the exercises. Hopefully someday I will have the proper space to record workout videos for you! Until then we’ll make do with my traveling schedule and lack of space.

Week 13 Circuit Workout
4+ Rounds through the circuit
10-15 reps each exercise
All you need is one set of dumbbells (I used 15 lbs but you may need heavier)

1. Quick Feet w/ Squat
2. Burpee w/ Shoulder Taps
3. Side Plank w/ Row – Left side
4. Side Plank w/ Row – Right side
5. Weighted Toe Tap Crunch
6. Double Suitcase Deadlift

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 4 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 5 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 6 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 7 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 8 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 9 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 10 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 11 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 12 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 05/15/2015 | Leave a Comment

Week 12 Circuit Workout – Just need a pair of dumbbells!

Oops, I’m a day late on your weekly workout! A lot has happened this week! The newest issue of Definition Fitness Magazine launched! This issue is very exciting and features some of the most inspiring vegans I have ever met! More details can be found here. I hope you will subscribe or pick up this issue!

IssueSix

Now onto our workout today! I run you through one round of this circuit interval training workout. You just need one set of dumbbells (probably bigger than the ones I used depending on your strength). I used an interval time app called IntervalTimer. Try for 4 rounds if you can or 5 even!

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss, training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

Week 12 Circuit Workout
4 Rounds through the circuit
Timed Intervals – 40 seconds on/20 seconds active recovery
All you need is one set of dumbbells (I used 10lbs but you may need heavier)

1. Squat with One-Arm Push Press – Left side
2. Squat with One-Arm Push Press – Right side
3. Stiff-Leg Deadlift to Biceps Curl
4. Stationary Lunge – Left side
5. Stationary Lunge – Right side
6. Squat Jacks
7. Upright Row
8. Lunge with Twist

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 4 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 5 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 6 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 7 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 8 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 9 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 10 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 11 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 05/09/2015 | Leave a Comment

Week 11 Circuit Workout – Sexy Arms

Alright friends! I’m dog sitting and was able to record a few workout videos. Yay!

This one is to help you develop definition in your arms and shed that stubborn “wing” fat. For awhile, Michelle Obama’s arms were an icon across social media. She got those arms lifting weights. Not spending hours on the treadmill. If you want shapely arms you have to build muscle to create the shape. A permanent cure for the “wings” is to lift weights. That’s just the way it is folks. Well, I’m talking to women specifically because biologically our bodies like to hold onto fat. The way women sculpt their bodies and maintain lower body fat is to lift weights and build muscle. Of course you want to do cardio too for good health but weight training should be the foundation of your fitness program.

This sexy arms circuit workout is going to help you get shapely arms! And if you don’t care about that this workout will help you build strength in your arms so you can carry heavy stuff!

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss, training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

Sexy Arms Workout
10-15 reps each exercise (or on each side), 3-4 rounds of the circuit
(I used a set of 10 lb. dumbbells but you may need different sizes depending on your strength)

1. Arnold Press
2. Alternating Hammer Curls
3. Walking Planks
4. Floor Chest Press
5. Renegade Row
6. Alternating Front Raise
7. Tricep Extension

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 4 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 5 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 6 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 7 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 8 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 9 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 10 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 05/01/2015 | 5 Comments

Mexican Cheesy Pasta in 10 minutes

Hey friends! I’ve got a recipe for you today. It’s easy. It takes 10 minutes to make. It’s delicious. Did I say it takes 10 minutes to make?

I’m all about quick and easy these days. Actually, for the last few years quick and easy has been my MO. That’s why you haven’t seen many recipes on my blog as of late, because most times I’m throwing things together and there is no “recipe”. Hunger sets in, and if I have nothing planned or prepped, I dig through the pantries and fridge to see what’s in there.

mexicanpasta

These ingredients were present. Hence how the Mexican Cheesy Pasta was born. At first I called it Mexican mac n’ cheese, but my dad proclaimed that it in fact tasted nothing like mac n’ cheese.

Okaaaay.

mexicanpastasauce

I don’t want to lead people on, but it is sort of cheesy. At least that is what I was going for when I created the recipe. You can tell me what you think!

This recipe is pretty versatile. If you want it more Italian style sub out the cumin and chili powder for basil and rosemary, use white beans instead of black, and leave out the chiles.

Mexican Cheesy Pasta
Makes about 4 servings

1 box quinoa pasta shells
1 14oz can black beans
1 4oz can diced green chilesmexicanpasta2
1/2 cup+ cherry tomatoes, halved (or any chopped tomato)
1 package silken tofu
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon white miso
1/2 fresh lime, juiced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh to your liking)
Dash cayenne (or more to make it spicy)
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Preparation
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse black beans and place in a large bowl with green chiles and tomatoes. While pasta is boiling, place the remaining sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. When pasta is tender, drain in a colander and place in the bowl with beans. Dump sauce in the bowl and toss until everything is covered. Season with sea salt and pepper to your liking.

Easy peasy. I’m realizing now that this would have been taken to the next level with some chopped cilantro. Bam!

The sky’s the limit here folks. The way I make sure to have healthy food at home is to create these “recipes” that are super fast and can transform into other meals the next week. The sauce is easy to memorize with so few ingredients and I can throw in whatever veggies I have on hand.

Done and done. Enjoy!

Oh, and good news! Workouts will start again next week!

Posted on 04/24/2015 | 1 Comment

New location, new challenges

Hello friends! Sorry I was not able to post a workout last week. As I mentioned in the previous video I moved from Austin back home with my dad to save money for my move to Portland and get his health back on track.

Those of you that followed our journey 3 years ago know I moved back home before when my dad had a pre-cancer scare. I got him in the best shape of his life and the doctors didn’t need to see him but once a year. After living with him for a year I moved to Austin to continue on with my life. And he fell back into his old ways, stopped eating healthy, and is now withering away. Moving back home gives me another opportunity to set him on a healthy track. Again.

Hopefully it will stick this time!

Living back home has it’s challenges. I have no space to film workout videos except outside. When the weather is nice I will start that back up! In lieu of making workout videos I will probably start doing FAQ videos again since this is where all that started (remember the horrible green countertops?)!

So I’d love to hear from you about what topics you’d like me to discuss. Got a question? Leave it in the comments or shoot me an email.

As you know I have a lot to say and I’m not afraid to voice my opinion on topics in the vegan and fitness realm. So let’s have fun with it!

I’ve also decided to start a new series on the blog called “Magazine Recipe Redux” where I pick a recipe from a fitness magazine and veganize it to make it healthier. You would think fitness magazines already have healthful recipes that help people reach their goals but I have found that’s not always the case! I’m really excited about this new series because it will get me creating in the kitchen again and I have my dad as a guinea pig 😉

Other awesome things!

healthfest

I spoke at Healthfest the weekend before last and was in Austin for Texas VegFest this past weekend. So much traveling! It was soooo much fun and I got to meet some pretty awesome people, like Rich Roll and Dr. Garth Davis, and hangout with my colleagues and friends. Put Healthfest on your calendar for next year because it’s a must attend weekend conference!

gene

Gene Baur from Farm Sanctuary will be on The Daily Show tonight! This is huge! Be sure to watch and record it!

Driftwood Magazine is a new publication for the sophisticated vegan. They have a Kickstarter going and I hope you can donate a little something to help get this new magazine off the ground! The more vegan stuff on the newsstands the better!

Cover_issuefive

You can still subscribe to my magazine and help us go to print next year! More details about the first issue can be found here. Definition is the first magazine of it’s kind! It would be an honor if you subscribed and shared it around. All the money we receive from subscriptions will go directly to printing and distributing our first issue next year. But we can’t do that without your support!

As always, I want to produce content that YOU want so be sure to drop me a line, leave a comment, or stop by my Facebook page and let me know what you want to see on the blog!

Posted on 04/06/2015 | 2 Comments

Week 10 Circuit Workout – Leg Burnout!

As my house lay in shambles and boxes are everywhere for my move back home to Dallas last night (then to Portland in July!), I wasn’t going to do a workout video this week, but managed to crank one out for ya before I left town! I’m crashing at my dad’s place for a few months while I save up money and get out of debt. His place has nowhere suitable for film workout videos except for outside. Weather permitting I hope to continue making videos for you! Let me know if you are enjoying them in the comments and I will keep at ’em!

I’m heading out to Marshall, Texas today for the Healthfest where I’ll be giving two lectures; Meal Planning Made Easy and A Fitter, Happier You. Meal prep and fitness are two subjects I am very passionate about so I’m super excited to be there. I went last year as a guest and it was so much fun packed into a weekend. Hope to see you there!

week10circuit

An update for all my DFW clients: I’m super excited to get back in touch with you and plan to offer a few discounts on private cooking instruction, cooking parties, and in-person personal training so keep an eye or get in touch if you want to get on my schedule for the next 3 months.

Now onto our circuit workout for today, which is going to kill your legs! Feel the burn baby!

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss, training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

Week 10 Leg Burnout Circuit
10-20 reps each exercise (or on each side), 3-4 rounds of the circuit

1. In/Out Jack Squats
2. Squat w/ Side Leg Lift – right side
3. Squat w/ Side Leg Lift – left side
4. Skaters
5. Walkout with Twist
6. Bulgarian Split Squat – right side
7. Bulgarian Split Squat – left side
8. Side Plank w/ Front & Back Toe Tap – right side
9. Side Plank w/ Front & Back Toe Tap – left side

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 4 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 5 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 6 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 7 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 8 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 9 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 03/27/2015 | 2 Comments

Week 9 Circuit Workout – Arms, Abs, & Buns

Workouts are BACK! If you haven’t read last week’s post I would love to get your thoughts on it. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway for this awesome cookbook!

This week I’ve got another workout you can do at home with only a resistance band (and a chair which I think you all have at home)!

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss, training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

This workout has some exercises that you might not have seen before so watching the video is important! Remember when using a resistance band you determine how challenging the exercise is by adjusting your feet placement in relationship to the length of the band. Make sure on the unilateral (one-sided) exercises you do the full reps on each side before moving to the next exercise. The push-ups are challenging so do as many as you can.

Week 9 Arms, Abs, & Buns Circuit Workout
10-15 reps each exercise (on each side), 3-4 rounds of the circuit

1. Modified Pistol Squat – use a chair or box or step stool or whatever you got! Do one side for reps then move to next side
2. Dolphin Push-ups
3. Reverse Chop with resistance band – do one side for reps then move to next side
4. One-Leg Elevated Hip Pulses – do one side for reps then move to next side
5. Push-up to Superman Opposite Reach – just 10-15 reps total
6. Cross Punch – do one side for reps then move to next side

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 4 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 5 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 6 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 7 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 8 Circuit Workout here!

Are you interested in working with me on a personalized program to get you in the best shape? Everyone is different, has different goals and needs. These workouts I post on my website are not typically the ones I’m using all the time in my program or what I give to my clients. They are great for general health but if you have specific goals in mind a personalized program is the way to go!

To welcome Spring and upcoming tank top weather, I’m taking 5 new clients who are ready to take their health to the next level, who want to get stronger, and see what their bodies can do! I’m offering a FREE MONTH (new clients only, split between two payments) for my 16 week personalized fitness program with meal plan (savings of $110!!). If you’ve been dreaming of working with me now you have no excuse. This is a first come first serve situation so sign up now using the coupon code SPRINGSPECIAL. Start dates for March only. I can’t wait to work with you! http://theblissfulchef.com/registration/

Posted on 03/13/2015 | 3 Comments

Living Candida-Free and a sammie to knock your socks off!

I’m super excited to tell you about my friend Ricki Heller’s new cookbook Living Candida-Free!

Her eBooks have been favorites of mine for a while. Desserts Without Compromise allowed me to eat guilt-free desserts during a time where I gave up sugar and was molding my physique.

Cover-Image_3D_NSGF-smallYou might recall my review of her first book, Naturally Sweet & Gluten-free, and the fun On-Air interview we did where she walked me through how to make coconut macaroons. You’ll also find some of her delicious recipes in my Cooking by Color series from 2013 AND in the Cooking Tool of the Month series I did in 2012! Are you seeing a theme here? I have a major girl crush/colleague admiration for Ricki.

I have so much respect for her, too. Not only is she a smarty pants academic type (and good friend to me!), when she had some health issues spring up she did everything she could to find ways to ease them within the confines of a vegan diet. That takes hard work for something such as candida, which every doctor/naturopath/fill-in-the-blank will tell you must eat an omnivore/paleo diet (extremely low in carbs) to prevail. Ricki didn’t just go along with the mainstream here. She took her disease by the horns and made it work without killing innocent creatures.

<Enter expletive about ex-vegans here>

Candida is no joke. Symptoms can include chronic fatigue and pain, digestive disorders (gas, bloating, diarrhea), and weight gain all the way to brain fog, depression, skin issues, and food allergies. When the good bacteria in your gut is whipped out, say from too much antibiotic use, bad bacteria can flourish. And this is not a good thing.

Living Candida-FreeRicki to the rescue! She has helped thousands of people cure candida naturally with her plant-based program found in the book. Or if you want some hands-on love I highly recommend one of her online programs. If you are sugar-free, gluten-free, corn-free, or any other free you must get Living Candida-Free! Head on over to her blog, which is also full of resources and recipes!

Even though I have no dietary restrictions I love the recipes inside Living Candida-Free. They are inventive, flavorful, and I feel healthy and alive when I eat them. There may be some ingredients you aren’t used to, but are easily found at a natural food store or online.

Today I get to share with you one of the more protein-packed recipes in the book! Because muscles.

This sandwich reminds me of the tempeh reuben I love so much. Well, it’s not really a sandwich because there is no bread. I’m a sucker for anything that has sauerkraut and it’s awesome that you can have it on a candida diet!

Living Candida-Free
100 Recipes and a 3-Phase Program to Restore Your Health and Vitality
By Ricki Heller, PhD, RHN with Andrea Nakayama, CNC, CNE, CHHC

Toronto Sandwich

The Toronto Sandwich
Makes 1 sandwich

Ricki says: I decided to name this dish in honor of my favorite Canadian city. Because the wrapper can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes, I often make one of these for a quick, savory, weekday breakfast if I have leftover salad or cooked vegetables to stuff inside. If you have more time, try a “Toronto” Sandwich for Sunday brunch, filled with Glazed Tempeh and your choice of vegetables. Don’t forget the sauerkraut, though—it really makes the dish!

Wrapper
1/4 cup (25 g) chickpea flour
Pinch of fine sea salt
3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 ml) vegetable broth or stock
Nonstick spray, or olive or coconut oil, for pan

Filling Base
2 to 3 slices baked Tempeh (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) well-drained sauerkraut, or kimchi
Handful of shredded lettuce or salad greens, or leftover cooked vegetables

Creamy Topper
1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced, 1/4 cup (60 ml) hummus, or 1/4 cup (60 ml) creamy dip of choice (e.g., Tomato Dressing or Sauce, see recipe)

Make the wrapper: In a small bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour and salt. Add the broth and whisk until smooth and pourable but not watery (like pancake batter). If it’s too thin, add a bit more flour; if too thick, add a touch more broth.

Grease a 6- to 8-inch (15 to 20 cm) skillet with nonstick spray, or brush with a little olive or coconut oil and heat over medium heat. Add the wrapper batter, spreading out to coat the pan, if necessary, and allow to cook until the top appears dry and the color has darkened, for 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes on the other side.

While the wrapper cooks, prepare the fillings: Heat the tempeh, if using, in a nonstick pan and set aside. Drain the sauerkraut and set aside. If using lettuce, chop it now.

Assemble the sandwich: Once the wrapper is cooked, top half of it with the tempeh; then the greens and sauerkraut. Finally, add the avocado or drizzle with your choice of a creamy topper. Fold the wrapper over the fillings and consume immediately.

From Living Candida-Free by Ricki Heller. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2015. Photograph by Nicole Axworthy

Enter the giveaway to win this awesome book! US and Canadian residents only!
And don’t forget to check out the workout of the week and the spring special I’m running on my 16- week personalized fitness program!

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Posted on 03/11/2015 | 27 Comments

My distaste for the phrase bikini body & sensational advertising

I don’t have a workout video for you today! I’m so sorry! So much going on and I’m dog-sitting for a friend. But I do have a very important topic that I want to discuss with you: The phrase “bikini body” and the sensational advertising people use to prey on women to sell products. This post ends up going into many topics so I will apologize now for any tangents it takes. Bear with me!

bikinibody

I kind of despise the phrase “bikini body”. I will never use it. But it’s running rampant right now as spring approaches. You know summer bodies are made in the spring don’t ya?! If you have a body and you put a bikini on it then you have a “bikini body”. But many fitness gurus have taken that phrase, slapped it onto their programs and bootcamps, and convinced women their bodies aren’t good enough to be in a bikini so they must buy these products.

Your body is good enough. To wear anything you want.

Usually their websites or instagram accounts are splattered with before and after photos. Hashtags show the thousands of women doing these programs, most of which use calorie restriction and too much exercise to get quick results that don’t last. If you showed the after/after photo I bet more than half of these women will have gained the weight back.

Because slashing calories to low levels and doing too much activity is not sustainable. Or healthy.

It seems I’m not the only one calling out people doing this disservice to the fitness industry. This was an interesting post. Another trend I see, which is appalling, is people who win a bodybuilding competition and start doing fitness coaching and meal planning with no credentials at all. Face palm.

Genetically only certain people will have a thin or “toned” body and even fewer will be able to get that athletic/muscular look. I hate to break it to you but there’s only so much you can do with your body. Don’t believe the lies that everyone can look one way or do one program to achieve it. And how boring would this world be if we did?!

We need to discover what our bodies can do and work with it rather than against it. Body love. Not hate.

Kaytee_BeforeAfter_5-20to11-28

I don’t need to use sensational advertising to sell my programs. My expertise and credentials speak for themselves. Take Kaytee above for example. She had amazing results working with me. There are 6 months between the first and last photo and she’s still going. There was no 21 day fix here. She didn’t do cardio obsessively (if I recall she might not have done much at all!) and we kept her diet about 200-300 under maintanence for her activity level. Not a big deficient there.

Could she have gotten these results faster? Sure. But that’s not my style of coaching. I don’t need to WOW you into working with me.

If you want to get a body that you feel comfortable in, that is healthy and strong, that allows you to go up flights of stairs without being winded, that allows you to carry all your groceries and move your own furniture around, that sets a good example for your family and friends, then I can help you do that. I may just be the fitness coach for you. If you want to get rapid, shocking results in as quickly as possible then you might want to look elsewhere. Side note: If you’ve been thinking of working with a online coach in the vegan community other than myself feel free to contact me to get a referral. If they are vegan I almost certainly know them and their credentials and wouldn’t lead you astray.

It’s surprising how those who use this kind of “bikini body” language and put out one-size-fits-all programs that aren’t sustainable or even safe for everyone to follow are selling way more programs then me. Why is that? ItthinINLA makes me sad that a large percentage of women will succumb to this kind of advertising and will do anything to get a thin (but weak) body. But I can relate.

About 5 years ago I was place where I wanted so badly to stay thin (but thankfully never got dangerously obsessive about it). I never yo-yo dieted or exercised all the time. When I lived in Los Angeles and wrote my first book I thought being thin would sell the vegan lifestyle and more books. I weighed 15 pounds less than I do now. You can see from the collage on the right I was thin, but I still hated my body and tried to hide it as much as possible. I never lifted weights. I bought into the lies that are told by so many in the vegan/plant-based community that I needed to be thin to set a “good example” to others. And I’m positive that many other people in my position feel the same way. I realized that’s bullshit (a couple of years ago I talked about this very topic). Many different sizes of people are healthy. Your appearance alone does not determine your health or how much you can inspire someone.

kb-swingOnce I got into fitness and the bodybuilding world I became enamored with a different type of body. I traded my thin and weak image for a muscular, ripped one. Some would even say I replaced one evil with another. But at least my new lifestyle afforded me strength, endless energy, power, performance, confidence, and a healthier body image. It’s funny how getting into fitness and bodybuilding brought to light more struggles women face when it comes to their appearance (the flip coin of being skinny).

I became a champion for bodies of all shapes and sizes even though my own diet and exercise plan was to create a physique that made me happy. I posted some blogs that got me a lot of shit from people in the community about size-shaming and body acceptance. I was told I was promoting obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle because I believe you can be healthy at various sizes.

Which brings me to the question, can you care about your physical appearance and still be a warrior for body acceptance?

As someone who teaches others to embrace their bodies but is constantly working to improve upon my own, how can I help my clients achieve the results they crave in the healthiest ways without obsessing about the number on the scale?

Even deeper than that, can you be a feminist and want to look a certain way?

These are questions I continue to ponder. These topics have to be discussed. In the age of fitspiration, fitness magazines, strong is the new skinny, get your bikini body advertising, and the continued obsession with our bodies we need to have these open conversations. I have been enjoying blogs like Fit is a Feminist Issue, Everyday Feminism, and Super Strength Health to help me see the different views and discussions on how to make things better for all women. If you know of any other bloggers that discuss these issues please post the link in the comments!

Obviously this is not the end of the conversation for us, dear readers. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

 

Posted on 03/06/2015 | 2 Comments