Own Your Fitness and Nutrition in 2015

If you set some fitness and nutrition goals as you rang in the New Year and you have not started to work towards them yet, have no fear, it’s never to late.  Don’t throw in the towel because on January 2 you didn’t wake up at 5 a.m., churn out a shake in your spankin’ new Vitamix, get to the gym, and have vegetables at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


You don’t need a New Year to set these goals.  You can set goals at ANY time of the year and start working towards them.

Below are some questions to think about as you evaluate your progress towards these goals… and if you have not set any yet but still want to, then DO IT NOW.

  • Are you happy with your progress thus far?
  • Are there any changes that you need to make to your plan?
  • Are there any additional tracking tools that you need to use?
  • Are there any additional resources that you need to tap into in order to ensure that you stay in line with your goals?

I believe that no matter what level of fitness you are at or even if you are relatively happy with your diet, that you should always have a fitness goal, AND every once in a while re-evaluate your diet choices and perhaps make adjustments if necessary. Goals keep us focused on a consistent routine and even the smallest diet changes can make a difference. (Read more in Small Changes=Significant Results).

Here are 16 Nutrition, Exercise, and most important, MINDSET, tips that can help you to prioritize and OWN  your fitness and nutrition goals for this year:


  • Keep a food diary.  Write absolutely every little thing down that you eat even if it’s embarrassing like a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream or a jumbo/Halloween size bag of M&M’s (yes I once had a client confess to eating this size bag of M&M’s at work because she was stressed). Also write down how you FEEL after eating certain foods.  If you eat yogurt and feel bloated and lethargic, then write that down.  If you eat steak and broccoli and feel satiated and NOT bloated then write that down. Which leads me to my next point…
  • Find a diet that works for YOU.  Just because your best friend is vegan does not necessarily mean that going vegan is right for your body type.  You may be fueled best by a more animal protein and healthy fats (e.g. avocadoes, coconut oil) based diet.  A good way to determine what works best for you is:
    1. Identify what body type you are (read THIS ARTICLE by Precision Nutrition for more information about body type eating); and
    2. Trial and error. Keep track of what you eat and how you feel when you eat these foods. (See previous point, keep a food journal).

Finding the diet that is right for you is an evolving process, so it’s good to re-evaluate your diet every 6-12 months to make sure it’s working for you the way that it should and make changes every if necessary.  For example, in 2012 I eliminated processed grains from my diet, decreased my dairy intake and replaced these things with more vegetables (e.g. raw spinach), fruit, animal protein and healthy fats.  Most recently in 2014 I completely eliminated legumes, which included curbing my hummus consumption, and cutting out food bars and protein shakes that contain legumes e.g. pea protein.  Now instead of protein powder I will add Maca powder and Goji or Acai powder and flax seed along with everything else I put in the shake.  I also cut back even more on cheese and added more protein in my diet earlier in the day, e.g. 3 eggs before noon along with ham or roast beef instead of just two eggs.  The one extra egg made a huge difference for me!

  • Go grocery shopping and prepare all of your own meals. YES, have control over what you are eating! This is the only way.
  • Prepare meals in advance. Whatever works for you, e.g. some people prepare meals at the beginning of the week for the whole week. Others take extra time daily in the morning or the evening in order to prepare their foods for that day or the next day. You need to find what works for you.
  • Start your day with a glass of water.  Drink one to two glasses of room temperature water right after you wake up, before you have coffee or breakfast.  This will help you to:
    1. Start your day off hydrated.  Room temperature water is more easily absorbed by the body; and
    2. Get your digestive system off to a good start.  Room temperature water aids in digestion and an optimally running digestive system is one of the keys to good nutrition!

If you’re really hardcore you can add a shot of Aloe Juice to that morning hydration routine.  I recently started to have Aloe Juice along with my glass of room temperature water in the morning before I have my coffee.  Aloe juice promotes digestive health.  It has an odd taste, a little acidic, but it goes down quickly and it definitely helps to maintain digestive homeostasis!


  • Follow the 80/2o or 90/10 Rule.  When it comes to nutrition, follow the 80/20 or 90/10 rule which means that 80-90% of the time you are eating according to plan and sticking to grocery shopping and preparing all of your own meals and 10-20% of the time you allow yourself to go out to dinner, have a beer or a few glasses of wine, have dessert or chocolate and indulge in things that you would not regularly eat.  Allow yourself this flexibility so that you do not feel deprived and maintain a sustainable approach to nutrition.


  • Schedule your training like it’s an appointment that you cannot cancel. Whether you are going to meet your trainer or train on your own, schedule your training like an appointment and do not let anything interfere with it.  If you don’t schedule it in then you will never get to it and you are not likely to stay consistent. This is what I do and how I ensure that I am able to make time to train on a daily basis.
  • Keep a training journal. Keep track of your workouts and your progress. Even write down how you felt that day especially if you felt tired and weak. It will help you to evaluate if you are overtraining, not eating properly, stressed or not getting enough sleep. I always write down how I feel especially if I had a particularly strong or weak and tired training day.
  • Challenge yourself in the weight room.  Get out of your comfort zone in the weight room. Do things, or train to do things that you never thought you might do, like a pull-up or dead-lift more than your bodyweight. Do something that challenges you, be successful at it and in turn you will be empowered and motivated to do the next thing that is out of your comfort zone.
  • Get strong.  Along with challenging yourself in the weight room, do not be afraid to get strong to achieve these challenging goals. Being strong makes everything better. Be Xena, not Edna, and love your muscles, being strong and confident with your strength.
  • Hire a Personal Trainer.  At a loss for where to start? Then HIRE A PERSONAL TRAINER. Good personal training and guidance is invaluable.  A good personal trainer should be able to not only implement an effective training program for you but should also be able to help you with your nutrition goals.  Investing in regular personal training is investing in your short AND long-term health.  Think you can’t afford it? Explore ALL of your options and find training that fits your personality and your budget.  There are many options out there from One-on-One Training, to Small Group Training, to Online Training (both group and one-on-one) and even Classes!  We offer ALL of these services at Iron Body Studios, including Online Nutrition Coaching, because we want to make sure that there is something available for everyone.


  • Own IT!  Just as I tell my clients in the weight room, to OWN IT!  OWN that pull-up!  OWN that press!  OWN your fitness and nutrition.  Own your eating and exercise routine.  The more you act like you own it, the more you will actually indeed own it and have control and the more success you will have.
  • Focus on how you feel, not metrics or the number on the scale.  Throw out your scale. Instead, focus on how you feel, e.g. Are you less bloated?  Do you feel satisfying full after you eat?  Do you have more energy?  Do your clothes fit better?  Do you need to go shopping for new clothes?  Are you accomplishing great things in the weight room?  Do loads that you lift outside of the weight room feel lighter?  Are you sleeping better?  When you are obsessed mentally on the number on the scale or if a particular body part doesn’t look the way you’d like it to, it causes stress and stress wreaks havoc on the insides and prevents you from reaching your goals and then setting new ones.  Instead, focus on what you can do and how you feel and not on how you look or how much you weigh.
  • Make sleep a priority and manage your stress.  Rest, recovery and SLEEP is extremely important for weight loss and to build strength.  Your body needs to recover and rebuild from all the stress, mental and physical, that you put it under and it cannot do that unless you get enough sleep, rest, recover and take time to tune out.  Along with that managing your stress is huge.  We all have a full plate, but it’s how you react to stress that helps you to manage it.
  • Anticipate obstacles, have strategies.  You will encounter obstacles.  You will fall out of your routine.  Expect this and don’t freak out.  It’s OK.  This goes back to managing stress.  How will you manage them?  Accept the obstacle, let it go and MOVE FORWARD!  Do not let the obstacles be a reason to give up, e.g. a missed training session, eating a piece of cake (80/20 rule!).  Look forward to tomorrow.  Train tomorrow.  Do not eat cake tomorrow.
  • Make your fitness and nutrition a PRIORITY.  It’s all about priorities!  Often people will say, “I don’t have time to exercise”,  “I don’t have time to prepare my meals”, “I don’t have the money for personal training, sign up for a class, or join a gym”.  If you prioritize these things YOU WILL have both time and money for them.  For example, I heard recently on a local news radio that if you made the make the financial resolution to not spend $4/day on coffee (Starbucks or otherwise) you could save $1,000/year!  If fitness is a priority for you in 2015, instead you could invest that $4/day on your health and fitness and sign up for 4 classes/month with Iron Body Studios for $75/month ($2.50/day), for example, and STILL have $8/month leftover to save or to buy two Starbucks coffee’s per month.  So you may need to re-evaluate how you spend your money in order to financially prioritize your fitness and nutrition, but it IS possible and is IS worth preserving the ONE and ONLY body that you were born with. If it’s that important to you, you will find a way, if it’s not, then you will find an excuse.

Stay on task and good luck!



Join me for my workshop I Am Not Afraid To Lift!

Coming to Columbus, Ohio on March 21, 2015 and Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 18, 2015.

Early bird rate of $199.00 available through February 21, 2015 for Ohio and through March 7, 2015 for New Mexico.

Read more and register HERE.

Working towards a goal of a pull-up? Sign up for my Attack The Bar Pull-up Program on WeightTraining.com; Level I and Level II currently available or train with me ONLINE through WeightTraining.com HERE.  Both one-on-one and group available.

Learn more HERE.

Next Iron Body Restore online nutrition group starts February 1, 2015.

Learn more HERE.

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