Finding Time for Fitness

At this point, I think we all know the benefits of moving and exercising. It helps us sleep better, reduces the risk of many diseases, and improves mood and mental clarity (think things like concentration, creativity, and memory). When we exercise, we have more energy, strength, and endurance. It just makes us feel better! We KNOW this.


But sometimes the distance between knowing what you need (and even wanting it!) and actually doing it just feels too far away – separated by a sea of busy schedules, kids, work commitments, chores, not to mention time for actual rest, rejuvenation, and connection with loved ones.

One of the struggles I most consistently hear about is just finding the time. So I wanted to show you that there are ways to fit fitness into a hectic schedule, even if you’re in a season of life where carving out a specific time to get to the gym every day is just not an option.

  • First thing in the morning –One of the easiest ways to ensure that it gets done is to do it first thing in the morning. No time to make excuses or for plans to change, plus, it’s a great way to start the day!
  • Make your playdate a partner workout – While the kids are playing, get in a workout with the other parents. Or instead of coffee, throw the kids in the stroller and meet up for a walking date. You still get to connect with a friend, but you’ll save yourself some money and do something good for your body.
  • Break it up – Maybe you just honestly don’t feel like the schedule allows for 30 solid minutes. So break it up into smaller chunks. Pick a few exercises and pair it with something that is a habit. For example, before each meal do quick circuit like this: 20 squats, 10 push ups, 20 lunges, plank for 30 seconds. It doesn’t have to be a meal. It could be during nap time or breaks at the office.
  • After dinner walk – Take the whole family as a way to de-stress from the day, wind-down before bed, and catch some awesome sunsets…

  • Workout while you watch TV – Instead of snacking when you’re not hungry or browsing social media only halfway paying attention, get up and workout! You still get to catch up on your favorite shows, but also do something that your body will thank you for later! Plus, many people find that working out before bed helps them sleep better.  😉
  • Weekends – You also have the weekend to fit 1-2 workouts in. Get the whole family involved or have your spouse take the kids while you get your workout on. Then you can take some rest days on those really hectic weekdays.

All you need is 30 minutes

Yes, you really can get a good workout in that time. When you are short on time, bump up the intensity a bit and only rest as necessary (i.e. when you feel you can’t continue with the same intensity or proper form) and try to hit at least one upper and one lower body muscle group….actually just try to hit as many muscle groups as you can. 🙂 A few dumbbells or bands are nice to have, but you can do it with just your bodyweight too. Give yourself 5 minutes for warming up, then pick 3-5 exercises and set a timer for 20 minutes. See how many times you can get through in 20 minutes. Here are two examples:

Example A (bodyweight)
1. Single-leg squat – 10-12 each
2. Push Ups – 10-12 (you can add a side plank in between each if you’re feeling feisty 😉 )
3. Hip Bridges – 12-15
4. Body Saw – 10-12

Example B (weights)
1. Squat with Shoulder Press – 8
2. Deadlift – 8
3. Inverted (or Bent-over) Rows – 6-8
4. Russian Twists – 12 ea

Take 5 minutes to cool down, foam roll, and stretch tight muscles. And you’re done!!

It must be a priority

No matter how busy you are, there are ways to fit fitness into your life. It doesn’t have to to be your #1 priority, but it does have to be a priority.

Like it or not, health demands our attention. If we choose to ignore it, it will eventually force us to pay attention to it and that’s not so pleasant. When you prioritize your health, you are prioritizing your family, work, spiritual health, etc. So commit yourself to finding the time and make it happen!

Why You Don’t Need To Eat Every Three Hours

The reasons we’ve been told to eat every few hours make sense in theory:

  1. It keeps the metabolism up by adding fuel frequently.
  2. It prevents a drop in blood sugar which prevents hunger from getting out of control.
  3. It prevents overeating.

It makes sense to me which is why I practiced eating this way for a number of years (you can read about it here), but the problem is that the theory doesn’t exactly hold up….


The Truth About Metabolism

First of all, your metabolic rate is actually determined by how much you eat in a day, not how often. In other words, you can eat 1800 calories in six meals or three and your metabolic rate will be the same.

Secondly, preventing a blood sugar drop can be done another (dare I say, easier) way. When you eat frequently throughout the day your metabolism burns primarily carbohydrates instead of fat. This is fine as long as you continue to eat frequently. However, the minute you try to go longer without food and your body runs out of carbs, your blood sugar plunges and your body sends whatever signals it needs in order to get more food ASAP. (i.e. shakiness, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, uncontrollable hunger and cravings, etc.)

Eating fewer meals actually causes your body to switch to burning fat primarily. Not only does this stabilize your blood sugar but, when fuel starts to get low, the body can simply tap into it’s storage sites for more fatty acids, thus easing the body into a more gradual hunger without all the nasty side effects. 😀

Thirdly, for most people struggling with weight gain, the problem is at least somewhat caused by overeating. The fact is, no matter what the quality of food is, if you’re eating more than your body is using it will gain weight. The the more often you eat, the more opportunity there is to overeat.

Getting Comfortable with Hunger

The prevalent “frequent feeding” theory might explain why Americans have become so averse to hunger while most cultures still cultivate it. In other cultures, they don’t eat as frequently and, from a young age, kids are taught that hunger between meals is a good and natural thing to feel.

From the French perspective, Le Billon reports, hunger between meals is a good thing. It produces good eaters, teaches kids self-control and produces discipline around eating.

Alternatively, as a sociologist who coaches parents on teaching their children to eat right, I can safely say that American parents go to great lengths to make sure their kids are never hungry. ”
– Dina Rose, Do Kids Need to Snack?

In my 9 years in the business, one thing that’s been confirmed over and over again is that we’ve completely lost any resemblance of a what a healthy relationship with food and our bodies looks like. Long-term sustainability has been exchanged for the illusion of quick fixes and the mind-body connection has been completely drowned out by 30 day diets and calorie counters.

I want to help you break free from this craziness and get lasting results which is why I’ve come to believe that the first steps to cultivating a healthy relationship with food is to learn how to work with hunger instead of fearing and avoiding it. I can’t think of a better way to start learning self-control around food. Not only does it allow us to stop obsessing over food and enjoy it more, but it also helps with fat loss and builds an important mind-body connection…

Learning to Trust Yourself

I don’t like the lie that we should avoid hunger because once we are hungry then we can’t control ourselves. That’s just silliness. Food can’t actually force it’s way into your mouth. You are in control.  Waiting until you’re hungry to eat is a simple way to teach your body and brain this. But just like anything else, this discipline has to be practiced. If you never practice then it will feel like you can’t control it! But the more consistently you practice, the easier it will get. I promise. 😉

Also you don’t need a calorie tracker or scale to tell you that you’re eating too much. You’ve got a built-in system specifically designed for this purpose and it’s actually a lot more accurate than calorie counting! Your body will let you know when it’s ready. The absence of hunger means it doesn’t need anything.

“Preventing hunger prevents weight loss.…Eating only when you’re hungry is the number one lifelong skill you can learn for leanness, and in forming a healthy relationship with food.” ~Georgie Fear

Live and Enjoy Life (and Food) More!

Food quite simply becomes more enjoyable when you’re hungry. It’s the same reason that resting feels better after hard work….it’s just more enjoyable when your body actually needs it.

Eating less often also means less food obsessing and more time to focus on other more important things. Plus, when you do eat, you can actually eat to satisfaction. 😀

You Can Do This

It takes time to find the balance. Start small by trying to eat only 3-4 meals without any snacking in-between. Give that a few weeks. Once you feel good with that then you can start adjusting amounts to get to where you start to feel hunger about 30 minutes before your next meal.

I know it’s kinda scary and you won’t get it right every time, but give yourself permission to trust the process. You can trust your body to let you know what it needs! Just take it one meal at a time.

Your body is by the far the most qualified expert on what YOU need! Before worrying about alll the other stuff, start by learning how to listen to your body and to honor what it’s telling you and you’ll be way ahead of the long-term health and fat loss game.

For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of self discipline.
~2 Timothy 1:7

Stuff I’m loving right now (and I think you will too)

So today I thought I’d try something fun and new by just sharing some of things I’m really digging on right now. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Favorite Quote:

I love to read and I love coming upon a really good quote. I actually wanted to be a writer when I was younger, but then I decided I couldn’t do it (that’s a story for another day). Anyways, since starting my blog it’s been challenging for me to keep up with it regularly, but I’ve also experienced an even deeper love for words. That’s why when I read this quote the other day it really connected with me, both as blogger but also just thinking about how I talk…

“Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that’s the whole art and joy of words.” ~C. S. Lewis

Food: Taco Salad

I love taco salad because it’s easy to make and a tasty way to get a good amount of protein and veggies.

A trick I’ve learned that I think really ups my taco meat game is to add a can of diced tomatoes instead of water to the taco seasoning. So I brown a pound of ground beef (with garlic and onion if I have them). Add the taco seasoning, but instead of adding water (which it calls for), I add an 8 ounce can of diced tomatoes.


Follow the directions on the seasoning packet and boom. It really adds that extra kick of flavor and moisture to the meat! Then I like to do a bit of a deconstructed taco salad with some iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, avocado, cheddar cheese, and plain greek yogurt (or sour cream).

Add some chips on the side (I’m love the Simply Balanced blue corn tortilla chips at Target. So good. :)) and you’ve got yourself a tasty meal.

taco salad


Fitness: Animal Movements

Whenever my body feels tight or achy, I’ve found that combining Z-Health with animal movements makes it feel so much better. It’s fantastic for waking up the nervous system, loosening up commonly tight areas like the hips and back, and working on better movement and mobility in a fun and playful way. Plus, you don’t need any equipment. I’ve been loving this so much that I’ve actually been using them as warm ups in my classes.

If you’ve seen my 5 minute flow videos, I’ve been playing around with it in there too, but here’s a video at regular speed of me practicing the basics.

If you’re interested in learning more about this, here and here are a few resources.

Book: Lean Habits For Lifelong Weight Loss by Georgie Fear

lean habits

I honestly haven’t even read the whole book yet, but the 4 core habits alone are worth the price of the book. After going through a huge mindset shift concerning nutrition over the last few years, this book was really helpful in healing my own relationship with food, learning how to master hunger (I’m still practicing 😉 ), and knowing how to better help my own clients. One of the biggest light bulb moments for me was this quote:

“Engaging in hunger prevention on a regular basis ends up becoming weight-loss prevention, so you want to avoid it when possible.

It’s certainly no problem to keep eating when hunger is nowhere in the picture- but that absence of hunger is a signal itself. It’s one that we can hear and translate into a useful message. When we don’t feel any hunger for long stretches of time (and we are perfectly healthy), we are likely eating above our energy needs. We don’t need caloires-tracking software, we don’t need to wait until our pants are too tight….We can hear our body’s language and know what it means to get the “silent treatment” from our hunger. Even in it’s silence, it’s looking out for us…

Preventing hunger prevents weight loss.…Eating only when you’re hungry is the number one lifelong skill you can learn for leanness, and in forming a healthy relationship with food.

It won’t get you lean in 21 days, but it’s some of the most sound and sustainable nutrition advice I’ve read in a long time. If you struggle with nutrition, if you want to be free from calorie tracking, if you don’t love the way you eat, then don’t settle. Check this book out.

Music: 10,000 Emerald Pools by Borns

This has nothing to do with health or fitness, but who doesn’t love finding good new music?!?! I heard this on a tv show and I’m kinda addicted…

September theme: Live in TODAY

I often miss out on a lot of good things because I’m too worried about looking ahead at what’s to come. So this is my “theme” for the month. Surrendering all my tomorrows to God and living fully and joyfully in today. 🙂