Month: July 2018

3 Lessons I Learned From My Mom

As my daughter makes her way towards the teenage years, I've really been reflecting on the values I want her to learn when it comes to health and fitness. My kids know what I do, they see me set and work for goals, and they are hopefully learning that health and fitness is WAY more than what you look like.

As I've reflected on what I am teaching my kids, I inevitably have been thinking about the home and environment I was raised in and how it molded and shaped my experiences. Most of my fitness inspiration comes from my mother. She has been a huge part of my interest and passion with fitness and as I have gotten older I have come to realize what an impact she has had on my perception of what it means to be fit. Here are 3 lessons I learned from my mom that I hope to pass on to my daughter:

Me and my momma

1) Heathy eating should always include treats.
My mom fed us plenty of vegetables and lean proteins growing up. I even remember the time she tried to make a fat-free pie crust. (Spoiler alert: it was a rubbery, inedible fail!) But in the midst of broccoli and chicken breasts I also remember plenty of Slurpies, popcorn, and candy bars. I never heard the words “I can't, I'm on a diet” cross my mother's lips. She was a great example of fueling her body with healthy food while still allowing room for fun foods.

2) You have a diet, you aren't on a diet.
My mom never used the word diet to refer to a restricted way of eating. We ate food, and that was that. No guilt. No shame. No justification. Food was food and we ate it. I know a lot of people grow up with a lot of shame around food and feeling bad after eating something and I believe a lot of that is a learned feeling. It is my firm believe that food and guilt should never go together and I learned that because my mom never paired them.

3) Women should lift weights.
When I was 14 my mom took me into the weight room at the gym and taught me how to lift. I learned the machines and the free weights and grew in confidence with the form over time. Because of her I never questioned if women could be strong. Or if lifting weights was going to make me bulky. I just assumed all women lifted weights and that getting stronger was only going to help me in life. The second part of that statement is absolutely true, and I'm working to make the first half universally true as well 😉

I sure have a lot to thank my mom for. I am pretty sure without her I wouldn't be doing what I am today. And someday I hope my daughter says the same thing.  I want her to understand balance, and moderation and the fact that being strong not only feels amazing but helps you build confidence in other areas of your life.

If you want to hear more about my mom, my experience growing up, and how it's shaped what I do today as a female in the fitness industry, I shared a lot more in my interview on the Half-Size Me Podcast here (iTunes) or here (stream on your device). Give it a listen.

What To Do When You Mess Up

Consider this analogy:

This morning you slept through your alarm, hit traffic on the way to work, and end up 30 minutes late to work. What do you do?

Do you beat yourself up for being so weak and decide that since you already missed 30 minutes of work you might as well just go home?


Most of us would respond like a grown-up; we would look at what contributed to being late and commit to being on time for work the next day.

Why are we able to be adult about being late but are childish about making a mistake with our food choices?

Why when we eat a slice of cake that wasn't planned do we feel extreme guilt, berate ourselves for lacking willpower, and throw in the towel for the rest of the day?

Here's the truth – you are going to mess up. You are going to eat things you wished you hadn't. It's NORMAL.

What really matter is what happens next. People who are successful are ones who can learn from their decision and improve.

The first step is taking ownership of your decisions.

If there is a cookie or a slice of pizza that is tempting I make a choice about whether to eat it or not. So often we try and justify what we ate by saying “I ate it because _________” Whatever comes next is your justification and it allows you to stop taking responsibility for your actions.

Instead I want you to hold onto your power of choice and wield it daily. If you are offered a piece of cake decide if you really want to eat it. Is it worth it to you? If you do choose to eat it, will you own your choice without guilt? If the answer is yes then enjoy that bad boy! Savor the heck out of it! You chose it thoughtfully, taking full responsibility for the decision.

However – maybe you ate the cake when you had previously told yourself that you weren't going to let it pass your lips. You let yourself down. Now you handle the choice like an adult.

1. Own the decision
2. Look at what contributed
3. Create a strategy to avoid messing up again
4. Get right back on track and MOVE ON

You are an adult, you made a choice, and that's it.

The more you can look at the slip-up as a learning experience and one that defines your worth the more successful you are going to be getting to the place where you can hit your fitness goals and find peace with your food.

Barbell Logic Podcast

Hey hey!

I am super pumped to share this with you, because I often get question about my powerlifting training and I want to share allllllll the details.

One year ago, my husband and I decided to hire Niki Sims through Starting Strength Online Coaching (SSOC) to coach us with our powerlifting training.

We were looking for help with both lifting form and programming. As the weights get heavier and as you move to a more advanced lifter form is incredibly important and programming gets pretty complicated and it was time for us to outsource.

We have loved the process and both of us have gotten a lot stronger over the last year and hit a bunch of PR's.

We were recently interviewed by Matt and Scott from Barbell Logic Podcast and talked all about our training and progression over the last year.

I wanted to invite you to check out our interview.

In it, you’ll hear:

  • Why and how I made the transition from teaching bodypump to lifting heavy weights on my own.
  • Why we love lifting as a couple
  • How much weight we've gained through the process and our current PR's
  • The #1 reason both of us are so passionate about strength training
  • How strength training has helped my husband be a better surgeon

#84 – Building Confidence and Hard Bodies with The Bruesekes

Minimum Effective Dose

I’m a nurse and my husband is a doctor, so medical jargon is a regular occurrence around our home. So when I heard the phrase “minimum effective dose” I totally got it.

In medicine this means the smallest amount of drug that produces a therapeutic response.

The same principle can be applied in fitness – the minimum effective does is the smallest dose that will produce the desired result. Basically it means getting the most bang for your exercise and dietary buck.

Are you applying the minimum effective dose in your fitness journey? Are you getting the best results for the least amount of pain, sacrifice, time, work, and suffering?

There is common misconception that harder is better.
That complicated is superior.
That more restrictive produces better results.

It’s just not true. You don’t have to be miserable to lose weight. There isn’t a direct relationship between suffering and your results.

And if there is one lesson to take away it’s this: Just because something is good doesn’t mean more is better.

Take a look at what you’re doing in an effort to achieve your goals and think about using the least amount of restriction necessary.

Don’t Make This Mistake When Hiring An Online Coach

I get it. You’ve reached that point. That point where you decide that your fitness journey would be easier with a guide. The point where investing in a coach will help to hold you accountable and allow you to maximize your results in the shortest amount of time.

Trouble is, there are a million and one “online fitness coaches” – how is a girl to pick who to hire?

As a coach myself with several years’ experience I have some strong opinions about how to make the best decision, but there is one way you absolutely shouldn’t pick your coach.

You shouldn’t pick a coach solely based on them having the body or physique you want.

That right. That Instagram fitspo whose photos you always double tap because her abs are perfect and she has just the right amount of muscle? Don’t hire her just based on her body for two important reasons:

  1. You will never look like anyone else. Genetics, length of training, genetics, metabolic differences and, oh yeah, genetics means that you will never look exactly like anyone else. You are you! And even if you train exactly like someone else you aren’t them and your body is going to respond uniquely.
  2. How a coach looks has very little bearing on her ability to COACH.I’m all for coaches being able to apply what they are teaching in their own lives, but even more important is her ability to teach, inspire, motivate, and guide – and none of those attributes have to do with her physique.

When choosing a coach, think about the whole picture. Some other important attributes to consider are:

Is this coach smart and well-read both in current health and fitness science but also in psychology and human behaviors?

Does this coach want to just tell me what to do or does she want to teach me?

Can this coach motivate me in a way that I will respond positively to?

Does this coach exhibit personal integrity?

What type of accessibility will have to this coach and how responsive will she be to my questions through the process?

What is her coaching philosophy? What is she promising?

Coaching can be so valuable. Take your time. Find someone who doesn’t just look good, but can actually help you get the results you want.