Tag Archive | exercise

Get The Meaningful, Fulfilled (Soulful, Joyful, Healthful) Life You Want. Simplified + Supported.

As women, we tend to be constantly pushing the envelope of exhaustion. We rarely create time and space to recharge outside of working out and perhaps, eating well.

For me, I move often and eat well to FEEL amazing in and connected to my body. These are the foundations of healthy living (and truthfully, non-negotiables if we wish to feel our best); but we are SO much bigger than our bodies and too often, even the source of movement we choose and our relationship to food is another stressor and takes energy versus serving to recharge us.

Photo credit: Kate Porter Photography

In order to bring your best self to the table and create a life and body you are excited about, you must be willing to look deeper than surface level. You must be nourished on all levels – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. You must seek inspiration and embrace growth. And yes, this often involves doing hard things. Digging under what’s holding you back so that you can move forward – with self-love and grace. But you and me? We were made for this work, we are strong. And we must take a stand for this so that we can live a FULLfilled life: joyFULL, soulFULL, healthFULL, meaningFULL + grateFULL.

Because when your LIFE is fulfilled, you can stop searching outside yourself for health and happiness. The need to fill the holes with food dissipates. You’ll begin to heal your relationship with food, inviting joy + pleasure back to the table and into your life on the daily. Food can become a way you love yourself up versus tear yourself down, beat yourself up. You’ll no longer seek fullness in belly for what’s missing in life. Most important of all, the love that’s so often sought outside yourself will be found within. So that you begin to create new standards of living for yourself and the emptiness that once invited food in, will be eternally filled with self-love, grace + gratitude (and believe it or not, my sweet sister, no one else can ever do this for you, it’s a solo journey).

This way of being is what I call Living FULLy: living from your gut – your place of intuition and inner wisdom – versus up in your head where the “to do’s”, “should’s” and stories you tell yourself that keep you busy, starved (emotionally + physically for nourishment) and exhausted. Living Fully connects the desires of your mind + heart to manifestation: the actual creation of a life where you are nourished and connected from the inside-out. Which, as it turns out, is how you also create a body and life you are excited about with more ease, joy and simplicity.

I know what you’re thinking – this all sounds nice, but how is it possible? And where do you start?

The truth is, you already have everything you need inside you right now; and you always have. The problem is that you’ve been bossing your body around for so long – telling her when + what to eat, how to exercise, what to feel and what to stuff down, what’s “acceptable” and what’s beautiful (I could keep going forever here…) – that you’ve forgotten where your power comes from: within. Within the quiet whisperings of your soul, the innate wisdom of your body and the fierce desires of your heart. Tuning IN to that power is the key to unlocking your natural vibrancy and creating a life + body you love.

For reals, friends: I’ve been in the health + wellness industry for almost ten years. I’ve whit-nessed all the ways and crazy things people do in the name of “getting healthy” or losing weight. And how all these well-intended women (and men) directly tie their (lack of) “success” and reaching of their goals to their self-worth; beating themselves up and sliding (yet again) into a shame + guilt spiral that never seems to end and keeps them stuck. Can you relate? Have you been there?

Photo credit: Sarah Heitman Photography

Me too. For a long time, I thought being healthy meant working out hard and eating all the “right” foods. It meant meal prepping, only high intensity exercise, post-workout nutrient timing and staying away from “bad” foods. And within that thinking, I also believed that happiness was created and came from that same space. But the hard, no-way-around-it truth is this: having a body and life that you’re excited about won’t be found in going to the gym daily or even in eating all the kale and veggies you can stomach. If you want to make impactFULL shifts in your life, that inspire joy and create meaning, you’ve got to start small, not big. You’ve got to start inside, not out.

I’ve been there and seen it all: frustrated + stuck, feeling like nothing done ever works; that achieving desires isn’t possible (physically yes, but truthfully, in all areas of life), being on and off the wagon, doing everything we “should” to be healthy + happy, but not actually ever feeling healthy + happy. Sound familiar? I personally know how utterly hopeless it can feel and can empathize fully in the desire to throw up your hands and say “screw it”. Except for the fact that you really, really want it – for things to just be simple + to feel good in your own skin, to not feel like you’re constantly chasing vibrant health.

Here’s what I know: contrary to popular belief, it’s not about what you know or what you do. If it were, you’d already have #allthethings figured out, right? Instead, it’s about your why. WHY you desire _________ (to lose weight, make more money, get that promotion, fall in love) and how you want to FEEL on the daily that will actually inspire a beautiful, soulful, joyful and healthful life.

Photo credit: Kate Porter Photography

And that, my lovelies, is my favorite work. Most of my clients seek out my health coaching services because they’ve “tried everything”. And that right there, is both the problem and also where my work begins. Instead of trying so hard, what we all really need is to slow down, stop doing more and start listening; to begin the lifelong journey of tuning in and acting on that wisdom that’s been inside you all along. But if you’ve never done that before or been avoiding it, beginning can be intimidating…and paralyzing. And also so easy to keep putting off, because you’ve been taught that there’s always a quick fix. But if your track record is anything like mine was, in the back of your mind, you know there isn’t. You want to believe there is, because, well, that’d be so much easier, right?

So I’m here to help bridge that gap: the gap between the unknown of how to begin Living Fully and to help you shut out all the noise of what you “should” be doing. To provide you with the space TO feel and listen to your desires, while being supported + heard. This work doesn’t happen in big, audacious ways – no big diet overhauls or eliminating food groups, no working out every day or killing yourself at the gym. It’s done in the quiet, on the daily, in small ways where we become tuned into the whisperings of our soul + intuition.

And beyond that, perhaps even before that, it’s about choosing (self-) love over (self-) loathing. Nourishment over starvation. Grace over exhaustion. The path towards Living Fully involves taking yourself off autopilot and into mindful awareness, learning the standards you’ve set for yourself that are keeping you stuck and being honest about what you’ve been avoiding + stuffing down. Because at the end of the day, there are two approaches: effective ones (where you love yourself forward to be nourished on all levels) and destructive ones (where you self-loathe yourself into change that doesn’t stick).

I believe you are here, (still) reading this, because you want that. You desire to take up a new path that is simplified and supported. Intuitive and doable. One that makes you feel GOOD every. step. of the way.

You desire a life that’s FULL of joy, meaning, success, flavor, impact, soul, zest and ease.

You yearn to FEEL wonderful, healthful, playful, powerful (and empowered), grateful, mindful, restful and beautiful.

You know there’s a better way, a way that involves less stress, but the results you want. And you’re right. There is.

I’m here because I want to support you in that journey. To be, if you will, the guiding light and sounding board to get you started and re-introduce you to your magnificence, your vibrance, your intuition and desires. To help you learn to Live FULLy by empowering your inner knowing so that you can begin trusting yourself and listening to your body’s wisdom. Ultimately, it’s about thriving.

Photo credit: Kate Porter Photography

You were made to thrive. To experience outrageous joy. To feel good in your own skin and be excited about both your body + life. And so my newest program, Living Fully: JoyFULL, SoulFULL and HealthFULL was created for you, to do just that, my love. Created to show you how to love up and nourish your body through amazing, delicious and simple food that makes you feel great without food restrictions or cutting out the things you love {yes, wine, chocolate and buttery popcorn are all invited to this thrive-fest}. Designed to guide you through the step-by-step process of how to manifest an inspired, soulful way of living in just six short weeks.

More details to come {like recipes + weekly game changing topics we’ll cover}, but here’s what you can expect to have created when you’re done: more confidence. more ease. more clarity, freedom and pleasure around food and your relationship to it. more rested. more rejuvenated. more connected (to yourself and others). more self-love and grace. more energy + focus. more power + strength. more empowered to listen to your body’s needs + desires and know what to do with those messages to create a life and body you LOVE.

Photo credit: Kate Porter Photography

This program will change your life. It’s not a quick fix, it’s not a diet and it’s doesn’t deal in extremes. It’s for being able to weather all of life’s seasons + cycles, both the highs and the lows. It’s my final “challenge” – where you get all the amazing things you’ve come to expect from my programs {like grocery lists, meal plans, delicious recipes + countless bonuses on how to simplify your time + work in the kitchen, to name a few}, but with the guidance + support that’s usually exclusive to my one-on-one health coaching clients.

I’m SO excited {like giddy} for sign-ups to open next week. The party starts Wed, June 14th. I can’t wait to do this with you!

Also available, at the same time will be two other options, depending on where you’re currently at in your journey: a digital recipe book or the full spring + summer meal plan (for those seeking inspiration in their kitchen, but not quite ready to dig deeper into their relationship with body, soul and food). 

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When Working Out Isn’t “Working Out”

IMG_1579Hey friends! It’s been a hot second. While settling into this new motherhood thing, I made the decision to put the business slightly on the backburner. But while Macks Mo’s online presence has been sleeping a bit [unlike myself and Regan ;)], I’ve been behind the scenes working on some really awesome new projects for you coming in 2016. And my blog topic inspiration has been through the roof, so you’ll be hearing from me more frequently. Thanks for the opportunity to grace your inbox and be part of your day. It means the world to me to be able to do the work I love.

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I’m often asked how it’s possible to establish a regular habit of exercising without getting burnt out or how to stay consistent when motivation wanes. I believe [as with most things], it boils down to a shift in mindset and a commitment to tuning IN versus out. Our Macks Mo business philosophy has always been to create workouts that functionally support your life. While it’s easy to be drawn to exercise for aesthetic benefits – using it with weight loss goals in mind, lasting fitness is so much more than that.

When we exercise solely for weight loss, fat loss, or physical reasons, we will, at some point experience that burnout and loss of motivation. Because this type of exercise comes from a negative place and is motivated by external factors. It drives us to push and push to create results while simultaneously punishing ourselves for not getting or maintaining results. This external push blinds our ability to let our body and internal compass be our guide. Even worse, this cycle of “shame—punish—repeat” is not sustainable, nor is it a method that achieves that which we desire most – to feel GOOD in our skin. And so, we find that the non-aesthetic reasons for working out are the ONLY way we’ll make it a consistent practice.

Functional [for life] fitness should create energy in your body, give you mental clarity and build better body awareness while creating a stronger + more balanced physique. It should serve as an opportunity to mentally connect with your physical body and be present versus zoning out and “pushing through”. Bottom line – it should be something you enjoy, something that breaths life into your body rather than depleting it.

— So, if your current exercise routine isn’t doing that, it’s time to ask —
are your workouts working for you? —

Choosing exercise that supports the place we’re at in our lives can be tough because sometimes it means going against the grain. The current societal approach to fitness lives within two beliefs – the “no pain, no gain” syndrome and the “my workouts not worth it if it doesn’t kill me” mentality. Both of these cause us to tune OUT and just “push through”. Don’t get me wrong – in order to continue to make fitness gains, we must allow ourselves to get uncomfortable and lean into the work, often breaking through mental plateaus that block our ability to grow {or shrink}. *However*, there is a fine line between being mentally present to this “change” versus throwing caution, body awareness + form to the wind or not feeling physically accomplished until we’ve gotten our asses kicked.

IMG_7817In my work as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, the majority of my clients come to me because they want to learn to be healthier. Generally speaking, this often translates into a desire to lose weight. A huge piece of our work together involves individualizing their physical, mental and lifestyle needs + practices to actually create that health. Doing so requires a willingness to look at the daily choices they make. It means tuning IN to what our body needs versus what we think we need to do to get what we want. And so often, what we think we need to do is completely counterproductive to what our body truly needs to be healthy.

The thing is – no one person is the same {thank goodness!} and there is no one form of exercise that’s going to work for everyone {phew!}. And within each of our individual lives, things are constantly changing; so in order to create vibrant health that moves with us, we must be willing to examine all aspects of our lives and engage in practices that serve and support us in the here and now – and that includes our workout(s) of choice.

For example – if your job is high stress, time-intensive and energetically demanding {whose isn’t these days, right?}, then coupling that with only high-intensity exercise is likely counterproductive to your well-being + weight loss. You see, exercise causes physical stress in the body and as you raise the intensity level, you also raise the stress level. And the body makes no distinction between physical “exercise” stress and emotional or mental “work” stress. So although we may view our workouts as a stress relief, in actuality, we may be compounding the stress in our lives. Interesting, right? On the flipside, if you’re lacking stability, strength and balance, it might be beneficial to add a regular weight lifting practice into your life to help ground you.

As humans, we tend to gravitate towards what’s comfortable and what we know. If we are an “intense” personality – used to working hard and putting our nose to the grindstone – we are naturally attracted to types of movement that require the same intensity. Because it’s familiar. Because we’re good at it. Building on the above example, however, what we might really need is something to counteract all that life/work stress; a physical practice that forces us to calm the mind, slow down and really be present in our body instead of continuing to push. This can mean a change in your exercise modality – from high-intensity exercise to non-impact options [or vise-versa]; or it can simply be a mental shift of slowing down and performing each exercise you do with intention, perfect form and a mind that’s fully present to how you’re moving.

For me, when I’m feeling energized – it’s a good day to expend extra energy in a higher-intensity workout of metabolic strength training. If I’m feeling tense and wound up – yoga, meditation or core-focused movement can help me feel centered and open. And if I’m feeling totally wiped – a walk, getting outside or taking a nap {seriously} will better support my body. And in truth, a blend of many different types of movement – adaptable to the phase of life you’re in, the type of day you’ve had or your current physical, mental + emotional state – is when you’ll find your workouts working FOR you.

11.30So if you’re not feeling your best, not feeling energized, having trouble dragging yourself to the gym or finding an exercise schedule or modality that sticks, my hope for you is that you can let go of the belief that you have to kill yourself in the gym to make physical gains and know that this practice is most likely sabotaging your long-term fitness, weight loss and well-being. I challenge you to make the conscious decision to be present in your body with each workout + each movement. If you can engage in the mental practice of turning your attention inward, I promise that you’ll create more clarity while boosting your ability to follow your intuition. That innate knowing is your best guide to finding your own version of health.

I also hope that you can begin to question why you do what you do {like why you workout}. Your “why” is one of the most powerful tools in your healthy living toolbox. Your why should connect you to your purpose, your values, your lifelong goals and boost your health on a daily basis. Making you feel good. Because when you’re in the business of feeling good, your choices have the power to lift you above the noise of what you “should do” or what you think you need to do, allowing you to make empowered decisions that create change. Change that lasts. #movebetter #feelbetter

Why It’s Important to Celebrate You.

In my line of work – as a fitness professional and holistic lifestyle + nutrition coach, the New Year brings about a time of business excitement and growth. People have “made it through” the holiday season and are ready to commit [or re-commit] to a healthy lifestyle rooted within daily movement and eating “better”. Although, I enjoy the renewed excitement around health, most of the propaganda and language that surround the beginning of a new year just rubs me the wrong way.

Little SecretWhere Regan and I differ from a great majority of fitness and health businesses is that we believe that any action you take towards health should serve your life in a functional, positive way. I’m going to let you in on a little something the fitness and health industry don’t want you to know — working out doesn’t really help you lose weight. It definitely helps create energy and can certainly aide in your efforts to build muscle definition, but the constant state of “killing yourself” at the gym and punishing yourself for food eaten will never, ever help you lose weight. And dieting certainly won’t help you keep weight off in the long haul either. The only way to create lasting health is to find movement you enjoy that supports your body to make you feel better and to eat from a place of self-love vs. self-loathing. And that’s where most New Year’s diet + exercise programs fail you. They draw you in with the language that “you’re not good enough” as you are right now – capitalizing on the fact that you believe you’ll be happier when you’re slimmer with a different body than you have right now. And I have a problem with that.

Why? Because if we’re constantly seeking to change ourselves from a place of belief that we’re not beautiful and enough as we are right now, then we will never be able to create lasting health and happiness. It’s this belief that the diet + exercise industries are banking on in order to continue to generate revenue – you believing that you need them to help you create health because you can’t do it on your own and you’re not enough as you are right now. At Macks Mo, Regan and I are on a mission to change that. And it’s what this year’s annual group challenge is all about. Celebrating you as you are right now, nourishing your body from the inside out with self-love and empowering you to become the master of your own health. No one knows what feels and works best in your body better than you – and trying to force dietary changes or exercise modalities that don’t feel good will never last. So in creating this Challenge, it was our goal to give you to the tools to love + listen. To celebrate you – as you are and also empower you to wherever you want to go, but in a supportive and lasting way. The 2015 Macks Mo Celebration Challenge equips you with the knowledge + support to take full responsibility for your own health + happiness, instead of having to rely on or even pay attention to the latest diet or exercise trend.

You are a GiftWhen we sat down to create this year’s challenge, our main goal was to show our clients that the pursuit of their own health didn’t need to come in extreme ways. And in fact, engaging in extreme measures is often counter-productive to long-lasting changes. We wanted to demonstrate that in order to truly create a life you love – where you’re fit to handle anything life throws at you [physically, emotionally + mentally] – that you have to stop waiting on the weight and instead start celebrating all you can do right now and who you are right now. You are a gift and you are enough — regardless of how you look, what job you hold, what habits you’d like to kick or what changes you’d like to create [physical or otherwise]. And this Challenge is our way of throwing you a New Year’s party to celebrate that.

Unique to Macks Mo programming, the 2015 Celebration Challenge contains lifestyle + health coaching videos that center around deepening your connection to your body’s intuition, empowering you to become an expert in your own health while shedding excess [physical + emotional] weight along the way. We’ll teach you to live more fully by tuning into the bio-individual signs + signals your body sends, which helps create your own unique blueprint of what vibrant health looks like.

As always, our Challenges consist of online nutrition + workout components. Regan and I do this because we understand that sometimes we all need a little help to begin our journey and add ease to the process of stepping into better health + creating lasting, positive habits. The nutrition program is rooted in delicious, seasonal recipes that create glowing energy and support your body’s needs. The programming is vegetarian-friendly and primarily gluten- + dairy free [with modifications to make it completely so if needed] with weekly grocery lists and guided prep work to maximize your time. For our workout programming, Regan wanted to guide you in the process of finding what movement feels best in your body. As such, he created 8 brand new workouts [complete with beginner’s modifications] of varying exercise modalities – there’s yoga, strength training, high-intensity power circuits, full-body endurance training and even a safe Crossfit-style workout – each workout complete with exercise video tutorials + written guidelines. There’s also specific challenges at the end of each workout that give you a baseline to measure progress and get you out of your comfort zone, into the heart-pumping space of feeling alive in the strength + possibilities your body has right now.

This Challenge is for YOU if:

  • You’re tired of trying {fad} diet after diet with no lasting results. Sick of the yo-yo diet cycle, you’re fed up with feeling out of control in your food choices + emotions.
  • Negative emotions – like worry, guilt, shame, stress and fear are an integral part of your daily life, along with negative self-talk. You beat yourself up for how you look, how you eat + decisions you make, then punish yourself with extreme exercise or restrictive measures.
  • You think you’re healthy, but you don’t feel vibrant and struggle to find the energy to get through the day. You know you’re irritable and moody, unmotivated and lack mental focus but can’t seem to get “out of the funk”.
  • You feel like you eat well and know you workout hard, but still aren’t seeing the results you want. You’re frustrated and constantly beating yourself up for not being able to “get it right”.
  • You “know what to do” to be healthy, but struggle with finding the motivation to consistently follow through.
  • You’re confused and overwhelmed by all the exercise + diet information out there and need help deciphering the information to create a plan of what physically works for you.
  • You want to upgrade or spice up your food choices, learn to eat seasonally and experience the difference of eating in line with food energetics that support your body.
  • You sleep “well”, but still wake up fatigued, needing pick-me-ups like coffee and sweets to get you through.
  • You want to increase your productivity + mental clarity.
  • You’re tired of feeling heavy and bloated or suffering from other physical issues like indigestion, gas, headaches + overall body fatigue.
  • You’re always thinking about food – categorizing it as “good” or “bad” and are constantly worried about the repercussions of your food decisions.
  • You feel like a teenager again, but not in a good way – suffering from acne or other skin related issues.
  • Cravings rule your life – you have a “sweet tooth that’s out of control” or images of carbs that dance in your head. You need coffee in the AM to get you moving and PM to keep you going.
  • You want to make health an integral part of your life, but not have it “rule” your life and suck up all your time.
  • You feel like “something is missing” from your life, but can’t figure it out. You want to add meaning and purpose to your life.
  • You struggle with balancing the “fun” in your life – eating out, hanging out and eating healthy don’t fit together.
  • You “do good” during the week, but struggle to maintain balance on the weekends – thus feel like you’re starting over every Monday.

If you are any or all of these things, this Challenge was created for you. Created not so that you can experience “health” as you know it now, but to instead create a dynamic balance in your life that shifts and changes as you do, unique to your individualized needs. You see, at Macks Mo, know how important it is to make you fit for life and all it throws at you. We understand our circumstances change and we go through various stages of growth + stressors. And you need a health plan that’s meant to weather all the seasons of your life — allowing you to have vibrant energy amidst both the easer and more challenging times.

Celebrate Who You Are and Where You're GoingCreating this vibrant energy involves a whole health approach that encompasses your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. It focuses on changing your inner landscape so that the external changes you make [like eating healthy + working out] actually stick and make a difference. We want you to be inspired and full of energy all the live long days – because if you’re always tired, feeling like crap or frustrated with where you’re “at”, then life is no fun. That’s why we think it’s time to approach the New Year from a different perspective — time to celebrate where you’re at and where you desire to go, not to loathe the process of creating it with extreme measures that don’t even last through January. So if you’re ready to finally let that go – let go of the control you’re trying to exercise on your life to “be” healthy and instead learn the steps to actually LIVE it, then I would love to have you join us for the 2015 Celebration Challenge.

To sign up for the Challenge and learn more about the various levels at which you can enter [based on your needs], CLICK HERE! The Challenge begins Wednesday, January 7th when you’ll begin receiving your material and officially kicks off Monday, Jan 12th, running 5 weeks to Saturday, Feb. 14th.


Did you like this post? Join our email list to receive inspirational posts like this one and stay up-to-date on new recipes, workouts and get the inside track + specials on Macks Mo upcoming programs [CLICK HERE]As always, I’d love to hear from you – post any questions, comments or feedback below and be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for continued inspiration and ways to create vibrant health!