3 DAY PREVIEW: InHerStrength 6 Week Guide

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Rumors are true – it’s finally here. When I first started this journey, I was the girl buying guide after guide, searching for that “perfect fit,” - no pun intended.

Enter Lindsey, circa 2014: I was hesitant to try BBG, but it seemed like everyone else was doing it, not to mention seeing great results, so I purchased. The problem? I made it a solid two weeks before I lost interest and fell off track. I became discouraged and blamed myself for lack of self-discipline. And maybe SOME of it was lack of discipline – but the truth is, if you’re forcing yourself to do workouts that you don’t enjoy, you’re missing the point of working out at all. I can’t tell you how many times I started BBG with the intention of finishing, only to become frustrated and quit each time.

I explored what seemed like every other “fit girl” guide out there. I won’t even tell you how much money I spent. I did find some success with guides that allowed me to fall in love with weight-based workout. Even so, I still felt as if something were missing.

The truth is, if you’re forcing yourself to do workouts that you don’t enjoy, you’re missing the point of working out at all

It wasn’t until earlier this year that I realized WHY I felt this way. The more I research and the more I devote to making this a lifestyle, the more I realize that physical health is only part of it. What about mental health? Emotional health? Spiritual health? Why was I only encouraged to focus on my physical gains and not my mental ones?

And what about food? How was I supposed to know what to eat? There was so much conflicting evidence on Instagram. Do I eat fruit or is it too high in sugar? Do I eat the avocado or is it too high in saturated fat? Is it okay to count calories if I’m discounting nutrients? Social media has such a way of overcomplicating what our ancestors have known for a long time: eat real food.

So then I thought: what if instead of constantly focusing on trying to change our bodies, we focused on truly taking care of our bodies? What if there was a guide that incorporated body, mind, and soul?

What if instead of constantly focusing on trying to change our bodies, we focused on truly taking care of our bodies

That’s why I created the InHerStrength Guide. The focus is change, yes. But tapping into how you’re feeling, how you’re fueling, and how you’re finding happiness at every step in your wellness journey. HOW?


  • Workouts that ANYONE can do: whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been working out for years

  • Both a gym version and a home version available

  • Video demonstrations of exercises so that you feel comfortable even if you’ve never stepped foot in a gym before

  • Meal prep ideas that incorporate REAL, simple recipes

  • Resources created to keep your mental health in check: weekly reflection and daily wellness pages

  • Templates to help keep you on track: weekly planner and meal planner

  • Accountability group on Facebook for support, encouragement, recipes, and lots of new friends

  • Provided at an extremely affordable cost (just $5/week!)


Think you might be interested? Here’s a 3 day preview of the guide. I’ll let you make the decision for yourself… but I hope that you find this as helpful as I intend it to be.

Let’s embrace all of our strengths together, not just the physical ones.

xx,

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On how I stay motivated

"How do you stay motivated?" This is one question that I am asked most often. It is also the one of the hardest questions to answer. The truth is motivation is fleeting. And while it may appear easy for me on Instagram, there are plenty of days I wake up with little to no drive. Health and fitness can be mentally exhausting, but here are a few things that help me to get my butt to the gym even when I don't want to:

 

1. Schedule workouts. Put it in your planner. It's easy to stress about finding time and easy to make up excuses as to why you can't fit it in your already busy day. If you set aside a specific time to go to the gym or do an at-home workout, you'll be more inclined to follow through because you actually have room for it in your scheduled. You have to make it part of your routine.

2. Set goals. Write em down. Reward yourself when they're accomplished. At the start of each week, I set small goals for myself to help me stay on track. These can be as simple as drinking 100 oz of water each day. And for longer-term goals, write down what you're going to reward yourself with when you can finally cross them off. For example, if you are on a health and fitness journey to lose weight, write down different rewards for each certain number of pounds you lose - you deserve it.

3. Pick out a cute outfit. No seriously. Sometimes all it takes is laying out a bomb ass outfit the night before to get me out of bed in the morning (aka new gymshark or lulu leggings). If you're looking forward to a new workout shirt or new shoes, let that be your motivation to rock it at the gym. Then hopefully when your alarm goes off you'll hit snooze one less time.

4. Find a friend. Find someone to wake up and go to the gym with you. Or even a long-distance friend that you can text everyday to check in after you've completed your workout. Trust me when I tell you its a lot easier to bail on yourself than it is to bail on other people. My Instagram account is one of my biggest motivators. I am constantly surrounded by strong, supportive women that check in and encourage me.

5. Record progress. TAKE PICTURES. I know, it's uncomfortable, especially if you're already not happy with where you are. But NOTHING is more encouraging and motivating than being able to SEE real, physical progress. There have been plenty of times on my journey that I've felt discouraged or that my hard work isn't paying off (mostly because of that pesky scale - read here on why I refuse to step on those now), but taking weekly progress photos gives you a visual. I bet you'd be surprised how much of a difference you can see in a week or two.

6. Accept that you won't always be motivated. Working out is hard. Eating healthy is hard. Getting up early to go to the gym is hard. I'd be lying if I said that I spring out of bed at 5 AM ready to go every morning. But even on the days that I so badly want to turn off that alarm and go back to sleep, I know that that doesn't put me any closer to my goals. You know what does help me reach my goals? DISCIPLINE. Sometimes motivation just isn't enough. Sometimes it takes serious willpower to eat your greek yogurt when someone at work brought in donuts. Bottom line is you're not going to want to workout everyday and THAT'S OKAY. It doesn't make you a failure. It doesn't mean you're not capable. It makes you human.

But if you can push yourself to workout on the days that you don't even know how you'll muster up the energy, that's where the change in mindset happens. That's when you text a friend saying make sure I workout today. That's when you throw on leggings that make you as confident as Beyonce. And that's when you take a shameless selfie so that one day you can look back and see how far you've come. Be your own motivation. Inspire yourself. Be disclipined. You've got this.

xx,

Why ditching the scale is the best thing that ever happened to my health

In December of 2015, I asked for something nobody should ever really want for Christmas.... A scale. Literally it was on my list for "Santa." It was the Fitbit Aria Smart Scale and I thought it would be a game-changer in terms of my fitness journey. I loved the idea of being able to connect my fitness tracker to my scale to track my progress. Fast forward a year to December 2016, I decided to tuck it away for a while. It's now May 2017, and I have yet to step even one toe onto that overly-priced piece of plastic on the bathroom floor. Here's why:

I became unhealthily obsessed with it - to the point where I was weighing myself every morning and sometimes at night as well. I would get incredibly frustrated when I would see how much my weight fluctuated from day-to-day. I couldn't understand how even though I was eating cleaner and healthier and working out consistently, the scale failed to reflect that. I know what you're thinking, "duh, Lindsey, water weight." But being in that constant anxious and obsessive state of mind didn't exactly allow me to think straight.

Your weight fluctuates daily based on water-intake and the food you eat. Not to mention your daily stressors. Stress plays a HUGE role in your body. So in hindsight, stressing over my weight was actually doing the exact opposite of what I was hoping to achieve. Stress induces the release of something called cortisol - a hormone that has the potential to have a large impact on weight. To make a long story short, an excessive amount of cortisol can cause fat stores as well as fat circulating throughout your body to relocate deep in your abdomen. The result? A "fatter" stomach.

It was never going show the hard work I was putting in. Once I realized all of the above, I realized the scale wasn't ever going to give me the satisfaction I desired. Now, okay, obviously a scale shows weight loss. That being said, if the scale is working for you and showing you that you're making progress and giving you the motivation to keep going, then it'd be silly to get rid of it. To some people, weight loss is a huge step in taking back your life and becoming healthier. But at the point where I was, weight loss wasn't my number one goal. My goal was to feel better as a WHOLE. My goal was simply to take better care of my body. 

There are so many other "numbers" that depict your health other than your weight. What does it matter if I weigh 120 pounds if I'm not eating properly and always running out of energy on an average day at work. I've been there - restrictive dieting, hours of cardio, not getting enough sleep. All to maintain a body image that I thought looked healthy. All so that I could keep off that extra 5 pounds. And at the end of the day, I still wasn't happy. The number on the scale didn't reflect my poor digestive health, or my hormones that were out of control, or my sleep deprivation due to stress. It wasn't until I started focusing on how my body felt on the inside that I felt truly at peace with my body image.

The next one is a biggie so listen up

 

The scale does not reflect body recomposition. It doesn't look at your body fat percentage or tell you how much muscle mass you've gained. In January 2017, I started a new workout program and eating routine. After seeing the success of some of my Instagram friends, I began working with Paola Marquez. My goal, I told her, was to lose some of the stubborn fat in my abdominal area, but mostly to gain lean muscle everywhere else. My relationship with food and my focus in the gym shifted entirely. I went from eating 1100 calories a day (not healthy for someone like me) to eating 1600-1700 calories a day. I went from spending an hour on the treadmill to spending an hour using free weights and cable machines. Looking in the mirror, I had never seen such amazing physical changes in my body and I had NEVER felt better. The craziest part? I GAINED weight. Again, I know what you're thinking.... If I put away my scale, how did I know I gained weight? Well, unfortunately when you go to the doctor's office the don't exactly give you the option NOT to step on that damn scale. But to be honest, I'm glad I did. It reinforced exactly why I put away my 2015 Christmas present in the first place.

It is so freaking liberating. I apologize for a serious lack of better phrasing, but I have no other way to put it. When I first started my fitness journey, I put myself under so much pressure to get down to a certain number. But without putting my weight at the center of all my achievements, I was able to shift my focus back to the factors that actually make me a healthier person. Instead of keeping a daily measurement of my weight, I keep daily measurements of things that actually show my progress: how heavy I can lift, my energy levels, my GI symptoms,  just my well-being in general. My self-worth is no longer controlled by my body mass. My happiness has nothing to do with how I feel when I step on a scale and everything to do with how I feel on the inside. My self-esteem is no longer dependent on the weight of my body, but the STRENGTH that it holds. And to this day getting rid of the scale is one of the healthiest things I've ever done.

xx,

The perfect workout guide and how to find it

If you're anything like me, finding a new workout routine can seem to be an incredibly daunting task. Between millions of personal trainers, all the social media influencers you follow, and everyone putting their two cents in, I know just how hard it can be to decide WHICH workout routine will be the perfect fit for you.

Being somebody that has downloaded a number of free trials and 20+ guides & eBooks (most of them paid), I speak from experience when I say it's easy to waste money on programs you THINK you will enjoy and then never make it past week four. SO I've created a list of what I've learned along the way that will help you find the best fit for you, especially if you're just starting out on your fitness journey. Consider the following:

1. What is the format of the program?

Plyometrics? HIIT? LISS? Circuit training? Pilates? Yoga? Weight lifting? A combination of these? What exactly is the guide all about? I'll be the first one to tell you, plyometrics and I DO NOT get along. IF you want me to do burps followed by jump squats followed by tuck jumps, keep dreamin'. That being said, if a workout guide is plyomterics-based, I can almost guarantee you that I will not be finishing the program. If you don't enjoy cardio, then a guide with 3-4 days/week of cardio is not worth investing your money in.

2. Is there accountability available?

Is there a large following on social media that you can interact with? Or, if you don't have an instagram or feel comfortable documenting your fitness journey on social media, is there somebody else that you can complete the program with? I can't tell you enough how much having someone to hold you accountable helps to keep you on track. Being able to reach out and ask questions is PIVOTAL. That's part of the reason communities like BBG (if you're unfamiliar, BBG = Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines) and Lauren Gleisberg's LG Sisters are so successful. If you have someone to share your experience with, the less likely you are to fall off the wagon; not only do you have someone to rely on, but someone is relying on you to hold up your end of the agreement.

3. What equipment is necessary?

Is it an at-home workout guide? Does it require a gym membership? OR if it doesn't require a gym membership and it can be done at home, do you have the available equipment/are you willing to buy it? For me, I know that I THRIVE in a gym atmosphere. I attempted the at-home workout thing for a while, but I found myself half-assing workouts and getting distracted too easily. If you're someone who is going to be tempted by your bed being 20 feet away from where you're working out, going to the gym is probably going to be your better option.

4. Can you fit it into your schedule?

Is it 30 minutes per day? An hour? Three days a week or six? If you're someone who realistically isn't going to be able to make it to the gym six days a week, then purchasing a guide that requires this of you is only going to stress you out. If you're a full time student that only has an hour and a half between classes and an incredibly busy extracurricular schedule, finding a guide with quick workouts is likely going to be best for you.

And finally, I saved the most important for last...

5. Will you find this program enjoyable?

This is BY FAR the most important deciding factor. At the end of the day, if you're not looking forward to your workout program, you're NOT going to give it your all. How in the hell are you going to convince yourself to get out of bed at 5AM to go to the gym if you are dreading each and every workout. Sure, you may see a guide working fabulously for other people on instagram, but if they love lifting weights and you'd rather do pilates or yoga, you're not going to put forth the same energy AND you're probably not going to see the same results. YOU HAVE TO FIND A WORKOUT PROGRAM THAT YOU LOVE.

So what program am I currently doing? Right now I'm just starting my second round of SSBM by Paola Marquez. It's a twelve week guide that focuses primarily on lifting weights and circuit training. This plan caters to ME and everything I LOVE about working out. It's easy for me to get to the gym because I look forward to it. That being said, just because I love it, doesn't mean it's the perfect fit for you. Do your research. Download a free trial if it's available. Find someone with similar taste that will do a workout program with you. And if you make it through three weeks and you hate it? Don't make yourself finish the remainder. Move on, do more research, and find a program that inspires you to give it all you've got.

xx,