As most of you have probably noticed by now, I am no longer doing my own strength training workouts at the gym. I have gone back to doing Kayla Itsines BBG guide (BBG stands for bikini body guide for those of you who aren’t familiar with the program). There are a couple of different reasons for that, and I wanted to explain my thought process in deciding to make the switch!

To be completely honest one of the biggest reasons for going back to BBG was the fact that I needed a goal. When you’ve been working out consistently for almost 8 years, it’s really hard to continue to stay motivated without changing things up every once in a while. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to strength train, lift weights, and use machines. However, I’ve been in the same exact routine for almost 4 years now, and I have noticed my passion for it start to dim ever so slightly these past few months.

On top of that, when I had foot surgery back in March, I was out of the gym for almost a month. I did light cardio here and there, but I pushed myself and definitely had a couple of setbacks that kept me out of the gym longer than I ever anticipated. I am all for taking breaks from the gym; weekends, vacations, days off here and there, absolutely. However being gone for a month after not taking longer than two days a week off in over a year, is a lot. That being sad, getting back into a routine was really, really tough.

I also didn’t feel 100% like myself shortly after my surgery. I lost some strength, I didn’t have full range of motion yet, and I didn’t feel like I could modify things very well. So on top of being unmotivated, I was getting caught up in being discouraged because of my physical limitations as well.

It’s not like me to feel down on myself about the gym. The gym/working out is my happy place. It is truly my “me” time for the day. Yes there are times that I’m unmotivated, but I always leave the gym with an endorphin high and a clear head. But after my surgery, I just wasn’t feeling that way. That’s when I knew something needed to change.

What I have learned from working out for so many years now, is that if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you will not continue to do it. So, I decided I needed something new; something that would kind of give me a fresh start and light my fire again. Which is when I decided on BBG. Now that you have a little background, I’m going to answer a few questions I’ve gotten lately!

What the heck is BBG?

BBG is essentially a form of circuit training. It’s two circuits, each circuit is seven minutes. You do each circuit twice, so your workout is 28 minutes in total. In each circuit, you do four different moves. You get through the four moves as many times as you can in seven minutes. So, here’s kind of how it’s laid out:

  • circuit one – 7 minutes
  • circuit two – 7 minutes
  • circuit one – 7 minutes
  • circuit two – 7 minutes

An example looks like this:


Where can I get BBG?

The mobile version of BBG is available for purchase in the app store. I recommend this version if you’re first starting out. The app helps keep you organized, has a built in timer for you, and is all around just easier for a beginner. You can also buy a PDF version, which is what I have. You can purchase the PDF version here. You can either download this an an iBook for your phone, or print out a hard copy!

Why did you pick BBG?
  • I have done BBG twice before, two entire rounds of the 12 week program about two years ago. I was extremely impressed with my results after the first two rounds, and I knew it was something I could stick to.
  • The program is easy to modify! Because of my foot surgery there are still things I have to be careful of, but you are able to modify all of the moves in the guide if needed.
  • It’s quick – every single person has 28 minutes in their day to dedicate to working out. Doing BBG eliminates all forms of excuses due to lack of time for me, which is what I need.
  • You can do it anywhere!
How long does it take?

BBG takes 28 minutes total, which I think is 90% of the reason people love it, including myself. EVERYONE has time for a 28 minute workout, I don’t care who you are! I even follow a ton of new mom bloggers on IG who do BBG. If someone with a newborn can do it, I can do it!

Where do you do it?

Right now I do BBG in my home gym in the basement. We have a couple of sets of weights, and a padded floor, but it’s nothing fancy. I can assure you that you’ll have everything you need at home to do these workouts! My very first round, I just used household items as weights. Ie: a gallon of bleach for a medicine ball, coffee table for step ups (hopefully my mom isn’t reading this) etc.

That being said, I do know people who have to go to the gym to work out. Whether it be because they live in a small apartment or because it helps them to get out of their house to get a workout done, rest assured you can do these workouts anywhere, including the gym!

It’s so hard, does it get easier?

I got this question more than any question! Unfortunately, I’m on my third round and I still don’t think it gets any easier. I’m still dripping with sweat after every workout. However, each time I’ve compelted a round, I’ve noticed substanial gains in my strength. At the very beginning of BBG, I could hardly do a push up, and by the end of the first round, I was doing them all! You will start to notice things like that really quickly, and that’s the most rewarding part!

I will also say that although it’s hard, it pushes me, and that’s what I love about it. I am not always pushing myself 110% when I’m at the gym. I have my phone with me, and usually Taylor, and I end up scrolling around on Instagram, talking to him, etc., when I should be working out and really pushing myself. I do BBG alone, I blast music, I can’t have my phone, and I get really into a zone when I’m doing it. So I appreciate it for how difficult it is, because I have a hard time challenging myself like this challenges me!

Did you notice a major physical change?

The first round, I definitely did. I took before and after pictures (highly recommend) and I was really impressed with how much my body had changed. I didn’t quite notice as much of a difference between the beginning and end of round two, but I wasn’t quite as dedicated to it as I was round one. I also think by round two, the physical changes just aren’t quite as drastic. However, like I said before, you will start to notice changes in your strength before you notice aesthetic changes, which is just as exciting to me.

DId you follow the kayla meal plan?

I do not follow the BBG meal plan. It’s strictly personal preference. I know people who have followed it to a T and really think that makes a big difference. I counted macros throughout both rounds, and will continue through this round, but that’s just what works for me! I think her plan is a great baseline if you’re just starting out/new to following an eating plan of any kind.

What does your weekly workout routine look like now that you’re doing Kayla?

I do BBG three days a week, and cardio three days a week, then I take one day off! So my schedule typically looks like this:

  • Monday: BBG legs
  • Tuesday: 40 minutes of cardio (usually stairmaster)
  • Wednesday: BBG arms & abs
  • Thursday: 40 minutes cardio (usually stairmaster)
  • Friday: BBG full body
  • Saturday: 40 minutes of cardio (cityshape class)
  • Sunday: rest day

If you have any other questions, feel free to let me know! I’d be happy to answer them the best that I can! Thanks for reading!




February Workout Wednesday

It’s been awhile since I wrote a post about workouts. That’s partly due to my inconsistent and crazy workout schedule lately, and partly due to the fact that I didn’t know so many of you were that interested in workouts! Last week, I did a poll asking what you wanted to see more of on the blog in the next month, and I was shocked at how many of you asked for more posts about fitness. However, I’m thrilled that so many of you share my love to sweat!

I’m posting my exact workout schedule for the week below, and I’m really going to try to post these at least twice a month! That way, you have a better idea of what I’ve been up to in the gym.

As many of you know, my fitness routine is far from rigid. I work my workouts in when I can, but I don’t go off the deep end if there’s no possible way to squeeze a sweat in! I used to wake up on busy work days at 3:50am so that I could work out, shower, get ready, and be at work by 7am, and that just doesn’t happen any more. So that being said, don’t sweat it (see what I did there) if your schedule looks different than mine! This week I’m getting 5 workouts in, next week might be 7, the next week might be 3. That’s okay. This is what works for me, find what works for you.

Workout Schedule: Feb 4 – Feb 11

Sunday: Triceps
  • 15 minute staimaster warm up
  • Overhead tricep extension w/ dumbbell (3 sets of 12)
  • Bench dips (3 sets of 12)
  • Cable pushdown w/ rope attachment (3 sets of 12)
  • Skull crushers w/ barbell (3 sets of 12)
  • Single arm kickback w/ dumbbell (3 sets of 12, each arm)
  • Single arm cable pushdown (3 sets of 12, each arm)
Monday: Back & Biceps
  • 15 minute staimaster warm up
  • Bicep curl w/ barbell (3 sets of 12)
  • Seated cable rows (3 sets of 12)
  • Hammer curls w/ dumbbells (3 sets of 12, each arm)
  • Lat pulldown (3 sets of 12)
  • Single arm bicep curl on cable machine (3 sets of 12, each arm)
  • bicep curl w/ 25 lb plate (3 sets of 15)
  • BBG Legs
Wednesday: Legs
  • 15 minute staimaster warm up
  • Walking lunges w/ barbell (3 sets of 24)
  • Bodyweight jump squats (3 sets of 12)
  • Plie squat w/ dumbbell (3 sets of 12)
  • Step ups w/ dumbbells (3 sets of 12, each leg)
  • Single leg lunge on bench w/ dumbbells (3 sets of 12, each leg)
  • Straight leg deadlifts w/ barbell (3 sets of 12)
    • extra burnout: bodyweight walking lunges for 4 minutes, no rest
Thursday: Shoulders
  • 15 minute staimaster warm up
  • front raise with barbell (3 sets of 12)
  • upright row w/ barbell (3 sets of 12)
  • lateral raise w/ dumbbells (3 sets of 12)
  • shoulder press w/ dumbells (3 sets of 12)
  • upright row w/ rope attachment (3 sets of 12)
  • shoulder press machine (3 sets of 12)
    • extra burnout: plank shoulder taps until failure
  • STL Mardi Gras, all the walking around counts as a workout right?!

Please let me know if you try any of the workouts! I’d love to hear your thoughts, even if you hate me afterwards! I’m also working on a week’s worth of at home workouts because I know not all of you have access to a gym/love to work out at a gym, so it’s in the works! Happy hump day friends!


My 2018 Intentions

Hi there! I feel like it’s been awhile – I also feel like I say that every time I blog, but more on my 2018 blog intentions later! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are off to a great start in this new year!

I realize I’m probably a week-ish late on this post, but after spending a hectic last two weeks of the year traveling, I really wanted to devote ample time after I got back home to come up with some well thought out, meaningful intentions for this new year.

My hope is that reading one of these intentions inspires you to set a new goal for this year, whether it be related to fitness, lifestyle, wellness, anything!

I’m breaking it down by category, which were laid out for me in my Lucky Life Tools Life Planner that I just recieved. I HIGHLY recommend this planner if you’re trying to be more goal oriented/organized this year, it has been a game changer for me! I’m including almost all of my 2018 intentions, (not all, because no one cares about my kindergarten teaching or financial goals!) some of which go outside the realm of health/fitness/wellness, but you voted you wanted more personal life stuff, so here goes!

Wellness (Body, Mind, Spirit, Growth)
  • Spend 10 minutes reading my daily devotional in the morning
  • Go to church twice a month
  • Be better about prayer, morning & night!
  • Less comparison, more focusing on myself and my own happiness. After typing this out, the “more focus on myself” sounds more selfish than anything, so let me explain! I will be the first to admit that I’m a “comparer”, in a lot of ways. In this day and age, Instagram unfortunatley has a lot to do with that (especially when you’re a blogger), but it’s something I’m going to really focus on this year. Less comparing my life/body/blog/relationship to someone else’s and more focusing on the ways to improve all of those areas of my life/be happy with where they’re at at the moment.
Blog/Instagram/Social Media
  • Blog twice a month
  • Dedicate an hour a week to brainstorming and planning content
  • Make it a priority to post things people have specifically asked for
  • Do a podcast of some kind
  • Create a KaleKouture Facebook page
  • Put phone on “do not disturb” at 9pm every weeknight, no excuses!
  • Make sure my lunch is packed and ready to go for the next day, every night.
  • 2 minute nightly clean – a friend of mine shared this tip with me and it has served us SO well since Taylor and I moved into our new house. Set a timer for two minutes before you go to bed each night to pick up/clean. You would be so surprised what you can do in two minutes! And who doesn’t love starting each day with a clean house?!
  • Make one new recipe per week and combine favorites into a recipe book at the end of the year! I promise to share them with you guys!
  • Read 5 books – this is lofty for me, trust me. I feel like a horrible teacher admitting that but reading tends to fall to the bottom of my priority list.
  • Apply for/start saving for a 2019 summer international mission trip.
  • Make a better effort at not wasting food/using what I have before buying new items at the grocery store!
  • Sit down to eat dinner with Taylor three times a week
  • Weekly gratitude jar – each week we’ll write down something positive that happened/something fun we did/etc., on New Years Eve, we’ll open it together and read through all the positives 2018 brought us!
  • More travel > less material items. We started this last year, but we’re continuing it this year because we loved it so much. We do not give each other gifts anymore, we take what we would spend on each other and put it into a travel fund. Best decision we ever made!
  • Continue one monthly fitness goal per month
  • Stretching – every single day
  • 64 ounces of water minimum each day. Less Mio, more plain water!
  • Try one new workout class per month
  • Run two 5ks
  • Run one 10k
  • Delete MFP by the end of 2018. This would be huge for me. I have relied on MyFitnessPal for over six years now but it has been a goal of mine for a long time to slowly get away from the numbers/macro game. It has been life changing for me, but I have always said it is not something I want to be hung up on forever. I will be working REALLY hard on this one throughout the year! More on this throughout the year.

I plan on doing a post at the end of 2018 that recaps how I did with these intentions, so we’ll see where I am at the end of the year! I’ll also keep you posted on how I’m doing as the year goes on. What are some of your 2018 goals/intentions? Comment and let me know!

Have a fabulous weekend!


Gift Guide: For the Fitness Lover

I’m so excited about this post because a) I’ve worked extremely hard on it, and b) all of these products are items that are items I own and use ALL the time/are items on my own wish list! If there’s a fitness fanatic in your life, or even if you’re just shopping for yourself, I promise you/they will love anything this list! I’ve included a couple of items that are on the more expensive side, but I also tried to give you tons of affordable options! I will also say that anything more expensive on this list something that is totally worth the investment!

Please message me or comment if you have questions on anything, I’d be glad to help! The guide is broken down into different sections, so if you’re not in the market for anything in one of the specific sections, keep scrolling to the next heading! If you’d like to shop any of these items directly, just click the underlined links and they’ll take you to where you can purchase!

Gym Accessories

Resistance Bands $8.99
Resistance bands

I’ve been using these resistance bands since June and I love them! They’re so cheap, and the quality is great! I’ve had no issues with them. They come in a little drawstring bag that makes them super convenient to throw in your gym bag, and it makes them ideal for traveling! I brought them to Mexico with me and they were the perfect way to get in a quick workout when I couldn’t get to the gym!

Sliders $9.99

These are an at home workout must for me. You can use these sliders in so many ways! These are also super travel friendly and are such a great addition to a workout when you don’t have access to your normal gym equipment.

True Wireless Earbuds – $42.99


My brother asked for these earbuds for Christmas and when I read more about them I decided to buy some for myself too! I’ve never used anything other than the IPhone earbuds but I’m really excited to use these! They come in a box that charges the earbuds, which is so convenient! All the reviews say they hold a charge really well, the sound is great, and many people talked about how well they stay put in your ear even during high intensity workouts. These are a great option if you’re not ready to spend $200 on Beats!

Beats by Dr. Dre $199.95

Beats By Dre

I included these because I know so many people who have these and absolutely love them. I have not pulled the trigger on them yet but they’re definitely a wish list item for me. This is an item that I think is definitely worth the investment if this is something you’re in the market for!

Jump Rope – $9.95


This is the jump rope I use when I do at home workouts. It’s really durable and I love the grips on the handles. Jump rope is a great way to get cardio in in between sets or even just for a quick at home workout when you’re in a pinch!


Adidas Swift Run White – $85.99

Taylor, if you’re reading, these are on my wish list! 😏 I have wanted these shoes for forever. I do not need another pair of tennis shoes but these are SO cute and I feel like they go with everything! I’ve tried them on and they’re extremely comfortable too! If you prefer Adidas over Nike, this is your shoe!

Nike FlyKnit – ON SALE! $109.99

These are the tennis shoes I wear daily, and I think I get asked about them every day! They’re the most comfortable tennis shoe I own and there is not one workout outfit they don’t look perfect with! They’re a little spendy (but on sale which never happens!) but good shoes are 100% worth the investment. I’ve had these for over a year now and I know I’ll get at least another two years out of them! Highly, highly, highly recommend.

Black 38mm Apple Watch – $249.99


My Apple Watch is like my lifeline. I feel lost without it. I got mine last year for Christmas and I can’t believe I went 24 years without one. It’s such a great tool for workouts. It tracks your heart rate, calories, steps, everything! This is the water “resistant” option, not water “proof”, but I take mine off when I shower, so unless you’re a swimmer, this is a great option. It’s way cheaper than the water proof one too!

Apple Watch Replacement Band – $10.90

I love having a couple of different options to switch out my Apple Watch band with. These are SO cheap compared to what Apple sells them for, so Amazon is definitely the way to go! These would make the perfect stocking stuffer!

Short Socks – $12.99 for 9 pairs


These are the greatest socks of all time and they’re SO cheap. I’ve bought more expensive brands and these are still my favorites. You can’t see them with any tennis shoes and they’re really thin which I love! I sometimes find that these types of socks tend to wear out pretty quickly but mine have been washed hundreds of times and they’re still like new!

Nike Sports Bra – $22.50


I own this sports bra in every color it’s ever been made in. I love this bra because it’s thin, but it holds the goods in place if you know what I mean. It’s comfortable, breathable, and I’ve had some of mine for over two years. For the price, the quality is amazing too! This bra would work for all cup sizes! I’m a D cup and wear a medium for reference.

Zella Live In High Waisted Leggings – $54.00


I bought these leggings during the Nordstrom anniversary sale and I have been kicking myself ever since for not buying two more pairs. I wear them ALL the time. They material isn’t sweat wicking or anything so I don’t work out in them, but as far as athleisure goes, these are everything. They’re SO soft, so comfortable, and I can definitely tell the quality is good enough to last a couple of years. These would be the best gift!

Old Navy Crops – $29

If you’re not ready to spend $70+ on Lulu crops, these are hands down my favorite crops. They keep everything in place, they’re super flattering, and they’re extremely good quality for the price. I think I have them in every color!

Hair, Skin, & Nail Must Haves

Free People Hair Coils – $5.99


I mentioned these hair ties in my post gym hair care post back in October! They are my absolute favorites for wearing to the gym because they don’t leave a crease in your hair! They’re my secret weapon as far as being able to salvage clean hair after the gym!

Batiste Dry Shampoo – $8.99

This is my all time favorite dry shampoo. I use it every day after I leave the gym! It gives it body and a little grit which is 100% necessary on day two and three hair! It’s cheap and it lasts forever.

Tula Cleanser – $28.00


I just started using Tula products but I have fallen in love. I use this cleanser on my face morning and night, but I included it in this guide because I also use it right when I get home from the gym! It’s extremely gentle and leaves my face squeaky clean and free of sweat and dirt!


Cellucor C4 – $28.99


This is my favorite pre workout of all time! It’s pretty strong so I sometimes only have to take a half scoop which makes it cheaper than it already is. It is a total necessity for my early morning workouts!

Dr. Axe Collagen – $34


Collagen is what I use in my coffee EVERY single day. It contains 7 grams of protein and it’s tasteless so it’s the perfect way to start your day with a little extra protein! It’s also worked WONDERS on my hair, skin, and nails! Think of it as Biotin on steroids. You can use “kalekouture” for 20% off your purchase making this only $34!

BioHealth Nutrition Protein Powder – $40


I’ve been using BioHealth Nutrition protein powders for almost two months now and I love them more than any other powdered protein I’ve had before. This protein is pasturefed blend so it’s really natural and it’s not hard on my stomach like many other proteins usually are. There are tons of great flavors but chocolate milk is my favorite right now! Use “BIOKALE” at checkout for a discount on any of the products on their site!


City Shape Membership – $50


City Shape is like Class Pass for all the local KC gyms! Being a member of City Shape has exposed me to so many new gyms and classes I would never have known about, or had the opportunity to try without my membership. For $50, you get four classes. You can schedule them wherever and whenever you want! Your membership also gives you a discount at some of my favorite places around KC, including Enjoy Pure Food, Unbakery, Simple Sciences Juices, etc. This would make an awesome gift to start the new year with!

Healthy Human Cruiser Tumbler – $22.99


This is the Healthy Human bottle you’ve probably seen on my Instagram story a thousand times. It keeps my coffee hot for hours! I recommend this to every one I know! The purple one is on my wish list this year! Use “kalekouture” at checkout for a discount on your purchase!

Why I’m Not Sharing Ways to “Stay On Track” This Thanksgiving

I was not planning on writing a blog post on this, but after seeing SO many people this week posting their “tips and tricks” on ways to stay healthy on Thanksgiving, I felt compelled to share my own two cents, and it may not be what you think it is. Let me preface first by saying, I’m not dogging on anyone who has written one of these posts. Everyone is 100% entitled to their own way of thinking and that’s what I truly love about blogging – reading about someone else’s perspective!

You knew there had to be a “however”, right?! However. Thanksgiving is one dang day a year. One day. One out of 365 days of the year.

I’ve seen so many people say “limit your desserts”, “load up on veggies”, “drink tons of water so you’re not super hungry when it’s time to eat”, “get an early morning workout in”, “limit your alcohol intake”, “walk off your food after dinner”, etc. I promise I’ve seen it all. All of those things are great, and if doing that makes you feel better, you do you! But I also think it’s okay to spend your holiday NOT conscientiously thinking about these things.

Am I going to limit my desserts? Let me tell you the last time I ate a full fat, full sugar dessert. Besides a donut on Halloween, it’s been months. So no, probably not limiting myself there. Am I going to load up on veggies? If sweet potato casserole counts, yes! Am I going to get an early morning workout in? Does lifting my wine glass from the table to my mouth count? Am I going to walk off my food after dinner? Well realistically that would take days to do, and we go to a movie as a family after dinner, so no. Limit my alcohol intake? No to that too.

I would say for about 350/365 days a year, I count macros, eat nutrient dense foods, make sure to eat enough protein, limit processed foods, limit my sugar intake, work out, limit my alcohol intake, etc. The 15, give or take a few, days a year I let myself completely indulge (like turkey day), account for 4% of the year. Do you think that 4% of the year has any affect on my overall health, or the way I look? No. The only thing it affects is my sanity. I am able to have a healthy relationship with food because of that 4%. I’m able to do all of those things I listed above, the other 96% of the time, because of that 4%.

I am so proud of the way I live my life and the changes I’ve made over the past 5-6 years, but I am also so proud of the fact that I can celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, and not feel the need to modify every recipe I’m bringing, or feel the need to say no to trying an additional dessert because I’ve already had one, or worry about what hours Planet Fitness is open on Thanksgiving day. And you know what? Even if I did worry about those things, I wouldn’t be a pound lighter once it’s all said and done. Because one day, makes ZERO difference in the scheme of life.

There was absolutely a point in my life where I did worry about all of these things, as recent as last year. I had a moment the other day when my mom texted me and said “Can you dig the unhealthy stuff off the sweet potato casserole or do you want just a plain sweet potato for Thanksgiving?” While a part of me knows that she was being so thoughtful, the other part of me kind of hated that she had to ask me that. If you were wondering, I responded without hesitation “I can eat the unhealthy stuff!”. And I will, with zero guilt.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, fitness and health are parts of my life, they are not my whole life. On Friday, I will go right back to eating like I do 90% of the time, and working out 6 days a week. But if you can’t indulge a couple of days a year, then when can you? Balance is a part of health. Indulging every once in awhile is a part of health. Not working out every once in a while is a part of health.

This subject is something I’m so passionate about, and it weighed heavily on my heart this week. I never want to make anyone feel like the way they’re living their life is wrong, so if you read this post and feel differently, that’s perfectly fine! And if you’re one of the people I referred to earlier, I still love you! I just felt compelled to share because for years, I felt like if I didn’t do things the “healthy” way on Thanksgiving, other holidays, etc., I wasn’t a “healthy person”, I was losing progress, I was going to gain a bunch of weight, etc. And that’s why I restricted myself in so many ways. But in fact, I now feel the opposite.

I hope if you take nothing else away from this post, it’s to give yourself some grace tomorrow. Eat the pie, drink the wine, lay on the couch, BE HUMAN. Be thankful for the people you share your day with, for all the amazing food you’ll eat, the people who prepared it, and for the time you get to spend with them.

I hope you all have the best day tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving.

Reflecting On October’s Fitness Goal

At the beginning of October, I posted a picture on Instagram stating that my October fitness goal would be to run two miles, for 25 days of October. I never imagined how many people would be encouraging me on this month long October journey of mine! Each day I posted about my two miles, and every single day I got words of encouragement, pictures of people running their own two miles, or even people asking if I had done my two miles on the five days I took off. Talk about being held accountable!

A couple of people asked me to post about my thoughts on my goal and how it affected me. I was gathering these thoughts along the way myself, so this was the perfect excuse to blog about them to share my pros and cons with you!

  • Accountability.
    • I was held accountable by my friends and followers throughout every day of this month. I loved knowing that my goal was public, aka: people would notice if I ran or not! I also loved the fact that someone else seeing my 2.0 mile Insta stories, encouraged them to run their own 2.0 for the day. This encouraged me to get my butt to the gym to get my miles in, even when I wasn’t feeling it.
  • No excuses.
    • It’s a well known fact that I don’t love cardio. I never have and I never will, and that’s okay. If you love cardio, you’re either lying or there might be something wrong with you. Just kidding. Kind of. That being said, before this month, I had no problem skipping cardio here and there, just because I always have a hard time deciding what I should/want to do as far as cardio goes. Knowing I had to do my two miles gave me no choice but to hop on the treadmill the minute I got to the gym. It completely took the guess work out of cardio, which sometimes is half the battle.
  • Goal Driven.
    • I’ve worked out consistently for over 5 years, so going to the gym pure habit for me. I don’t have to muster up a lot of motivation most days because I know that it’s just part of my day; there’s no “if”, it’s just “when”. However after a while, I find myself going through the motions without necessarily having a passion for what I’m doing. This month was different. I was so motivated by having a specific goal that I actually felt like I was accomplishing something every time I stepped in the gym. I wasn’t just going through the motions; I had something to work for and it was and it was the best feeling!
  • It pushed me.
    • Like I mentioned before, I am not a runner, by any stretch. I trained for a half marathon a couple of years ago but was forced to quit because of a hairline fracture in my tibia. Since then, I have not run anywhere close to 9 miles. While 2 miles a day isn’t close to 9, it’s closer than 0! At the beginning of October, I couldn’t finish a mile without stopping. On the last day of October, I ran two miles with no breaks – progress!
  • Bigger Goals.
    • My two miles a day made me want to set bigger running goals for myself in the future. Maybe 3 miles a day for a month, maybe a half marathon, who knows?! It definitely lit somewhat of a fire under me as far as running is concerned and I haven’t had that sort of running motivation in forever.
  • No physical change.
    • When working towards a goal, especially a fitness centered goal, it’s easy to want to see a physical change. That’s typically why most people work out, right? I totally get that, and while I’d love to say I saw a huge physical difference in my appearance after this month, I didn’t. Two miles a day equated to about 20-25 minutes of cardio before my strength training workouts each day, which is exactly what I had been doing before I started this month’s goal. So because it wasn’t an increase in cardio, there was no change to my physical appearance. Which is a great lesson learned for me. Do I see a physical difference in my body? No. But I do know that my heart is in better physical shape just based on the progress I made in my times and in my ability to run without stopping. Heart health is a whole lot more important to me than anything I could’ve seen on the outside!
  • I missed other cardio machines!
    • Having to run every day as my cardio made me miss some of my old cardio routines! It will be a little while before I step back on the treadmill as my cardio for the day. Not because I didn’t enjoy this month on the treadmill, but I actually started missing the Stairmaster! Something I never thought I’d say! But on a real note, doing something for a month straight does start to get mundane after a while. I have a newfound love for the Stairmaster and that’s exciting to me! A negative turned positive.
  • Two A Days
    • Because I became an ambassador for CityShape this month, that meant I was attending more fitness classes than usual. So because I was away from Planet Fitness at least once a week, I had to go and do my two miles before my classes, which meant I was technically working out twice in one day. I never considered my two miles my entire workout, it was more of a warm up, but it definitely wasn’t the most convenient goal during a month when I was away from my home gym quite a few times!
November Goal

While this month’s goal might not seem nearly as challenging as October’s, I’m trying not to set myself up for failure! There is something to be said for setting your sights high with a lofty goal, however I’m also trying to be realistic. I know for a fact I will be traveling this month, celebrating the holidays with my family, taking 5 more CityShape classes, and I know my workout routine won’t be nearly as rigid as it is in other months. Which is 100% okay with me. However, I wanted a goal that would push me, but it would be something I could do, regardless of where I am! That being said, I decided to do a month long plank challenge.

As cheesy as I used to think these were, it’s actually something I’ve wanted to do for a while now! I will post the plank challenge below, so feel free to join me! It’s something that obviously doesn’t have to be done at a gym, so anyone can do it! The other part of my reasoning behind this goal, was because my core area is the last thing I ever focus on. I tend to rely on strength training and hitting my macros to do most of my core work for me, so I’m hoping to see a little bit of change with the extra attention!

30 Day Plank Challenge


I hope you had a great Halloween, indulged in some candy, and are now ready to hit your November goals! Comment and let me know what your goals are!


Barre3 KC

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I typically do my own workouts. I work out at a gym with free weights, squat racks, weight machines, and cardio equipment. The typical gym scene. As much as I love my new gym and everything it offers, it is SO good to get out of my normal routine. Trying something new and switching things up can do wonders for your mind, body, and motivation level.

I was invited to a Barre3 workout class in Brookside this weekend, and I cannot say enough about how much I loved it. I don’t usually love classes, but not having to come up with my own workout, but rather someone else telling me exactly what to do, was so nice!

I went with a friend of mine, Alexa, who is my workout class sidekick. We started going to workout classes together in college and I still to this day love going to classes with her whenever we can! I will say that for me, it is always easier and more fun to do classes when she’s with me. It can be intimidating to walk into a new class by yourself, so if this something that holds you back from a new gym, a new class, a new studio, etc., bring a friend! It makes things so much more comfortable when you have someone with you experiencing the class for their first time as well.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Barre3, here is a quick outline per their websiste:

Barre3 delivers a full body workout using only low-impact movements. With our team of experts—doctors, physical therapists, and anatomy specialists—we developed our signature 3-step sequence to produce a strong and balanced body.”

  • STEP 1 | HOLD Align the body, build mind-body connection, and engage your muscles.
  • STEP 2 | MOVE SMALL Work deep in the muscle without compromising your form to push through plateaus, and build strength.

  • STEP 3 | MOVE BIG Build functional strength for everyday activities, tone your muscles, and energize your entire body.

Our instructor at Barre3 was Caroline and she made us both feel so welcomed. She knew that we were both there for the very first time so she made sure to help us out from the moment we walked in.

The class was an hour long and my heart rate was up from the minute the class started. I turned on my Apple watch and glanced at it every ten minutes or so, and my heart rate was above 150 bpm the entire time. It was the perfect mix of strength, core, stretching, and cardio. It was definitely intense and I was sweating (& shaking for that matter) like crazy. For this class we used the barre ball, and 1lb or 2lb weights. Never underestimate the power of 1lb and 2lb weights! My muscles were BURNING the entire class.

The class was incredibly upbeat, the music was great, and I was never bored. The hour flew by before I knew it! Even for someone who works out every day, this class was incredibly challenging for me. It’s completely different that my every day workout at my gym and it pushed me in ways I don’t usually push myself. The holds and squeezes killed me, and this is something I plan on incorporating into my own workouts at the gym. I was definitely outside of my fitness comfort zone and that’s what made it so much fun!

I loved this class and I would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried it before. This style of workout is doable for all fitness levels and that’s part of the reason I loved it so much. Our instructor Caroline was extremely helpful and offered assistance when needed, as well as provided modifications for every single movement we did.

Click here to find a Barre3 in your area! And thank you again to Caroline for having us this weekend. I can’t wait to come back soon! If you’re in the KC area – go check out Barre3 Kansas City, you will not be disappointed!


Weekly Workout Roundup

It’s been a minute since I’ve blogged a weekly workout roundup for you guys, and I’ll be completely honest – it’s because my workouts this summer have been far from perfect. Being that part of my platform with KaleKouture is fitness, it can be hard to motivate and encourage others when you’re not on top of the workout game yourself. It’s kind of like encouraging someone to be on a diet while you’re eating Cheesecake Factory in front of them!

Even though part of my job as a fitness blogger is to tell you about my workouts and how I’m staying active, and how you can do those things too, I am not afraid to admit that just like anyone else, “life” has taken precedence over a lot of my workouts this summer. This summer has been full of weekend lake trips, going on vacation, moving, looking for/buying a new house, working two summer jobs, getting everything ready to go back to school, and in the midst of all of that, trying to seamlessly transition into running this blog on my own. I started the summer with every intent of working out six days a week, trying new classes, tracking macros perfectly, etc. I mean teachers don’t “work” in the summer right, I should have all the time in the world! I’m here to tell you that’s not true, and that has not happened. But that’s okay!

While summer is obviously not the most ideal time for workouts to be lagging, truthfully I have not stressed or lost any sleep over it like I might have in years past. I know that summer is temporary, and the life events, vacation, and time with friends that have prevented me from working out like I normally do, are far more important than a few missed workouts. Memories with people you love are worth more than one missed hour- long-500-calorie-burn, I promise.

This summer has been one of the best summers I’ve ever had, and I can tell you without a doubt that my body looks no different today than it would had I not missed those workouts. Fitness is a lifestyle. So cliché, I know, but it’s true. It’s not a certain number of workouts, it’s not a certain number of days hitting your macros – it’s about the big picture. Did I miss some workouts? Yeah, more than I probably anticipated. Was I active this summer and did I try to workout as often as I could? Yes I did. That’s what it’s all about.

All that to say, I’m back and I’m running full steam ahead starting this week! And if you’re in the same boat and your workouts have been lacking this summer, know that I’m right there with you! Don’t worry about the workouts that didn’t happen, be encouraged and give your all to the workouts that you’re going to make happen this week! Screen shot the workouts below, and commit to working out with me this week!

I wrote up a weekly workout roundup below, not only for you guys to follow along with, but to motivate myself as well! It’s a proven fact that if I write out my workouts, and schedule them in my planner like any other commitment or appointment I have, I’m 100 times more likely to make it happen. Let me know if you have any questions!

bench push up

step up

‘Keep It Cool’ Crop Leggings | ‘Ebb To Street Tank’ | Nike Free RN Flyknit 

Weekly Workout Roundup 

  • Sunday: Cardio + Legs
    • 15 minute stairmaster warm up
      • smith machine squats (3 sets of 12)
      • bench step ups w/dumbbells (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • walking lunges w/barbell (3 sets of 24)
      • plie pulse squats w/dumbbell (3 sets of 24)
      • leg extension, single leg (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • hamstring extension, single leg (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • jump squats (3 sets of 12)
  • Monday: Cardio + Triceps
    • 15 minute stairmaster warm up
      • tricep pushdowns w/rope attachment (3 sets of 12)
      • overhead tricep extension w/plate (3 sets of 12)
      • single arm pushdown w/cable – overhand (12 each am, 3 sets)
      • single arm pushdown w/cable – underhand (12 each arm, 3 sets)
      • overhead tricep extension w/cable (3 sets of 12)
      • tricep exentsion machine (3 sets of 12)
      • single arm kickback with dumbell (12 each arm, 3 sets)
  • Tuesday: Cardio + Biceps/Back
    • 20 minute incline walk on treadmill (incline: 12, speed: 3.5)
      • bicep curl w/ barbell (3 sets of 12)
      • seated cable row (3 sets of 12)
      • hammer curls w/ dumbbells  (12 each arm, sets of 3)
      • lat pulldown (3 sets of 12)
      • bicep curl w/rope attachment (12 each arm, 3 sets)
      • single arm bicep curl w/cables (12 each arm, 3 sets)
      • bicep curl w/ 25lb plate (until failure – this is a burnout, go as long as you can!)
  • Wednesday: Cardio + Legs
    • 15 minute elliptical warm up (incline: 20, resistance: 30)
      • smith machine split squats (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • glute kickback machine (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • curtsy lunge w/barbell (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • smith machine squats (3 sets of 12)
      • reverse lunge with barbell (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • straight leg deadlifts w/barbell (3 sets of 12)
      • body weight lunges until failure
  • Thursday: Cardio + Shoulders
    • 15 minute stairmaster warm up
      • front raise with barbell (3 sets of 12)
      • upright row w/ barbell (3 sets of 12)
      • lateral raise w/ dumbbells (3 sets of 12)
      • shoulder press w/ dumbells (3 sets of 12)
      • upright row w/ rope attachment (3 sets of 12)
      • shoulder press machine (3 sets of 12)
      • plank shoulder taps until failure
  • Friday: Corepower Yoga
  • Saturday: Cardio + Abs
    • 3 mile run
      • 24 leg lifts
      • 24 bicycle crunches
      • 40 russian twists
      • 30 second plank
        • Repeat 4 times!

24 Things …

Since the blog has changed a little bit over the past couple of weeks, I wanted to do a fun blog post to share a little bit about me for those of you who are new around here! And even if you’re not new, these are probably still things you don’t know. Here goes nothing … 24 random things about me!


  1. I went to the University of Arkansas for my undergrad. I’m a Kansas girl at heart, but Arkansas is my home away from home. I loved every minute of it and would give anything to go back! Go Hogs!
  2. I can’t stand steak or seafood, at all. I’m a cheap date!
  3. I drink coffee in some form, every single day without fail. I like it hot, cold, made at home, from Starbucks, with cream, without cream, pretty much anything! I love it.
  4. I’ve lived in Kansas almost my whole life. Kansas gets a bad rap but I wouldn’t trade living here for the world!
  5. I have three pets that I love so so much. I have Butter and Jelli, who are both cats, and Peaches who is our lab/pointer mix who you’ve probably seen make an appearance on the @KaleKouture Instagram story a time or two!
  6. If I could go anywhere in the world, it would be Greece. Santorini and Mykonos have been on my bucket list forever.
  7. I have eczema pretty badly. I started having flare ups fairly regularly starting my freshman year of college and have had them ever since. It’s on my face and arms which can be embarrassing and kind of disheartening to deal with because I have little control over it. It’s usually due to my efforts in trying to find different products to keep it under control.
  8. I worked as a lifeguard for five summers while I was in high school and college.
  9. Running a half marathon is on my bucket list. I trained up to 9 miles my junior year of college and had to quit because of pretty severe shin splints.
  10. I was never big into sports which some people think is weird considering my love of being active. I threw javelin in high school but that was the extent of my sports days. My brother plays college baseball so it’s pretty safe to say he got the athletic gene.
  11. I’m a Kindergarten teacher. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do and I love every second of it! My dream is to be a teacher in a hospital for children in need of long term care.
  12. The lake is by far my most favorite place to be – any time of year. If I could spend every single weekend there, I would.
  13. I have the biggest fear of public speaking. I sweat, turn red, the whole nine yards. I’m not a shy person whatsoever but speaking in front of people is my worst fear.
  14. I have a huge passion for travel – I’ve traveled more in the two years I’ve been out of college than I have my whole life and it has been the most rewarding experience.
  15. I am not exaggerating when I say I could not live without Chick-Fil-A. It has been and always will be my all time favorite. My favorite things on the menu are: diet lemonade, nuggets with Chick-Fil-A sauce, and the cookies & cream milkshake with extra Oreos.
  16. I do not like water, at all. I don’t crave the taste of plain water, and I will be the first to admit that I am the worst when it comes to drinking water. If there’s Mio mixed in it, I can guzzle it, but without, it’s just not happening.
  17. South Carolina is my favorite place I’ve been, within the U.S. If you haven’t been, it’s a must. Charleston especially. It’s serene, the living is so laid back, and it’s so charming! I can’t see myself moving from Kansas anytime soon but if I could pick anywhere that would be number one on my list!
  18. Becoming a NASM CPT is a long term goal for me. Fitness is a huge passion of mine so I would love to be able to work closely with clients and do it as a part time job one day. I have a lot on my plate right now so hopefully within the next couple of years!
  19. I met my boyfriend Taylor my sophomore year of high school and we’ve been dating for close to 9 years now. I never really talk about him on the blog, but he’s my best friend and has been a huge supporter in this whole blogging process.
  20. Having my nails done is a guilty pleasure of mine and is the one thing I  will spend money on regularly. I’ve been doing the dipping powder for the last 6 months and I will never go back to shellac or anything else. I would definitely recommend it if you’ve never tried it.
  21. I have a serious addiction to activewear and tennis shoes. I’m sure you’ve noticed. But would spend money on workout clothes and tennis shoes over regular clothes any day of the week.
  22. If I weren’t a teacher I would want to be a labor and delivery nurse. I am obsessed with babies and am fascinated with the thought of being a part of the process of bringing them into the world every day!
  23. I cannot leave my house without making my bed. No matter how late I’m running, I take 20 seconds to make my bed. I feel like my room is 20x messier if the bed isn’t made!
  24. I’m fulfilling a fitness bucket list item this fall, as I’m planning to participate in a Tough Mudder in October! It’s extremely outside my “fitness comfort zone” and unlike anything I’ve ever done before, but I am excited to be working towards a new goal.


Weekly Workout Roundup

I haven’t posted a weekly workout roundup in awhile, so I figured now that summer is here, it would be a good time to write them out for you guys again!

Now that summer has started for me (I have the summer off – teacher perk!), I feel like I’m actually really enjoying being in the gym again. Like I’ve said before, I definitely go through periods of time where getting a workout in can be a struggle. During the school year, my workouts are either before work at 4am, or after a long day of school and tutoring at 6pm – neither are ideal times, which is definitely part of the struggle for me, but those are usually the only two times I can squeeze them in! However, now that it’s summer, I can work out whenever I want, which is the absolute greatest. I also have more flexibility in what I do for my workouts now that I’m not under the time constraints of having to schedule them around work. That being said, I’ve tried to change things up a little bit with some outdoor HIIT workouts, new workout classes, etc.

This past week my best friend convinced me to do a 6am Core Power Yoga class with her. Now, I am not a yoga person whatsoever, in fact I am probably the least flexible person I know, I’m working on it! Needless to say, I was a little hesitant, but I have heard so many great things about Core Power so I knew I should step out of my workout comfort zone just to try it once. <— Something I so encourage you all to do too!

When it was all said and done, I LOVED it. It was the perfect combination of yoga, cardio, strength training, and core. The room was set at 90 degrees for the entire workout and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt, I have never sweat so much in my life. I’m talking toweling-down-my-mat-every-5-minutes-sweaty! It was a tough workout, but a great one, and I can’t wait to go back for another class! I highly recommend it, even if you’re not someone who loves yoga! If you’re in the KC area, Core Power Yoga on the Plaza offers free classes all day long on the first Friday every month!


The rest of my workouts for the week are posted below! I took two rest days this week because I spent the weekend at the lake, but I’m planning on 6 workouts this week – I leave for Mexico in two weeks, so it’s crunch time – literally!

  • Sunday: Cardio + Legs
    • 15 minute stairmaster warm up
      • barbell squats (3 sets of 12)
      • step ups w/dumbbells (12 on each leg, 3 sets)
      • barbell lunges (12 each leg, 3 sets)
      • plie squats w/dumbbell (3 sets of 12)
      • adductor machine (3 sets of 12)
      • jump squats (3 sets of 12)
  • Monday: Cardio + Triceps
    • 15 minute stairmaster warm up
      • tricep pushdowns w/ rope attachment (3 sets of 12)
      • overhead tricep extension w/ rope attachment (3 sets of 12)
      • single arm pushdown w/cable – overhand (3 sets of 12)
      • single arm pushdown w/cable – underhand (3 sets of 12)
      • overhead tricep extension w/dumbbell (3 sets of 12)
      • tricep exentsion machine (3 sets of 12)
  • Tuesday: Cardio + Biceps/Back
    • 15 minute bike warmup
      • bicep curl w/ barbell (3 sets of 12)
      • seated cable row (3 sets of 12)
      • hammer curls w/ dumbbells  (12 each arm, sets of 3)
      • lat pulldown (3 sets of 12)
      • preacher curl (12 each arm, 3 sets)
      • bent over row with barbell (3 sets of 12)
  • Wednesday: Cardio + Legs
    • 1 mile walk outside
      • smith machine split squats
      • quad extension machine (3 sets of 12)
      • hamstring extension machine (3 sets of 12)
      • smith machine squats (3 sets of 12)
      • reverse lunge with barbell
      • body weight lunges until failure
  • Thursday: Cardio + Shoulders
    • 15 minute stairmaster warm up
      • front raise with barbell (3 sets of 12)
      • upright row w/ barbell (3 sets of 12)
      • lateral raise w/ dumbbells (3 sets of 12)
      • shoulder press w/ dumbells (3 sets of 12)
      • upright row w/ rope attachment (3 sets of 12)
      • shoulder press machine (3 sets of 12)
      • plank shoulder taps until failure
  • Friday: Core Power Yoga
  • Saturday: Rest Day
  • Sunday: Rest Day

As always, if there’s anything you’re unsure of how to do, google is your best friend! Copy and paste any of the terms above and you will find an excessive amount of pictures and videos to help guide you in effectively performing the exercise. Form is key when it comes to strength training so make sure you do a little research if you’re trying something you’ve never done before. Let me know if you guys would find it helpful for me to start videoing my workouts and posting them on the blog – it’s something I’ve thought about but wasn’t sure how many people would find it helpful, so if you would be interested, please comment below and let me know! Have a great rest of your week!


Staying Motivated 101

Staying motivated when it comes to going to the gym and making it a part of your daily routine can be challenging for everyone. Until it truly becomes habit, it can be easy to find reasons to skip your workout for the day. Life is busy, and going to the gym to work out takes extra time and effort, plain and simple. So today I’m sharing ten ways to help stay motivated when you feel like doing absolutely anything else but hitting the gym!

1. Write down/screen shot your workout before you get there.

This is key for me when it comes to staying motivated before I get to the gym, and even while I’m at the gym. The task of working out is daunting enough when you’re tired and unmotivated, but not knowing exactly what you’re going to do when you get there makes it even worse. Having something in front of me telling me exactly what to do, how many reps to do, and where to go next, makes my time in the gym so much more focused and quick, as opposed to me wandering around the gym, randomly throwing together a workout as I go. Take a screen shot of the workout you’re doing or have it written down and ready to go, so that you can be quick and effective once you get there!

2. Set reasonable goals

I can’t stress this enough. If you’re someone who is just starting out, telling yourself you’re going to go to the gym for an hour, six days of the week next week is probably not the most realistic goal. It’s important to set goals that are specific and attainable, making your success more achievable! Instead of saying you’ll go to the gym six days a week for an hour, try something more specific such as, “next week I’m doing to do 20 minutes of cardio for 3 days, and 20 minutes of strength training for 2 days”, or “this week, I’m going to complete 4 strength training workouts”. Set yourself up for success, not failure – success is motivating, am I right?!

3. Do something you love

I’m not by any means saying you should love every minute of every workout you ever do, however you should enjoy your workouts most of the time. If you dread your workouts, you need to try something different! If you hate the gym, try barre, spin, TRX, Orange Theory, etc. If you hate cardio, try strength training. If you hate doing weights, try some bodyweight HIIT workouts. Even if you love what you’re doing, it’s always fun to try something new! There is something out there for everyone, you just have to find your niche and what it is you love doing! Staying motivated is so much easier when you can look forward to your workouts.

4. Take time to lay your gym clothes out

Whether you work out in the morning, or in the afternoon, lay your gym clothes out/pack your gym bag before you go. When I work out in the morning, half the battle is finding something to wear when I’m delirious at 4am. Having everything laid out and ready for me to put on when I wake up makes it 10x easier to get out the door in the mornings. The same goes for the afternoon. When I get home from school, the last thing I want to do is go digging through my drawers for a matching outfit. If my gym bag is packed and ready to go, or my outfit is laid out for me on my bed, I have no choice but to change and go!

5. Reward yourself

It’s not realistic to think you should reward yourself every single time you work out, but every once in a while, it’s definitely a good source of motivation! Working out on the weekends is always a battle for me, so I usually reward myself with T.Loft or Starbucks so that I’m just a little more excited to get through my workout and on with my weekend. Something else you could try, is to set a bigger goal so that you can reward yourself in a more substantial way. For example, “if I can workout 4x a week for this month, I’ll buy myself a new Lulu top”. Remember, goals are meant to be achievable, don’t set yourself up to fail.

6. Getting there is the hardest part

Sometimes I have such a mental battle with getting to the gym regardless of if it’s before or after work. Early mornings are hard, but afternoons after work are just as hard for me sometimes. Every time I feel like I don’t want to go, I remind myself of how easy it is to get going once I walk through the gym doors. Once I’m in the gym, there’s no turning back, I just start doing what I need to do. The weights are there, the machines are there, and it would be harder for me to turn around and walk out than it would be to just get the workout done. It’s having to convince myself to get dressed, and to get in my car to drive to the gym that’s hard for me. That being said, when you’re feeling like you just don’t want to do it, just tell yourself all you have to do is get there!

7. Find a good playlist

I don’t know about you guys, but music is extremely motivating to me when I’m working out. The stairmaster is sometimes my least favorite thing to do, but if I have a great playlist to listen to, the time flies and I actually enjoy it! When I have days that I don’t feel like going to the gym, I search Spotify for a new playlist to try and that always helps motivate me to get to the gym, even if it’s just to listen to some new music! You’d be amazed how many workout specific playlists there are out there, all you have to do is search!

8. Anything is better than nothing

I won’t lie, whether it’s because I’ve had a crazy busy week or I’m just not feeling 100%, there are definitely some days that I get to the gym and realize I just can’t put in the effort it takes to crank out one of my normal workouts. However, I always tell myself that anything is better than nothing. I live in an area where there are some amazing walking trails, so if I’m not feeling up to a normal workout, I might take 20 minutes to walk outside to get my heart rate up for just a little bit. If I still want to stay at the gym, I may go ride the bike for 20 minutes. Just because you can’t fit in a normal workout, or just because you’re not feeling up to it, do a little bit of something! I promise, you’ll thank yourself when you’re done!

9. Take some time off

I know, this sounds weird, right? I’m supposed to be telling you how to stay motivated and here I am telling you to take time off. But this is extremely important. If you’ve been working out for 5-6 days a week for months on end, feeling unmotivated is natural after awhile. If your body is telling you it’s had enough, respect it. Last winter I got in a rut and felt like I literally did not like working out any more. I got kind of nervous because this wasn’t normal for me. I realized how long I’d been working out without more than a day off, and I decided it was time for a break. After the week off, I felt refreshed and ready to start working out again. My mind and body both needed the break and I could truly tell I was functioning better after the week was over. You are not effective if you’re overly tired and run down, if this is the case for you, here’s my push for you to listen to your body and take some time off!

10. Remember why you started

If you only take one piece of advice away from this post, please take this. No one is motivated 100% of the time. It just doesn’t happen. Everyone has off days, but it’s so important to keep in mind your why. Why did you decide to start working out in the first place? Everyone has their own reason as to why they start their fitness journey, and your reason is just as important as the next person’s. Whatever your reason is, remember that, and remind yourself of that the next time you’re feeling unmotivated. Write it down if you need to so that you can go back to it when you’re losing sight of your end goal.

Thank you guys for reading! I hope you took something away from this post, and can remember something you’ve read for the next time you’re not feeling so hot about your workout for the day! As always, feel free to ask questions or leave comments if you have any!

What I’m wearing –







If I Knew Then, What I Know Now …

Today I’m sharing some of the things I wish I’d have known when I started my health and fitness journey. It’s also kind of an open letter to myself. As I look back on my journey, there are so many things I wish I could’ve realized and told myself – things that probably would have helped me cultivate a healthier relationship with food, fitness, and my body, a lot earlier on. My hope is that for any of you out there reading this, this will inspire you to maybe look at yourself and your journey from a different perspective, and realize it’s not all about being perfect.

Instagram is not real life

Over the years, I’ve followed hundreds of people in the fitness industry. Whether they’re athletes, fitness competitors, fitness models, brand ambassadors, bloggers, you name it, I followed them. In the beginning, I started following these people for inspiration and for informational purposes. Seeing their pictures seemed to “motivate” in the beginning, and I was looking for any and every tidbit of information I could find. Yet over the years, I realized they started to become just the opposite of motivation for me. They started to give me such a negative picture of what health and fitness should be about and they made me feel like I wasn’t making any progress, just because I didn’t look like them.

For many of these people, fitness is their full time job. They are paid to workout, to eat a certain way, to post about their every meal/training session. They’re also paid to look the way they do. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is wrong for the every day person to assume they’re going to be able to achieve a body composition even remotely similar to these people. I used to spend hours and hours scrolling through Instagram wondering why, after months of tracking macros, and daily strength training, I still didn’t look anything like them. That is because it’s completely unrealistic to think that with my diet and my workouts, I would be able to look that way, and that is okay. I have a full time job, a life outside of working out, cheat days, etc. Having realistic expectations of what your body is capable of is so important. Do not compare yourself to someone you see on Instagram, no matter who they are. Your journey is your journey, and your journey only.

The scale is not an accurate measure of progress

This is something that after 8 years of being on this journey, I have finally convinced myself of. For years, all I cared about was the number on the scale. In the past, I could feel horrible about myself, like I hadn’t made any progress at all, but if I stepped on the scale and it was a number I liked, I was thrilled. And by the same token, I could feel amazing, like I was definitely making progress, the whole macro thing was working, my hours in the gym were paying off, etc. Yet if I stepped on the scale and it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to see, I would sink into a never ending hole of I need to do more cardio, I need to lower my macros, I need to start doing two a day workouts, etc. It was such an unhealthy way of measuring progress. After years of preaching to myself that the number on the scale didn’t matter, I’ve realized it truly doesn’t. I have not stepped on the scale since last July, and that is a huge victory for me.

Don’t get me wrong, Bianca keeps one in our bathroom and there are times when I am so tempted to step on it just to see what it says, but it’s not worth it. Measuring progress should not be based on a number. I use progress pictures, how I’m feeling during my workouts, tracking how much my strength has improved in the gym, etc. as ways to track progress. That number on the scale means nothing.

It’s okay to be imperfect

This too is something I didn’t grasp until very recently, but it has changed the way I view my own journey. For the longest time, I was hung up on being perfect. Guilt would take over all of my thoughts for the craziest reasons. If I didn’t make it to the gym 6 days a week, I felt guilty. If I didn’t hit my macros perfectly for the day, I felt guilty. If I wasn’t seeing the progress I wanted to see after making small changes to my diet/workouts, I felt guilty. If I decided to eat something that wouldn’t fit my macros, I felt guilty. I wasted so much of my time feeling that because I wasn’t doing things perfectly, I wasn’t healthy, and was the reason I wasn’t looking exactly how I wanted to.

Years have gone by, and I now realize how unhealthy that mindset was. That kind of thinking can lead to disordered eating, over exercising, bad body image, etc. Hear me out – yes, it is great to be motivated and to want to go to the gym 6 days a week and to want to hit your macros every day. But this is not going to happen every single week/day, and you have to realize that’s okay.

I am on this journey to better myself, from the inside out, and being perfect isn’t the key to getting there. It’s okay to have one too many glasses of wine with your girlfriends on a girls night out. It okay to eat a piece of cake at the grad party you’re going to. It’s okay to get fries instead of a side salad every once in awhile. All of these things are okay. It’s okay to skip the gym when you’re sick. It’s okay to take the week off when you’re on vacation. It’s okay to leave the gym in the middle of the workout when you’re not feeling your best, and pick up the next day. All of these things are okay. Part of being healthy is knowing that it’s okay to be imperfect.

The fact that I can go get Dairy Queen with my family and not feel guilty? That is health to me. The fact that I can skip counting macros/four days of working out to celebrate my birthday on vacation with my friends and not feel anxious? That is health to me. Those are things I could not have done a few years ago, and that mental progress and acceptance of imperfection, means a lot more to me than a number on a scale ever will.

Celebrate progress big or small, small victories lead to big victories

For so long, I got hung up on the fact that I wasn’t seeing “big” changes in my body. After a year of strength training and counting macros, surely I was supposed to be in tip top shape right? Wrong. Changes take time, a lot of time. The truth of the matter is, here I am, 8 years after beginning this journey, and I’m still not exactly where I want to be. Some weeks I love the way I look, other weeks, I get down on myself. That’s because I’m human. That’s why celebrating the small victories,  is so important.

It’s the celebrating that keeps me motivated. Maybe you only ate out once this week, celebrate that. You did the hardest spin class you’ve ever done this week, celebrate that. You made it to two morning workouts this week, celebrate that. You made time for a Saturday workout, celebrate that. You ran for the first time in months this week, celebrate that. You made a new healthy recipe you absolutely love, celebrate that.

Even my closest friends probably don’t know this, but each week I write down one thing, either fitness or health related that I am proud of. I have been doing it for a year now and it is so amazing to look back on. Not only does it make me proud to see all of my weekly “proud moments”, but it has also made a difference in my relationship with my body. As I look back on it, I realize all the positive changes and celebrations that make me proud of this body and all it’s accomplished. It’s not about what I didn’t do each week, but what I did do, and that has helped me tremendously. Celebrate the small things, because in the end, they’re going to add up to big things!

And with that, I’m off my soapbox! This is a more personal post that I’ve been wanting to share for awhile now, so I hope you all found something that resonated with you! Have a happy Monday and a wonderful week!