Motivation Monday: Gratitude isn’t just for Thanksgiving…

A little note to myself to remind me that I am more than the shape or appearance of by body.

thankful heart

Dear Cassie,
Remember to thank your body! It allows you to LIVE…experience the beautiful smells of the fall candles you love. Your body gets you up in the morning to go to work, school, & take care of your family. Your legs let you walk through Costco, the mall, hiking trails, up stairs, chase toddlers. They let you RUN! And run some more on the treadmill.  And squat a lot of weight. They are strong. Your arms squeeze your husband tightly. They hold babies and carry groceries. Lots of groceries. And lift a lot of weights. Those hands put so much work into typing papers and cooking dinner. The heart that feels so much love, and the mind that got you into grad school. Remember to thank your body. All of it. REALLY appreciate all it does for you, and for others too. It’s beautiful and it’s strong.


Motivation Monday: a productive mindset

I got a ton done this weekend (cleaning, homework, workouts, etc) and I was thinking to myself what was different about this weekend vs other times when I’m unproductive. Of course I don’t expect every weekend to be super productive, but there are times it’s necessary.

unknown source- found on pinterest


So what was different this time? I didn’t give my self a choice. I just got up and worked. I realized that the times I’m in the “I have so much to get done” mentality, I actually don’t get much done.

So this week, instead of thinking I have so much to do before Thanksgiving or before finals or whatever, just GET TO WORK. One task at a time, telling yourself “of course you will get everything done”. You always do.

Happy Monday!


Motivation Monday: Don’t wait for January 1! Set goals NOW

So there is about 2 months until the new year, and I am sooooo excited for the holiday season. But I also get a little anxiety this time of year about [over] stuffing my little cheeks, especialllly while on vacay. I thought I would put together a little plan for myself to help me stay on track! I remember last year it was really hard for me to keep up  because I was doing a lifting program and didn’t have access to a gym while I was on vacation for 2 weeks. I’ve learned the error of my ways and plan on increasing my HIIT cardio while I’m out of town.




Of course I’ll be indulging in my Thanksgiving and Christmas favs (hello pumpkin pie). But I also want to track my protein intake to make sure I’m staying on top of that. While I’m home I’ll still track my macs the best I can, but on vacation I want to make sure I’m keeping up with protein and I’ll just let the rest fall where it may.

One other thing to mention is that there is absolutely so excuse for going HAM and eating every tasty thing in sight for the next 2 months and then thinking “I’ll just start in January”. For two reasons. 1) this brings an unhealthy binge mentality, followed by severe restricting which is not helpful or healthy in any way. 2) severe restricting come January 1 is not long lasting. You will have better results if you tweak a few things now (for example, focus on adding in a bit of exercise and drinking more water), then add something else come the New Year (more veggies, more intense workout plan, macro counting, etc)….

Food is the focus of a lot (or most) holiday gatherings. That’s just how it is. Remember to try and have some balance- eat your favorite dessert, but don’t eat the fatty sides that you don’t even really like. Enjoy and indulge a bit, but eat those veggies too 😉 It’s all about balance, and life is too short to avoid gatherings in order to avoid tempting (and delicious) foods.

Do you have any action plan for the upcoming Holiday Season? It’s best to decide now so you aren’t overwhelmed when the first holiday parties start cropping up!



Taking a Break

While I totally believe it’s important to push yourself, sometimes it’s just time to let yourself rest.


I spent this past weekend relaxing in Park City with my husband and in-laws and it felt so good to have a little break from tracking calories and working out. I spent time in the mountain air doing my favorite things- eating yummy food, shopping, spending time with family, and snuggling up by the fire watching TV. It’s always better to take a couple days than to burn yourself out…

But for some reason I’m having a hard time jumping back into my workouts. I think there’s a hard balance between feeling rested and enjoying “vacation mode” a little too much… To be honest, I still haven’t worked out today! But I’m hitting my macros so I’ll call that a win.

Sometimes our bodies need to rest, but sometimes we just feel lazy. And that’s just being human. Strength comes from getting up and pushing through, and not letting a weekend turn into a bad week, and then month…’s too easy to lose progress that way…

Have a great week!


Motivation Monday: Run the Day [or the day will run you]

Monday morning is a great time to take a look at your schedule for the week. Of course there are standing appointments and obligations (work, class, etc.), but it’s good to take a look and see whats coming so you aren’t blind sided by an extra busy day (or 2, or 3…). Now that I’m back in school, I’ve found this to be crucial for keeping track of assignments and tests for the upcoming week.

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Here are a few tips I’ve found to help me stay organized:

  • Lay it all out- have a weekly (or monthly, like I have) calendar so you can see the week at a glance. I have a huge one on my desk and it makes life 10x easier, and for this I honestly think on paper is better
  • Have a separate weekly to-do list. There are daily must-do’s, but a weekly list (divided up) makes it easier to get those extra things done (toilet scrubbing, anyone??)
  • For the extra busy days, it helps me to plan meals and pre-prep anything like lunch or on-the-go snacks to have with me
  • Utilize your phone calendar/reminders for any unusual appointments, and have a pop-up for 10-15 minutes before (or even an hour), so you can be sure to make it on time
  • Keep a weekly/daily calendar with you– This can even be your phone calendar (but it doesn’t work if you don’t enter everything!)
  • Realistically decide which days you can get a workout in (you didn’t think I’d talk about scheduling without adding fitness in, did you??) 😉

Here’s to an organized week! Do you have any tried and true organizational tricks?? Happy Monday!



Motivation Monday: A new program

Happy Monday! Sometimes all it takes to get excited is something new.



A change of scenery and new workout clothes always work for me 😉 But today I’m starting a new workout program by Krissy Mae Cagney aka @kmaecags. I’m starting PowerShred which is a 6 week, 6 day/wk program. I figured this would probably be the last 6 consecutive weeks before the end of the year without any travel for holidays, etc. I’m so pumped! Have a great week!



Motivation Monday: Benefits of Strength Training Part 2

Happy Monday! Last week I shared some of the health benefits of strength training, but I wanted to share why I personally lift weights and the benefits I have seen for myself. This isn’t an extensive list ,but just a few reasons I continue to hit the gym every week….

reasons for lifting

  • Physical strength brings me a feeling of inner strength. I know I am mentally strong and I can do hard things. I can also use my mind to push myself further.
  • Anti-Anxiety. I saw these benefits from cardio, but it’s even better with lifting. Because I have to stay focused on form, reps, sets, etc., it puts my mind at ease simply because I’m not thinking about anything other than my workout. And then of course there is the endorphin high 🙂
  • Self Love. In the past I was so critical of my body (and still can be, but getting so much better) I now see myself as strong, and am no longer with trying to get smaller, smaller, smaller….which is not  a good mindset to have.
  • Self-discipline breeds self-discipline…the more focused I am in scheduling and completing my workouts, the more I want to take care of myself– make sure I’m eating well, schedule my check-ups at the doctor, get enough sleep, etc. etc. It’s a snowball effect.
  • I’ve learned to love exercise. I enjoy being active, which in the past I never would have expected from myself.
  • A common hobby with my husband- It’s nice to be able to text him when I hit a PR at the gym. He gets it and supports me.

So obviously there are alllll kinds of reasons to workout…tell me what keeps you going back for more…

Have a great week!


Motivation Monday: You vs You

Between Social Media and TV, Movies, Ads, etc…there are millions of messages thrown at us everyday. Telling us what we “should” or “should not” be. What you should have, how much money you should make or spend…blah blah blah. It’s great to become motivated and inspired by other women, but it can become an unhealthy obsession. Everyone is at a different place. A different step in life. A different chapter. Different circumstances. It’s not fair to compare yourself to anyone other than YOU. YOUvsYOU

I am definitely guilty of the comparing game, but when I re-focus and think about where I was 1 year ago or even a few months ago, I realize that I’ve made progress. I’m heading in the right direction. So this week work on comparing yourself to YOU and only you!! You can look back at past photos, journals, facebook- whatever. If you aren’t headed in the direction  you want to be going, only YOU can decide to change gears and go where you want to go. This applies to all aspects of life- fitness and physical health, emotional and spiritual well-being, career and school life, etc. No one can force you, just like you can’t force anyone else to change. We all decide for ourselves.

Happy Monday! Have a great week. Here’s to a step in the right direction…..


Motivation Monday: Nervous is good

I woke up in the middle of the night on Saturday and started stressing about my first week of school [and life in general]. I tried to push the thoughts out of my head and went back to sleep. When I woke up on Sunday morning, the thought crossed my mind- I am LUCKY I have something to feel nervous/excited about. I’m pushing myself OUT of my comfort zone. I could stay at a mediocre job, never improving myself but I’m not happy with that. I push myself and that is something to be proud of.



So this week, do something that makes you a little bit nervous! If you’ve been thinking about starting school, asking for a raise or promotion, even going to a new gym class– you will never know if you don’t try.

“The answer is always no, if you don’t ask”.

Happy  Monday!


Motivation Monday: Lessons in spin class

I mentioned last week that I’m loving spin class lately (or studio cycle as it’s referred to on my gym schedule). I usually want to cry/puke at least once every time I go, but I also get an endorphin high like NO other. I think that’s what keeps me coming back for more. The calorie burn is so good and the dark room, big screens, pumped up instructor, and loud music make the class go by so fast!

it's a good dayLast week the instructor said something that really stuck with me. She was talking about enjoying now. Not waiting until the weekend or vacation or whatever. She said If you spend your days waiting for summer you miss out on some really beautiful rainstorms. And boy is she right. Lately I’ve been trying to soak up this beautiful summer that is right in front of me. The mountains are looking handsome this time of year, and having a view of them as I lay out at the pool at my gym is pure bliss. More and more I’ve been realizing that it’s the little things that really make life awesome- having my favorite lunch (chipotle burrito bowl), curling up with a book at night, sleeping with the window open and feeling the warm summer breeze…’s the simple things.


So even though today is Monday (the most dreadful day of the week),make it your mission to enjoy the little things today!