The Six Week Check up

It’s been 6 weeks, time for that postpartum check up.

You get to the waiting room and are handed a questionnaire that’s supposed to give them an idea of whether you are struggling with postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety.

You make it to the examination room and they ask a few questions about your recovery, examine your vagina and/or C-section scar.

They ask if you have questions and then most often clear you to return to exercise and sex.

Go back to life as usual. Sounds like a solid plan, right?

Before I continue any further, I have to say that I fully support a 6 week check up with your ob-gyn. It’s a good thing! (Well, if you have a great doctor, another post for another time).

However, the 6 week check up alone should not be the sole indicator of whether you can/should proceed with a green light to do any and all the things. Here’s why.

“Go back to exercise.”
This is a regularly repeated phrase at these check ups. The problem is, it’s so generic. There’s no guidance here on what type of exercise, intensity, and what the individual is actually ready for. While seeing your OB-GYN is a great starting point, there’s one thing that they cannot do that’s very important in giving advice to return to exercise.

While OB’s can assess the healing of tissues and C-section scars, they do not test the nerve and muscle function of your pelvic floor. This is really, really important.

The nerve and muscle function of your pelvic floor effects you not just when you exercise in the gym sense, but in your day to day life, picking up the carseat, getting up off of the floor with your baby, carrying groceries, etc.

The nerve and muscle function of your pelvic floor effects many things:

Painful intercourse
Constipation
Difficulty with complete emptying during urination
Incontinence
SI joint pain
And much, much more!

So if you’re OB isn’t assessing the nerve and muscle function of your pelvic floor, who do you go to see? A pelvic floor physical therapist (PFPT)!

I would love to see pelvic floor physical therapy become a standard of postpartum care. You go for your 6 week check up AND are then referred to PFPT automatically (and it’s covered by insurance). A good pelvic floor physical therapist is where you’ll really get a true sense of what your body needs to help you return to exercise as well as play in the sport of motherhood safely. (Motherhood alone is a strength training sport!)

When it’s time to transition out of physical therapy and “into the wild”, aka returning to the sports and/or types of movement that you love, that’s when you connect with someone like me: a personal trainer who’s certified in pregnancy and postpartum exercise. A qualified trainer can help you to bridge the gap between the work you do in physical therapy and the activities you’re wanting to return to.

Very soon I’ll be offering a special postpartum coaching program and I can’t wait to share it with you!

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to get the details as they are released, you can join here!

If you have any questions, please ask. I’m always happy to help! You’re also invited to join my private Facebook community. It’s a safe space for women to ask questions and get tips about habits, mindset, nutrition and movement. Hope to see you there!

With love,
Liv

Your Pelvic Floor: The Essentials

Over the weekend, I taught my first ever pelvic floor workshop. Thank you to PowHer Performance for hosting me!

My passion for pelvic health started shortly after having my daughter in 2020. On my postpartum healing journey, I began learning about the pelvic floor (for the first time ever) and it’s role in our health. Side note: can we just talk about how crazy it is that I am a certified personal trainer and this was not mentioned at all in my training?? I digress.

After starting down this path, I quickly realized that so many women do not know anything about their pelvic floor. While there’s more resources now than ever before, there seems to be a giant disconnect in connecting women to this information.

So I put together a workshop that encompassed the essentials, a pelvic floor 101, to share the information that I believe every woman needs to know.

Women deserve to know what their pelvic floor is, what it does, how to have a healthy pelvic floor and who to reach out to when they need professional help (and knowing when they might need some help!) That’s exactly what we talked about at this event.

We looked at a model pelvis and discussed the anatomy of the pelvic floor. We talked through the important jobs of our pelvic floor and how the entire body is connected. If we overlook any part, we’re missing a piece of the puzzle.

Then we got to work. With everyone on mats, I walked attendees through connecting with their pelvic floor by using their breath. We tried different positions to see which ones were optimal for each person. We ended our floor work by playing with a plank and our ability to engage our pelvic floor muscles.

Lastly, we discussed common pelvic floor issues. Diastasis. Prolapse. Constipation. Painful sex. Incontinence. We talked through what a pelvic floor physical therapist (PFPT) does and when it’s a good idea to see one. Spoiler alert: an annual exam is a great idea!

After graduating PFPT, you might work with someone like me to help you on your journey. Hello personal training and coming very soon- postpartum coaching! I’ll be sharing more about the difference in these two services soon. But for now, if you’re interested in postpartum coaching, join my interest list to get information as it’s released. If you’re interested in personal training, book a consultation call with me today!

If you missed this one, don’t miss the next, my friend. Everyone there said they knew someone who needed to hear what was shared. You’ll be hearing a lot more from me on this topic, I can assure you of that.

If you haven’t connected with me on Facebook or Instagram, please do. My private Facebook community is great space to ask questions and get healthy tips on movement, nutrition, and mindset. I’d love to hear from you friend.

With love,
Liv

P.S. Shout out to PowHer Performance. It’s a lovely boutique studio that offers fitness classes, workshops, monthly girl’s night events, and more! Check out the website to learn more!

Prolapse: My Healing Journey

I still remember the day I hit my breaking point. I was working out at a local gym. I wasn’t doing anything “heavy” in comparison to what I used to lift. I took a 20 pound weight and started a set of goblet squats. That was when it happened. I leaked in a squat.

I’m so thankful I was alone that day, because I laid in the floor choking back tears for several minutes. I had been trying to rehab my own prolapse for a year and  I was so ready to just “feel better and get back to doing all the things”. 

Even though I had been doing my own investigating and education on pelvic floor, breath, and prolapse, I just couldn’t seem to get past this wall in my workouts. My symptoms were a rollercoaster ride.  Some days the heavy feeling in my vagina would be a little better, and others would be really terrible. 

Heaviness and a burning feeling (like a constant UTI) were my main symptoms the majority of that year. 

But the leaking mid squat? That was new. It scared me to death.  After that squat in the gym that day, I finally decide that I NEEDED outside help. A peer of mine referred me to Aimee Bailey for pelvic floor PT.

I saw Aimee weekly for about 6 weeks. What was really great about Aimee, and so vastly different from my first PFPT experience, was Aimee wanted to know my GOALS. She wasn’t prescribing a generic set of rehab exercises. She asked me all the questions about the activities I loved to do.  She approached my treatment with an open mind and also allowed me to bring different movements to the table in our sessions together to experiment with. We would investigate what movements increased symptoms and different ways we could adjust the movement.

After 6 weeks, I hit the graduation point of PT.  For me that next step meant getting back to strength training. However, I knew that I didn’t want to do it alone. The last year of trying to rehab myself had made me a mental/emotional basket case. I needed someone to guide me and help navigate the very non linear path to prolapse healing.

Enter Kate Johnson.

Kate is very knowledgeable, authentic, down to earth, and all the things I want to be for my own clients. Kate has held my hand on this journey over the last 9 months and I’m so extremely thankful.

For me, this healing journey has been every bit (if not more) an emotional and mental healing as it has been a physical one. I had this inner belief that I was broken. Every time my symptoms would increase, I would go down a dark hole of feeling like I wasn’t capable of healing and getting back to doing what I loved. I was scared to do different movements because I didn’t want to “break myself more”. I didn’t trust my body or the process.

Kate trained me once a week via zoom and I would do two additional strength workouts on my own each week as well. She had this sense of calm, and willingness to adapt and adjust. She didn’t seem to be afraid of breaking me, I needed her to lend me that calm.

And so, I just kept showing up to my workouts. Week after week. Giving her feedback and learning to embrace the process. Learning that with a prolapse healing it is so normal for symptoms to fluctuate. So many factors influence symptoms, including stress!

What Kate gave me this year, was such a reminder of what I have the ability to give to my clients. She had trust in the process and in me, even when I didn’t. She held space for my hard days and reminded me that I am strong, capable, adaptable, and resilient. I’m forever changed both as a human and a coach.

I love that I get to help other women on their journeys. And while I wasn’t thrilled about this entire journey (are we ever thrilled about hard things?)… I can say that my experience has, was, and will continue to fuel me to be a champion for women’s health.

I’m now doing so many things that I was afraid of attempting this time last year. I jump rope. I run. I do jumping jacks. I do heavy squats. I deadlift. I do aerial silks. Am I where I want to be, not yet! But I can tell you more progress has been made in the last 9 months, then when I tried to do it alone.

If you’re reading this and think you might be dealing with a prolapse, first of all I highly encourage you to see a pelvic floor physical therapist. Please reach out to me if you want to talk or have questions. I’m always happy to help!

If you’d like to learn more about how my prolapse happened or what a prolapse is, you can read about them on my other blog posts.

What is Prolapse?

My Prolapse Struggle

I’ll be hosting a pelvic floor workshop at PowHer Performance this Saturday, January 7th. You can still sign up here! And coming soon this year, I’ll be launching postpartum coaching. Coaching specific to postpartum healing, whether you’re 20 years postpartum or 2 months. If you’d like more information about my postpartum coaching as it’s released, you can join my postpartum mailing list!

Hope to connect with you soon my friend,
Liv

What is Prolapse?

Did you know that prolapse is experienced in up to 50% of women? This is a high number that affects women of all ages and stages, not just postpartum women. With a statistic so high, it’s so important to educate women and get the word out.

When it comes to prolapse (or anything pelvic health for that matter), it would be easy to go down a deep rabbit hole here, but I won’t. The purpose of today’s blog is to share some basic information about prolapse: what it is, causes, and treatment options.

What is a Prolapse?
The textbook explanation would be that the pelvic organs start to descend down into the vaginal canal or rectum. The “street talk”, if you will, would be that it typically feels like something is in the vagina, or a heavy sensation.

For me, it felt like something was heavy/falling out of my vagina.

There are several different types of prolapses. A few of the most common are:

  • Cystocele- where the bladder shifts downward into the vagina
  • Uterine- the uterus shifts into the vagina
  • Rectocele- the rectum is pushing into the vaginal wall
Image used with permission from Pelvic Guru®, LLC
http://www.pelvicglobal.com

The Cause of Prolapse?

There’s not just one factor or contributing cause to a prolapse. It’s usually a multi-faceted situation. And the treatment for a prolapse is certainly not one size fits all. Some common life circumstances that are often associated with a prolapse include: pregnancy, vaginal delivery, hysterectomy, pelvic surgery, chronic constipation.

It’s not necessarily that these circumstances by themselves cause a prolapse. A pregnancy or a hysterectomy procedure alone do not automatically mean a prolapse for an individual.

There are three main factors that contribute to a prolapse, and they are:

  • Poor pressure management- when we perform our day to day tasks and activities as well as lifting in the gym- how we execute them matters! Are we bearing down to get the job done?
  • Ligament laxity- naturally happens during pregnancy and especially in labor/delivery. Also, women can experience a ligament laxity that is hormonally driven. This is why prolapse is also very common in menopausal women.
  • Muscle weakness- if our pelvic floor muscles are weak, they will have a harder time supporting our organs. (Supporting our organs is a big part of the pelvic floor’s job.)

Prolapse Treatment

The first thing I would highly recommend is going to see a pelvic floor physical therapist (PFPT). Having someone to assess where you’re at and get an idea of the full picture can help set you in the right direction. My personal experience with PFPT, Aimee Bailee, was addressing my pelvic floor tightness and weakness. We also looked at pressure management.

So let’s talk about STRENGTH TRAINING. After seeing Aimee, my next step was transitioning into strength training. With some basics under my belt, I needed to lift heavy things (to build strength) and most importantly, to learn how to lift heavy things (pressure management) safely.

I’ve had a coach (shout out Kate Johnson) taking care of my programming over the last 9 months and it’s been a game changer. I want to note here that it wasn’t just about my pelvic floor being strong, it was and is about the whole body being strong. Your strength and resiliency are a team effort, not just one muscle group’s job.

There are treatment options such as surgery or a pessary. (Another topic for another time!) I do want to mention however, even if you have surgery, muscle weakness and poor pressure management increases your risk of a failed procedure. So even in the case of surgery, strength training with a skilled professional is still very important to maintain your surgery’s success.

I hope this brief blog post helped you to get some basic information about the subject of prolapse. If you want to dive a little deeper, Sarah Duvall does an excellent job in her blog post.

I’ll be sharing more about my work with a PFPT and my strength training coach in my next blog post. If you have been diagnosed with a prolapse or suspect you have one, the main thing that I hope you take away here is that your body is resilient and so capable of healing, building strength, and doing all the things you love to do. I would be lying if I said it was an easy journey. It’s long, emotionally and physically challenging, and it has highs and lows. But when you start seeing the light in your life, it’s worth it. Stay tuned for more on my journey with prolapse friend!

As always, please contact me if you have questions about this topic. Happy to help!

With love,
Liv

P.S. If you’ve been working through a prolapse and you’re a local (live in Ashland City or the greater Nashville area), I will soon be offering a limited number of postpartum coaching training spots. You can learn more about that here. You can also sign up to be on my postpartum coaching interest list to get all the update as they are released!

Also, I’ll be hosting a pelvic floor workshop at PowHer Performance next month!

Prolapse: My Unexpected Postpartum Struggle

It had been about 4 months after my daughter, Nora, was born. I had completed pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) and felt like I had healed from my long labor that included pushing and ended in a C-section.

I was so eager to get back to doing things I used to do…..like running and strength training. I decided to go for a run and take Nora in the stroller. I kept it super easy, mostly walking with light and very short intervals of jogging. I had already done it once a few days prior and it felt good. But this day, towards the end of my run something didn’t feel right.

In the days that followed, I continued to notice a heavy feeling. A feeling of something falling out of my vagina. I also felt a burning sensation, almost like a UTI type of feeling. It was all really uncomfortable and freaking me out.

After doing some investigating of my symptoms and talking with a fellow health professional who’s speciality was postpartum and pelvic floor, we suspected I had a prolapse. Looking back I should have went back to a PFPT to confirm this. However, I tried to rehab myself and get back to doing the things I wanted to do.

One year later.

I was beyond frustrated. I had tried everything I knew to do and my symptoms were worse. Things felt heavier down south. I felt like I needed to pee all the time, even though I actually didn’t. I still remember the day that broke me. I leaked in the middle of a squat. That had never happened. I cried right there in the middle of the gym.

I knew I needed some outside help. This had been weighing on me mentally, emotionally, and physically for the last year and I knew I couldn’t carry it anymore. It was time for a professional who could provide some answers and HOPE.

I felt like I was broken. I wondered if I would ever be able to get back to doing the things I loved without symptoms and fear of hurting myself more.

Enter Dr. Aimee Bailey, aka the pelvic yogi. Aimee was my second round of PFPT. And let me just tell you that this time was different- in a good way! I’ll share more in a future post about my work with Aimee and my physical and emotional prolapse healing. For now, I’ll close it out with the reminder that there is hope.

There is Hope

If you or someone you know is dealing with a prolapse…there is hope. The answer isn’t always surgery. Or a pessary. Or avoiding all the things that seem to ramp up your symptoms. Healing of any kind is always a journey. A process. This is absolutely true regarding all things postpartum.

Your body did this incredible thing of growing and birthing a human. If you feel like you’re spinning in circles in this healing journey, you might need some additional tools to help your body heal. Find a good pelvic floor physical therapist. That’s always a great place to begin.

The hope and healing that I’ve experienced this year are what has inspired me to move forward in coaching postpartum women. I’ll be sharing more on that soon! If you have questions about prolapse or finding a pelvic floor physical therapist, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

With love,
Liv

My Birth Story

Dear Friend,
If you don’t know me, I’m Olivia. I’m a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach. And, after my own difficult postpartum experience, I became certified in pregnancy and postpartum exercise.

Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing pieces of my own story, frustrations of my own postpartum healing journey, and my 2023 plans for helping postpartum women in their own healing processes.

Warning, this is a raw and unfiltered story. So without further ado….here’s my birth story.

9/23/20
2am: I had the “bloody show”. This can be a good indicator that labor is ever closer, so naturally I was excited. I couldn’t really sleep from 2-6am from a mix of a little bit of excitement and a little bit of contractions, Braxton Hicks, but they were still stronger than they had been for sure. I felt like in the next day or two she would likely be coming. When I got up that morning I texted Melinda Ring our doula, and she said it sounded like it would be happening soon also. I prepared some things- like laundry, rechecking our hospital bag, etc. Nothing much changed that day until about 3pm. I was waiting on Hunter (my husband) to get home from work. Contractions felt stronger- still not sure if they were real ones or stronger Braxton hicks at this point- but I was eager for him to be home just in case. When he got home we went for a mile walk with O’Malley, our golden doodle.

6:00pm: We started watching a movie while eating dinner and somewhere about halfway in, (7pm or so) contractions were getting to where I couldn’t really concentrate on the movie. I was on the stability ball and just trying to breathe through them. These were the real deal. O’Mallley curled up at my feet while I was sitting on the ball. The contractions were coming about 5-6 min apart and lasting for 45-60 seconds. We texted Melinda and she said if they held steady we might consider heading to the hospital/birth center.
9:00pm: We headed to the birth center. When they checked my dilation- I was at 3 cm. We decided to head home and labor some more from there as that would be more comfortable. We were hoping we might get some sleep before heading back to the hospital/birth center, but I could not and Hunter basically had none- he did doze off between contractions, but I woke him for each one. They were certainly getting stronger and more unbearable. I tried laying on my side in the bed for awhile but that wasn’t working for me. I tried sitting on the stability ball and for awhile that helped- until it didn’t anymore. It seemed that standing up /hunched over a bit was the better position even though they were still very painful there.

9/24

2:30 am: We decided that we would head back to the birth center. We told Melinda we were headed back and wanted her to meet us there. When they checked my dilation again, I was still only at 3cm. I was crushed. To go to the birth center I had to be 5cm. I knew I couldn’t tolerate waiting much longer without getting settled somewhere- so our first “off plan” decision was to take a hospital room and forego the birth center. Melinda said she really felt confident I would feel better if I could get in a hot shower to labor.

3:30am: We got into a room and I was literally stripping within seconds of entering the room, ready for that shower- any kind of relief. She was right, that shower was instantly helpful. From 3:30 to about 7am, I labored mostly in the shower. I tried the tub but sitting was painful and there were no jets in it. So I went back to the shower. I could only stand in the shower and that was getting very tiring after a couple of hours of standing up. It also got so hot in there that I had the shower curtain partially open and Melinda and Hunter would take turns fanning me. The bathroom was definitely flooding but nobody seemed to care- for which I was grateful. Melinda suggested trying to lay on the bed, which I did, but it didn’t feel good. The last time I got in the shower, I actually was able to sit which was such a relief and I found myself falling asleep between contractions.

7am: I could tell I had reached a point, where we needed to make another decision. I was exhausted and the pain was wearing on me. It had been 12 hours of laboring at this point. When they checked me again, I was only at 5cm. I was crushed yet again. Because we had no idea how long, it would take to get from 5 to 10 cm, and I knew I was weary, I decided that I wanted an epidural. I felt relief very shortly after that. I couldn’t feel a thing.

From 7am to about 2:30pm we were playing the waiting game. I tried to get some naps a few times and we killed time with conversation and TV. Throughout the day, they checked me and I was still 5 cm, so at 2:30pm, we discussed my options, breaking my water or giving me Pitocin. Because Nora seemed sunny side up and the way she was positioned, Brooke (my midwife), was concerned that breaking my water might not be the best move just yet. We decided on Pitocin to speed up my dilation/contractions. Also I was so hungry. I broke down around 4pm and had a small snack. (I could have cared less about hospital rules at that point). The Pitocin did speed up my contractions but not my dilation, I was still 5cm.

7pm: they broke my water. This is when things started to progress.

9pm: I was dilated to 7cm.

11:13pm: I was 9.5 cm. The epidural had really worn off at this point- I knew several hours earlier that my legs felt much different- I could actually feel them and I wondered if that was a bad thing. I could feel the cervical checks, which I had not been able to feel earlier.

9/25

2:00 am: This is about the time that I was dilated enough and I had the urge to push. I pushed off/on for about an hour. The pushing itself felt like a relief but the pain in between pushes was terrible. I really, really felt it. I was shouting between pushes, the shouts were completely involuntary and reflexive. I was growing really weary and asked if we could rest for a bit. After about two hours of attempted rest, but not really as I could still feel the contractions and the pressure in my back and my butt was very high. During the “rest” time, I had a few different anesthesiologists come and give me more pain meds but they didn’t seem to be helping. I could still feel it all.

5:00 am: Brooke had come to check on me and we discussed options- I was at the point where I was ready for a c-section- I just wanted to pain to end. She mentioned other options were to continue pushing- she really felt like we hadn’t given pushing enough time. And she said we could use forceps or a vacuum in addition to my pushing to help get her out quicker. We had discussed these options in our birth class and they were both something that I never wanted to do. Melinda reminded me that these options still had their place and benefits over a C-section. We decided to have the doctor come take a look at baby’s position and see which of those would/could be a good idea. In the meantime, waiting on her to come, I kept having urges to push. So I would push, but I knew my muster was wearing very thin.

7:00 am: I knew a C-section was what I absolutely wanted to do. I was exhausted and could hardly stand the pain anymore. I was ready to get that baby out. I told the doctor and then she had to explain the risks of C-section- all of which I didn’t care about at that point. I could barely focus with the pain of contractions. I just answered yes to everything and that I was ok with it. Then there was some waiting on different people coming in to ask me questions and prep for the procedure.

Finally people came in to get me on a stretcher. I remember praying that each contraction from that point on was my last one- that I could feel anyway. They wheeled me down the hall and I kept focusing on my breath because that seemed to help me avoid yelling uncontrollably with the contactions when they would come. I made it to the operating room without having one but ended up having 3 or 4 while waiting. They tried to get me to help them roll from the stretcher to the table but I was incapacitated by the pain. I was basically deadweight. Then they tried to get me to sit up to do the spinal block, but, I was in so much pain that movement, let alone that position seemed impossible. They tried to the spinal block on my side, but it didn’t take. I was trying to be as still as possible but between my body shaking and having contractions it was very difficult. They told me I would have to sit up for the second attempt. I managed to get up to sitting. But they struggled with me sitting straight up and not sitting to the side or shrugging my shoulders. Sitting on my butt hurt so very much. They finally got it done and I literally felt almost instant relief. I told the team that I could “do cartwheels right now”. And they asked me not to, haha. They got me to lay down and shortly after that Hunter came in the room. From there on, it was all a blur. I was so exhausted that I was fighting sleep while they were slicing me open and the entire time we were in the operating room.

I couldn’t even hold Nora because I could tell I was SO sleepy and my arms felt like lead. I did hear her cry. And I did see Hunter holding her and he sat next to me. I kept fighting hard to not fall asleep, I didn’t want to miss this. As I reflect back, the hardest part of everything, was that I was looking forward to the moment of her being born, holding her first skin to skin, and watching Hunter lay eyes on her for the first time. All of which, I didn’t get to see or do.

I was and still am really proud of myself though. We set out to have a natural birth and while we didn’t, I do feel like I truly made the best decisions possible for me and baby girl every time I had to make one.

My baby girl is two years old now. And September 25th, 2020 was just the beginning of our story. Stay tuned for next week’s post: struggles of my postpartum healing journey.

With love,
Liv

PowHer Performance & LivWell

Dear Friend,
If you didn’t know, in August of this year, I moved training locations. I had a very short time window between getting out of my old location and needing to find somewhere new.

My client, Valerie Kemp, had briefly mentioned to me the idea of opening a women’s boutique fitness studio right here in Ashland City a couple of months prior. From the moment she said it, I thought, “Wow, I would love to be part of something like that.”

Valerie & I


So….when I realized I had some fast moving to do with my own business, I brought it back up to her. That day was the beginning of PowHer Performance.

Over the last three months we’ve been working together to bring her vision to life. We created a fitness studio for women that is welcoming, safe, and community-oriented. It’s perfect. It’s a place that women walk in and can see themselves being part of the space and community.

This past weekend was our open house and official grand opening.

PowHer Instructors

We were thrilled to open our doors to the community and share about all of our classes and future events. You can learn more about those at the PowHer website.

When I started LivWell Coaching in June of 2021, my heart was to coach women and to empower them to take ownership of their health. PowHer is the perfect extension of that passion. Training out of this space has been a dream come true.

If you’re interested in training with me, I have two personal training spots available. In 2023, my startup pricing is going away. Get started with me in 2022 and you’ll get to keep my start up rate into the new year.

Want to get started? Book a free consultation here!

Let’s Talk About Goals

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of hosting the very first workshop at PowHer Performance. While I did share/teach on setting goals that you can actually achieve and the process of working toward them, we spent the majority of the time discussing obstacles and the specific goals of each woman there.

This is what I loved the most about this workshop. It wasn’t a one-sided presentation. It was a dialogue. When you connect with a health professional, this is how it should be…. a dialogue. There is no one size fits all when it comes to your health. 

Meeting with these ladies was such a joy and I’m looking forward to hosting a repeat of this workshop in the near future!

If you missed this one, I sincerely hope you can attend the next one my friend. You are so capable of changing your habits and your health. Sometimes you just need a little help. 

And if you’re ready to take action toward improving your health right NOW, consider joining my online nutrition program and community: EatWell. Learn more about it here!

With love,
Liv

Travel & Nutrition

Over the weekend, I went on a girls trip with my mom and sisters. We had a beautiful trip. The weather was absolutely perfect. Our cabin was the cutest as you can see from the picture here.

My beautiful mom, sisters, and me

I was reflecting this morning on my personal growth. 

Let’s take a look at 2019 me.

Going on a trip like this, I would have been stressed over the thought of trying to be healthy and very anxious about losing all control around food…. (I had a track record of binge eating….especially in settings like these). I would have stressed over every meal, wanting to know all of the places we were going (so I could look at the menu ahead of time). I would have been obsessing over what we were packing/cooking at our place; wanting to eat as “clean” and “perfect” as possible.

Now, let’s take a look at 2022 me.

While there was some planning ahead on my part, there was not a hyper fixation on food. And being honest, I did still feel small triggers of anxiety….that part of me is still sensitive from time to time…but here’s what was different.

My sister and I talked through meals before the trip so that we had a general game plan of when we were cooking and going out to eat. However, anxiety wasn’t driving me. Instead, I put into practice all of the habits that I’ve been working on for years now.

Just because I’m on a trip doesn’t have to mean that all of my habits are out the window.

Habit #1: Healthy breakfast. I prioritize a nutritious and filling breakfast, even when I’m not home. It makes all the difference in my energy levels and how “snacky” I feel throughout the day. My sister brought packs of instant oatmeal and I brought protein powder and peanut butter. These three things make a quick, balanced breakfast.

Habit #2: Pack protein-filled snacks. When I don’t eat enough protein, I get munchy and tend to over eat/feel yucky. I packed some protein bars and RX bars.

Habit #3: Mindful eating. I’ve been working on mindful eating for the last three to four years now. I have learned that I can indeed trust myself around food. I have learned that when I practice habits 1 and 2, it is easier to eat sugar and other goodies in moderation. I am able to truly listen to my body and stop when it’s had enough.

I didn’t stress about eating out at restaurants or the “unhealthy” snacks that would be available on the trip. I focused on eating my breakfast and snack AND if I wanted those other things I ate them. I stopped when I was full/when I’d had enough. I ate a protein bar and I had chips and salsa. I had my oatmeal with protein and peanut butter for breakfast and I had a s’more later.

I love being able to look back and see this growth in my life. It’s been so FREEING to enjoy food. My personal journey has played a huge role in how I show up as a coach to my personal training clients and in my online nutrition program, EatWell. I’ll be doing a special promotion for this program Monday, October 24th- Wednesday, October 26th 2022.



If you’re interested in learning more, follow my business page on Facebook or join my private Facebook community, all the information you need (including the link for sign up will be shared there). If you request to join my Facebook group, please mention reading this blog post in the membership questions.

With love,
Liv

For those who struggle with emotional eating

Emotional and stress eating are very common coping mechanisms for a lot of people, including myself. If you don’t know my story, I used to struggle with binge eating and stress eating . 

Today I want to tell you that in times of high stress, I STILL struggle with stress/emotional eating. Yes, me, the personal trainer. The one who built a nutrition program and community to help people build healthy relationships with food.

I’m HUMAN. And so are you! Here are some tips that have helped me navigate stress/emotional eating.

1) Eat nutrient dense meals. When I am mindful of nutrient dense meals and snacks, it helps me to stress eat less. Even if I am stress snacking, I find that the quantity is far less when I’ve had good meals.

2) Pause for one moment. If you know you’re stressed and feeling that inclination to stress eat, try pausing for one moment. Take a deep breath. What do you really need right now? Do you need to phone a friend? Go for a brisk walk down the hall?

3) Have grace for yourself. Life is REALLY hard sometimes. Having a cookie, or chips, or you name it, aren’t going to derail you permanently. (But that belief could be part of a bigger issue…I digress.) 

4) Portion food out. If you decide you indeed want to eat and you know it’s a stress trigger, try portioning it out and then walk away from the source. Release the guilt, you’ve taken a pause and you’re mindfully making this choice. No guilt here. 

Honestly the stress and guilt of stress/emotional eating can be far more damaging to your health than the actual eating. 

Do we want to work toward eating not being our first inclination when we’re stressed? Absolutely! But guilt and shame will not build a healthy and anxiety free relationship with yourself or food. I promise because I’ve been there.

Try putting at least one or two of these strategies into practice and I think you’ll quickly notice how much it helps. (Hint, if you’re not sure where to start, nutrient dense meals are a big deal!)

If you’re looking for help with building a healthier relationship with food, building nutrient dense meals, and accountability, my online nutrition program and community, EatWell is for you!

You can get additional EatWell information here!

With love,
Liv