Easy Dinner, Humbled in the Gym, + The Personal Trainer Sin I Commit Daily


Last night I was at the gym training a client until 7:00, so when it came time for dinner, I wanted something that would take less than 20 minutes.


Frozen veggies + pre-cooked chicken sausage = a meal in minutes. I just added some squash (the rest of the unfortunate kabocha,) onion, mushrooms, and kale.


Satisfied my taste buds and did the job. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for Shane. He’s not a fan of feta (I know, right?) and it somehow slipped my mind as I picked these up from Sprouts last weekend.

This morning, aside from finishing up some online training plans for next week, I’ve got a pretty leisurely day ahead of me. I don’t train until this evening (still trying to build up my client base – ugh!) so I’ve made a list of things to do to make me feel productive:


Hopefully I’ve got all of these items crossed off the list before my noon hot yoga class! However, I’m also awaiting a delivery I have to sign for today. My dad informed me that I have an early birthday present being delivered to ME today! I’m super excited, and can’t wait to see what it is Open-mouthed smile Hopefully it gets here before yoga.

Unfortunately, it might be my last sanity insurance hot yoga class for a while. The month pass I bought when we moved here is almost up, and to buy another one is $160. I just don’t know if I can justify buying one when our house in Illinois is still on the market (hello, two mortgages) and my client base isn’t exactly full time. Guess I’ll just have to bust out the space heater and yogadownload.com!

At least I don’t have to worry about the cost of a gym membership, though Smile

Oh man, was I humbled yesterday as I set up the barbell and rack for bench pressing.


Yesterday I was back to the basic bench press – with an olympic bar and plates. Very, very tiny plates.

As part of my training split right now, I’m starting off each workout with a main lift – yesterday’s happened to be the bench press. A while back, I had my bench up to using pretty heft weights for me. Yesterday? They looked more like little birdies perched on the ends of my barbell rather than plates. I was pretty surprised how much my bench strength had decreased. But hey, just gives me somewhere to go, right? Right Smile

Speaking of lifting weights, I have a little confession to make.

Confession time: The other day, while speaking with a new client, we were going over her goals. One of her goals was to tone up. “So, where do you want to tone up, specifically?” I asked.

Yes. I say “toning,” “tone up,” and “get toned” every.single.day. when talking with clients.


Now, I know better. In fact, not too long ago, I wrote a post on all the synonyms girls use for “build muscle.” I know that when a person sees results from resistance training, they aren’t seeing that muscle “toned up,” or with “definition” or even “sculpted.” They’re seeing new muscle – that they built. (Or they just cleaned up their diet quite a bit and can now see the muscle they already had.) It’s not physically possible to just “tone up” a muscle.

So why do I say the word “tone” at all?

Because I know what people mean when they say they want to tone up! Typically, it means they don’t want to get huge. They don’t want to get “body building big.” Generally, they just want a harder body, to lose fat, and to be able to see some of that muscle on their bodies. And then I explain what it really means while we’re working out and they start to see that muscle tone Smile

With that, it’s time to get crackalackin’ on this to-do list and make myself feel productive. And hopefully sign another client or two Winking smile

Your turn! When was the last time you were humbled in the gym? I remember, years ago, when I first used the smith machine for squats – I was using it backwards! I’m thankful for the person who came up to me quietly and let me know, too.

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  1. Oh girl… I am being humbled every time I step in the gym right now. I had to take over a month off while being sick, but Tina’s bootcamp is helping me get back into working out again… even if I have to scale back.
    Brittany @ Delights and Delectables recently posted..My Soapbox on CarrageenanMy Profile

  2. Ugh. Just got back in the crossfit gym after being out of town for 2 weeks and then injured for 4 weeks before that– I was so humbled because I thought I was GOING TO DIE!!!
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  3. When I was a trainer, I used the word tone too. Mostly because it’s the verbiage clients preferred, but I still explained to them what I really meant.

  4. I feel like I’m humbled every time I go to the gym, haha. I have such weak chest strength, so that’s a big one. I also can’t really do any fancy yoga inversions, and even though I know yoga isn’t about comparison I feel out of place when everyone is busting out head or handstands and I’m struggling through a wonky shoulder stand or just doing legs up the wall. Also, my hamstrings are the tightest hamstrings in the world so wide angle forward bends, splits, standing splits – all of that… humbling.
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    • I feel you on the yoga. That’s so not even why I go to yoga in the first place, so I just don’t even do it. I don’t care if I can do a head stand, crow, tripod, or any other fancy pose. I go to yoga to feel good and relieve stress, not really push my limits. I know some yogi’s would call that blasphemy…but I don’t really care :)

  5. That’s an interesting confession about the “tone” term, I usually think of it in the same way you describe & just assume that’s what people mean when they say they want to “tone” something. I was humbled the other day when a guy working out near me showed me a new push-up on the bosu, I’m going to give it a whirl tomorrow & no doubt it will be tough. If it doesn’t challenge, it doesn’t change though :)
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  6. My legs have felt like led lately so running has been extremely humbling! Ugh $160 for yoga would kill me! I am in the same boat, I need to get some dvds so I can save money and do it at home!
    Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots recently posted..I need more yoga in my lifeMy Profile

  7. Haha! I totally used to just go along with “oh, you want to tone up? ok”….I know what ya mean! :)

    Just curious – what sort of template do you use for giving clients nutrition plans? Do you typically ask them questions beforehand and then give them options day by day/for the week? You can e-mail me if you don’t want to answer on here!
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    • It’s fine :)
      I go month by month. So, the four documents I wrote are guidelines, a food list to choose from, a meal template, and meal suggestions. After their first month of meal planning (and logging) then I change it up based on what I see. I also currently only do meal plans for those who are also doing personal training with me. I don’t feel comfortable advising them otherwise. Beforehand, I have a consultation with them that involves asking a lot of questions.

  8. CrossFit is constantly humbling me at the gym but pull ups definitely do it to me every single time. I have to admit I use the word tone all the time too when talking to clients. It’s just a well known word that women tend to use! I think it’s totally fine but in the back of my mind I definitely have to laugh a bit!
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  9. A feta aversion? Say it isn’t so! I get humbled pretty frequently when it comes to lifting weights. I am by nature a cardio queen, so I sometimes feel a little lost around weights!
    Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted..WIAW: Just Being Me!My Profile

  10. tone, yes, i’ve said it, guilty. We need to thing of another word! And i am all about the space heater and yoga at home to save!
    cottercrunch recently posted..WHAT is WEDNESDAY…My Profile

  11. My husband doesn’t like feta either (why??!) hehe

    I am humbled every time I go to yoga…my limbs are short, but I danced for a long time (hello leg muscles!) so even though I am pretty flexible I always have a hard time with many of the poses. It really points out my limitations but i’m glad I know about them so I can work on them :)

  12. My bf doesn’t like feta either. Clearly they just don’t have good taste when it comes to cheese… that’s the only explanation!

    Chicken sausage and veggies are one of my go-to meals, too. I often use a little marinara to coat it all… sooo good!
    Amy @ Second City Randomness recently posted..New Year, New ChapterMy Profile

  13. I was humbled on Monday… I had to set down on the last rep in my hack squats. My legs just wouldn’t push anymore. Ugh. The good thing about building is that we have muscle memory – it doesn’t take quite as long to work back up!
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  14. I LOVE THOSE SAUSAGES. They are so darn addicting!
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  15. Wow, $160 for a month of yoga is pretty steep! I am cheap and lazy so I use yogadownload.com haha

    You say tone?? We can’t be friends anymore 😉 Whenever a client tells me they want to tone up, I just repeat back to them: so you want to lose fat to reveal some light muscle definition. That usually does the trick, and saves me from having to utter my least favourite word in the world!!

    When is your birthday?? Mine is coming up too and now I’m more convinced than ever that we were separated at birth!
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  16. There was a day a couple years ago when I was trying to do some strength training in the gym. I didn’t really know much about it but I could sit down at a machine and usually figure it out. Some guy came up to me and showed me how to use the machine I was currently struggling on. He then took me around the weight room and showed me other machines to work that muscle (triceps). He was nice but kind of loud and I found myself to be REALLY embarrassed. I then walked away and spent the next few days researching strength training so I would feel more comfortable in the weight room. I guess it was good thing, huh?
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..ChoicesMy Profile

  17. Truth, I use those terms too, because most people, especially women, don’t want to “build” muscle…or so they think. You have to use relatable terms with adults, just like you do kids. I like to change their mentality though as we progress through the program. I’m pretty humble in the gym everyday. I’ve never done a squat on the Smith Machine though…now I kind of want to try it.

    Also, you crack me up with the space heater and yoga download…I can totally visualize that. You made me laugh and I so needed that. 😉
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  18. Curious, for a woman that comes to you wanting to “tone up”..do you have her drop cals to lose some weight first..then one that’s done have heard eat a lil above maintenance and lift heavy to add muscle?

  19. Your dinner looks yummy! And sometimes its ok to be humbled in the gym. I was doing box jumps with my trainer a while back and fell and scraped my leg. It sucked!


  20. I really, really really hate the days that I don’t have classes or clients until the afternoon/evening. I am a MORNING person and prefer to just have one big lump in the morning and have it be done with. I just hate it hanging over my head all day!
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