Stop Eating!!


“STOP EATING…you are full.  You don’t need it!”  This phrase has been on repeat in my mind for the past five minutes as I shove barbecue potato chips and chocolate chip cookies in my face.  My intentions were good.  I came into lunch with a plan.  First, I filled my plate with salad and removed the bread from the sandwich leaving just protein and cheese.  I felt so proud and accomplished but that didn’t last long.

For almost 5 years I worked in the weight loss industry and have been on a healthy eating journey (as I like to call it) for about 9 years.  Eating healthy for me is not something that comes easily or naturally so I consider myself on a journey to progress and get better at it.  The first thing I had to do was educate myself about food and then I had to change my habits and figure out a balance.

One of the strategies we used to talk about at Jenny Craig was to identify and ask yourself the question, “Why am I eating?”  What this does is start an internal dialogue about why and when you choose to eat.  This is a very good strategy for mindless eaters or people who snack when they’re bored.  For social eaters I always recommended going in with a plan like I did.  I knew what was going to be offered for lunch and I was able to determine ahead of time what I would eat.

Normally that strategy works well for me but lately I’ve been disastrous.  For the first time I can’t blame the change in season or halloween candy, my problem is emotional.  Emotional eating is the toughest to overcome.  While I have never had a big issue with emotional eating, my stress eating has reared its ugly head worse than ever.  Recently I have been under serious stress and subsequently I am pounding the food.

Its like a prolonged force of nature I have never experienced before.  My stress got to a point where my drive to maintain my exercise and healthy eating completely stopped.  I was going along great and then it was done.  My control over food took up too much energy and with my tennis shoes in hand I drove right past the gym and to my couch for a Real Housewives marathon.

After I finished my bag of chips I thought to myself, “Erin, it’s ok but you’re done now.  You are not hungry, you are full, you don’t need any more.”  Nice thought but immediately after down went the cookies.  All the while I was saying to myself, ” WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!?!!! It’s not even that good!!”

imageYesterday was a breaking point for me and that is why I decided to write about it.  I’m tired of having these conversations alone in my head and figured if I wrote this down it could be the catalyst for change.  I need something to shake me out of this food funk and back into my normal routine.  As motivating as everyone can be the one thing about food is that it is very personal.  If you want to lose weight or if you want to eat healthy you have to have the right mindset or nothing will change.  It’s not about friends, trainers, inspirational quotes or significant others.  It’s about you and what going on upstairs.

These are hard times but I can be resilient and get back on the horse.  There is no alternatives to my goals.  No matter how many times I fall off I just have to pick myself up and get back on.

It’s an exhausting, tiring, irritating truth that this will always be something I and many other people deal with.  But the sooner we accept that and move on the better we will be.  Maybe you’re goal is to lose weight.  Maybe your goal is to eat healthy.  Maybe your goal is to love where you are right now.  We all have goals to get to and its time we keep fighting.

To Resilience,


Honky Tonk Badonkadonk

Lately there has been a trend on TV and social media towards body acceptance, no matter the size, shape and look.  Fantastic!  I like this way better than the alternative.

Unfortunately this doesn’t change the fact that shopping for pants is insanely difficult.  Whether your issue is bottom, top, middle or all of the above, clothes shopping can not only be a challenge but it can also shoot your confidence level down in about .5 seconds.


Personally I am a pear shape.  My Kardashian like issues come from my father and he apologizes frequently.  While I have grown to love my body, finding something that fits correctly is a HUGE CHALLENGE.  I range between 4 sizes depending on the cut of the pants and it’s a constant guessing game that gets old fast.  Three stores, countless styles, sizes and lengths but I came out with nothing.

I remember watching an episode of “What Not To Wear” and they said don’t blame your body, blame the clothes.  So keep this in mind while in the dressing room.  Sometimes it really is just the clothes!

Out of all the apps in all the land I wish there was an app to help you find clothes that were the perfect cut and the perfect style/fit.  Clothes that magically appeared when you entered only one store and that you could purchase without trying on.  Dear someone in the tech world, please develop this and pay me royalties.

Someday I hope these troubles will melt away but in the meantime I think we should continue to love our super fly bodies and join the no body shame movement.  We have fabulous ones, after all!!

Thanks.  The End.


Creative Kitchen

A few months ago I decided to give a low carb diet a try as part of my journey to get fit and healtier.  Also I’m very sugar sensitive and low carb eating helps to regulate the highs and lows.

In general I very much enjoy eating cheese and meat and for the most part don’t miss the added sugar.  However here are the problems: I LOVE bread, fruit and any type of candy.  Candy is amazing and pizza is my favorite but I digress.  A more low carb lifestyle is a learning curve.  It took me years to form my eating habits, why would I expect to master a new diet in a few weeks, it’s impossible. 

After awhile I decided to attempt to make my favorite dishes in a low carb version.  My first attempt was No Mac Shrimp and Cheese.  Someone made some Kraft Blue Box mac and cheese in my vacinity and I got the blue box blues.  The craving was insatiable.  I stood in front of the easy mac for 10 minutes at the grocery store talking myself out of it and thankfully didnt pull the trigger.  When I came home I looked up a few recipes for homemade cheese sauce, mixed my favorite parts together and decided to substitute shrimp for noodles.  The result: AMAZING.  Recipie is up on the Erin Loves That page.


A few weeks later, I decided that I desparatley needed something sweet.  I purchased berries at the supermarket and started looking at recipes for low carb desserts.  Once again I mixed a bunch together and created Low Carb Blackberry Cobbler…woohoo done and delicious!  (Recipie is also on the Erin Loves That)  Note: making low carb dessert isn’t cheap but almond or coconut flour will last you awhile.


I was definitely figuring this low carb lifestyle out when I went to England and all bets were off.  If someone can figure out how to evaporate the carbs from beer while not changing the flavor whatsoever, please let me know!!  The bread, the sausage rolls, the scones and the beer are my favorites:-)  Needless to say it took me awhile to lose what I gained on vacation but I’m on a good track now and going to do it!  One of these days it will happen.  I’ve been saying that for three years but you have to keep pushing yourself because the alternative isn’t really an option. 

Today I decided to try to recreate a low carbon version of an English Sausage Roll.  It was my first epic fail.  The ‘dough’ was a disaster so I ended up making mini sausage muffins. 


My NEW Sausage Cheese muffins are delightful!  If anyone actually wants the recipie let me know.

Keep pushing yourself and feel free to share recipes of your own.


Tabata the Terrible

Tabata the Terrible. Most of you, I’d imagine, are asking, “Erin, what is Tabata?” Good question, let’s get that information out of the way first.

According to Tabata is defined as “a High-Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T) workout that lasts four minutes.” By now you’re probably saying, “Erin, a four minute workout doesn’t sound so hard” Wrong, you would be wrong.

Over the years I have done small sessions of Tabata and liked it quite well. You can do Tabata during spin class or weight training. Tabata works like this: You choose the type of exercise and repeat it at a quick pace for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second rest. This sequence is then repeated 8 times for a 4 minute interval workout. Doing one or two Tabata sessions durning an hour workout is actually quite fun and challenging. After all, to have an effective workout you have to push yourself.

Yesterday I had an idea to challenge myself with an entire class full of Tabata. An entire 45 minutes. This is what I learned: I am not in as good of shape as I thought. At one point during the mountain climbers I became astutely aware of the waterfall of sweat pouring down my face and shoulders. The thought occurred to me that if this is how I die, I hope they at least give me a shower and fix my hair.

To give you a little more info on the science behind Tabata I stole this from

“You may not have heard of Tabata yet, but chances are you will soon: Turns out, it can burn a whopping 13.5 calories a minute—and double a person’s metabolic rate for 30 minute afterward…It would take five times the amount of typical cardio exercise, like a 20-minute brisk walk, to shed the same number of calories that result from a 4-minute Tabata,” she says…The cool thing abut Tabata is you can do it with any type of cardio. Olson likes using squat jumps, which are great for the back, abs and hips, she says, but you can also use non-impact moves like sprints on the Spin bike or even in the pool. (Or you can try our 8-minute Tabata-style CrossFit workout, guaranteed to torch calories.) “Just be sure to put out an effort that’s your best, all-out effort,” she says. “That’s the key to this method.”

So why am I writing this post? To scare you away from Tabata? Absolutely not! Everyone I know is on a mission to improve their health in one way or another. Some of you have very little time to fit in exercise. As previously stated, four minutes of Tabata is 13 minutes walking! Less time, more workout. Others are looking for a new challenge or to try something different. That is what this workout series is all about, learning how to live a healthier life.

If you’re new to exercise or on an extended break I would recommend working up to the 45 minutes but Tabata is worth the results as well as the challenge. I can feel my butt shrinking already!! The lake of sweat I created from that waterfall was totally worth it!!

Sweat away,


Pseudo Ballet for the Clutzy People

A few months ago I decided to break out of my exercise comfort zone and try something new: Barre Pilates.  Not to be confused with a regular bar, that would be an awkward place to do pilates.  Someone should really come up with a workout/bar though.  Drinking in yoga pants, I like it and I’ve been practicing!


From what I knew going into a Barre class was that it is a style of Pilates with elements of ballet.  This peaked my interest.  Prior to attending the class I thought it would be a good idea to warm up with some old pilates DVDs from years gone by.  Not Jane Fonda era but definitely old school.  For those of you who have never done pilates, or still have no idea what pilates is, it is essentially a pattern of movements based on stretching and breathing.  It works on your muffin top and overall strengthens and stretches all of your muscles. 

Don’t be fooled, this isn’t your mama’s stretching.  Some people still look at yoga and pilates as wimpy or easy.  These people have clearly never done it or been to a class.  They are solid workouts and as with anything workout related you should start at the beginner level and learn the proper technique to prevent injury or looking like a fool.

I recommend Pilates for AnyBody if you want to learn the basics and still like workout DVDs.  Click the link to order.


When I stepped into my Pilates Barre class on that fateful Saturday morning I have to admit I was a little intimidated.  The last time I had done a dance class I was 6 and I’m fairly certain my mother just decided to save her money and end it right there.  When your family nickname is ‘grace’ and you have the unique ability to fall both up the stairs and back down the stairs at the same time, the graceful elegance of ballet becomes a wasted dream.

I walked into the pilates room, grabbed a mat, 2lb weights and what looked like a bouncy ball.  So far so good.  As I draped my mat strategically in the back of the room, I started stretching with confidence.  Make it look like you’re supposed to be there and it gets easier.  The warm up was challenging and used basic pilates moves to get your core engaged and your body warmed up to be flexible, or so we hope.


Next the instructor went to the barre (aka bar). Thank goodness for that!  They let you hold on to a ballet barre and I certainly needed it.  Looking around at my competition (I mean classmates) you could tell who had a dancing background.  Their toes were perfectly pointed at all times while all my little piggies went in multiple directions.  Cramp, Cramp!

If my hands and feet were in a ballet movie, I would be thrown out of Center Stage by the mean ballet teacher in record time. Thankfully this class is not about your ballet technique, it’s about having fun with fitness and working out.

A lot of the leg work was based around different types of a plie (I couldn’t figure out how to add the French accent mark to the E but you get the idea), which was very much like a squat.  I rocked that part.  After legs we did arms, abs, balance and more legs.  I wobbled through an hour and SUCCESS!  I finished my first Barre Pilates class.  Woo hoo.  I was so excited I called my mom to tell her about my first class and lack of poise.  She hung up the phone because she was laughing so hard she couldn’t speak.  Apparently my lack of ballet skills are still amusing to her after 23 years.


So of you’re looking for something new check out a Barre Pilates class.  You’ll leave a little sore but don’t worry it’s a good sore.  Don’t hate me for saying that.

Let me know how it goes,


Muscle Up with Marcus

Who remembers the high school weight room? Mine still had sweat stains from a 1985 Jheri Curl and smelled like someone stuffed 40 old socks in every air duct.  I can count the number of times I went in there on 3 fingers.  Generally I thought of the weight room as a place the boys had yet another pissing contest over who could bench the most.

A few years ago I came to the end of a long weight loss journey and wanted to tone up but the weight room was a foreign entity. I had a little extra money so I decided to reward myself with personal training sessions to teach me more than I learned doing workout tapes.  Enter Marcus.  Marcus was very knowledgeable and after months of torture on the weight machines, lifting became my preferred form of exercise.  I was more toned and fit than every before.

So to help us all be a little more comfortable with the weight room I asked Marcus to weigh in.


Marcus Lawrence Personal Trainer

Ask a Trainer-Marcus Lawrence

How long have you been a trainer?

6 years in December.

What made you decide to become a trainer?

Well, I had Stills’ Disease, an autoimmune dysfunction, it would give me arthritic joints. It sucked.  I had been working out and my rheumatologist said to just keep working at making my muscles strong to support my joints, so I did. Having to be up on that, having to research things for management of pain, etc, made me want to help others who may have to be pushing through something in life.

As an advocate of weight lifting, why is weight lifting so important?

Put aside the aesthetic reasons (you will get in shape a lot faster and look better a lot quicker), and look at the health reasons. It decreases Diastolic blood pressure, which reduces your chances of a stroke. increases your metabolic rate at rest, which means you will burn fat while you’re not even moving. Building muscle will burn calories a lot faster, just cardio isn’t going to get you there. I am not saying you shouldn’t do cardio but I am saying don’t just put on your headphones and head to the elliptical. Check out the weight room! Oh, and it also increases bone density, as women are at a higher risk for a loss of it throughout their lives! I could go on…

Many women are scared they’ll get bulky if they lift weights, does that happen?

Are people still saying that? Really, it’s 2015. Ok seriously, it’s not true. What causes “bulkiness”, is testosterone. When you see female bodybuilders , many of them aren’t as big in person as you would think.  Nobody said you have to bodybuild, either. Or powerlift, where weight totals are lifted competitively.  If you want to reap the results of a well – rounded workout routine (and diet), strength training is where it’s at.

What are 5 things to remember when starting a weight regimen?

1) If you don’t know what you are doing, talk to a trainer.  ​I see people just diving into a routine and attempting things they have had no instruction on and are doing more potential harm than good.

2) Do some research.  ​There is a LOT of misinformation out there.  Do some cross – referencing, check credentials if you have to.  Some cool stuff is out there from Mark Rippetoe, Bret Contreras, etc, they all have CSCS next to their name. This stands for Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  These are good qualifications. They train performance athletes.  Also look for CPT, Certified Personal Trainer.

3) Youtube, blogsites, or Bodybulding sites are not research. F​irst off, don’t try to pull off what you saw in a video. It may look cool, but if you don’t know how or why they are doing it, why do you think you should? There is a lot of misinformation out there, and the marketing of supplements that have no regulation or proof of controlled test results and tends to muddy the waters.  I am not saying that all supplements are bad, but I am not paid to test them, either. Neither are many of the endorsers.

4) Be you.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  Don’t make someone you see in the magazine be what you aspire to. You don’t know their situation, their backgrounds, their genetics, whatever. I have seen many of the magazines with a star on the cover, promoting their latest blockbuster, and inside promising to let you in on the supposed secrets of how they got that way. It’s usually a series of exercises that they may have done once, easy ones to diagram. However, it takes more than pushups or goblet squats to look like a superhero. It takes a program written out just for them, and it’s what it will take for you. A martial artist once told me, “There are many ways to the top of the mountain, you must find the one that works for you.”

5) See #1.

What’s the biggest mistake women make when choosing a diet plan?

Not eating enough. The idea that an active woman can operate on 12 – 1500 calories is preposterous. You have to eat to perform, and perform for results.

What’s the biggest mistake men make when choosing a diet plan?

Protein, brah. Brotein.  You kidneys can only take so much protein. Your body will only metabolize so much protein anyway. It’s not a guarantee that a shake with every meal will turn you into Ahnold at 28, man.  Dudes are also the WORST about asking advice. I have heard some pretty outrageous crap from young guys getting into bodybuilding with a gym bag full of magazines and articles from a website.

Favorite exercise: Push presses. Love them. A great compound movement.

Least favorite exercise: Elevated side lunges. Flexibility and range of motion are super important, and they remind me of where I am the least flexible.

Outdoor or Indoor workout? Both. I like both. Variety will keep you interested, and there’s nothing like a caveman workout in the alleyway.  Batman loves tire flips.

Say the first thing that comes to mind:

Sit and Be Fit: Cognitive Dissonance.

Jillian Michaels: Please stop yelling. When the cameras are off, of course.

Hip Hop Abs: My living room isn’t big enough!


P90x: That’s not funny, Tony.


Marcus with a client who looks like me but is not me

Special thanks to Marcus for answering all my questions.  If you’d like to learn more about lifting and weights contact Marcus via facebook:

Marcus Lawrence Facebook Page

and check out his Brutal Bootcamp if you’re up for a scary challenge!  I am…sometimes..if I’m not sleeping.

Happy Lifting


Ask A Trainer-Catesby


For those of you who know me, improving my fitness and overall health is something I deeply care about. There are a lot of us who struggle with eating right and being healthy so I came up with the idea for ‘Ask a Trainer” in the Wednesday Workout Series.  I’ve reached out to some of my friends in the Health and Wellness Industry and asked them to answer some questions in hopes that we learn a few things to help us on our journey!

First up is Catesby.  Catesby is not only a trainer/instructor, she is also the Owner of FlyFitnessInspiration in downtown Fredericksburg, VA. 

Catesby Payne

Catesby Payne

How long have you been a trainer? 

About 8 years. Fly will be open 2 years this month

Why did you go into this business?

I’ve always wanted a business of my own. I am a native of Fredericksburg and always wanted a business downtown. When I never really found a place that I enjoyed to work out and teach, I started looking for my own place

On a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being easy and 5 being extremely difficult) how hard is it for you to stick to a diet/eating plan?

3 right down the middle- if I take the time to prepare, then I am fine. Lately I have been travelling a lot and its made it a little more difficult. But I look at it as a learning curve and am starting to educate myself on how to handle diet and travel.

What is your healthy eating philosophy?

Just eat clean. Whole foods, the right portions. Lots of green veggies and drink water. Allow yourself a small treat every once in a while and jump right back in to your plan. You will never achieve the results you want unless you control your eating habits.

Worst diet you’ve ever tried?

Low Carb-I hate it

Favorite food:


Least favorite food:

Green Peppers

Favorite exercise:


Least favorite exercise:

Abs anything!

If you had a sedentary job and only had 30 minutes to work out each day, what would you do?

Alternate spin and lift

What would you suggest for someone who says “I hate exercise” or “I hate to sweat” (aka my mother)?

Then you haven’t found the right one. Its impossible to hate. Exercise releases “feel good” endorphins so its going to make you feel good regardless of the excuse you are making . Try something else. You don’t have to be completely out of breath all the time to exercise. Its totally possible to find something for everyone.

Being a mom, how did you juggle having a baby and maintaining a healthy lifestyle?

Its not a juggle at all. Its showing by example how to live and be healthy. It makes me a better (and nicer) partner, mother, friend and business woman to be and live healthy. I love to live in that balance and be that example to my daughter.

Best advice anyone has ever given you?

Go out and do what you love- everyone should have that chance in life and try.


Fly Fitness Inspiration

Fly Fitness Inspiration

Thanks to Catesby for her motivation and advice, for kicking my butt at TRX and Cycle and for inspiring so many!

If you’d like to check out classes and membership to Fly Fitness Inspirtation click the link below

Fly Fitness Inspirtation

Get out there and become a better, healthier you!


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