Anyone else loving the new “Ask Me A Question” feature on Instagram? I’ve posted it a few times and received some great questions. After answering a few on the platform, I decided to post them here, too, for a fun Q&A session.
How long have you been lifting weights? And why do you like it?
Two years! I started lifting at The Gym in Charlottesville and quickly realized I not only like it, I’m pretty good at it. It’s so empowering to be a “girl” in every sense of the word (I monogram anything that’s not nailed down and never leave the house without earrings and mascara) and rip a deadlift off the floor or squat nearly twice your bodyweight. Plus, the health benefits are unmatched!
Why did you start doing CrossFit?
I was asked this one so many times I decided to do a whole post on it. Read Why I Joined CrossFit.
Why do you go to CrossFit if you’re a personal trainer? Can’t you make your own workouts?
Coaches need coaches. I learn a lot from other coaches, and honestly, if left to my own devices, I don’t push myself hard enough. Plus, I love working out in a group setting. I like the encouragement and, admittedly, the little bit of competition. I think most people who go to a CrossFit box have at least 1-2 people the try to “keep up” with or “beat.” I go for the environment as much as the programming.
Favorite lift? Least favorite lift?
I LOVE squats. Back squats, front squats, pause squats, goblet squats… Even overhead squats are growing on me, now that I’ve got the mechanics dialed in (and lifting shoes – those made all the difference!). I’m also quickly falling in love with the snatch, even though I’m not great at it. Yet.
Least favorite lift – the strict press. I don’t love pressing in general, and the bench press is by far my weakest of the three powerlifting lifts, but strict press just isn’t a good showing from me. Watching the CrossFit Games on Wednesday and seeing those women put up upwards of 150lbs in their press during CrossFit Total was so impressive to me and my 85lbs press.
How long have you been a personal trainer?
I passed my CPT exam in November 2016 and my nutrition certification in May 2017. I’ve trained a few people casually for a while, but launched my online personalized training programs about two months ago.
How can I become a personal trainer?
Another blog post in the works. Look for it soon!
When will your barre studio open?
(If you haven’t heard the news, I’m opening a barre studio!) The initial goal was at the end of this month to coincide with the students’ return to UNC. But, with some delays from the city for inspections and every single business owner I’ve talked to in Downtown Chapel Hill warning me that the town moves at snail’s pace and delayed their openings by five weeks to seven MONTHS, I’m thinking realistically it will be early September. Hopefully.
What are your favorite workout clothing brands?
I wear a lot of Lululemon tanks and bras and Athleta leggings, but lately, I’ve been buying Zella from Nordstrom. I spend a lot of time in my workout clothes and I need something I can wear in both the barre studio AND the CrossFit box and their line have proven to fit the bill. I picked up some cute tanks and a wrap sweater from them during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I’m also loving Alo Yoga. I did an Athleisure Trunk Club order (which was phenomenal) and it had several pieces from the line. I ended up keeping most of them. You can’t beat cute, functional, AND affordable.
I haven’t worked out in ages. How do I get started?
Just – start. I know it sounds simple, but it really is that simple. You’re not trying to PR on day one. I like to say showing up is the hardest part. Also, think before you jump in. I’ve learned through coaching that a client is more likely to stick to a workout plan after being sedentary for a while if they aim for, say, 2-3 workouts a week instead of immediately trying to do 5-6 a week. After a few weeks of a couple or three workouts, they tend to add another day and maybe even another day.
How can I get my legs to slim down?
Sorry friend, but you can’t target body parts, no matter what the magazines try to tell you.
Favorite non-weightlifting exercise?
Can I say barre? If not, anything core related. I finish nearly every workout with some core work, and generally program clients in a similar fashion.
Food & Nutrition
How many calories do you eat in a day?
I don’t know! I’m following a Renaissance Periodization template after years of chronic dieting (I’ll do a post on this too!) and I’m eating to macros, timed around workouts. I’m also not actively tracking, just weighing/measuring out my food to hit the needed macros for each meal. I do know that I’m eating more now than I have in a very long time.
How is RP Strength going?
Like I said above, I’ll do a whole blog on my RP template experience in the coming weeks, but I LOVE it. I’m seeing body composition changes for the first time in a while, but more than that, I have so much energy and hit so many PRs in the gym over the last several weeks. I spent a month on base and another on Fat Loss 1. Fat Loss 2 starts today, and I will likely be on it a month as well. It takes some getting used to as far as timing and meal prep, but once you get into the swing of it, it becomes second nature.
Meal prep tips?
Plan. That’s the best tip I can give you. I sit down before every Saturday grocery run and write out all five meals I’m having each day for the week ahead, and the ingredients they need. I then cook everything on Sundays. During the week, my meals are generally already made, all I have to do is portion them out and heat them up.
Favorite protein powder?
I’m very picky about protein powder. I’m not one of those people who can chug it down, chalky taste and all, just to get my protein in. My CrossFit box turned me on to Ascent protein, and it’s my absolute favorite whey protein. It’s a very clean protein, blends well, be it in a shaker bottle or a blender, and tastes so good. I also really like Gold Standard’s chocolate casein. I personally think casein can have a fake sweetener taste, and this one, especially when blended, isn’t awful.
Do you take any supplements?
I do, but you won’t find any “fat burners” or performance enhancers in my medicine cabinet. I wrote a bit about my supplement routine here, but I’ve added to it, and changed it, since writing that post. I still take the Hum Nutrition Red Carpet religiously and swear by it. I’ve changed my Flatter Me digest enzymes for NOW Super Enzymes and again, I highly recommend them.
Since starting RP and ingesting a lot more protein, I’ve added NOW Psyllium Husk to help my digestion. Within a week, I saw marked improvement. I’m also taking NOW Fish Oil Omega-3s. And, fun little recently learned fact about me, I’m anemic, and have been my entire life. I was feeling extremely run down last week, more so than I normally would at “that time of the month,” and my good friend Google told me I was potentially suffering from iron deficiency. I broke down my reasoning to my mom who reminded me I was on iron supplements my entire childhood, and have never been able to give blood because of it. I’m not sure why/when I stopped the supplements, but I added those back in – also the NOW brand – and hope to see some improvement there.
I promise NOW doesn’t sponsor me – I’ve just been really happy with their products!
Your makeup never sweats off. What products do you use?
I use mostly drugstore products, which surprises people when they ask. At present, the only higher end product in rotation is a Tarte eyeshadow palette. I swear by Maybelline’s True Match products. I use the foundation (both liquid and powder), concealer, and blush. As for mascara, Covergirl’s LashBlast in the waterproof formula is nearly foolproof. I have tried expensive mascaras. I’ve tried that paradise one everyone raved about a couple months back. Nothing comes close to my Covergirl Lashblast and a good eyelash curler. And we can’t forget the NYX setting spray. It’s $7 for a bottle and it’s magic. I do like Too Faced products, especially their foundation, but I struggle to understand spending $40+ on a bottle of foundation that gets wiped off every night.
Even without makeup your skin looks good. What’s your secret?
Genetics, honestly. Both sides of my family have good skin. I get the occasional hormonal-inspired blemish but have been fortunate in that area. Like my makeup routine, my skincare is pretty straightforward. I used bareMinerals True Oasis replenishing gel religiously for over a year, but when my local Ulta was out of it, I picked up a tub of the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. Half the price and just as good, if not better. I love how my skin feels. I’m also very cognizant about sunscreen – Neutrogena there, too – since I love to be outside. And, I never go to bed with makeup on. I’ve used the Neutrogena makeup wipes as long as I can remember.
I just realized I’m a devoted Neutrogena user. I have never put that together until right now. Also not sponsored by Neutrogena, ha!
Best hair products for girls who like to sweat?
Friends, I feel so low maintenance with these beauty answers. I’ve used Pantene shampoo and conditioner as long as I can remember. My grandma told me they were the “best” when I was younger, and Grandma Myrtle knows her stuff. I use a Tressame keratin spray after I shower, even if I’m just letting it air dry, and always sprits it with the keratin before taking a straightener or curling iron to it. It helps with the frizz.
My number one hair product though? Not Your Mother unscented dry shampoo. I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week, and this stuff keeps it looking clean and healthy. I keep a big bottle in the bathroom, and a travel-sized bottle in my gym bag.
Obviously, I’m a big believer in not spending a ton of money on beauty products when there are drugstore products that work just as well.
Where are you traveling next?
Los Angeles! My brother moved out there a couple of months ago to do some modeling before school starts and I’m going to help him move into his dorm at UC Irvine in September. I’ll also be in my beloved Nashville in November, and I’m hoping I can make it up to Knoxville for a Tennessee game this season. As for international travel, we canceled our June trip to Nicaragua due to civil unrest, so it looks like Iceland might be the only passport stamp 2018 collects. 2019 though… I’ve got so many thoughts on where to go!
How do you eat healthy when you travel?
I don’t? At least, not entirely. I try to really experience the culture when I travel, and that means eating all the food. If I’m in, say, Paris, you can bet I’m going to have a crepe and a latte by the Seine (did it – and it was wonderful). I do pack snacks like RX Bars and nuts, but it’s a week or two of my life. I’m going to eat all the things and experience what’s right in front of me. I’m still in a food coma from my trip to Italy and that was a year and a half ago. Experience life, friend!
Best book you’ve read lately?
I just finished The Last Time I Lied and friends, drop what you’re doing and read it right now if you like psychological thrillers. My friend Nikki recommended it, and I read it in two days flat. I started the author’s other book Final Girls over the weekend and it’s also a page-turner. Also, I only have a few pages left of A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson, and I’d recommend that to anyone and everyone. I’m reading it slowly and really devouring its words. It’s a game-changing kind of book.
Can you share how you read your Bible?
Love this question! I bought the She Reads Truth Bible and follow the reading plan laid out for each chapter. I don’t read books in order. I read Genesis and Exodus first, but then skipped over to the New Testament and read all the gospels, hopped back into the Old Testament and read Proverbs… You get the picture. I like that this version has individual plans per book, a year plan at the back of the book, and devotionals scattered throughout. I take notes and underline scripture that resonates. I bought this version with the intention of it being my study Bible, and it’s serving a beautiful purpose in my life.
Why don’t you blog about dating anymore?
Man, you’ve been following me for a while, haven’t you? While I’ve been dating plenty, I keep it on the down low these days. Mostly because it’s not my decision as to whether they want their name and/or photo all over social, but also because I’m very cognizant of who I am and what I want. I generally don’t even mention dates to my family anymore until I think they could maybe be something besides a casual dinner.
Now, having said that, if you’re in the Chapel Hill/Durham/Raleigh area and want to play matchmaker, hi, I’m new here.
That’s it for today, but I had fun doing this. If you’ve got more questions for me, don’t wait until I post on Instagram again. Ask in the comments!