Tag Archives: motivation

10 A-List Women Who Love Their Bodies Without Your Permission

christina hendricks

It is incredibly refreshing to have public figures, celebrities, and actresses who speak out against the body obsession that runs rampant in Hollywood and throughout our country. In this day and age in particular, it is high time we have women to look up to who take care for themselves, but also defy the traditional look of a Hollywood starlet.

Who do we love? Women who just don’t care how they are perceived. Comfortable in their own skin. And they don’t need your permission or approval to do so. Seriously, these are our heroes.


The voluptuous star of Mad Men, which wrapped last night in a blaze of glory, has been praised for years about her very true-to-form hourglass figure. What we know and love about Hendricks is that she is happy, comfortable, and strong in her shape.

“Back when I was modeling, the first time I went to Italy, I was having cappuccinos every day, and I gained 15 pounds. And I felt gorgeous! I would take my clothes off in front of the mirror and be like, ‘Oh, I look like a woman.’ And I felt beautiful, and I never tried to lose it, because I loved it.”



The Australian funny lady is one of the stars of this summer’s box office smash Pitch Perfect 2. Wilson is hilarious, talented, and an extremely important asset to the body image standards conversation. Wilson is not a size 0, and plays a character called “Fat Amy,” so clearly her size is a talking point. With grace and beauty, however, Wilson stands up to the discrimination.

“I don’t really care what I look like that much, and I think women out there should just be happy with the way they look. They shouldn’t really try to conform to any kind of stereotype. Just be happy and hopefully healthy.” (more…)

The First Women’s Strength Nation LIVE Event Motivates Women to Take Back the Weight Room

holly womens strength nation

Sunny San Diego was the backdrop for the first Women’s Strength Nation LIVE event April 10 – 12, 2015 and Diets In Review was there every step of the way. The kickoff was part of the launch of Westin Hotel and Resort’s new Westin Wellness Escapes, a series of weekend-long events devoted to helping you live your best life, even on vacation.

Hosted by celebrity personal trainer and fitness expert Holly Perkins, CSCS, the weekend was full of enlightening information to equip women with everything we need to walk into the weight room, confident and ready to work.

The mission of Women’s Strength Nation is to improve the ratio of women to men in the weight room. In order to do that, WSN provides you will all the tools you need to confidently walk into the gym and crush it every single time. Using strength training as a metaphor for building strength inside and out, we learned that in order to illicit change, you must have adversity. Like your muscles, you must be torn down before you can be built back up. When met with resistance and adversity, either in terms of weight vs. your muscles, or life vs. you, in the words of Holly Perkins herself “how you show up for this is how you show up for everything.”


Through individual and group exercises, group workouts, workshops and lectures, we learned the indisputable science that supports strength training’s affects not only on the body, but also the mind. We learned how a woman should train differently than a man, despite the fact that all the information out there is written for a man and a man’s body.

With so many takeaways from the weekend, it’s hard to choose which to highlight. Here are just a few nuggets of wisdom:

Kelly Womens Strength Nation


Change, positive or negative, is the biggest stressor: marriage is stressful the same way divorce is and a promotion is as stressful as a job loss. Our bodies crave homeostasis, to keep the status quo. Everything in our beings wants us to stay the same. The purpose of fear is to maintain that homeostasis. Whether in the gym or in your life, your body will naturally resist. To overcome, just breathe, acknowledge this, and do it anyway.


The women can’t bulk myth was busted. Rejoin, easy gainers! Women can bulk (if they want!) — it just takes a very specific physiology and/or a specific type of training. It has to do with testosterone and yes, some women have more than others which gives them a propensity to bulk, so no, you aren’t crazy if you fit the bill.


That being said, you can get stronger without getting bigger (they are not synonymous) you just need proper programming. To find the best program for your body type, pick up a copy of Holly’s new book Lift to Get Lean. It’s a female-focused strength training bible, and in it Holly shares four unique programs for each body type and goal type so you can bulk (or not!) how you want.


Pulling mechanics are very important for a woman’s body, which is why you need to do three times as many pulling exercises as pushing ones. It has to do with our evolution from the days when we walked on all fours, and the muscles it takes to keep us standing upright.


In the end, we learned to let go of the excuses that have been holding us back for so long and why it’s vital, as women, not to dim our lights to make others feel comfortable, but rather it’s our responsibility to let our lights shine to motivate and inspire other women to do the same. Together, thirty perfect strangers laughed, cried, shared, and bonded — and will forever be connected. We are strong. And so are you.

stronger she became quote

Here are three things we learned from Women’s Strength Nation LIVE! that you can work into your next workout:

The 3 rules of strength training

1. Technique trumps everything

2. Manipulate your speed of movement

3. The last 2 reps should threaten #1.

The 5 form cues to make every exercise a full body exercise

1. Pull up your arches

2. Push out your knees

3. Tuck your butt

4. Brace your core

5. Anchor your shoulders

5 essential exercises for every woman

1. Leg press

2. Deadlift

3. Reverse grip pulldown

4. Chest press

5. Overhead press

Also Read:

How to Strength Train Without Weights

4 Effective Ways to Make Body Weight Exercises Harder

5 Strength Training Exercises for Runners

images by Lauren Milner Photography courtesy of Westin

Molly Sims’ 9 Fabulous Ways to Live Like an Everyday Supermodel


Swimsuit model, actress, supermodel…mom, wife, woman…the very real, yet very supermodel Molly Sims has added author to her resume. Her new lifestyle book, The Everyday Supermodel, shares her hard-earned fitness, fashion, and health insights. Before you assume taking wellness and life advice from a supermodel is not your thing, you’ve got to know that Sims’ book is written like she is talking to an old friend. Girlfriend to girlfriend, her advice is realistic, and she writes in a way that is easy to relate.

Here are some of the best pieces of advice from Molly Sims that you can adopt right now to make your own life super!

1. Perseverance can get you anywhere.

Sims introduces her book by assuring readers that she worked hard to get where she is today, initially assuring her audience that she is not just a supermodel.

“There’s an everyday supermodel in each one of us.”

2. Love your body.

This is a message we hear all the time, but it is extra helpful hearing it from a supermodel. Sims discusses how she loved to learn her not stick-thin body, and encourages women to do the same, at all stages of her life.

3. If you look good, you feel good.

Sims’ book is peppered with mottos and motivational quotes. One of the best is:

“If you look good, you feel good–and when you feel good, you look good. So you might as well feel f-ing fabulous!” (more…)

Is Your Target Weight Loss Realistic? It Probably Doesn’t Matter.


When it comes to setting weight loss goals, most dieters are unrealistic. Medical experts, concerned with adequate nutrition and physical and psychological health, recommend an average weight loss of a half to one pound per week. But dieters want nothing to do with that. They expect to lose at a rate twice as high, at a minimum.

Scientists have studied, at length, dieters’ expectations about losing weight. Dr. Thomas Wadden, Director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania, found that even when patients were “informed repeatedly” that their weight loss goals were unrealistic, they still wanted to lose more than was recommended.

In another study, a group of women expected to lose 22 to 34 percent of their weight in six months, and when told that average weight loss is 8 to 10 percent during the first six months of dieting, they said that number was “unacceptable” and “disappointing.”

Patients undergoing gastric lap band surgery were no different. They expected to lose almost 100 percent of their excess weight when typical results are 20 to 25 percent.

But does it matter if a dieter’s weight loss goals are realistic? Apparently not. (more…)

Flat Stomach, Flabby Arms, Who Cares? You Are More Than Your Body

Body paintbrush quote


“Your body is not your masterpiece— your life is.”

This comment from Huffington Post offered some great food for thought.

How often are we bombarded with messages to treat our bodies like a temple because they are all we have? Well they’re not all we have. We have our whole lives: our relationships, our spirituality, ourselves as a whole being, not just a pretty form with thighs that may or may not touch. It is too common to see women, and men too, constantly obsessing over every square centimeter of their body like it’s the only thing they’ve got to offer the world. It’s not.

Aren’t you tired of comparing yourself to every woman you pass on the street or see on TV? Wouldn’t it be nice not to hate yourself a little bit more every time you see someone who has a flatter stomach than you?

Aren’t you tired? 

I am. (more…)

The Top 5 Push-It-Over-The-Top Workout Power Songs

We’ve all lost motivation from time to time. We’ve all hit the wall. We’ve all wanted to stop mid-mountain climber and lay down on the cool gym floor.

But then THAT SONG comes up on our playlist and somehow we find the strength to push on. That song has become known as the POWER SONG.

power song

Perhaps it’s a line that brings back a memory of a past struggle overcome.  Maybe the message in the lyrics helps you remember what you’re really working for. It may be nothing more than a driving beat. Something about our Power Song makes us push on, push forward and push over the top. We know we can count on it to drag us through the last mile or help us get through the last set of deadlifts.

I’ve got a couple Power Songs I keep on my iPhone for just such occasions. I’m sure you do too. But are you curious what the most “powerful” Power Songs are? I’ve done a little research to find the top Power Songs from around the fitness world.

 1. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. At the FuelBand launch at SXSW in 2012 one of the Nike executives challenged the audience with a trivia question: What is the top Power Song on Nike+? This was the answer (and the winner was rewarded with a FuelBand)
 2. Welcome to the Jungle by Guns and Roses. The team at Muscle and Fitness named this 80s anthem the Top Power Song of All Time. I wonder what Axl Rose would think of that? (more…)

Fun Workouts Boost Weight Loss

workout fun

So you’ve been exercising for years and still aren’t losing as much weight as you’d expect? Get this: Science is now telling you to have more fun and to see better results. A new French and American research study is now suggesting people may lose more weight during physical activity that feels more like playtime than a torture session at the gym. This study suggests that your attitude toward physical activity influence what you eat after a workout and ultimately whether or not you drop pounds.

Many people who start exercising do not lose as much weight as expected. In fact, some people actually gain weight after starting a workout routine despite the extra calories burned at the gym. Here’s why: A lot of people who push their physical limits eat whatever they’d like after an intense gym visit. Previous studies have explained this phenomenon as an increase of appetite hormones post sweat session—that people really were ravenous after working hard. While this may explain the physiological part of it, this new study is hoping to prove that psychology can explain the rest. (Try these 7 ways to keep your appetite in check.)

Scientists recruited 56 overweight women and tasked them to complete the same one-mile outdoor course, with lunch to follow. Half of the women were told that this course will be rigorous exercise and to monitor their exertion levels. The rest were told that this is meant to be a walk for pleasure where they can listen to music and enjoy themselves. Upon completion of the course, the women were asked to estimate her mileage, calorie expenditure, and mood. Women in the first group reported feeling much grumpier and more fatigued even though the two groups estimates of mileage and calories burned were almost identical. (more…)

When it Comes to Workouts, Anything is Better Than Nothing

workout time

You know the drill: Wake up, work all day, come home exhausted and yet your to-do list seems to have grown longer. The last thing you want to make time for is a workout. You’ve worked hard and feel exhausted—why go running?!

When I hear this from my clients, or when I think these thoughts myself, I pose two questions:

1) Will I feel better or worse after I finish my workout? 

2) Will I regret going to work out? 

Chances are, your answers are BETTER and NO, respectively. But I get it! It’s hard to justify turning off Netflix and leaving your comfy couch to spend even a few minutes boosting your heart rate. But find your reason to remember that it is worth it. We don’t exercise simply to look smokin’ in our summer bikini; hopefully, you also exercise to feel strong, to have more energy, to sleep better and stress less, and to bring out the best version of yourself. If you don’t have 60+ minutes to devote to burning calories, that’s okay!

Anything is Better Than Nothing. 

A recent article from Shape.com explained how your brain responds to running. There’s a lot of science in the piece, but the take-away is that running definitely boosts your mood and the more in-shape you are, the better you feel. How’s that for incentive to get out and move more? (more…)

Michael Phelps’ Most Inspiring Quotes Could Lure Anyone Back Out of Retirement

Who could have predicted that 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps would get back in the pool after retirement? Just about anyone! It seemed too soon for the now 28-year-old swimmer, also known as the greatest Olympian of all time, to end his competitive swimming career, but he did just that after breaking every record imaginable at the 2012 London Games.

ABC News reported that Phelps is headed back to the water. “Phelps will compete for the first time since the 2012 London Games at a meet in Mesa, Ariz., on April 24-26,” they wrote. His coach says he’ll be competing in only three events to “test the waters” and “see how it goes.” His team is downplaying the return, suggesting it’s far from a full-fledged comeback.

Regardless, Phelps fans the world over are rejoicing at the possibility of seeing him compete in two years at the Games in Rio. No one knows better than him that there’s no time like the present to focus and prioritize your training for your goals.

Need a bit of Phelps-mania inspiration? Here are some words taken straight from this athletic giants’ gold-biting mouth!

Phelps Goals Quote

Phelps Impossible Quote (more…)

Bobby Flay’s Recipe for Getting in Shape: Running, Spinning, and Eating

What do you know about Food Network star Bobby Flay other than the guy really knows his way around a grill?

He is married to Stephanie March. He is a feisty, good-looking redhead. His specialty is barbecue–classy barbecue. Like, culinary school barbecue. And? He is super duper fit. Flay has focused on getting fit over the past few years, which is wonderful for a world famous chef. How does someone who works around the best food all day long do it?

bobby flay fit

His recipe includes early morning runs, delicious lunches, biking with his wife, lifting weights with pals, and making lighter brunches. Nothing superstar here, they’re activities that all of us can take part in!

One of my very favorite exercise tips from Flay? Get inspired, and do what you love. For him that’s morning runs, enjoying foods he loves, and even trying new things — something that comes naturally to a chef — like yoga and spin.

Flay is in noticeably in shape, probably the best of his career, and he will tell you exactly how he got there during a new web series that tells his get-fit story on Food Network. It’s totally relateable for the average Joe, which is fantastic for, oh, all of us! He talks about his love of running, but also encourages us to walk around for exercise if that is all we are capable of. (more…)