• Transformation Experiments | Week 10

    I just returned from an 8-day vacation in Mexico with my husband, kids, and 6 other families. This trip is one reason I finally got a fire under me to take charge of my fitness and nutrition goals. Let’s face it – nothing get’s most of us motivated to lose some pounds quicker than the thought of wearing a bikini in public.

    The good news is, I wore the bikini and I felt good about. The better news is that now that my bikini week is over I’m still totally motivated to keep this eating and exercise program turned up to the max.

    Ultimately this was another test to see if I’ve really changed my habits for good. I had told myself that I was going to enjoy the trip. Meaning, I would not worry about nutrition, drink moderate alcohol, but not go crazy. As far as exercise, I still managed to workout 4 of the 8 days and I walked nearly 10 miles every day. Nutrition was tricky due to what was available and not being able to prepare all my own food but I put in a good effort.

    What I learnt is, 8 days is too long to defer from my no sugar, whole food, no alcohol diet. Did I have fun? YES! Would I do it again? YES- but not anytime soon! Is getting back to my routine harder that I thought it would be? YES! It’s also a little sad to see what damage a person can do in only 1 week and how it takes far longer to do the repairs.

    In many ways I do think I’ve changed my habits for good. I was ready to get back to my routine by the end of the week and I’m as motivated after wearing the swimsuit as I was before to continue with my weight loss goals. I will say that eating freely was a little scary – by the end of the week I became less and less conscious of what I was putting in my mouth and I could feel my old habits creeping in.

    Overall, I’ll take this past week as a great lesson in a healthy life balance, listening to my body and really being honest with myself and with my nutrition habits.

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  • Transformation Experiments | Week 9

    This past week I’ve been asking myself some tough questions and have had to make some big personal decisions. Tack that onto my daily duties and I’d say my stress level has been elevated a bit. I’m an overall happy person and my energy level radiates at a pretty high frequency. What’s funny, is that because I typically look at the positive side of things, I wasn’t really conscious of how much stress I have been under.

    For me, the goal of this process has been to get more in tune with myself by digging deeper to find answers by asking hard questions. I am finding out that I actually don’t need to dig deep at all– I know the answers but for the longest time I just haven’t been asking myself the right questions. This in turn has helped me manage myself and become more honest with myself.

    So far, the most exciting parts of getting my nutrition in check and meeting my fitness goals, is how everything else in my life starts to follow the same healthy patterns. It’s like a major life reorganization. Each week becomes less about my body and more about me as a whole person. Instead of stressing out and having anxiety, I’m journaling, taking time out for myself and even doing bits of meditation.

    The next big step for me is to work these habits (journaling, meditation, quiet walks) into my daily life, just as I have nutrition and exercise!

  • Transformation Experiments | Week 8

    It’s been 8 weeks of me giving 100% to my nutrition and fitness goals. I’m headed in the right direction, happy with the results, and I’ve rather enjoyed the process. But today my husband casually mentioned to me in passing that he’s lost seven pounds in the last two weeks. My response: “What, I didn’t know you were trying to lose weight?” (Let me just say that everyone in my world knows I’m working to lose weight right now and it’s taken dedication.) Of course I’m happy for him, but I’ve been incredibly dedicated, worked out 2x as much as he has and have been totally committed to my nutrition….and I’ve lost about the same amount of weight in two months. UGH! Why is it so easy for men to lose weight and women to gain it? These are the questions I’m asking but I’m also reminded at what Brett and I have been discussing and what he’s helping me realize:

    • Do not focus on the numbers.
    • Dial in healthy habits and get rid of bad ones.
    • Set goals and work towards them daily.
    • Make this a lifestyle, not a diet.

    Working daily on my goals is going to be critical for long-term success. I realized today that not only can I not let myself get caught up in my own numbers, I can’t get caught up in anyone else’s numbers either. This is my journey and mine alone. I know what I’ve given to myself and am going to be proud of that no matter what any measurement says. Boom!

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  • Transformation Experiments | Week 7

    When I said I would write a short blog documenting my 12-week personal challenge, I expected that I would be writing more about the types of workouts I was doing, food journals, and daily healthy choices. What I wasn’t expecting was how simple and easy the changes in my nutrition would be and how the hard work and personal challenge would be a more spiritual journey.

    This week has been tough. I have had to deal with some personal trauma (for lack of a better word) and I could feel it physically affecting me. I had less energy and my body ached. I wanted to turn to comfort food. I wanted to stay in bed. I had back pain. I felt sad. But, because I’ve made a promise to myself, I made it to every workout and I followed my nutrition plan. Because I did stay the course, I was able to really feel what was going on with me emotionally. I was able to understand that the emotions I was having was directly related and causing me physical pain. I could physically feel how food or a drink with a friend would usually be what I turned to when I needed to cope. It’s interesting to me because we read about this all the time and I’ve know and believed it for years. However, this is the first time I could FEEL it and it was the first time I had the strength to overcome it and face my emotions dead and staying strong.

    This started as a personal 12-week challenge but I can tell this is not the case. I plan to keep the momentum always!

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  • Transformation Experiments | Week 6

    Overall this journey has been really pretty dang easy. I don’t know if it’s because I finally just made the decision to make a change or maybe it’s that I’m working with a coach who is holding me accountable. I’m thinking a big amount of both! However, even though it’s been feeling pretty easy, I have had my struggles. I am making conscious sacrifices every day and each time I do, I remind myself that I’m deprogramming a lifetime of bad habits with food.

    This week, instead of keeping a food journal, I decided to track all the situations I was in where food was present and think about what choices I would have made in the past. Despite considering myself a “healthy” eater, I was eating a TON of snacks randomly. For instance… I was volunteering at my son’s school and serving cookies. I TOTALLY would have eaten one. Another example is that we go skiing every weekend and I pack a salad but always let my kids get fries and guess what… I would eat THEIR FRIES… they don’t count because they’re not MY fries–RIGHT?  There were 4 times I was at a restaurant this past week and thought about what I would usually order. Add it all up at the end of the week and guess what, a ton of extra unhealthy food.

    Taking stock of my bad habits is just as important as taking stock of my good ones. Finding a balance in my life with food and being social is the hardest part. Ultimately, my goal is to eat clean 90% of the time and enjoy what I want 10% of the other. But keeping an honest score card with myself clearly what will keep me within my goals.

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  • Transformation Experiments | Week 5

    Happy Dance!!! This week’s weigh in gave me proof that I am doing the right things. (Thanks for the coaching tips Brett!) In one month, I’ve lost over 6 pounds of body fat and gained a pound of muscle. Seeing the numbers really gives me motivation and reminds me to stay strong on the days that I’m not feeling it.

    Clearly, Nutrution is 90% of it for me. I love working out, but guess what else I love… FOOD! I’m not going to apologize for that. I’m going to keep on loving food but now I’m much more conscious about when, what and why I am eating. This past week, I had a stressful day and I found myself really wanting to eat dessert. I kept telling myself I deserved it (I’ve been SO good) and I really thought it would make me feel better. Guess what? It didn’t! I felt worse… but not because I felt guilty. Because I didn’t like how the food made me feel after I had some. It didn’t even taste great.

    This journey for me is not just about getting to my goal weight or fitting into my favorite jeans. It’s TRULY about finding a balance in my life where I feel totally healthy (mind and body) and energized. Finding the balance of letting loose and clean and mindful eating. It’s been just over 30 days and everything is falling into place. Sleep has improved, my energy has increased, and my mood is as happy as ever.

    Over the next month I plan on keeping with the nutrition plan Brett has set up for me and really bringing my A-game to every workout!

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  • Transformation Experiments | Week 4

    Last week I was flying high with all of my “momentum”… but this week surprised me. I started out excited and eager to weigh in on Monday, only to discover that my numbers didn’t really change. I was feeling a little discouraged but it got me fired up and I took this week head on.

    Brett reminded me that the numbers are not everything. I need to really be focused on how I feel and finding balance in my life. We took a good look at what could be holding me back from my goals. Sleep depravation could be a key player. He suggested I do a “brain dump” just before I go to bed. I’ve never been a fan of journaling and so I just quickly jot down the primary things that are on my mind and what I am grateful for just before I go to sleep. It’s still too early to tell if this is working for me but it is helping me feel more organized and ready to take on each new day.

    Originally the plan was for me to only be doing 3 Lab workouts a week during this three month experiment, but in order to clear my head I typically workout 4-6 days a week. So this week I added in two cardio/interval workouts. Getting a workout in is how I keep my sanity and adding these extra workouts feels more normal to me.

    Strangely, this week has been the hardest of them all but I’ve also pushed myself the hardest. I am feeling very motivated in my workouts but it’s clear that no matter how determined I am, some days will be easier than others and even if I’m doing all the right things, there will be days that I just don’t have as much energy as I would like. The fun part is ending each day and knowing I gave everything I had to this journey while I’m feeling and seeing results. I am motivated to keep going with these positive changes and know it’s not all about the shape of my body but how I feel about myself as a whole person!

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  • Transformation Experiments | Week 3

    M O M E N T U M . I’ve decided that’s all I needed. I’m nearing my 3rd week of this personal transformation. When I weighed in this past Monday, I discovered that I’d lost 4 lbs of fat in only 2 weeks. I was high fiving myself because I wasn’t sure it would actually happen but it did and that was my goal. Now I plan to keep the M O M E N T U M.

    This week I made an incredible self discovery… I kept thinking I would need to get to my goal weight before I felt a certain level of happiness –but I’m surprised to realize that in just a couple of short weeks I am already feeling happy with what I’ve already accomplished. Of course I want more but the negative self talk has gone away and the way I talk to myself is so much more up-lifting. Seeing the numbers move in the right direction immediately after I started following the recommended nutrition and exercise plan from Brett is a huge motivator.

    I’ve noticed that my energy level is nearly double what it was a month ago and even my professional life has picked up and started to have a better synergy about it. My sleep is improving (which is a HUGE deal) and I’m waking up earlier and craving my workouts. When I take care of my health, I want to take care of everything in my life. I’m tackling projects that organize my home, family and life. I’m standing taller and sitting up straight.

    As far as struggles go: I’m still working on getting 10,000 steps every single day but I’m close. I’ve been in a couple of situations where I’ve tasted something I really want but just stop at a taste.

    I’m finding a realistic balance.

    NOTHING will make me feel better than doing the WORK!

    Here is link to my favorite soup that I’ve been eating at least 3x a week. It’s simple and easy and I make it in my Vitamix. I leave out the chips, cheese, olives and corn. I’m also careful to be sure the taco seasoning I use has no sugar. I sometimes add a dab of greek yogurt. A great way to get veggies in and eat something savory tasting.


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  • Transformation Experiments | Week 2


    • Weight: 154.7
    • Body Fat: 28.5
    • Lean Body Mass: 110.7
    • Fat Mass: 44

    It’s been nearly two weeks since I started my personal nutrition and fitness challenge. I’ve quickly learned that my habits were not as healthy as I had originally thought. Of course my fridge is full of fresh produce and organic meats but I’ve been fooling myself. I was eating three balanced meals each day… aaaand some other things. (A handful of almonds here, a handful of almonds there, bites of my kids breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well as the occasional cocktail, cookie, pastry or tasty treat.) All seemingly innocent but together pack a punch.

    By simply planning each meal ahead of time and keeping track of what I eat, I’m already making progress. I’m totally motivated and don’t feel burdened by this commitment I’ve made. Instead of feeling deprived, I feel excited. There have certainly been a few days where I’ve craved sugar or more food but overall I feel more energized and clear headed.

    The other major change I’ve made is to my workout schedule. I was working out 4-5 times a week. Now I’m only doing three 30-minute LAB workouts and aiming for 10,000 steps each day. I am actually missing my extra workouts but I’m trusting Brett and know discipline with my nutrition is how I will make progress. It’s been a challenge to get to 10,000 every single day but I’m close and working on it. Just throwing in a 20-minute walk with my family after dinner will usually kick me over the 10,000 step mark. This coming week I’m going to continue to focus on my nutrition. I feel like I’m just getting it dialed in and know that’s where my weakness lies. I’ve also really been focusing on this process being a complete LIFE CHANGE vs. me hitting my goal weight. I think wrapping my brain around the whole concept of good habits is essential to me getting to where I want to be and staying there.

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  • Transformation Experiments | Week 1


    • Weight 157.8
    • Body Fat Percent 30.5
    • Lean Body Mass 109.67
    • Fat Mass 48.13

    Hi, my name is Cody. My husband and I joined the Lab over six years ago. It’s been a fun journey watching this gym grow and change and adjust– all while changing lives. During this time, I’ve had my ups and downs when it comes to fitness– but overall I consistently show up and enjoy my workouts.

    When I first joined The Lab, I had a great experience working with Brett and doing one-on-one training and nutrition coaching. At the time, I felt physically strong but I still was unhappy with how my clothes fit. Brett challenged me to do a 3-month transformation and helped me get to where I wanted to be physically. I was stronger and healthier than ever and it made me feel confident and happy. Three months later I became pregnant with my second child. My pregnancy was hard. REALLY hard! I was constantly nauseous and became very depressed. Once my daughter was born, all was good in the world again and I bounced back emotionally. My body however, did not. I was tired, older, nursing a baby, running a small business, and chasing a 4 year old.

    Since then, I’ve kept up with my workouts and primarily eat a whole food diet but my body just didn’t respond like it had before. My daughter is now 3 and I will turn 40 this summer. I know I’ve been doing a lot of the right things, but clearly doing a lot of the wrong things.

    A few weeks ago, decided to reach out to Brett again. Even though he had shown me what I needed to do to get the results I wanted in the past, I knew it was going to take more than that for me this time. My goals are different now and so is my lifestyle.

    After sitting down and talking with Brett at our first meeting, he helped me get clear on what my goals are and asked me some hard questions. He put together a customized nutrition and fitness plan for me and will continue to coach me as I work towards my goals.

    I am excited to take on this next challenge (for myself) and get my body where I feel healthy and happy again. I want to share my journey with you for two reasons: 1.) IT HOLDS ME ACCOUNTABLE (and I need that) and 2.) I know I’m not the only one out here showing up, eating good food and still struggling. I want prove that being more mindful, setting goals, and making easy adjustments in the way I eat and exercise can make ALL the difference. I’m going to OWN IT!

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