Society almost always gets it wrong

Ok so here's your take home message. 

1. Don't follow social media, read magazines, or watch TV that makes you feel terrible about yourself or promotes unrealistic fantasies.

2. Find your tribe that will love you as you are, but also help you to improve in the areas you wish to grow.

3. Figure out what you actually want and what's most important to you because arbitrarily trying to imitate others that might be doing something great, but are not necessarily doing something that's great for you!

Read More

When it comes to your fitness, are you "bored at a job" or "investing in your career"?

Fitness and fat-loss works the same way. 
If you treat it like a job and do the bare minimum to get by, you probably won't get great results or stick with it. 
You'll jump around trying this diet, that form of exercise, this new gadget...
But if you invest in the process and take the time to cultivate an approach that enhances your life, you're WAY more likely to stick with it long term, see results and continue to build your approach. 

Read More

You don't need a diet to lose fat...and literally how to get a stubborn pig to budge.

When the body is chronically stressed, it pushes back against this by doing a number of things and one of those things is storing fat. 

Fat is fuel. It's a good thing. In fact we NEED fat!
It’s a resource. I know we don’t always love the look of it, but it does have a purpose and if your body is storing larger and larger volutes of it, that’s because your body thinks that it needs it. 

When you are mentally, emotionally, or physically stressed the body is like, “Wait, what’s happening? I need to stockpile emergency rations! Something is wrong.”

Your body is designed to keep you ALIVE, not to bend to whatever aesthetic goals that you have for it. 

If your body is uncomfortable and senses that are you are in distress, the only thing that it can do to help you is to save energy in the form of fat.
This energy can then be used by your muscles, your brain cells, whatever cells in your body that are going to be potentially doing some extra work, the energy will be there for it.

And here’s the thing, serial dieting, lack of sleep, gut distress, histories of under-eating or eating chemically-laden processed food, these are all stressors.
The body responds to these activities, these signals with cravings and the hormonal environment necessary to store fat AND to keep telling your body that it's hungry.

So if you want to lose fat, you definitely need to move your body and you definitely need to start choosing good nutrition (most of the time), but your progress is going to be slow-going if you don’t ALSO deal with your stress. 
You have to tell you
body that everything is ok.

How do we do this?
We change our lifestyles and when we can NOT change things, we change our response to them. 

I know, a lot easier said than done, but we really have no choice. 
This process can be imperfect.
It will take some time, but it's a direction work moving in. 

We also have to understand that IF the body has been stressed for a while, then it’s going to take some time for it to finally believe you that the stress is gone and release those fat-stores that it’s been holding on to. 
So you have to be little patient with it, which is why you REALLY want to cultivate a lifestyle that not only moves you closer to your physique goals,but ALSO one that makes you feel better. 
One that makes you content and happy. 

So what do we do?
Move daily.
Exercise just enough, but not too much.
Eat loads of protein and vegetables and not a lot of processed foods.

Sleep, meditate, pray, relax.
Change what you can in your life to alleviate stress **there’s almost always some action that you CAN take.
Get proactive.
Take risks, move out of that comfort zone, your health depends on it! 

Think of leisure time with friends and family or alone as just as important for your fat-loss goals as is your exercise. 
Your metabolism is basically a stubborn mule, actually pig, I have more experience with stubborn pigs


You will not get a pig to budge by using lots of force or threats. 
Trust me, I know. This novice pig farmer has tried to move one many a times. 
You have to make it feel safe and gently coax it into doing what you want it to do and when it feels safe, not stressed, then it will acquiesce. 

Realize that your body needs a consistent supply of nutrition to feel comfortable letting go of it's fat stores. 
Not only does this mean eating nutritionally dense foods like pastured eggs, leafy greens, grass-fed meats and organ meats and good quality fats, it also means supporting the gut and the brain with prebiotics.

Screentime is fine in moderation, but lots of time on the phone or watching the TV/Netflix will negatively impact sleep and can cause cravings.

PLUS, if you're watching a screen, then that usually means that you’re not moving, which is what the body really really needs. 
Walking 10-15K steps a day will DRAMATICALLY reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome. 

We know that spending time in nature positively impacts our sleep habits, stress levels, gut health, posture and mental health!

If you want to learn more about healing your metabolism and gently letting it know that it's time to start reducing fat stores, then sign up here to receive my Five Day Metabolism School : Metabolism and Movement Memos

Starting August 7th, for five days, each day you will receive an email memo on one aspect of healing the metabolism to support fat-loss, complete with some manageable action steps for you to begin to work on!

It's free, easy-to-understand and a great way to get started on working towards healing your body and cultivating a new metabolism-healing lifestyle!


Hey All,
I'm Sarah. I'm a personal trainer and lifestyle coach. I help clients build strength, confidence, capability  in their bodies and their lives.
I'm also a mom of 3 raucous boys, a small scale farmer and soil scientist living in Raleigh, North Carolina.


Sometimes we don't get results as fast as we would like or hit a mental wall when pursing a goal

The fact of the matter is, working towards change is HARD WORK!
Sometimes results are slow. 
Sometimes it seems like everyone else around us is successful and we are not. 
Sometimes it seems like we are just not "cut out" for this plan and we should throw in the towel. 

But here's the thing. 
That's a wall that EVERYONE encounters when trying to work towards something. 
And if you give up when you hit that, then you will never grow. 
You will never experience the victory and change that is just on the other side of that wall.

Read More

Free strength training workout!

Click the video on the right to watch my demonstration of a 20 minute beginner-friendly strength training workout.
You can also download PDF of workout here.
AAAANNNNDDD, if you are interested in learning how to identify your core values and use them to create and attain goals, read my most recent blog posts on Personal Mission Statements below!!


What the heck is an "online" coach or a "coaching club", anyways?

We in the fitness world sort of take this concept for granted, but often when speaking with people about my business, I realize that they have never heard of an "online" coach or trainer before.

So I thought that I would take a little time tonight to answer questions and explain the concept especially since online coaching is not just something that happens in the fitness world!

There may be an online coach out there right now that can teach you how to cook, knit, sew, scrapbook, golf, or use Quickbooks!

Not every piece of fitness and wellness advice is for you.

You don't need to heed every piece of fitness and wellness advice. It's not ALL applicable to you!

I know from personal experience, that when we are in a place where we feel like we need to change somethings about how we take care of our bodies, we start to feel like every new piece of information that crosses our path is targeted at us and something that we need to work one.

But trying to implement ALL of the fitness and wellness information that you are exposed to on a routine basis will drive you batty.

Read More

Don't get caught up in the idea that exercise HAS to look a certain way.

If you are working out today, hope you have a great sweat sesh! 
Remember to work hard and rest when you need to. 

When you feel like you couldn't possibly do another rep, try to squeeze in one more, then rest. 
Safely pushing yourself to your limits will make you that much stronger next time!

If you worked out yesterday, don't forget to take a nice calm and relaxing walk today! 
This will help your body to recover faster and will also reduce cravings!
If walking is not possible, then try some other stress-relieving activities!
Here are a few ideas:

Water therapy-shower, bath, hot-tub, slow-paced swimming
Non-stressful Crafts (knitting, crocheting, pottery)
Soothing music
Restorative yoga

Whether you are managing to get in 1, 2 or 3 workouts a week don't stress about the quantity, but focus on quality and consistency. 

If you're getting in 1 workout a week, stick with it.
That still counts and can easily be grown into 2 per week come January. 
Don't get caught up in the idea that exercise HAS to look a certain way. 
If some days the only way you can get in your workout is to do one round, and then grab the laundry, do another round, feed the kids, do another round, and get some work done....this is still better than waiting for that day when you can have a perfect block of uninterrupted time. 


I promise you that if you can make 1 workout happen a week, then you will be able to grow that to 2...and then 3 eventually and in a way that truly works with your life!
But getting in 3 perfect workouts this week only to give up exercise altogether for the next 6 months, that doesn't change your life.

It took me giving myself permission to be imperfect about exercise to finally become consistent with it and find enjoyment in it. 

There is no perfect. 

If you remain focused, commit to a new mindset and consistently make steps (even baby ones!!) towards your target, you will get somewhere that you never thought was actually possible.

I speak from experience!

Exercise after childbirth, it's not what you think!

This post is for you: current mommas, soon-to-be mommas, and women that are considering becoming mommas.

Here are some of the points that Dr. Brooke, Sarah and Jessie Mundell make in this podcast that I wish to highlight today:

1. Listening to others' birth stories is a wonderful experience, but take caution because your birth story will be completely unique and unlike ANYTHING these stories or most likely what you would imagine birth to be.


Birth is very much an appropriate foray into the role of motherhood it introduces us to the concept that we can not control everything.

As a new mom (and not so new...)we will often feel like life is spinning out of control and nothing is going to plan-but it's normal and birth is often our first brush with this phenomenon. 


Seek support from friends, family, your spouse, and groups of women in person or online!


So enjoy the stories!!!
Just know that you can't predict, plan or control birth, and if you feel disappointed about how it went, that's ok too.
It is a common experience for women and you're not alone in feeling that way.



If you want to skip to the tips on fitness and pelvic floor health portion of the podcast, start at 38 minutes.


2. Like these women, I advocate safe pre and postnatal activity. There are some DANGEROUS trends in the fitness world that suggest and sometimes state that it's safe to return to whatever exercises you did pre-pregnancy when you feel ready or after your 6 week check-up.


Every woman should see a pelvic floor physical therapist and be evaluated for Diastasis recti, pelvic floor weakness (lack of ability to control your pelvic floor muscles) and organ prolapse before returning to exercise.

If you have any of these conditions and do not take the time to re-build strength or correct the problems, then exercise will almost certainly worsen your condition.

Yes you can exercise again and it's perfectly fine to have physique-related goals, but you absolutely must remember that you just grew, and birthed a human being.

You're body is never going to be the same and that's a beautiful things.

I know it's easy to feel bad about weight-gain, scarring, stretching, and the many changes that our bodies undergo, but the more you focus on trying to make your body what it used to be, the more disappointed and frustrated you will feel.

Blaze a new trail.

You are new and different, strong and awesome.

Take care of your new and different body.



So even if you skip ahead to minute 38 (although I recommend listening to the entire podcast when you have time!) please listen to what these fitness and health experts are saying because this is one of those topics that is NOT widely discussed, but is incredibly important.


If you have every been pregnant then you have been changed physically and emotionally forever.



More posts on this topic to come.

Please share this post either on your page or with mommas directly!


Thank you :) Here's the link again!

I'm Sarah Smith! I am a fitness and lifestyle coach focused on whole-body wellness.  I help busy women feel strong, energized and happy in their bodies. I teach them to cultivate new skills for movement, exercise, healthful eating and self-care.  Click here to learn more about working with Sarah and Cultivate For Life!

I'm Sarah Smith! I am a fitness and lifestyle coach focused on whole-body wellness. 
I help busy women feel strong, energized and happy in their bodies. I teach them to cultivate new skills for movement, exercise, healthful eating and self-care. 
Click here to learn more about working with Sarah and Cultivate For Life!

Click here to learn more about working with Sarah and Cultivate For Life!