What to Give Up in Order to Find Success

Perhaps we should love ourselves so fiercely, that when others see us, they know exactly how it should be done.

I saw this on Instagram a couple weeks ago and wrote it down in the “Thoughts” section of my journal. You know, the journal that logs my lifting PRs, my conditioning workouts, my to-do lists, my life goals, my food, and now, my thoughts. I decided to add a section for thoughts this year because I’ve realized, after several years in the fitness industry, it’s really easy to let my thoughts–negative or positive–control much of my life.

1.26.6Why not get a grip on your thoughts, too?

When trying to make fitness a priority–whether the goal is weight loss, competitive lifting, or finding a happy healthy medium–it’s hard to not get sidetracked, overwhelmed, and completely distracted by the constant deluge of Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest fitness posts. And while most people–myself included–are just trying to inspire, motivate, and encourage others to become fitter, healthier, and happier; it’s mentally and emotionally tough sometimes to consistently keep your spirits up.

I know I don’t have to go to the gym every day. In fact, it’s healthy to take a day off each week, or even a couple times a week. So why do I get consumed by guilt when I see a snap or a photo of someone else at the gym with a caption that says, “Never miss a Monday!”?

I just missed a Monday! My life is RUINED!!! AGH!!

Are these your thoughts? 

I know I’m doing the best I can, but I’m not doing “that girl’s” workout. I’m not eating “that girl’s” healthy salad. I don’t even like salads. Should I start eating more salads? Wait. My thighs don’t look like that! Am I not squatting enough? Am I squatting too much? Why can’t I see definition in my biceps? Am I too soft? I’m soft. I want to look ripped. Wait. Is ripped attractive? I want to be small and lean. No! I want to have those lats! Those quads! Look at those shoulders! I want to clean and jerk 200 pounds! No, I just want to be happy and healthy and have no injuries. I’m good with who I am. Should I start lifting more so I can look like that? Eat those donuts? I don’t need to eat that. I want to eat that. It’s not clean and it certainly isn’t hashtag paleo. But it fits my macros. But wait, it’ll make me feel crappy. What do I do?!?! 

WHY are we all so hell bent on comparing ourselves to everyone?!!?!??!

1.26.7Do you ever just want to shut down your social media outlets because EVERYONE is driving you crazy?!

I hate admitting it, but it happens to me sometimes. I know it’s my job to be a motivator, provide information, inspire others; but I never expected the one thing that has been the best thing that happened in my life to become something so obsessively overwhelming at times. Damn you social media!

And while in one breath I’m condemning the online world, the next, I’m back at it, liking a super fun workout idea or posting my own conditioning workout. One of the most awesome parts about running an online business is that YOU get to control how you motivate the world. And when you’re having a bad day? You find people out there who seem to know exactly how to post that perfect motivational quote that you need in order to pick yourself up and keep on pushin’ on.

Personally? I enjoy following positive people who enjoy helping others become as successful as they are. Really funny people help too, but my absolute favorite accounts are the ones who are genuinely passionate about making us better people. And just the other day, right when I needed it most, I saw a post on Instagram that I immediately wrote down in my “thoughts” section of my journal:1.26.5

Go ahead. Which ones are you guilty of? And how can I help you overcome your insecurities?

While I’m definitely guilty of all of the above at some point or another in my lifetime, my biggest issues right now are negative thinking/self talk and people pleasing. I hate admitting it, but I am guilty of seeing my flaws in the mirror instead of seeing my hard work or success, and berating myself over the extra glass of wine and feeling the bloat the next day. I don’t like it and I’m working on it…and all that comes with negative talk and thinking.

As for people pleasing? I can’t help it. I like to make people happy. And it’s definitely a flaw. I say “yes” way too many times when I should say “no.” One of my 2016 goals is to work on finding a balance between helping as many people as I can while making the most of the time it takes me to do so. That’s one reason why I want to be the one on Instagram who inspires, encourages, and helps–I just enjoy sharing what I love with people who need me.

Do you need me?

Being a people pleaser is one reason I’ve been pursuing my health coaching career–a new venture directed towards coaching both individuals and families (even some corporate wellness groups) in order to help people tackle the seemingly hard parts of life: food, fitness, happiness, and confidence. I really love helping people battle the fights I’ve fought and am working to conquer. And working to do this for others helps conquer my own sense of needing to be a people pleaser. I can help while doing a job that I love.

My first step in building this platform of help is through my already established nutrition coaching. Since my biggest battle that I’ve had to face was learning about foods and eating right for “ME,” being able to help others do this same thing has grown into a passion. I’ve revamped our Strongfigure Nutrition Coaching in order to make it easily accessible for those who

A) Just want to get a better understanding of food, or
B) Who really want to sit down and figure out what the heck to eat!

And even though I base a lot of my coaching around macro-counting, I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If it were, the whole world would know a lot more about how to eat. And I wouldn’t be a good coach if I expected everyone to do what I do. So if you’re interested in nutrition coaching, but not macro following, contact me so we can just talk a little more and see if we can’t figure out a better way to go.

While I’m helping you work on meeting your nutritional needs, I’m also going to work more on controlling my negative thoughts that tend to get in my way some days. It’s my personal goal this 2016 to overcome negative thinking and become a true health coach that helps from the inside out. Motivate, inpsire, and really be there for people who need an ear, a nutritional boost, a fitness plan, or talk on creating better self-esteem: that’s where I want to be.

Perhaps we should love ourselves so fiercely, that when others see us, they know exactly how it should be done.

This is exactly what I need to do. And then I’m going to help you do the same.


Do you have specific goals for living a better, healthier, 2016? Is there a negative trait in which you might want to consider letting go? Let us know in the comments below where you’d like to improve within your life. And don’t forget–if nutrition is what’s stumping you the most in your quest for a better bod or just overall better health, check out our coaching page and let us do what we do best: help you! 

This week’s Strong Figure Conditioning Workouts:


Strong Figure Ambassador, Ryan Mullens at Wodapalooza 2016



  1. says

    In trying to get my personal training business off of the ground, I have found myself bouncing back and forth between “damn, I’m amazing” and “wow, I suck.” Many things contribute to both, from client response and results to my personal fitness challenges. Lately, it’s been the realization that I knew nothing about business, especially marketing, before I jumped in head first. I knew I was a great trainer and that I could help make a difference in people’s lives… if I could just figure out how to let them know I’m here for them. As I have watched your on line presence grow from a handful of subscribers to a huge group of nationwide followers, publishing a book, and product sales, I’m realizing I wasn’t paying attention. I wanted to work with people. Hands on. In the gym. That’s what I love and what I do best. I knew nothing about websites, other than I should have one, and I didn’t believe in on line personal training. I still dont believe in online personal training, but I strongly believe that personal trainers must have a strong on line presence. In the past year, I have worked hard to learn the business end of personal training. And, while it feels like 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, technically that is still progress. I’m working on a complete business make over and would like to try to follow your lead in establishing my online presence. I really want this business to fly, but some days I feel completely overwhelmed. You mentioned being afraid of success. As dumb as that sounds, I had a little of that going thru my head for a long time. Because, what happens when I establish myself as an authority and then someone asks me a question for which I do not have the answer? What if I’m wrong? As luck would have it, folks don’t expect me to have all the answers, just most of them. And for the answers I don’t have filed in my memory bank, there are thousands of trainers and other resources out there to help me find them. For 2016 and beyond, I’m shedding self doubt and letting myself be human. Soon, everyone will know that I am here to help others live healthy, enjoy exercise, and find their happy place. Thank you for doing the same!

    • Stephanie Walker says

      Jenny!! Good luck in this quest..it is so tough and we are still pushing! One thing I’ve learned is that you truly have to believe in yourself and as times get hard, that’s when you have to push harder. I wish I could go back and do this all over again knowing what I know now…man, we did so many things wrong when we first started. But that’s ok! We learn, we fix, we change, we grow. Some days I’m still not sure where I’m headed but I do know where I want to be. Keep trying, pushing, learning. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but don’t be afraid of your own success either! Thanks for commenting and let us know how we can help!!!