How to Build a Better Relationship with Yourself


  1. Start a hobby that you’ve always wanted to learn. Whether it be a new fitness class, or something non-fitness related, starting a new hobby is proven to help increase your self-esteem.
  2. Laugh. Laughing speeds up your metabolism, and lifts your mood!
  3. Spend time with like-minded individuals. It's great to surround yourself with people who have common interests. This will make you feel supported in things that you're interested in.
  4. Remind yourself what you’re thankful for. It's sometimes easier to think of what is wrong in life instead of what you're grateful for. Remind yourself what makes you thankful every single day.
  5. Practice being grateful for your body. Your body can do amazing things, even if you’re not where you want to be when it comes to your fitness goals, be thankful for where you are and what your body can do.
  6. Let go of your inner perfectionist. Being too hard on yourself will get you nowhere. Work hard towards your goals, but if you accidentally take a step backwards it'll be okay.
  7. Make time for yourself. Treat yourself to some time doing what you love each and every week.
  8. Be kind to yourself. Along with being kind to others, be kind to yourself.
  9. Let go of judgement. Judging others, especially at the gym when they're working on themselves doesn't help anyone. Live a judgement-free life.
  10. Meditate. Relax, and focus on your breath.

Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars




1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon freshly ground sea salt
3 ounces of your favorite dark chocolate bar, coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray an 8×8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs, and almond milk. In a separate medium bowl whisk together coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined and batter is smooth. Fold in chopped chocolate, reserved a few tablespoons for sprinkling on top if desired.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and knife comes out with a few crumbs attached. The batter may look like it’s not all the way cooked but it will be. Do not over bake or your bars will be super dried out! Cool bars on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then cut into 12 squares.


Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at


Success Spotlight: Keith "Temple" Trotter


Keith “Temple” Trotter’s life changed forever when a photo of him weighing 386 pounds showed up on his Facebook timeline. Since then "Temple" has lost over 160 pounds with Snap Fitness. He is passionate about helping people and organizations achieve sustainable, transformative change and his book about his journey, 100 Small Steps | The First 100 Pounds, is available at your local bookstore!


Temple states: As I get closer to my goal of losing a total of 200 pounds or more, I realize that the battle is much more psychological than physical so I have been focusing on five key concepts:

  1. Knowing and focusing on WHY I’m doing it. I'm doing this so that I don't cheat myself out of the best life and best me I can have.
  2. I am focused on surrounding myself with positive energy and rejecting all judgement and shame
  3. I know this last push is going to hurt, and I just have to get over it.
  4. I am embracing being held accountable. I weigh in and post my weight on my personal FB page along with my goals and trust me, when I slack, there are 1,100 people encouraging me to get back on track.
  5. I have partnered with professionals to know and track my numbers, get my nutrition in order, and crystallize the message so I can inspire others.


“Who is that,” was my immediate thought when a picture of me weighing 386 pounds showed up in my Facebook timeline in January of 2010. Needless to say, I was devastated. At first, I didn’t even recognize myself. I had been living in denial about my morbid obesity and now there it was front, center and brutally honest. I could no longer control the message in my mind. Reality was here, and it wasn’t pretty.


I wasn’t alone. A study released by the Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics in 2012 outlined that I was among the 35% of American adults who could be classified as obese in 2009. Even more shocking, 17% of US children were obese as well. That’s approximately 91 million men women and children all with an exponentially increased risk for developing heart disease, strokes, and diabetes.


In my book, 100 Small Steps: The First 100 Pounds, I outline the psychological steps that were necessary for me to lose 168 pounds and effect sustainable, transformative change. In my journal notes, I found insights into unlocking my full human potential, breaking through years of dysfunctional coping mechanisms and sometimes crippling depression. There are in fact 100 steps, but they can all be summed up in the above five key points.


It has taken me five years to find and refine my “Why,” and just as long to implement these lessons as part of my daily life. Sometimes I fail and that’s totally OK because failure is part of the growth process. 

Full-Body HIIT Workout


HIIT your workout hard with this intense full-body workout! Perform 15 reps of each move, repeating the circuit three times.

Speed Skaters

High Knees


Plank Jacks

Tuck Jumps

Mountain Climbers

Jump Squats


Toxic Gym Thoughts and How to Overcome Them


We’re going to fill you in on a little secret. You know those nagging thoughts when you’re at the gym that you’re not as impressive as the sculpted runner to your right or ripped lifter to your left? We have them, too. Everyone has them. They’re natural. The trick is to not let them drain your energy or distract you from your goals. Follow these six tips and you’ll be fine. Better than fine. Awesome.


1. These People Must Be Training For the Olympics. It can be daunting to see other members who are hitting it at such a high level. It happens. But their story isn’t your story. Be the hero of your story. You deserve it. It’s nice to be curious about other people at the gym but keep the focus on yourself. That way you can’t lose.


2. I Wish I Looked Like That. Ah yes. Mirror envy. It’s easy to be self-conscious. But try to keep this in mind: your physical appearance is only one reason to exercise. There are many other outcomes and victories that are internal. Focus on how exercise makes you feel: energized, happier, peppier, calmer. That’s reason enough to celebrate your routines. And celebrate when you see improvements in your physique, which will come.


3. I Need To Lose Weight Before I Go To The Gym. Stop and re-read that sentence. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? But for so many people this is a barrier. It shouldn’t be. Signing up for a gym isn’t like enrolling in the Marines. There isn’t a physical requirement to join. In fact, we can help you get in shape for the Marines if you want, or just finish a 5K. Check in with a trainer. They’re there to help. We promise: no judging. 


4. This Weight Machine Is Totally Confusing. You may be right on this. Some of them are hard to figure out, at least at first. But that’s where help from your friendly gym trainer can help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may think everyone’s watching. But they’re not. Everyone’s lost in their own objectives and so should you. First step: figure out that machine!


5. I Just Don’t Think I’m a [Yoga] [Weights] [Cardio] Person. Think of a gym as a place to experiment. Mix things up a bit. Try new things. Be bold! And don’t worry that others may be more advanced than you.


6. Keep It Positive. Not every workout is one for the record books. But don’t let past performance get it in your head. Learn to let go of poor performances. All athletes have control over is right now. That is where thoughts need to be. Stay in the present and do your best!

Homemade Guacamole



6 avocados
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 head of cilantro, minced
2 limes, juiced


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper as desired.
  2. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.


Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at