self esteem

Self-Improvement Must Reads!

This week we share some books that we think everyone should read or at least be aware of. Self-improvement books can inspire us to make better choices and enhance our lives. Whether you are humming along in life, going through a transition, or are just a continual learner, we challenge you to check out some, or all, of these books. Keep learning. We may not always have time to sit down and read a book. A few ways to keep learning, on the run with tools like these:

• Blinkist
• Audible
• iTunes University/iTunes
• Podcasts (like Optimal Health Daily on Spotify or Precision Nutrition’s Eat, Move and Live Better podcast on iTunes)

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.

The Four agreements offer a code of conduct that can bring about a feeling of freedom and happiness: 1) Be impeccable with your word. 2) Don’t take anything personally. 3) Don’t make assumptions. 4) Always do your best.

Think you’ve heard all you need to hear? Think again – Ruiz’s insight is the stuff of legends!

On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life by John O’Leary

After suffering burns on 100% of his body as a child, not to mention amputated fingers and more to boot, John O’ Leary learns that we might not be able to choose what life throws at us, but we can choose how we live our life. Get ready to be inspired!

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

You hear this often at Ellipse Fitness, “what is your WHY?” In order to achieve a goal, the WHY needs to be deeply personal and it needs be a driving force, or else this will probably be just another one of those goals we fall short of without ever really giving it an honest try. It’s not enough to say, “I want to lose weight.” The WHY might be, I want to be healthy so I can keep up with my grandkids or be there to take care of my spouse as we age! Almost as difficult as discovering your WHY in life is staying true to it and keeping it alive.

The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone

Think BIG! In this book Cardone discusses how to invest 10x more and reach 10x further. Success always requires more effort than we anticipate. Be obsessed with your goal. Find direction on how to shift your goals and focus to reach for more by working harder, building your commitment, and finingd inspiration to accomplish it!

The One Thing by Gary Keller

Gary encourages you to prioritize your to-dos by importance, become disciplined in what you want by creating a habit of it, do NOT multitask, visualize the steps to get to your goal, and never compromise your personal life for your professional goals…instead prioritize your work time to perfection!

What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter

Negative programming prevents individuals from becoming and doing exactly what they want. Any amount of inspirational reading will only provide us with techniques that could work if put into practice. This book explains the principles of self-talk – a unique way of reversing negativity, optimizing outlook, focusing plans and achieving success. The key is in affirming, telling yourself the right things which then reflect in a more positive lifestyle. Sometimes it really can be that simple!

What are you waiting for??


Last week we spoke about confidence and how we, as trainers, deal with issues surrounding this topic. If you missed it, read here and then come back! When a person comes to Ellipse Fitness and has low confidence, it could be a number of things that are at the root of this. Often, and unfortunately, it stems from having low self-love. We’re usually the ones that beat ourselves up the most and are concerned about what others are going to think.

Why are we hard on ourselves? It seems many people have a hard time with balance. We all have experience with someone who is eating junk food one minute, then counting calories the next. People go back and forth with these extremes, sometimes for years. When we fail at these impossible expectations we set, then our confidence takes a beating as well. At Ellipse Fitness, we try to teach balance. Balance is the goal to a successful life! Let’s face it…we are all crazy busy, so one extreme probably won’t last long. These extremes that people set are not healthy and honestly, living that way is just not that fun!!!!

“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.” -Muhammad Ali 

I asked coach Bryanna Tremillo from Ellipse Fitness Allouez, How do you react to a client who is too hard on themselves? “Of course, during our initial meeting I would never say “Hey, you should stop talking that way about yourself,” because I don’t know how they would react at that point. But as they continue working in the studio, I make sure that I get to know them to build a relationship and THEN address it when I feel the time is right and they are more comfortable.”

A lot of the time, clients or members don’t see their progress the way we see it. It’s so obvious to us when certain things become easier or their confidence is changing and they have not noticed there’s a difference from when they started. But believe us, there is and we will tell you!

How can we help our members improve confidence? Heather Trevarthen of Allouez states, “Beyond helping them meet their physical goals, we meet with them before a workout and make sure to check in with them after.  If it is someone that needs a lot of positive feedback, we continue to check in with them regularly to see how they are feeling.  A couple times we’ve had to have a heart to heart with clients and remind them about the importance of self-love.  You CAN do this!  You ARE worth the work/effort.  YOU are not a number on a scale!”

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 3.18.07 PM


Nobody’s perfect, yet many of us are perfectionists, pushing for what feels like a means to no end. A lot of people who want to get into shape have been spinning their wheels for years, trying to achieve “the perfect body.” Here’s the truth: We’re are all imperfect, wonderful, messy human beings. We have jobs, fears, wants, kids and pets. We have families, houses, responsibilities, dreams, and hopes. We mess up, we make mistakes, and we triumph. These are human basics that are over looked so often when we look into the mirror.

True confidence is about being real to who you are and having fun doing it. Many times, as trainers, we deal with the occasional client who simply states that their goals are that they want to look like “that girl or guy,” or “be skinnier.” This mindset is not ideal when working with a client and looking to help motivate them to make a change.

SKINNY AND HEALTHY ARE NOT THE SAME THING. “Skinny” indicates nothing about a person’s well-being and health. “Skinny” is merely an objective measurement used, solely based on appearance. Ashley Haag, owner of Third Ward location says, “I think women confuse these words all the time. They aren’t interchangeable. They are completely different. You can be skinny and not very healthy. You can be a larger person and be rather healthy. I think healthy is defined as someone who takes care of themselves and ultimately…is strong!”

Skinny and healthy are not synonyms. Being thin is not the goal or the outcome we are looking to reach with our clients, but rather healthiness is. Framing your conversation with a client to be driven by “healthier and stronger” as the goal over “weight-loss” can make all the difference.

I WANT TO LOOK LIKE “THAT GIRL.” Jon Mojock (“Cujo”), our new coach at Ellipse in Allouez says it best, “I find it helpful to remind someone with this mindset if “that girl” is a celebrity or model, etc. that even THAT girl doesn’t look like “that girl”. There are a lot of techniques including photoshop and airbrush to make a person appear that way. In addition, it is important to talk this out further with your client. Help that person to readjust what their image of “that girl” truly means to them, and from there you will be able to make up some more personal goals.

SO WHAT ABOUT GUYS? This topic is often overlooked for males. Coach Josh Mac from Darboy touches on this one for you. Josh states, “It’s important to get males to check their egos when it comes to lifting weights. Far too often we sacrifice technique in order to massage our ego with heavyweight. For males there seems to be a correlation between lifting heavy, and a confident male…versus lifting correctly and a confident male. To combat this, I often try to work with males off to the side and discretely help them to decrease weight and emphasize the form. Once they feel all of the muscles on fire, they literally will exude confidence.” Feeling that difference, can make all the difference! Josh also says that this then lets guys realize that change is coming and in return, they’ll willingly exchange weight for technique.

“CONFIDENCE IS THE SEXIEST OUTFIT,”  says Ashley Haag. She continues, “Exercise increases your “feel good” endorphins and makes you feel better about yourself but also helps you to feel better (and look better) in your clothes.  To increase your confidence you have to work at it (literally) and get in the right mindset. It’s a win-win in my book!”