Reward Eating

Let's chat about: REWARDS today, specifically reward eating. 

Have you ever had this thought…...
"I've been doing SO well this week, I deserve [insert junk food here]” 
“That was a really hard workout, I deserve [insert junk food here]”  
“I’ve had a really bad day at work,I deserve [insert junk food here]”

**Often this behavioral chain happens in childhood, did your parents reward you with food? Always feel free to dig on your own experience with reward eating...where did it come from..why does it happen. Be OK with digging in and learning your own triggers and experiences***

Once we normalize what is happening let's stop and think for a second.... is this thought process TRULY helpful to you, your goals and furthermore your health journey? Probably not.
 Let's reframe that thought. Whenever you start to think about what you DESERVE, remember to practice DISCIPLINE and ask the real question:   “What does your body deserve?”

"Why is it that I can gain 5lbs overnight?"

"Why is it that I can gain 5lbs overnight? HOW???”  

If we take in more calories than we can use at the moment, our body will store those calories in a few different ways. Our body will first store extra glucose in our liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. Once these stores are full, additional glucose is stored as fat. You know how athletes like to “carb load” the night before a big race? This is done to fill up their glycogen stores to prepare for the race because glycogen is easier for the body to use for energy than fat stores. The problem is that glycogen works like a sponge, holding up to THREE TIMES its weight in water, and water is heavy.

So here's what actually happens, Let's say one day all I eat a HUGE basket of french fries that has 3750 calories. I only burn off 2000 calories that day, which results in a calorie surplus of 1750 calories, approximately half a pound (one pound = 3500 calories). Logically I would think “I will see half a pound tomorrow morning on the scale” but what I will see is more like a two pound gain on the scale because of the glycogen/water response. 

French fries also have a ton of salt, which makes us retain water. This is because it disrupts the balance of sodium and potassium in the body, which affects our kidney's ability to filter extra water out of our blood. This will make us gain water weight and increase our blood pressure. So adding carbs + sodium can be a perfect storm for an immediate overnight weight gain (Remember we are talking weight **not fat)

So in our example, I’ve gained about 2 pounds from glycogen and water, and 3 pounds from water diluting the salt in my blood. That's 5 extra pounds in one day from eating something that was only the equivalent of half a pound of surplus calories. Also if you a hard workout the day before which has caused some muscle fiber tears (natural healing process) you will have inflammation, inflammation causes some micro swelling that can add even more! 
FINALLY the mystery is solved!! 

To sum up: The scale often lies! Don’t let the number on the scale that only measures your relationship with gravity have power over your emotions.

All or nothing mindsets around the new year

It's the New Year! And with that comes hopes, dreams, resolutions but also a tendency to fall back into past cycles of failure when it comes to goal setting. Let's make this year different when it comes to goals. Now is a great time to do some self reflection and to learn and grow from your past experiences. One of the biggest causes of failure when it comes to goals is being unrealistic with yourself and your obstacles.  Often that stems from an all or nothing mindset. Is this you on a daily basis?

You missed a workout: "Well screw it I will eat whatever I want for dinner what is the point?"
You start your day with a donut: "That's it. I can't recover from this. Might as well grab some fast food for lunch and go out to eat for dinner my health day is already done"

The failure here is trying to be perfect in an imperfect world, trying to be everything  #progressnotperfection will get you to your goals!

How can you improve and work on the all or nothing mindset? 1. Avoid the temptation to over generalize!  Watch the words like, "always, never, forever, etc..."

2. Be logical: Would you rather be perfect or progressing?

3. Change your mental filter..try to always look at the positive instead of the negative. Practice your daily gratitudes!

4. Watch your tendency for jumping to conclusions...take a step back, breathe, think....

5. Don't "should" on yourself for the past. "I should have done this_________, I should have done that___________."

6. Focus on what you can do today! Stay present!

7. Be aware of emotional reasoning... just because you failed doesn't mean you are a FAILURE! Separate your actions from how you are as a person!  We fail our way to success!!

8. Try not to take everything personally, take a step back and reevaluate the situation

9. Dial back from magnifying a problem and hyper-focusing on it (which builds on the negativity)

10. Celebrate the small victories

Here is to a healthier, happier, progression filled 2019! 

Do the things you need to do, so that you can do what you love

I played soccer year round and recreational softball in the summers from the age of 5 until I graduated high school. As a college student, I would make it to the gym usually once a week, eat like shit, drink and pull all nighters studying for exams. I somehow was lucky enough not to gain 30+ pounds (as most college students do) throughout those long 5 1/2 years. But looking back, I was the definition of "skinny fat". When I moved back home and got a "real job" the first thing I did after I got my first paycheck was sign up at a gym. I joined a small gym with my sister where they had kettlebell, boxing and boot camp classes. That was the time I became obsessed with weights and group fitness classes. I was there for about a year then I moved to Woodbury and was looking for a new gym to join. My best friend Nicole did CrossFit at CrossFit 1080 and she thought I would really like the idea of CrossFit and the intense workouts. I signed up for the 4 week intro to CrossFit class in December 2015 and became an official member of CrossFit 1080 (now Torque Strength and Conditioning) January 2016. 

It has now been 3 years since I have started doing CrossFit and I can't imagine doing any other kind of workout at this point in my life. As much as I bitch and moan on a daily basis (sorry to my 9:30AM workout buddies and my husband), I am obsessed. There is nothing better than lifting heavy weights and literally feel like you are about to die after every.single.workout.

This past summer, I started to become frustrated with my numbers not going up, slowing down in metcons, and I started experiencing pain in my right knee. I think Tyler finally got annoyed of my complaining and told me I should get the full body assessment done, multiple times. I was hesitant at first, only because I was nervous of what the results were going to be. I finally caved and got my assessment done by Tyler on July 31st of this year. Aaaaaaaand we were VERY surprised. We started doing the assessment and the first thing Tyler said was..."Has anyone ever told you that you have scoliosis?" To say the least, I freaked out. Tyler completed the assessment and encouraged me to see Lars.

I saw Lars a few days later and I showed him pictures from my assessment, he confirmed that I have adult onset scoliosis. My first reaction was I wouldn't be able to continue working out, I'm not going to be able to walk normal and I am going to have all these back problems. The weird part is, I didn't have any back pain, which was reassuring. Lars instructed me to keep doing what I am doing, try to even out my left side and be concerned when and if I have back pain. Tyler gave me my assessment results with specific programming, including A LOT of accessory work...YAY my favorite...

It has now been 4.5 months since my assessment. The first 2.5 months I was very consistent and was completing my accessory work after CrossFit classes about 3-4 times a week, with the help of Tyler's nagging and me being freaked out with the thought of having scoliosis. These past 2 months....not so much and I don't have any excuses for it. My numbers have FINALLY been increasing this fall/winter and I have been doing better in the metcons, doing most of them prescribed. Last week, I was curious if I had made any progress since this summer. Again...I was very surprised with the results. After seeing the improvement on my back, all of the accessory work has finally paid off. As you can see in the pictures, my right side was way over developed compared to my left side. Also, the curvature in my lower spine was way more significant.

To sum up my ramblings, I strongly encourage each person at Torque Strength and Conditioning to get a full body assessment completed by Tyler. I understand how people would think "how can we possibly do more accessory work?", but TRUST ME - it works! You will be shocked about how much your body is out of wack. With the specific programming from Tyler, we were able to get my entire left side just as strong as my right side. Before the assessment I wasn't able to fire my left glute, which was making my left hip pop with any squatting. Now, my hips are even with squats and my numbers have increased significantly. I now use more of my lats and pecs instead of my traps when it comes to all CrossFit movements.

My worst fear is getting hurt and not being able to continue to do CrossFit. Now that I have been working on my weaknesses and evening my body out through accessory work, I am more confident in CrossFit movements and everyday feel like a badass. I know I still have a lot of work to do, but I am getting there! I hope to continue doing CrossFit for the sake of my sanity oh AND my scoliosis :)

Results pictures below!




"Finding your inner Wile E Coyote"

Let's talk about self resilience today or as I like to call it "Finding your inner Wile E Coyote"

What is it? Self resilience is the ability to deal with adversity, obstacles, stressful situations confidently and bouncing back from those setbacks. Let's look at Wile E many times has he pretty much killed himself yet there he is again trying something different to catch Roadrunner...he just never gives up.

We are all born with this ability. I have yet to meet an adult that still crawls around because learning to walk was just too hard and they fell too many times and just gave up.

Where some lose this ability is unclear. Could have been a negative adult in their childhood,etc.... We could probably have an hour long discussion on the philosophy of how it happens.

The important thing to realize is this can be worked on like any other habit.

---Always focus on the positive first. I guarantee you can find the positive in every situation but you have to look for it.

--Don't look at obstacles as roadblocks but as detours. They might take you off course on a longer route but you will still get to your end point

--Celebrate your victories even if they are tiny. Remind yourself of how far you have come.

--Don't look at your actions as pass or fail absolutes.

--Accept, embrace and reframe failure. We fail our way to success. The most important thing is to learn from it, dust yourself off and get back up.

--Remind yourself of why you are getting back up. For Wile E Coyote hunger was his motivation...find yours.

--When you hear your inner voice beginning to be negative. STOP IT! YELL AT IT!! TELL IT TO BE QUIET!! And fill your head with positive thoughts. We have COMPLETE control over our self dialogue! It takes mental muscle but the more you do this, practice it the more natural it becomes

--Realize that success is never perfect, pretty and is ugly, crazy, and bumpy!

Time to find your inner Wile E Coyote!! You will need it on this journey!

"I Can't" Re-frame Challenge

EVERY TIME you are about to say, "I can't" you have to stop and re-frame that into, "I choose not to"

For example:

"I can't eat that ice cream" to "I choose not to eat that ice cream today because I want to reach my goal"

"I can't eat broccoli" to "I choose not to eat broccoli because I don't like the taste, instead I will eat carrots"

"I can't workout early in the morning" to "I choose not to wake up early in the morning to workout"

Re-framing "I can't" helps clear your head and make you realize that what you thought was a genuine constraint is actually just a mental block you have created for yourself. You are actually in the driver's seat of your choices and decisions. Time to take back that ownership and control!

Taking Ownership

Do yourself a favor and read the following:

Let's start off by asking yourself: Why do you do want to train? Why are you in need of a coach? Why are you are seeking a gym? As a athlete or a health seeker, you know that nothing is more fulfilling than reaching your goals and finding fulfillment and success in your own life.

Additionally, like anyone seeking out to accomplish a goal or task we need to find a support group and expertise in that area in order to have success. By doing so we create our own success and in the process of accomplishing your goals, you will learn something about yourself that you did not know before....

Are you taking ownership of what you do? Or are you just like everyone else and doing the bare minimum?

Are you actually working towards your goals?

No matter what the goal, our success and failures are entirely on us. We create our paths in our lives.

Can we agree on that? So, why should we start to work towards something to only quit and fail?

Why should we settle failure? Instead, we should always be learning and striving to be better. If you truly want a change and want to make something a lifestyle, you need to immerse yourself into that mindset. To be a better you and to have success, you must continually work to be better.



                Plain and simple, it’s the shit that no one wants to do. No one wants to row 250 meters fifteen times. No one wants to run eight 400 meter sprints. Trust me, I know. Once I hit that fourth round my brain goes through the thousand and one excuses on why I should just quit now. “It’s too hot outside, I’m sure I haven’t gotten in enough water to keep me hydrated all day.” “I’ve already worked out this morning, I should give my legs a break.” “It says between six and eight rounds, but it’s been a long week, maybe cut it to five.” So why do I do it? No one is forcing me to.

Because the excuses get old.

                Being an athlete, I’m pretty well aware of the things I’m just not good at. We all are. The things you dread. The stuff that isn’t fun. The things that are hard to get through. For me, it has always been endurance training. Ask me to pick up a heavy barbell and you can’t get the damn smile off my face. But, you ask me to run half a mile and you couldn’t get me to stop complaining even if you put a $50 bill at the finish line. To me it’s not fun. I definitely don’t look forward to doing it, and I struggle to mentally get through it. I finally got to the point, like I said before, where that feeling GOT OLD. I decided to finally stop making excuses, and get comfortable with the things I hate the most.

                I originally had started asking around, trying to get some input on where to start, and then I realized that no one is going to do this for me. I needed to do the research on my own, and find the things that I knew were going to hurt. Things that would challenge me both physically and mentally. You want a challenge?! Sit on a rower with the timer ticking down from 30 minutes… that will test you. The beauty of it is, that no one knows me better than I know myself. No one knows which workouts scare me, and which ones I can attack with confidence. The real test, though, is pushing yourself to welcome the elements you fear. You can complain about them all day, or you can put in the work. No one is going to do it for you.

That is when the real #bitchwork begins. There will always be your specialists, but those who are well rounded really shine. It’s about minimizing your weaknesses… so get to work!


My Fitness Journey:  Tricia Wadzinski

Prior to 2017, my fitness regimen consisted of playing volleyball competively in leagues and tournaments, walking the dog and working in our yard.  I did not have time to work out as life / work was too busy.  To me, I felt I was in shape based upon what I did.  However, the one problem I faced is that my weight continued to go up versus down and I didn’t know how to change it without dieting or exercising.  I blamed my weight issues on my age, the clothing manufacturers…everyone but myself.  I needed a change and had to take ownership of fixing my weight versus blaming everything else.


In January 2017, I joined the six week New You Challenge at Torque Strength & Conditioning and my life changed 180 degrees.  I was extremely nervous, but excited about the six-week challenge as our group was made up of all women.  I felt like we were all in it together as we had similar goals (lose weight, gain muscle, get healthier, be accountable, learn something new and above all have fun).  The one area that I was apprehensive about in the challenge was changing how I ate (we focused on Macro Management), because I don’t believe in diets.  If you tell me I’m going on a diet, forget it, I’m done.  However, I kept an open mind on the Macro Management technique and told myself to try…what did I have to lose because just maybe they might be right on how I could lose the weight I wanted. 


After day one of the New You Challenge, I learned that I was not in shape and I had work to do.   Within those six weeks, I pushed myself to do everything they asked of us and more because I wanted to do it.  Hands down, I believe that TSC has the best coaching staff around and without them cheering me on day after day it would have been hard to push myself.  I walked away from the New You challenge with a whole new outlook on fitness, eating and though losing weight was great, I learned that gaining muscle and losing body fat was even better.  All concepts that became engrained in my every day thinking. 


I officially joined TSC in March 2017 with the focus on getting stronger and better at all things, CrossFit.  However, I feel it’s important to join a Bootcamp or a TRX class occasionally for conditioning, strength and cardio.  There are many times I will walk away from a Bootcamp class more exhausted or sore than a CrossFit class – so build them into your fitness regimen if you can.  For most of 2017, my CrossFit goal was to learn how do the movements, get better at them and eventually move from doing things scaled to RX.  But the key takeaway is that things take time to develop and of course a lot of practice.  It was close to a year for me to be able to do a hand stand push up and even longer to do a kipping pull-up.  I participated in the CrossFit open this year and I had the best time ever competing against myself to see how good I could do.  Besides the exercise, I really began to focus more on what I ate, whole foods and that is where I truly saw the results kick in with weight loss and loss in body fat percentage. 


18 months later, my outlook on life is now focused on exercising and eating healthy.  My happy place is when I can be at TSC working out (5-6 days a week) and visiting with all the great friends that I’ve met along this great journey.  I still have a lot of work to do and I continue to set goals for myself to keep me motivated.  For example, when I came to TSC I hated to run.  Now, I’m pushing myself to be able to run 2 miles without stopping before the weather turns cold.


I couldn’t be happier on what I’ve been able to accomplish in the time I’ve spent at TSC and that is simply through a little hard-work, motivation and encouragement from all the great coaches and fellow members in the gym.  I’m happy to share that I’ve lost over 32 lbs., lost 19.1% in body fat and gained 11 lbs. in muscle.  I look forward to continuing my fitness journey because I know there is more I need to work on and of above all have fun doing it.



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My Fitness Journey: Nick Puente III

Hello fitness community

I am writing this article to speak out to the people who are beginning or struggling their own fitness journey. If you are someone who is on the fence about starting your own fitness journey and looking for a life change, then keep reading. My name is Nick Puente III and I started at Torque Strength & Conditioning in December of 2016.  I started my own fitness quest to make a better me, but I had trouble with knowing what I was doing. With those struggles I decided to reach out and seek help, that lead me to Torque Strength & Conditioning. Going into it I already lost 48lbs and thinking hey I’m in shape. My first 2 weeks I was just doing body weight exercises like pushups, jump roping, burpees, etc. After just doing those movements I realized I was still not in the best shape.  From there on I asked myself “What do I have to lose,” so I continued my journey at TSC.  From there I lost another 30lbs and gain 12lbs of muscle in a year and I’m not the youngest of the members and I’m not the oldest member but the coaching staff have help me overcome any doubts of my capabilities.

Not only has Torque Strength & Conditioning help me lose weight and gain muscle but I have made a new family.  Without my CrossFit family I would not be where I am today.  Fitness should be fun not a downer and you don’t have to be the strongest to get in shape.  All you need to do is your best and give everything you got.  It does not matter whether it’s once a week or seven days a week anything is better than sitting on the couch letting life pass you by. For those of you out there wondering if this fake or real I’m putting myself out there and I have always been a big guy and now fitness is my life.  I love working out pushing myself to the limits.  I always wanted to be a hero and after starting and fitness journey, I know I have become just that, to my friends and family. Now it’s time to work towards something even greater; I want to become a Legend; you may ask why?  Well that’s because Legends never die. My story is a simple one of hard work and overcoming major obstacles in my life.  Love yourself and never give up.

For you non-believers here is a pic of my fitness journey over the years. Stay Strong My Friends.