Gym Jitters

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Good morning, friends!

I hope your day is off to a beautiful start!

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The star of this morning’s breakfast was this baby:

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Have you heard about Biscoff Spread?! Well, if not, it’s butter cookie-flavored spread. For real. And it’s out of this world. I found it at Stop & Shop yesterday afternoon (near the peanut butter) and haven’t been able to keep my fingers spoon out of the jar. It’s so damn delicious! I give this jar the weekend before it’s gone. (As I was writing this post, I stumbled upon a coupon for a $1 off Biscoff Spread. Yep, I just printed it. I’ll need more soon.)

For breakfast, I added Biscoff Spread, banana slices, and chia seeds to a whole wheat wrap. I also drank an iced coffee with soy milk.

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Three Questions Thursday

It’s Three Questions Thursday! Here are some new Q & A’s!

I am having trouble getting the color red and yellow in my diet. I am not a fan of tomatoes or red bell peppers or pretty much anything that is red. Would you happen to have any ideas on how I can incorporate any other vegetable colors (besides green) into my diet or even “sneak” them in?

Great question! I think your best bet is incorporating different kinds of veggies into cooked meals to give them a different flavor. I immediately thought of omelets, quiches, and frittatas. They’re a great way to add veggies (red and yellow included), and almost anything goes with eggs. Plus, if you chop up the veggies nice and small and add some cheese and herbs, you might not even taste them. A vegetable lasagna or pasta dish are some other ways that you can incorporate veggies. If you want to try a homemade sauce, I love this one for Roasted Tomato Sauce). It’s red, but I swear it’s delicious!

For other colored veggies, like orange and purple, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, and eggplant are some of my favorite vegetables. Check out my recipe page (under the Vegetable heading) for some tasty ideas!

What type of foam roller do you use and where did you buy it?

I bought my foam roller from my local running store, but you can find them at most sporting goods stores or online. The one that I own is from Power Systems and it’s 12 inches long (6 inches in diameter). There are also 18-inch and 36-inch foam rollers. All of them are great options.

I actually prefer the longer foam rollers because you can roll both sides of your body at the same time (glutes, quads, etc.). The short foam roller saves space because it’s smaller, but you can only roll one part of your body at a time.

I just joined our YMCA on Monday. I am very excited and very nervous. I worked out on Monday and felt great. I have always wanted to join a gym, so I’m glad I did. But, I’m still afraid of people staring at me or not knowing what to do when I get there. Do you have any suggestions to help me feel more comfortable when I am there?

Very exciting! Joining a new gym is a great way to jumpstart your fitness routine and motivation. However, I agree that it can be an intimidating and daunting place. Keep in mind that the gym isn’t just for “fit” people. It’s for everyone”” no matter what your fitness level, shape, size, age, color, etc. Remember, you’re one of the many different kinds of people who use the gym, and you’re all there to make yourself healthier, and that’s what is most important.

Most people who go to the gym just want to get in, get their workout done, and get out. A lot of the time, people are so focused on themselves and their workout, they’re not paying attention to others around them. However, if someone stares at you, don’t worry about it. In fact, stare right back and smile! Who knows? Maybe they’re curious about your workout or are motivated by your desire to get fit? Most people aren’t going to care about what you’re doing at the gym. If anything, use those stares as motivation”” show people what you are capable of!

The gym might be a little overwhelming at first, but remember that everyone started out as a newbie at some point in their lives. Most gyms offer an orientation, so sign up for one. It’s a great way to get to know the gym, and sometimes, the staff will even start you on a fitness program. And don’t be afraid to try something new! Check out the group exercise schedule and see if any classes look fun to you. Again, you don’t need to be fit to take a class”” they’re for everyone. Before class, just let the instructor know that you’re new, and they’ll show you exercise modifications if you need them. Group exercises classes are also a great way to learn the basics of exercise. Most instructors talk nonstop and add in tips and advice throughout the entire class.

Lastly, if it’s an option, recruit a friend or family member to join the gym with you. Having a gym buddy is a great way to stay motivated and stick with it, but it’s also really nice to have a friendly face at the gym to make you feel more at ease.

Question of the Day

What advice to do have for someone who is new to the gym? What should they know?



  1. Often times gyms offer a free first personal trainer session. Definitely take advantage of it… Just don’t be pressured into paying for more sessions unless you want to. Sometimes they can be a little pushy. Also observe exercises others are doing. I often pick up new weight lifting moves by watching people while on the elliptical.

  2. What a beautiful photo of the flower!

    I am a bit shy so my advice for someone joining a gym is to try and be a bit brave and willing to feel awkward when you explore all your new gym has to offer. If you get out of your comfort zone for a bit often you find exciting new options.

  3. That Biscoff spread looks amazing! Your wrap looks like a quesadilla, I need to try that soon. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of that before, I always have bananas, wraps, and nut butter on hand.
    Great tips, all I can add is that you should try to smile, even if you feel like a dork. It makes you look comfortable, and should help you feel better. Just know that you have the right to be there too, even if you’re new!

  4. I’d tell anyone the best thing I did was join my local gym and ASKED QUESTIONS.

    Since asking the trainers for advice/help with machines and workouts, I’ve gained friends, confidence, and awesome workout tips. Just from putting myself out there. 🙂

  5. Like in everything, if you feel out of place, awkward, people will feel it too… you should walk with confidence! You should show confidence in your movements as well : always keep a straight back, especially when it comes to weights : NEVER bend your back and stick your back shoulders out all the time (standing up or sitting down), to avoid looking like a rookie and to avoid injuries and back pain. Now, start to work out like a queen! 🙂

  6. AHH! Get OUT! I just bought Biscoff Spread the other day and I literally I’ve been eating it straight off the spoon.. I put some in a green monster this morning. My favorite way so far has been baked in puff pastry with marshmallow fluff or chocolate chips. To.die.for. It’s so addictive! I give my jar another two days.. max!

  7. First of all, bless you for finding this coupon. I can’t stomach spending $4 on a jar of Biscoff spread, but $3 is totally acceptable. I will be buying this tomorrow : )

    Second of all, I remember feeling similarly jittery when I first started working out. Luckily, both my dad and brother were gym buffs, so they took the time to show me around the weight room. I highly recommend spending some time with people who know what their doing to prevent injury AND make sure your workout is effective!

  8. That soreness is normal! Don’t run away because you get sore, that means your breaking down muscle and building it back up. You won’t be sore forever, just as your getting used to working out.

  9. Biscoff is the best invention ever! I eat it straight out of the jar most times. Thanks for the coupon. That stuff isn’t cheap!

  10. Wow, Biscoff sounds amazing!!!!
    For the gym newbie; as an instructor can I just say that YMCAs and community centers are GREAT for folks just starting out! We get all levels of gym goers, as well as people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities. Your advice about taking advantage of the new member programs is right-on. Very often new members are offered at least one personal training session. I’ve also found that other members are usually more than glad to give advice, as well.
    Finally, it’s always helpful to me when a member tells me s/he is new to the class. It helps me to be sure I’m giving the right modifications for them. I also really stress that everyone should take breaks as needed, but also to challenge themselves. One of the things I love about teaching Pilates is that clients learn to listen to their bodies.

  11. for the first question, colored veggies into her diet, I have a million ideas and have done tons of posts on that topic, eating the rainbow, etc. I hope she finds some solutions.

    And Biscoff spread…love it! I created some nobake biscoff chocolate chip cookie dough bites the other week. I used biscoff cookies b/c they are actually vegan and so the recipe is vegan (not gf but almost).

    I love love love the flavors in Biscoffs. Enjoy your spread 🙂

  12. I was exactly the same way when I started lifting weights. A couple things that helped me were having a concrete plan before I went to the gym. I knew exactly what I was going to do which made me feel much more comfortable. I also found that going early mornings before work was best because there are not too many people there, so it is less intimidating. It also helps if you can find a gym buddy.

  13. The biscoff spread sounds awesome! I definitely 2nd taking doing the orientation. If your familiar with the equipment, I always like to start out with cardio for the 1st week or so, get my feel for the machines & weights & what I want to do. Then make my own program.

  14. I would say try lots of things. Find out if you like group classes, weight lifting, what cardio machines you like…stuff like that. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a few trainer tips!

  15. The cheapest I can find foam rollers in Australia is for $90. I believe you can get them in the US for around $10?! We are getting ripped off big time – on everything. Needless to stay I stick to using the gym’s foam roller, especially because hardly anyone uses it because I don’t think they know what it is!

  16. OoOooo I MUST try this spread! I absolutely adore their cookies which I recently found at Trader Joes for about a dollar less than at Safeway! TJs just calls them Bistro Cookies and I spread Nutella on them for my chocolate fix 😉

  17. I am so thrilled to find out about Biscoff spread, because I JUST experienced “cookie butter” in Belgium! It’s made from ginger snap like cookies and is SO good! I didn’t think we had anything like it in the states, so glad we do!!

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