I started exercising and gained weight! What now?

Taylor I started exercising and gained weight!  What now?I have a tiny, adorable client, Prix who started working with me back in August.   

She told me my class will be the first time she ever used weights but my 3pm weight training class was the only time she had to exercise and she was committed to consistency.  

Fair enough. 

Just like every woman I’ve trained,

when I hand Prix a set of dumbbells, she immediately says, “Oh, I can’t do that much, Jill,” but every time,

just like every woman I’ve trained,

she uses them and eventually surpasses what she thought she could do.  

I was and am intent on getting her small frame strong, only talking about her form, performance, consistency, and saying nothing about weight loss.

Over the months, we have watched her do full push ups when she couldn’t do any before, her squats look better than an Olympian, and she moves 25+ pound dumbbells when she could barely lift 8 pounds when she began.

I knew she was getting stronger but let me tell you, her size has not changed. 

Only her shape. Her sexy, heavier shape. 

But the other day in class, she asked in her soft little voice,

“Is it normal to gain weight when I lift weights?”  

Everyone in class starred at me wide-eyed for my response and I sank inwardly knowing I had to deliver what has been bad news to every other woman I’ve trained.


I replied with a smile and just waited for her to fight back with indignation.

But instead of a fight, she smiled and said,

“Oh, because I’ve gained 7 pounds since doing strength training. I was just wondering if it was normal.”

No drama. No arguments. No pouty face.

After I did my silent inner, happy dance, I gave the class my

Top 5 Reasons To Lift Weights:

METABOLISM – The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn at rest. This speeds up your metabolism and helps to burn body fat.

HEALTHY BONES – Lifting regularly helps increase bone density.

INDEPENDENCE – Being stronger just makes everything easier. Carrying things upstairs, picking up a kid, or bracing yourself in a mosh pit (maybe that’s just me). My client Donna, age 65, chops and carries wood for the fireplace and moves her own furniture. I want to do that!

CONFIDENCE – When you realize your strength, you’re inner strength begins to shine through. You begin to radiate. You get excited about your next challenge. That’s sexy!

I didn’t need to sell Prix.  She’s thrilled with her results and body.

Would she like to get a little more ripped? Yes, she does. We are now working on her nutrition habits and I’d be happy to give updates when we can get that girl to eat more. Stay tuned.

The same thing happens if you are a bigger framed girl, like myself and most of my clients.  You may gain weight when you first begin and that’s something to celebrate.  Strength.  It’s a beautiful thing.

What should you do when you gain weight at the start of an exercise program with weights?

First, relax, woman.

Celebrate your push ups and squats!

Leanness and body healing or weight loss happens when over time, you exercise the Hormone Friendly way, clean up your nutrition, and relax about it.

With so much Strength & Love,

jillsign611 I started exercising and gained weight!  What now?



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How To Stop Giving In To Cravings

3c3a8cd2da0dc00d263aba7d050ee4ce How To Stop Giving In To CravingsYou know, I may have every answer for how to eat and exercise for weight loss but cravings for habitual treats do not escape me.

I learned about Hormone Friendly Fitness and lifestyle about four years ago and began applying it to my life immediately but I still struggled with ice cream, cookie, and alcohol cravings and binges. 

In my work, I heard about everyone else’s cravings too.  I’m sure you have yours.  “I NEED my cheese, wine, bread, cereal, cream in coffee, fill in the blank, etc.

It took the ending of a romantic relationship several years ago for me to realize that I was filling emotional “holes” or emptiness with eating or bingeing.  The deeper issues behind why I had cravings, although they are also physical addictions, were exactly what I needed to begin exploring to make lasting change. 

This was and is not an overnight change.

It’s difficult to ask, “why?” 

Why was it that I could eat an entire container of gelato then carry on with my day training people and promoting healthy eating?  Digging deeper, I learned I wanted to distract myself from loneliness.  Why could it be that you can’t give up pasta?  Could it be that you come from an Italian family?  Maybe, but you still don’t HAVE to eat pasta.  So, why?  Maybe it reminds you of your grandma and you want to feel connected and close to your roots?  Why is this important to you?

How does it make you feel?

Exploration is just the beginning to end cravings for food your body doesn’t need but I found an exercise, again stemming from my desire to be in a healthy, romantic relationship, from Danielle LaPorte.  Danielle has a book called The Desire Map.  Check it out if you wish but today, I want to share with you a profound effect her Core Desired Feelings exercise had on me.

When I ask myself how I want to feel, I usually want to feel fulfilled in some way. 

Notice I didn’t say I want to feel a full belly!  I want to feel connected, feminine, radiant, and all sorts of feelings that I can CHOOSE instead of food.

When I ask myself how I want to feel and intuitively learn that I want to feel desirable, for example, I could begin with taking a few deep breaths, smile, and then flirt with my guy.  If I want to feel connected for example, I can call my mom or a girlfriend just to say I was thinking about them. 

By doing this, I have labeled how I want to FEEL and did what I could to feel that way. 

No food or unhealthy choice was needed.

I encourage you to give it a try.  For motivation, I like to pop over to Danielle’s Pinterest Board where she has a list of some of her Core Desired Feelings.  You can visit her page here:

Core Desired Feelings Pinterest Boards

Finally,  reach out to me.  Remember, relationship is part of your training.  I am here for you!

Strength & Love,

jillsign611 How To Stop Giving In To Cravings

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Food Rules

Do Eat:  Real Food47822bcbbd2983d0ea0da34fff78abef Food Rules

Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and healthy fat from fruit, nuts, and seeds.  When you eat combinations of food, be sure the ingredients are few.

This being said, there are foods in which are considered “real” which may be making your hormones crazy and express in very unhealthy ways causing psychological and physiological unbalance.

Do you have a hard time losing weight no matter what you try or do differently?

Do you have unexplained aches and pains?

Do you have skin, digestive, fertility issues or seasonal allergies?

When you strip your diet of culprit foods that cause internal, systemic inflammation, you allow your body to recover and reset your hormones for peak metabolic health.

Do Not Eat:

Eliminating the following foods will help you regain a healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover which foods are negatively affecting your health.  Isn’t that what we all really care about?

I’ve had clients tell me they have absolutely no issues with dairy until they eliminate it from their diet for 30 days, then introduce it back in only to find themselves feeling bloated, flegmy, or tired after they’ve eaten it.

Hmm…makes you wonder what you’ve allowed your body to get used to.

Is eliminating these foods punishment?  Heck no!  Remember as I always say, when you come from a place of “giving” to yourself, you choose the best options for your body.  So…

No Sugar
None. Real or artificial.  It kills. Want more?  
Check out Dr. Mercola’s sugar article:  Sugar Dangers
No Alcohol
Not even for cooking.
No Grains
Not wheat, barley, rye, oats, rice, millet, bulgur, sprouted grains, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, bran, germ, and starch. I know you’ve heard these are healthy but we have new information showing these cause internal inflammation.  Update yourself:  The Whole 30 Grain Manifesto.
No Legumes
This means beans.  Beans of all kinds including black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, and lava.  Also to avoid are chick peas, peas, lentils, peanuts, edamame, tofu, and tempeh.  See What’s Wrong With Beans and Legumes.
No Dairy
No cow, sheep, or goats milk products.  This includes cheese, and yes, Greek yogurt and sour cream.  Butter is ok.  See Dairy:  Milking It For All It’s Worth.
No Baked Goods
Even those that read “Paleo.”  See above.  No sugar.  
So you may be thinking, “This is basically everything!  What CAN I eat?”  
I LOVE that you asked because I’m not usually one to think about what I cannot have but rather what I can and what tastes amazing as well as bringing great health.  Below is my favorite visual and if you simply type “Paleo Recipes” into your browser, you will be sent to websites with simple to fancy approved foods.  


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Is Weight Loss Too Superficial A Goal For Your Evolved Self?

1bd2b9ca33fce105fb7b7cc4a374e36c Is Weight Loss Too Superficial A Goal For Your Evolved Self?I work with a lot of women like you.  Smart, gorgeously unique, capable of caring for yourself and others, successful or at least interested in being so.

When we arrive in a place in our lives where aging and weight gain means we either accept change or make change, the question arises,

“Why should I care about my extra 20 or so pounds? My looks are so superficial and there are far more important things in the world to dedicate my time.”

Let me begin by saying that I am a woman who appreciates performance.  Both in athletic feats, the miracle of the body itself in the way it moves, adapts, heals, creates life, (you know, it’s awesomeness!), and the way a fully informed, educated woman can deliver a message or spearhead a worthy mission.

Despite the seeming superficial focus of my work in weight loss, I have never first approached it as purely aesthetic.  That’s just not my style.  I can respect the woman who decides to do a bodybuilding competition or loses weight to fit in to her favorite dress.  That’s hard work.  But personally, I have a different kind of respect and quite a bit more admiration for the woman who uses her body and fitness in life to hike, surf, educate, play, or move her own damn furniture.

That’s hot.

So why does it feel so weak to succumb to low self-image and strongly self-righteous to blow off the superficial desire to look and good?  I think we are asking the wrong questions and with skewed images of ourselves.

First, the facts:

Your physiology affects your mood.  What you put in, you get out.  Both in food and exercise.  No one wants to hang with an achy, cranky bitch in any arena whether at home, work, or out in the world.  Most importantly,  YOU don’t want to FEEL like an achy, cranky bitch. 

Where there’s extra weight, there’s inflammation.  Your doc says you’re healthy even with extra weight?  Maybe your blood work is good.  Maybe there are no signs of major health problems. Yet.  You can’t see internal inflammation.  It’s silent.  But you can see the affects.  It shows in your skin, your hair, disease, where you store excess body fat, etc.  And eventually, it will show up in less time for you on this planet. Less time for you to make a difference.  And that my friend, is tragic.

Second, the questions:

Why should I lose weight?  Not-so-helpful question.

Why should I care about my exercise and real food choices? Good question!

Because we need you.  The world needs you.  The world needs you to be happy, motivated, a freaking fantastic example of energetic, divine feminine leadership. That’s beautiful.  Beautiful is tough, sensitive, capable, yielding, willing to lead, and delegate.  All of that womanly awesomeness boils down to caring for that temple that is your body and it requires consistent body care practice.

Self-image is everything.  The way I see things, feeling good about the way you present yourself to the world means you’ll more confidently stand up for what’s right, you’ll make more choices based on what’s right for you and the greater good of the world and those around you.  And as an added bonus, you’ll take less shit.  And as an even better bonus, the process of caring for your body and the way you present yourself to the world even before you arrive at your said goal, is the most admirable and healing expression of self-love.   

Reflect on this self-image stuff for a moment.  This is my view point.  What are your thoughts?

Feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email in response to this post. Start with these questions to add to the conversation.

Do you think the way you look is too superficial a focus for you?  

How important is your own self-image?

Do you struggle with body aging acceptance and change?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Strength & Love,

jillsign611 Is Weight Loss Too Superficial A Goal For Your Evolved Self?


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I’m Closing My Doors!

7e9b9abdc9621d683736f91468e3f023 Im Closing My Doors!I was away from my website for a while and you may have noticed my consistent efforts as of late.

Truthfully, It’s because I had lost my passion for my business as it was.

But then something changed. 

At first, I forced the change.  I thought about refreshing the jilltrains website and taking a different approach.  I even hired a new business coach to help me get refocused, but when I sat down to refocus, all I wanted to do was watch Game Of Thrones and hang out with my boyfriend.

My new business coach, Stephenie, said, “Jill, I think you need to take more time for self-care.”  So, I did a lot of it and I still am.  I watch TV when I want.  Nap.  Workout. I go out to see the live music I love, see my friends daily, and most importantly, I went to a 3-day work week. 


It’s a beautiful thing.

In this time, after I stopped forcing things, a decision came to me that opened me up to a sense of relief that I’ve never felt in my business.

I’ve decided to move on. 

What does this mean for my training business?  Here’s what I’m thinking…

1.  I want to give you what you want.  My most read, shared, and responded to Blog post was, He Said I Was Fat & Ugly.  In this post, I shared a very personal and vulnerable story of an abusive relationship that led me to healing self-love and discovery along with techniques to move beyond troublesome words that were said to me and the way I felt about myself.  

Everyone wanted to know more.

Made me wonder,

“maybe people will get better, more immediate results in our work together if I help them get to the root of why they’re not living their best life.” 

2.  I don’t want to give you what you ask for.  I’ve championed Jilltrains Wellness & Fitness for 10 years.  In that time, I’ve asked what you exactly what you wanted to learn from me and how I may serve. 

This is what I was most often asked,

“How can I lose belly fat really fast?”

“What’s the best exercise to lose my flabby arms?”

“I’m desperate, how can I lose my last 5lbs.?”

I get it.

I’m not judging.  I want to be and stay fit too.  Everything you need for results like that is here in my post, How To Get Results: Exactly What I Tell Private Clients.

The answers don’t lie in the quick fixes and I don’t want to twist my words in the attempt to give you your medicine. twit bird Im Closing My Doors!

What I’ve discovered over the years and in the trenches is that you’re going to do whatever you want.  You’ll find a “cleanse” online, you’ll find a new diet book, you’ll buy a juicer, feel great, feel crappy, and tell me about.  You’ll lose 4lbs, put it back on, make excuses, give up, come back after 3 months, and all the while I’m wishing that you would just care about yourself as much as I care about you.  Enough so that you

GIVE yourself what your really craving.  ACCEPTANCE

NOURISH yourself with loving words. SELF-RESPECT

LOVE yourself enough to give these things consistently.  DESERVEDNESS

When you strengthen your acceptance, self-respect, and deservedness muscles, it becomes quite natural to give your body the exercise it needs and enjoy the way it makes you feel. You very naturally nourish your body with quality food, and when you deeply love yourself, all of these choices come from unwavering self-respect.

Makes me wonder,

“this may not be what personal training is all about according to the fitness world.  But I want it to be.  Maybe people will listen to me if I take this approach anyway.”

So Im starting new.  I’m not sure what this is going to look like.  My site may evolve,  I may bust out a completely different area of my business, who knows?  If you decide to keep following me, awesome!  I’m overjoyed to have your support along the way. 

I’ll post workout videos, as long as you keep asking for them. I’ll continue to train my private community and take on new clients. Especially because I’ve rolled out a new Distance Coaching Program that will allow you to train with me even if you don’t live in Chicago!

There are plenty of fitness professionals giving quick fix advice in posts and videos all over the internet.  I just don’t want to deliver the same message in a different body. 

I can only be myself and I am on a self-respecting path that does not include quick fixes.  This path is beautiful, messy, excruciatingly awesome, and it’s shifting.  Aho!

I believe strongly in my work.  In order for me to stay fulfilled and give you all I’ve got, I must help pioneer a Wellness Industry that promotes Self-Love.  I hope you’re up for the ride.

Strength & Love,

jillsign611 Im Closing My Doors!


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