#buttonup baby!

Looking like I just stepped out of 2001 with my Abercrombie & Fitch bootcut buttonflys 🙂

Seeing that I live in leggings, I can go weeks without putting on clothes that I actually have to fit into if I didn’t make it a point to do so.

Let me explain why I STILL use these jeans and not a newer, more stylish pair, when it comes to tracking progress. 

These are like old-school denim with no stretch whatsoever, they don’t lie. I bought these in 2001 after I spend 14 weeks as a strength and conditioning intern at the University of Tusla.



I came back from that internship the strongest I had ever been. I lifted (heavy) 4 days per week, doing all the same things our athletes did. I was front squatting, back squatting, practicing pull-ups, leg pressing, olympic lifting, sprinting etc…I was also eating well and not going out 2-3 nights per week which was normal in school. At the end of that internship, all of my jeans were too big, so off to A&F it was to buy these bad boys…


After grad school I worked for Mike Boyle S+C. Again, still training really hard, lifting heavy 3-4 days per week, but the jeans started to get tighter.



They started to get tighter because I was in a new routine, living by myself for the first time in a few years, and eating a lot out of boredom and loneliness (didn’t realize this then of course). I was still eating “clean”, but I was definitely taking in more calories than when I was at school.

A few years later, I started training for bikini competitions and for the first time in a while, I could wear the jeans again (and at this point my self-worth was absolutely tied into whether or not they fit…which is thankfully not the case anymore. It’s really just not in the budget to have to buy new clothes, so my goal is to be able to maintain the ones I currently fit into). I fit into the jeans again at that point not because of the training, that really hadn’t changed much, it was because I was more mindful of my food choices.

Looking back it’s ALWAYS diet that is the determining factor on whether or not these jeans fit.


When they get tight I know it’s not because I’m lifting more, or lifting heavier, it’s because I’m eating more….and I have 14 years and countless experiences with these jeans to back up that statement.


Lifting has never made me “bulky”. In fact, I believe the exact opposite happens. But when I’m eating too much, drinking too much and not paying attention to my hunger, choices, etc…I sure feel bulky.


How do I know if I’m eating too much?


These jeans don’t fit comfortably.


With the holidays right around the corner, I plan on using these jeans as my measuring stick.  I’ll be wearing them (not just trying them on) to make sure I don’t start walking like the tin man, and driving in them to make sure I don’t feel like I’m going to pop the buttons off.  I’ll be doing this a few days per week to hold myself accountable to all the little extras that add up –  and I invite you to do the same.

I’m starting a free #buttonupchallenge next week. Yes, they’ll be workouts involved, but like I said, I have 14 years of experience that tells me just exercising doesn’t have a great track record of keeping these jeans fitting.


This challenge is about eating with intention, choosing where we want to indulge, and just being a bit more mindful of how those choices affect how our jeans fit.


You don’t need to use jeans as your measuring stick. Maybe you’re a business woman and you have a suit or a dress that juuuuuust fits. Use that.


I think this is a really great way to maintain through the holidays! I’m not going to tell you to not eat desserts or go 6 weeks without drinking – hell no. But I’m going to ask you to try on your jeans a couple times per week and see how your choices are showing up in your clothes…because clothes (that button and zip and aren’t made of elastic) don’t lie.


You in? Click here to learn more and to join the challenge! We start on 11/30.


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