Welcome! I’m Exa, a coffee-chugging, outdoor-loving, 30-something living in Stillwater, Oklahoma by way of the East Coast and Chicago. I’m a former high school U.S. history teacher with a current 8-5 in higher education administration.
As a certified personal trainer and wellness and nutrition coach, I am committed to empowering women to become their best selves living their best lives. I am about self-love, body positivity, healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes, and effective and fun workouts.
On the blog, I share workouts, healthy recipes, self-care tips, foodie finds, and life snapshots. Thanks for stopping by!
My Workout Philosophy
More than anything, I believe in moving your body every day, in a way that feels good to you. This could be yoga, long walks, a fun run, or lifting some really heavy shit.
When I first started working out, I was like a lot of other young women. I logged hours on cardio machines and occasionally picked up some free weights. From there, I entered a phase of tons of hot yoga (still love it!) and distance running. In my late 20s, I ran five half marathons, with a PR of 1:49 in October of 2015. After repeated IT band trouble, I left distance running behind and turned to strength training and quick, effective HIIT workouts. This new workout regimen transformed my body, but more importantly, it transformed the way I thought about myself. Lifting heavy (for me) and working effectively helped me focus on what my body could do, rather than what it looked like. As an ED survivor, this was a revelation to me. Moreover, these new workouts were faster and more effective than logging hours on the elliptical—great for me as a working professional!
If you work with me, we will focus on building strength through fun and fast workouts that will empower you mentally and physically.
My Food Philosophy
As a former vegetarian (for almost 20 years), I believe in eating a lot of plants. This has earned me the nicknames Bunny and Carrot Stick, as well as a reputation as the “giant salad bowl lady” at my office. That being said, I eat tacos and tortilla chips pretty much every week and I’m a big fan of everything bagels, dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt, and pretty much all forms of pie.
I don’t believe in restrictive diets, and I firmly believe that everyone’s body is different and that certain foods work well for some people while certain foods do not. I believe in enjoying the foods that make you feel good, mentally and physically. I believe in eating that cupcake and not feeling bad about it—if that’s what you want. Too often, we let negative self-talk create phobias and restrictive behaviors. If we empower ourselves to make whatever choices we want about food, with our eyes open, we can enjoy food and our lives more fully.
A Few Tidbits About Me:
· I’m a former high school & middle school Social Studies teacher. I still have a Teachers Pay Teachers website where I sell some of my former lessons.
· I love to travel (who doesn’t?). I’ve been to London; Paris; Barcelona & San Sebastian, Spain; Istanbul & Mersin, Turkey; Prague; Rome, Florence, Naples, Capri, & Sicily, Italy; and all over the United States. My favorite travel buddies are my best friend of 20+ years, Cathy, and my husband, Doug.
· I met my husband on the first day of graduate school in Chicago, Illinois. I sat next to him because he had shaggy hair and a Neil Young button on his backpack. The rest is history.
· I’m an avid Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. While I don’t watch episodes every day anymore, it is still my favorite show of all time. I used to record every episode on VHS and decorate the boxes!