Mindful Eating

This is a guest post by Carla Wyatt: 

Mindfulness: A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly and non-judgmentally acknowledging one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.

 The present moment is the only time anyone has to perceive, learn, grow, or change. – Jon Kabat-Zinn

I am a big fan of mindfulness. I am also a big fan of eating. Put the two together? I. Am. Sold.

Mindfulness can dramatically change our lives. It can bring a deep sense of appreciation and fullness to each moment. Experiences, like eating, can be richer and more satisfying.

Mindfulness, even in its simplicity, can be one of the most challenging practices. Now that I think about it, I guess the same can be said for healthy eating.

We are used to having packed schedules, eating on the run, in our cars and eating food for convenience instead of health. We are constantly being bombarded by clever food marketing strategies and misinformation. It is no wonder that we don’t know what is what anymore! Who has time to focus on the NOW?!?

Slowing down and focusing on the present can be hard! Just try to be mindful for, let’s say, 5 minutes. Completely mindful, fully present in the moment…starting NOW, I’ll wait…

Oh, lost it already?? Yeah, me too. Did you get distracted by bacon? Just me?



The good news is that mindfulness is a PRACTICE and a great way to start the practice of mindfulness is with an eating meditation. It is traditionally done with a raisin. (In case you really dislike raisins, it can be done with anything. Might I suggest a small piece of dark chocolate?)

The eating meditation goes a little something like this…

Start by taking 3 rounds of breath, as deep into your belly as you can get it. See if you can move your awareness with your breath, following it in and out.

Put the raisin in your hand. Really look at it, like you have never seen a raisin before.

Now close your eyes.

Put the raisin in your mouth.

Slowly, S-l-o-w-l-y chew the raisin, don’t swallow. Just move it naturally in your

mouth noticing the taste and the texture. Do the flavors change? Does the texture

or shape change? What do you notice?

When you are ready, swallow the raisin and open your eyes.

No magic in that, right? That is mindful eating at its simplest.


Of course, there can be so much more to mindful eating. We can be mindful as we make our food choices at the market. We can be fully present in the experience of preparing our food. We can pay attention to how our body reacts to the foods that we are eating. The practice of mindfulness will also lead us to look into our motivation for eating. Are we truly hungry? Or are we motivated by emotions, boredom, reward, or social pressures?

Mindful eating can help us become more aware of our hunger and satiety cues. How do you feel when you start your meal? Ravenous? A little hungry? Hangry? How do you feel when you finish your meal? Do you need to unbutton your pants? Do you feel about 80% full? Eating mindfully allows time for our brain to register that we are full, which can take about 20 minutes.

Sit down, do nothing else but eat. Eat with all of your senses. Put your fork down between bites. See if you can extend your meal time and really savor your food. Make your first bite a mindful bite. Similar to the raisin exercise above. Close your eyes, and really experience the food. Do this exercise mid-way through your meal and with your last bite as well. You will be amazed at how much more satisfying the eating experience is, and likely you will feel full sooner, because you are fully present and mindful.

So what do you say? Let’s eat!

Which one are you?

Which one are you?


Who is Carla Wyatt?

  • Nutrition Coach at 2.0 Next Level Fitness
  • Registered Nurse– with honors from UW School of Nursing in 2000.
  • Clinic Nurse/Nutrition Educator/Biofeedback Therapist at Pacific Rehabilitation Centers since 2006; working with chronic pain patients.
  • Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies
  • Eat To Perform Nutrition Coach Certification








Episode 17: Is Privacy A Thing Of The Past?


In this episode Garett and Jessica once again discuss the role of social media and how it effects our lives. Will we have any privacy left? And, Is it really a bad thing if we no longer have any privacy?

But before they get into the topic of privacy Garett and Jessica discuss a fascinating documentary titled Planet Earth. After watching the documentary Garett is convinced that penguins are dumb!

Then the conversation goes back to social media and all the pressures associated with being constantly connected.

Lastly, Garett talks about the “House Keeper study”. The result of this study is nothing short of amazing!

Check out this episode!

The Grass is Greener (Self-Sabotage Series)

If you have ever been to a yoga studio, hung out with a hipster, or been around anyone who has ever used the word “ZEN” in a sentence, then I can almost guarantee you have heard the word “mindfulness” a time or two. But what exactly is mindfulness? Well, mindfulness in its most basic definition means, being 100% in the moment. This means, giving all your attention to the task at hand, not getting distracted by outside thoughts. A way to relate this into the fitness world would be to think of it like this; the opposite of mindfulness is, working out while simultaneously thinking about what you are going to make for dinner and how you only have 2-more days until that major work project is due and that you also forgot to pay the electric bill. In other words, you are completely distracted during your workout thus resulting is a sub-par performance.

Focus on the NOW

Focus on the NOW

But mindfulness is more than just focusing on the current task, it is an actual way of life. It (mindfulness) is about embracing the NOW, it is about living in the moment. Trust me, living in the moment can be harder than you think! How many people do you know that are still living in the past, (remember Al Bundy and the 4 touchdown game)? Or what about the person so concerned about the future that they forget to enjoy (or at least experience) the present moment? They focus so much on the end-result that they forget to enjoy the journey. In the fitness world I call them the “grass is always greener” people, and these people suffer from a major form of self-sabotage because they spend more time waiting, wanting and/or reminiscing about the “good ole days” then they do, “doing”.

You should have seen me, I scored 4 touchdowns in one game!!!

You should have seen me, I scored 4 touchdowns in one game!!!

A grass is greener person is living the exact opposite of a mindful life. Instead of focusing on their current exercise program, they are waiting and hoping for a new gym, a new trainer, a new supplement, a new diet, and/or a new exercise program to come along and be the solution to all their fitness related problems. Why? Because it is easier to wish and hope for results then it is to earn them! It’s true, success is hard and despite everything we know, many people still believe that short cuts exist. So instead of buckling down and putting in work, they spend most of their time looking for unicorns and leprechauns!

So how do you know if you are a grass is greener person? Well let’s look at some of the signs/symptoms:

  • You are once again excited about another “new gym” opening up – The world of fitness is definitely growing and it seems that new fitness centers are opening up all the time especially if you live in a major city. Now if you love fitness it is definitely natural to be a little curious about the new gym (their trainers and methodologies) but your curiosity boarders on obsession. Ironically your obsession with this new gym makes little since as you have never been there or know nothing about the place other than what you read on their Facebook page. However, this doesn’t stop you from sharing all their posts and voicing your excitement on all forms of social media. Sadly just like the guy/girl that can never find true love, your relationship with this exciting new gym last no more than a few months.
  • You constantly want to “mix-up” your workout – It has only been 3-months but somehow you think you have once again hit a plateau in your current workout. This lack of progress (remember it has only been 3-months) has you convinced that your muscles have adapted to your current workout rendering this particular workout useless. The solution?  CrossFit, or yoga, or maybe hot yoga, or hot yoga crossfit (don’t steal my idea 😉 ) or maybe even pilates, spin, and/or Kettlebells, in fact you want to do anything as long as it is not your current workout plan.
  • You have every gadget or gimmicky machine you can get your hands on – Whether it is the Shake Weight, the Thigh Master, the Ab Lounger, Fitbits, Heart Rate Monitors, Step Counters, or Bar Method you have spent more money and more time looking for the easy path instead of doing what actually works, being CONSISTENT!!!
  • You still believe in fad diets – You have finally found the solution to your fitness problems, it is the cotton ball diet, or raw food diet, or the master cleanse diet, or the latest MLM diet, in fact any “diet” sounds like the solution to your problems except eating REAL WHOLE FOODS!

Now I am not saying that you should never change things up, in fact change can be a good thing but it needs to be a conscience decision. Because there is no perfect workout plan or perfect diet (except eating real whole food). Always remember that there are many ways to the top of the fitness mountain but no matter which route you take you must find some consistency. Consistency is and will always be the key to success and instead of looking for the next best thing sometimes you just need to “dance with the girl you brought”.


While I would never encourage anyone to settle, I definitely don’t want you to fall into the trap of thinking the grass is always greener, because if you know anything about fitness it is impossible to master. You can always run faster, lift more weight, improve your form, and/or increase the intensity. The journey of fitness is not about finding the next best thing it is about finding yourself, and it is impossible to find yourself if you do not push thorough adversity. While there are multiple paths to the top of the fitness mountain no one path is any easier than the other, they are all hard, so instead of worrying about the future, focus on what you are doing today to become the best version of yourself. Life is too short and if you spend all your time waiting for something better to come along you will look back over your life and see all your wasted potential! Every day you wake-up you have the opportunity to become a better person, you have the opportunity to take an active part in designing your own future instead of waiting around hoping that someone or something will come along and design your future for you. So I urge to to start living in the moment, I urge you to stop waiting and instead take an active part in your life.

Mindfulness 2



“Re-Defining Expectations” The Linsey Jackson Interview (Best of the best series)

Can trainer have a favorite client?…

That is definitely an unfair question, that is like asking a parent if he or she has a favorite child. Now I am not saying personal training clients are like children, what I am saying is, that it is not really possible to have just one favorite, every client is completely unique, it really is comparing apples to oranges. So while it is true that all clients are different making it nearly impossible to compare them to each other, I can however tell you that there is definitely a distinction between good clients and GREAT clients. Great clients are…well… GREAT! They are an absolute pleasure to train and are the primary reason personal trainers love their jobs!


Strong is beautiful! Also the gloves are a much nicer upgrade #Winning

So what makes a great client? Well for starters, they are committed to achieving excellence (no matter their starting point)! But there’s more, a great client shares many of the same values as some of the most successful people on the planet, which makes them truly inspirational! Great clients are also fully aware that they are in complete control over their own destiny. This is because at some point in their fitness/life journey they made the realization that the only person that can prevent them from achieving their goals is themselves. Once this revelation has been made, they start to become unstoppable, they begin to experience a burning desire to break the status-quo, and they start letting their own light shine brighter than ever!

Great clients not only possess an amazingly strong mental toughness which allows them to overcome almost any obstacle, they also possess the work ethic needed to achieve any goal they desire. But most importunately Great clients respect/enjoy the journey! This enjoyment of the journey comes from the knowledge that success comes slowly (life is a marathon not a sprint) but at the same time they also take pride in knowing that each and everyday they become just a little better! Because of all this, a great client is not only fun to be around but they inspire and even push the trainer to be better. That’s what makes a great client, a person who works so hard and accomplishes so much that the trainer has to step up his game just to keep up!

Linsey Feb 2014

Linsey doing the first ever CINCO Saturday (Feb 2014)

One client that has no doubt pushed me to be better is Linsey Jackson. I even remember her first day in the gym, she drove up in a Tesla, drinking Apollinaris Sparkling Mineral Water Mineral Water, wearing J-lo shades and walking around like she owned the place. Things got even more interesting when I asked her if she needed gloves, she told me, “no, I have my own”,  and showed me the cheapest and most generic $10 gloves ever! The gloves made me laugh a little as they definitely didn’t fit her, “I like the finer things” profile.

These were the "high end" gloves Linsey had. LOL

These were the “high end” gloves Linsey had when she first walked into the gym. LOL!

It is this same profile (liking the finer things) that I love about Linsey, she is a great reminder that, sometimes we should have a really nice bottle of wine, or (finally) “upgrade” to much nicer boxing gloves, lol, but seriously, it is a good reminder that sometimes we all need to stop and smell the roses, that life is too short not to enjoy our time here. But it is deeper than just the love of nice things, Linsey is just successful at life, in fact her personal motto is, “winning” and quite frankly just like DJ Khalid, “all she does is win”!

Linsey is “winning” mom, she “wins” in her career, she “wins” in the gym and quite frankly she wins at life. In a world where most people are happy doing the bare minimum, Linsey has a way of pushing the limits not only finding ways to exceed expectations but actually re-defining expectations. Linsey’s attitude about life reminds me about the 4-min mile, the expectation was that it could not be done, however, once Roger Bannister re-defined the expectation of human physical performance a once impossible task for the worlds best athletes has now become possible for high school students! And that is why it is an honor to train Linsey, because she has taught me about not settling for standards that were set forth by other people, because greatness is achieved not by meeting the standards but by setting them higher then previously thought possible. So thank you Linsey, that is some powerful knowledge!

Strong mind and strong body. Practicing Mindfulness using the MUSE headband!

So I challenge you all to redefine your expectations for your job, redefine your expectations about your health and most importantly redefine your expectation about what you can accomplish over your lifetime! The time is now to let your light shine brighter than thought possible!

Check out the Linsey Jackson interview below:

Besides being a CKO Superhero and one of Garett’s hardcore clients, what is your day job? I’m a Recruiting manager for a Social Networking company. My teams help hire our Software engineers. I also have 2 little boys, which keeps me busy. 🙂

What are your hobbies? Playing with my boys, kickboxing, gardening, hanging out with friends and family, rock climbing, drinking red wine (in moderation). I also love traveling, especially to other countries or places I’ve never been before.


Bringing friends to CKO


How did you first learn of CKO?  Tracy! She convinced me to check it out, so glad I did. Garett was the instructor for my first class, and he beat us all into submission. I was so exhausted that I tried to get into someone else’s car afterwards.

What are some of your fitness goals? Generally to be strong, and badass. Getting stronger helps me wrangle and keep up with my boys. It’s important to me to be my best, for them.

Photo shoot

Photo shoot

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself? Levelling up, getting better and better.  I usually train with G first thing in the morning, and I must say – the rest of my day is better because of it. He helps me set the pace for performing at my best throughout the day, week etc… in all aspects of my life.

Would you recommend Garett’s personal training services? If so, why? Yes! Yes yes yes.  He’s challenging, but fun and he gets results.  Like I mentioned, he helps push me to be better, with training and it carries over to everything I do.  He inspires me to keep finding my limits, push them, find new ones, push them etc…

Chains for breakfast

Chains for breakfast

What is the best part about training with Garett? Where do I begin? The results are great, but what comes out of his mouth while we’re training is entertaining and can be pretty inspiring. I like to describe it as “Renon Realness.” Here are some examples:

(Garett Renon quotes)

”I don’t know who is going to dominate the world, but it won’t be a weak b*tch”

“Can you make that look…more…athletic?”

“I just want to help people not be weak b*tches”

“I know it feels heavy…but this is really not a lot of weight”

“Wow, you look tired today”

He does a great job toeing the line with being supportive, pushing me, and never quite being satisfied with my progress.  One of my other favorite things is when he goes on philosophical rants about anything from the decline of society to whether or not aliens exist.  Really helps me get through the 7am work outs.

What was the hardest part about training with Garett? He is challenging and hard to impress. For example, I worked up to doing 1 pull-up a while back (I can do 4 now!). I was sooo impressed with myself, and Garett’s response was (shrug) “that’s like level 1, level 0 maybe. Everyone should be able to pull themselves up” 🙂 He keeps me humble though!

Photo shoot

Photo shoot

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?  Push press is not my favorite. Neither is walking weighted lunges and weighted step-ups on the box. I think G knows I hate them and incorporates them as often as possible to keep me in my place. JK, but he does keep pushing me to overcome my weaknesses, and embrace/defeat the things I struggle most with. It’s good for all of us to have someone like that around, keeping us honest and keeping it real. #RenonRealness 🙂


Podcast Ep. 3 (Get to know Garett and Jessica)

Team Renon Podcast Ep. 3

Team Renon logo

What does the future hold? Will we merge with technology and live in a utopia, or are we destined to live out our final days fighting for the survival of our species in a war of man versus machine? Yes, we really talked about that.  Also did Garett reveal his 2015 fitness goal? This podcast was a glimpse into the lives of Garett and Jessica and what was on their mind over the last few days.

 Check out this episode!