Episode 081: Spotting Self-Sabotage with Amber Brueseke

Episode Transcription

Our expert guest is Amber Brueseke, a certified personal trainer, fitness instructor, registered nurse, and mom of four. She’s also the creator of MACROS 101. Amber helps her clients overcome self-sabotage and finally achieve their fitness goals.

In this episode, Diana and Amber chat about motherhood, fitness, and overcoming self-sabotage.

Join Amber’s Challenge: bicepsafterbabies.com/challenge

Find Amber on Instagram: Amber Brueseke (@biceps.after.babies)

We’ll also discuss:

  • Empowering moms to prioritize self-care
  • Understanding and overcoming self-sabotage
  • Finding balance in fitness and nutrition
  • Understanding macros and fueling your body

What can you expect from this podcast and future episodes?

  • 15-20 minute episodes to help you tackle your to-do list
  • How to declutter in an effective and efficient way
  • Guest interviews
  • Deep dives on specific topics 


Find Diana Rene on social media:

Instagram: @the.decluttered.mom
Facebook: @the.decluttered.mom
Pinterest: @DianaRene

Are you ready for a peaceful and clutter-free home? Watch my FREE training video "Kiss Clutter Goodbye" to learn how it's possible! And find all of my resources here.

This transcript is auto-generated. Please excuse grammatical errors.


Diana Rene: 0:06

You're listening to The Decluttered Mom Podcast, a podcast built specifically for busy moms by a busy mom. I'm your host, Diana Rene, and in 2017, I had my second daughter, and it felt like I was literally drowning in my home. Okay, not literally, but I felt like I couldn't breathe with all of the stuff surrounding me. Over the next ten months, I got rid of approximately 70% of our household belongings, and I have never looked back. I kind of feel like I hacked the mom system, and I'm here to share all the tips, tricks, and encouragement. Let's listen to today's show. Awesome. So today, we have one of my friends, and her name is Amber Brueseke, and I just botched it one second ago to her, but apparently, I'm not alone, so I feel better. Amber has been a friend for a couple of years. We met through a business program, and we've gone through. You know, she helped me one-on-one with some business coaching. We were in a mastermind last year together, and I have been trying to figure out a way to bring her on this podcast because she has so much wisdom and golden nuggets. But her topic is a little bit different than what we normally talk about on here. So she and I were chatting and we came up with some good ideas that would be really useful to all of you, and so I'm really excited. Welcome to the show, Amber. Hey, thanks, I'm happy to be here. Yeah, okay, so Amber's handle on Instagram is the best handle ever, and I wish mine was as creative as hers. But it's biceps after babies, Amber, how did that like even begin?

Amber Brueseke: 1:50

Yeah, well, I laugh because, I mean, my signature program is named Macros 101 and so, like creativity and naming is not my forte. Like this was like the only time in my life that I've been creative when it came to like naming something and I am very happy with it. So you know, that goes back to when I first started my, my Instagram account, which was not to start a business, by the way, I didn't get on to Instagram thinking, you know what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna start a business and I'm gonna build my business on Instagram and I'm gonna have this business name and I need to think of business name. It was really just a handle for me and it was to share my own fitness journey and my own experience. That's why I got on Instagram. That's why I started my biceps after babies account was just to share. I didn't know that, yeah, it was not a business, it was not a business venture. And so, as I was trying to think of a handle, I remember I was sitting in the car because I have four kids and all you moms know that we just spend a lot of time in the car. I was sitting in the car. I was like waiting for somebody in the driveway I think one of my kids. I was waiting for like one of my kids and I was scrolling through Instagram and I was in the back of my mind. I was like what is my handle going to be? What is my handle going to be? It literally just came to me. It was like biceps after babies and to me it conveyed this idea that, as moms, often we feel like our post-child body will never be better than our pre-child body. I just don't agree and I don't love that mentality and I really truly believe that you can get your best body after having kids. That was this idea of like biceps after babies came from and I was like that's it, that's going to be the handle and I really want moms to know it's not over just because you had kids.

Diana Rene: 3:30

Yeah, I love that Little. Did you know it would turn into this?

Amber Brueseke: 3:34

Then it turned into a business and that became my business name as well. But yeah, it wasn't intentional.

Diana Rene: 3:40

Were you always like? Were you the person that was always working out and lifting, or was that something that started after kids?

Amber Brueseke: 3:48

No, I was very blessed to have a mom who was a really awesome mentor and role model for me when it came to lifting. It's one of the reasons that I'm so big on helping other women to be able to get into the weight room and lift weights and figure this out, because you have this short window of opportunity to be such a role model for your children not only your daughters, but your sons as well. My mom was that for me. I grew up her teaching fitness classes. She taught group aerobics and stepper aerobics. I remember some of my earliest childhood memories were in when I would go to the YMCA and I could look through the window of the childcare center and watch my mom teach fitness classes. So my earliest childhood memories and so when I turned 14, that's how old you had to be to go to the weight room at the YMCA and my mom when I turned 14, she took me into the weight room and showed me all the machines and showed me the dumbbells and very much normalized lifting. As a woman, that was not weird at all to me, and so that really started my fitness journey at a very young age, it being very normal for someone to go into the weight room to take care of my. I saw my mom prioritize herself and her fitness and her health, and it's one of the reasons again that I love working with moms, because I feel like if I can help a mom change her life, I not only help her change her life, but it also impacts her children's life and her family's life, and so it's such a cool ripple effect that gets to happen. When you change a mom, you change a family.

Diana Rene: 5:21

And that's awesome. That's totally true and I think that's like a humbling part of motherhood is how much our kids like without us even trying. They embody us and they like start doing or like they say something that you said and you're like, oh yeah, I forgot, you can listen to me.

Amber Brueseke: 5:39

You're watching everything I do. Oh gosh.

Diana Rene: 5:42

Yeah, and I over the past year like I have not. I have not been on any type of fitness journey, for you know, I played sports in high school and then when I hit college, when I wasn't like mandated to be anywhere five days a week, I just like stopped working out because I didn't know how to work out on my own. So over the past year I've gotten really into the habit of daily walking and like I just make sure that no matter what, I walk for 30 minutes minimum, but usually 45 minutes, and in the winter in Denver that's difficult sometimes. So I got a walking pad for my desk. And now it was funny because last Friday my seven year old like went upstairs and came back down with what she called her workout outfit because she was gonna walk. She was gonna go walk for this.

Amber Brueseke: 6:26

I love it, I love it I was like, oh, I love it and what you're teaching them. Like again, I think sometimes I mean, we're so hard on ourselves as moms, right, it's like, and I can just I'm sure there are people who are listening to this who are now just starting to have the guilt creep in and they're thinking, well, I don't walk or I don't work out, or how am I failing my kids? And it's another realm, I'm just failing my kids in. But I think that kids are so lenient and like, any little thing that we are showing them is a movement in that direction. So, whether it's lifting weights or it's walking, or it's literally just prioritizing your water and making sure you communicate to that. That's your kids, right, moms, prioritizing your water, because it makes me feel better, like even have communicating that and then having them see you do that helps them to make that connection between mom's important and she's caring for herself, and I think that's really what we wanna pass on to our kids.

Diana Rene: 7:15

Yeah, I love that. I think also something that I have learned is just how I approach it with them as far as like the words I use, like it's not like you know I, like my 10 year old, was like well, why do you do it every day now? And I said because I just wanna be strong and have energy, and I am by no means pretending to be like perfect in this arena, but like I'm very careful not to say like oh, it's because I wanna lose weight or something like that, because they're always paying attention to that. They wanna be like us, you know.

Amber Brueseke: 7:48

Yeah, that was something my mom communicated at a very young age. I never once heard her say that she was going to the gym because she wanted to lose weight or get smaller or anything like that. It was always because it was important to her. She loved the way it made her feel. She got more energy, like it was an important part of her day, like it took care of herself, like those are the reasons. I always heard her and I think your spot on right. There is like how we communicate. The reason why we're doing things for our kids is just as important, if not more important.

Diana Rene: 8:15

Absolutely Okay. So we are in February right now, which is, I think, when goals start to kind of shift after years resolutions. So I wanted to talk to you about self-sabotage and just habit building, because I do think self-sabotage plays a role in us not reaching our goals when it comes to anything, but especially for fitness. So something I wanted to ask you specifically about this is can self-sabotage be like an unconscious or subconscious thing? It always is.

Amber Brueseke: 8:51

It always is. It always is, yeah. So self-sabotage the way that I define it and then the way I work with my clients on it is that experience that all of us have, because it's a human phenomenon where we say consciously I want to do X, y and Z and then subconsciously we do something to sabotage us actually accomplishing it. So it looks like I'm going to go to the gym five times this week and then on day three you talk yourself out of it oh, I don't need to go because of X, y and Z. It's an unconscious behavior that we do that sabotages the actual goal that we set for ourselves. And that is the tricky part about self-sabotage is that it is subconscious, which makes it a lot harder to recognize and a lot harder to attack, because spotting it is the first challenge, the hard part, the hard part, right. It's like seeing that in yourself. When you get into that, I always call it like the devil on your one shoulder and the angel on your other. That's the classic form of self-sabotage. It's like the devil says oh, you don't have to go to the gym, you've already done a bunch. You didn't sleep very much last night. All these really logical explanations as to why you don't need to follow through on the thing you said you're going to follow through on. And then the angels up here are going no, but you said you were going to do it. And then we have this fight between ourselves, and then oftentimes that devil wins, and then we don't follow through on the thing that we said that we were going to do.

Diana Rene: 10:11

Okay. So then, how do we spot that or how do we know, like, is this a logical thing or is it something that we are just self-sabotaging?

Amber Brueseke: 10:22

That is the exact question to ask. That's exactly it, so we can start to investigate anytime that we say that we're going to do something and then we don't follow through on it, and then this is the place that we can get curious and say, why did I not follow through on this? And is it because there's a good explanation and I'm okay with that explanation? Or is it because of self-sabotage? And it's tricky because we're really good at self-deception, we're super good at it and, like I said, anytime you don't follow through on something, you will always give yourself a reason. That's how our brain works. We always give ourselves a reason, there's always an explanation, and so we have to look at that explanation and be really honest with ourselves. If it is an excuse, if we're like letting ourselves off the hook, or if it's something that, yes, it is something that was important or a change in priorities sometimes, but that's where the tricky part is. And so, looking at what it is that you said to yourself, it's going to be very logical, it's going to make a whole lot of sense. You could tell it to someone else and they'll be like, oh, that makes so much sense that you didn't work out last night or this morning, because the baby was up all night. That makes so much sense, and so you have to just get really honest with yourself. Was it a change in priorities, or was it something that you're utilizing as an excuse? And this takes a little bit of self-interpection. It can be helpful to have an outside perspective as well, but I find and this may be helpful to your listeners I find that people tend to slant one way or the other, in where they either give themselves way too much leniency or they're way too hard on themselves. So I gave this example of and a lot of the moms listening will be intimately familiar with baby waking up all night long. Right, I find either there are these women who, if that happens and they don't go to the gym, they're either like way too lenient on themselves and it's like well, maybe the baby woke up like once last night it wasn't that bad, you were up for like 15 minutes but you use it as an excuse as to like not have to go to the gym or I find that women are way too hard on themselves and they're like oh, the baby only got up five times last night I got a whole two hours of sleep and I have to go to the gym, and so I think just starting to get to know ourselves can help you to know if you slant more towards that too hard on yourself or if you slant more towards the letting yourself off the hook time and time and time again.

Diana Rene: 12:48

Okay, I think I'm not self leniency person.

Amber Brueseke: 12:53

Yeah, and it's helped. It's helpful just to know that right, and so the reason I say that that's helpful to know, because the solution is very different. Okay, the solution for someone who is more self lenient tends to be having to be a little hard on yourself. You'll be like no girlfriend, like I got plenty of sleep last night. Maybe it's not as much as I wanted, but I got plenty of sleep last night. I can go to the gym and I can do something there. Maybe it's not a high intensity interval training, but you can do something. That's the solution for that person. But the solution for the person who is super hard on themselves may actually be no, you need to stay home and sleep, and that's actually the better choice for you to make. But the solution is very different, and so if you try to solve it and you're the different type of person, you're going to get the wrong solution.

Diana Rene: 13:37

Yeah, that makes sense. I just got an aura ring a couple of days ago that I just started wearing, and it's funny because I actually am sleeping a lot better than I thought I was.

Amber Brueseke: 13:50

Oh, that's so, that's so sad. You want me to blame everything on the fact that I don't get enough sleep.

Diana Rene: 13:56

You wake up and it's like your. Your sleep score was 82 and you're ready for the day, well recovered.

Amber Brueseke: 14:01

I was like wait, what Thank you? I didn't want to hear that, yeah.

Diana Rene: 14:08

Oh well, I guess I can't use that as an excuse that it could push me, yeah, so, kind of going along the same lines of that is something I struggle with, and I posted a question on my Instagram. Just you know, like hey, I'm having this person on Like, what questions do you have for her? And several people asked this too, so I thought it was a good one. What if you have like going into, like your, you're wanting to eat better or you're wanting to start some type of workout routine, but you have a very all or nothing personality. So it's like for me in the past, when I have started trying to eat better, it's like I have to either do whole 30 or I eat crap. There's no in between. How do you find that happy middle ground?

Amber Brueseke: 14:57

Oh my gosh. I mean, I could talk for hours on this. This is my jam. This is what I help women to do, because that all or nothing mentality, when you bring that into fitness, it is so detrimental. When you bring into nutrition, it's so detrimental because what we get are these huge shifts. Like you said, I'm either on a diet or I'm way off a diet. I'm either working out five days a week or I'm not even walking these big, big shifts, and it's detrimental. You're never going to get to where you want to go if you cannot solve this problem and it's this idea of like. Where's the middle ground, where's the moderation I mean? So, dana, you're such a great example of this because you do a beautiful job of breaking down, decluttering which can seem like this big, monumental task into really small, bite-sized pieces to make it really achievable for people. It's the same thing with fitness, it's the same thing with nutrition. I mean, it's the same thing just in a different context. And so I really really push people, especially when I'm helping my clients, to set goals. I really push them to focus on one thing, and most people want to focus. When I ask them, I'll even say what's your one goal and people will be like well, I want to lose fat and I want to gain a lot of muscle and I want to hit the gym and I want to drink a lot of water. Oh, no, yeah, my sleep is like, and they'll list off five things and I'll look back and I'm going to say, no, I said one, what's your one goal? And they will stop. And they didn't even realize that when I asked them for their one goal, they gave me five and I really pushed them. I'm like no, no, what's your one goal? Like, what's the first thing that we're going to focus on? And the cool thing about that is what happens is you get momentum. You gain momentum by you know this right, like this is what you teach. It's like you could go and declutter, like this one part of your house and it feels so good and you enjoy it, the outcome of it, so much that that makes and it makes it feel easy to your brain that you're willing to go declutter the next little space, and then that feels so good and then you just build this momentum and what used to feel like this monumental task of decluttering your entire house now doesn't feel so hard because you do it one step at a time and then. So the question is, how do we apply that same mentality to your fitness journey? What is that first step that you need to take? This is the question I always ask my clients. So for any of you who are listening, who maybe identify with the all or nothing mentality, this is a question I always ask my clients what is one thing you could do today that, if you did, it would move you one step closer to your goals? That's it. And oh and last part, and it feels light and easy, right. So there's a couple of things that are like in that it's like what's the one thing you can do today? Right, we're not putting this off. What's the one thing you can do today that's going to move you towards your goals? And it feels light and easy. And then the key is is that you do that one thing, right, and you ask that same question tomorrow, right. And then you ask that same question tomorrow, and then the next day, and then the next day, and that's how we build momentum. But this whole key of it being light and easy, people always bulk at that because they're like well, it's like not just, I mean, if I drink, you know, half my weight in body or half my body weight in water. Will that really make a difference? It's like, well, isn't it more than you were doing today or yesterday? And that's the goal.

Diana Rene: 18:06

Right, so it's focusing more on the actions versus the outcome, because you might not see, or you probably won't see, any changes for a while.

Amber Brueseke: 18:17

Yeah, I mean, and that's makes it a lot. That's a difference between decluttering and like your fitness journey is the delay in the outcome and the delay in the enjoyment. But with decluttering there is an instantaneous. I get to enjoy this space that I just cleaned up and decluttered Like. That feedback cycle is a lot shorter in decluttering than it is in fitness, but it's still there, and so I like to have clients start to focus on. I'm, you know I want you to set an outcome goal. That's great, but I'm really big in helping clients to focus on what is the immediate gratification that you get. So you went to the gym and no, you didn't lose 10 pounds in one day. But what outcome did you get? Did you feel a little happier? Did you feel a little bit more energy? Did you feel a little stronger? So we can. If we're focusing on the right things, we can get that instant gratification, that instant feedback, but it may not be in the long-term outcome you're trying to seek.

Diana Rene: 19:12

Yeah, that makes sense. So you teach something called macros which, like, I didn't hear about until probably like a year or two ago. But something that really stood out to me was when we were at the mastermind retreat, which I cannot remember for the life of me if you and I talked about this or if it was just like a conversation I had with myself, with you sitting next to me. But I specifically remember we were in California at a retreat and we were eating breakfast and I remember like going through and like getting like a little bit of eggs and like one sausage, and then, like amber comes and sits next to me and like has like this heaping plate of like tons of eggs and several, like you know, different meat selections. And I was like, oh my gosh. And I was like that, like why, like I should be fueling my body and instead I'm just like picking these like little things. And I think like a light bulb went off for me in that moment because it was like we had very like it was clear that we had very different goals with our eating. Like for me, it was like I'm going to eat so I feel like full enough until lunch, and like for you. It was like I am going to fuel my body I just worked out before I came to this thing, and so can you just talk a little bit about what macros even is? There's probably a lot of people that are listening right now. I have no idea what that even means. Um, but then also, if you could speak a little bit to like the idea of fueling your body versus just Eating to get by, yeah well, so I love that and I probably went back for seconds too.

Amber Brueseke: 20:48

It's always the thing that people like notice as well when they see me eating, yeah, yeah. So the cool thing about macros and and macro counting is that You're eating macros, whether or not you're paying attention to it or not. Every single day you're eating, you're eating a certain amount of macros, um, so macros are just where your calories come from. There are three main macronutrients we pay attention to that's fat, carbs and protein, and so our bar, our food, is made up of these different macronutrients, and it's where we get our calories from from. And the cool thing about that is when you start to understand the three macros, you understand that each plays a slightly different role in your body. I always like to give the metaphor of like it's like in your car. You have different fluids in your car. You have your gas, you have your you know Radiator fluid and you have your windshield wiper fluid, and they all do something different. They're liquids, but they all, like, do something different. In your car, it's the same thing for the macronutrients, and so, again, you're eating a certain amount of macros every single day, whether or not you're paying attention to it. But when we start to pay attention to it, what we can do is make sure, to your point, that we are fueling our body appropriately, that we have the right number of each type of Macro for what our body needs for energy, for hormone production, for, you know, rebuilding tissue and building muscle and you know that's why we need to pay attention and that's why paying attention to this will get us better results and will fuel our body better. So the way that I help clients learn to use macro counting is much less in a restrictive Diet way of like here's your macros. Now you must follow them. Oh you didn't, oh you're bad, like that whole diet mentality is like not my jam and not how I approach it. It really becomes this idea of how can I understand my body, how can I understand what my body needs and get to be in tune with understanding how I feel when I eat certain different foods and certain macros? And then how can I align the foods that I'm eating and the nutrition that I'm giving my body with the goals that I have set for myself. And that often doesn't mean restriction, that often doesn't mean eating less, it often doesn't mean like Focusing on cutting things out. It often means how can we feel your body better? How can we have you go to the gym and then go have breakfast and make sure you're replenishing your body so it can perform and do the things that it needs to do.

Diana Rene: 23:03

Yeah, I love that. So when I first learned about macros, it was like the opposite for me as far as like eating less because I have ADHD. So anyone who's listening can relate that sometimes we just forget to eat. It's not like a like restrictive thing, yeah yeah, it's not like a conscious decision. I'm not eating, but it's like, oh shoot, it's four o'clock in the afternoon and I have not eaten today because my brain hasn't thought about it yet. Right, I'm like starving, and so I learned through macros that I was like massively Under-eating. My calorie intake and my protein was like a quarter of what I should be. Yeah, just increasing the protein alone made me just feel so much better Like day to day, which was really surprising to me.

Amber Brueseke: 23:46

Yeah, there's a surprising number of women who are Are under eating and that that is the problem. And it's tricky because they'll come to me and say, well, I, I'm not losing weight, like I need to eat less, I need to calorie restrict less, and it's actually the opposite. It's like you've under-eat for so long that your metabolism is now down, done, regulated, and we actually need to get you eating more food, and that's counterintuitive for a lot of us. And so, yeah, it's a tricky thing, but really fueling yourself well is is the secret to feeling good and looking good as well.

Diana Rene: 24:19

Yeah, I love that. Okay, I could talk to you about this all day long, but we try to keep our episodes a little shorter. So, um, Amber, I know that you have a challenge coming up Soon, right, so can you just tell us a little bit about what it is and how, and we'll have a link in the show notes also.

Amber Brueseke: 24:37

Yeah. So I love to kind of turn what people think that they know and understand about fitness and nutrition and getting healthier and Kind of turn it on his head, because what I see with a lot of clients is that they come to me and they have a lot of knowledge About what they should be doing. I mean, right, they kind of all know how to eat healthy and exercise, like we consciously know that, but at the same time, we're not doing it. And so if it was all, if it was all about just me teaching you some new Science and some new nutritional science, like, and that would get you results, that would be amazing. But that's not actually the case, and so what I like to do in my challenge is kind of take what you think that you know about health and fitness and kind of Turn it on its head and really help you to see what those missing pieces are in, what's preventing you from getting to where you want to go in terms of your health and your fitness and your body, and be able to kind of Put those missing pieces in for you so that it really can change the way that you approach health and fitness. And it's one of my favorite weeks of the whole year Because I get an interact with a ton of people and we get to have so many light bulb moments, like the number of, like Ahas and like oh my gosh, the mind-blown emojis, the things that people never thought about, is is my favorite. So if you want to kind of turn what you think you know about fitness on its head, come and join us at the challenge.

Diana Rene: 25:51

I love it. Okay, so we're gonna have the link in the Show notes, but then also you can find Amber on Instagram at biceps after babies. Is that probably the best place for people to find you? Yeah, absolutely awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on. I had so much fun chatting with you.

Amber Brueseke: 26:07

Yeah, super fun. I could talk forever about this. You're amazing, Diana, and at what you do, and I think I really love that. I love that we had that, that overlap of yeah, of saying, like, you know how to declutter house step by step, and we just bring the same thing into this right, absolutely awesome.

Diana Rene: 26:26

Thank you so much, Amber. Thanks for hanging out and listening to the decluttered mom podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world if you could write a review or share this episode with a friend or your Instagram stories. And if you're on Instagram, be sure to follow me at the Dot decluttered mom and send me a DM to say hi. I'd love to hear what you thought about today's episode. I hope you'll come back next week and hang out with us again. You.