Finding your real WHY. Not the BS one.

Let's be brutally honest here, reader. So many times we think we know why we're doing things. We think we have a deep understanding of our own motivation, of our reasons. But the reality is? We're missing the bigger picture.

That's a HUGE problem. The bigger picture is what allows us to have the results we want. 
(Keep reading. You'll understand soon.)

I want you to shut your eyes right after you read the above bolded sentence and ask yourself, "Why is it so important to me to keep my fitness and nutrition in check?"

Perhaps your answer was, "Because I need to lose 10 pounds or I want to fit into that dress I wore two years ago to the holiday party that I now have to squeeze myself into." Maybe your answer has absolutely nothing to do with weight loss. Maybe your answer was...

"I want to feel better."
"I want to sleep better."
"I want to lower my cholesterol."
"I want to show my kids what healthy looks like."

You're possibly feeling satisfied right now because you nailed it. You answered that question and you know what your why is. You have a goal. You're going to go for it.


I want you to ask yourself another question. Brace yourself. I want to ask yourself WHY.

If you want to lose that 10 pounds, ask yourself WHY. 
If you want to feel better, ask yourself WHY.
If you want to show your kids what healthy looks like, figure out WHY.

Here's where I'm going with this. I'm going to show you something. I can't believe I'm doing this, yet again.


That is me. Gen. Co-Owner of Underground Fitness LA, otherwise known as "Mean Daddy." That's me in my underwear, for you to see. I didn't cut my face out because I never wanted you to doubt my own transformation.

The picture on the left was taken in May of 2016. I was a few years out of having my second child (I gained a total of 185 pounds between two pregnancies) and I had become injured to the point where I could no longer work out. I was really, really unhappy. Take a look at my face

The picture on the right was taken one year later in 2017. I guess you could say there was a difference, huh? 

When I made the decision to figure out how I could come back to working out after injury, my "why" was because I needed to lose the weight I had put back on from my fitness hiatus. But that wasn't the real why. 

The real why was because I was miserable. 
I felt awful in my skin. I hated the way I felt. I hated the way I looked.
I was embarrassed.

Then I dug deeper.

I was embarrassed because this was not what I wanted my kids to witness. I couldn't chase after them as quickly as I should've been able to. My skin had started to break out. I was sleeping way too much, and for way too long. I had become lazy. I had started to use my injury as an excuse to stay on my ass.

And then I dug even deeper.

Because I was afraid I would never lose the weight. 
I was afraid that I was going to fail. 
Failing, for me, was not an option.
So I'd rather not try than risk failing.


It is THAT realization, my friends, why I was able to transform my own body through fitness and nutrition. Not only did I transform my body, but I transformed my mind too. 

I learned that getting over the fear of failure gave me the greatest opportunities to grow as a Mama, a business owner, and as a woman. I learned that it gave me the gift of showing my children that failure is an option, that failure is absolutely okay, and that without failure? You never truly have room for growth. 

(I am a Pinterest quote.)

So right now, what is your why? Can you identify it?

Can you use your own why, your very personal why, to push you through even the most difficult times and decisions? 

Write it down. Sit with it. 
And remember. 

Until next time...

Small nutrition changes. Big results!

Small nutrition changes. Big results!

You all know the routine, because the majority of us have been there, done that, many times before. The newest, greatest, fad diet comes out that promises insane life changing results in a short period of time. You go online and read reviews about how people have been on this diet for and lost four hundred and two pounds, feel the greatest they've ever felt, suddenly sleep through the night, have no stress, want to have sex 24/7 because their libido has magically come back, have watched their skin suddenly clear up and all of their wrinkles go away...all in 3 weeks time. They swear by this diet. It has worked for them. They are this diet's biggest fans.

It's the weekend. Tempted to overeat?

It's the weekend. Tempted to overeat?

The weekend. It's that time where you've convinced yourself that rules don't apply. You may take our motto of "Memories over Macros" to the extreme. And why not? You work so hard all week to stay disciplined, to make better choices, to get those workouts in every single when Friday night hits, it's a free-for-all! It's social time. Social time means brunch. Dinner. Mimosas. Possibly a few. Often donuts. Desserts. All of those things that society has taught you not to eat at all, not just monitor. 

Group fitness in the Valley. Intimidated? Unnecessary.


(Author: The one, the only, Tammy B.)

Group fitness. Say it out loud: GROUP FITNESS.

If this was a test in mental and emotional endurance, we’d ask you to recall the moments in your life where you felt less than, apart from, unnoticed, weak, [insert that negative self-talk here.]

Now stop, breathe, center yourself. We don't want to go there. Try to clear your thoughts of all the clichéd preconceptions that come to mind when you think of groups, fitness, and “group fitness” as one entity. Allow us to personally apologize for any negative experiences you may have had at other gyms and studios. We’ve been there. In fact, we exist for precisely that reason.

At its inception, Underground Fitness LA set out to revolutionize group fitness - and not just the way we look at fitness and nutrition. We know that we are not the weights we lift or the length of time we can hold a plank. We are not just our shape, size, athletic performance, gender, or age. Our whole is greater than the sum of our parts, and we strive to recognize and respect the diversity in each and every person who walks through our doors.



When you come to Underground Fitness LA, you’re not just walking into another generic Los Angeles boutique fitness studio - you’re entering an organically grown community of open-minded individuals who come to work out without fear of judgement; a community where your beginnings are whole-heartedly welcomed because that’s where we all started; and where your physical abilities are only limited by your own perceptions.

We are a coalition of veteran competitors and people who have never lifted anything heavier than a bag of flour; a collection of introverts, extroverts, new moms and experienced dads. We are a fellowship of fitness fanatics and the exercise anxious; a troop of classy, sassy, and a little bit scrappy men and women from all walks of life who have one common goal - we are hell-bent on living our best lives.


There’s a social psychological phenomenon known as the Köhler effect which essentially states that we, as individuals, work harder and perform better as a member of a group or team than we do alone especially when we are united in a cooperative task - such as sweating to a kick-ass workout that achieves maximum results.

At Underground Fitness LA, one of our main objectives is to keep you motivated to maintain your wellness momentum, and we have found that being a valuable part of a community is a key in doing that. We support one another in successes and setbacks, participate in friendly competition, and challenge each other in a way that ensures personal and team gains.

While there are a number of actual scientific studies that we can cite - like this one (link: that concluded that group fitness participation led to a decrease in stress and an increase in quality of life compared to exercising alone or this one  (link: that found older adults participating in group fitness achieved more balanced health via the connectedness of community and social support, our proof is in the results we have seen with our own eyes - a team of people who achieve what they believed was impossible - simply by trusting in themselves, their community, and their instructors, and most importantly, by showing up.



Los Angeles is a veritable hub of big box gyms and boutique studios. Not all of them are created equal, nor are they equally affordable. Memberships differ from gym to studio, and one of the ultimate driving forces in group fitness is the fact that you are essentially paying to play; whether it’s part of a monthly membership or class 10-pack, if you don’t show up for class, there are financial penalties. (Not to mention the fact that your team is depending on you….)

But at the end of the day, the only person you really have to answer to is yourself, and personal accountability plays a huge role in achieving what we want. Regular attendance = better performance = results.


It’s also the ingenuity of Underground Fitness LA. We aim to make your workout experience inspiring and fun, and you’ll see that in our spin playlists, the laughter in our Sunday Funday, and the planning that goes into all of our programming.

Each instructor has their own distinct method of teaching. We are educated and experienced and can offer modifications to accommodate everything from injury to pregnancy to chronic illness, and our studio is 100% ADA accessible. (Put that one in your fanny pack for later…) Our classes are well-rounded and balanced, touching on cardiovascular, endurance, strength, and recovery. We intentionally plan our classes so that they are small enough for us to make sure you're safely training the right muscles with proper form, but full enough to ensure you feel like you’re not only part of something, but getting somewhere.

While our goal at Underground Fitness LA is to support you in becoming your best you, our focus is the journey in helping you get there, because it’s in the journey that you’ll see the change in your body, your mind, and your heart.

So let’s start again, shall we?

Group Fitness.

Diversity. Community. Accountability. Perseverance. Laughter. Results.


Underground Fitness LA
12506 Magnolia Boulevard
Valley Village, CA 91607

Indoor Cycling - Strength - TRX - Bootycore - Circuit Training - Yoga

Now open in Valley Village, and welcoming the communities of Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and all of Los Angeles.

10 tips to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal without guilt!

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Listen up, friends. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and a lot of people feel some anxiety when it comes to that big old dinner they’re about to eat. If you’re on some kind of serious fitness path and/or diet, you probably think that you have only two options when it comes to your holiday meal:

  1. Don't eat any of it.
  2. Eat all of it.

You may think that it is not possible to find yourself somewhere in between the two with all of the temptations in front of your face.

There is a way, and we will give you some tips.

First, though, let’s start out with a fact. Did you know that the average American has the opportunity to consume more than 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving day alone, between snacking and that all glorious turkey day meal? That’s right. 4,500 calories. That’s waaaaay more than double the recommended allowance for the majority of average Americans with average activity levels. Add into that little fact something else…The Calorie Control Council estimates that somewhere around 2,061 calories of that 4,500 are made up of fats (around 229 grams, to be specific). That’s just crazy talk. That fat intake alone is about three and a half times the normal daily intake!

Let that sink in for a hot second. 

We at Underground Fitness LA firmly believe that the holidays are about family, friends, appreciation and relaxation. 

We don’t believe that the holidays are about guilt, food deprivation, over-exercising. 

So how do you get over those hurdles? You need to get yourself into the right mindset, baby.

As a great and (formerly) all-powerful little lady tribe once said...

I’m a survivor. I’m not gon’ give up. I’m not gon’ stop. I’m gon’ work harder. I’m a survivor. I’m gonna make it. I will survive. Keep on surviving.
— Destiny's Child

How that quote relates, we’re not entirely sure. But you need to make decisions that are a tiny bit better.

Here are the top 10 tips from Underground Fitness LA on how to battle the Thanksgiving food guilt (when it comes to overeating or depriving yourself):

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Chill out.

It’s a holiday and you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself, right?

Chances are you're not working, your family is at home, you're more likely than not going to some big ol' dinner at someone's house (or maybe you're hosting it yourself).

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Eat breakfast. That’s right. If you’re a breakfast skipper, eat a full breakfast in the morning. Make sure you have carbs and protein in there. 

We’re not going to lecture you right now about why you should be eating breakfast daily. It’s not the time nor the place. But starting your day with breakfast is a great way to keep that hunger under control.

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Do something active early in your day.

Whether that’s taking a group fitness class (WE’RE GOING TO HAVE ONE, Y’ALL! CHECK THE BOTTOM OF THE POST IF YOU'RE A DIXIE PARENT!), going for a walk outside, doing an exercise program at home, or dancing around with your kid for 25-30 minutes, move your body.

No excuses. That turkey cooks for a long time. You’re not fooling anyone when you say you're too busy.

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Eat a snack in between breakfast and lunch.

And then eat another snack in between lunch and your big old feast!

Make sure your breakfast, snacks, and lunch are filled with healthy choices.

If you’re one of those people who has to justify things to yourself, there ya go. Eat “healthier” during the day and then indulge a bit more at dinner.

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Drink your water.

All day, throughout the day.

Drink that water.

Aside from the fact that hydration is important, water helps keep you satiated.

At dinner, drinks sips of water occasionally in between every few bites of food. 

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Use your hand to control your protein portion at dinner. We don’t mean by lifting a spoon. Literally, take a look right now at your hand!

Ladies, you’re going to look at the size of your palm from the base of your fingers and thumb, all of the way around in a circle. When you make your plate, take a portion of protein (turkey, ham, etc) the size and thickness of your thumb and slap that stuff down on your plate. Gentlemen, you get two palm-sized portions.

If you really love Thanksgiving day turkey like I do, and you made sure to follow point #3 above and did some kind of exercise, go ahead and add another 1/2 of your palm of protein. BAM.

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Use your hand to control your veggie portion at dinner.

Take that hand of yours and ball it up into a fist. If there are grilled veggies or steamed veggies on the table, take a full fist-sized portion of those veggies and drop those babies down onto your plate. Men? Two fists. WHAMMO!

Veggies! They’ve got fiber, which is not only good for the aftermath of Thanksgiving (sorry but true!), but they also help fill you up.

Note: We said grilled or steamed veggies. NOT creamed spinach or creamed corn or creamed any-kind-of-veggie. 

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Ladies, take that hand and cup it in front of you like you’re holding something very precious.

Guess what’s precious? Mashed potatoes, I say.

You’re going to take a cupped handful of your favorite carbs from the table and gently place them down on your plate. Guys? Two cupped handfuls. 

Stuffing? Carb. Mashed potatoes? Carb. Mac and Cheese? Carb. Yams? Carb. Fruit? Yep. Carb.

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And then use your hand to control the rest of the things that we all want to eat including (but obviously not limited to): green bean casserole, mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes, candied yams, jello, etc.

Take the tip of your index finger and bring it to the tip of your thumb, making a circle. See that circle? Take a portion size equivalent to that circle of whatever these things are from your table that you absolutely love and put them on your plate. Not only will your plate look pretty artsy if you do it the right way (and slightly OCD), but you’ll give yourself the chance to have some of everything that you want.

This includes desserts.

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Enjoy your food. Eat it slowly.

Enjoy every single bite. The faster you rush through your food, the more likely you are to run back and get seconds, suffer from a massive tummy ache, miss conversations that are happening, and feel bloated.

Also, the slower your eat your food, the more you’ll actually feel those fullness cues and prevent yourself from overeating. 

BOOM! Not too hard, right? Let’s recap:

Chill out.
Eat healthier throughout the day.
Do something active and get off of your butt before dinner.
Drink water.
Memorize your hand portion sizes.
Chew slowly. With your mouth shut, obviously. 

With all of these tips, we know that you'll be able to spend your holiday without shame, guilt or feeling deprived. Enjoy that Thanksgiving dinner. Life is about moderation, not deprivation!

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They're scheduled! Turkey Day Bootcamp will run at 6:30am with Kelly and 8:30am with Gen. Black Friday Bootcamp will be at 8:30am with both Kelly and Gen! 


Are you a fellow Dixie Dolphin Parent alongside Gen? If you were linked to this blog via the Dixie e-Blast, there should've been a nice little coupon code in there for our Thanksgiving and Black Friday classes!

See you at Winter Wonderland!

xoxo, Underground Fitness LA 

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