About Laura Bench
WELCOME! I'm so glad that you're here!
My name is Laura Bench and I'm a health coach, fitness trainer and motivator. I work with women all over the world, helping them be the BEST version of themselves from the inside out.
I'm the creator of Toned In 20 which is an online workout program and nutrition membership site for women. I also do 1-on-1 coaching via phone to personally help women with their nutrition, specific needs and the emotional side of weight loss as well.
Prior to this I was a Personal Trainer in a gym for 7 years, a certified Nutrition Specialist and certified Pilate's Instructor.
I'm the Co-Creator of Bodies By Bench along with my husband, Jorden, to help busy women take control of their health. I truly believe if we focus on being healthy not "skinny", the weight will fall off as a great side benefit! I also want women to feel strong with their strength, feel amazing in any outfit they put on, have confidence in who they are, and know their self worth.
I understand most women are busy with their jobs, taking care of kids, managing a household, our to-do list goes on & on! So I know when It comes to eating right and working out... it can get put on the back burner. Meaning we tend to put ourselves lower on the priority list. Everything else seems to come first.
So my mission is to help you eat healthier and exercise regularly, BUT without it taking up all of your time and energy. Which is why I believe in short yet effective workouts (20 minutes or less) and making small but powerful changes at a time with your nutrition. Basically give you the biggest 'bang for your buck' with getting the best results possible in the least amount of time invested.
I want to help you create a healthy, balanced lifestyle. One that you can easily maintain and ENJOY following. And that's what hundreds of women have found following my Toned In 20 program.
I went to college and graduated with Honors with a Bachelor's Degree in both Physical Education and Health. I wanted to be a Gym & Health teacher! I also played college soccer as a forward or mid-field.
By the time I was a Junior, I was really getting into my nutrition courses and started to take a real interest in it. Along with the fitness side of things we well. And I really wanted to start eating better and exercise to get in better shape.
Now, I've never been overweight. But could lose about 10 lbs, especially after soccer season was over. In college, it's hard to keep weight from creeping on!
My goal was to be 'better than average'. To be toned, have defined abs and legs, but still be curvy. For soccer I wanted to be physically in the best shape I could. I was a starter and a Captain so I wanted to be a great leader and example.
So to reach my goal I began reading tons of fitness & health magazines, diet books, and online blogs. For exercise I would do 50-60 mins of cardio 5 to 6 days a week. I did ab workouts or Pilates just about daily. And I'd throw in some weight training here and there but I didn't really know what I was doing. I thought the MORE I did, the BETTER results I'd get.
For my nutrition, I followed what the diet books and magazines were saying. I ate everything 100% whole wheat (wheat pasta, bread, wraps, crackers, wheat flour, etc). I bought foods that were "sugar free" and those flavored drink mix powders for water that were sweetened with splenda or aspartame. I used Splenda in my oatmeal, smoothies, even my baking!
I grabbed "fat-free" products because I had a fear of fat. I thought the less fat I ate, the more body fat I'd lose (boy was I wrong). I got into soy products like Boca burgers, tofu, and soy milk because I thought it was healthy for me.... I thought ALL these items were healthy for me!!
I started losing a little weight but I wasn't seeing the results that I thought I would. I remember stepping on the scale and seeing a certain number and thinking... "Hmm, this isn't what I thought I'd look like at this weight. Maybe if I lose another 5 lbs, then I'll be happy."
I was not getting enough calories in. I felt hungry quite often. I started getting bloated after meals. I had fatigue and brain fog. Worst of all, I started having horrible low back pain. To the point where I had to quit my soccer team at the beginning of my Senior year as a Captain. It completely devastated me. The final year of my career and I had to quit. I felt like I let my parents down, especially my Dad. And it actually put me in depression for months...
I didn't get it. I'm trying to eat super "healthy" and follow what I've learned. Why am I feeling this way? Why am I not getting the results I want? I'm working out so much to be strong, yet why am I feeling so weak and in pain? What am I doing wrong when I feel like I'm doing things right?
My Turning Point
So feeling depressed, tired, frustrated and in major back pain I decided to seek help and took a Holistic approach. I decided to see a Holistic Doctor. She helped me with both my back pain and my nutrition.
My first visit she asked me to write a food journal for the next 3 days. I was proudly thinking..."I eat SO healthy! She's going to look at my journal and be impressed." But I'll never forget my second visit with her. I handed her my food journal. Oatmeal sweetened with splenda with glass of fat free milk. Boca soy burger on whole wheat bread. And a whole mess of other things.
She took one look at my food journal and I was waiting for her praise. But the very first thing she said was "Oh my gosh, you've GOT to stop eating all this Splenda!" I was shocked. I had no clue this artificial sweetener was causing so many problems to my health. That was just the start of it.
After some food testing, she told me for 10 days to have no Splenda, wheat & dairy products. My first thought was...what the heck am I gonna eat?! Haha. But after 10 days of following instructions I noticed a lot less bloating, energy levels increased, brain fog was lifting and feeling better already.
For back pain, she said I was over doing it with working out. I was over training and doing too much cardio. I had so much stress and inflammation in my body. So I started backing off. Training for shorter lengths of time, yet still highly effective. I did a lot less cardio and in fact completely changed the way I do cardio now. I LOVE HIIT cardio! (High Intensity Interval Training)
So with both nutrition and exercise I was hearing the complete OPPOSITE from my holistic doctor versus the magazines, diet books, blogs, etc. Crazy how deceiving this was to myself and at the expense of my health! I kept thinking... what or who am I supposed to trust or believe anymore?
So it became a personal mission of mine to learn the truth. I became completely OBSESSED with Nutrition, Health & Fitness. Learning everything I could on what was true, what foods were actually healthy or not, how our bodies react to different foods, and what was the best way to workout effectively without harming your body.
I've been back pain free for years now, hallelujah! I know my limits and I listen to my body. I feel like I have a good relationship with food and I don't feel restricted. I've discovered what foods work well for my body, and which ones I should limit.
My workouts are short, effective and I move on with my day. I'm super busy just like you! I really do try to live a balanced lifestyle that makes me happy, healthy, and includes the things I enjoy doing.
And I want the EXACT same thing for you! This is what drives me every day. Because I see women doing the same workout and diet strategies that I thought was right several years ago and not getting the results they want from it. In fact, it's left them frustrated and discouraged because they've tried so many things and it seems nothing is working. I know...I've been there girl! But I'm here to tell you there is a solution for you.
So if you're looking for a healthy balanced lifestyle that INCLUDES exercise and eating healthier but does NOT consume your life or every thought…then you're in the right place today. I'm here to speak the truth, share what I've learned from my mistakes and experiences so you don't have to go through what I did and feel the way I did. YOU too can have a happy, healthy balanced life. Because busy women deserve to be healthy & fit too!
Just a few random things about me :)
- I'm a country girl at heart. My parents raise their own dairy beef cows and pigs. And farms quite a few acres.
- I have twin brothers, Mark & Matt, who are 2 years younger than me. The crazy thing? My mom NEVER knew she was having twins till the day they were born!! The doctors never picked up on 2 heart beats. What a surprise!
- My husband Jorden has a younger sister, Hollie. She married my brother, Matt! So we have a brother-sister swap in the family hehe. And our weddings were 1 month apart from each other!
- I'm a born again Christian who loves Jesus and serves an amazing and loving God.
- I have a definite Type A personality. I'd be lost without my to-do list, I hate wasting time, I'm driven, relaxing can be hard for me and I stress a little too easily (I'm really trying to work on this!)
- We don't have children or any pets yet, but can't wait to experience having both one day!
- Few things I love: Coffee (just black), warm chocolate chip cookies, campfires & making S'mores (can you tell I have a sweet tooth?), watching the Price is Right when I can (I was front row on the show in 2009!), and traveling anywhere!
Where Can You Find Me?
I post valuable new content on my Facebook Page, Instagram @bodiesbybench, and here on the Blog. Be sure to connect with me so we can stay in touch! You can also follow me on Pinterest for workouts, nutrition tips and motivation.
You can sign up here and take the 14-day Toned In 20 Fitness Challenge! It's 100% free and a great way to try some of my 20-minute or less workout videos that you can do right at home! It's like having a virtual Personal Trainer telling you exactly what to do from your phone, tablet or computer...just follow along with me :)
If you have a question for me, you can visit my Contact Page and send me a note!