Thursday, December 31, 2015

Habits: How-To

Ah, the new year, a fresh, blank calendar just waiting for us to fill it up with plans, made by the person we want to become.

It's that "Monday reset" feeling, but in bulk, times 365 366 (it's a leap year).

Let's make this year's plans stick, and let's not do it by co-opting some crappy magazine's "how to overhaul your life" list.

I'd bet my pinky toe that you've done that, and it didn't work - not because you suck, but because truly, that kind of overhaul never works.

Here's what does:

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

You Failed, Now What?

Oh hey, if I haven't said it already, those Habitry peeps be geniuses.

Well, here you are. You failed at a goal you set yourself. 
Maybe it was a New Year’s resolution, or maybe it was a longtime dream.
Regardless of what kind of goal it was, it can feel terrible to have failed at achieving something you want. And yet it's a very common experience. People often fail to get things they want and have worked for. Just as common is the urge to dwell on the negative aspects — to say that you didn't want it enough, you weren't good enough, or you just didn't try hard enough. 

Simple, straightforward questions to ask yourself at this point:

Sunday, December 27, 2015

See the Mountain, but Focus on the Climb

The journey is the thing. It really is.

The destination can, usually will, often MUST change, whether you like it or not, and whether we're talking about a hike or fat loss or your career plans.

The lessons you will learn and the successes along the way and the trials you will undertake, these will lead to the person you become. You are shaped by the journey itself, not by the destination.

Ah, finally done with the laundry! (Then you realize the kitchen is a mess.)
Yes, finally finished college! (Then you realize you’re $100,000 in debt and need a job.)
So often the successful completion of one goal leads to innumerable others that expand before you.

Friday, December 25, 2015


I pretty much never watch videos, but this one is absolutely beautiful, and worth 4 minutes of your time.

Selected lines that spoke to me:
I will walk my path with audacity.
The world is missing what I am ready to give.
I rise and shine, and I'm ready to go on my quest.
Find it here:

(If you can find this in print, I'd love to see it.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

For Real: Eat the Cookies!

Don't panic over the holiday food spread.
Maybe don't eat until your stomach hurts, and maybe don't bring the leftover desserts back home, but PLEASE, while you're with your family, enjoying them, make sure you also enjoy the meal - without guilt. Including the cookies.
Enjoy some real cookies this holiday season. Or some other thing you enjoy but think is “off limits”. 
Just do it consciously. Mindfully. Joyfully. And — as we teach in our coaching programs — slowly. 
Instead of scarfing it down furtively and waiting for the guilt, savor it. Taste the layers of flavor and try to extract every last one of them. 
Stay present and checked in. Choose with purpose. Then move on. 
Because, with the right approach:
You can enjoy food, connect with others, and be healthy and fit.  
All at the same time.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Holiday Survival Guide

Here we go, it's party season! Cue the focus on appearance as health, as worth, as everything!

You know the scene. Family gathering. Aunts, uncles, cousins, distant family friends you haven’t seen in ages. All eyes on you as you come in. Hugging. And … body policing time! Maybe it’s, “Oh honey! You look great! You’ve definitely lost weight. Tell me your secrets!” Or, maybe they only say that to your sister while you smile with dead eyes nearby. (Smiley face). Whether or not this scene reflects your Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or Festivus traditions, any gathering of people you don’t see regularly is sure to reflect some characteristics of the traditional body policing bonanza.

You can combat it. You can be the change you wish to see in this world, with tips & reminders found here:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Who is coming to your gym?

Interesting read from some #fit2point0 peeps:
A recent survey from the Physical Activity Council revealed that one in four Americans didn't exercise at ALL last year. Not once, in an entire year! 28% of our population did not engage in what their bodies were DESIGNED for for 365 days straight. Let that sink in for a minute.

Gyms have always been weird to me, even as a gym owner. The thought of creating a space where we have to go and perform motions which imitate the work our bodies were designed to do on the daily simply because our daily lives have been reduced to sitting behind desks is a little existentially mind blowing for me, to be honest. 
But, the fact is, this is where we are. So how do we solve this, before that 28% of our population grows to 30%, 40%, 50%?! And keep in mind the 28% covers individuals who didn't exercise one time. Imagine how many only went to the gym once or twice last year, only to leave feeling defeated.


Oh, what's #fit2point0, you ask? I'm so glad you did.

It's this:

It's this:

And I would happily recommend reading everything right here:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Why all the effort?

A few weeks ago, I had long, curly hair, about to my waist. It was gorgeous, a beautiful spiraling waterfall of the family curls.

But as a runner encountering summer, I began to think about how HOT & annoying it was. I realized how often it was a pain, and when I began looking back at old pictures, I became ready to go short again. Short wouldn't be a gorgeous waterfall of curls, but it would still be cute enough (I wouldn't look odd), and it would be EASIER.

I spent a full week stopping myself every time I thought about my hair, and asking how short hair would change this problem/situation/thought, until I was still 100% certain I wanted to chop it.

Within 24 hours of my cut, I had thought to myself at least 24 times: I can't believe I waited so long!

I was astounded at how much work & annoyance my long hair had become, in so many tiny ways:
  • Gobs of product to have it look good (about 4x what I use now). 
  • Stupidly-long showers spent working the conditioner through and pulling out the knots.
  • Going to bed with hair that felt like cold, wet, gross seaweed, hating for it to touch my back before I was in bed & it could lay on my pillow behind me (like cold, wet, gross seaweed).
  • Styling options limited by the day's workout (can't bench with an updo, yo).
  • Playing with it while thinking, like I was 12.
  • HOT.
  • Holding it down in the wind, lest it become a frizzy frazzled mess.
  • on and on

After the cut, I had a couple people ask me what my husband thought of my new hair, and my answer was essentially, "Don't know, don't care. It's not his hair." (With varying levels of accompanying expletives based on the asker.)

I've not asked him. I don't care about his opinion, I care about MINE. He wasn't the one dealing with the annoyances above, so why would he get a say in whether or not I should keep it that way? Whether my hair is long or short or gone, he loves me, and I know this. I know this because that's how I feel about him. I don't tell him to shave his head, or to have a goatee. As long as he looks reasonably presentable to society, I'm cool with his appearance. And vice versa.

And the same is true for everyone I love, and everyone who loves me. Their opinions are unimportant. I might think my friend Becky looks amazing with her hair down, but if she loves the daily ponytail that gets it out of her face, well, what the hell does my opinion matter? It doesn't. And her preference for my long curly waterfall doesn't even slightly impact my preference for short & easy.

Reflecting on allathat got me much else am I holding onto, just because I think I should?

What else are ALL OF US doing, that we don't truly enjoy doing, but don't yet feel brave or confident enough to stop doing?

I can think of many other cuts from my life recently. All of these are small moves, with fabulous results:
  • no more nail polish: haven't missed it for a second
  • no more eyeshadow or eyeliner: sure, I look better with it, but I also look fine without it - and I don't miss it
  • Twitter & Instagram & Pinterest & all the rest besides FB & DM: I don't feel I'm missing out
  • TV: haven't watched it in months
  • email newsletter subscriptions: if I'm just deleting them without reading, or stacking them up in my "to read" folder (which I never get to), then I just unsubscribe
  • news: I don't bother, because mostly negative (if there's an important story, I'll hear about it somehow - but I don't need most of it)
  • Facebook friends 
    • who only post complaints: if I don't want to blatantly unfriend them, I hide their posts
    • who often share annoying shit but are otherwise cool: I hide the sources of their shared political posts & recipes & whatever
    • who I wouldn't ever stop to talk to in the grocery store: unfriend 
    • pages I've liked that post multiple times per day, every day, or only share links that I never click on, or are constantly outraged & up in arms (even if it's a cause I agree with): unfollow
    • who share clickbait bullshit ("you won't believe #8!"): never click, EVER, and hide them

Clothing choices, grooming choices, workout choices, friend choices, food choices, activity choices, job choices, housing many possible annoyances we've built into our lives, without even thinking about it, without ACTIVELY CHOOSING them, but merely going along with society's norms.

Decide to live a FUCK YES kind of life. Decide to cut out everything that isn't FUCK YES.

What is weighing you down because it's actually someone else's choice that you're doing it, be it society or significant others or parents or peers or boss?

Can you make your OWN decision instead?

What will that bravery cost you?

Oh, but my friend, what will it GAIN you?


A side note, I wrote this many months ago, left it in draft stage, because it felt like there was much more clarity I could bring if I took the time to polish it up. Well, 6 months later, here it still sits. I've got lots of these half-baked ideas in draft stage, and I'm throwing them out to sink or swim without much further assistance. You want to write and get better at it, then damn it, you write, and you share it, and you write some more. It's a blog, for fuck's sake. Do I want to share worthwhile thoughts, and possibly help people, or don't I? There is not much point to write things and keep them hidden, nor to wait for perfection. Fuck perfection.

I'm saying it again, just to make sure you saw it: fuck perfection.

It's time to help.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

We Are All Just OK

I love The Lady That Be Stumptuous. Always read her, everywhere, in everything.

Here she displays one of my most favorite qualities: authenticity.

There are only imperfect, wonderful, messy, very-much-human beings with hopes and fears and desires and neuroses and jobs and lives and kids and dogs or cats and family demands and toilets that need unclogging and lines-becoming-wrinkles and hangnails and alarms that go off too early and a love of chocolate-chip cookies… and all the rest of reality.
Like you.
Like me.
Like all of us.
“We’re all bozos on the bus,” said Woodstock MC Wavy Gravy in 1969, “so we might as well sit back and enjoy the ride.”

Find it all here, and enjoy KSD in all of her wondertastic glory:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Thinner or BETTER?

I recommend always choosing better. That's where satisfaction lies.

- A girl who's been both

Boy, not only was my quest for thinness unhealthy physically. It was also extremely unhealthy mentally and emotionally. My obsession with being a certain weight not only stunted my potential growth as a fitness professional. It stunted my personal growth as an intelligent, fulfilled woman.
So long as I focused on being less, that is exactly what I got. Less. Less of everything. Less life fulfillment. Less mental energy for things that mattered. Less happiness. Less contentment. Less brain space for information that could take me places. Less joy in being me.

Read it all:!Fitness-Thinner-isnt-always-better/cqm6/55eedfa30cf23d0feffe53c7