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I don't like setting New Year's Resolutions.  1) Because I don't like the idea of doing a 180 less than a week after holiday craziness and 2) I don't believe January 1 is the only day we can choose to make a change.  (In fact, I like to use my birthday as the day to set goals and intentions for the year, but more on that another day.) However, I DO like picking a word that I'd like to define the year to come.

In 2016 I chose "Grateful."  It helped to remember that was my word when days were long or challenges came up.  Very few things are all bad and attempting to find gratitude even in shitty situations (and especially when I didn't want to) was a learning and growing experience to be sure.

This year my word is...

While working with my coach (yes, even coaches have coaches), one of the first things we realized is how often I made excuses for things I wanted because I was afraid.  I was afraid it couldn't happen.  I was afraid it wouldn't work out.  I was afraid no one would like it.  I was afraid I'd be bad at it.

The "it" was different, but the excuse was the same.  And I like excuses as much as I like New Year's resolutions so here we are.

If I'm honest... choosing to live this year "fearlessly" scares the hell out of me.  (I know I know.) But to me FEARLESS doesn't necessarily mean "having no fear."  It's feeling that fear, acknowledging that fear, and then doing it anyway.

Change can be scary, but you know what's scarier?  Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing.

-- Mandy Hale

So here's to the big, scary, exciting things to come in 2017!  Happy New Year!





Progress Not Perfection

This is a hard picture to share – not because I’m unhappy with the way my body looks now, but because I’m afraid of how you are going to react to the difference.Deep Breath The picture on the left was taken May 2014 – a few months before I found out I was pregnant, teaching a full class load, and with plenty of time for my own workouts. The picture on the right was taken last week – 7 months post partum – after I stepped on the scale, realized I was about 5 pounds lighter than I was last May, and was curious what the side-by-side comparison would look like.

For the record… neither picture is filtered. (And please excuse my filthy mirror.)

I know I haven’t been eating or exercising for fat loss. Yes, I’ve lost weight, but I’ve also lost muscle and I haven’t lost a lot of fat. Instead I’ve been eating well enough to sustain me and feed my baby and choosing workouts that would help keep stress at bay. Basically… lots of carbs and yoga.

And let me be clear… there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. You can’t always be in hardcore, fat-loss mode.

But when I put these pictures side-by-side three things happened:

  1. I felt disappointed. I knew I don’t look like that first picture right now, but I’ve been happy with my body. It’s still strong (do you know how much a 7 month old plus the car seat weighs?), it’s still healthy, and I don’t frown when I look in the mirror (except maybe at the dark circles under my eyes). But when I put my pasty, 7-month post partum, December body next to my tan, childfree, May body… well damn.
  2. I worried. I’m a fitness professional in the #fitmom #transformationtuesday #imbetterthanyou (OK that last one isn’t real) age. I was devastated (no that isn’t an exaggeration) when I wasn’t back to my pre-pregnancy weight by 6 weeks. From the pictures “fit” people post online I was fully expecting to “have my body back” before my 5-week postpartum check up. Seven months later I’m still not there. Who’s going to take me seriously as a fitness professional if I don’t have perfectly toned arms and six-pack abs?
  3. I felt stupid. I showed the picture to my husband and (god bless him) he asked what the difference was besides the tan. We’re always our worst critics aren’t we? I’m constantly preaching to my clients, “Progress not perfection.” Perfection doesn’t exist in real life – at least not the “perfection” in pictures. Take away the filters, take away the contorted poses, change the light and there are the flaws. Flaws are what make us human. Flaws are what make us perfect to those who love us. I am so proud of my body – flaws and all – and I refuse to let a side-by-side comparison of pictures taken a year and a half apart, that doesn’t show the 9 months of my growing belly, and the seven months of my shrinking sides, to ruin that love.

This body did THIS! What's not to be proud of?

Here I am a week later, still unsure if I want to post this picture because it’s scary and I don’t know what you’re going to think. I don’t have a six-pack (I clearly didn’t pre-baby either). I don’t eat gluten free. I really like chocolate. Is anyone going to take my seriously ever again if I post this?

But I’ve spent all last week repeating these two mantras:

I am SO proud of my body.

Progress not perfection.


And they’ve stuck. I AM so proud of my body. I’m not perfect, but it gets better every day.

So I challenge you to adopt one of these mantras this week. Or find one that resonates with you and say it loud, say it proud.

Say it quietly in the mirror.

Say it in your head.

Say it anytime you doubt yourself.

Say it even if you don’t believe it in that moment.

Because I am so proud of you. And your progress is perfection.




Overcoming Fear

Fear is boring, because fear only ever has one thing to say to us, and that thing is: "STOP" – Elizabeth Gilbert This topic has presented itself to me in the universe over and over again lately so I figured it's time to address it.

When was the last time you did something that scared you? And I don’t mean an artificial scare like watching a horror movie that made you sleep with the lights on for a night or two. I mean something that truly challenged and changed you.

The last terrifying thing I did was hit “Publish” on this post.

And I fight that fear every time I have something to write here or share with you.

“What if no one cares?” “What if this makes me look stupid?” “How long until people realize I am so far from perfect?”

Or the biggest one…

“What if I fail?”

I’ve wanted to start this page for over a year, but the fear of failing made me stop before I even tried.

As a second grader I SO badly wanted to play baseball, but one of the boys said I would have to wear the whole uniform including a cup {what?!} and then I was afraid I would look ridiculous as the only girl on the team.

That was the first time I remember letting fear stop me from doing something I was otherwise excited about. Since then I’m sure there have been hundreds. But that ends now. I don't want to miss out on any other moments because I'm too afraid. How boring is that?!

So these are my questions for you today… what are you afraid of? What were you excited about, but were too afraid to do? Do you want to go to your first BODYPUMP class? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to leave a completely toxic job and find your passion?

Are you going to let fear bully you for one more day or are you going to kick that bastard as hard as you can right in the teeth, Walter White style?

I thought so...