Reverb 16//March//Habits


In a shocking turn of events, I have fallen behind in my Reverb 16 posts. I started with the prompt I could find first and it was March. The rest are coming, too! Love your feedback!

Habits | If you could magically change one of your habits, what would it be and why?

If I could magically change one of my habits, it would be how I correct Mark over really stupid things. It’s not just him, I do it to others, too, but he for sure gets it the worst. I have this compulsive need to correct people. If Mark says, “What a great day! It was 70 degrees out when I went to lunch.” I might actually respond with, “Oh really? I think I heard it only hit 66 today.”

Seriously? I’m going to miss his point completely over 4 degrees? His point was not that it was 70 degrees. His point was that he appreciated what a nice day it had been. It was a highlight for him and I just skipped past it. And it’s not even that I just missed his point. I dismissed it for a 4 degree correction, which is pretty crappy.

Why do I do that?

It’s disrespectful and it’s so self serving it makes me a little queasy. But you know what else it is? It’s negative. Every time I argue some small detail of a story or “play devil’s advocate” for the one millionth time, I cast a negative tone on the conversation. Every time I respond so quickly to give a dissenting opinion, I am devaluing what the other person is saying. I talk first, think second. It’s no good.

Could someone please wave their magic wand and make me a better listener?






Spring has Sprung! Three approaches to reaching your wellness goals this Spring!

spring dc

Spring is HERE!

I mean, maybe not quite as “here” as I’d like the last few mornings when I walked out without a coat and immediately regretted it, but I’ll take the warmer afternoons and the sunshine!

Spring is a great time to consider your wellness goals and take a few minutes to create a plan for making reasonable changes to help you reach them.

Spring could be your “January Reboot” if you’re a resolution maker or even if you’re not!
With that in mind, let’s talk about some ways to tackle your reboot with appropriate goal setting, organization and LUNCH!

TRAINER TIPS: Starting a New Fitness Plan

What would a January Reboot be without a fitness resolution? It would be blasphemy, plain and simple. However, let’s approach this with some sanity and intelligence instead of the usual, “I have to lose 50 lbs in 1 month and I have scheduled myself 14 workouts this week to make sure it happens. Swimsuit season is right around the corner.”

As a fellow Jammer, and super successful business owner, Michelle Aurand would say, “Barf.”

Fitness professionals, PLEASE… for the love of GOD, do NOT utter the words “Swimsuit season” in reference to wellness goals. It just sets the women’s movement back 50 years every time you do it and not everyone needs to feel that pressure in April. Or ever. Thanks. 

Step One:

Take a few minutes to think about what your goal means to you and why you want it.

Does it mean you’d like to be someone who lifts five times a week?

Does it mean you want to create an active lifestyle – start cycling, running, hiking, or rock climbing?

Do you just really want to fit back into your favorite pair of jeans?

Step Two:why21

Now the why.

Why do you want to be a person who lifts five days a week?

Why do you want to be active? Why do those old jeans matter?

This is a deal breaker. Without the why….your motivation will wane. You need the reason.

Once you have a goal in mind, where do you start?

How about the beginning?

Pick one step that leads toward your goal. One small, easy, super attainable step and do that.

Do that for a while.

If your goal is to run a 5K, but you’ve been living on the couch for the last year, starting with a mile run is probably too much. Pick something you KNOW you can do like a walk around your block or a 10 minute walk on the treadmill during your lunch hour.

Commit to doing that daily and praise yourself when you finish it each day. It may seem small, but that’s the point. Set yourself up for success and revel in it when it’s attained. Eventually that first step will no longer feel like a first step. It will just be part of your lifestyle.

That’s when you know you’re ready to add the next step. Slow and steady is the key.

If your goal is to be fit enough to run around with your kids or grandkids, you don’t just want to reach that goal for a week or a month. You want it to stick and slow and steady is how you make it stick.

This is from Nerd Fitness: How the Heck Do I Get Started??? By Steve Kamb. It is PERFECT.

“Your willpower is like your HP in a video game (limited). Fight too many bad guys at once, or fight too tough of a bad guy, and that HP depletes at a rapid pace and you need to restart. Instead, fight ONE bad guy who’s weaker than you, and you survive the fight, get stronger, and build momentum.
And NEVER underestimate the power of momentum.
So, pick ONE thing. Make it small. Make it manageable.”

GOOD EATS: Lunches that Work…at Work.

You’re back from Spring Break which means you’re getting back to work and back on track. I’d like to help by giving you a few tips on how to make packing lunches for work a little easier and a lot yummier.

  1. Plan Ahead: This should be steps 1-10 and it’s probably the most time consuming but SO worth it. Before you do your grocery shopping for the week, create a meal plan. You are likely already doing this for dinners – otherwise, what are you getting at the grocery store? Try adding one more tiny step and create a lunch meal plan too.
  2. Prep Your Meals: Pick a day (Sundays are my go-to days) and prepare as many meals ahead of time as you can. Now, that doesn’t mean I want you to spend your entire day meal prepping; you have to be smart. Pick quick and easy things that you can make once, but eat multiple times. A few lunches and a few dinner leftovers and BOOM – prep done.
  3. Prepackage: Once your meals are made, package them in individual lunch-size servings so all you have to do in the morning is grab it out of the fridge and go!

This isn’t rocket science. Does it take a little discipline? Sure, but the benefits are fantastic: delicious, cost effective, guilt-free lunches you can look forward to!
Here are my top three QDE (quick, delicious, easy!) work lunch recipes:

Salad with Rotisserie Chicken

Prep Time: 15 min
Servings: 5-6
Directions: Build a big enough salad to make 5-6 individual salads and separate into lunch containers. Add shredded chicken, egg, cheese. Cover and refrigerate until use.

  • Red leaf/green leaf/spinach mix
  • Favorite veggies. Mine are: red, yellow, orange peppers, onion, broccoli, carrots (cut in discs instead of shredding to add crunch!) tomatoes, cucumber
  • Rotisserie chicken – pre-cooked. Shred while still warm for ease
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Blue cheese or feta crumbles
  • Dressing of choice. My faves are Marie’s Blue Cheese Vinaigrette, flavored olive oil (lime is delish!) with raspberry or red wine vinegar

Ground Bison with Hummus and Tomatoes

Prep Time: 15 min
Servings: 8-10
Directions: Add bison to pan and brown. Add diced onion in with about 3 minutes left on the bison. When bison is cooked through, stir in hummus. Separate into separate lunch containers and add chopped tomato after it’s cooled. You can also wait and add the tomato after you reheat at work. I don’t even reheat it, though! I just eat it straight out of the fridge!

  • 2lbs ground bison
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 container hummus – I usually use garlic, but I’ve used plain as well as other flavors and have never been disappointed.
  • 1-2 plum tomatoes per serving

Turkey Tacos

Prep Time: 15 min
Servings: 8-10
Directions: Add turkey to pan and brown. Add diced onion in with about 3 minutes left on the turkey. When turkey is cooked through, add taco seasoning. Separate into separate lunch containers and add salsa and cheese after it’s cooled. You can also wait and add toppings after you reheat at work. I don’t even reheat it, though! I just eat it straight out of the fridge!

  • 2lbs ground turkey breast
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 packets McCormicks Taco Seasoning (it’s the only packet with real seasoning and no chemicals)
  • Shredded cheese, salsa to taste
  • Optional: taco shells, tortillas or lettuce wraps

DID YOU KNOW?: Creating a Routine

Here we are. Back to the grind after Spring Break. You have decided to start a fitness plan and start eating to fuel your activity level as well as reach your health and wellness goals.

How do you make sure your motivation isn’t fleeting?

Take motivation out of the equation, or at the very least, de-prioritize it by creating a routine.

Just saying, “I’m going to work out this week” doesn’t always get the job done. Scheduling that workout increases your probability of actually doing it by about a billion. The same goes for getting those work lunches together. You need more than a wing and prayer – you need a plan!

Take out your calendar.

No really, do it.

Ok, ok, bring up your google calendar or smart phone scheduler or whatever newfangled thing the kids are using these days. I still have a paper, wire binder, appointment book that everything goes into. I’ll go ahead and label that as “classic” before the rest of you deem me old fashioned.

Now look at next week. When can you most conveniently fit in a workout or two? Just all you need is a mondaypicking, “Monday” won’t do. I want you to write out all the details.

• Day of the week
• Time of the day
• Location of workout
• Mode (lifting session, group fitness class, appointment with your personal trainer, walk, etc.)
• Duration
• Which pair of sneakers will you wear?

The more specific you get with your scheduled workout, the more likely it will happen.
If you are able to stick to the same schedule for a few weeks, do it! Make working out part of your regular routine and once it is, you will start to feel incomplete without it.

Changes in your schedule will not throw you off course because exercise has become habit.

You can utilize the same system for packing work lunches. You can probably skip the sneaker step, but keep the rest. What day and time are you shopping? Where are you shopping? Will you food prep the same day or a different day? How long will it take?

Creating routines will set you up for success week after week. Make it is easy on yourself by planning ahead and being specific. The fewer choices and decisions you have to make throughout the week, the better – at least at first while you’re creating those good habits.

Ok, that’s it. That’s my completely unsolicited advice on planning for your wellness goals this spring. Any questions? Just ask!!

What habits and routines work for you? Do you have go-to lunch recipes? How does your fitness routine change, if at all, with the season change?


My Tape: The Pedulum



I am a person of extremes. I really like something or I really don’t. I dive into new dogmas with 100% commitment and enthusiasm. I am desperate for answers and if someone I even remotely trust offers them in the form of a new (to me) moral take, nutrition/fitness plan, or alternative to body shaming, I jump in with two feet and I take it on as my life’s compass.

I commit. Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes…not so much.

I quit Diet Coke cold turkey (along with a laundry list of other “bad” foods and beverages). If you’ve known me longer than five years, you know I must have been possessed by a demon to do this. Diet Coke was my lifeblood. It was my absolute FAVORITE. It made bad days good and great days even better.

Did I drink too much of it? Yes.

Did I need to cut it out of my life completely?


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Three Steps I Take When Learning the Newest Body Jam. (#3 is the key)

Jam Team

I love BodyJam. Like…a lot. It’s part of my license plate. It’s part of my email address. It corners the market on 97.5% of my Facebook posts. I just love it.

Walking in to teach class is one of my favorite things to do every week.

Wait, let me correct that:

Walking into class prepared to teach is one of my favorite things to do each week.

I add “prepared” because showing up to class unprepared might be my very LEAST favorite thing to do. It’s terrifying. It’s an hour of eyes rolled up and back into my head desperately trying to remember what comes next. No connection with people. No connection with the music. Certainly no Fitness Magic. Just. Not. Fun. So I try to never put myself in that position. Because yuck.

I’ve been at this for ten years now, and yes, it’s gotten easier since the days of being absolutely unable to dance and speak at the same time (let alone instruct!) without passing out or wanting to throw up.

That’s the stage I’m in now with RPM. #humbling

As I’m sure many other instructors do, I get asked a lot about the process behind teaching classes. I thought I’d take a post to pull back the curtain a little and write about my experience preparing for launches. I’m sure every instructor has their own way of learning the latest release; it can be a pretty personal thing. So this is just how I prepare for a BodyJam launch. My prep for BodyCombat and now RPM were/are very different and maybe I’ll tackle that in another post.

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Correct Me if I’m Wrong…

I apologize for abandoning you in the middle of the ClassPass Experiment. The problem was that I took no good classes. None. Zero. Zippy. Writing the blog articles became an exercise in how to be entertaining without being mean. Because I had almost nothing nice to say. And I think we have all learned, if you don’t have anything nice to say…

I do have something to say to the group fitness instructors of the world, and also to the group fitness enthusiasts. My hope is both groups benefit from both messages.


No, no. Ones who demonstrate movement.

To the group fitness instructors out there:

That’s what we’re most-often called, I think? Instructors. Sometimes teachers. Occasionally trainers. What else are we? Leaders? Educators? Demonstrators?

My point – we are INSTRUCTors. So why do so many of us shy away from actually INSTRUCTing? In 23 years of teaching group fitness, I know I have had several different answers for this. I’m guessing many instructors reading this will be able to find themselves in one of the following stages of group fitness instruction.

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My Tape: The Right Help

the right help

Inspired by #reverb15 and both the emotional response I felt and the general responses I received about my Day 21 (“You Being You”) and 23 posts (“Perfectionism”), I’m going to continue writing about my experiences working through my eating disorder. I have found it to be eye opening and cathartic. I’ve learned that while I always knew I wasn’t the only person in the world with an eating disorder, I still felt incredibly alone…until I heard from so many amazing people after those initial posts. The support people have shown publicly and privately has truly changed my heart for the better.

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#reverb15: Final Note


Something happened during #reverb15.

I let go.

I let go of a lot of anger and resentment I had been harboring over a life situation I can’t change. I let go of a relationship that let go of me long ago. I let go of the fear I had of being seen as a fraud by the fitness community for not being a size 6 and for struggling with an eating disorder.

Ok, maybe I still fear judgement from the fitness community over my size, but I’ve acknowledged it and I am working on it.

That’s a lot of positive change in one month. Certainly a lot for a chick who is a self proclaimed change-hater. Perhaps that’s just one more positive that came out of December: Change doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

I have spent my entire adulthood defining myself with absolutes.

“I’ll never move.”

“I don’t like animals.”

“I’m not an adventuresome eater.”

“BodyJam. God. Family.”

“I hate change.”

Those statements feel suffocating now. SUFFOCATING. Change sounds like freedom from these boxes I’ve placed around myself.

Feeling Feels

I’d be remiss not to mention my friend and fellow blogger, KayShay at  because I’ve already touched on several of her last few posts. I am so glad she is writing them now and I am reading them now, as in, this moment in my life. Even just two months ago, I didn’t have enough space in my mind to really hear the questions she’s posing and be able to have my own authentic answers to them. There was too much anger and resentment and pain and loss and frustration in the way.

I’ll be posting in more detail about these questions, specifically about the ways I have defined myself that I no longer wish to be stifled by. (Such as “I am not a person who ends a sentence with a preposition.” However, I am still a person who considers herself a decent writer and just spent 20 minutes coming up with different ways to word that sentence that did NOT include ending it with a preposition only to decide to leave the first crappy sentence because without the crappy sentence there’s no joke about being a person who ends a sentence with a preposition).

This “letting go” thing is not perfect. I find doubt creeping back into my decisions. I have moments of crushing sadness over the loss of someone close to me. I feel rage bubbling up over issues at work. Yes, rage. I feel feel feel all the time. All the feels.

I think, though, that I am finally starting to learn what to do with all the feels. I’m learning that controlling the expression of my feelings is not the same thing as ignoring them and that emotionally healthy people do not fly off the handle – happily or angrily or sadly.

Learning how to deal with my feelings allows me to eventually let go of the negative ones. I’ve never been very good at that.

I feel (there’s that word again) like a cloud lifted in December. I feel like what’s real and true and important became so much clearer.

I feel like maybe I’m ready to be happy.

My One and Only Resolution for 2016.

Practice happiness.

It is a skill I lost somewhere along the way and I’m excited and motivated to get it back. I even downloaded an app. No kidding. Maybe you’ve seen it advertised on Facebook. It’s called Happify. Maybe you haven’t because you’re not the Debbie Downer even Facebook realized I’ve become and then capitalized on. (Damn it. Preposition).

Regardless, it’s an app to literally practice being happy. There are games and activities. brain_with_labelsLast night I played the Happify version of Duck Hunt where balloons float up on the screen with words on them and you have to click the positive words to get points. I think they subtract points if you accidentally click a negative word. I don’t know for sure because I had a perfect game. #notcompetitiveatall😉

I am reading The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin and beginning to write down positive moments each day. I can’t believe how quickly my mindset is changing. My initial reactions are calmer. I remember to choose to be happy instead of allowing spite and anger to take over immediately. It’s only midway through January and I can feel the shift happening.

2015 was a craptastic year, but I wonder how much worse I made it with my negative mindset. No matter because it is over now and I am moving onward and upward to 2016: The year I decided to be happy.

happiness project