One Self-Care Tip for Your Weekend (and Every Day, to Nurture Your Inner Boss)

Sometimes the best I've got is doing a #Friday morning face mask, putting laundry in, and deciding⁠—mid-Marco-Polo-client-checkin as I'm trying to escape my super loud washer/dryer, no less (I didn't exactly think that timing through)⁠—working from bed is the move for the day.

We've been conditioned to believe we must follow the rules: sit up straight, be here at this time, wear this, do that, be quiet, look like this, eat that. Our worth is often measured by our productivity: we believe we're only worthy of rest, reflection, of any kind of space after we've gotten things ticked off our to-do lists, submitted our reports, proven our value.

You can break the rules, of course, and I'm assuming if you're here reading my work, you already know that. You may just need a reminder, so let this serve as one.

Are You Hiding? 👀👀 (One Shift to See More Progress Instantly)

A lovely thought to consider: we’re all these big, powerful, multitudinous forces, under the surface, imprisoned by nothing but our thoughts. That’s true for some of us, and others of us are kept in hiding by bigger forces making it unsafe to show the whole of who we are. It’s worth considering why any one of us isn’t allowing our full selves to shine; I’d imagine, if we pull on these threads, we’re playing roles we didn’t necessarily choose and staying in them most of all because it’s easy to do so, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

How do we get from keeping our heads down, hiding away, playing our parts to the bold, unapologetic, magical mermaids we are? Some common advice is to, “fake it ‘itl you make it.”

I’m not big on, “fake it ‘til you make it,” because that feels really…cheesy and inauthentic to me.

Is Your Exercise Routine Actually Fun for You, or Are You Doing This Because You Feel like You Should?

"Love your body!"

A commandment, nowadays, it seems, no?

In sentiment, I tend to agree: being friends with your body (or at least not actively hating it) frees up a lot of time and space and energy. But, for years, I read that advice, went to the mirror to declare I suddenly loved all these things I'd spent my entire life hating about my body, and instead of, "oh, you're right! I love you, self. You're beautiful. Now, on to bigger and better things," I heard, "self, you're a fucking terrible liar. Now brush your teeth, stooge."

"Love your body," is lazy advice given by well-intentioned coaches (myself included, before I had this realization) who hope to impart the lesson that we are worthy, we are lovable, we are more than a body.

Knowing that is complicated, though, isn't it?

Not only because it's difficult to do, like any relationship, but also because, there are myriad factors standing in the way of us doing so. Not the least of which is... HOW?

That process is different for everyone, and I've found much of it, at least if you're recovering from what Decolonizing Fitness calls Toxic Fitness Culture, begins in exploring movement you love⁠—the kind that doesn't feel like punishment, but that invites you to be more, to experiment, to explore.

How to Eat Pancakes Without the Side of Guilt

BUT HOW DO YOU JUST...GO EAT PANCAKES? 🥞

(I do see this is a cheeseburger.)

Look, I understand it's early in the week, and you have #goals to hit, and you're "supposed to be" eating nothing but chicken boobs and vegetables. If you're recovering from diet culture, the prospect of a, "fuck it, let's go get pancakes," Sunday like I frequently mention may seem terrifying. You might be thinking, "if I did that, I'd eat candy and mac and cheese for the rest of the day. I'd rather stick to the plan."

First and foremost, I think coaches who say, "it's just one day!" are giving lazy advice (similar to, "just love your body!"). Like, if that didn't send you into a spiral of anxiety and frustration in the first place, you'd be there already. NEXT.

Why I Don't Believe in the, "No Excuses" Movement

When I decided to become a coach, I realized, first and foremost, this sort of trust was vital to the success of everyone involved: if I can't humble myself enough to listen—deeply and fully—or to understand that at any given moment you may be having an entirely different experience and perception of our interaction and/or environment than I do (and believe you about your experience), then am I really being of service?

Am I really helping you along with your goals?
Does this change when your goals are different from my goals?
Or when they're different from the goals other people have, or have had in the past?

Seems quite basic, when you put it that way, but I haven't always hit the mark, and I find time and again, as I both get to know coaches further and have hired some myself, we could all use work, here. Not being understood seems to be a common experience of the human condition, especially in fitness.

Why You're Hung Up on Your, "Summer Body"

During warmer weather in particular, we hear all about, "summer bodies," and, "getting ready," and all sorts of things implying that our bodies aren't enough as is, and, when we inevitably buy into it, we're often left with less money and more frustration than when we started, plus a heaping helping of shame.

Body image issues are logical: they don't come from nowhere, and nothing is wrong with you if you struggle to love your body.

(In fact, I'd argue that, "loving your body," isn't really the point, here; it's to think if your body less, so that you can be more of who you are, other than your body.)

And, the first step, for so so so many womxn I coach, is to recognize, while your body is certainly all yours and you can do whatever you choose with it (or you should be able to, anyway), perhaps (juuuust maybe), your thoughts on your body are not entirely your own.

STRESSED? 😬 What to do About Your Training

“I went to squat yesterday. My warmup felt fine — I was a little tired, but I thought once I started lifting I’d feel better. I usually do,” a client said to me.

"When I got to the working sets, everything felt HEAVY. Like, heavier than it should have. I finished the workout anyway, because it was written down, so I had to do it. But I’ve felt like everything is heavy and takes longer than it used to for a couple of weeks now.

What am I doing wrong? Am I losing all my progress? How am I going backwards when I haven’t skipped a workout?”

I could hear it in her voice: the frustration, the confusion, and the shame composing a horrifying opera whose featured aria, “You’re a Failure!” is familiar to us all.

When I hear this song in my line of work, my first course of action is to listen (we all need to be heard, after all), followed by asking questions.

The questions give me box seats to the full production, where I learn it’s not only the weights that feel heavy but life as well. And the last thing we need to do when life gets lifey is up the stress ante with long, heavy, grindy workouts.

Sometimes long, heavy, grindy workouts are just what the doctor ordered, but sometimes they’re pouring gasoline on the fire, leaving us feeling ineffective and not knowing where to go next.

On Wearing the Shorts (or Sleeveless Top, or Bikini) and Taking the Picture

This photo was taken over Memorial Day weekend, when my brother was in town to play at a lacrosse tournament.

Our family has had a lacrosse-filled Memorial Day weekend since I was a freshman in high school (when we moved back north, the first time). And yet, you'd have no idea I was there for most of them.

I spent years dodging cameras, worrying about what I'd eat (at a TAILGATE, where there are like, 4 options), readjusting my clothing, seeing if people were sneaking glances at my body or monitoring what I put on my plate or how often I realized half a cheeseburger (no bun) and a leaf of lettuce and coffee to curb my appetite wasn't enough for 14h in the heat (imagine that!).

Guess how much fun I had? Guess how relaxed I felt, during a time dedicated to relaxation?

IF YOU SAID NOT VERY (MUCH), YOU'D BE RIGHT.

If You're Tired of Trying to, "Love Your Flaws," You're Not Alone. There's More to This.

We won't be talking about, "loving your flaws," here, for quite a few reasons, but perhaps the most universal one?

I don't think that's a goal you really have, when we get down to it.

I don't think it would make you feel good to pick on some body part you've been told needs to be fixed, agonize in the mirror over it every morning to keep it top of mind all the time, only buy clothes that cover it up, and somehow be totally hype about it anyway.

It doesn't make sense.
Marketing to you that way is dishonest, IMO.