Based in Philadelphia, i'm on a mission to help you use fitness as a method of empowerment: 


A Post About Resolutions (& how to Create Some that will Actually Improve your Life).

Good morning!

First of all, welcome all new friends to zee tribe! I’m so stoked to have you to wade through my sass and sarcasm to get to some juicy info.

Secondly, we’re officially 10 days into 2017. How’s the resolution smashing going? Anyone already broken one (*raises hand*)?

The holiday season in general is magical, and the beginning of January is one of my favorite times of year. Don’t get me wrong, December holidays are great, but that time is often fraught with travel/family/food stress for many of us. I find January to be much more peaceful and full of optimism.

Amongst the “regular” gym crowd, there’s a lot of boo-hooing about “New Year’s Resolutioners”…like that’s some kind of plague. Cries of, “don’t take my squat rack,” “the gym is too crowded,” and, “none of these people will be here in two weeks; what’s the point?” abound. Which is funny, to me, because, with that attitude, why would anyone *want* to come back after a week or so?

Personally, I am inspired by anyone actively participating in creating his/her own life, at any time of year. The New Year is the time we collectively choose to let go of what isn’t serving us and strive for better, in many areas and taking many forms. When I’m in the middle of a grind-y, high-volume block, and I look up and see a woman getting under the barbell for the first time, a frat boy finally getting some instruction and learning how it feels to engage his lats, and/or a middle-aged woman walking out of the gym with confidence in her step, having accomplished something for her betterment for the first time in years, it gives me the drive to keep going, even when the workout is a vomilicious suckfest (they happen even when we love to lift and do it on purpose). If we look around, inspiration is everywhere…and it’s abundant this season. So, keep on keepin’ on!

The trick for making our goals reality is to understand why we’re setting them in the first place. If our “why” is deeper than a simple whim, we’re much more likely to find the grit to stick to the plan (or adapt it, as the case may be) when things get tough.

To that end, I’d love to share with you an exercise I do at the beginning of every year. Writing these things down and remembering that any change starts from a place of love, inspiration, and excitement (rather than hate, blame, and dread of “having” to change this thing we hate…hey man, we’ve all been there and seen how well *that* worked, ::coughcough:: not at all) helps us remember why we got started in the first place. Even though we’re 10 days in, if you haven’t done so already, sit down, write these questions on a piece of paper, set a timer for 15m, and free write/type your answers to find your magic:

1.       What do I do well? What, in particular, went well in [2016]?

2.       Where do I have room for improvement? What do I want more of in my life (feelings or things)?

3.       Why are these improvements important to me? What will I feel or do better by accomplishing this? How will it affect my daily life and routine?

4.       What has been standing in my way of getting this done before now? Why is now different?

5.       What am I willing to give up to achieve this goal? What am I unwilling to sacrifice?

6.       How can I capitalize on my strengths (#1) to achieve the [peace/magic/stability/joy…answer from #3] and make 2017 the year of actual, sustainable change? What *action* can I take, right tf now?

…and there you have a goal web. J

Now, be warned, if you both a) have never done this before and b) are committed to the process, there will likely be some sticky emotions bubbling up to the surface, if you’re really thinking about these questions and being honest with yourself. Vulnerability is messy and beautiful! Let it flow.

This exercise has been so helpful to me, because, we really can’t get to where we want to go without knowing where we are. We’d all like to think that there’s a future ideal version of ourselves that checks all the boxes, hits all the marks, and has the perfect life. Really, though, there’s just *right now*, and we’re *already* the perfect person to achieve the deepest desires of our souls. So, knowing what our starting point is can help us: not to manage our expectations and see the long, daunting path ahead, but to realistically plan and execute the plan, knowing that every step we take (no matter how small, uncertain, or “wrong”) is one step closer to our goals. And we get to the nitty gritty: what we can do IMMEDIATELY to get started.

Four years ago, I was a trainer with very little understanding of how her own body worked. I knew the science; I knew how to put a "good" workout together; I knew what "clean eating" was. What I didn't know was how those factors applied to my unique body; how I respond nutritionally & energetically to different workouts, different foods, and different rest/recharge activities; how my mind played into my fitness journey, because mind and body are inextricably intertwined; or how to admit I didn't know how to take the info I knew and experiment to find the answers to those questions, learning what would work for me without giving up my life. If I had never been honest about that (step #6: first action)- if I had never given up the shame and fear of feeling like an imposter for admitting that I didn’t know anything but theory- I never would have been in the position to ask how to figure it out, let alone to find peace with my body or help myself (or anyone else!) achieve real, permanent body/food/mind change.

I 100% guarantee (which I don’t do often- life is messy) that sitting down to investigate all the stickiness of the starting point, casting aside the fear of gym trolls, and committing to (and even enjoying {!!}) the intricate and messy process of change for the sake of progress rather than an outcome will yield the magic we’re all searching for with New Year’s Resolutions. And I guarantee that, because I know from experience, and if I can get that through my 8” thick lead skull, juuuuust about anyone can. 

Go forth. Kick booty. Repeat.

Cheers to 2017!

An Easy Recipe & Why Losing Weight Doesn't *Always* Mean Eating Less

An Easy Recipe & Why Losing Weight Doesn't *Always* Mean Eating Less

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!