All in mindset

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.

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.

How (One Way) to Say No

ABOUT THIS EXPRESSION I MAKE:

100% of the time, I adopt this hands-under-chin situation when I have just delivered information that is likely unwelcome and/or at least slightly uncomfortable to its target.

This being the circumstance, I could not be more thrilled my friend Jen captured this on film, at our weekly #neighborhoodworkoutgroup.

ITEMS THAT HAVE PRECEDED THIS POSE:

⚡ "I can't do that for you."
⚡ "This is hypocritical."
⚡ "I need more support."
⚡ "Do you see how this is problematic (fatphobic, racist, misogynistic things have all made appearances here)?"
⚡ "This is out of alignment with my values."
⚡ "I disagree."
⚡ "No."
⚡ "🎶 nooooo 🎶" (in song)

(The context for many of these situations is wonderfully sticky, nuanced, and sassy conversation, as most of the things I'm into often are. Other stories for other days.)

All statements good to practice saying, particularly in a culture urging us, as womxn (the marginalized experience to which I can speak directly, but, for sure, this is exponentially compounded for others), to be quiet, to acquiesce, to carry the burden, to solve and fix and nurture.

Patterns: Why Are You the Way that You Are?

If you're here, it's likely you've tried quite a few diets and exercise plans throughout your life, very few of which have made the lasting changes you were hoping.

You've tried the 21-day-"fixes," the grapefruit diets, the plans in Self magazine (I'm not picking on them, really; that was one of the first places I ever saw any sort of structured workout myself!), and they've all yielded lackluster results.

It's also highly likely that you've realized this is a pattern, and one you'd like to break.

As more of us in fitness decide we want to let go of harmful patterns (e.g., the binge/restrict cycle, over-exercising/burnout cycle), are we helping ourselves understand what to do next?

I Ripped My Pants: 3 Tips to Deal with Clothes that Don't Fit

Earlier this month, I met with a CPA.

As though taxes weren’t enough bossy boss lady fun, I made the executive decision to put on pants. If you work from home or from a gym, you know how rare an event this is.

I went to put on my favorite pair of jeans,—soft, well-worn-rarely-washed denim, the kind that fit just Goldilocks-level right—and as I realized they’d been folded in a drawer for 6 months, I squatted down, and, riiiiip.

How Do You Feel Powerful?

POWER: what does it mean to you? Where is it found?

Does it hide from you, running to the dingy corner as soon as you enter the room and turn on the light? Or does it display itself proudly, waving its flag in your life as you march like General Sherman on his way to the sea, asserting your presence and leaving flames in your wake?

As womxn in a patriarchal world, there is no shortage of places we're told we can't be. There is no dearth of reminders of our status, supposedly submissive. In the board room, in the bedroom, in the gym, in the damn left-hand lane—we're underrepresented, told we don't belong, deemed, "too emotional," to handle it.

POWER: it isn't something supposedly meant for us.

Which is why I'd like to ask you where you find it for yourself.

How to, "Release That Which No Longer Serves You," or, "Rewrite Your Stories." (Let's Cut Through the Noise, Shall We?)

If you spend much time on the internet, particularly in the personal development and/or fitness mindset space, it's likely you've heard quite a bit of talk about, "rewriting your stories," and, "releasing that which no longer serves you." 

Rather than the freedom these phrases were likely intended to impart, I was left with a slow-burning rage:

OKAY, YOU SUPER-EVOLVED BEING IN THIS TINY INSTAGRAM SQUARE, BUT HOW? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

*insert failure and shame*

Why You Haven't Tried that Fun New Movement

I spent a long time wrapped in the coiling tendrils of perfectionism, that Devil's Snare tightening its grip the harder I tried to escape it.

I've forced myself into countless situations (friendships, relationships, jobs, even a college major!) that weren't really for me, or even things I wanted. My intuition was screaming at me to get out--you know the feeling when, deep in your gut, you feel clenching, writhing, twisting, and a bit of nausea? I was a pro at ignoring it. Through lots of trial and error, I've learned to let go... slowly but surely.

One of the places this has been most prevalent in my life has been in my fitness endeavors (and, I suspect, many of yours, because I've had some version of this conversation with almost every client I've ever trained longer than a few weeks).

How to Know You're Making Progress (A Letter From (and to) My 16-Year-Old Self)

This is a note from my journal one week into my senior year of high school.

This is one of the times that journaling really tugs at your heartstrings. If you don’t have a regular journaling practice, I’d encourage you to start, even if it’s just one line in your planner or on your phone about how you felt that day, and this is why: you gift yourself the opportunity to witness your growth in real time.

Fighting with Your Scale? 7 Better Ways to Measure Progress

Monday morning did roll around, carrying an unwieldy dose of guilt and shame every time.

I’d wake up, feel badly for not, “sticking to the plan,” wondering why I couldn’t just have one, “cheat meal,” why I had to do this every time, why anyone ever saw anything in me other than a fraud, and I’d step on the scale.

I lived and died by that number.

If it wasn’t too far off my Friday weight, then I somehow, “got away with,’ eating foods that didn’t work for me, because my feelings didn’t matter if they weren’t reflected on the scale.

If I WAS far off my Friday weight (which I often was), I was a failure, and the only solution was to buckle down even harder the next week, promising myself that this week, a “cheat meal,” would be just one meal.

Been there? How’s it working for you?