Monthly Archives: April 2011

Handling Disappointments

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling a little disappointed, not to mention overwhelmed, lately.

There have been many changes at TEAM ADAMS including new jobs, new pressures, and new responsibilities.

It seems like there is never enough time in the day.

I’ve been wishing my energy level was higher (I crash by 9pm almost every night it seems) and I’m disappointed in my wanna be Susie Homemaker skills. I can never get everything done that needs to be accomplished on the home front. PLUS, I am attempting to build my own career in a very tough and competitive industry.

I question the decisions we make for Ella.

What does she need to become an awesome & productive member of society that feels HAPPY and lives in peace with herself?

Add to that the expectation of trying to find time for the husband and me…and also time for me!. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I roll on, and sometimes,


Add to those “internal” expectations and disappointments, all of the “external” voices chirping in your ear.

people you trust and love that surprise you with their hurtful words or actions, places you go (maybe even a fitness class) that are not what you were expecting, the constant media chatter, the news that never ceases to amaze us, good people being dealt a tough deck of cards

It makes you ask:


Put all of that together, and no wonder we feel like we are hamsters on a big-ass wheel!

Here’s the thing – it’s life, it happens. How you deal and cope is what sets you apart from others when it comes to attitude and outlook.

The sermon during mass on Easter Sunday really spoke to me when it comes to this topic. It doesn’t matter what or who you believe in, so hang with me on this.

If you take the time to call to mind YOUR ACTIONS and YOUR THOUGHTS and own up to your end of the bargain, you most likely will cope better than those that never look in the mirror.

The disappointments and heartaches will always be there. After all, the sun wouldn’t be as sweet without the occasional cloudy sky. We have more power than we may think. Sometimes you have to dig pretty FREAKIN’ DEEP!

But it’s there.

Easy to say, tough to do.

I was recently disappointed by a friendship that I had invested so much in. Looking back, it was probably too much. I never took the time to evaluate and reflect…I just went with it, like the hamster on the wheel.

I lost a little bit of myself, sacrificed a part of my core value system and became consumed with a world that was not my own.

Suffice it to say, the friendship ended badly. I was left feeling overwhelmed with disappointment and frustrated that I had no say. After all, it was someone else’s world, not mine, that I ventured to.

I was left to clean up the pieces at a very inconvenient time in my life; isn’t that how it always goes?

Luckily for me (and those around me:) I chose to look in the mirror.

By looking in the mirror, I found so many lessons that are able to help with big and small disappointments.

I need to set boundaries and define expectations in my relationships with others. I tend to be an all or nothing girl – lots of black and white, very little gray.

Guess what, the gray is often where the magic happens.

Embrace the middle ground! Find balance!

Had I set boundaries and placed a bit more space in my friendship that is no more, things would inevitably be different. I looked in the mirror, so I see that now.

If you are disappointed, are you dwelling on what went wrong and agonizing about how you can “fix” it?


Can you let go,

embrace the change,


move on,

and do better next time!

I’m choosing to move on & take the lesson. I enjoy feeling empowered; I’ll leave the disappointment behind for another lesson I’m sure I will be getting one day.

I’m also choosing to think about what is realistic. I have always tried to do so much, maybe too much. It seems a little crazy that it has taken me 34 years to realize “overcommitting” might not be the path of bliss….ah, reality strikes again.

Onward and upward my friends.

Until next time, be you, do what you do.



Group Fitness MYTHS Exposed

Every single time I teach a class, I have the opportunity to shed much needed light on one of the many myths about group fitness.

“I’ve never done this before”

“I’m not sure I’m strong enough”

“I don’t know anyone”

“I don’t like people watching me”

“I don’t know what to wear?”

“I don’t know the moves”

“I am too fat”

“I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep up”

“I need to impress the instructor”

“I’m not into leotards and Jane Fonda”

If you are a person that takes classes regularly, think back to when you first started. Did you not think at least one of these?  I know I did. 

And, if you are someone that peeks in the studio door enviously, what’s holding you back?  If it is any of the above statements, I have three words for you:


I took my first class EVER with Jen Ryan at Life Time Fitness, Bloomington North.  It was a crazy-packed MIXX class.  I didn’t know a soul and felt like everyone else was there with 75 of their closest friends.  I felt out of place and awkward.  Jen seemed so effortless and funky while I felt like each of my limbs weighed 10,000 pounds.  I remember sitting in the studio before class thinking, “What if I screw up, everyone will wonder why I’m here.”  I was certain that 75 sets of eyes were on me, waiting for me to screw up so I could be their entertainment.  I didn’t look like the girls in the front row – they were strong and comfortable.  I used to imagine how much fun that must be – to have a group of people to take class with; to feel strong and exude confidence; to know the moves and execute perfectly.

All I can say in reflecting on that is,


That was over ten years ago now, and I’ve learned so much since then.  If I can save someone from a little apprehension, or, encourage someone to try something they might feel too intimidated to go for, I will consider it a huge success.

My group fitness friends are like family to me.  It’s worth it to go through the awkward stage – I promise!

Lesson #1.  You Don’t Have to Be An Expert.

Seriously, that’s our job as group fitness instructors.  Let us lead you and stop thinking everyone else in the room knows what they are doing – I promise you they don’t.  We love it when people show up and TRY.

Lesson #2.  A Certain Physical Ability Is Not a Pre-Requisite.

There is not a code that says you need to be able to do 25 push-ups and sit-ups in a minute or run an 8 minute mile to partake in a fitness class.  It is truly an honor to watch people build strength and endurance.  It is our job as instructors to help you do that.  Think of your instructor as your trainer, and let them help you push your physical limits.

Lesson #3.  It’s Not An Exclusive Club.

Trust me on this one.  The community that you may witness in the group fitness studio takes years and years to build.  Yes, some people know each other.  BUT, the MAJORITY, do not.  We G-FIT peeps are kind of weird in that way.  We like to work out in a “group” but don’t necessarily want to talk to the people around us, or, if you are like I used to be, you might be too shy and insecure to strike up a conversation with the person next to you. (Those of you who know me now might find that hard to believe, but I can assure you, it is so very true ;-).  Bottom line, it’s not a club.  We WANT YOU there!!

Lesson #4.  Nobody is watching you.

Honestly, they aren’t.  People that look in the mirror are looking at themselves.  If they aren’t looking in the mirror, they usually are looking at the instructor or at the ground – for real.  If you are really insecure about this one, stand in the back.  Trust me, you will be safe there 😉

Lesson #5.  It’s not a fashion contest.

There are many awesome options for style at the gym these days.  I say, wear what you feel most comfortable in.  Personally, I like the way my Margarita pants instantly make me feel fit & fabulous.  I am super comfortable in them because they make me feel good about myself.  If your style is sweats and a t-shirt, go for it!  Sometimes a cute hat can make you feel tough and a little bit dangerous.  Whatever it is, find what works for you and rock it with confidence.  You don’t need to show up looking like everyone else…so boring and so not worth the hassle.

Lesson #6.  You don’t need to know “the moves”.

Really, what fun would group fitness be if everyone showed up knowing what was going to happen?  I am a big fan of variety.  By coming to a certain instructor on a regular basis, you will get comfortable with their style.  This will make you more comfortable with the class overall.  However, it takes a few classes (approx. 4-5) to really start to feel comfortable.  Don’t worry about the unknown.  If the instructor is doing their job, they will be able to lead you and help you reach a comfort level.  If not, find a new instructor.  It’s not YOU, it’s them.

Lesson #7.  Size Doesn’t Matter.

Ug, hate this one, but must address it because too many people think they need to fit a certain mold in order to show up to a class.  It’s simply not true.  All shapes, sizes and abilities are welcome. If an instructor EVER makes you feel unwelcome or uncomfortable due to your size, find another instructor.  There is nothing better than starting a class not feeling the best about yourself, making it through, and ending class knowing you are strong and feeling buff.   I’ve personally been here many times – as recently as today 😉   Sometimes you have to push the negative thoughts out of your head and just do it.  Just go.  You will feel better after you get a GIANT group fitness hug.

Lesson #8.  Just Keep Moving!

People often say “I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep up”.  That’s ok!  You don’t have to do the entire 60 minutes exactly as the instructor says.  No one knows your body better than you.  All we ask is that you do your best to just keep moving – even if that means taking a minute to march in place, etc.  IT’S OK!!  Always remember that it is YOUR CLASS and no one else’s.  We will push you and offer encouragement to help you break through plateau’s, but you are always in control.  The best thing you can do is listen to your body, do your best, and just keep moving. 😉

Lesson #9.  That Don’t Impress Me Much.

It’s NOT about trying to impress the instructor.  We don’t walk around the class looking for the best of the best.  If you want to impress us, smile and work hard.  Beyond that, we are all in it together.  I recently took a group fitness pledge that includes the following statement:

I will keep one eye on the FRONT ROW, one eye towards the MIDDLE, and my heart and head with the BACK and BEYOND

This is so true.  Enough said.

Lesson #10.  Group Fitness Is Not Just For Girls!

Really?!  Do I even need to explain this?  Unfortunately yes.  I grew up doing “Sweatin’ To The Oldies” in the living room with my mom and my brother (yes, Benny did aerobics when he was 8 – ha!)  I still love some good ole fashioned hi/lo and combos, but group EXERCISE is so much more than that.  You can train for a marathon or triathlon, build strength and endurance, box, climb, run, jump, swim – it’s all there!  You can dance, shimmy and shake if that’s your style ; or you can grunt and powerlift.  You can find a little zen and some peace in the yoga studio; maybe even grow an inch (I did!) with Pilates.  The choice is yours – there really is something for everyone.  You just have to search, try, and have an open mind.

I think the bottom line is this:  release your fear and let go of expectations.

If you are on the quest for fitness, if your heart needs you to get healthy, if you have always wanted to TRY this type of excercise, run, don’t walk, to your local gym or fitness studio!  Check the schedule, find something that looks interesting, and go.  It’s ok to smile, it’s ok to not be where you think you should be; it’s ok to say hello to the person next to you.  Introduce yourself to the instructor, tell them you are new.  It’s OK to ask for help.

I’m so glad I did all those things.  I’ve crossed over to the fabulous world of group exercise, and I’m never turning back.  I plan on teaching yoga when I’m 90 on a beach somewhere in California.  Who wants to join me?

Peace and love always,


YOU Inspire ME Twin Cities Fitness Peeps and Pros!

It’s been another amazing week of inspiration.  I was feeling like I needed a little something just for ME;

some time to just let go and work out all of


I wanted to be inspired, feel strong, and release a little somethin…where did I go?

Bloomington North ~ LifeTime Fitness ~ 5:30pm ~ THE MIXX with Teri Mayers

YIKES!  What was I thinking?  I was tired, my legs were spent from the morning…BUT


THE MIXX  is a combination of :

– hi/low (think FLASHDANCE and 1984)

– cardio kickboxing

–  athletic endurance

– dance

It’s all “mixxed” together to create a total FITNESS PARTY!  This is hands down my favorite format to TAKE and TEACH. 

Going back to Bloomington North is always a trip down memory lane.  I used to frequent that club when I lived on Highway 7 and Belt Line Boulevard back in the day.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would be teaching those types of classes…it’s always a good reminder of how far I have come.

I knew there would be a “line” to get into class. 

I don’t do lines.

In my opinion, no class is worth standing in line.  I think it brings a sense of superiority to the group before class even begins.  Plus, I simply don’t have time to wait in line for my workout – I’m a busy girl!

However, I made an exception because I knew it would be worth it.

Here’s my tip for new people interested in taking this class.  DON’T WAIT IN LINE!  I think it’s a little bit of a show and not really necessary – just show up 10 minutes early, go stretch on the floor next to the studio, and when the studio door opens, go in.  Trust me, you’ll be fine 😉

Ok, so we get in the studio and the music is pumping – always great tunes with Teri.  I’m stretching, doing my thing, and all of a sudden I hear the class moving in unison doing the warm-up.  The people that have been going there forever start class. 


Ok, whatever, I’m over it.  Hop up and GO!

Within 30 seconds I knew I needed to view this hour as an insane learning opportunity.

I’m a fairly new instructor, and this is my format ~

~ take it in and absorb it like a sponge baby!

I believe Teri’s Mixx is THE BEST in the Twin Cities.  The way she weaves all of the elements together to make it modern and cool; flowing, hard and fun; it’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced in a class.

It feels mechanically safe and good for my body, but it’s highly challenging and so different all at the same time.

Plus, this woman can MOVE!  A simple side-touch looks like the coolest combo ever simply because of her twist and how she makes it flow.  Her transitions from an athletic endurance set to cardio dance to kickboxing is seamless. She doesn’t hold her combos forever, so you never get bored.

Here’s the other thing, she involves the class in a huge way without a ton of verbal cueing.  Between hand clapping and vocals from the group, there is an element of unity that is unspoken.

Her “regulars” help to make this class what it is.  They have been taking it for so long, they know the drill.  They are vocal and fun and add a “FAME”-like element – it feels like you are taking a grungy, hard-core class in a back alley somewhere.

It is an intimidating group and it is definitely not for a beginner or someone new to group fitness.  I’m a pro when it comes to taking classes and I was a little out of my element.  You need to be tough mentally and provide your own positive self-talk soundtrack in your head.  There are beautiful people and amazing, strong bodies all around you…you CAN hang, for real!

Teri does a great job of pushing you to your physical limits – just keep in mind where YOU are and what YOU need and adjust accordingly.  I did need to modify some of the leg stuff since that was the last part of my body I needed to fatigue.  I have the confidence and knowledge for taking modifications in class, I encourage others to take the same approach for this one – YOU are always in control regardless of what the instructor is telling you.  Remember that people!

All in all, this hour of my week inspired me beyond belief and gave me a fresh look on a class I love and adore.  I believe I grew as an instructor tenfold from taking Teri’s class.  Her no-nonsense, tough-love approach is the perfect yin to my bubblegum and lollipop yang.

Most importantly, I had a blast and felt so good about myself at the end.  There was a time when I wouldn’t have been able to handle it mentally – the intimidation factor too high, me feeling like I wasn’t doing it “right”, couldn’t move like “that”, etc.

It would have gotten the best of me.

But not Tuesday.  I was there and I was inspired.

You’ve come a long way sista!


The Menu

“When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.” ~ Chinese Proverb

The HARDEST part of my week, honestly, is planning the menu.

The MOST IMPORTANT part of my week, seriously, is planning the menu.

This is my constant conundrum:   How does one prioritize something so important, when it is such a drag to accomplish?  Ug.

Finding the time to actually SIT DOWN and  THINK about what you might eat three days from now can seem both ridiculous and overwhelming.  This is why you MUST approach this task with…




I know, for those of us that like to:

  • be in charge
  •  maintain control
  • follow the directions
  • and NEVER, under any circumstances, color outside the lines…

…it’s tough to maintain a balanced approach. 

I am not sure that I will ever develop the perfect system or find the most amazing solution that takes away all the fear and chaos. However, I have learned that when I get overwhelmed about what to buy and then prepare, I go back to some of the concepts I discussed on the previous post, “Declaration of Self”.

~LISTEN ~ to the inner voice .

          ~ THINK ~ about how you will feel and what you need to do your LIFE!

               ~ PAY ATTENTION ~ to your emotions

What do you need as fuel this week?

What is going on in your world?

Is there a new recipie you’ve been wanting to try?

Do you need to counter-balance emotional eating with a little added protein?

Have you felt a loss of appetite?  Do you need to plan a special dinner (or even just dessert) with some good friends to connect and talk about what’s on your mind?

Is someone in your family being celebrated with a birthday, good news, etc?  Maybe you want to make a special meal in their honor?

Food is a great connector. 

One of the great concepts I learned from the most amazing nutritionist I have ever worked with (Barb Freeman) is the difference between eating and feeding.

An example of “eating” might be when you are driving and hand a chicken nugget back to the munchkin for fear of a mock 10 meltdown 😉  

“Feeding” is when you thoughtfully partake in a meal and connect with those around youThe food is not the focus, it’s an accessory.  The focus is the connection and sharing that enriches us as human beings.

Personally, whenever I want to disconnect from people, I tend to disconnect from food…or, I disconnect with balance and burry my emotions in ice cream.

My plan of attack on the menu is to

sit down,


write, and


Yes, order 😉 If you have online grocery shopping, DO IT!

I promise you will save money because you are not getting side-tracked every 2 seconds by things you absolutely do not need!  I still go to the store at times, but nothing beats ordering from my list in my jammies at 10 pm.  For me, it’s a total gift.

This is the template I use for my family’s menu:

You will notice that I haven’t completed page 2…I can’t think that far ahead this week!  Sometimes you have to think about the week in sections, and that’s ok!!

I’ve got what I need for now; I will sit down on Friday morning and see what’s on tap for the weekend.  I’m hoping for a date night, so that will mean some good stuff for the sitter, Ella, etc.

This is where flexibility and balance comes in. 

Rather than not do anything, because I don’t know what the weekend holds,

I do something because it’s only Monday and we need to fuel our lives starting now!

Please know that I am not a nutritionist and I am not making any recommendations for anyone.  I am going to see Barb soon, and I would guess her recommendation to me will be to remove the serving sizes attached to the food categories.  Everyone is different.  I left them on for now to give you a guide.

I really try to listen to my body.  Some days I might require an extra snack; some days I may not feel as hungry – I never force myself to eat exactly what I have planned.

You may wonder why my breakfast is always the same…it’s because I hate it.  I prefer black coffee until 10 or 11 am.  Unfortunately, that is not what my body needs.  Therefore, I found something that covers all bases nutritionally, and is easy for me to swallow (literally).  Skipping this meal can make or break my day and how I feel about myself.  I rarely skip it anymore – been there, done that.  So not worth it.

Take this for what it’s worth.  It’s a guide, something that has helped me.

Tracking a meal plan is related to this – I don’t do that too much anymore, but for those of you interested in tracking your intake, I can share a few different tools I have used that have worked well – more on that later 😉

Food is life.  Food is medicine.

Plan it, prepare it, enjoy it!

Bon Apetit!


p.s.  If this post freaks you out, and you have suffered or are suffering from any type of disordered eating, I encourage you to take some time to journal about




See what comes up…

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