Tag Archives: self talk

LOVE IT or leave it?


OK, so first things first…about the 30 day challenge




Finished, done, mission accomplished. It was super fun, extremely tough, but unbelievably rewarding. I’m leaner, stronger and have experienced a huge increase in my endurance when I run, teach class, etc. I wish I would have had more time to write about everything, BUT…between training and being a busy mom the blog got put on the back burner.


But I’m back!


I want to share where I’m at since the 30 days and where I’m going…




I don’t really have a good, clear answer for that.



Ok, so that might be a bit of a stretch.


Here is what I do know:

  1. I will ALWAYS live, eat, sleep and breathe an active lifestyle. Literally, after one rest day I am ready to poke out both of my eyes with pencils.
  2. I will continue to fuel my body as I have been since I began the 30 day challenge. For me that doesn’t include any sort of “diet” (i.e. low-carb, low-fat, Paleo, etc). All food groups are included in varying portions. I am a big food journaler (NOT calorie counter) and that will probably stick too. It’s become a very healthy, balanced way of life.
  3. I will continue to teach group fitness as long as I am able. It is a huge gift and completely humbling anytime anyone shows up to work out to some killer music with me – crazy! It’s my oxygen; I don’t think I could live without it.

After that…


…things get a little more unclear.

I had wanted to do a triathlon, but it turns out I am not a huge fan of the bike or pool. I also intended to stay with my training program from the 30 day challenge, but I am not loving my spin workouts these days and I feel like there is just not enough time in the day with school out, etc. And really, am I made for this? Am I that girl? The kind that finishes every spin, bike, run, and crazy class with “big guns” with “is that all you got”?


Ummm…maybe?? I’m not really sure at this moment…but I want to find out, I think?


Do you hear all the excuses and questioning? Honestly, this is where so many of us get stuck!




Stop making excuses and stop questioning yourself. Because you know what?!





YOU CAN FINISH AND SAY “is that all you got”?



I’m going with a big old “NO” on that one. That isn’t all I got. There is more….lots and lots more. This is only the beginning, I’m just getting started.

This is where it gets scary and uncomfortable…when you start to go where you’ve never been before. You start to question yourself, think you aren’t “made for it” that your body just doesn’t “work that way”.

I’m calling my own bluff on this one.

I’m saying your’re just scared and you don’t want to look behind the curtain and see what you’re really made of.

So guess what,


I say:


Leaving would be easy for a minute, but full of lots of yucky stuff like regret, “what if”, and knowing I didn’t give 110%.

Seriously, who wants to deal with that??

For me, it’s all about digging deep on the days I don’t feel like it. It’s easy when the stars align, but your true power is tested when they don’t. That’s when you remember WHY you started your journey in the first place.

I love it when group fitness instructors ask “why are you here”? I mean duh, to get a great workout! I think what they mean is, the bigger WHY…why do you keep showing up, day in day out, good times, bad times, stinky times ūüėČ

Ok, so…why?

I’m putting a stop to any negative chatter that tells me I’m not good enough, I don’t deserve it or I can’t do it. I’m strengthening my body to make my mind so bulletproof that I walk down the street and people want what I’ve got. I’m showing my daugther that YOU CAN do ANYTHING if you WORK HARD, STAY STRONG and PERSERVERE. I’m fighting MY fight, staying positive and standing up for what I want. I’m not a quitter. I’m strong, passionate, energetic, intense, positive, willful, a little crazy, but always have my heart in the right place. I’m ready to rock, bring the noise and prove that I can do it. I’m that girl.

That’s why.

Find your “why”. Love it, don’t ever leave it.





Mental Toughness

Strong Body. Strong Mind.

These words are ringing true for me today, except in reverse order:

Strong Mind. Strong Body.

We all have days when getting to the gym seems like a battle we’d rather not fight.

So much “TO DO”, so little time.


We also have days when we are motivated to sweat, get strong, and feel powerful. This is how I was feeling today. I wouldn’t say I was extremely energized, but I had the desire to –


OK, so lucky me, getting there was the easy part today – half the mission accomplished.

STAYING “there” was a different story.

I’m not talking about staying physically in the room. I’m talking about staying strong in my mind & fighting through it.

FIGHTING through the things I struggled to do without being disappointed in myself. (um….core work?!)

FIGHTING through the awkward glimpses in the mirror and not loving the reflection. (lighting perhaps??)

FIGHTING the sad-angry-disappointed-jealous thoughts about the way too thin girl in the front row. (so many people LOVE you for YOU!)

FIGHTING the thoughts about the million and one other things that need to be done. (let IT go!)

I could feel myself starting to take a dive after class.

I know, shocking.

But really, with all these things running through my mind in the course of an hour, how could you not start to spiral?


That’s how.

TODAY I know that there will always be outside factors that will try to bring us down, make us feel less than, throw us off our game.

It happens to EVERY BODY. Truly, it does.

Sometimes, you have to take a moment, dig deep, and feel the strength and quiet within.

To me, the real WARRIORS are the ones that can SHUT DOWN the outside chatter and find the quiet determination to persevere and keep moving forward.

THE mantra for today my friends:

SHUT IT DOWN! (say it with a little attitude) ūüėČ

Shut it down with friends that want to drag you into their own private battles.

Shut it down with the person that refuses to see the sunshine through the rain.

Shut it down with YOURSELF when you start to focus on what you ARE NOT instead of what YOU ARE.

Those things don’t serve YOU.

There are so many people that have broken through mental barriers to develop a rock solid mind that has led them to breaking physical barriers they never imagined.

THAT is real strength my friends.

I don’t care how many reps you can do or whether you are rockin’ a six pack. If you are not strong in your own mind, you will not only be unable to serve yourself in the best way possible, but you can’t REALLY BE THERE for those you care about most: your best friend, your husband, your children, your co-workers, your parents, etc.

The strongest warrior is the daughter whose parent is battling cancer, but they push through day after day and STILL bring joy to those around them. Not only does she SHOW UP, she ROCKS!

What about the single mother of two that works two jobs and STILL finds a way to take an hour at the gym because she knows she is a better mother/friend/sister for not neglecting herself.

What about the guy down the block that has a hundred pounds to lose. Every movement he makes feels like a thousand pounds on his weak joints and muscles. But he is there, day after day; fighting the pain; getting STRONGER in mind and body.

This is the true strength that inspires us all. They are rockin – So. Can. YOU!

The really cool thing about MENTAL TOUGHNESS is that we are in 110% control of it. No one can take it away, nothing can destroy it. EVERYONE has the power to OWN IT.

Have a great weekend. Here’s to shutting it DOWN! and being tough (in body and mind) this weekend. I’m “Climbing for the Cure” tomorrow…think I’ll be needing a little mental toughness half-way through the climb. Don’t you worry, I’ll be sure to share the adventure with you all!



I smashed it.

Into a million little pieces.


There is no place for you here.

I got the biggest hammer I could find, put it in a heavy duty trash bag and


I'm over it. It doesn't serve me. It's data I simply don't need.

118 127 162 157 145 146 148 134 125 173 92 153 100 130

Really, it is just a number, right?!

Yea right!“, is more like it.

If it was really just a number, it wouldn't cause your mood to change in a split second due to anything deemed “unacceptable” by you.

If it was really just a number, it wouldn't put instant thoughts of being “bad” or “good” into your mind, trying to determine your self worth and level of self control.

And, if it was really just a number, we wouldn't be so preoccupied with trying every “diet” and “trick” out there to try and move that number an itty bit lower, if only for a moment. The magazines with the salacious headlines claiming they [FINALLY have the ANSWER to help you lose those last 10 pounds for good] wouldn't sell.


So many of us have lost all logic and reasoning when it comes to the flat, square calculator we stand on {naked-after-going-to-the-bathroom-before-eating} – duh! It holds a prominent place in any bathroom in America and it doesn't like to be messed with – it WILL talk back.

I have decided to get rid of the very thing that has robbed me of my joy one too many times.

Never again is a number going to determine whether or not I'm going to have a good day or a bad day; eat the cookie or survive on coffee; love myself with reckless abandon or scrutinize every imperfection.

Never. Again.

I workout because I like to feel strong and alive, not because the scale told me that I'm fat.

I eat a cookie because I really want to enjoy it with someone I love; better yet, I want to connect with my daughter and laugh while we make our own from scratch using a new recipe I've been dying to try.

I wake up in the morning and love my body for what it does for me. I can do EVERYTHING I want to do. There is nothing holding me back. Truly.

The trendy magazines and fashion designers don't want me to believe that. I'm their prime demographic – they've got bills to pay! Sell! Sell! Sell! They stand in the middle of the room and stomp their feet like they're having a ginormous tantrum. Ad campains, fashion shows, anorexic models, designer this, on-trend that, look like this, do that, YOU too can have it ALL!


I'm not listening.


All I hear are the thoughts in my own head telling me I'm perfect and beautiful and loving and amazing just as I am TODAY!

Whataya know, in about a second, problem solved.

Scale, gone. Self-acceptance, in full effect. Check.

Of course I have goals. I want to be able to rock out in Dee's circuit class and not feel like I'm about to die (in the most amazing way ever) – promise! I want to have plenty of energy to keep up with Ella and whatever else life throws my way. I want to prevent disease and do the things I know will help me to LIVE a more productive life because I FEEL GOOD from the inside out.

I want to set a good example. Not only for Ella, but for the other women that I encounter that think they aren't worth it today, but 10 pounds from today. Why do we get together and complain about our thighs and hips? WHY do we do this???

I highly doubt I will look back on my life and wish I loved myself less. I do believe I will look back and realize how fabulous I really was. Why not realize that right now and go with it?

I am.

I am committed to not engaging in disparaging body talk with myself or anyone else.

I am committed to banishing the scale from my life FOREVER.

I am committed to accepting my body as God intended – who am I to question His creation?

I was given THIS BODY for a reason, and you were given YOUR BODY for a reason. If you want to make some lifestyle changes that will help you to rock through your day and zip up your jeans without lying down, GO FOR IT!

My only suggestion is this: instead of starting with a number, start with loving yourself just a little bit more today than you did yesterday.

It just might stick.

Do what you do, love YOU for YOU!


p.s. This post was inspired by the woman that helped to change my outlook on food and body image forver. You can check in with her here. Thanks Barb ūüėČ


Something New…

I went to bed last night with that icky, creepy feeling that only shows up when really crazy stuff happens in the universe. It had been a gloomy day already, and Sunday nights in general tend to cause me more anxiety than any other night. I’m watching “The Apprentice” while feeling myself lose brain cells by the second; I was trying to get my mind off of life for a minute. The news ticker starts scrolling, stating THE PRESIDENT is going to make a VERY IMPORTANT announcement about NATIONAL SECURITY!


That’s a little weird…on a Sunday night at 10pm EST?

What the bleep is going on?!

More anxiety…flashes of my family and how lucky we are race through my mind. I begin pleading with God…please don’t let anything bad happen to all of the amazing people in this awesome (truly) world we live in.

Fast forward: we all know what went down. Justice was served, although death never feels 100% like “justice” to me. Whatever the case, it was yet another gloomy day here in Minneapolis and I was on the edge.

It’s May 2!


In light of the gloom outside and the gloom in my head, I decided to forego all I needed to do and head to the gym to clear my mind and get a much needed endorphin boost. It seemed like the perfect day to step outside all that is comfortable to me and…

try something new!

Out bodies love it when we get out of our comfort zone. Our muscles have memories; they get used to the love of a yummy yoga class or the pain of a crazy cardio & strength combo.

When it comes to workouts, variety = change! It’s also really good for your mind to stay fresh and do things that make you feel uncomfortable, awkward, and maybe even clumsy.

Enter ZUMBA!

You’ve probably seen the infomercials and you’ve probably spoken with at least one person that is a die hard fan. People seem to really like their ZUMBA classes!

I’ve always gravitated to the high impact aerobic route – I enjoy a good series of high kicks and lots of jumping jacks set to some pumping techno music. This is my comfort zone and also my happy place…AND, it’s also the place that I need to take a break from sometimes.. Too much of this can make me feel tired, cranky, and depleted. i.e. The need for VARIETY!

Here is what I love about ZUMBA: it feels so good to your body! It’s more fluid than many forms of dance AND it’s low impact and fun! To shake your hips, stomp your feet and rock to the lovely Latin beat is really a sweet escape.

Today I had the joy of taking class from a true Latin dance legend! Meet, Leslie Fhima.

Yes, she is a totally rockin’ ZUMBA instructor. We are on the same group fitness team at LifeTime Fitness, St. Louis Park. I decided to look in the windows of my own little corner of the world to see if I might learn something, experience my body moving in a new way, and get a little uncomfortable in the process – we all know that’s when the growth happens and the learning begins.

I am discovering that the more I step outside of what I am scheduled to do and teach, the more I grow as an instructor. I don’t teach any type of dance format, but I can assure you that I was completely inspired by Leslie today. I hope to infuse a little of her flair (in my own way) into some of the cardio combos I teach this week.

I can see that ZUMBA is a format that you grow with. You will build a library of steps and combos as you take class and practice. Eventually, it will feel natural to weave them together. Today, it felt a little awkward and I didn’t like how I looked doing some of the moves. BUT, I stuck with it and let go of the negative thoughts racing through my head. I embraced the fact that I was doing something positive and fun, just because.

Leslie is a terrific ZUMBA instructor. Her music was fantastic and I really loved her choreography. She doesn’t use a microphone, which I am usually not a fan of, but I have to admit that it was nice not to have someone shouting at me for an hour.

Here are my recommendations to anyone wanting to try this format:

1. Try it! It can be found in major cities and small towns all over the US. And, you can even do it in your living room (see below, Exhibit A)

2. Don’t get discouraged. This type of class consists of choreography that could take a few times to flow for you. Stick with it and DON’T GIVE UP!

3. Have fun :). Most importantly, ZUMBA has the potential to leave you feeling like you just experienced a rockin Latin dance party. Let yourself go and enjoy it – if you are not able to let go, you absolutely will not enjoy ZUMBA.

Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or how you look.

It. Doesn’t. Matter.

I promise!

I had my own little dance party in my living room after class.

The moral of the story is this: there will be cloudy days, horrific world events, loss, fear, and anxiety in our lives. That is simply a law of nature.

The determining factor in your happiness is how YOU CHOOSE to handle it.

Do you let things get to you?


Do you step outside your comfy, cozy world, shake a little booty and dance to your own beat?

I hope I always choose dancing ūüôā

Peace, love, jumping jacks and latin rhythm…xo

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

Р athletic endurance


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 ūüėČ

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 Рjust 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 РYOU 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!


My Declaration of Self

I had intended to share with you¬†my meal plan and shopping list for the week¬† this past Sunday…

But then life happened.  (REALLY happened).

I got busy, lost focus, was side-tracked, by LIFE.  I did not do a formal meal plan; I ran to the store while doing a quick mental inventory.  I grabbed what I needed and have been carrying on ever since.

There was a time when the lack of planning might have either:

A)¬†¬†put me in a tailspin (I’ve been expending a lot of calories and need to keep my fuel in check)


B)¬† would have created nights of restaurants and take out menu’s for my family…which would have led to a tailspin for me ūüė¶


As I go go go through my week, I realize I’ve learned some valuable lessons about my approach to food.¬† I truly think of it as FUEL ~ ENERGY ~ LIFE.

However, so many of us struggle with it Рthe media is constantly sending a message of what this or that will do TO you. (make you fat, make you thin, shed water, retain water, burn calories as you eat Рhuh?!)

What about thinking about what your food choices do FOR you. 

This is my mantra people – it’s how I make every choice, every day.¬†

~LISTEN ~ to the inner voice .

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

               ~ PAY ATTENTION ~ to your emotions. 

Food is fuel; it is NOT a therapist!

I have done extensive (non-scientific)¬†¬†research on this subject as I am a girl that has struggled with eating too much or not enough for more years than I’d like to admit.¬† I’ve had the opportunity to work with many smart people on this subject.¬† I’ve read books, consulted nutritionists, tried this, hated that.

In the end, finding peace with food and learning how to FUEL YOUR LIFE, really does come from within.

One of the best books I have read is called “Life Without ED” by Jenni Schaefer.¬† I read it in 2007 when I was struggling with weight loss after pregnancy.¬† It inspired me to write my own declaration of self.¬† I used to read it every day.¬† I eventually didn’t need to do that.¬† I hadn’t looked at it in a while, and just pulled it out to include in this post.¬†

Here it is, circa 2007:

My Declaration of Self

I will love myself today – just as I am.

I love me.

I will show myself love today by nourishing my body and giving it what it needs when it asks for it.

I deserve that!

I will show me I AM ENOUGH by not engaging in negative self-talk.

I can, and I will, rise above the voice that wants to break my spirit.  My spirit will not be broken today because today I choose self-love.

Today, my goal is NOT to be perfect.  Today my goal is better than trying to be perfect.  MY goal is to LOVE the body I HAVE at this VERY MOMENT.

The number on the scale is not important today, however, the love I have in my heart is very important.


Today I choose courage, strength, happines and love.

I will have kindness and campassion for myself and others.

I forgive myself for the past and begin today with NO GREATER LOVE THAN ME.

It still fits, but I realize that I have¬†grown and evolved.¬† I am going to¬†reflect on¬†it this week, and then take some time to write “Declaration of Self, Part II”.¬† I’ll share it with you when it is finished ūüėȬ†

I invite you to do the same.

One of my favorite quotes is from an Oprah show waaaaay back when Рfrom the days when Dr. Robin was a frequent guest. 

The quote is this:

“Women who radiate self-love and self-acceptance vaccinate our daughters from low self-esteem”

It all begins with you, NOT a shopping list ūüėČ

I will get to the meal plan and the shopping list, I promise you that.

For now, think about your declaration.  RADIATE love.  You will be amazed at where your path may go. 


I’m vaccinating YOU EVERY SINGLE DAY sweetheart.¬†

~ keep marching to your own special beat sweet lil angel!

~stay true to you, do what you do~


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