Goals, Health and Wellness, Mental Health, Self-Care, Self-Love, Self-Worth

Five Week Virtual Program!

Success and victoryGuess what?!

Hey All –

I took this ‘stay home, stay safe’ time as an opportunity to create something new – a five week virtual program! This five week program is designed to help you build awareness, be more mindful and pursue your days with more intentionality. It is up to you to recognize that you can stick to anything you set your mind to and succeed. What do you think, do you want to dedicate five weeks to becoming a more intentional version of yourself? Let me know!

Email Me!

Goals, Marathon Training, Running

9 Weeks Into Marathon Training

young fitness woman runner running on road

I am 9 weeks into an 18-week training program and it’s been different than any other training I’ve done. My dedication, desire and passion for this training period is pure. I don’t know if it’s because these hours that I spend outside or on the treadmil are solely my own or things have shifted for me. I think it’s the fact that during those 4-mile, 7-mile or even 15-mile training runs, no one is calling upon me, no one needs me and I have no one to answer to but myself. Yes, some days, mostly on the days where I have a really long run, my desire waivers, but once I start running my muscle memory takes over and I just go.

I am enjoying the training, even on the hard days. My 15-mile run recently was anything but easy – the fierce wind was against me for the last 7.5 miles and instead of allowing the challenge and the wind to completely break me down, I used it as evidence that even when I have something pushing so hard against me, I’ll keep pushing through. That’s the thing about marathon training, (anything really), the mental, emotional and physical growth is always there if you allow it. I’m stronger today because of that 15-mile run.

Marathon training has been necessary, exceptional, challenging and fun. I didn’t set a goal to complete 5 marathons this year because I thought it would be easy. I decided to run 5 marathons this year because I knew it would challenge me, push me and make me stronger than the person I am today and that growth is exactly what I want.

9 more weeks until my first marathon and on that day I’ll be ready for any challenge or ease that comes my way. Run on!

Goals, Health and Wellness, Mental Health, Personal Development, Pursuing your dreams, Self Awareness

March Newsletter – How Do you Tackle Your Hills?

When stress hits, do you revert back to your unhealthy habits? When you don’t see the results you want, do you lay down and accept defeat? When you are discouraged with the effort it takes to change, do you give up because it’s too hard?

How are you overcoming the challenges that life throws your way?

At the beginning of any pursued goal, it’s easy. You have the motivation and drive to implement changes; you’re hopeful, eager and excited. You find yourself working hard in pursuit of something you deeply desire and know that you need. However, as you progress towards the goal and start measuring your success, what do you do if you find yourself unhappy with the results?

What if you’re on a journey towards improved health and wellness and a way you measure success is by the number on the scale, how do you respond if the number hasn’t shifted?

Do you find yourself frustrated and give up? Do you recognize the efforts you have implemented and find other ways to measure your success and continue your journey? Do you use this as a launch pad to shift your approach and continue with the forward motion towards your ultimate goal?

We have so many opportunities throughout our lives and days to accept defeat or to continue to push through. Giving up, believing we’ll never succeed and/or believing it’s just not for us is a learned behavior and limiting belief.

Pursuing improved health and wellness is challenging, it takes time and effort. The question is, would you rather stay in a state of familiar discomfort or pursue something that will likely improve your quality of life?

The choice is yours. The time will pass. Will you accept defeat or use it as a launch pad to push harder and get exactly what you want?

Fitness, Goals, Health and Wellness, HIIT Workout

Benefits of a HIIT Workout

High-intensity interval training workout

I am an avid runner and with my upcoming pursuit of conquering 5 full marathons this year, I have done some research on alternate workouts to maintain my endurance while also building my strength. I have done a lot of research on HIIT workouts – High-Intensity Interval Training. Ultimately, HIIT is short bursts of intense exercises (anaerobic interval) alternated with low-intensity (aeorbic interval) recovery periods. Here are some benefits of implementing HIIT workouts into your routine:

  • Increased caloric burn during and after the workout as your body replaces energy and repairs muscle proteins.
  • Higher metabolic rate after the workout due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
  • Improved oxygen consumption which contributes to calories burned – you burn 5 calories per liter of oxygen consumed. Short intervals of high-intensity exercise involving a lot of muscle mass require a lot of oxygen, during both the work and the recovery periods.
  • Fat lose – your body metabolizes fat for fuel during the workout and in the post-exercise phase your body will tap into fat stores for the energy required to restore it to its normal resting state.
  • Muscle gain – HIIT places a significant amount of metabolic stress on muscle tissue. As part of the repair process, the body will produce elevated levels of human growth hormone, testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 to repair damaged muscle proteins, which leads to increase in muscle volume and definition.
  • Reduced heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Reduced blood sugar.
  • Super efficient – I am all about saving time these days and if I can complete an intense, high-energy workout with high caloric burn, strengthening and endurance focused – I am all about it.

Here’s one of my HIIT routines that I typically do – each workout for 45 seconds with a 15 second recovery period. Rock it for 3 rounds:

  • Squats
  • Push-ups
  • Mountain Climbers
  • High Knees
  • Burpees
  • Side Lunges
  • V-Ups
  • Pulsing Squats
  • Lateral Raises
  • Jumping Jacks

Try it out and let me know what you think!

*Please be sure to be cleared by your MD prior to performing any high-intensity interval training.

Ed Mylett, Goals, Personal Development

A Few Tips to Become a Better Listener

Are you listening?

Woman holds her hand near ear and listens carefully
Communication is a HUGE part of our lives and it can make or break any relationship. Are you a good listener? Although I believe I am a good listener, there are some serious takeaway points from this podcast by Ed Mylett that will help me level up my ability to listen and communicate. Here are the following critical steps to being a good listener but I urge you to listen to this podcast – your interpretation could be different than mine.

Critical steps to being a great listener:

1. Don’t try to solve someone’s problem.
2. Ask for understanding “can you clarify this for me?”
3. Make eye contact.
4. Check your body language.
5. Let someone finish their sentence – DO NOT interrupt the speaker.
6. Use acknowledgement statements when someone is done speaking and ask follow up questions – this will show more interest.
7. When appropriate – touch someone’s hand or shoulder IF APPROPRIATE – this helps acknowledge the listening and encourages the speaker to continue.

Ask yourself this:

1. Do I do more or less talking than the other person?
2. When I don’t understand what they’re saying, do I ask questions?
3. Do I try to project forward what someone is trying to say before they say it?
4. Do I find myself not paying attention when someone is speaking to me?
5. Can I intuitively tell the difference between what someone is saying vs. what they are feeling?
6. Am I finishing someone’s sentence?
7. Do I only hear the facts and details and am not listening to the emotion behind it?

You may be a good listener, but if you could listen to something to push you into the realm of being an exceptional listener, wouldn’t you want to? Level up your listening skills and see how your life and relationships will benefit. Listen to the Podcast HERE!

Fitness, Goals, Health and Wellness, New Year

January Newsletter – Who will YOU be in 10 years?!

Happy New Year Everyone! 2020 is here and boy oh boy it’s going to be an exceptional year. Are you feeling optimistic about 2020? Dreadful? Sad? Hopeful? Excited? Determined? Take a minute to assess your own outlook of 2020; how are you feeling about it?

Have you set any goals and intentions for the year? Do you plan on pursuing the year with an open-mind and therefore don’t feel it’s necessary to create goals and intentions? Do you hope to be more spontaneous?

My question for you is this: who do you want to be in 10 years? What does a 10 year older version of you look like? Are you in the same job or are you doing something completely different? Are you eating the same foods or have you gone vegan? Are you hanging out with the same people or has your network completely changed? Are you pursuing the same weekend activities? After envisioning who you want to be, what does that mean you HAVE to do this year to get closer to that version of you? What must you accomplish this year to get there?

If in 10 years you want to be in the director position at the company you work at but you currently sit in an entry-level position, what does that mean you need to do this year to get one step closer to the director position? Do you have to apply to the next step up? Does your work need to improve to show your boss that you are qualified for the next position?

Do you have a vision of who you want to be in 10 years? If not, that’s a great place to start to determine how you want 2020 to look.

If you aim at nothing, you will get nothing every time. Every minute, every hour, every day, every YEAR is a new opportunity to grow. Get after it!

Goals, Health and Wellness, Personal Development, Pursuing your dreams

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Setting your intentions for 2020 while you’re still in 2019…

2020 New year concept. Goals list in stationery, laptop, notebook, smartphone, pot plant on pink pastel color with copy space
I know we are still enjoying the festivities and all the things to do with 2019, however, have you started to think about the things you want for 2020? I started thinking about what I want for 2020 back in October/November.  I started to brainstorm my goals and desires before we concluded 2019, because I needed to plan and create a clear road map that would kick start 2020 on January 1st.

I no longer want to wake up on January 1st with the taste of 12/31 in my mouth. I no longer want to wake up hungover, with stale makeup on and dragging myself from my bed to the couch. I want to wake up with zip and excitement for the start of a new year. I want to wake up as fresh as 2020 feels. So what does that mean?

That means planning in 2019 just what I want to achieve in 2020, so when day one hits, I’m ready to hit the ground running.

I have created 4 personal goals and 4 business goals for 2020 – here is my road map that I have developed for one goal from each category.

Personal Goal: run 5 full marathons

  • Step 1: Find the marathons
  • Step 2: Sign up for the marathons
  • Step 3: Train for the marathons.

Business Goal: grow my profit by 50%

  • Step 1: Go where the clients are/find clients
  • Step 2: Promote and pitch Fit Together
  • Step 3: Sign the clients

By creating these road maps, I know exactly what I need to be doing on January 1st.

By creating these goals and intentions for 2020 in 2019, I know how I want the year to unfold.

2019 has been one of my most intentional, productive and exciting years. With all the tools I have developed and the effort I plan to put forward, I know 2020 is going to be even better than 2019… and who wouldn’t get excited about that?!

Every day is a chance to change your life. I am no longer sitting idle and allowing life to simply go by. I am choosing to actively pursue my dreams and goals with such ferocity; this will take work, effort, diligence and efficiency and I am here for it!

What’s your plan for 2020? It’s never too early to start planning.

Goals, Health and Wellness, Personal Development, Pursuing your dreams

Did you Reach your 2019 Goals?

Success and victory

Back in August I sent out an email about your mid-year check in. A check in to see how close or how far you were from reaching the goals you set for yourself in January 2019.

So here we are everyone, at the end of 2019, you did it, right?! You rocked all the goals you set for yourself in January 2019 and even surpassed a few? I knew you would! Okay…okay, let’s say you set some goals for 2019 and you, 1: forgot all about them 2: had great intentions for the 1st month but then quit or 3: made some significant progress but still missed your mark.

I haven’t always been one to set goals, meet goals or even maintain my pursuit of my goals, BUT I have this year and this is what helped me:

  • Set small daily goals to get me closer to one of my dreams.
  • Monthly check ins – every month I would do a recap on what went well, what was a challenge, what I accomplished, what I didn’t accomplish, what I want to achieve the following month and why.
  • Quieting the noise and tasks that do not serve me.

Some people aren’t the ‘New Year Resolution’ type and honestly, I’m not either. Setting goals and intentions at the beginning of the year or anytime of the year is about having a desire to do something or to change something.

Some people acquire the mentality of why bother to set a goal? The reason to bother is because if you aim at nothing, you will get NOTHING every time.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, if you’re not growing you’re dying. As we approach 2020, do you really want to let another year go by where you don’t meet your goals? Where you don’t pursue that job? Where you don’t pursue you’re health? Where you don’t pursue your marriage? Where you don’t pursue being the best version of yourself? The choice is yours to live with.

So before we ring in the New Year, can you ask yourself: when did you deviate from your goals in 2019? Why did you deviate? And, is it still a goal? Ask yourself the hard questions to better understand why 2019 was another year you let your intentions slip by and another year that you quit on yourself.

OR if this does NOT apply to you, then high-five your damn self for showing up for yourself and your dreams and get after 2020!

Goals, Personal Development, Self Awareness

What is your Why?

What Is Your Why Existential Question

This question is one of my initial questions that I ask all of my clients. What is your “why”? Why are you reaching for healthier habits, a healthier lifestyle and a healthier version of you?

I ask this question to understand their motive. Is it external motivation or internal motivation? We are more likely to stay dedicated if we are internally driven. 

I ask this question because when life gets hard or things seemingly get in the way, I ask them to reference their why. Most times when we get overwhelmed or bogged down by life, our muscle memory is to revert back to the unhealthy habits that have gotten us in the situation we are currently in. By recognizing that life is slightly crazy, taking a moment to pause and revisit the “why”, this allows the client to regroup, reset and then recover. 

I have heard many different why’s, all individualized and true to the individual: I want to run around with my grandchildren. I want to look in a mirror again. I don’t want to hide from my family. I want to be able to go up a flight of stairs without being short of breath. I want to be able to put on shoes comfortably. I want to minimize my risk for heart disease. I want to feel better. I want to sleep better. I want to take control of my life again.

If you can identify your why and make it 100% true to you, this will help guide you on your journey.

I started running and working out diligently back in 2008/2009 to take control of my mental and emotional health. I had just graduated with my first bachelors degree and was moving back home to be with a guy. He dumped me 6 days before I moved home. I was waitressing after spending the last 4 years with an unrealistic idea of what life would be like after college. Needless to say, I was struggling emotionally and mentally. I spent my days sleeping in, going to the gym and then straight to work. On many of those days, I woke up wondering how I would get through the day and go to bed at night feeling grateful that I made it. I started consistently working out and running because I didn’t know how else to get through my days. I didn’t have any friends that were living back at home, I felt alone, desperate and was struggling with my situation; the future felt a bit hopeless. My why for working out and running was to take control of something when everything else felt like it was out of my control. I wanted to feel more confident, strong and able; the first way I knew how to do that was physically. To this day, I continue to workout and run multiple times a week, no longer just to control something, but because it fuels me and continues to make me feel good. It helps me feel strong, powerful, confident, capable and able to do anything. Who wouldn’t want to feel like superwoman?!

My recommendation for you as you approach your journey – whatever that goal may be – is to look past your goal itself and identify, define and create your “why” and make it your solid foundation. 

Without your “why”, it will be easier to lose motivation after a few weeks and revert back to your current habits… the same ones you are trying to change.

You’ve got this!

Goals, Health and Wellness, Pursuing your dreams, Self Awareness, Self Care, Self-Love

How to: Navigate the Holidays with your Health in Mind

Christmas sport composition with  shoes, dumbbells and note

This is one of my favorite times of the year. The weather change, the football, the family time and the coziness that accompanies the holidays. The sweet scents of Thanksgiving dinner and the Christmas tree, the Macy’s Day parade – just everything… I love it – I always have.

A few things that come along with the holidays are: homecooked meals, sweets and treats, maybe more alcohol indulgence and a lot of time visiting and sitting with family. It becomes an easy time to hibernate and neglect the effort you have put in towards your health and wellness all year. How do you navigate the holidays with your health in mind so you’re not starting over again when the new year hits?

Here are a few ways I like to navigate the holidays while keeping my health in mind:

  • Mindfulness and awareness – I find that if I am distracted by the television, visiting, playing games or just caught up in the joy of the season, I am more likely to mindlessly eat. Being aware of this is the first step. The second step is to acknowledge if I am reaching for the muddy buddies because I’m hungry or because they’re there. When I stop and ask myself this question, it gives me a moment to pause and tune into my body. Most of the time, I am reaching for the food/drink because I am caught up in the joy and fun of my surroundings. Being mindful and aware of your hunger cues and triggers for overindulging is essential for maintaining your focus and efforts towards a healthier version of you. What triggers you to keep reaching for the food and drink? Endless talking? Family stress? Personal insecurities? Recognize this, pause in the moment and make the best choice for you and your health.
  • A bit of bargaining – I enjoy sweet treats and I enjoy a nice glass of wine. When it comes to the holidays, in order for me to stay on track towards my health and wellness, I find myself bargaining. I’ll have that piece of pie, but I won’t have a glass of wine. I’ll have that homecooked roll, but I won’t have any green bean casserole. I’ll have that salad so I can indulge in a dessert. I find myself picking and choosing so I can stay energized, focused and present with my family and friends.
  • Continued Effort –  In the past, I have used this time of year as an excuse to not move my body or choose healthy options for myself. However, within the past 10 years, I have recognized that if I continue my effort towards staying active and choosing healthier options for me, it is much easier to stay on track or to get back on track if I have a slight indulgence or deviation. When I get in a morning workout, I set myself up for a great day; why wouldn’t I do something that helps me feel good and that I love on one of my favorite days or during my favorite time of year? Pursue that good feeling every day of the year.
  • Grace – This is the biggest thing for me, giving myself grace when I do indulge. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I do not live a life of restriction. If I restrict myself, I will then crave and indulge. I give myself grace when I have a second glass of wine. I give myself grace when I choose to eat a bigger piece of pie. I give myself grace if I go back for one of my mom’s home-cooked rolls. I give myself grace because I know that this one day of enjoying myself, my family and the food will not completely derail all the hard work I have put in all year. I give myself grace because I know I will be right back to my usual routine the next day. I give myself grace because I know this is not going to start a downward spiral of daily indulgences because I have created a habit of a healthy lifestyle. I give myself grace because I deserve it.

You can navigate AND enjoy the holidays with your health in mind. Just because the holidays are approaching does not mean that you can’t stay active or you can’t eat the salad – stay on track. Don’t succumb to pressure or family stress. Keep pursuing your goals and dreams of a healthier version of you. If anyone gets in your way or gives you grief, throw a pie in their face. (Disclaimer: Fit Together is not responsible for any outcomes of you throwing pies at people.) 🙂