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It's all about the WHY

Here's a message I wrote for the Spring Challenge at NW Women's Fitness Club. I was inspired by my amazing clients and all the hard work they just keeping giving, my own struggle to push through when its gets tough and a thought from my coach B.H., (thanks for the title idea). Although the message is penned for the Challenge members, the message is meant for all of us. 

I'd love to hear your WHY....

It’s all about the WHY.

Were you totally pumped for the Challenge last week? Did you kick it into high-gear yesterday and get excited to get your sweat on? And then today did you wake up less than stoked to lace up your sneakers and head to the gym?

How can we go from super committed to flat-line unenthused overnight?

The secret is Motivation and to be motivated we need a few stars to align: According to experts the top factors to make us commit to something are: how rewarding it is (We’ve got prizes!), how irksome or painful it is (Spin class is fun!), and how much care, concern, money and effort you invest in it (You're already signed up!)

Truly, it’s all about the WHY.
Not sure what that is for you? Let’s figure that out.

#1: Discover your real reason. Your WHY.

Ask yourself a couple of questions: Why did I join the Challenge? Why did I REALLY join the challenge? That answer will give you the clarity and focus to keep going all the way to the end.

I have an incredibly committed client who has done a world of good for her heath over the last six months - lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol level and less pain! But she couldn’t quite summon the steam to tackle pushing a little further to lose weight and up the intensity of her workouts. That is until her “ah ha” moment when she realized this “good place” she was in wouldn’t last without effort as she gets older. Wanting to be strong and active for her kids for years and years gave her the WHY to keep going and work even harder to get what she wants out of life.

#2: Go ahead and QUIT, tomorrow.

Are you struggling to meet you fitness and wellness goals? Go ahead and quit. Just do it tomorrow.

It takes hard work to reach some goals. And on the way it’s very tempting to just say, “Oh, this is too much!” “I can’t win the push-up challenge, I’m not trying!” “I can’t run that far.” Ugggghhhhh.

How do you go on? Quit. Later.

Here’s the deal: Every little choice we make is overwhelmingly decided by our current mood. And you know how inconsistent that can be! Every choice also has the potential to become a habit. It’s these habits that shape who we are in the end.

My best advice: Do the opposite of what you mind tells you to do. “This sucks, I’m stopping” means “Dang this is hard, I’m going to try and go until the end of this song and maybe one more.”

Bet you go for one more after that.

#3 Control your Fear

If you are afraid that you can't do it - whatever it is, you’re not alone. I’m with you. I’ve been told a million times the only way to fail is not to try, but that’s a hard lesson to learn. Trouble is, it’s true! Not many people are actually comparing themselves to YOU. Probably no one, except you (sorry). You don’t have to be the strongest, do the most push ups, or win the race. All you have to do is keep going. Get through it. Get it done. That’s a PRIZE!

We all think about getting hurt, about falling short, about looking silly. Maybe, just to be sure, you’re waiting for the PERFECT moment. It’s now. Trust me.

Find your way through.


Success Story: Peace Gardiner

This woman is really cool. We started working together and I knew she'd be a success story. And I had a feeling she'd be a friend and an inspiration. I was right. 

Congratulations, Peace. Client of the Month at Northwest Women's Fitness Club and super star to me and your family and the WORLD!

"I have been coming to NW Women’s Fitness every Friday for nearly 3 years and it has made me strong and fit. My body is so completely unrecognizable now to me, and I still wonder at the physical tasks I can achieve. I did Warrior Dash a few years ago, swam in the Willamette as part of a triathlon relay team, and today I ran 16 miles. It seems like anything is possible! I’ve lost about 100 pounds, and really gained a whole new lifestyle where exercise is a hobby and a joy.

Remy’s encouragement has been so valuable to me. I worked with her a couple of years, and I got stronger and stronger. I finally came to a point where at 5-8 hours of exercise a week (which I really enjoyed!) I wasn’t that much thinner. I was really frustrated and complained to her, she said it had to be about food then. I did make a doctor appointment, but I also started using a calorie tracking app. Between Remy, the doctor, and the app, I finally began to really lose the weight.

Now that my weight is down, I can run faster and farther. I’m still using the app to track my food most days (really long training runs kind of mess up the math.) I still need to figure out what my weight goal really is, but Remy has been helping me with measurements to help guide me. I’m training for a marathon in June!"

Peace Gardiner 


Guest Post: My First Half-Marathon by Rachel Rizzo

If someone told me 6 months ago that I’d be running a half-marathon, I would’ve told them they were crazy. But, run a half-marathon I did, and AWESOME it was!

Last fall, I found myself busy all of the time with work and with school, and it was very easy for me to put my fitness on the backburner. When my roommate told me she was signing up to run the Rock N’ Roll DC Half Marathon in March (this was in November…), I signed up before I had time to talk myself out of it.  Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for I’ve found a new love of running that I never thought I’d have.

I have always been an athlete, but running long distance was never really my thing, or so I thought. I started slowly, running 3 or 4 miles at a time, and that was enough. By the time I was finished, I’d be panting, struggling for breath, and thinking about how nice my couch sounded.

However, I finally got to the point where my lungs were conditioned, my legs were strong, and I didn’t have to worry about being worn out and tired at mile 4. I was able to go, go, and go, and although it took a couple of grueling months, finally getting to that point made all of the hard work worth it! 

The night before the race, my roommate Lindsey, my boyfriend Ben and his brother Ethan and I all cooked homemade pizzas to carb up and fuel the next morning’s race (at the suggestion of my athletically awesome-in-every-way cousin, Remy).

The next day, we got up early, hydrated, stretched, ate some energy bars and bagels, and out the door we went, on our way to meet 25,000 of our friends in downtown DC!

Prior to the half, I had only run 10.5 miles at once, so I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t be able to finish. Miles 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 went off without a hitch. Miles 6, 7 and 8 got a bit tougher. Finally, at mile 9, I hit the point where I wanted to stop. My legs were tired and getting sore, walking for a few minutes wouldn’t hurt right? But no, I got my head in the game, pushed, pushed and pushed myself, told myself I wasn’t a quitter, and finished my first half-marathon in 2 hours and 2 minutes. Not bad for a first-timer!

Overall, the experience of training and finishing was amazing and fulfilling, and I can’t wait to do another one…. who knows, maybe someday a full marathon will be in order?!

Kudos to my wickedly awesome cousin Rachel. You are a force and I love you zillions. 


Thursday Thoughts Ed. 93 - Spring Wellness Challenge

Hello, spring! This is going to be GOOD!

Every year we set resolutions in January, we fight through the winter months to keep them (or even remember them) and we emerge in the spring shaking our heads ready to recommit, tackle fresh challenges and get our energy back. 

I love a good challenge. I also like working toward a goal, step by step, prize by prize!
This year the 6-week Makeover Challenge gets its own makeover! It's important to incorporate more than just weight loss into our health missions. And it's important to be able to share knowledge, success, and struggles with other challenge members along the way. So, this year, there are no individual teams; you will be working together toward a common goal with 3 different weekly challenges to motivate you.  The more you participate, the more prizes you will win and the more health and wellness you will achieve!

I am super excited to be a part of this fun and healthy mission. Check out the attached flyer for more information and sign up options. ******You do not have to be a member of the club to participate.******

And GUYS, you can play too! I mean really, don't you want to win the prize for doing the most push-ups in a week??? Yeah, I thought so. 

Setting the stage for changing habits, getting fitter, leaner, healthier, whatever goal you have must include taking a good look at what you are putting in your mouth. 

Nutrition Counseling sessions include, but are not limited to, assessment of your current diet, medical assessment, nutrient education, meal planning, personalized goal setting and success planning.

Write me with questions and let's get started! 

Come see me next week! I have open appointment times for personal training or nutritional counseling Tuesday afternoon 4-6pm and Thursday 9am-1pm

NUTRITION COUNSELING, by phone, Skype, email or in-person available, when you are. 

Can't wait to see you! 


Recipe: Italian Style Turkey Burgers

These burgers can easily be meatballs. They are easy to make and you can play with the flavors with spices and different veggies or cheese to mix up the recipe.


1 package of lean ground turkey
2 small shredded zucchini. Diced works ok too.
(Try mushrooms, peppers or onions for a change)
1 tsp garlic powder, or fresh chopped cloves
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
Sometimes I add a 1/4 cup of feta -- keeps it moist and super tasty


You can broil on high for about 5 mins each side or cook in a skillet on the stove top on med high heat for about the same amount of time. Grilling works great too!

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well and scoop out 4-6 oz portions.

Serve with all the fixings for burgers or on a bed of greens. If you made meatballs, stuff them in a pita, or toss with warm spaghetti squash. Delish!


Recipe: Shredded Beef Tacos

Get out the crock pot! Sometimes nothing with do but red meat. I love, love just about any kind of shredded meat, beef, pork, chicken, yum. Here's a simple, prep and leave it recipe for Spicy Shredded Beef Tacos that works great for a busy week night meal. Set the beef to cook before heading out the door and come home to a tangy, savory make your own meal. And it's healthy too.


2 lbs flank steak
1 chopped yellow onion
1 chopped red pepper
1 seeded and chopped jalapeno

For spicy rub--

2 tsp chili powder, I like the chipotle kind
1 tsp cumin, or more
1/2 twp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp paprika (I like smoked)
salt and pepper

Serve with--

Corn tortillas
Avocado slices

Directions --

Rub the steak with lots of the spicy mixture. You can let this sit for a while, over night in a sealed container, or just pop it in the bottom of your crock pot.  Add the rest of the ingredients and set to cook on low for 6-8 hours. You can add a little beef broth to keep meat moist if you like but you shouldn't need to. When meat is cooked use a fork to shred. Serve as is or keep in crock pot a little longer.

I think it's fun to put all the taco fillings in pretty bowls on the table and let every one make there own.



Recipe: Shrimp Scampi

Here's one for your Spring Cleaning menu. A super easy and crazy tasty Shrimp Scampi. Serve over your favorite whole grain or gluten free pasta.

-Olive oil
-lemon juice

-Heat about 1 TBSP of your favorite oil in a large skillet. I have been loving the kick the jalapeƱo olive oil gives dishes like this one.

Cook shrimp (for two people I use about 3/4 pound) until nearly done. The shrimp should be browning slightly on at least one side and turning a nice warm color.

Toss the rest of the ingredients in the pan. Leave all juices as your sauce.

Lots of garlic, 2-4 minced cloves
The juice of 2 lemons
A drizzle more olive oil
2 TBSP fresh parsley

That's it! Spoon the shrimp and sauce over a serving of pasta. Delightful!

We had a half of a red onion that needed eating so we diced that up and tossed it in too.


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