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Do Others Sabotage?

This might be a little uncomfortable. I’ve seen plenty of articles on sabotaging our own workouts but, I’m going to address how we sabotage each other (and how to fix it.)

“Really, you’re only eating that?!”
“Yeah, I’m trying to watch what I eat more carefully.”
“Come on, it’s only once a year. Live a little.”Who are you in this dialogue? The person encouraging the indulgence? Or, the person trying to make a positive change? If your familiar with this kind of dialogue, read on. Tough love below, heavy on the love.“Encouraging others to indulge” People:
OK, maybe you have the best intentions, but, maybe not. I have heard these stories time and again, friends and family that subtly (and not so subtly) try to sabotage someone else’s healthy living efforts. Unless you are worried about extreme behaviors (bulimia, body dysmorphia, obsessive exercise, etc.) the truth is most often uncomfortable. Maybe you are jealous, maybe you like your friend being heavier/less healthy than you, maybe you feel unwanted pressure to be healthy now, too because your friend is changing, maybe you’re struggling and their succeeding and that hurts, maybe your worried that if they are healthier they will leave you. I empathize. It’s very difficult to be stuck/envious/worried. And it’s hard to realize we are being unhelpful. First, the tough stuff, your unhelpful comments don’t make you look good nor do they really serve you well. Any outsider can see the sabotage, however indirect. More importantly, you are hurting your friend/family member and that’s not your intent, right?

Here’s the “love:” if you own your feelings and stop trying to sabotage, there is some great news waiting for you. The friend or family member that seems to be a threat/annoyance could be a resource – a sounding board, a source of strategies that are working or a piece of good news. (It feels good to celebrate our friend’s success.) Own where you are at and what you are feeling. Resist the urge to deal with your own feelings by trying to limit/sabotage your friend/family member. Living healthfully is challenging, consider being an advocate for your loved one and you just might foster a better relationship and healthier lifestyle because of it.

“Trying to make a healthy change” People:
You have the right to change your life in the way you see fit. I see no reason why some one trying to reduce their cholesterol, enjoy their clothing or improve their body’s ability to facilitate their life should apologize about their goals. Sabotaging comments/behavior make a challenging task even harder. Embrace your right to live your life as you see fit. BUT, I do encourage you to initially bring some understanding to push-back from friends and family. Some may truly not realize they are sabotaging. (This takes a lot of “love.”) If you suspect that is the case, have a private conversation. Explain that the discouragement is making it harder and allow them room to change and be supportive. On the other hand, (here comes the “tough” part) you may have to realize that some people will insist on being unhelpful, inappropriate or unaware and that requires you to pull on your inner strength and maybe even distance yourself from them. Don’t let them steal your success or make you feel bad for making improvements. Keep your eye on the prize and find people that do support you. (As an aside: Anyone can ALWAYS tweet, post or email your positive steps to Blakely FIT. Clients and readers do it all the time! We’re always elated to hear good news and moments of success.)

Bottom line: I wish both sides the best in living positively and managing their desired life while respecting each other’s choices. Good luck!

Email to learn more about training with Blakely FIT.

Strength Training Exclusively for Women
Chicago, IL

Photos of My Closet

MBClosetShotWhy am I subjecting all of you to pictures of my suspiciously ordinary closet? Is the organization system revolutionary? Hardly. Are the clothes fabulous? A few – but nothing worthy of your time. Is there something about it that makes me healthier? Nope.
The most distinguishing factor to my closet? Everything fits. And, I do mean everything. Feel free to curse such a fortunate scenario (at another time in my life, I would.) But that most certainly is not the reason I’m sharing this detail. I’m convinced this scenario can help you. And as we’ve seen before, if there’s an opportunity to help, I’ll exploit it.

We are flooded with health and longevity related reasons to exercise. However, the most pressing and impactful reasons to be fit are not always in the research. Trusting clients have shared some candid goals with me over the years:

  • “I’m tired of dressing so strategically.” (concealing “problem” areas trumping fashion preference)
  • “I want everything in my closet to fit. It doesn’t.”
  • “I’m tired of looking so differently from how I see myself.”
  • “I only wear jeans with long tops.”
  • “I wish my size didn’t prevent me from shopping at [insert favorite store here].”
  • “I hate that I waste 20 minutes every morning getting dressed because of my weight.”
  • “I dislike having three wardrobes: each a different size.”

So, if you are looking for motivation to be healthier and more active, open your closet doors: their might be an untapped well of fashion fun, morning time savings, guilt elimination and self expression waiting for your healthy living habit. Need help? Drop me a line. It would be my pleasure.


Not the size you’d like to be?

  • Dress and shop the size you are. You are beautiful and worthy of feeling contemporary right now. Depriving yourself until you hit your goal weight rarely works.
  • Plan investment pieces for when you have kept a new change for approximately 3 months.
  • Tailor your clothes. Many of my clients lose weight in the healthy living process. A good tailor can do wonders for ensuring a great fit and lengthening the life of your clothes as your body changes.

Strength Training Exclusively for Women, Chicago, IL

Be Kind to Future Self

If a close friend asked for your help, would you? If so, stay with me.

One brilliant client shared the key to her healthy-living decision making. Apparently, she learned, years ago, that the same part of your brain that is empathetic for someone else, sees your future self (tomorrow morning or 2 years from now) with the same level of compassion.

Can you see where I’m headed? Most of us find helping someone else pretty easy. We see the need, rearrange and make it happen. But fewer of us extend the same care with ourselves. (I hope all of you are nodding.) Well, what if you thought of your future self a little more often…

Sample scenarios:

  • As you consider eating the pastry in the break-room, think of your future self trying on clothes for your August vacation
  • As you push off making a doctor’s appointment, think of your future self facing a tougher diagnosis 12 months from now
  • As you consider delaying your bedtime, think of your future self in the morning as the alarm goes off
  • As you delay adding strength training, think of your future self’s concerns about bone density and fractures as an elderly woman

The time is now and the motivator is empathy for your future self. I’ll use just about anything to reach you, patriotism, the words of others, humor, my moments of hypocrisy. In this case, I ask you to capitalize on your inherent compassion and throw a little toward your future self.


Email today to get started.

Strength Training Exclusively for Women
Chicago, IL

So Satisfying

Snow plowing through my newly mortgaged driveway and connecting sidewalks for 90 minutes Wednesday was very satisfying.

As I cleared the snow and forged a path, I felt challenged and accomplished. Something about physically changing the landscape was empowering. It is concrete, tangible and visceral. In a world of digital and actual paper pushing, that sense of accomplishment can be elusive.

Now, I realize snow blowing is not for everyone. I currently think of my growing power tool assortment with the same fondness that A Christmas Story’s Ralphie had for his BB gun. Maybe for you it’s something quite different. Either way, the physical nature of certain projects is uplifting. And if you haven’t felt that in a while, may I suggest the gym?

Consider the rush of actually pushing that barbell away from your chest, the sense of control when you pull pounds of metal in a row, the internal fortitude it takes to attempt to squat with the “big girl bar.”

Yes, strength training does all sorts of wonderful things for your body, metabolism and brain. But during a deflating, weather-trying time of year, maybe the best motivator to get to the gym is the empowerment of a tough job done well.

It is so satisfying.

Need help? Don’t we all. Call to start today: 773-680-6824

Strength Training Exclusively for Women, Chicago, IL

It’s All in the Framing

I find that most women enjoy living and working in spaces that are pleasing to the eye. We are affected by our environment – in good ways and bad. Most of us have made satisfying changes to our physical surroundings: rearranging furniture, changing colors, adding accent pieces, etc. Posters taped to the wall were perfectly enjoyable in our college dorm room. Later, in our own place, the Audrey Hepburn print looks childish tacked to the wall. A quick change with matting and framing placed in a powder room – it is lovely again.

littleblackdressHow does this relate to weight loss and healthful living? I’d like you to consider the following: “how do I frame my healthful choices?” Are they burdens you have to trudge through? Taxing restrictions? Irritating obligations to be endured until you hopefully arrive at your goal. OR as my client so brilliantly and happily shared about her positive lifestyle change success, “It’s not denial, it’s a choice.” This is a very busy career woman. She chooses to think of her eating habit adjustments and cardio and resistance training workouts as empowering choices, decisions she is making and enjoying in order to improve her life. There is an ownership and pride and empowerment to this perspective. Yes, changes require effort and they are an addition to her “to do list” BUT, they are also uplifting and confirming. She frames these actions in terms of her prerogative to affect the course of her life. What a wonderful spin on the meaningful choices we make.

Our choices can empower us or burden us. Sometimes it’s the circumstance and sometimes it’s the attitude we bring to the table. Take a moment and check in – do you bring an attitude of burden to your healthy habits and scheduling? Or, do you recognize the power inherent to decision making and celebrate? This is your life and your choice to try for change. A switch in perspective could be an easy and uplifting boost. Give it a try. With nothing to lose, you might be pleasantly surprised and gleefully empowered.

Eyeball Deep?

Clients share their stress levels as part of our weekly process. And because I adore metaphors, the idea of standing in water that is up to our eyeballs has fit the bill in capturing the very high stress levels for some this past month.

Underwater too deepWhen life feels like too much, maybe “prioritizing,” “changing our expectations” and “scaling back” are NOT the solutions. (I realize I just lost of few of you with that statement.) Maybe, they are not even options. Maybe, we need to acknowledge that we are being asked to do too much and that it’s not possible to handle everything as well as usual for a while. Instead, we just have to keep temporarily plowing through.

In years of learning from and advising women on great stress management tools, in my opinion, the worst decision in this scenario is adding a guilt trip on top of it all. So, the next time life is asking too much and you have to keep going none the less, recognize all that you ARE doing and say “no thanks” to burdening yourself with a useless guilt trip.

Mind Management

Let me share a little secret with you, “this game is 90% mental.” As someone privy to women’s internal struggles to be fit, I have learned that managing our thoughts is vital in the being healthy fight. How you spin your progress, history and future can be instrumental to your success.

Where are you in your mental management?

  • Do you see opportunity or denial?
  • Do you refocus your attention after a set back?
  • Do you celebrate and reward your successes?
  • Do you have any “tricks” to move around a poor attitude?
  • Have you practiced mantras or positive maxims?
  • Are you aware of your self talk?
  • Do you believe you can succeed?

Being skilled at managing our thoughts fuels our progress. And like any skill, each of these can easily be improved with practice. Manage your thoughts so they are fair, helpful and encouraging. Take a little time to hone a positive spin on your thoughts for healthy living. It is well worth the investment.

Are You a Warrior?

“The difference between a warrior and an ordinary man is that a warrior sees everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man sees everything as either a blessing or a curse.” -Carlos Castenada 

May your attitude be an asset to you this week in your efforts to create a healthy, happy life!