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150% Is Not the Answer

A client shared her dilemma: “When working toward a goal, I can give 150% and I can give 50%, but I’m not able to find that balance of giving 100% that allows for a more sustainable pattern and balance in my life.”

Listen, an all or nothing work ethic has it’s benefits. But in the game of habitually, healthy living, it will leave you wanting. Why is 150% so bad? Why on Earth would you want me to hold back, Michelle? Isn’t “more” better? Not if it isn’t sustainable and not if you haven’t progressed into it. Why? Because each of us can only sustain that level of intensity for so long and often we end up performing at 50% for weeks (or even months) afterward as a means of recovery. So, instead of a steady, consistent, doable work out regime, we end up with one really intense period followed by lackadaisical weeks or months. This does not deliver the benefits you seek. If you have trouble with moderation, here are a few suggestions:


Modeling: Whether real or fictitious, imagine how a person with a good sense of life balance would handle it. Put them in your scenario and copy cat. Know someone you would like to emulate? Ask them for suggestions.
Hindsight: Analyze what seems to have worked for you in the past. I appreciate that your really intense healthy living venture worked for a time. I ask you to look at the months that followed, did you gain all the weight back? Did you stop exercising all together? Did a more moderate plan provide longer term success?
Dare to Be Different: All or nothing people and Type A personalities tend to surround themselves with others like them. I wouldn’t suggest you find a whole new circle, but I do suggest you embrace being different in your efforts toward healthy living moderation. Different might just be your key to success and success, afterall, is the whole point.
Good luck! Email me if you need help.

Video Demo of “Strength In Numbers”


Click here and watch this one minute video of our “Strength In Numbers” class.

Join us for Tuesday and Thursday morning classes! Class size is limited to eight women. Email to check availability and schedule your Assessment.

Strength in Numbers is built on the premise that every woman should have access to high quality resistance training program design and instruction. Every client is tracked with our quarterly BFit Reassessment System and all programs include modifications for various fitness levels.

Competitive Much?



Are you competitive? Do you strive for success? I have a fabulous article for you. The September Men’s Health edition has a fantastic interview of Tom Brady. If you want to be entertained and inspired please read it. If you only  need the “quickie” version (which is why you open these emails), here goes.

In the early phases of his career, Tom was different. His humility and eagerness to learn from others proved to be one of his greatest assets. He sees limited time on the field not as an excuse but as anopportunity to exceed expectations. He recognizes that pro football still holds on to the combine (three tests of physical aptitude) but realizes that it does not translate to his performance on the field. His attitude and his willingness to learn push him beyond what his natural physical gifts ever would alone.

How could this help you? I invite you to see your challenges as opportunities to over-achieve. I invite you to use those big brains of yours to creatively problem solve your healthy living hurdles. Because in your quest to be fit, it would be a shame to not use all your gifts. Your intellect, your tenacity, and your willingness to ask for help. You have the keys to success. You just need to use them.

Join us for our Open House 9/22!
Register via
or on our Facebook Event Page


Blakely Fit Open House 9/22

Chicago Reader’s Best Personal Trainer and the city’s best hairstylist (if you ask me) are coming together for an hour of fun and fitness!
Blakely Fit Open House
Sunday, September 22nd 10:30 to 11:30am
The Trainer’s Gym 401 West Ontario STE 400 Chicago
Excellent fitness secrets from Michelle Blakely – motivating, entertaining and informative
Easy braid techniques, demo of dry shampoo, and fast up-dos for gorgeous “workout hair” by our special guest, Jessica Rieger: gifted hairstylist and consummate professional.
Free hair product for each woman registering in advance.

PLUS, we’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary…
$10 iTunes gift card when you bring a friend (must register in advance) AND 10% off first month of Strength In Numbers registration that morning (7am and 6am classes available.)

Dress? Weekend Casual

Parking? Metered Street

Food? Of course! Quiche, fruit and coffee 🙂

Interested? Register Now:
Want to bring a friend or two? Share our event on Facebook.

Michelle and Pat at Matt's Wedding

Blakely Fit Open House

Sunday September 22nd 10:30am

The Trainer’s Gym 401 West Ontario 4th Floor, Chicago

Not bad for a 39 year old mother of two, right? Standing up for my oldest brother at the Ravenswood Event Center this weekend. Absolutely wonderful day and marriage of two extraordinary men. Hair in this photo is by Jessica Rieger – truly gifted hairstylist and consummate professional. (You didn’t think I put this together myself, did you?) Join us on September 22nd for a Blakely Fit Open House at the Trainer’s Gym – refreshments, fitness tricks (shared by moi), workout hair do’s and don’ts and braiding tutorial by our guest, aforementioned, Jessica. It’s going to be lovely. RSVP to

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.