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Forty Is the New Twenty

I am turning 40 on Tuesday. Gulp.

Michelle with birthday cakeFleeting moments of “midlife crisis” emotions have overwhelmed me in the past few months as I’ve considered aging and all that it entails. This came as a surprise. Age rarely matters to me—but this milestone feels different. The statistics on what happens to a woman as she ages aren’t great. I have access to this data on a weekly basis, and I found myself going down a rabbit hole until I realized it wasn’t helping.

After some contemplation, I directed my thoughts to my life and my health, specifically my post-40 trajectory. Clients have shared some pretty inspiring and unique goals in recent years, and I decided to take my inspiration from them. What matters to me? And where am I headed? In terms of my fitness and health, I set out to tackle a few specifics. On Tuesday, I’m going to put myself to the test.

1) Squat my body weight: 1 rep minimum

2) Handstand hold for four seconds (This might take a while.)

3) Pull up from a dead hang: 1 rep (Overly ambitious for such a long-armed woman, but I neurotically suspect it’s a skill I will need someday.)

4) Front support hold with perfect form for 90 seconds (Two pregnancies inspired this one. One expert insists 4 minutes is the sign of a healthy back. One thing at a time.)

5) Run 2 miles (Might seem like I’m padding the test, but I am a slave to heart rate range and rate of perceived exertion, and running for 2 miles straight is not my thing. Really want to see if I can do it.)

Like our Facebook page to see the results:

And if all this fails, to calm myself, I will repeat Jack Donaghy’s quote: “Forty is the new 20.” It makes me laugh and reminds me to think young to be young.

Strength Training Exclusively for Women, Chicago, IL

Gym Bag Tips and Tricks

1. Many products don’t offer travel sizes so, when your nearing the end of your favorite product (foundation, concealer, lotion) place it your gym bag permanently. No more remembering to transport cosmetics and “must haves.”
2. Consider renting an overnight locker at your gym to store several sets of clean undergarments, a couple tops and bottoms, bulky gym shoes and toiletries for the week. On your final workout for the week, bring one bag home, wash and replenish.
3. It may sound silly, but I find packing folded clothes in the order I will put them once showered to be a big help. Undergarments and socks on top followed by the other layers for the outfit in order.
4. Include a small empty bag inside your larger gym bag to keep items in need of washing separate.
5. Reduce the size of your bag by taking advantage of any and all products provided by your gym.
6. My favorite tip? ALWAYS pack your bag and line up your clothes the night before – nothing makes a bag more organized than having enough time to think it through.

One of my favorite products? Helps freshen post-workout mane and gives lift to fine or soft hair… Redken Powder Grip

Redken Powder Grip

90 second taco seasoning

IMG_5687Ditch the prepackaged taco seasoning. Here a fresh, fast solution already sitting in your cabinet:

Brown ground round in large skillet.

Drain fat. (photo below)

Return meat to pan and add (per pound of meat):

2 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup water
(omit red pepper and some cayenne for less kick)

Stir, simmer and serve.

Here’s how I drain the fat…





Then, return to pan and add water…

IMG_5086 2