twitter-icon facebook-icon instagram-icon googleplus-icon VISIT OUR SISTER SITE
  twitter-icon facebook-icon instagram-icon googleplus-icon

This must come first…

(Wisdom from another brilliant client.)


As we rest and rejuvenate this weekend I sincerely hope you put time for yourself at the top of your list.

My favorite thing to do to strictly for myself? Snorkeling. Now, understandably that will not happen (sigh) but I can find other ways – take as many naps as my munchkins will allow, ease up on my schedule, have drinks with friends and listen to an outdoor performance with my family. All things I love that refill my tank and put the brakes on my usual demands.

Have a healthy, relaxing and fabulous weekend! Enjoy committing to yourself first!

#LaborDay #healthy #committoyourself #women #strong #fridayquickie #wisdom #bestclientsever

You’re Missing It


BlakelyFITClimberA client and I were catching up after a session. She is by all accounts exceedingly successful professionally, incredibly likable and a joy to have in Strength In Numbers. She repeated the advice she gives her mentees. “The key to success is to work really, really hard. And, then, keep working hard.”

I have two things to say about that.

1. She’s right.

2. “Really, really hard” does not necessarily mean being married to the same plan forever.

Let me explain.

In terms of healthy living, some grab onto one idea with a vengence (e.g. a non-runner training to run a marathon, an extreme diet plan for 30 days, or a 6 workout per week schedule after being sedentary) and not let go until something breaks (schedule, body, will power.) It is true that all of those things are hard. But, that is not the kind of really, really hard work that necessarily pays off when we are talking about healthy living success. The really, really hard work are things like adapting moderate daily habits, acknowledging where you might be kidding yourself and taking the time to define success for yourself.

That kind of work is tough, “really, really hard” even. But, in the game of healthy living success, totally worth it.

Want more inspiration on grit? Watch this…

Pretty Cool

BlakelyFITTraining01How cool is this! I just received this email from a reader…


Last week I read your article on being kind to your future self in the Frankfort Station. I want to thank you, as I have been putting off my doctors advice to get a pap, mammo, and bone density check. I will be 71 on my next birthday, and I feel fine, but when you mentioned putting off making a doctor’s appointment, then facing a tougher diagnosis 12 months from now, it made me think. I don’t want a tougher diagnosis 12 months from now. I want a clean bill of health NOW. Thanks for the push I needed. You are a treasure to those of us out here.
Keep up the good work,

P.S. I will keep the article in case I get any other hair-brained ideas.”

Wow. Thank you for making the time to share this with me and thank you for taking proactive steps to ensure your good health status stays. It inspires all of us.

Hope it inspires you too! #strength #futureself #fridayquickie #bfit

Dirty Little Secret

Shhh ImageThere is something my industry is generally ignoring. And it is unfortunately, to your detriment. First, let’s acknowledge what we aren’t missing?


You can throw a rock in any direction and hit a trainer, gym or studio, new workout idea, piece of equipment, app, or recipe, new suggestion for how to cut calories or how to burn them. Membership options, fitness cultures, gym reinventions, experts and how to live healthfully research abounds.

What is missing you ask? What is the secret that I have witnessed in ALL of my successful clients? Well, it’s not me, it’s not a gadget, it’s not a diet or workout trick (although the quality of your information matters), it’s something inside the client. It’s the most important thing they have in their possession.
You have it too.

It’s your attitude.

So, I am aware there are some colossal eye rolls happening by a significant portion of my beautiful readers right now. Don’t hurt yourself. Bear with me.

Let’s think it through. Do you really believe you can succeed in living healthfully? Do you really want to be healthy? Do you feel you deserve a healthy, happy body? Because here’s the thing, if you don’t feel it and believe it – that giant brain of yours will find a way to sabotage. Your attitude and belief are your greatest asset and your greatest adversary. I have seen it, year in and year out. It is painful to bear witness but I’d like to save you that struggle and suggest you take a minute to evaluate your own attitude.

Too few, in my opinion are discussing the secret to success I have had the honor of witnessing for 13 years. Your attitude is more important than any app, trend or trainer. So, grab that power and ride it to a successful journey that ends with you in a happier, healthier, fitter place.

You can do this. I’m rooting for you.

#attitude #secret #attitude is everything #strength #women #success

Crushing It

AddresstheStressorBlakelyFITAs customary, I spoke with a newer client about her food, water, sleep, stress and workouts.

Here’s the report:

  • She spent all day Sunday cooking healthy meals for the week with her husband,
  • Moved from Diet Coke to a non-caffeinated carbonated beverage,
  • Found a cardio option in her office building (included in her compensation),
  • And completed her normal resistance training work out with out pain because she iced and rested a joint that concerned her.

The topper to all of this was a new stress reduction tool we worked out: “when stressed – address the stressor.” Like most of us, this client turned to food when faced with a stressful situation – it’s easy, available and works (temporarily).  The stress also changed her normally positive temperament and energy to do things (like exercise.) Our initial solution brainstorm seemed lacking: an app, deep breathing, some kind of distraction, etc. Then, we landed on something brilliant and obvious: just address the stressor. Pouring her energy right back into addressing the problem minimized the stress enough to avoid the negative implications – unnecessary snacking, drinking, decreased energy, altered mood, etc. Win-Win -Win!

Let this client’s experience inspire you. Apply “when stressed – address the stressor” when an annoyance rears it’s ugly head. Now go out there and “crush it” – your body and mind will thank you!


Maze PLAY IT OUT Blakely FITSomewhere along the line I overheard an Alcoholics Anonymous tool that resonated. And has benefited my clients ever since.

Every alcoholic is tempted after making it through recovery. After working so hard to attain sobriety, the patient is invited to think through how that first sip of alcohol would play out. At best, drinking again would be a weekend lost to decisions under the influence, at worst, a slide back into the disease taking hold of their life and volition. Whether you agree that healthy living is as serious as sobriety or not, I ask you to use this tool if it helps.

Here are some client examples…

  • In the moment I am about to fall asleep on the couch, PLAY IT OUT: I’ll feel much better if I just drag myself to bed right now and get a solid night’s sleep.
  • In the moment I am about to hit the break room to see what pastries our vendor brought, PLAY IT OUT: If I keep walking, I’ll avoid the three trips back that will inevitably follow my first taste and make me feel like I should just throw in the towel for the rest of the day too.
  • In the moment I am about to berate my body because I’m not quite where I want to be physically, PLAY IT OUT: That kind of negative self talk only results in extreme and temporary behaviors, encourages feeling bad about myself, being crabby and eventually causes me to comfort my feelings with food.
  • In the moment I am about to start another extreme workout regimen, PLAY IT OUT: Injury and exhaustion are on the horizon, I’ll end up forced to rest after pushing too hard and damaging my health more than helping it.

Whatever your “first sip” is, do yourself a favor and take a moment to PLAY IT OUT. It could be an easy tool that brings you to a happier ending.

I’m rooting for you and here to help if you need it!

I Am a Hypocrite #4 

MBlakelyOverheadpressBlakelyFIT2014The past few weeks, every time I demonstrate an exercise involving a pressing or pushing motion with my right shoulder, I lower the weight. During my own workouts I adjust the program to accommodate the pain. Sometimes simply placing bags into my car or carrying my kids is a challenge. The point? I am a hypocrite. If I client came in with this problem I would be pleasantly relentless in encouraging her to get help. Myself? I keep it on the back burner and let other priorities win out.

My message beautiful readers is this:

1. Make the time to care for pressing health issues before they get too bad. (I just left messages at my internist and PT offices – hypocrisy squashed.)

2. I think it’s important that you know I struggle with all of this healthy living work, too. It’s challenging. When you come in to see me, in some way, I probably know how you feel and am eager to help you fix it.

Take good care of yourselves today and make that appointment for care/support/training you’ve been postponing.

“I didn’t say it was good, I said it was beautiful.”


When I was a dancer, I took an Alexander Technique workshop at a festival in Colorado. During class, about thirty of us were lying on the floor circling our arms and rotating our torsos exploring the economy in our movement.
The instructor walked by a fellow dancer and said, “That’s beautiful.” He replied, “Oh, that wasn’t even a good one.” The instructor snapped, “I didn’t say it was good, I said it was beautiful.”  Twenty years later, this comment still resonates.

What words do you use to describe your success and missteps in healthy living? What is your body image vocabulary? “Good, bad, fat, skinny” is very limiting. Couldn’t we use some descriptions that are less stringent and arguably more accurate? As I’ve stated before, progress is not a straight line. All of us evolve in our own way. That dance teacher wasn’t evaluating whether the student was doing it right or wrong, she was appreciating beautiful movement. How brilliant. We all need to view our efforts and complex bodies with a wider lens. Grab a thesaurus and step away from “good and bad.”  It just might offer a fresh perspective and renewed appreciation on our paths to live healthfully and happily.

Too Smart for Your Own Good…

“Paralysis by analysis” hung at my old job. We trained competitive athletes. The sign was a reminder: too much thinking (or cuing from coaches) hinders performance. Focused minds are effective, too much contemplation causes problems.

I wonder, are you in the way of a healthier life? Infomercials, magazines, classes and trends abound. Some of us tend to wade through every option, read every article, and insist on making sure it’s the absolute best choice. Well, I have some bad news for you: none of them are the best choice.
All of them have pros and cons and none are perfect. My beautiful reader, get out of your own way and just move forward. In simplest terms: MOVE. If the plan you are about to undertake increases your weekly amount of activity, go for it. It’s 100% better than doing nothing.
Don’t let that fabulous brain of yours get in the way. Detailing every option is a mask for procrastination or fear (I should know.) I implore you to stop the research and commit to the plan that sits well in your gut. If it doesn’t work, feels unsafe, or is terribly inconvenient, you can always change it.

We know that contemplating a change isn’t changing anything – pick one and MOVE forward. Good luck. I’m rooting for you!

 Moved to take action?
Join us.
Email now. We’ll take care of the rest.

From Harried to Harmony

“A Woman in harmony with her spirit
is like a river flowing.
She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination
prepared to be herself
and only herself ”
~ Maya Angelou

My hope is that every client finds this flow and strength and grace. Personally, my days are spent in front of a computer, in a gym hauling heavy weights and with my family washing dishes, cooking food and finding the presence to appreciate the gifts in front of me instead of focusing on the tasks incomplete. Life can feel mundane or tedious, but when we give our journey value and weight (as done in this poem) the day to day becomes more profound and hopefully more inspired.

Clients seek help with their physical body, it is necessary. Often that need for change is a metaphor for change in other areas of their life, and in an unspoken way, we know this. Recognizing that the body and mind and spirit are entwined offers a better understanding of the whole woman and the importance of change in her life. In honor of Maya Angelou, let’s see the beauty in our lives and find our harmony today arriving “without pretense” to our destinations.

Share this on Facebook.
Email to learn more about training or public speaking
with Blakely FIT.

Strength Training Exclusively for Women
Chicago, IL