Bring the F-word Back

When did living healthfully become such a chore? I say, bring the fun back! (That is the f-word I was referring to, of course.) When we were kids we could make a game out of anything. Tap into that silliness and free-spirit again and let your body move.

I’m inspired by my brothers and husband who last Sunday grabbed a few Frisbees and started playing a rather intense game of catch. This escalated into an impromptu photo shoot of unbelievable shots (uh-um). We were laughing, moving and having a fantastic time acting like goof balls. Let’s bring the f-word back to being fit and have a good time while doing it.






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!

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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

What do you REALLY want?

Why?As you decide plans for the fresh year ahead, I’d like to toss a small game changer your way: relentless candor.

Our inner dialogue might go something like this:
“I really need to get in shape.”
Our resolution might be a two part:

  1. join gym
  2. exercise everyday

Outside of this change being too drastic, there is a fundamental problem. The desire is too vague. The guts of the goal haven’t been exploited. And that’s a shame.

Solution: try “Why?” and travel to a better resolution.

For example: “I really need to get in shape.”
OK, why?
“Because I don’t feel healthy.”

Why is that a problem?
“Because I feel tired all the time.”

Why is that a problem?
“My work schedule comes first and then I don’t have much energy left for personal priorities.”
Why does that matter?
“Because I’d like to start dating again and that takes time and energy.”

Anything else?
“I think I would feel sexier and more confident if I was in better shape.”

OK, why does that matter?
“Because being as unhealthy as I am right now, doesn’t feel like I’m myself anymore.”

And there we have it. More emotional and specific reasons for being healthier. Be honest and forthcoming. Don’t stop until you feel you have hit something powerful. Your answers and reasoning might be quite different of course but the idea is the same. This process involves “relentless candor.” It may not be pretty or easy, but if it is your truth it will work more effectively than something generic. Give yourself a few minutes and get to know your why. It will make all the difference.

Email if you would like my help I’d be delighted to have you join us for Strength In Numbers.

My Brother’s-In-Law version of “Pick Your Party”…

Here is a hilarious version of my “Pick Your Party” post from my very talented brother-in-law. Enjoy!Golden Lights

“In the next twelve days there are a lot of opportunities to celebrate. And celebrating is good. Indulging is even better.

I encourage you to party. Choose one event for indulging each and every day of the holiday season. Because, it is not one holiday dinner that causes holiday happiness. It is the daily treats, late nights, changes in schedules, parade of parties and increase in alcohol consumption that leave us feeling at peace with the world. Why choose just one celebration when you can choose all of them?

Don’t deprive yourself: More drinks! More indulgent food! Longer nights! You can always hire a personal trainer to get back in shape when this holiday season is over. And in my book, that is a plan worth considering.”

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
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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.

Does Motherhood Make You Healthier?

park with my girls and nephews photo

My past Mother’s Day Friday Quickies addressed gift ideas and gratitude but thought I would bring something new to the table. I asked myself if being a mother made me healthier. I’d love to have you consider the same. 

The good…

  • I my whole life, I had never consumed more nutrient rich foods then when I was breastfeeding (and once the nausea subsided, pregnant)
  • Children don’t listen to hypocrites (mine especially) I buy fruits and veggies for them to eat – I eat them too.
  • Pregnancy and it’s aftermath taught me A LOT about my body and I’m someone who loves anatomy so, this was a surprise. Becoming aware of what you didn’t know you didn’t know is mind bending and empowering. I am definitely a better advocate for my health as a result.
  • The data on the childhood obesity epidemic is heartbreaking. That responsibility as a parent is impactful. My family takes “family walks” and enjoys park play time at least once per week. My girls are pretty daring – so I’m moving and climbing right next to them – it’s exercise for me too.
  • I don’t multitask while driving because my kids are in the car / need me. That’s healthier for me and other drivers.
  • I take better care of my car because my kids will be in it. That’s healthier for me and other drivers.
  • Breastfeeding can reduce your risk of breast cancer – I did my best there.
  • Pregnancy may lessen the symptoms of endometriosis, uterine fibroids and PCOS. Happy to have that in my pocket.
  • Although a little less quantifiable, my connection to other individuals is stronger than before I had children. I am more empathetic and compassionate. That contributes to a healthier state and a stronger sense of community.
  • I took on the role of cooking for my family which I didn’t do when it was just Pat and I.  I know I consume fewer carryouts and heavily processed foods because of it.
  • I am very sensitive to setting a healthy body image example for my girls which comes in handy as I age.
  • There is no better stress reliever for me than seeing my girls smile, laugh, hug or even look at their pictures. Priceless.
  • I am most definitely more resilient since having children. (I firmly believe that there is a strong parallel to military boot camp training and motherhood – future Friday Quickie fodder)

The bad… 

  • Meal planning/cooking for the family is a lot of work. I could do with less of that responsibility some weeks.
  • I don’t sleep as much even though my bedtime is earlier. Seriously, the other night I was in my pajamas at 5:30pm. (See incriminating photo.)
  • My stress level is higher – I worry about my kids / work harder because of my kids. That’s not necessarily a good thing.
  • It’s harder for me to make time for myself. I don’t know if anyone ever told you this but, children are time consuming! Worth it – but terribly time consuming (Like to give suggestions? Feel free to send any and all ideas for remedying this problem – I’m open.) 5:30pm pajamas photo

The bottom line…

It’s not why I did it, but I suspect I am quite healthier because I had kids. We all have different paths, different choices and each life is challenging and unique. If you are a mom, hopefully you will have a little time to consider if your journey as a mother has helped you be healthier or challenged certain areas for healthful living. In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, remember that you are precious and important and make a little time to care for your health and be well for your life. I wish each of you time to enjoy your loved ones this weekend! Happy Mother’s Day!