How Will You Wage Your War?

WageWarBlakelyFITA client has declared war.

Not as a political activist of angry consumer, as a woman holding to her faith in her ability to beat a deadly disease.

Recent visits to her doctors indicate she is hurtling toward a diabetes diagnosis. As a physician’s daughter, she is well versed in the overwhelming implications of this disease. By my account, she was, at first, shocked and understandably upset. Having to face something so life altering is never a mountain any of us would chose to climb. And then, there was a change. A powerful shift. She decided to fight. She threw out old habits and rationalizations and started embracing the advice of experts that believed she could dodge this diagnosis.

And, we’re seeing progress. I am elated to announce that she had dropped her BMI (body mass index). Her internist is thoroughly impressed. So often we turn to a pill to solve our health problems with out first making a concerted effort to address our lifestyle. I am so very proud of this woman and hope her fight and one battle won might encourage you to wage your own war and win.

My Bank Account

BlakelyFITPrisonWindow“Two men looked out from prison bars,

One saw the mud, the other saw stars.”

– Dale Carnegie

I’m pretty conservative when it comes to money. As a result, I was more than confused when I popped by an ATM for $80 dollars and the machine popped back  “insufficient funds.” Excuse me? I’m sure I have plenty in that account. To my dismay, nope, I did not. In fact, I had only $26.24 to be exact.

The mental simmer began… What was I mischarged for? What had I overlooked? Was someone tampering with my account? No, no and no. Realizing I didn’t have time to get upset, I paused the simmer and thought, “oh, this is a gift.”

This is information that I needed (bank account is low)

that I didn’t know I needed (thought the account was fine)

and now I can fix it (transfer money into the account so I don’t overdraw.)

Clients went through Reassessments this past week. The results are overall, outstanding. I am insanely proud of every single one of my clients. Every one. However, of the roughly fifty items we measure there are nearly always some setbacks for some women. Juggling healthy living is challenging. For clients and readers in the camp of “success is feeling elusive” or “I’m not getting healthier as quickly as I want,” I empathize with your struggle and then, implore you to see the opportunity. See that $26.24 balance as a positive.

Learning that things are not working is an OPPORTUNITY to fix it as long as we don’t get stuck in the dread or self-beratement. If we can pause the emotions long enough to clarify why we are stuck or sliding there is a tremendous turning point just up ahead. So for any of you out there experiencing frustration with healthy living, identify what isn’t working or often just as important what you are up against (demanding work schedule, new stressors, pressing life events) and then, be kind in developing a new plan.

Getting stuck in the disappointment of not being where we want to be is not a very useful or happy place. Consider the blessing of a little bad news, it can often take us to much better place in the end, if we let it.

Celebrate the Uncelebrated

Many people have brought the video of Moscow based dancer Sergei Polunin performance of Irish singer-songwriter Hozier ballad, “Take Me to Church” directed by artist David LaChapelle to my attention. Compelling, gorgeous and gravity defying – thank you each for the notice. As a former dancer I have some understanding of what it took to create this stunning piece: the sacrifice, work, the commitment and resilience.

It got me thinking. In life, there is no seamless choreography, no musical score and no four minute transformation. Life is not a crafted video and healthy living even more so. It is an infinite series of small choices sending us on different trajectories.

With that thought in mind, I’d like to take a moment to applaud my clients and women out there in general daring to make a change. They do so with out much notice or fanfare or recognition even. They do it to better their lives, value their health and energize their life for the betterment of those around them.

A few thoughts to celebrate the uncelebrated:
Here’s to the woman that refuses to hit snooze so that she makes it to the gym on time.
Here’s to the client that puts it all on the table and risks trying a new strategy for healthy living.
Here’s to the gal that was hit with a medical condition and refuses to relinquish her health with out a fight.
Here’s to the young adult that saw healthy living sabotage from others and walked away for self-preservation.
Here’s to the mother that insisted on being as healthy as she could for her children and one on the way.
Here’s to every woman out there doing their best, quietly, habitually and with out any fanfare – to improve their health for the benefit of herself and all those that need her.

Here’s to celebrating our small moments and the little victories of the women around us!

You Might Have It All Wrong…

TortoiseI’d like you to question if you have a fear of success. I’d like you to consider if you are afraid of achieving and arriving at a healthier state. Maybe your fear involves maintaining that lifestyle once you’ve arrived? I wonder if you mistakenly believe that said journey is a lot of work.

Because the truth is, it’s not.

The actual work of living healthfully is not hard. If you believe differently, maybe the problem is not your work ethic but your understanding of the path to success. I am rightly concerned that too many people out there believe that they have to turn their whole lives upside down to improve their health. For most of us, that is untrue. Because here is the secret so many of us keep missing: it is simple, habitual behavior that delivers, selected carefully and implemented consistently. It is not sexy. It does not grab headlines. And it is not great cocktail party chatter. (I should know.) But it works. It delivers. And it pays dividends.

So as New Year’s resolutions begin to enter your mind, I most sincerely ask you to consider the small, daily, habitual habits as your secret to success. Because after ten years of Blakely Fit, witnessing success and failure time and again. My money will always be with the slow and steady, unsexy, hard-shelled tortoise at the finish line, not the hare.

WomanInSunhatGoing to be out in the sun this weekend? Do your skin, beauty and health a favor by staying in the shade, wearing sunblock and donning sunproof clothing. Not that fair? Doesn’t matter. As Dr. Emily Arch of Aesthetics and Dermatology of Wicker Park (love her) insightfully stated: “Bob Marley had melanoma.” I recently spoke with Dr. Arch. My two daughters have very different skin tones. I wondered, if I need to be as vigilant with sun protection with both children? (I realize this question sounds horrible on the surface, but you may not have ever had to slather lotion on two elusive toddlers while trying to get out the door.) The short answer: “Yes.” So whatever your skin tone, protect your health and beauty. Be smart in the sun this weekend.

Sun proof clothing sites: Coolibar   Athleta

No time to shop? Dark denim will provide sun protection. And what fabric is more American than denim?

Be safe! Have fun!

Happy Fourth of July!!!