Uncle Buck Can Help

Recently, I’ve been learning more and more about vegetarianism and vegan-ism. (Don’t close. I am not trying to convert you, I promise.)

In my first attempt to take advantage of the health benefits, I moved all of my family’s meals to meat/dairy-free items AND nutrient rich foods only. (Oreos and Coca-Cola are vegan, they did not make the cut.) The first week was a colossal fail – stressful, annoying and even I was left hungry and dissatisfied. The kids were crabby and my husband was not on board.

Then, I had a revelation, I had set myself up for failure.

Here’s how.

I had not:
• invested time in resources (great recipes and menus),
• discussed the pending change with my constituents (munchkins and finicky husband),
• allowed a proper time line for the transition (long term diet changes can not happen in one fell swoop)

Uncle Buck is a well-loved 1989 comedy starring John Candy. In it, he discussed his five year plan to quit smoking. Ridiculous and funny, I of course have spun it to serve me and hopefully you, my beautiful reader.

As I have repeatedly joked with clients, “I am now on the ‘Uncle Buck Plan’ to vegan-ism.” Every week and every month I am snagging new recipes, clever solutions and continually educating my family, paving the way for an easier, seamless transition – even if it takes five years!

My hope is that you learn from Uncle Buck, too. Whatever your goal for healthy living, maybe your timeline could be altered, resources bolstered and talks with those you love help with your success.

I’m rooting for you!

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…https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit

Gratitude on the Fourth

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

I am overwhelmed with gratitude as I reflect on this celebration of independence, freedom and all things great and worthwhile about our country. I am a woman, mother, wife and small business owner. As imperfect as our young country may be, being a U.S. citizen has afforded me the opportunity to build a business of my own accord providing a valuable service for my clients and income for my young family.

None of it would be possible with out the readership, social media support and patronage of you, my clients and readers. My utmost thanks for your support, feedback and trust.

I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday together and a moment of reflection for the freedom and independence we each hold dear.

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.

Rekindle an Old Flame

BlakelyFITBlackWidowHalloween2014Last Thursday afternoon, I found myself getting excited. Really excited.

Growing up, I loved Halloween as much as the next kid: bags of free candy, late night celebrating, costume fun, what’s not to love? This, of course, transitioned as a young adult. Halloween afforded me the excuse to party, dress up and partake in other indulgences. My partying days are now less frequent and my enthusiasm had waned for this beloved holiday. Until, last week.

My daughters rekindled an old flame. Their relentless anticipation of the parties, the candy and spooky, haunted, fun was contagious. Their joy and energy pulled me in and I found myself enjoying the preparations that otherwise (I’m embarrassed to say) would have felt like “one more thing to do.”

Isn’t this possible with living healthfully? It’s a stretch to compare candy to kale. Let’s remember, enthusiasm is contagious. And enthusiasm for healthy living is possible and probable when we surround ourselves with the right people. Do you have anyone in your life that seems to have struck a healthy living balance? Could you hang out with them more? Ask them to coffee? Listen to their story of arriving at said balance. Let it inspire you. Being around people on a healthy living journey can be a powerful source of inspiration. Look around, listen and let their energy spark a change that could last a lifetime.

Time Traveler

If you could go back in time what would you tell your 20 year old self in terms of living a full, balanced, healthy life? Would you tell him/her everything was going to be golden? Would you implore your younger self not to take your health for granted? Would you ask them to prepare now for the changes that lie ahead? All of the above? Something different? Try it.

Now, I ask you to take a moment and see yourself fifteen or twenty years from today. How does your body feel? What is your day to day life like? What medications are you taking, or not taking? Are your joints and systems supple and functioning? What kind of trajectory are you on? In searching for real motivation in healthy living, talking to your older self is a promising exercise. What would you like to be like, feel like and look like two decades from now? Have a conversation with your older self. (Not out loud, please.) What does she want? What is she dealing with? What advice would she give you? What does she want you to do today? Then, do it.

It’s not sexy or viral but the truth is, if we want to be active and healthy in twenty years, now is the time to set out on that course. One small step at a time, you can do it. Email if you’d like some help.

“Help” Is the Answer

In an effort to unwind, I watched a little “Date Night” last night. I laughed, smiled and renewed my appreciation for Mark Whalberg’s work out regimen (sincerely Mark, thank you.) In enjoying the impeccable timing of Tina Fey and Steve Carrell, I was also given a gentle reminder: get help. About 50 minutes in, Tina Fey’s character vents about the exhaustion of being a wife, mother and professional. I love this clip. She monologues her daily routine and fantasizes being alone to enjoy a sandwich in a quiet, cool hotel room with out anyone touching or needing her. It always makes me simultaneously laugh and nod. What I usually over look is Steve Carrell’s character’s offer to help, to make her life easier, if she’ll let him.
What does all this have to do with exercise and being healthy? A lot. Health is largely dependent on habits. If we don’t say no or make room for other people/services to lighten the load, exercise and healthful eating rarely happen. So, take a tip from “Date Night.” Look around and see if there is anyone that could help you manage your “to do” list. Are you missing out on a healthier life because you insist on doing it all “my way” or alone? Don’t. Ask for help and take it. It just might be your key to a healthier lifestyle.
PS Mom, yes I’d love to take you up on your offer – please bring 6 foil Happy Birthday balloons on Sunday :). Thanks!