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!

Missing the Motivation?

The motivation and strength to live healthfully is in your hands right now.
But, I suspect your not using it.
Most of us don’t.
Here’s how you can change it.
BlakelyFITClientBicep Curl
Think of something you have accomplished that you are proud of. It can be ANYTHING you deem important.
Next, think about how you got there.
  • Incredible amounts of studying to get that MBA
  • A monk-like patience with your terrible twos toddler
  • An impressive work ethic that earned you a promotion
  • The discipline to save enough money to buy your own home
  • The fortitude to quit smoking
The road to that accomplishment wasn’t easy and it wasn’t perfect. (Can I get an “Amen”?) So, why do we expect ourselves to be perfect, and the road to be easy when it comes to healthy living. Change that perspective and a fountain of motivation is there for you. Build on what you have accomplished in the past to fuel the change toward living healthier.
What if we gave ourselves the same timeline that it took to get our MBA or promotion or two healthy kids? That seems more fair, doesn’t it? I understand we want immediate change and that’s why we expect so much of ourselves. But isn’t it also true that we want lasting change? Well, that takes some time and some learning and some failing and recovery. And let me tell you something else – it’s worth it.So stop expecting yourself to get this all at once and all alone. Get some help, focus on what you have accomplished elsewhere and use it to remind yourself – you can do this! Worthwhile change takes time. You have done it before, you can do it again.As always, I’m rooting for you!
Need help with your healthy living? Email. I’d be happy to hear from you:

Hold On, Baby…


Are you feeling it? That urge to let it all go? The temptation to indulge at every turn during this holiday, end-of-the-year obligation melee.

Well, maybe you did derail at Thanksgiving. Maybe you wish you didn’t eat the pastries left in the conference room every day this week. Maybe you haven’t finished your workouts as planned. So what. Letting less than ideal choices guilt you into additional indulgences is adding insult to injury. Let them go. Move on.

Taking a ten-minute walk, passing over an extra piece of candy or getting an extra hour of sleep will serve you exceedingly well in this holiday frenzy. Don’t let setbacks deter you; you’re too smart to throw in the towel. Hold on to what is important: your health, your livelihood and your loved ones. All your small decisions in the end WILL make a difference in your continued success.

You can do this. Keep your chin up. I’m rooting for you!

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

So Satisfying

Snow plowing through my newly mortgaged driveway and connecting sidewalks for 90 minutes Wednesday was very satisfying.

As I cleared the snow and forged a path, I felt challenged and accomplished. Something about physically changing the landscape was empowering. It is concrete, tangible and visceral. In a world of digital and actual paper pushing, that sense of accomplishment can be elusive.

Now, I realize snow blowing is not for everyone. I currently think of my growing power tool assortment with the same fondness that A Christmas Story’s Ralphie had for his BB gun. Maybe for you it’s something quite different. Either way, the physical nature of certain projects is uplifting. And if you haven’t felt that in a while, may I suggest the gym?

Consider the rush of actually pushing that barbell away from your chest, the sense of control when you pull pounds of metal in a row, the internal fortitude it takes to attempt to squat with the “big girl bar.”

Yes, strength training does all sorts of wonderful things for your body, metabolism and brain. But during a deflating, weather-trying time of year, maybe the best motivator to get to the gym is the empowerment of a tough job done well.

It is so satisfying.

Need help? Don’t we all. Call to start today: 773-680-6824

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.

Just Don’t Do It…

“Don’t do what?” you say? Quit.

End of rope

From October to January, things tend to get nuts. That’s actually why this whole Friday Quickie thing got started. The increased obligations and end-of-the-year rush are, at times, overwhelming. The indulging is everywhere, and everything seems to be vying for our time. Some of the holiday hoopla is fun. Some of it is not. If you’re feeling the pressure, I have a message for you: “Hold on!” Resist the urge to throw in the towel because life is throwing too much at you. Don’t let go of those little habits that help keep you healthy the rest of the year.

Keep your workouts (however short), your healthy breakfast (however imperfect), your positive thinking (however trying), your deep breathing (if just ten breaths), your time for movement and your health—all to the best of your ability. Don’t let go of it all because of a few setbacks. I assure you, it is far easier to hold onto the end of your rope than it is to let go of the rope now and later struggle to get a hold of it again. I understand the temptation to “start fresh in January.” But that’s 25 days away. You can do a lot of damage in 25 days. So don’t give up.

I invite you to value your small choices. For example, it’s been a year since I kicked my daily pop habit. (Yay for me.) Recently, feeling a little blue, I was about to indulge in a significant amount of bubbly sweetness with my lunch. “Why not? I deserved it.” “I’m not trying to lose weight.” “I haven’t had pop since the movies” … blah, blah, blah. And then I remembered, my teeth will not be happy about this decision and I will probably feel a pretty mean sugar crash just about the time of day my kids are their most trying. So I tipped my decision the other way and tried to go without the pop. I paused and moved to my homemade seltzer instead. Did I feel deprived? A little. Unsatisfied? Not really. In fact, halfway through my lunch I had forgotten. It was one small decision BUT IT MATTERS. Because, after ten years of Blakely Fit, I’ve noticed a trend: Little habits make a big difference.

So maybe you derailed at Thanksgiving? Maybe you wish you didn’t eat that pastry your vendor left in the conference room? Maybe you haven’t finished your workout as planned? So what—just don’t quit! Taking a ten-minute walk, passing over an extra piece of candy or getting an extra hour of sleep will serve you exceedingly well in this holiday frenzy. Don’t let little setbacks derail you; you’re too smart to throw in the towel. Hold on to what is important: your health, your livelihood and your loved ones. All your small decisions in the end WILL make a difference in your continued success. Just DON’T quit!

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.

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Say “thank you” and stop talking

Shhh ImageWhen did you last say “thank you” with out self deprecating? Moving forward and achieving goals involves accepting where we are at – the not so good and the good. Embrace and be grateful for compliments. It is a sign of respect to the compliment giver, a great example for others and a wonderful motivation when facing a new set of challenges.

Up for a test? Try to say thank you for one week with out self deprecating. Post your experience on our facebook and twitter pages. We’d love to hear about it.