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

Fill in the blank…

We are working on a little Mother’s Day project and need your voice!

BlakelyFIT Koala mom and baby bear

Email your “fill-in” for the statements below (or some version thereof), a photo of you and your mom/children and enjoy a chance to win a $125 Blakely FIT gift certificate!

“My mother taught me about strength by…

“Being a mother taught me about strength by…

Whether you do it for the gift or do it for the moms – we are honored to have your input! Thanks so much!

Email fill-ins and photos to: train@blakelyfit.com or just post below.

‪#‎mothersday2015‬ ‪#‎doitforthemoms‬ ‪#‎strength‬ ‪#‎motherhood‬ ‪#‎women‬ ‪#‎personaltraininggiftcertificate‬

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:

What I learned in Maui…

What I Learned in Maui…

It’s tough for anyone to successfully pull off a wetsuit.
Great products make a huge difference…GoPro is awesome, Coolibar makes life easier and self tanner keeps me out of trouble with my dermatologist. As with many things in life, don’t over think it. Leaping off the zip line platform is a lot easier when you don’t hesitate. Don’t think about that you are about to leap into the abyss, clip on your safety gear and go…
When I grow up, I want to be Hawaiian – the people, the nature, the water, the sounds, I was born on the wrong island…

No matter how cold you feel on the boat, get in the water. Swimming with a sea turtle makes “I’m too cold” seem like a joke…
1% of people regret zip lining the last run. 100% regret NOT zip lining the last run. Fearful? Trust your guides and move forward. You’ll be glad you did.

Hawaiian palm tree leaves gently tapping one another is one of the most beautiful sounds on Earth.
Hearing humpback whales with my own ears – worth the very long trip to get there.
Hawaiians do vacation. They go to Vegas. Vegas, baby, Vegas.

I can take a nap in the middle of the day after doing nothing if I have a cold beer. I’m an idiot that it took me this long to figure that out.

Listen to your friends: “Don’t work on vacation.”

I am grateful for the fine farmers, fishermen and chefs on Maui – the food and service were INCREDIBLE.
Rent a convertible at least once in your life.

Less is more.

Take advice from those that have been there before – exploit their knowledge. (Mahalo – Shayna, Laura, Steve and Paula!) It took exactly 8 hours to decide I’m going back to Hawaii.

Seven years is too long to postpone a grown up vacation.

Life is short but rich.

Vacationing with out your children is a tough proposition at first but ultimately a very good thing for everyone. Sit on the beach and watch surfers. They know something we don’t.

Maui cures bronchitis.

Time to do nothing is precious and important.

Need help with that resolution? 

We are energized and ready to help! 

An Unexpected Gift

Reading the Little Blue Engine Blakely FIT 2014After dinner and a warm bath, we snuggle and read before bed like many young families. Sometimes I’m a model parent: animated, engaged. Other times, not so much — going through the motions and struggling to stay awake as the day’s chores still loom.

Recently we read, once again, The Little Engine That Could, Watty Piper’s tale of perseverance and grit that has lasted for more than 80 years in print. On this particular evening, I’m attentive — and suddenly struck by an enlightening passage.

Mr. Piper writes: “Some of the cars were filled with all sorts of good things for boys and girls to eat — big golden oranges, red-cheeked apples, bottles of creamy milk for their breakfasts, fresh spinach for their dinners, peppermint drops and lollypops for after-meal treats.”

Apples, oranges, spinach and milk depicted as precious treats for children? How often do we see good food as a treat?

Thanksgiving is at our doorstep. Yet before all the harried preparations subsume our lives, we might take a moment to recall Mr. Piper’s words. Remembering life before we had such abundant produce departments could provide perspective for the feast ahead. Recalling a time when health was not so easily remedied with pills or surgery could inspire us to take more care with our bodies. Maybe this is the other lesson in Mr. Piper’s timeless tale.

Today, we have so much food in our grocery stores and restaurants that one third of it goes uneaten, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In fact, food is the biggest single source of waste in this country, more than plastic or paper, the EPA finds.

Thanksgiving provides time with older generations. Let’s ask about their experiences. Do our older relatives and friends recall a time before our era of plenty? When vegetables were not available year-round? When a “golden orange” was a coveted gift? And when candy was a special treat? What about a time when resolving pain did not include MRI, physical therapy or ultrasound? When walking to and from work or school was not a chore but part of daily life?

No question, we’re truly fortunate to have access to so much food and state-of-the-art healthcare. As we celebrate through this holiday of gratitude, a broader perspective might let us appreciate and enjoy our food and health all the more. It could be an unexpected gift hiding in a familiar place.


Michelle and Patrick Silly at Wedding

Conversation between my husband and me:

Michelle: “I don’t really like it when people assume I only eat low fat foods.”

Patrick: “Well, it’s kind of a compliment. They’re indirectly assuming that you practice what you preach.’”

Michelle: “It’s not the misconception about me that’s upsetting, it’s the misconception about how to live healthfully.”

The path to consistent exercise and healthy living are (at times) misunderstood. Infomercials, elevator talk, misinformed friends or family, and poor reporting have left some of us mistaken about the effective and accurate guidelines for healthy living. Like the new kid in class, I hope you make the time to get to know the truth about effective ways to live healthfully. Below are the top three wellness misconceptions repeatedly crossing my desk:

Misconception #1: Healthy eating for weight loss is primarily about fat and calories.
Food is more to our bodies than weight management. Nutrients are an important part of the equation. Focusing solely on fat grams and calorie intake will leave you unsuccessful (and very unsatisfied.)

Misconception #2: Lifting weights will make me big and bulky.
I have met VERY few women in my line of work that are genetically predisposed to “bulk up.” Lifting weights has tremendous benefits for your health, longevity, injury prevention and weight loss. As long as you are with a skilled trainer, there is nothing to fear.

Misconception #3: Faster, harder or more intense is better.
Unless you are a serious athlete or training for a VERY specific event, faster, harder and more intense is NOT necessarily better. Moderate exercises performed on a regular basis is generally an excellent exercise prescription for individuals wanting to lose weight and improve their wellness and health.

Connect today to start your change: 773-680-6824

Strength Training Exclusively for Women, Chicago, IL

Labor Day Value


According to the US Department of Labor, “Labor Day…is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”Whatever your occupation or vocation: parent, employee, business owner, household manager, volunteer for the betterment of our communities, I encourage you to rest and take stock this weekend. Making time to reflect on our strengths and contributions can energize us for the road ahead and offer joy and pride in our accomplishments thus far. Pat your selves on the back this weekend and enjoy some time to regroup and re-energize. You’ve earned it!

Slimmer WITHOUT Exercise

You read that title correctly: “Slimmer WITHOUT Exercise.” Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, also know as “NEAT,” needs to be on your radar. The data is compelling. The simplest application? Here:

Employ short bursts of movement (non-exercise)

repeatedly and often throughout your day.

That’s it.

Easy, peasy.

In understanding NEAT, remember that BMR (basal metabolic rate) is altered through increasing your lean body mass. (Which, by the way, is Blakely FIT’s mission*) NEAT, on the other hand, addresses your everyday, non-exercise level of movement. How much time do you spend sitting still, walking to a meeting, gardening , shoveling or carrying your kids up the stairs? The data illustrates that these short bouts of movement (again, non-exercise) have a tremendous impact on your body’s ability to maintain a healthy weight, lose weight and more importantly, decrease your risk factors for significant health concerns.

The take away? Put that walk to the water cooler on a pedestal. Place the distant parking spot in your mind like a trophy. Elevate that dance to the Frozen soundtrack in your list of “great things I did today.” Value the small bouts of movement through out your day and slowly, steadily increase their frequency. The more you do them the more benefits you reap. And all without exercise.

Want more information?

13 minute Dr. Levine video

Book on Amazon

USA Today Q&A with Dr. Levine

*BMR continued…Strength training increases the amount of lean muscle we have and in turn increases our daily calorie expenditure even when we are at rest – awesome, right?

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 train@blakelyfit.com. I’d be delighted to have you join us for Strength In Numbers.