Category Archives: motivation

29 hours in: 200 Hour YTT {Embodiment Project}

As of Sunday evening, we’ve logged 29 of our 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT), and completed the first full weekend of everything yoga! My “weekend”, as I typically know it, didn’t exist. Instead it was spent with 15 gals on the same adventure, led and inspired by Coral Brown (via Om Oasis Studio). From Thursday to Sunday evening my mind dipped in, swam around a bit and then fully dove into the heart of a practice that, so far, has only been asanas and Oms to me.

Completing a 200-hour training is akin to kayaking out to that tiny island that looks close enough to swim to, but is actually miles away (like whoa, depth perception!). You’re wading through much deeper water than you probably anticipated – there’s so much more to know and digest. It’s the first giant leap to your initial destination; you can stand on solid ground again, but then you have to decide whether to stay comfy sun-bathing on the beach, or getting dirty exploring various trails.

I’m much more of a hiker than a beach baby.

This weekend was a lot of history and introductions, and a little bit of moving around! For one of our first Omwork assignments, we took pictures for the Embodiment Project –  a list of poses to document now, and again at hour 200. “No retakes, or omg-these-pants-suck!, or let-me-fix-my-hips” – just pose-and-shoot, fashion choices of the day be damned. These are straight-up stage 1, how things are looking ~15% of the way in:

tadasana_HC utkatasana_HC

Utasana_HC downward facing dog_HC


upward facing dog_HC

warrior 1_HC warrior 2_HC

reverse warrior_HC - Copy side angle pose_HC - Copy low lunge_HC  twisted high lunge_HC

wheel pose_HC 
Our training didn’t happen to be outside perfectly situated in the direct sunlight, but these pictures got lucky.


And that’s that! I couldn’t begin to sum up what we learned in a short 29 hours with one blog post, my brain is still busy doing that for itself. But this photo journal will be one of very few objective benchmarks, along with the hours counting up to the first 200.

Questions? Thoughts on YTT, or yoga in general? If you want to do your own little journey along the way with these poses, hop on in! The next round won’t be until May, so we have plenty of time to strengthen, root down and rise up.


Filed under balance, Goals, motivation, training, Yoga

Eating in Moderation: Timely holiday thoughts from Seth Godin & Malcolm Gladwell

One brownie makes you happy, a second brownie, maybe a little more. The third brownie doesn’t make us happy at all, and the fourth brownie makes us sick.”

Seth Godin, “The Moderation Glitch

Malcolm Gladwell describes this in his new book, David & Goliath, as the “inverted U”. “For a while, more input gets you more results, but then, inevitably, things level off, and then, perversely, get worse.” – SG


The holiday seasons now sound like a broken-record in my head; every year I’m writing and reading list after list of “how to” survive, prevent weight gain, stick with the workout routine, etc. Healthy holiday eating tips can easily be found EVERYWHERE – magazines, blogs, podcasts, radio and TV shows, social media, etc. They’re rarely novel, yet consumers bookmark, dog-ear and save them for calling upon when motivation is low and dessert consumption is far past the point of content.


Image source.

“Moderation is a marketing problem.”  –SG

What I’ve learned:
No one wants to hear “everything in moderation”.

They may want you to authorize the “eat whatever you want just exercise a LOT!” plan, or a strict list of what NOT to eat, or maybe an exact meal plan, calorie count, shopping list, and perhaps while we’re at it, a personal at-home chef to make sure that healthy cooking gets done. I certainly don’t blame anyone for wanting any or all of the above – remove the guesswork of nutrition, the time spent deciphering all of the research and tips, and voila! We dine happy. Right?

Well, no, it’s never that easy.

But it IS simple: Eat in moderation*.
Enjoy food while you’re eating it. Move on, and go move.**

*Turn off the mental debates of this nutrient over that one; stop calculating how many calories in each bite, and put away the scale. Use a plate isn’t the size of a medium pizza, fill it with a variety of foods (and colors), and dine slowly so that your stomach can do its job and let you know when its full.

**Use your muscles to do something that motivates you, challenges you, or just gets you out the door for some fresh air! It doesn’t matter what that activity is; it’s important that you enjoy doing it, and you both want and make it part of your routine.

awesome …there is this exception. #truth


“If the data shows us that in so many things, moderation is a better approach than endless linearity, why does our culture keep pushing us to ignore this?

…This is the wine drinker who goes from the health benefits of a daily glass of wine to the health detriments of a daily bottle or two. This is the runner who goes from the benefits of five miles a day to knees that no longer work because he overdid it.

Habits are the other half of the glitch. We learn a habit when it pays off for us, but we’re hardwired to keep doing the habit, even after it doesn’t.”  – SG


What You Do Every Day

I use this quote over and over for a reason – if you take this into account EVERY DAY, it will matter.  (And clearly because I love it. So well put, Gretchen!) The way we eat, drink and/or workout (or don’t) for one holiday matters much less than how we do all of the above every day before and after the celebrations. The approach we take towards our health on a daily basis matters more than the approach we take towards the holiday dinner buffet.

Habits, and goals, matter. They drive decisions, mental chatter, and eventually, outcomes.  Think about yours, and keep them in mind.

Make yourself proud

Because honestly, that’s what will matter at the end of the day: how you feel.


HAPPY Holiday season!

I hope you’re enjoying the time with family, friends, seasonal tunes and your  traditional favorites!


Filed under food, health, motivation, Nutrition

Planning for the Training, Not Just the BQ

I qualified for Boston at the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon. Even though I was “in”, I knew I probably wouldn’t be in. It’s a tight race these days, and the faster you go the more likely you are to get that highly sought-after bib! For 2014, 3:34:04 didn’t quite make the cut, and that’s totally okay. Boston is prestigious, that’s why we strive to be there. If thousands of other females between the ages of 25-34 are faster than me, then they should have their hard-earned bib. Women running marathons these days are nothing if not a quick and determined group of gals!

And if I have to qualify again to be among them in 2015, then so be it.


“The body achieves what the mind believes.”


I can and will run a sub-3:30 marathon.
Declare. Run. Repeat.

A folder has been created in my bookmarks, the search is on! I’m not looking for the perfectly flat course or the best climate or the easiest destination to get to. I am looking for something that doesn’t scream HILLS everywhere or snow in May or require worldly trip (that’s happening on its own, without running).

I’m looking for a race that will check a few boxes, and will get me here:

Boston Finish Line

As the fate of the internets would have it, this research has been interrupted by a few reads that totally changed my mindset. The goal: re-qualify for Boston (2015). Sure, that will fill miles of mind-games and internal monologues next spring.

But, more importantly, the training? That’s a lifestyle. It changes your everyday routine in ways that we, as runners, {eventually} miss when it’s not all-consuming. We change our weekend agendas. We plan ahead for runs, cross-training workouts, meals, rest and sanity-checks. We think about the Finish Line countless times from Day 1 to Race Day, and anxiously await those tapering weeks.

But what about everything in between?


“The goal is absolutely secondary: it is the functioning toward the goal which is important.”

Hunter S. Thompson


The training is what really challenges you – physical and mental exercises that get you ready for everything that can/will happen from mile 1 to mile 26.2. The training is a way of functioning that (hopefully, all-fingers-crossed) gets you ready for that goal time.

Whether or not that race goes exactly the way you plan? That’s {unfortunately} somewhat unpredictable. But the work you put in to get yourself there can’t be taken away.

Challenge & Change

You will learn the importance of the journey. The journey is the reward.


As the end of this fall marathon season marks the beginning of spring race-planning, just keep these thoughts in mind. Remember that you don’t choose to run a marathon (or any other distance) just so you can show up on race day and pound the pavement for 26+ miles. (Let’s be honest, that’s not always the fun part.) Sure, the goal is to finish, but the motivation is the challenge of getting yourself in shape enough to do so.

The fun is in the miles that lead you up to that startling line, in realizing that yes you can survive 10-20 milers and adjust your schedule to fit in ALL-things-running and dedicate yourself to something and see it through.

Join me: pick a challenge that will change you (whatever that may be), then enjoy the journey that gets you there.


Filed under Goals, marathon, motivation, running

Ending the “I Know I Should…” Conversation

So, now you know how to be SMART!  Let’s keep that conversation going…


Between my work with Wellness Corporate Solutions and my own clients, I wish I had a dime for every time I hear the words “I know I should…”. And if I had a quarter for every time I’ve said them? Well, I’d send us all on a retreat to shut us up and enjoy some “Do it Now!” moments instead.

Rock-climbing in Thailand? Yoga in Costa Rica? Hiking in Peru?
We have some options!

who you want to be

There is more information “out there” circling the web than any of us need – we can self-diagnose on WebMD, for better or worse, and we can look up nutrition facts and track our intake, exercise, sleep habits and stress levels on a lot of different platforms. There are pages that tell us how much money we should be saving, or where we should be in a career by now, or all the ways that someone else has failed and succeeded in ways that we may never be able, or want, to imagine.

We end up with a lot of “I Know I SHOULD…” thoughts,
and not a lot of action.

Goals usually come from a place of that “should” attitude, and part of the achievement process is getting to that “will”…

Truth be told, you can’t replace that “should” with “will” until you’re ready and prepared and already past the mental point where that change is exciting, not just daunting. Then, you just have to start.

We often tell clients to think ahead
How do you want to feel
one year from now?


What works for me? Well, I get a great slap of reality every time I coach someone to make a change, and consequently go through the process with them. I’m reminded of the things I’m thinking I should be doing. I’m lucky that my work, life and passions have intertwined themselves like that.

But outside of coaching, the things that go from should –> will are the ones we put out there. TELL SOMEBODY WHAT YOU SHOULD/WANT TO DO.

Clearly I feel pretty strongly about that, but it makes all the difference in the world. Welcome to the Law of Attraction – put your ideas out there, telling as many people as is appropriate as often as you think about it. (Warning: friends and family, repeat conversations to follow.) The ways and means will follow.

“The truth will follow us and poke at us
until we acknowledge it.” 
-Baron Baptiste

I want to/should/will get a fitness coaching certification, so a friend started sending me updates on workshops available and my coworkers have offered help with the ACSM courses.

I want to/should/will travel abroad this year, so experienced people have offered up tips on places to go, where to stay, and helpful travel sites to bookmark. 

I want to/should/will do yoga teacher training – I got called out (ahem, tagged) on Facebook recently as a friend kindly posted that there’s an upcoming info session at our favorite studio.

NOTED, world. I hear you & I’m listening.


End the internal monologue. Know the difference between the shoulds you want and those you don’t – put the good-for-you ones out there, be ready, and watch the world work its magic.


Filed under about me, Goals, motivation, Yoga

Month by Month: Being SMART

Almost exactly two years ago I found myself in an airport looking for a good-read to take on the plane with me. I wanted something thought-provoking, non-fiction (usually my go-to), but a little bit lighter than the Brian Tracy-esque library I had been browsing at lululemon.

My eyes found “The Happiness Project” (Gretchen Rubin), read the first chapter and kept themselves busy with those words for the entire 3-hour flight.  A former Supreme Court Justice Clerk, Churchill biographer and working-mom-of-two suddenly realized, “The days a long but the years are short.”

Happiness Project

The confession here would be that I have yet to actually read through to the very last page of this book, even though I stand behind its message, approach and lessons. (Yes, I did note that I’d like to finish books. Consider this exhibit A.) But I took something away from those pages that has totally changed my approach to the days the calendar reads “1”: I set goals/focus for every month, all year long. Sometimes the focus-flavor-of-the-month is completely different from the 30 days that preceded it, sometimes it’s a continuation. Regardless, the goals are SMART and keeping me in line.


It’s an old-fashioned approach; I write them with pen & paper, tape it on the fridge and check the box when it’s appropriate! Sure, there are apps for that, but don’t mess with what works, right?

January’s goals seemed to be focused on an attitude, but the measurable stuff included things like this: use the EPIC yoga pass (that had been dormant for a month), cook at least 5 new recipes and run at least 20 miles per week. All boxes were checked, and getting back into that exercise routine helped set me up for February.

This month the mind, motivation and I are all business. I’m looking into a blog redesign, creating a media kit, planning my 2013 races (one confirmation is in!), planning spring travel and trying to learn the acronym language of business.

The idea here is to give yourself some things to work on without completely overloading the list and overwhelming your brain but also putting enough on there that you feel challenged and motivated. The next step is to break down that goal into the steps it will take to get to that check-mark.

Example – my baby-steps: contact blog designers & narrow down options (check!), look into other media kids for an idea of what I’m getting into (check!), look into local & national races to start debating what’s worth all of those dollar bills (check….ish) and reach out to RDs in private practice (check-in-progress).

To get your mind in the right place, remember this:

what you do every day20 seconds of courage
challenge and change


What are you up to this month?

What’s on your bucket-list for this year?

Think about it…


Filed under challenges, Goals, motivation