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The scene:
A busy gas station somewhere in Colorado

The cast:
Him: 20 something guy in ripped up jeans and a tank top. He’s driving a pickup covered in NRA bumper stickers and anti-everything-else sentiments.

Her: You don’t need her age, what’s the matter with you? She’s wearing a black vintage style dress with a sassy pair of patent leather shoes. Her makeup is 50s style bright red lipstick, and her eyeliner ever so slightly cats at the edge.

Annnnnnnnnd action!

Our heroine (that’s me, k? Hi!) is minding her own business at the gas pump, when she suddenly realizes that she knows every single muzak song. Isn’t muzak supposed to be old people music? OMG what does this mean? She snaps out of this troubling thought by looking around. This is when she notices that the 20 something kid is flat out staring her down.

Him: STARE

Her: Awkward smile and turn away.

Him: STILL STARING

Her: Awkwardly fidgeting.

Then our heroine gracefully walks into the station (tripped twice) and patiently awaits her turn for the cashier by doing something highly technical and smart on her cell phone (okay fine, it was candy crush).

Him, suddenly right in front of her, standing way too close: “Hey. You’re one of them Amish people aren’t you?”

Her: *long awkward are you serious dude type pause* “Oh my gosh. What gave it away?”

Him:*smug look* “I watch a lot of TV.”

Yep. That happened. Your future leaders, folks. If you need me, I’ll be off in search of a new bonnet and a horse.

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If you have any level of specificity in your professional dealings, you’ve likely found yourself with a phrase or two that you use on an annoyingly regular basis. Or, if you’re like me, you have about eleventy-seven of them.

There’s one that I use so often that even I get annoyed with me.

“Get comfortable being uncomfortable!”

I work in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and Group X instructor. In short, I get to help people have fun while beating themselves up. But the truth is that it leads to short-term pain, which is uncomfortable. Hence the phrase.

ANYWAYS. After annoying even myself with the phrase I had to take a step back and analyze my own activity. And the truth is that I’m perfectly comfortable being in pain. It’s my normal. So it’s not uncomfortable. Which makes me a hypocrite for using the phrase so much. Right? Well shucks.

So I had to think about it. And then I had to stomp around pouting, because it dawned on me what truly makes me uncomfortable. Being still.

Have we met? Me be still?

So I dragged my hypocritical self off to a yoga class. Where I have to be calm. Where I have to be still. Where I have to be centered.

I spent the first 20 minutes fighting with myself. This is the part of the class where we awaken our muscles and get in touch with our breathing. How? BY DOING NOTHING BUT BREATHING.

“Please thank yourself for being here. Invite your mind to relax. Invite your thoughts to do nothing but focus on the inhalation and exhalation of the breath.”

Okay. Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Thank God I brushed my teeth. Power breather to the right of me clearly didn’t. We’re almost out of toothpaste. Good thing it’s a Costco weekend. What else do we need? OMG! Come back brain! Breathe!

“That’s right. Think of the rising and falling of your chest as you breathe. Feel your body react to the gift of oxygenation. Thank yourself for taking in the oxygen.”

I took a second to peek around the room. Everyone looked so Zen with their palms up and chins lifted. I wondered if they were thanking themselves. Shoot. The teacher is looking at me with a frown. Eyes closed! Breathe! Thank yourself! Good job, Wen. Way to breathe. Way to oxygenate. Do we get extra credit for oxygenating at this altitude? Does the lack of oxygen make this, “Extreme Yoga?” I deserve a new title now that I’m a yogi. Bendy Wendy. Yeah that’s good.

And so it went. I continued to invite my thoughts to shut the hell up. They continued to cruise all over the place. In my defense, I didn’t pass out. So obviously I managed to breathe. I thanked myself for this.

Somehow I made it through the class without falling over or talking (although I still got some funny looks from the instructor).

When we finally reached the end of the interminable stillness, the teacher had us all flat on our backs relaxing each muscle one by one. And do you know how this is done? By invitation. We invite our muscles to relax.

Well okay. I’m a friendly kind of gal. I don’t mind inviting my muscles to a big ole relaxation party. But I have limits. I just do. And when the instructor calmly told us to, “invite your eyes to gently drop back into their sockets,” I simply lost it. I whipped my head up so fast that I pulled a muscle in my neck. WHO HAS THEIR EYES OUT OF THEIR SOCKETS? Who is this person?

Having confirmed that everyone had either already invited them back in or else had them trapped behind their lids to begin with I devolved into complete hysterics. I could not stop laughing. I was just done.

So while the instructor may invite us to breathe and oxygenate and socket wrench our eyes, she likely will not invite me back to class.

But hey. I got uncomfortable ;)

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salemAh, Salem. The well seasoned traveler, pictured here on the center console observing the vast stretch of road to wherever-the-heck her people are taking her this time. This was taken in 2011 on our way back to Minnesota from Colorado – where we had just accidentally purchased a home (but that’s a story for a different day).

Salem wasn’t always such a sweet travel companion, and this photo compels me to tell you about her first road trip.

Allow me to set the scene. It was 2010, and Shawn and I were heading to Charleston, SC for a 3-month stay. This was part one of a 5-year plan to determine where we might eventually like to live (my husband has a 5-year plan for everything except for me – I was a 7 year plan, but that’s a story for a different day).

ANYWAYS.

The cars were packed. Shawn’s car had our laptops, printer, various work related needs, and clothing. My car was packed with the more important items – Kali (dog), Remy (cat), and Salem (cat.) The litter box was in the far corner of the hatchback, and every other available bit of space had blankets, cozy beds and toys to keep everyone happy on the 3-day drive.

As I loaded the critters into the car there was a brief bit of concern and bemusement, but all 3 quickly selected a bed and settled in. The vet had told me to let them get used to the car for a good 10 minutes, administer Benadryl and wait another 10 minutes for it to kick in, and then hit the road. Knowing I’d only be 20 minutes behind him, Shawn set off. We’d meet up at lunchtime.

Have you ever attempted to give a cat medicine? This, in and of itself, was a 30-minute process fighting with feline jaws of steel. My at-first-calm cats were now crouched in the corner of the car hissing, the dog was terrified, and I was covered in hair, sweat, various bleeding scratches, and half a bottle of Benadryl.

I waited the requisite 10 minutes and lowered myself into the drivers seat. One glance at the rearview mirror assured me that everyone was settled in, but then I backed out of the driveway and the howling began.

There is a distinct meow that cats emit when traveling. It’s as though they immediately assume they are on their way to the vet-of-doom. The pitch lowers, the cadence slows, and the length of the note is extended so as to instill the greatest level of guilt in their person. The first 5 minutes were funny. The next 30 minutes were less amusing. But then we hit the freeway, and the Benadryl kicked in.

You may be assuming this means that they relaxed and took a siesta. You would be wrong. Suddenly, the low-pitched howling turned into panting and a high-pitched hissy fit. Remy jumped into the front seat and I nearly swerved off the road at the sight of her. She was foaming at the mouth (pink from the Benadryl), her eyes were the size of saucers and she was frantic to get into my lap.

Salem, on the other hand (paw?) was trying a different tactic. Also foaming, she had both paws up on the back window and she was meowing at a manic pace. It had the desired affect. The car next to me honked and I glanced over to see a lady pointing at the back window in horror. I hissed at her and sped up.

20 minutes later we had a blowout. I’m not talking about the tires. Someone had partaken of the facilities in the back of the car, and they were clearly unwell. My eyes began to water, and even the dog started to gag from the horrific stench.

By the time the situation was remedied I was at least an hour and 1/2 behind Shawn, exhausted, and ready to howl myself. As a last ditch effort I decided to pop in a CD. As a joke, my mom and dad had given me a CD at Christmas called, “Relaxing music for cats and kittens.” I figured it couldn’t hurt.

To my absolute amazement, it worked! Everyone descended into a peaceful slumber (I mean except for me, I’m a better driver than that, you know?) Sweet lulling piano notes, soothingly soft violin, the sound of gently rolling brooks. Masterfully compiled, certain instruments would come from different speakers throughout the car. Bliss!

And then it happened.

Song number 3 began to play. DO NOT PLAY SONG NUMBER 3. At first it was a lively little medley, but when the chorus hit a bird began to chirp from the front speaker. From a sound sleep, Salem launched into action. That bird was going to be hers. There was a flying of fur as she landed in my lap, used my chest as a launching pad, and flew to the top of the dashboard looking for the offending prey.

Luckily, this happened near the turnoff where I was to meet Shawn for lunch – only 2 hours late. I opened the door and emerged from the car a defeated woman. I was a vision with straggly hair, various cat scratches, and flecks of litter. And yes, this could explain why he didn’t propose sooner.

I’ll never know what happened in that car during lunch, but some sort of an agreement must have been reached. The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful, and the critters have been just fine in the car ever since.

In less than 48 hours my husband and I will be on our way back to Charleston for a much needed vacation. But this time? No pets.

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In the battle between good and evil, evil often wins. Sadly, today was one of those days. 

Let me preface this story with the fact that I had great intentions of being good but then we received an email confirmation that our kayaks have arrived at the Bass Pro Shop. 

Good me: What a beautiful day! We should go churching.
Evil me: And on the 8th day, God created kayaks.

Good me: Church is only an hour and our pastor guy has good stories. I can wait.
Evil me: You have the perfect shoes for that purple kayak. It’s in. It’s waiting for you. It feels so alone.

Good me: God created those lovely lakes that we get to kayak. It’s right to go churching.
Evil me: You kayak on the reservoir. They’re man made. It’s like a get out jail free to go kayaking card.

Good me: I suppose I could go to church on Tuesday night instead…
Evil me: You are brilliant and you have awesome shoes.

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It’s been pointed out to me that perhaps, since I have a blog, that I should maybe blog? Or even get around to posting the winner of last month’s pet caption photo?

Since the title of this blog has already established the fact that I am responsibly dodging responsibility I’d like to at least point out that this is not my fault. It’s entirely the fault of my friend Sheila. Please feel free to shame her mercilessly in the comment section.

It’s really all very simple if you just follow along…

1. Get tricked by Sheila into signing up for a 200 mile bike ride along the California coast.
2. Decide I should probably see if I can remember how to ride a bike.
3. Develop a fabulous plan to train for the ride.
4. Fail miserably to follow through.
5. Decide that the only possible solution is to begin teaching spinning classes so that I have to show up.
6. Study up and get certified to teach spinning.
7. Come to the realization that I would be so much happier if I simply went back to being a full time Personal Trainer again instead of continuing my career in corporate America.
8. Decide that even though I already hold perfectly adequate group ex and personal training certifications that I would really rather have a much more prestigious one.
9. Spend a gazillion dollars to get all of the materials and books to study for said certification.
10. Receive books and realize that OMG this is a lot of material to cover if I’m to pass the test.
11. Come to the understanding that it might require a bit of time before I can take the test, but then panic because my adorable pink spreadsheet starts having too many zeroes…and I don’t mean at the end of the number.
12. Dedicate time to applying for part-time positions that could tide me over until I get the new certification and can confidently charge more for training than I currently do .
13. Land a fabulous part-time spot at a real estate company as a Marketing Manager.
14. Begin job and work a whole heck of a lot more than expected so that I can learn everything I need to know to be successful.
15. Wake up to today, my first full day off (no classes to teach at the gym, no real estate work, no training clients) that will allow me to truly study.
16. Prepare to study:

a. Set up table with all of my books
b. Realize table is a tad dusty
c. Stomp upstairs for polish and a cloth
d. Rearrange cleaners in alphabetical order
e. Clean the kitchen as long as I’m already in it
f. Carry dirty rags to the laundry pile
g. Sort laundry and straighten up closet
h. Start a load of laundry
i. Clean the laundry room
j. Grab broom from garage, and notice 2 items that belong in storage
k. Carry items to storage room downstairs
l. Clean the entire lower level
m. Recognize that no studying has been accomplished
n. Sit down to study and realize I didn’t actually dust the table
o. Stomp back upstairs for polish, notice broom in the laundry room
p. Clean the main level floors
q. Notice that dryer has stopped when putting away the broom
r. Put away laundry
s. Carry towels upstairs to the linen closet and end up cleaning entire upper level
t. End up in shoe room – try every pair on, rearrange by color, make a mental list of colors you could use more of
u See one adorable pair of shoes that haven’t been worn in ages
v. Carry them downstairs to peruse closet for something to wear them with
w. Try on every outfit you own
x. Stomp downstairs in a flurry of frustration and work out so that the gray skirt that matches the adorable shoes will fit better
y. Shower
z. Carry shoes back upstairs to their room
aa. Try all shoes on again just for fun – I mean you’ve earned it after all this cleaning
bb. Remember need to study…head down from the shoe room and see sad and forlorn puppies who have missed you terribly all week
cc. Commence cuddle session
dd. Take puppies on a walk
ee. Throw away poop bag from walk and remember that you should probably clean up the poop in the dog run too. Do so.
ff. Wash hands thoroughly and notice polish/rag on the counter
gg. Head downstairs, dust the table, commence studying
hh. Within 2 minutes realize you need to look something up on the computer specific to the physiology chapter you’ve begun
ii. Check email
jj. Get reminder from Matteo that you have a blog and should maybe ACTUALLY WRITE A BLOG
kk. Sit down to write a blog and realize that it’s ALL Sheila’s fault.

17. Console self with the fact that at least you were responsible while being irresponsible. Post blog and head off for well deserved nap – I mean just so that I’m well rested for studying and all…

1245

I had a chance to take part in a conversation a few days back where the question came up, “Is it okay as a parent to say you were wrong?”

I believe that the answer to this is absolutely, yes. Being a mom has been one of the most amazingly beautiful, difficult, wonderful, horrendously hard and yet rewarding things I have ever experienced, and boy have I gotten this parenting thing wrong on a number of occasions.

When this topic came up, I immediately thought back to a time that I was so terribly, utterly, selfishly wrong that “I’m sorry!” wouldn’t have been nearly enough. So I turned to what I always turn to when I don’t know what else to do – writing.

With the permission of my daughter, I’d like to share that story with you. I believe that it is in those extremely difficult moments of absolute wrongness that we have the opportunity to learn what humility, grace (and forgiveness) truly are.

Oh baby…

It was a photo album kind of night. One of those nights where you need to reach back through the years to remember how you got to today. To reach out to the girls you were then…and then and then…as you flip through the albums and lose yourself in the memories.

“Don’t you remember? At all? Don’t you remember how you felt? How can you not understand? If anyone at all should understand it should be you!”

So very young. Both of you. Funny how the memory works. Those were the hell years. The years with no money and never enough food. Full time school. Full time job. Full time mom. And never in the order you had wished it could be. And yet…all the photos bring back are smiling faces, obvious laughter and memories…so many memories!

“Do you remember how we made the entire apartment into a giant fort using blankets and towels? And how we kept it that way for a couple weeks? And how we lined up library books and pretended they were roads?”

And then you come upon one of your most favorite photos…and you reach for it and practically beg it to talk to you. And then you close your eyes and you find yourself back in that moment:

KKS067
“Mama! I take these stairs all by my very own self and no not help me no no no no I do it I do it all Mama I do it. I do it. Just meeeeee.”

And then you watch your child navigate the outdoor stairs without holding onto your hand and it strikes you that this is just the beginning. Just the very beginning of all the things she will want to do on her own. But you reassure yourself that you’ll keep her safe somehow. She will be protected and safe. She just will.

“God! How can you be such a hypocrite!? I swear I would never react the way you are.”

And the years march on and the painted pinecone people and their painted neighbors “the rocks” get left in the dust as she pedals away with furious concentration on her big girl bike. You hold on to the back and run til you have a stitch in your side…and when you can no longer hold on another second she pulls away from you. And she doesn’t even know you’re no longer there.

“We didn’t have much but why does that matter? We had fun! It was a good childhood! It was better than some fancy toy. Why does everything have to be about money in this world! I hate that!”

Celebrations meant we’d go to an actual restaurant and have a backwards dinner. We would giggle until our stomachs hurt at the looks from the waitresses when they’d bring the check after our dessert and we’d say, “Oh no! Now that we had dessert we want to order dinner!”

“There may as well be 50 years between us, not just 17! Why do you have to focus on how hard it was? What about all the good times?”

And then there was Ellie. Ellie, the elephant. A silly silver keychain. Ellie, protector of Krista’s everywhere. Created during a panic moment by grabbing her from the bowl on the shelf and spouting some wild story on the spot amidst a flurry of tears and the heartbroken, “No mama! I don’t want to go to kindergarten unless you come too!” But Ellie had magic powers that were the result of having all of mom’s extra love stored in her. Mom just couldn’t hold it all in anymore, but Ellie could. And so began the tradition of Ellie hiding deep in a pocket on the very first day of school every year…all the way through to the first day of college.

“I don’t need to listen to any more of your advice! This is not about how it was for you! You don’t know what it is going to be like for me!”

And then one day…she’s sitting on the wrong side of the car. And you’re stomping your feet into a brake pedal that isn’t there…and she’s rolling her eyes at your over the top look of terror. And the lectures begin. And they are oh so pathetic. “On the road of life blahblahblah and there are turns you do not want to take blahblahblah! Potholes! Tolls! Dead ends! See that road? Do not turn there!”

And then you are no longer in the car but standing on the porch craning your neck to see the headlights headed home. And then…and then…and then you see the blinker. And you run. You run and you scream NO! Oh God NO! Oh baby don’t turn there! Oh don’t do it! You don’t have a map for that road yet!

“You didn’t have a map and you navigated just fine!! And I didn’t mean to take this road but now I’m on it and I need you to let me drive!”

And then she drives off and you don’t hear from her. And you think. And you think some more. And you look through photos. And you realize that “All of your daughter’s comments” are just. Because you did let the worry block the memory of how it felt. And it is what it is. And you are not being fair. And you ARE being a hypocrite.

But then you remember. You do. And while you may worry, and while you may wish she’d chosen a road that was significantly less steep and difficult… it’s going to be ok. It’s going to be better than ok.

And it might mean there will be time rather than toys. And possibly forts rather than fancy swing sets. But there will absolutely be memories that Mom was fun. And Mom loved you. And Mom was always there.

And there will be Grandma. Oh yes. There will be Grandma with her crazy stories and her silly words and her eleventyseven cats and her “No sweetie, you’re ever so right, I DO look much younger than the other Grandma’s.”

So when the headlights turn towards the driveway you fight back tears of relief. And you both laugh at how alike you are and how easy it is to love each other…and how easy it is to fight. And you smile at each other because you can now connect on another level. And you roll your eyes at being informed that at least she is 19 rather than 17. And then…and then…

…and then the whole world changes. And you can’t find the words to describe how much love you really feel. And you place your hand upon the photo that your daughter has set in front of you.

Hi baby…hello….Grandma loves you…

Jadyn Jaden2

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You are SUCH a quiet group of people. It just makes me seem so loud, you know? I won’t have it! You must talk to me! Comments! Interaction! And people? I am not above bribery to get you talking.

And so it is that we come to today – our very first prize patrol where YOU can win something fabulous from the comfort of your own couch. You may already be a winner! Simply caption this photo in the comments below! That’s it! That’s all there is! The winning caption will receive something in the mail within a week of winning*. What will it be? Can you stand the anticipation? CAN YOU?

IMG_0326

*Actual prize to be selected by Salem, seeing as how she is the object of cuteness. The owner of this blog is not responsible for the content of said prize, nor does she want any complaints or litigation if Salem selects something of the mouse or catnip variety. It’s possible the owner will throw something else into the shipping box when Salem isn’t looking.

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Whoa! Look at all these new fans! Thanks for taking us over “100” on FaceBook! – Salem

1812

You may have heard that I managed to shatter my phone on the carpet the other day. I’m quite talented. So anyways, I went through the whole lovely experience of calling the insurance company, handing over a ginormous deductible and was all excited to get my new replacement in the mail yesterday. BECAUSE BEING WITHOUT A PHONE IS TRAGIC!

Unfortunately, my new replacement turned out to be an old replacement with the lovely little refurbished sticker on it. Not surprisingly, my new-old phone has some issues. And as you might suspect, I was not pleased.

So I called the insurance company and they said I would need to call T – Mobile instead. This made no sense to me, but OKAY FINE.

With me so far? Angry Wendy. Ever so scary. Got it?

I jabbed the tech support number into my phone and prepared to be all kinds of badass angry customer at them…

T-Mobile Rep: Hello! Hi! How can I provide you with excellent service today!

Me: Oh. Hello. Well gosh you’re happy. I need you to fix my phone. It broke and then you sent me another broken one. And I’m kinda mad? And also really not happy?

TMR: Ohmigosh, that is SO frustrating. You must be such a patient person to even hello at me! Let’s take care of this for you Miss Wendy.

Me: Are you always like this on the phone? I’m trying to be all kinds of mad at you but you’re making it really hard.

TMR: Oh I know, right?! We have this empathetic customer training thingy but really, I’d be like this anyways. So you live in the mountains! How great is that?

Me: Well it’s great until you need a phone that works and you’re told to drive down the mountain to get it fixed.

TMR: OHMIGOSH that just makes so much sense and I don’t want to make you do that so let me put you back on hold and see what I can do– I know the music is just awful, but you just hang in there, K?

Me: Stop being so nice! I need to be mad!

TMR: You just let it all out while I put you on hold and if I hear anything when I come back I’ll pretend I didn’t, K?

Me: DARNITGOLLYGRRRSHUCKSARGH!!

TMR: I didn’t put you on hold yet. I’m still here.

Me: Oh my goodNESS! Sorry about that!

TMR: That’s you mad? Really? Is that it? I mean I wouldn’t even need training for that.

Me: Damnit?

TMR: There you go. Be right back…

*****really bad music here*****

TMR: Well hello again! I’m going to send you another new used phone! Hopefully this one will work! It’ll get there right after you leave for your vacation on Friday! Nothing I can do about that! And there are more charges! And before you practice bad words again just know that the charges will be reversed because you’ve been such a great customer! And have a great trip! And what else can I do to make this a great experience for you!

Me: Overnight me a brand new phone instead?

TMR: So sorry! You have a GREAT day. Bub bye!

Can you believe it? I mean how DARE they be so nice and understanding! It’s not fair!

 

1146

Situation one…

We’ve all seen the commercials. Scantily clad women working out with smiles on their faces, makeup just so, not a hair out of place and of course, NO trace of sweat. The clip will either have a background babe with bulging biceps or an aerobics class where no one misses a step. The premise is that you, YES YOU on the couch can look this great too if you just sign up now!

How many of us have said forget it right there on the spot? We can’t possibly go to the gym until we are properly adorned, coordinated and in shape. That said, we tell ourselves that we’ll just put it off until such time as we are. We vow to change the channel the second that annoying commercial comes on.

Situation two…

You’ve done it and you’re feeling so proud of yourself! You’ve joined a gym! You are absolutely determined that you will make it 5 days a week. You’ll lift! You’ll sweat out all impurities as you cardio your way to your heart’s (literally) content! You’ve just never felt quite so good about yourself. You slam your locker shut, run your own pep talk through your brain and head for the weights. And then it happens. You find yourself in the midst of a hundred or so machines that look like prehistoric creatures and you don’t have a clue what any of them are for. How can you possibly remain in the room with all these other people that know exactly what they’re doing? As you leave the weight room (making a big show of throwing your hands up in the air as though you’ve forgotten something) you take consolation in the fact that you can tell anyone who asks that you went to the gym today.

Do either of these situations sound familiar to you? If so, then congratulations! You ARE normal! We all have reasons why we can’t workout today. As a personal trainer, I have heard every excuse that there is…work schedule, family commitments, PTA meetings, too tired, lack of motivation, or my personal favorite, “I try to get to the gym, but a cheese pizza and a rerun of Friends always seem to get in my way.”

While a gym or a health club is a convenient way to get in shape (and one I highly recommend), it is NOT the be-all-end-all of fitness. The first step you need to take now that you’ve decided to get into shape is to outsmart your excuses!

Welcome to the first fitness article you’ve ever read that isn’t even asking you to get up and move! I’d love to see you be successful, and I want to ensure that you have some tools to do so. So if you’re still with me (because let’s face it, most of my readers come for the funny, not for some homework), let’s start by setting up a workout plan.

You’ll find that these tips can be effective whether you head to the gym or prefer to workout in the privacy of your own home. Already ready already? Let’s start.

  1. Buy yourself a notebook and commit to NOT shoving it in a drawer.
  2. Page 1: “Why I want to get in shape.” Write down all of your reasons for starting a program.  This will be a great page to refer to on those days where your heart is just not in it.
  3. Page 2: Goals. Just about everyone who comes to me for a fitness consultation answers this question by saying they want to lose weight and tone up. I want more! Be specific. Look at yourself in the mirror and decide exactly what you’d like to change. But please – do not allow yourself to determine a goal weight. The scale cannot tell you how much of you is fat and how much of you is muscle. In fact, most people starting a workout program will notice a slight increase in their weight at first because muscle weighs more than fat, and you’re finally building some! Stay off the scale and use the mirror and the fit of your clothes as a guide.
  4. Page 3: Cardiovascular: How will you do it? People love to ask me what the best form of cardiovascular exercise is. My answer? The one that you’ll actually do! Each of us is different. Maybe running is your thing. Maybe you have more fun in Zumba. Maybe it’s biking or rowing or Insanity or whatever. It doesn’t matter! Find out which type of cardio you ENJOY. There is no need to make yourself miserable. And how are you going to be accountable? Are you going to cardio by yourself and keep track? Attend a class? Sweat it out with a friend?
  5. Page 4: Strength training: Yes, strength training. Ladies in the audience: if you’ve told yourself you’re avoiding this because you don’t want to bulk up just throw that myth out the window right now. It’s not going to happen. Seriously.  So now that you’ve agreed to add page 4: Will you use equipment at a gym? Hand held weights at home? Attend a sculpting class? Perform toning exercises using your own body weight? All of these options are good, but first you need to learn how to do them so that you do them safely. There is a variety of help out there for this ranging from workout DVDS to classes at the gym/community center to personal trainers (and also, hi! Hello! If a trainer is your choice, hire me!). Determine which method is most comfortable, convenient and affordable for you and either order, enroll or set up a session NOW!
  6. Page 5: Excuses. Now that you’ve set up a basic guide to follow you need to determine your plan of attack for sticking to it. Make a list of every single excuse that has ever gotten in your way. Even the silly ones that you’re too embarrassed to tell anyone else about. Then below each excuse write a solution that invalidates it. If you can beat your excuses, you WILL be successful. If you need help with this part just let me know. I love to slaughter excuses.

Look, I get it. Getting into a routine can be really hard. I have been in your shoes (see how I worked shoes in?). There is never an easy answer or a fast solution. But if you follow through on the 6 items above you will have formulated a plan that you can start now and stick with later. This is a plan for life, not a 5 minute per day miracle. This is a plan that can help you no matter where you are in your fitness journey and no matter what age or weight you might be. You are far from alone in your fitness frustrations. I have yet to meet a person who hasn’t had them. Stop looking for the quick fix and congratulate yourself on committing to a lasting solution.

And there you have it. You’ve started your new fitness plan and you haven’t even broken a sweat! Maybe you aren’t so unlike those people in the commercials after all…

**Wendy is certified in personal training, spinning, core stability/functional fitness and group exercise. She thinks it’s only right to confess that she began her fitness career at a club with perfect commercials. She works out to maintain her sanity and to attempt to look like she isn’t the grandma that she is. And yes, she sweats.**