21 Day Challenge: You Are What You Think

“It’s really dangerous to think that what you look like is who you are”. – Portia de Rossi

Portia de Rossi (she played Lindsay Bluth F

Be The Next Stair Search Winner!

2 of my husband's groupies

I am looking for the next “Stair Search” winner. For the next 21 days your challenge is to take only the stairs at work (and if you don’t work then take the stairs whenever you can) and to inspire as many people in your office as possible to follow your lead. This little challenge was inspired by my husband who began taking the 7 flights of stairs up to his office instead of the elevator, because he realized that he’s too tired to work out after a long day at the office, but at least he would get some activity in throughout the day. Sure, it’s not a substitute for working out, but it is a major step in the right direction when it’s a choice between that or nothing. He’s even got groupies now and at least 5 other people are choosing the stairs over the lazy man machine. It’s even become somewhat of a joke and he’s started to challenge even more people to do it.

Did you know that 15 minutes of stair climbing will help you burn at least 133 extra calories a day (based a 130lb. woman)? As long as you’re not replacing those calories with food, that’s one pound lost every 26 days. Depending on what floor you’re on that’s pretty much a done deal by simply walking up and down the stairs about four times. 6 minutes are already taken care of by getting to work, going out to lunch, and then leaving work. Find a reason to leave your office or just take a quick break to go up and down the stairs, instead of checking Facebook for the 4th time that day (Farmville, Mafia Wars, or your IQ test can wait until you get back). 133 calories is equal to 6 Hershey’s Kisses, 5 oz. of a peanut butter flavored Tasti-D-Lite (supposedly…), or a can of regular Coke. Think about it, you know there’s usually some sort of yumminess lying around the office, so by simply by taking the stairs, you can have that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, or 2 Dunkin Donut’s Munchkins, or morning croissant with your coffee guilt free. Not bad!

So, here’s the challenge: For the next 21 days you need to start taking only the stairs at work and inspire as many other groupies as possible at your office to do the same. Submit your name, your company’s name, and the name of all other people following your lead as they join in. The winner will receive a 5 pack of Very Personal Training with me in my Park Slope, Brooklyn studio. Being as how there is no real way to prove that you are the honest to goodness winner of this challenge, I am trusting your honesty, and will only ask that you send along with the above information pictures or video of your “Stair Search” challenge.

Good Luck!

21 Day Challenge – May 25th to June 14th

Congratulations! Yesterday was the end of your first 21 day challenge. How did it go? I give these challenges to a lot of my clients and it really helps them get to their goal in a much more manageable way. It takes away that overwhelming feeling of “where do I begin, what should i do first?” and it can really help make the whole thing way less stressful.

Speaking of goals… Do you know what yours is? For the next 21 days I want you to work on your “Victory Vision”. A Victory Vision is what you see for yourself a year from now. The idea is to make this vision as specific as possible to you. It may go something like this… “One year from now I am putting on a nice form-fitting dress, which is something I thought I would never feel comfortable in. I look in the mirror and can see how far I’ve come. It feels so great knowing that my hard work paid off and it was so worth it, because today I am going out feeling so confident, strong and sexy. I’m not upset in dressing rooms anymore, because I feel good about myself. I work out 4-5 times a week without a second thought.”

Make your Victory Vision as true to you as possible. Speak in the present as if it’s already here and be as descriptive as possible. No one else is looking at it but you, so don’t feel embarrassed about anything you write. Just be honest with yourself about what you want for your life a year from now.

For the next 21 days read this Victory Vision aloud to yourself in the morning when you wake up and at night before you go to bed. As an incentive I’m offering up a little contest giveaway! Post your vision in the “comments” box and I will choose one as the winner for a bottle of Scott Barnes’ Body Bling Shimmering Body Lotion.

It’s what he uses to give celebrities their glow on the red carpet (think J. Lo!). So get cracking!

have a little swagger

You can gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along & You must do the thing you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Anyone who has trained with me knows that I’m all about “conquering yourself”. You are your biggest critic and your worst enemy. You tell yourself, “I might fail, so why should I even start” or “I’m never going to be able to do 10 push-ups” or even “I’ll look stupid in the gym, so I’m not going to go”. You’re so sure that you’re not going to make it, but you haven’t even really tried. There’s no such thing as failure, but there is something called quitting. If you try, but fail, that’s just a hiccup on your way to learning, but if you quit before you fail, then you’ve given up and will never see your true potential.

This Tuesday I’m going to my first Toastmasters meeting. I am PETRIFIED! Seriously, I want to crawl into a little ball and hide under the bed, I’m so scared. I can just see myself getting up and giving a speech with my hands and knees shaking uncontrollably and heat running down my spine, and having that feeling that everyone knows how nervous I am. I’m doing it though, because if I don’t I know I’ll never be the motivational speaker that I want to be. I won’t be able to help millions of people like I know I need to. And I know that if I don’t try then I’ve just given up.

Challenge yourself this weekend to do something that you’ve put off out of fear. If you’ve ever done something that you were afraid of you probably had a huge rush of exhilaration after, because you got over yourself and just did it. And you probably found that it wasn’t actually as scary as you thought it was going to be. Whenever you’re faced with something that scares you, run to do it, because you’re just making yourself more fearful than you need to be and it will only get worse. This is what builds confidence and allows you to be in control of your life. It’s what makes you stronger than you ever thought you could be. So push yourself beyond your comfort zone and have a little swagger.

  • Have a question that needs answering? Send ‘em in! Every Thursday I’ll be answering a new question, and it might just be yours!
  • 21 Day Challenge – May 3rd to May 24th

    Beginning today, I’m starting a new feature of my blog. Every 21 days I will be posting “The 21 Day Challenge”, which will help you create a complete lifestyle change. Rather than just tweaking one thing here or there without any direction, these challenges will make conquering yourself much more manageable and doable. So, get out your calendars, mark today as your start date and then mark 21 days from now. Cross off each day as it passes and don’t be too hard on yourself if you “mess up” (which is likely to happen at some point – it’s normal), just recognize why it happened and come up with a plan to deal with it next time.

    Today is May 3rd, so 21 days from now will be May 24th.

    Yesterday I realized that if I were to think of the one thing that has helped me lose weight over the years and really signifies the fact that I have changed my lifestyle it wouldn’t be the amount of time that I work out during the week. In fact, that’s really a much smaller portion of it than I thought. It’s what I do when I’m not in the gym that gives me the extra edge, like not taking the subway when I can walk, carrying a basket in the supermarket and not using a shopping cart, or simply standing more than sitting.

    So, for the next 21 days your challenge is to make sure that you’re putting in the extra effort, even if that means deliberately standing for 5 minutes every hour that you’re at work (that’s an extra 40 minutes of activity every day!). Just choose one more thing and do it for the next 21 days. Let me know if you need help or suggestions. Good luck!


    False Evidence Appearing Real

    There’s never been a better time to do something about your weight.

    Actually, what you tell yourself most likely is that “I’ll begin eating better on Monday” or “I’ll start working out on the 10th, because blah blah blah blah”. Those are empty promises you’re making to yourself, because really, there’s never a good time. It’s not your love for chocolate and mac and cheese that’s been holding you back, although that’s been your mantra for quite some time. You’ve been avoiding this as if somebody told you that going naked to work is the new dress code. And why? Because of FEAR. Did you know that fear is the strongest motivator? People will do anything to avoid something that frightens them. Even if the thing that they’re doing is destructive.

    Now, I’m not talking about bone chilling fear, the kind that you would get if you heard a serial killer was living next door. I’m talking about another kind of fear that everyone has. For instance, I have a fear of public speaking. I start shaking, my stomach gets butterflies, I feel hot, the whole thing feels surreal, and my voice starts to warble. I definitely would try to avoid this at all costs. Many of you who keep putting off changing your lifestyle to take off the weight that’s been bothering you for years have fear. Even if you’ve tried numerous times to shed the pounds, but can’t seem to do it, something is holding you back. There are many ways that fear manifests itself, let’s look at 4 of them.

    Fear Of Failure:
    It’s a bold move to admit that you’re overweight and need to do something to finally commit to breaking up with Ben & Jerry once and for all. “What if I don’t succeed? What if I fail and give up and never lose the weight? What will people think?”, you say to yourself. These are totally understandable thoughts when facing something that seems bigger than you, but if you never do anything to change it then nothing will ever change.

    Fear of Losing Your Identity:
    Many people who have been “big-boned” their whole lives hold this as their identity and forming a new image could be a very scary thing to face . This is what you’re known for and this is what people notice about you. You’ve gotten used to it and there’s a possibility that people will form new judgments of you and treat you differently.

    Fear of Obligation:
    Deciding to live a healthier and fitter lifestyle is a big undertaking and can seem very daunting. With work, relationships, kids, and finances, we’re faced with so many commitments as it is and adding another can seem too hard. It’s easier to just give up then truly invest the time, money, and mental focus.

    Fear of Facing Reality:
    For so many people emotional eating is a way to cope with hidden insecurities and anxieties. It acts as a protective shield that masks underlying feelings that are easier to literally stuff away with food than deal with. Food is comforting, consistent, and will never judge you. This one takes massive courage and is probably the hardest one of all to conquer, but I promise that it is doable with a little hope and support.

    For this week’s challenge, conquer your fear. As I mentioned above, fear is just False Evidence Appearing Real. Whenever we think about possible outcomes to a situation our mind will always take us to the worse-case scenario, and that worst case is what keeps holding us back. But, what if you challenged your thoughts and feelings and took a chance on seeing for yourself if that worse-case is reality or if you’re just avoiding change? Is it really worth avoiding if you’re unhappy and struggling anyway? Imagine what your life could be like if you just took a chance and uncovered what the future holds. What if the new you is even better? You might finally rid yourself of that ball and chain that’s been holding you prisoner for so long. Unleash the new you and finally discover true happiness and freedom.

    I want you to make a list of the things that are really holding you back from losing weight. It’s not your love for food or your busy schedule. You can love food, but still be a healthy weight. Find out what it is that’s keeping you from fully living life to its fullest and being the happiest that you can be. Once you have your list, find the thing that is the easiest to work on and DO IT! I am always here if you need some support and encouragement, so all you have to do is ask. It might be difficult and it might be scary, but I promise you that you can do this.

    Time and time again I’ve empowered myself by the struggles and fears that I’ve faced and have been able to overcome, and I’ve proven to myself that the things that I’ve been afraid of all along weren’t even worth it. Now I look at fear as a challenge that I know I can conquer and will never hold me back. When I have a list of things to do the first thing I check off is the easiest thing on there, but right after that I do the hardest. Once I put that out of the way I know that everything else is a cinch compared to it. Love yourself and stop letting your weight hold power over you. Don’t you want to just get off this roller coaster once and for all and feel free?

    Crack In A Glass

    I’ve been using something to help power me through days when I feel like I just can’t possibly make it through my workout. It’s called Mochatonix , but I like to call it crack in a glass.

    I swear to you, by the time I’m half way done drinking it I feel perkier and have a pin pointed focus with a sensation that I can do anything. I seriously believe that I can lift cars and possibly even challenge Hulk Hogan to a wrestling match, positive that I’d win. And I can work better, because I have a razor-sharp focus that I don’t usually have without it, which makes me more creative and free-flowing with ideas. I even feel more personable and engaging when speaking to people too.

    It makes working out feel effortless and allows me to push harder, stronger, faster, and longer. I’ve had workouts where I’ve realized a noticeable difference in my energy level and was able to lift heavier than last time without the fatigue I felt with lighter weights. I’ve been able to run longer with much more ease too. Plus, it’s all natural and packed with vitamins, without any harsh additives, preservatives, or dangerous chemicals (like many products sold in drug stores or in the back of magazines) and it won’t give you the crashing feeling that sugar does. I like the Mocha flavor, because it indulges my chocolate craving at only 60 calories per serving! It also comes in vanilla and cappuccino.

    Here are 2 recipes that I like:

    Hot Chocolate:
    Pour 1 scoop of Mochatonix powder into a mug, fill with boiling water, and top with a bit of skim milk, for a hot chocolate that will help you lose weight! Voila!

    Choco/Banana Smoothie:
    In a blender mix 1 scoop of Mochatonix powder, 1 frozen banana, 2-3 ice cubes, and a bit of skim milk. Blend and pour into a glass. Yum!

    My best advice though is to start with only half a scoop and see how you react to it. For me, the full scoop is too much, because I’m not a huge caffeine drinker, but for someone who drinks coffee every day the full scoop might be better. Also, you want to make sure not to take it every day, because you don’t want to become to used to it. I reserve it for the days when I feel I REALLY need the extra boost.

    Try it and let me know what you think!

    No Shortcuts

    To go along with this week’s theme of being positive and doing all that you can do to lose the weight once and for all, check out this quote by Michael Jordan:

    “I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don’t do things halfheartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect halfhearted results. But that’s how a lot of people approach things. And that is why a lot of people fail. They sound like they are committed to being the best they can be. They say all the right things, make all the proper appearances. But when it comes right down to it, they are looking for reasons instead of answers. Part of commitment is taking responsibility. That’s not to say there aren’t obstacles or distractions. If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them, everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

    For this week’s challenge, take inventory of yourself and think about all the excuses you’re making. Look for your weaknesses and see what you need to improve on. Instead of having so many “reasons” for why you can’t lose weight, can’t exercise, can’t eat properly, can’t take care of your body and mind, find all the ways that you can.

    It’s not enough to just show up to the gym or to have a healthy lunch, you have to really internalize your goal, really believe that you want to lose weight once and for all and feel confident, and then don’t let anything stop you. I live in New York and I know how there’s never enough time in a day, but still, even that’s no excuse for not following through. I get it that you might have kids who suck the life out of you sometimes, but still, if you want to win then you have to fight! Stop whining about how you can’t. You can, you’re just looking for reasons to quit.

    We’ve been taught since we were children that you “get an A for effort”, but that’s a bunch of crap. When was the last time you put in just an effort and dropped 20 pounds? The truth is you get an A for effort after effort after effort after effort, and so on. You won’t win this battle otherwise and you certainly won’t see results. There are no shortcuts, so accept it and fight!

    Conquer Yourself

    Your fiercest competitor should be yourself. Never mind the skinny waif in the size 0 Tall jeans, you need to focus on you. Nothing will get your blood flowing more than beating yourself in the battle between you and your weight. 99% of you wants to lose the weight for good, but only 1% of you wants to stay home from the gym with Ben & Jerry. Somehow that 1% always seems so much more powerful though, like a little angel and little devil sitting on your shoulders.

    Don’t let the 1% win, it’s only 1%! Every time you conquer your thoughts and laziness you not only build the strength in your body, but you build the mental and emotional strength to power through next time. And you know what? It gets easier and easier every time. But, beware, if you don’t fight and you don’t push, that little bit of you that’s holding you back will gain more and more power over you.

    The next time you’re faced with a challenge, remember that you’re in a race to win! You held your plank for 45 seconds last time? That’s awesome, now hold it for 50! You want that piece of cake in the fridge? Are you sure, because the last time you checked you were still a size 16 and unhappy. You need to get frustrated with yourself, so that there is no other choice than to fight. Don’t let yourself down! You’re tired and you want to quit? Don’t, because if you do, that 1% just won. You are so much stronger than you know, you just have to see it to believe it.

    If you were drowning in the ocean wouldn’t you do everything you could to stay afloat?