Maximize Your Life: Jillian Michaels

photo 2(Note: pardon the stream of consciousness tonight .. mind is reeling!)

Tonight I had the opportunity to see the firecracker that is Jillian Michaels LIVE here in good old Kalamazoo, one stop on her Maximize Your Life tour.

To be honest I had no clue what to expect. Most people know Jillian as the motivating trainer that barks at her team members on The Biggest Loser, or warns us not to “phone it in” during her fitness DVDs.

But behind the drill sergeant facade is an absolutely adorable, lovable, funny as hell — and, yes, fit and beautiful — woman.

Someone I’d totally want to be friends with … provided she wouldn’t kick my ass to Texas! Continue reading “Maximize Your Life: Jillian Michaels”

This Infuriates Me…

I think I might be banning SELF magazine … not because they photochopped Kelly Clarkson and admitted it, but for the reasoning/thoughts behind it. Click here to read editor Lucy Danziger’s post about why she chose to so drastically retouch it.

Sure, we all have good and bad pics … I only show the best of the best, myself — I think most people do. We aren’t going to make an album with the ones with our eyes closed, where our hair’s a mess, where we look terrible from that angle … that’s human nature, to want to put our best foot forward.

But listen to what she says:

“This is art, creativity and collaboration. It’s not, as in a news photograph, journalism. It is, however, meant to inspire women to want to be their best. That is the point.”

Continue reading “This Infuriates Me…”

Obsessing About Health

orthoexia_topSpecialK shared a post she wrote with me this weekend that I just had to share here because it hit home so well.

Her post, Health Obsession, offered great insight into the world of food blogging/healthy living blogging.

Having been borderline orthorexic (a form of disordered eating characterized by going to extremes in pursuit of a so-called healthy diet) for a while not too long ago, I see many of those tendencies on other blogs I read.

And it’s scary just how widespread it is … and how influential these blogs can be. Continue reading “Obsessing About Health”

Rant: Content, Schmontent

stack-of-magazinesI love to read fitness magazines. I subscribe to SELF, Shape, Women’s Health, and Fitness. I used to also get Health, and sometimes I read Oxygen if someone left a copy at the gym.

But as a consumer, I have to say, I’m really getting annoyed with the predictable, formulaic content in each and every issue, regardless of the publication.

There’s seriously nothing new out there, and they’re all the same!

True, sometimes we hear about new health/fitness studies. But they’re usually bullets or side-bars, not full-on analyses. Nothing in-depth.

Each of these magazines dish the same topics about beauty, fashion, fitness, food, sex … just rehashed in different ways. Continue reading “Rant: Content, Schmontent”


After a few months of blogging, I had a frank phone chat with Steph at Back in Skinny Jeans (one of the first blogs I’d ever read religiously) about paid advertising and blogging.

She’s fantastic and I might be speaking with her on a panel at the BlogHer 2009 Conference … still waiting to hear!

Anyway, we talked about being true and authentic to yourself, and how blogging gives you the opportunity to make 100 percent of your own decisions. You’re your own boss, your own editor … the content is yours to decide upon, the images, the timing … it’s all up to you.

This means you can choose to accept advertising … or not. You can choose to accept guest posts … or not. Continue reading “On-Message/Off-Message”


I’m always been an avid SELF reader and today at the gym I read an article, “Getting a Grip” in the new April issue that seemed to be written for me at this exact moment. Funny how that works, right?!

I can’t find the article online — grrrr. But I hope you can get a copy yourself, or maybe Monday I’ll try to scan it and post it — it’s a worthy read.

I’m not going to analyze it here — I welcome you to read it on your own and process it. It’s tennis star Monica Seles’ journey to realize that the ball is, indeed, in our own court. It’s well-written and really hammers home the message that we ARE in control of our own destinies.

I’ve had four days now of just feeling good. Empowered. And I hope the streak continues, because I believe it can.

To Thine Own Self Be True

happy-weight-hear2962This month’s SELF magazine, which focuses on the notion of finding your “happy weight,” has a great quote about body acceptance that I shared a couple weeks ago.

“Life is far too rich, interesting and short to waste on hating your body.”

I re-read the magazine in its entirety last night at the gym … and seeing that quote again just reinforced the message of really loving yourself as you are … hard as it may be for me (and so many of us) some days.

As I read, I found myself drawn in particular to two articles.

The first one (which I can’t find online) features six nude (but modestly/strategically covered up — it’s not pornographic or sexual at all) women of all different shapes, races and body types.

As I looked at each woman’s shape, I was able to see a bit of myself in each of them … in spite of their own variance. Continue reading “To Thine Own Self Be True”

Soar With Your Strengths

Soar with your strengths in 2009
When my husband began working at his current employer (a large global company), he was given this book for required “newbie” reading called Soar With Your Strengths.

… Which I’ll be honest, I thought sounded totally cheesy and ridiculous at first glance.

But after a brief perusal of the little pocket-sized book, I realized just how on to something the author was.

The book spoke reality: all too often in school or at work, we’re encouraged to fix the things that are “wrong” with us. To get better at this or improve that. Well, this book’s premise is the exact opposite.

If a student isn’t good at math, the book argues, don’t try to make her love it. Rather, let her flourish in her passion for British lit or pyschology.

If an employee is really good at Excel and administrative tasks, don’t put him on the phone making cold calls to new business prospects.

Sure, every corporate executive can benefit from media training. But that doesn’t mean that shy executive X should necessarily be the face of your company in a live interview on CNN to the world … especially not if he’s better at the written word or telephone interrogations.

If we strengthen the things we’re good at, the book proposes, instead of spending energy and money trying to fix what’s “wrong” with us, won’t we be better students and more productive employees? Better friends, better lovers, better partners? YES! Continue reading “Soar With Your Strengths”

“Happy” Weight Vs. “Fighting Weight”

Call it the weight loss/maintenance limbo: “How low are you willing to go?”

A couple months ago, SELF magazine had an article/quiz about finding your “happy” weight.

I had to laugh when it said my “happy weight” was 135, which ironically, had been my original WW goal.


Their idea of a “happy weight” is my idea of a “fighting weight,” a weight that I might not reach without serious deprivation or over-exercising … and even if I got there, it wouldn’t necessarily be maintainable in the long-term.

How do I know this? Well, the truth is (shhhh!!!), the lowest I ever got on Weight Watchers (on my old scale) was 138.4 (Note: on my new scale I never saw below 144).

I saw that “beautiful 138.4” twice, and nearly cried for joy seeing a “3” in my stats (though in reality it was probably not accurate).

And you know what? Both times I shot up to 142 the following week. At the time, I didn’t understand it. Until then, I’d been losing steadily, so why did I hit that wall? Continue reading ““Happy” Weight Vs. “Fighting Weight””