Health + Fitness

Cancel the Scale!

I want to lose weight!  I need to lose 50 LBS!

So, I start – on a Monday obviously!!!  Why would I start on any other day?!?!?  I weigh myself Monday morning!!!  I don’t really mind so much today- except that I’m a little shocked!!!  The scale told me that I weigh 190.  Really?!!?!?  I’m surprised, I didn’t think that I had gained that much.  I know that I’m “out of shape”.  I feel it when I bend over to put on my shoes or climb a flight of stairs. I’m completely out of breath.  But 190!??!?!  Ok- well today is day 1….

I’m eating a banana for breakfast, a salad for lunch and Salmon and broccoli for dinner. I’m not drinking anything other than black coffee and water!  There- that should do it for Day 1!!! I’m so hungry- I have a headache but I’m sure I’m just “detoxing”.

Sound familiar?  Read on…

Monday evening rolls around and I’m hopefully dreading (can you even feel that way?  I do!) that weigh-in tomorrow morning.  I skip dinner tonight and don’t drink any water.  I’ll just go to sleep so that I don’t feel the hunger pains anymore. 

Tuesday 6am the alarm goes off- I roll out of bed and make the trip to the bathroom hoping that I can drop a few LBS off in the porcelain throne. (C’mon Mel- really?? Some details don’t need to be shared) Then I step on the scale… Up 1 Pound!!  What the….?!?!?!? How???  I darn near starved myself and I’m up a pound…. You are grounded-I cannot believe you let me down, you tell yourself.  I will punish you extra by going to the gym for an hour tomorrow. 

Still sounding familiar?  Keep going.

Wednesday 6am, the alarm is ringing again- I roll out of bed feeling defeated but I got goals so you just gotta do what you gotta do, right?  Bathroom then scale.  WAHOOOO!  Down a pound!!!  I’m amazing!!! I’ve got this – I can do this.  I’m going to swing through Star-B’s and reward myself with a treat!  YAS!!

Thursday 6am alarm- so tired, eye still half closed.  Drag myself out of bed, step on the scale… Eyes wide open now!  I’ve gained back the pound I lost!!!  UGH- It must have been that Star-B’s!!! That’s it, I’m grounded again! No treats, 60 mins at the gym and no carbs!!!


So many people live their lives on the crazy cycle of restrict, results, reward, reprimand. By living this way, you are choosing to give the scale too much power in your life. 

When you weigh daily or even weekly, you are giving permission for the scale to tell you these things…

  1. The effectiveness of your workout
  2. Which foods your body needs
  3. What kind of a day you will have
  4. Your value

I pose to you these questions…

  • What does the scale know about your workout effectiveness?
  • How does the scale know what nutrition you need for the day?
  • Why should the scale tell you if you should have a bad day?
  • How does the scale know who you are as a person, at your core? 

I’m not saying that having a goal number is a bad thing, but I am saying that focusing on ONLY one measurement is.  Us, our lives, our days are made for so much more than our body’s relative mass.

Take your power back!! You choose to focus on the foods that best fuel your body.  You choose to crush your day with more energy than before. You choose tying your shoelaces without being breathless or lifting your child without groaning!!

You choose the measure of your life9

4 Steps to creating a fitness program you can stick with

Building anything that lasts is difficult.  We thrive on the quick and easy but that shouldn’t be the case for your fitness program. When constructing a fitness program, we can learn a lot from the Romans. Below are 4 easy and useful tips to ensure that your program will stand the test of time, just like Rome. 

  1. Rome wasn’t built in a day!!  Start small. If you are currently not exercising, start with 5 minutes of activity each day. Then build to 10, 15, 20. If you are exercising then add an extra 5 minutes or an extra day. Habits are built by making the same choice over and over until it becomes automatic.    
  2. Rome was not built by one man. It took teamwork.  If you have tried to exercise before and your motivation took a nosedive, find a partner that can help you through the tough days. Exercising with a friend can make time seem to fly by, seem like less work and keeps you accountable.  If you cannot meet in person exercise, then send a sweaty selfie or report of what you did to keep each other accountable. 
  3. Make it fun!!! Without a doubt, the Romans had their days of hard, grueling work but I’m sure there were also pranks, jokes and laughs to help them make it through day-after-day. If you despise running but add running to your fitness regime, it will discourage you. However, if you choose an activity or location you enjoy, it will motivate you to get started.  For example, if you are social then try a fitness class. If you enjoy being in nature, find a trail or path to walk. If you don’t know what to do, hire a trainer- I know a good one 😉.
  4. Celebrate the Milestones along the way! You don’t think that the Romans had happy hour apps and drinks to celebrate a long week of building? While I’m not suggesting that you reward yourself with happy hour half price apps, I am encouraging you to reward yourself frequently.   Don’t wait until you have achieved your end goal because you will likely lose motivation long before then.  Celebrate in the daily, weekly and monthly victories that lead to the Grand Finale.  You can create your own list and timeline of rewards, but some good motivators are a weekly coffee on Friday, a hot new pair of shoes, a massage, those cute scrunch but workout pants etc.  Having a tangible reward to work towards and remind you, can keep you going strong when the “don’t want to” vibes are strong.  Just be sure that your reward does not hinder the progress that you made. 

Now get to planning, taking action and hitting those milestones!

You can do it!

Hip Strength and Stability

If you’ve ever had an ache or an injury in your hips, you understand how important the health of your hips are. Many people underestimate the importance of strength and stability in your hips.

Your bones consist of your pelvis, femur, sacrum and coccyx. Which is fairly simple but the musculature of the hips is extremely complex. Three gluteal muscles and hip flexors generally get the notoriety but if you peel back the layers you will find so much more. There is your piriformis, deep external rotators, not to mention all of the adductors, and abductors. When one of these is not functioning properly, your body compensates and activates a different muscle to do the job. This leads to aches, pains and injuries.

There are a few areas that may highlight the cause of the pain.

  1. Posture and alignment: Take a look at your posture standing from head to toe with no shoes. Are you even on each side? Do you tend to hand on one side, and pop your hip out when you stand? Is your weight dispersed evenly on both sides? Are your heels, hips, ribs and shoulders all stacked on top of each other? Is your pelvis tilted forward or tucked under?
  2. Form during movement: As you exercise, pay careful attention to your form during movement. Be sure to carry good form throughout your movement and set. If your forms suffers, then back off and work through only good form repetitions. Your body needs to be able to perform not only multiple good repetitions but also perform it without thinking about it.
  3. Training Program: Many athletes, weekend warriors and postpartum women fail to train in many different plane of motion. For example, if you are a runner and your training plan consists of running, squats, lunges and sit-up, you are working only in one plane of motion. By adding lateral and diagonal movements will not only strengthen and stabilize your hips but it will make you a more well-rounded athlete. Also, please bear in mind that you should be cross-training outside of your typical plane. If you are a runner, cycling may not be the best choice for you. Choose a Barre class, kickboxing, tennis or soccer. Lastly you can also add in hip strength and stability exercises before you start your workout to really activate your hips with the correct function. (Click the link below for your FREE Hip Strength and Stability Exercise Guide

Keeping your hips strong and stable will not only prevent injuries but it will also provide your body with a solid foundation to build on. A few extra minutes spent on your hips is prudent. If your foundation is strong, your performance will be strong.

Optimize your Prenatal and Postpartum Exercise

Melanie sits down with Amanda Tress, Creator and Founder of FASTer Way to Fat Loss to talk about Prenatal and Postpartum Exercise and Nutrition.

I hope that you have been able to take a few nuggets away to help you in your fitness journey. If you feel that you need more specific guidance or already have pelvic floor disfunction or Diastasis Recti, please contact me directly.

Drop a comment below and let me know what you think.

Keep What Sparks Joy?

During this season where people are spending more time at home there are many things that they are finding that have been on their “to do” list for a while but they never got around to it.  Things like spring cleaning, painting, home improvements and decluttering.  If you have watched Netflix, you have likely seen Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” or have read one of her books. She is known for suggesting that you ask yourself if an item ‘sparks joy’ while holding it.  If it does not, get rid of it and if it does then you keep it. 

The purpose of this is to get out of the habit of holding onto too many things or things that we don’t use.  Asking does this spark joy will help rid you of clothes, books, household items that don’t fit, don’t serve their purpose or that you don’t really use or like.  At the end, you will feel better about your space because it will be less cluttered and you will only have the items that you really like or mean something surrounding you.    

Imagine with me, you open your closet and every item of clothing fits you perfectly, flatters your shape, and is the right color for your skin tone. Every day when you pick your outfit you would feel amazing and your decisions would be much easier in the morning, right?  And it got me to thinking about expanding the ‘spark joy’ practice to other areas of our lives, specifically those that pertain to our health. 

For example, take inventory of your habits. Let’s walk through your routine together…

Does having the first cup of coffee spark joy- YES- of course it does (lol)! So, it stays. 

How about your workout?  Does that spark joy?  If not, then look at what do you find fun that’s active.  Maybe you have been dragging yourself to the treadmill every morning at 6am for years but don’t find joy in it.  Perhaps you need to take a spin or strength training class to break up the monotony. 

How about the negative self-talk?  Does that spark joy?  Most likely it sparks the opposite. Think through what you are negative about- can you fix that? If yes, implement a plan.  If no, then acknowledge that “it just is” and move along.    

I would also argue that there are some things that are mandatory that don’t necessarily spark joy.  For example, you have a fire extinguisher or smoke alarm in your house, but they don’t really spark joy (I hope they don’t spark at all) but they are beneficial and perhaps mandatory.  Getting dressed may not spark joy but it’s mandatory. You get the picture. 

What I’m saying is if it’s important to declutter your closet or home and keep only those things that have meaning, wouldn’t it be even more important to declutter your daily habits and thoughts?  You know, keep only those that provide a benefit, fulfill a purpose or spark joy. You might be surprised how good you feel!

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