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What's On Your Playlist?

Listen. Do you hear it? There's a soundtrack in your life. It follows you wherever you go streaming just below the surface. Can you name that tune?

Maybe you’ve become so accustomed to it, or so busy, you don’t notice it. It's elevator music. Or maybe it’s a deafening rock band screaming its angst at full tilt.

Whatever the volume, you recognize the lyrics the minute you catch a glimpse of our reflection in the mirror. And you start to hum along. 

Let's see if I can name that tune.

“I’m fat.”

“I need to lose weight.”

"I hate my ______."

“If only I could change _____, then _____.”

"What happened to my _____?" 

"No wonder I'm alone."

Sound familiar?

If this is your soundtrack, you're not alone. It's a familiar tune. Though the exact phrasing and notes may be uniquely yours, the chords are the same.   

It's spinning a sad, sad song.

But we're hooked. It's on...

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The Real Reason Getting Healthy Is So Hard (And How To Overcome It)

Have you ever blamed yourself for not eating well, exercising consistently, or having a body you just can’t seem to love? Me too. And, there’s a reason we share this struggle.

Getting healthy is hard. 

But it’s not because we lack willpower or haven’t found the right diet plan. It’s not because we haven’t mastered good habits or broken bad ones. The truth is, we were born into this fight. Our struggle began long before we were born...  

Our story started with Earth’s first inhabitants, Adam & Eve, a beautiful garden, a serpent, and a piece of fruit. One small not-so-great decision has impacted everything since. Everything.

Including our health.

Even if you’ve never been a regular church-goer, you’re probably familiar with the story that unfolded in the Garden of Eden. Whether or not you believe the Genesis account to be an accurate reflection of history, I...

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The Power of Community (or Why It Takes a Village)

Community. This singular thing for which we were created evokes a strange mixture of complicated joy, fear, and pain. But, when you harness it’s power, you can do the unimaginable. 

Most of you probably know by now that I recently released my first book

But what you may not know is I didn’t do it alone. 

Even the first draft wasn’t really a solo act. I relied on the teaching and wisdom of trusted pastors, leaders, and friends. Notes I’d collected over a series of months and learnings of a lifetime.

I wrote the words, but I was fed by others. Many collaborators who were unaware of their critical contribution to a God-driven project. 

I sat alone in front of the screen. But we “wrote” together. 

The power of community.

With a deep breath, I shared the first draft with a few trusted friends. People I knew would tell me the truth and, hopefully, make my words better.

They did.

Not only did I strengthen the message...

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The Secret to Losing Weight Isn’t What You Think

Weight loss is a simple math game. Eat less, exercise more. If you just take in fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Right? Then why doesn’t it work?

Because it’s not about math. At least not completely.

In the past 5 months, I estimate I’ve had nearly 300 coaching conversations with people regarding their nutrition. Almost all of them have had a primary goal of weight loss, ranging from 5 pounds to over 100 pounds. Motivations have varied from performance enhancement (i.e. Boston Marathon training) to disease prevention and/or reversal (i.e. diabetes or heart disease).

During all of these sessions, I discovered one, surprising, similarity.

Most people are not eating enough.

That’s worth repeating. Most people are not eating enough.

We associate effective weight loss with eating as little as possible while killing ourselves in the gym. Let me tell you assuredly after all of those conversations…

It doesn’t work.

Yes, overindulgence...

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My Picks For The Best At-Home Workout Programs

By my count, I've attempted 25 different at-home workout programs, not including the entire Tae Bo series that started the trend 18 years ago. So I have some experience in the home workout field.

I've been a member of several gyms over the years and even worked at one as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. But I've continued to return to home workouts as my personal preference for workout space. 

Why?

Well, for me, I continue to return to three things:

  1. Time:  Home workouts save it. A lot of it. They're there when you want them, on your time and your schedule. You aren't reliant on your favorite class or instructor or trainer being available when you are. There's no lost time driving to or getting to the gym early to claim your spot in class or favorite cardio machine. 
  2. Efficiency:  At the gym, most group fitness classes are an hour. Most personal training sessions are an hour. And if you attempt your do your own program, it's...
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Do You Use The “F” Word?

When you think of the “F” word, what comes to mind? I have a pretty good guess. It's a word that's banned in my house, and maybe yours too. But it may not be the same one you're thinking about. 

In my home the “F” word is... fat. It's off limits.

Why?

Because words have power. They have the power to heal and the power to harm. And this one carries more weight than some. 

If you've struggled with your physical weight, you know the power this word has in your life. Maybe it was used to hurt you. Or shame you. It may have been inflicted by someone else, maybe even someone you love. More likely it was used by you... toward you.

As a mom of 3 boys, it took almost 16 years of parenting to realize that boys interact differently than girls. (yeah, I was a bit slow...). But having grown up with only one sister this boy thing was new territory for me, even with my own tomboy roots.

The constant barrage of put-downs, one-upmanship, and...

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What To Do When You’re Ridiculously Stuck

Have you ever been stuck? I mean really, truly stuck? Getting stuck is a certainty, but staying stuck is not. 

I had my most embarrasingly stuck moment on a cold, dark, January-in-Minnesota night. For almost 5 years, I traveled all over the Twin Cities doing in-home kitchen demonstrations in the days before GPS and iPhones. I printed directions to my host’s home and relied on reading them, in the dark, while driving.

Taking a wrong turn was common.

On a very snowy night, one such unintended turn led me down an unlit, scarcely inhabited, poorly plowed road. I slid into a ditch. With disgust, I tried maneuvering my van out of the snow. When that failed, I got out and tried to physically shovel, with my hands, the snow around the tires wearing only light gloves, dress boots, and dress pants in knee-deep snow.

It was clear I was going nowhere.

As panic was setting in, salvation came when a large pick-up...

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How To Survive Your Next Encounter With Zucchini

I confess. I don't love veggies. I'm a boring, plain-jane vegetable eater whose experimental palate is pretty limited. But I recently learned it's not my fault and it's probably not yours either. 

Interestingly, both nature and nurture are in full play when it comes to your enjoyment of vegetables. Your palate began its development in utero (really!), continued in childhood, and landed you right where you are today... wondering how to survive your next encounter with zucchini (or is that just me?). 

Your love of veggies (or hatred of them) have been influenced by your environment. 

But, you may have been born a supertaster. Yes, some of you have taste buds that can lift tall buildings in a single bound, fly through the air, run at lightening speed... oh, wait. Wrong superpowers. 

You didn't get to choose this ability. Nature did. 

Last week, my husband Kevin and I were out to dinner. He chose a radicchio salad as his main course. I cringed just looking...

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An [Honest] Inside Look At My New Book Struggle

What's on your bucket list? Climbing a mountain? Skydiving? Running a marathon? One of my own ambitions was much tamer. And I'm getting ready to cross it off my list. But it didn't come easy.

I'm prepping my sharpie for some scribbling! In just a few short weeks, my first full-length book will be available in print. Hooray! 

This "adventure" may not be a remarkable physical feat, though my neck, back, and butt may say otherwise after hours of sitting, sitting, and more sitting. But it has unquestionably has been a mental feat. 

Can I be honest?

If you ever want to test your ego, write a book. 

The hours spent sifting through your story and reading words you've poured out can be challenging for even the most self-confident, seasoned writer. But, add just a little bit of self-doubt to the equation and the title of "newbie" and be ready for a trip down a long spiraling staircase of fear and ego-depletion.

Writing is a deeply personal experience. Even if you're not...

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Why Self-Love Matters

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you love the reflection? Or does the negativity loop take another spin around your mind and heart? What if you could learn to love yourself healthy instead?

If you're anything like me, you've had a love/hate relationship with your body for a very long time, especially if you're a woman. Or maybe it's just hate. Starting somewhere in middle school (or earlier), we became acutely aware and self-conscious of our ever-changing body. And our thighs (or is that just me?)...

The loop began.

Maybe it started with a glance in the mirror. Or a "joke" from a friend. Or a critical word from a parent. 

Or abuse.

No matter how it started, you stopped loving yourself. Now, it's a lifelong battle to get the negative recording to stop. We fixate on our imperfections and all that is "wrong" with us. 

 

The truth is, no one has ever hated themselves skinny. 

The greater your body dissatisfaction the more you'll hinder your...

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