A PR Wasn’t Good Enough

AKA Why are we so hard on ourselves? + Lessons on Failure

On Sunday, I ran the Broad Street run, which is the country’s biggest 10 mile race and kind of a big deal in the City of Brotherly love.

broad st 2
broad st 2

It’s a wonderful race – 10 downwardly sloped miles through the heart of Philly and some diverse neighborhoods.  It was my first long distance race ever back in 2011, so it holds an extra special place in my heart.

This year was my second time running and I had big dreams of cutting close to a minute off of my per mile pace… I know that seems absurd, but my running and recovery has vastly improved since adding Crossfit, T25, and most recently P90X3 into my training routine over the past 18 months. 

My training runs were on target to meet my goal, but about 2 weeks from race day, my training fell apart.  I got distracted, I had competing priorities, it rained a lot, and running just really wasn’t that attractive to me.

Fast forward to race day.

There are about 40,000 runners who run Broad St. (not counting any rogue runners) so it’s PACKED to say the least.  I crossed the starting line probably 25 minutes after the first heat, but I was distracted and I didn’t catch the clock time.  Instead of focusing on my time, I put my phone on airplane mode and decided to focus on the race, my feet on the pavement, the cheers, the change in neighborhoods, and the excitement of the day.

When I finished, I had NO CLUE what my finish time was like.

Of course, I obsessively checked the results page every 5 minutes for it to be posted.

When it finally was, my heart sank.

I had PR’d (set a personal record for the non-runners out there), but only by 32 seconds a mile.  Even though I’d run one of my best races ever, I was disappointed to still be so far from my goal.

Writing that now, I want to smack myself. ONLY by 32 seconds a mile.  It’s absurd. 

Cutting 32 seconds off your pace is INCREDIBLE.  I should have been jumping off the rooftops, but instead I was down in the dumps.

Here’s the thing: I expect a lot from myself, not just with my running, but in every aspect of my life.  So, when I didn’t reach my goal, it was a huge blow to my ego.

I set the bar as high as freaking possible, but sometimes I don’t give myself true freedom to fail.

It really got me thinking… it’s something I see a lot with my clients (and with myself) – not just a fear, but an apprehension, about failing.  It manifests itself in all kinds of different ways – from working around the clock to meet unrealistic deadlines to never actually starting and pretty much everywhere in between.

But, the thing is, failure is a remarkable teacher.  We learn more about ourselves through failure than through any of our successes.

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” –Morihei Ueshiba

This week I learned that I need to consciously practice kindness towards myself, that sometimes the experience is more valuable than hitting a goal, and that all wins (even if they aren’t the wins I want) are worthy of celebration.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from failure?

I Lied To You

A few months, I told you that I didn’t have a weight loss story. THAT was a lie. (said in my best Maury voice)

I’m sorry!

If it’s any consolation, I was lying to myself.   The truth didn’t hit me until a stumbled on a 13 year old picture of me.  This picture:

transform your health
transform your health

That’s me my sophomore year of college.  I don’t even know how much I weighed in that picture, but I was easily 10-15 lbs more than when I first arrived on campus freshman year. 

It’s not hard to see what put me there: I lived off of hot pockets, late night pizza slices, and Natty Ice.  Exercise?  You’re kidding, right?  I’d always played sports growing up, but going to the gym was a whole new ball game – one I had no interest in playing.

I ignored the fact that I was overweight.  I STILL ignore it.

I’m not that person anymore, but it hurts me to look at that picture and to think about the person that I was then.  I like to think of myself as someone who has it all together, who has ALWAYS had it all together, but in that moment, in that time in my life, and in that picture, it’s so clear to me that I was out of control.

That picture is the culmination of many years of letting drugs and alcohol “solve” my problems, hiding who I really was, and holding closely to hurt and negativity.

It had nothing to do with college (or the Freshman 15); it had everything to do with me.

I’m so happy, thankful, and grateful that less than 1 year later I decided to take matters into my own hands and take my health back. 

I did a 7-day detox and lost almost all the weight that I put on.  But a detox wouldn’t keep the weight off. 

I’ve spent the last 10 years going deeper into this journey with my body, my mind, and my health.   All the tiny little steps – from running my first 5k, to cutting out sugar, to green smoothies, to reading dozens of “self help” books, to investing in my first coach – have led me to where I am now: the fittest, healthiest, and happiest I have ever been. 


It has been incredibly hard for me to share this, to be vulnerable and for you to know that there was a time when I didn’t have it together.  But if sharing my story helps just one person, it was worth it.  Please know that I’ve been there and I’m here to help you in any way I can.  

From near or far, I want to support you in your journey.  xo

What I Learned On My Whole Foods Detox (Plus Before & Afters!)

I finished up my 21 day whole foods detox almost 2 weeks ago and just last week I took my after pictures. 

It’s true – a picture is worth a thousand words.  Honestly, I felt different – lighter, clearer – and a little slimmer (and my husband kept telling me how skinny I looked), but my body itself felt largely the same.  That’s why comparing my before and after shots was really eye opening.

Over the 21 days, I lost a total of 12 pounds (a lot of which I think was muscle mass) and 8.5” inches – mostly from my waist and hips.  (you’ll note the difference in my love handles and abs – winning!)

weightloss detox
weightloss detox

But more than losing weight and inches, I learned a heck of a lot about myself and my body on this 21 day whole foods detox; THAT was my goal – to refine what I know about what my body needs.  Here are some of my main takeaways (remember: this is for ME and my body; your body might work completely differently).

  • Abs ARE made in the kitchen
    • I have heard (and personally say this) pretty often... this week just affirmed it’s true.  I didn’t do a single crunch, but look at my stomach!
  • My body thrives on VEGETABLES
    • I felt the absolute best during Week 3 – which was limited grain vegan and packed with lots of yummy veggies.  The trick is to keep it interesting with a variety of different colors, textures, and tastes.
  • I NEED exercise
    • Exercise is a major stress reliever for me and as a work-from-home’r it helps to break up my day and get me out of the house and away from my laptop.  21 days without any exercise except some gentle yoga and walking was KILLER – I really need some sweating and straining.
  • Too many grains really block up my system
    • During weeks 1 and 2 of the detox, there are grains at almost every meal.  I love grains and so does my tummy, but the rest of my GI system, not so much.  I’ve experienced this before when traveling to the Philippines; eating rice at every meal leaves me constipated.  I do best with grains every other day or so.
  • It’s OK to give myself a break
    • This was a tough one for me.  I’m a chronic go-getter and those who know me well know I am ALWAYS doing something.  During these 21 days, I made a conscious effort to SLOW DOWN, sleep in, appreciate more, and fill my days with intention and purpose.  Eye. Opening.  This is something I’ve kept with me and plan to continue.
  • I CAN live without caffeine
    • I really lucked out... I only experienced 1 day of caffeine withdrawal (the norm is 3-4 days), but that single day was debilitating enough.  I have no desire to go back to drinking caffeine regularly.  But, I love my morning ritual of coffee and a book, so for now it’s high quality, fair trade decaf for this girl.
  • 70-90 ounces of water is my sweet spot
    • Yowza!  That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?  And, in all honesty, I’m running to ladies’ quite a bit... but this is what really helped boost my energy and provided me with mental clarity. (For reference, this is about 60-75% of my post-detox weight in lbs...you do the math)
weightloss detox
weightloss detox

If you think this is for you, make sure you check out this post to determine if this is a good fit for you and then let’s talk.

What To Do When You Wake Up Dreading the Day

The alarm goes off and you snooze for another hour.The idea of getting out of bed and starting your day is almost too much to handle.

There is absolutely NOTHING that you’re looking forward to.  In fact, it’s fair to say you’re absolutely DREADING the day.

Here are a few simple steps to get you passed the point of crawling under a rock for all eternity:

1. Define Your Personal Mission Statement

Chances are, if you’re feeling completely drained, you’re doing work that’s not aligned with your values.  By defining a personal mission statement, you can flip your perspective and focus more attention on tasks that align with your mission.   To create your mission statement, start by answering these questions:

    • What do I want to do?
    • Who do I want to help?
    • What is the result? What value will I create?

Stay tuned next week for a complete mission statement how-to.

2. Sweat It Out

exercise sweet
exercise sweet

Unless you’ve been under that rock I mentioned above for a REALLY long time, you know that exercise helps elevate your mood.   When you absolutely do not want to workout, that’s the exact time when you SHOULD.  Get moving with something fun – you really don’t have to be chained to the treadmill for this to work.

3. Fuel Up Right

One of the reasons I love, love, LOVE talking about food (aside from it being delicious!) is that what you put in your body has a huge effect on how you feel – both physically and mentally.  To clear some of the “gunk” that’s dragging you down, start your day with warm lemon water with cayenne and a green smoothie.  Load up with a huge leafy green salad for lunch.  Go meatless for dinner (veggie burritos or one-pot quinoa, anyone?).  And of course, hydrate like a mofo.  Divide your weight by 2 to get a rough estimate of the oz. of H2O you need daily.

drink your greens
drink your greens

4. Call Me!

As a coach, I work with clients all the time who are going through EXACTLY what I described above.  Hell, I’ve been there myself!  Overwhelm, underwhelm, lack of motivation and inspiration – whatever it is that’s got you dreading the day, we can work through it.Schedule a free Breakthrough Session to get you back to feeling great.  Remember, procrastination is NOT your friend!

What one step will you take within the next 48 hours to get you jumping out of bed in the morning?

6 Techniques for Creating Good Habits

I recently started reading Darren Hardy's "The Compound Effect". This book is all about taking small actions, making positive changes, and creating good habits consistently that will compound into big things over time. On the flip side, there's the case where you're making small actions (or inactions) that are taking you in the opposite direction. So many of us get stuck there... and end up stagnant in our work, at home, in relationships, you name it. If you're feeling stuck, its time to make some changes, and my new 5-week online Bootcamp may be just the thing you need to get started. The fact of the matter is, most of us are not EXACTLY where we want to be, although maybe we're on our way. A big part of the equation is crowding out the bad habits with good ones.

Darren provides the following 6 Techniques for Creating Good Habits:

1. Set Yourself Up to Succeed

This is probably the easiest place to get stuck - not setting yourself up to succeed.

"Any good habit has to work inside your life and lifestyle."

What is it that you're trying to accomplish and what in your life is holding you back? If you're trying to eat healthy, but that 3 pm sugar craving has you running for the vending machine, stock up with some healthy snacks, instead. If you want to work out more often, but find yourself exhausted at the end of the day, get up a half hour earlier and get a quick workout in (trust me, this WORKS!).

2. Think Addition, Not Subtraction

Instead of focusing on the negative, the things you're giving up, the things you can't have, turn your focus toward the things you can have. I have a friend who, within the last year, completely changed her diet due to a medical condition. Instead of wallowing in the fact that she couldn't enjoy some of her favorite foods, she opted to focus her energy on creating healthier versions of those meals and savoring every delicious morsel.

3. Go for a PDA: Public Display of Accountability

I think we can all acknowledge that staying accountable just to ourselves is pretty darn tough. We're too easy on ourselves. Find a bigger, broader way to be accountable - whether it's sharing on social media, telling your friends and family, or hanging up a big ol' sign in your cubicle at work (this is one of Darren's best examples).

4. Find a Success Buddy

Take accountability to the next level by pairing up with someone who has similar goals and can keep you on point. Agree to meet regularly (phone, email, skype, whatever works) to hold each other accountable, share successes, failures, and aha's, and keep each other pushing further and further forward.

5. Competition & Camaraderie

Let's be honest, we all love a little friendly competition. I mean, who doesn't love winning? So, if you're working towards creating a new habit, loop in some other people with the same objectives and make a game of it. You'd be surprised how much faster and harder you'll push just to beat out Kelly from HR.

6. Celebrate!

It can be easy to get wrapped up in work, or in unconscious, unproductive zoning to combat hard work (case in point, a few months ago I posted about my embarrassing addiction to TV. It's an action I have been working to consciously change and with Darren's tips, I'm making serious strides), but the healthier way to deal is to celebrate each success.

"You've got to find little rewards to give yourself every month, every week, every day - even something small to acknowledge that you've held yourself to a new behavior."

Change is hard and celebration is absolutely deserved, so let your hair down and enjoy it once in awhile!

I strongly encourage you to pick up this book. It's affordable, short, relatable, AND actionable, and I can almost guarantee that you'll be inspired to make positive changes in your life.

For me, I'm focusing more on my time management. I actually consider myself to be pretty darn good at managing my time, with everything I've got going on, but I know I can be doing even better. Now, I want to hear from YOU, what positive habit do you want to create in your life?

5 Home Remedies for Muscle Soreness

No matter where you're at in your fitness journey, muscle soreness is bound to happen.  Instead of reaching for over the counter drugs, try one of my favorite home remedies for muscle soreness.

1. Coffee

Research at the University of Georgia suggests that drinking coffee prior to working out can reduce muscle soreness and fatigue by up to half. This is due to the blocking of adenosine, a chemical released by your body in response to injury. Be careful not to overdo it on the coffee, as too much caffeine can cause muscle spasms; two cups of coffee is recommended. And, with your cup(s) of joe, you’ve also got the added bonus of the well-documented caffeine endurance boost.

coffee reduces muscle soreness

2. Magnesium

Magnesium, the primary component of epsom salts, is essential for healthy muscles and is a natural muscle relaxant. Absorption through the skin, via epsom salt baths, is more effective than taking an oral supplement, but eating foods high in magnesium, such as dark leafy greens, squash and pumpkin seeds, halibut, soy beans, and brown rice can also support reduced muscle soreness.

3. Tart Cherry Juice

tart cherry

A 2010 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport identified antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins in tart cherries that are believed to work by reducing inflammation. Add the juice to a post-workout recovery drink to get the most bang for your buck. I like Trader Joe’s brand. Bonus: tart cherry juice has been found to have more antioxidants than the popular superfood pomegranate and may also help to improve sleep quality.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Among its many talents, apple cider vinegar is touted as a muscle reliever. ACV draws lactic acid out of muscles. If you can get beyond the smell, saturate a cloth with ACV and wrap it around the muscle for 20 minutes. Repeat every three to four hours for continued relief until the pain is gone for good.

apple cider vinegar

5. Foam Rolling

Foam rolling uses a technique called self-myofascial release, which uses pressure and targeted massage to help prevent scarring of the connective tissue between your muscles (the fascia). You can pick up your own foam roller at a sporting goods store, Marshall’s/TJ Maxx, or Amazon (because you can buy anything on Amazon).

foam rolling

Do you have any favorite home remedies?  Share them in the comments.

13.1 Things Running Taught Me

In recent years, running has been one of the greatest teachers I've had.  Not only have I learned a lot about myself from a physical standpoint, but running has also helped me grow mentally and emotionally through some of the most challenging (and rewarding) years of my life.  Here's the list of the top 13.1 lessons learned from running.

1. Every mile is a victory

When I started training for my first long distance race, I’d never run more than 4 miles.  As I progressed in my training plan and added 1 mile per week to my long run, I found myself running further than I ever had before.  Each week, I was in shock and awe.  “Holy shit – I just ran 5 miles!”  “Holy shit – I just ran 6 miles!”  “Holy shit – I just ran 7 miles!”  You get the picture.

2. I’m my own worst critic

I have a bad habit of calling myself a “slow runner”.  Negative self-talk is a killer.  How could I possibly ever be a “fast runner” if I’m calling myself slow?

3. I only need to compete with myself

It’s unlikely I’ll ever win a race.  I’m competing with myself at every start and every finish.  That’s it.

4. When to Back Off

After running my first 10-miler and 2 half-marathons in the span of 6 months, my running game was spent.  Now, I realize that there are lots of people who can go from race to race to race without burning out, but clearly not me.  I was DONE.  I couldn’t get excited about running.  I took a race hiatus for almost a year and only ran when I wanted to. 

5. Injuries Are Real

Don’t be a tough guy or gal and try to power through an injury.  Injuries are real and can be quite serious and continuing to run with them can result in something much more serious.  Give your body the time it needs to heal.

6. What to Eat

When I first started running, even before I was logging aggressive mileage, I noticed subtle changes in my body’s response to food.  Keeping a food journal along with your running log can help you tune in to what’s the best for your body.

7. You Don’t Have to Be Fast

It’s never about how fast you’re going.  It’s about crossing the finish line.

8. Good Shoes are Key

One of the best investments I ever made in my running was to invest in a good pair of shoes.  Go to your local running shop and get personally fitted for a pair of kicks by an expert.  They’ll assess your gait and your needs and send you home with the PERFECT pair of shoes.

9. The Running Community is Awesome

I consider myself a solo runner, but even I have to admit that the support that the running community provides is awesome.  Case and point – after the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this year, thousands of runners descended on Philadelphia’s City Hall for a memorial run.  Although thrown together at the last minute, the City agreed to shut down Market Street (a main thoroughfare) for almost 10 blocks and provide police detail, all in support of Boston and of runners.  It was a pretty awesome thing to see and be a part of.

10. I Can Do Anything

If you had asked me 5 years ago if I’d run a half marathon, I would have laughed in your face.  Me?  No way!  But once I got it in my head that I was going to run one, I got serious about training and made it happen.  All it takes is hardwork and dedication to accomplish anything.

11. No one is judging you; Everyone is cheering you on

I actually heard a friend say this to a new runner who was concerned that other runners were judging her for running slow.  When I see someone running, I never say “Wow, they are dogging it.”  I say “Get it!”  Don’t you?

12. Every PR is a PR

About a month ago, I ran a half marathon and I was sure that I was going to PR it big time.  I hadn’t trained much, but all my cross-training had really upped my running game.  I was pumped.  About a week before the race, I pulled my quad.  I iced and nurtured it all week.  I was on the fence about running, but ultimately decided to go for it.  For the first 7 miles, my quad felt ok and my split was on-point.  The second half of the course was a little hillier than the first half and my quad started to feel tight.  I backed off and ended up walking the hills, including a big one right at the finish.  I PR’d the race, but only by about 6 seconds.  I was disappointed.  It took a couple weeks for it to sink in that I’d performed well under less-than-optimal circumstances.  And that PR is still mine for the taking... I’m going after it later this year.

13. I’m a Runner

My finish times, the number of medals I have,  the number of half’s under my belt – they don’t really mean all that much.  I’m not a runner because I have these things.  I’m a runner because I love running – it feeds my soul, helps me clear my mind, and just feels right.

13.1 You’ll never finish if you never start

Have dreams of someday running a big race?  What are you waiting for?  Sign up, find a team to train with, and make it happen!


Are you a runner?  What has running taught you?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.


Recipe for Success: Lessons Learned at Beachbody Coach Summit

I spent 3 days last week at BeachbodyCoach Summit 2013 in Las Vegas.  It was a whirlwind filled with celebrity trainer workouts, team building, and personal development.  I’m honestly still reeling a little from the experience; I felt like I didn’t STOP the whole time I was there (which seems very unhealth-coachy), but the excitement and buzz of the 7,000 other coaches in attendance was contagious. 

Tony Horton
Tony Horton

The theme of this year’s conference was Dream Big- this was a game changer for me, both personally and professionally.  I have always had a hard time looking forward in my life.  When I’d sit down with professors or managers and was asked where I wanted to be in five years, it was rare that I had an answer.  Looking back, it’s clear that I was not in the right place.  I’m in the right place now and my experience this weekend only helps to solidify My Dream.

Since this conference was so powerful for me, I want to share with you some key takeaways - my a-ha moments!  Here are my top five plus some important updates at the bottom:

John C. Maxwell’s The Rule of Five

“You want to cut down a tree in your back yard.  Instead of cutting it down in one swing, everyday, take an ax, swing 5 times, and hit that tree.  It doesn’t matter how big the tree is, just consistently swing at the same tree.  One day, the tree will come down, with what seems like little effort."

-John C. Maxwell (paraphrased)

Best-selling author John C. Maxwell (Daily Dozen, How Successful People Think, and Today Matters) was the Keynote Speaker and I loved every second of his talk.  I wish I could share everything I learned from him, but that could take hours and as he says: Read the Book! 

For the sake of time, I will just share one of my favorite things from his talk: The Rule of Five.  The Rule of 5 is a series of activities that you do EVERY DAY that are fundamental to your success. Through discipline and diligence, you will achieve your life’s work. 

Step 1 to the Rule of Five is identifying your tree.  Step 2 is identifying your five required actions.  For John, his tree is writing books and his Rule of 5 are reading, filing, thinking, asking questions, and writing.  I’m still identifying my tree and Rule of Five.  What’s yours?

Beachbody’s Mission

Beachbody’s mission is so in-line with my own.  And it’s simple.

Help people achieve their goals and live healthy, fulfilling lives.

Unlike many other companies, this is NOT lip service.  After Summit, Beachbody CEO Carl Daikeler posted this on his Facebook page:

"Selling" just for the sake of numbers is for other companies. We are here to help people. So think about how you can "be more creative about showing people you truly care about them" and then get out there and do it.

Beachbody truly wants to change the world and END THE TREND of obesity.  So do I.  Perfect match.


Finding  A Tribe

Human beings can’t help it: We need to belong. One of the most powerful of our survival mechanisms is to be part of a tribe, to contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people.

-Seth Godin, Tribes


My Beachbody team is all over the U.S. and Canada, so even though we talk in pretty much every day, we rarely see each other face to face.  It was great to spend 3 days with my team – I feel really connected to these people. We are on the same path of helping people improve their lives.  This is my tribe.

I’m A Customer, Too

During one of the breakout training sessions, one of the trainers said “Don’t forget, you are a customer, too.”  I partnered with Beachbody because I use and enjoy their products and I truly believe that they provide real value.   Even if I wasn’t a Beachbody coach and never earned a penny from them, I would still sing the praises of Shakeology and talk about how kickass P90X and Insanity are... granted, maybe not as often, but I still would.

Productivity is Not Busy-ness

It’s the engineer in me - I LOVE learning about how to be more productive and efficient.  The training focused on being STRATEGIC ABOUT HOW YOU SPEND YOUR TIME, something that even the best of us time managers need to constantly keep in mind.  For more info on productivity and time management, check back next week for the release of my free eBook, You Don’t Have Time to Read This Book: 8 Strategies to Find More Time in Your Day.

Beachbody Product Updates


Summit was the launch of a brand-spankin-new program from Shaun T, the creator of Insanity and Hip Hops.  In my opinion, T-25 is a game changer as far as workouts are concerned – you see results in just 25 minutes a day!  Here’s the T-25 highlights:

  • Workout 5 days a week for 25 minutes (note: (2) 25 minute workouts are suggested but not required on Day 5)
  • Fully modifiable so ANY ONE CAN DO IT
  • Alpha, beta, and gamma phases are all 25 days (5 weeks) in length

T-25 (alpha and beta phases) is on sale as a bundle with Shakeology for $180 through the end of July.  That’s like getting T-25 for just $50 – a freaking dollar a day!  Intrigued?  Let’s chat to see if this is a good fit for you.

Vanilla Shakeology

Yes, you read that right.  Shakeology has finally made the leap into Vanilla.  The Shakeology team has been searching for years to find a clean, non-GMO, organic, ethically-farmed, sustainable source of Vanilla and they finally found it... in Madagascar! 

Beachbody has really high standards for what goes into Shakeology, so even though they found other products that met FDA guidelines, they went above and beyond to source this vanilla (another reason to love them).  This stuff is so yummy – it literally tastes like cake batter on its own and its a great base for flavor experimentation.  I tried a Vanilla Latte Shakeology and it was delish!  Interested in samples?  Email me.

Perhaps better than the Vanilla flavor, though, was learning that Beachbody has committed to the development of the Madagascar farming community that is supplying the vanilla.  They are providing training to farmers, ensuring fair prices, and helping to build schools.  If you know me, you know that international development is near and dear to my heart, so this really struck a chord with me.

Updates to Fit Club Membership

Staying true to Beachbody’s mission to support people in reaching their health and fitness goals, I have decided to offer the first 30-days of Rockin’ Hot Body Fit ClubFREE

Of course, I do encourage you to work with a Beachbody program and Shakeology, because I know these products work and will get you on the right path, but I understand that maybe you can’t afford to invest in a program right now or you’re skeptical about what the Fit Club is all about or you're not sure that working with a virtual coach will help you. 

Trust me, I TOTALLY understand your concerns – I had the same concerns when I joined my first challenge group.  So, try it on for size for 1-month for free.  You literally have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Email me today so we can talk about your goals and get you started in my upcoming online group (starting July 8th).