52 Fridays…Exist or Live?

It’s already here again, Friends; Happy Friday! Reserve a few quiet moments for yourself, grab that journal, get cozy and let’s reflect on 52 Fridays-Week 5!

Lately, when I observe myself doing something, I measure it against our quote for this week. In doing so, I know if that action/behavior serves me or not.

Take some time to really look at your current life. If you find yourself merely existing, is that all you hope for? What would it take for you to live? I mean wholeheartedly, deliberately living on and with purpose?

Or maybe you are already living but still desire more?

Let the thoughts and ideas come and simply allow them to pour across your page. You might be surprised by what emerges. Study it. Try it on for size. How does it feel? Is it what you want?

Friends, it all boils down to this…do we want to take life as it comes or go forth with intention?

February Focus…Show Yourself Some Love

Happy February, Friends! It’s a new month, one which places a pretty heavy emphasis on LOVE! It can be so easy to love others far more than we love ourselves.

Well, I’m ready for a new focus; how about you? I chose to work on something I haven’t always been very good at…self-love! Or, in other words, self-care.

In the years leading up to my weight loss, I didn’t often put much thought or effort into my own preventative health or wellbeing, and a direct result was misery.

Fast forward to today…I am so stinking happy these days! Know why? I feel fantastic because I take great care of my body. It feels incredible to be healthy! How’s that for transformation?

Friends, let’s spend February examining what our bodies need. What check-ups or exams are you due (or overdue) for? Let’s take the next 28 days to get things scheduled and happening! Of course, while we’re at it, if you are responsible for loved ones, get them up-to-date too!

Have you gotten your flu shot yet this year? Yes, it’s late in the season, but if you have not done this yet, what are you waiting for? The flu is a SCARY BEAST this year and getting vaccinated not only protects you, but many others as well!

I’ll admit, I’ve been the biggest procrastinator when it comes to my vision appointments, but I came to a simple no-brainer this year when my eyes gave me some issues…eyes are a gift! And just like anything else, without proper care, I could lose that gift…in, well, the blink of an eye! I got myself there this week so I can mark that off my list too!

I don’t have a fun picture to share regarding teeth, but when’s the last time you’ve seen your dentist? Teeth are another one of those gifts, and I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to chew my food for the rest of my life! That’s why I get in for a visit every six months. That, and my biannual visits with my dental hygienist are some of the best therapy sessions of the year! See you in July, Wendy!

And let’s not forget annual physicals. Are you proactive about yearly exams? Or are you one that waits until you have symptoms to be seen? And if you are regularly seen, do you actually follow your doctor’s advice? To fully benefit from these exams, arrive with a list of questions/concerns. Be honest and open with your physician…tell him/her what’s going on. Don’t be embarrassed, be frank about anything you are dealing with.

In the past, I put off routine mammograms and that came back to bite me far worse than that machine ever could. Procrastination can lead down a scary path I’m not willing to hike again, believe me! Ladies, I can’t say this enough…if you are 40 or older and don’t already, get that mammogram appointment on your calendars!

If money is a factor holding you back from preventative care, look into community resources that are in place to help. Many areas have free or a sliding fee scale to help make health care affordable. So get in there for these important appointments…no excuses. YOU are WORTH IT!!!

These above are merely some basic, mindful ways to embrace health. Dive deeper if you find relief through therapy, health coaching, massage, acupuncture, reiki, chiropractic treatment, etc. And NEVER underestimate the benefits of proper nutrition and physical activity!

Yesterday, I took time to do something I’ve found paramount in the past for optimal performance. I visited Joan, my phycial therapist for a current foot/shoe assessment. Many places will do this consult FREE, just call and ask! A properly fitting/performing shoe can make a world of difference! How’s that for taking a step in the right direction?!?

Let’s spend some time this month thinking about what preventative ways we can care for ourselves. Make those appointments, Friends. Show yourselves the LOVE! It’s one more way we can all put our Best Foot Forward!


Stronger Than Ever!

Friends, I began my day the same way I always do. I reached for my very broken-in copy of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I’ve read this daily bit of encouragement for many years now. It’s uncanny just how closely each excerpt resembles what I encounter throughout any given day…the perfect dosage of exactly what I need! Some days are downright intense with resonance and realization. Today’s entry was an extreme example; one I was not expecting! It was Jesus telling me he is my strength and my shield, not to wonder what is on the road ahead, or waste energy worrying…when I’m afraid, I should remember he is my shield. And the big kicker…”My Presence watches over you continually, protecting you from both known and unknown dangers.”

The strong reverberation echoed clear to my soul; I remembered why this passage struck me so. Today is an odd anniversary for me. Four years ago tonight, that protection was perfectly demonstrated…

Those of you who’ve been with me for a while recall how Eric and I got up close and personal with a pickup truck, and you might remember the evidence of some heavenly protection buffering the impact…

If you missed this part of my journey, you can catch up with a post from 2016 and 2017 that demonstrate how my healing has ventured far beyond the physical!

I’ve made some great progress in how I remember January 31, 2014. I know I must have read the same Jesus Calling passage that morning, I just never expected to be on the receiving end of such immense protection that evening. As I read it again this morning, I understand more and more what that night was all about. My perspective has continued to shift from the challenges and struggles that night imparted toward what profound gifts were bestowed…blessings of survival, gratitude, a fresh new journey toward more strength than I ever thought I could embody, a deep appreciation for a good samaritan and rockstar paramedics (my son will officially be one in May). Yeah, thinking about it now hits me straight in the feels all over again!

Another gift I’ve been granted from that evening is the return visit of chronic pain each time the clouds bring forth a new storm. I can seriously forecast the weather with it! I no longer associate this pain with self-pity; my fresher perspective reminds me that pain is proof that I’m still here and I have important work to do!

Friends, if you are struggling with something tough right now, I’m really sorry! But I encourage you to look at what the bigger picture is telling you. Can you adopt a wider, more positive perspective on what is actually going on?

I keep coming back to this quote I swiped off Facebook. I was not ready to understand its truth the first weeks, months, years following that night of trauma, but it makes perfect sense to me now.

Thanks for having our backs and helping me be prove this true, JC!


10 Ways to Win Your Week

Friends, I spent some time looking at the week before me…it’s a busy one. But I’m looking ahead for very good reason; I’m setting an intention, right now (as always), to be mindful of my time in order to win my week. Because when I do, I feel like this…

See, if I don’t gaze forward in awareness of upcoming events and possible triggers, the week will likely have its way with me, leaving unwanted consequences in its trail. By taking a peek at my upcoming week and making a plan of attack, I’ve already decided to win my week. Here are 10 ways I plan to do just that…

1. Set yourself up for success in the kitchen. If that means running to the store today, do it! Ensure that you have plentiful healthy food options that are ready for those on-the-go times throughout the week when you’d ordinarily make less than stellar choices. Keep some snacks handy throughout your day so you don’t even have to think…just refuel. If you want to take it a step further, purge all the junk that’s lurking in your cupboards!

2. Schedule your workouts. Look at your planner and place your workouts within. You will be far more likely to follow through if you’ve already made a plan of action. I promise!

3.  Invite company to the fun. If you’ve decided to try a new class, take a break or lunchtime walk, attempt a new hike or adventure, or are just doing the same-old same-old take a friend along. It will feel less like a chore and more like a party with a family member, co-worker or bestie. Better yet, this person may turn out to be the best darn accountability buddy you’ve ever had.

4. Hydrate! Even though it’s winter and you may feel like you need it less…drink that water! Shoot for the recommended 64 ounces per day.

5. Make sleep a priority. Sometimes we have to get protective of our time to accomplish this, but you are worth it! Sleep goes way beyond just feeling rested…there are all kinds of important benefits/restoration a good night’s sleep provides your body. And did you know, the National Sleep Foundation recommends adults between 18-64 years of age get 7-9 hours of sleep per night? Work on it!

6. Do what you love! Carve out a bit of time each day doing something you love. Whether that’s reading, crafting, gardening, playing a game, catching the latest episode of your inspiring podcast or simply meditating…do it!

7. Plan something to look forward to. Whether it’s setting a goal, registering for an event or planning a datenight, getaway or trip, put something on the calendar and make it happen. Without something to work toward, train for or eagerly await, we can feel stuck simply going through life’s daily motions.

8. Defend your time. Are you one of those people that says yes to all those extra commitments, only to find yourself feeling bogged down, trapped and overwhelmed? The magic word here is NO! Use it, mean it and don’t forget saying no to other people means saying yes to your wellbeing.

9. Don’t forget self care! This is also known as me-time. It is not selfish to do something kind for yourself, it’s necessary. Take time for a calming massage, soothing bath, facial, pedicure or nap. Take care of you! I challenge you to take it a step further and put ME-DAY on your calendar for an entire day each month and treat yo self. You will be amazed at how this enhances the rest of your month!

10. Look at the bright side. It’s there, within every situation, so look for and find the bright side in everything rather than dwelling on the negative. It might be tough at first, but you will find that silver lining if you take the opportunity to look. This is a most meaningful step toward a lifetime rich in gratitude.

This may seem like a lot to juggle, but the good news is it’s not rocket science. Start small in embracing these 10 practices; soon they will become second nature. Friends, have a great week and reach for the WIN!

52 Fridays…Get The Weight Off Your Shoulders

Happy Friday, Friends! It’s that time once again…

Grab your journal, pen, calming beverage, (maybe fuzzy socks?!?) and ease into that comfy chair.

Today I’m exploring all that stuff I still carry around. That baggage that weighs us down. Do you know what it is for you? It makes not only climbing, but mere moving a difficult chore. Is this any way to go through life?

Put a name to each of these weights. Take a deep breath in as you read one at a time. And with each exhale, one by one, LET. THEM. GO!

It may be far easier said than done; I know, I’d been carrying the weight of the world on my tired shoulders for years, but the sooner we release that heaviness, the quicker we can begin a pretty phenomenal ascent up toward a lighter, happier life.

Spend some time with this today, tomorrow, this weekend. Find those things you can breathe into, to see if you can let something go.

Our 52 Fridays quote really says it all…

Let’s all find a way to just climb.

The New Year So Far…

We are already into the fourth week of January, Friends! Did you make any resolutions this year? Set any intentions? A goal or two? If so, how’s it going?

Did you know that by the end of January, roughly 58% of resolutioners have already quit? Aware of this statistic, I chose to do something different this year. Instead of resolving to change myself in some way, I took a whole new approach. I began with what I already know about myself…

I’m sick and tired of numbers…the one on the scale, all those I add up as I tally calories throughout the day, those associated with how many minutes of activity I accrue, the total calories burned, total steps taken within a day, mileage distances of workouts, my heart rate, yada, yada, yada. Often, I get so wrapped up in the numbers of it all, I forget to enjoy what’s really going on.

I also know when I rely on only a few modes of activity to accomplish my weekly fitness needs, the same old foods to nourish my body, my adult activity/food ADHD has me so bored I’m about ready to quit.

But I’m no quitter!

So I set an intention this year to look less at the numbers and more mindfully at the heart of what I’m doing. Simply stated, I’m changing things up, trying new things…LOTS of new things. Here’s what January looked like in that respect.

I stopped talking about all the recipes I’ve been meaning to try, and started actually trying them. Like this Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili recipe from skinnytaste. Even the leftovers were the bomb!

My husband and I enjoyed that one so much we decided to take another of skinnytaste’s recipes one step further…we spent datenight in…a glass of wine while preparing this…

Santa Fe Turkey Stuffed Peppers…another skinnytaste hit! Add a salad, some candlelight and the rest of the wine and it resulted in one of my favorite dates ever!

I’ve been using Great Lakes Gelatin products in my coffee for months to promote joint support and mobility. I thought I’d take it a fun step further by experimenting with a tried and true recipe…my cranberry baked oatmeal has new-added benefits!

This try new things intention was certainly not limited to the kitchen. There are still many classes and activities I have yet to try that have been speaking to me for quite some time. It seems all I had to do was keep my eyes open for signs. I followed one to this blacklight ride at my gym.

With such a change of atmosphere, I forgot I was at the cycling studio; it felt like the party of the year in there! That got me thinking, what else have I been missing out on? Next, I found my way to a Cardio Jam class that had me stumbling all over myself, but got a sensational cardio burn. And while we’re talking about fire, I took a Pilates Mat Core class that kept my core ignited for days!

The more new I tried, the more I knew I was onto something! I continued to watch for signs and found myself registered for a session of intro classes on the Pilates Reformer. This has been a class I’ve been pretty intimidated to try for quite a while, so I figured it was time!

This past year I acquired a pair of cross country skis fresh from the universe (I love when that happens)! The conditions were perfect last week, so it was time…

And just the other day I spotted one more sign for a class I knew was meant for me. I mean, why wouldn’t I try blindfold yoga?

This phenomenal instructor reminded me I have a lifetime of lessons to catch up on if I’ll simply turn my gaze inward.

So there you have it, my first three weeks of January. Rather than preparing to ditch a resolution, I’m hot on the trail of continuing full steam ahead with an intention I LOVE…my sampler of sorts. I can’t wait to see what the months ahead manifest!

Friends, I hope you are making progress on your goals, intentions, and yes, even those resolutions. I’d love to hear about how it’s going! Leave a comment below if you’d be willing to share. Also, if you have any recommendations or suggestions of what you think I should try this year, drop those ideas below too! Remember, nearly nothing is too crazy!

Keeping it fresh, changing it up…another extraordinary way we can all put our Best Foot Forward!

52 Fridays…Time Flies!

Happy Friday, Friends! It’s that time of week again already. If you haven’t joined us yet for 52 Fridays, today is the perfect time to begin!

Grab your journal, a favorite pen, a calming beverage…find a few quiet moments and ease into a comfy place.

I have such a hard time believing we are three Fridays into 2018 already…how is that possible? Where in the world is the pause button? The concept of time is something I struggle with again and again, so I thought I’d look deeper today.

I cracked open my planner and the proof was right there…in the day-to-day busyness. I am continually reminded if I don’t make a conscious effort to schedule time for ME, it doesn’t happen. I’m digging into this with my journal today…

So there’s our quote for the week.

Let this idea soak in, turn it over in your mind. Close your eyes and breathe. What does it mean for you? How will you let this idea shape the rest of today? Or the weekend? The rest of this month? How will you navigate the remainder of 2018?

Remember, you’re in the pilot’s seat!

Win-It Wednesday Nalu Float Winner

Happy Win-It Wednesday, Friends! I want to thank each of you who entered, for sharing ways you find your peace or calm…I felt more relaxed just reading them! You all employ some great techniques to decompress; thanks for sharing!

In case you missed it, I recently shared my sensory deprivation float tank experience at Nalu Float and Healing Center here.

I want to take this opportunity to thank owner Jon Maki for generously partnering with FIT BFFs by providing the 60 minute float session for our lucky local winner!

And the winner is…


Congratulations, Hope! I will contact you with the details you’ll need to schedule and redeem your 60 minute float!

Remember, if you didn’t win, you still have the wonderful opportunity to visit this beautiful place of peace and calm right here in our Rochester community any time!

Friends, make sure you take a few minutes out of your busy schedule today (and every day) to indulge in some peace or calm…one more way we can all put our Best Foot Forward!

Win-It Weekend-Nalu Float Session

Friends, last month I shared my sensory deprivation float tank experience at Nalu Float and Healing Center here.

I’ve got some exciting news for you! FIT BFFs and Nalu have once again partnered to put one lucky, local (Rochester, MN area) giveaway winner into a 60 minute float session of tranquility and peacefulness! Many thanks to owner Jon Maki for making this giveaway possible!

Are you feeling lucky, Friends? I hope so! Wondering how to win? It’s easy, simply leave a comment below mentioning one way you find your peace or calm to fend off the everyday chaos.

Entries will be accepted between now and Tuesday, January 16th, midnight central time. One lucky winner will be randomly drawn and announced on Win-It Wednesday, January 17th.

Please note, this giveaway is for local Rochester, MN and surrounding area residents only…if you will not be in the Rochester area to redeem, please don’t enter.

I’ll be back Wednesday to announce the lucky winner who will be climbing in…

If you can’t wait to find out if you’ve won, stop by the Nalu Float and Healing Center website for details on how you can schedule an appointment for some soulful stillness!

52 Fridays…a Happy Soul

Friends, I have no idea what happened…a minute ago it was Monday and somehow it’s already time for 52 Fridays-Week 2! I admit, I ran the full length of this week. Between making my workouts a priority, tying up all sorts of miscellaneous loose ends, filling some of my etsy shop orders and doing some long-range lesson planning for a class I teach…the week got completely away from me. But that’s all about to change! My guys left early this morning to do something they absolutely LOVE…ice fishing near the Canadian border for four. whole. days!!! Do you know what that means for me?!? Yup, FOUR DAYS of ME TIME!!!

This brings me to our 52 Fridays theme for the week. Pull out those shiny new, barely broken-in journals, find a quiet spot, a few uninterrupted moments for yourself and get comfortable. Here’s your thought to ponder…

Do you make time for what makes you truly happy? Do you even remember what it is that makes your soul smile? Pause to reflect on what these things are, then consider making some plans to do them more often or to simply get back to doing them at all. Here’s a little secret I’ve learned…in this hectic day and age, our souls are not on happy autopilot; we must be intentional about nourishing them. Is a happy soul high on your list of priorities? If so, what will you do to make this happen? How soon can you start?

Once you’re done and if you feel comfortable, leave a comment below sharing one thing your soul is looking forward to doing more often.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get my plan in order because I know how quickly these four days are going to fly!