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Friday, October 31, 2014

Why I Don’t Want You to Keep that New Year’s Gym-Membership Resolution

Be flexible! You can take your workout anywhere
“I’d rather buy shoes anyway,” my friend said, showing me her new pair of Jimmy Choos. “Who needs the gym?”

Her epiphany came after a sobering budget check last January, when she realized she had spent over $900 for a gym membership in 2013 but used that membership maybe once a week. Factor in parking fees, commuting costs, plus gym necessities (read: lots of Lululemon attire), and she was spending quite a bit of money on something she hardly ever used.

I wanted to say she should have sucked it up and let that financial reality check get her ass to the gym more often, but I knew my friend better than that. Workouts just weren’t a big priority, and she would rather spend her Saturday afternoons browsing the Nordstrom Rack clearance sale than racking weights.

While I have minor gripes with gym ambiance, working out remains a huge priority for me. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying a strenuous, intense workout and the zillion

Friday, October 24, 2014

No More Excuses: Setting Up an Intelligently Designed At-Home Gym

Is at-home training a good idea?
“I’m trying to find a nice way to break up with you,” my client playfully said while texting her babysitter. Becoming pregnant three times over four years and then returning to work part-time left her little opportunity to fit in an hour workout, which as she frequently reminded me, became two hours once she drove to my gym and found a parking space.
More often than not, she blamed her babysitter for being late, arriving sleep-deprived, cranky, and chugging a venti blonde roast. If past clients provided any indication, eventually she would full-out blow off her workouts. Besides, she had a wealthy husband, so no loss if she skipped out.
Despite her insane schedule, a not-so-secret rumor floated around our gym that

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Paradoxical Lie Your Favorite Magazine Perpetuates

Self love vs self denial
I noticed immediately she spoke in fluffy, New Age-y aphorisms. “I love and accept my body no matter what,” my 20-something client told me about five minutes into our conversation, somewhat defensively. Every other sentence felt lifted from those self help-y Lululemon bags.
“That’s where I feel confused,” she finally said, in a rare, genuine, unscripted moment. “If I’m supposed to practice self-love, why do I feel like crap when I look at my body in the mirror? Why is it so hard to marry those two ideas?”
As she recounted a recent Saturday night date she almost canceled, I felt her confusion and wanted to give her a hug. I also wanted to give her a solid kick in the pants.
Women’s magazines flirt endlessly with

Friday, October 10, 2014

New Study Elucidates How Exercise Alleviates Depression

Exercise can help-even when you're sad
I’ll never forget the 30-something woman who spoke that Saturday afternoon. Many years ago, I attended a weekend fitness conference and felt frustrated as speaker after speaker droned on with textbook, cookie-cutter information. They lacked inspiration and practical advice, and by Saturday lunch I felt ready to bolt.

Was I glad I didn’t: This dynamic, engaging speaker gave a moving testimonial about how for years she could hardly get off the couch to do anything. Her doctor cycled her through every anti-depressant possible. They all initially seemed effective but soon lost their edge. Acupuncture, nutrient therapy, meditation: You name the complementary therapy and she had tried it to alleviate depression.

“Lifting heavy was my

Friday, October 3, 2014

Why You Can Eat Chocolate Every Day (with a Few Caveats)

Give me chocolate or give me death
“Honestly, it felt like an orgasm in my mouth,” my coworker candidly said. “I’ve never felt something so intense and bitter and, well, sensual.”

She was describing a recent visit to Paris, where an off-the-beaten-path detour led her to a tiny corner store, “just like out of the movies!” There she chose two squares of dark chocolate, one with ground hazelnuts and one plain, using broken French and then pointing when the shopkeeper did not understand her.

“Truthfully, I wasn’t having the best day,” she continued. “My boyfriend and I had a fight. He went to the Louvre while I chose to wander. Dramatic though it may sound, those few chocolate-filled moments instantly brightened my mood, invigorating me and challenging me to get out of my comfort zone. And, not for nothing, my boyfriend and I had the best sex that night.”

My coworker needn’t sell me about chocolate’s benefits. “Give me chocolate or give me death” has long been my mantra, and I’ve sung its benefits on my (what else?) chocolate page, where every month I feature a top-of-the-line chocolatier.

Chocolate Helps You Feel Better
I can’t account for the sex, but