Don’t you worry about a Thing

You heard your parents say it over and over, Stevie Wonder made a whole song about it, and we constantly tell ourselves to stop worrying. And yet; most of us live in a constant state of worry and fret. Money, children, work, and some made up things, you know it’s true!  We think so much and are so much in our heads we forget all that is good and fun and most of all; Beautiful.  I know so many people, including myself, that suffer from anxiety attacks. If you have never had one, how very fortunate you are! Anxiety can be debilitating and downright scary.  I don’t suffer with them as frequently now as I did when I was younger, I truly believe, in my case, I can thank exercise and relaxation/breathing exercises. I had to be diligent with both, no slacking, no excuses. And I had to get out of my head. Does that sound weird?  How often do you find yourself ruminating on one thing, constantly rolling it over in your head, critiquing, tearing it apart, putting it back together , to start all over?  I was harder on myself than anyone else ever could be. I was my own worst enemy, I WAS my own anxiety attack! Is that possible? For me, Yes! Once I figured this out, I could help myself. This whole getting older thing helped as well, things don’t look so drastic to me anymore. I understand that I don’t and can’t control everything, there are certain things I can help; and for the things I can’t… I pass on. Relax Dawn, I say to myself, don’t you worry about a thing. Exercise is key, it always comes back to this doesn’t it?  Feeling stressed? Full of anxiety? Mad? Get rid of it at the gym Baby! Run your stairs! Get a jump rope! my personal favorite. Better yet; take a Yoga class. Never taken Yoga?  If you have anxiety attacks or not, Yoga is good for us all. It teaches you how to tone, stretch, stand and walk taller,  breathe to calm yourself down, it is the  gift that keeps on giving.  The last thing I did to help me feel better, and this was one of the harder things to do; I stopped hanging with the Drama filled people. You know who they are: Ms. “I ALWAYS got a story to tell that isn’t her or my business” and it is ALWAYS BAD!  Mr. ” The world is a bad place and let me constantly remind you as to how bad it is!”  These people lurk in dark corners my friends, they aid and abet anxiety and sometimes they don’t even know it. But run when you see them, in a polite way.. RUN!   This is how we help ourselves feel better, mentally, physically, spiritually. And we DO have to help ourselves in this quest not to stress, it doesn’t always come easy, but we are all worth the effort. Take a deep breath… Relax.

You are NOT your story

I believe that everyone has a story; good or bad, we have a story to tell.  There is nothing wrong with this; until we realize that we keep telling the same stories, and they are usually sad. Be real, how many people do you know that tell happy stories about their childhood? Past relationships? If you can name five, I am impressed!  We talk and talk about the negative, who did what to us, when and where it happened and who didn’t or did take our side.  We talk so much about the bad it starts to define who we are as people. Even when we try to feel happiness, it is as if our happiness is muted. That black cloud of negativity is hanging over us, leaching the bright colors from our landscape; which is Life.
I sigh as I write this, only because I remember feeling this way and not understanding why I couldn’t break the sadness, “Cope” better as one person told me to do. Why did everyone else seem to be able to move on and live, at least decently, and not me?  I know that some of the people I spoke with had gone through similar situations as me growing up: Emotional neglect, physical and sexual abuse and yet they seemed happy.  So, I started to do a little investigation, I wanted to know what they were doing! How is it possible that you can be happy with ALL that has happened to you? Tell me… now! I was aggressive in my research and this is what I found: It isn’t that they just “got over it” that doesn’t happen. What does happen is that you stop talking about what was.  These happy people stopped holding the perpetrators secrets, giving them more power. They focused on healing, they focused on loving themselves and being grateful to have come through the fire. These Happy people stopped telling the stories that bound them to anger, shame and emptiness. Because these stories no longer defined who or what they are.  We, and now I can include myself with the Happy People, understand that secrets and sad stories not told in the light and then released will shackle you.  Find and be grateful for all that you have loved in your life. It is not always easy, patterns can be difficult to break; but it is so worth it.  There is so much to love, so much to see, without that dark cloud over your head dimming all the beautiful lights and colors. :)
Be Well


As an entrepreneur, independent contractor or employee for someone else’s company, I have now worked for (I believe) every kind of boss, manager, supervisor, etc.  I have given them titles: The passive-aggressive Boss, The screaming in you face Bully, The ” I will pay you when I get ready” Boss, The “I will make you run me down for your money, won’t answer ANY emails or texts OR voice mail” Boss! My new favorite: The “sit around and talk about employees to OTHER employees” Boss… Classy.  When working for or around people like this it can be easy to lose yourself in the drama and shenanigans; DON’T! Take each experience and use it as a learning tool.  With every experience write down what you wouldn’t do, how you wouldn’t treat other people, how would you run the company? Now write down all the positive things you would do to counteract the negative. Take my word for it; it works! If you are thinking about opening your own business or decide to stay where you are; use your notes to rise above the crap(and it IS crap!) in the workplace. Believe me, the gym is no different than a corporate office, we just don’t have to wear a suit and tie. Have Integrity where you work and your reputation will proceed you. That is my rule, use it. Word.


I have learned that I need a challenge to do a lot of things; really! When I started to lose weight it was due to the fact that I couldn’t get into a really BEAUTIFUL pair of trousers that I wanted. I was challenged. I had tried everything before, of course I never stuck to any of it. But something about not being able to wear what I wanted; pushed me over the edge! I think most of us are like that; we won’t do something unless someone tells us we can’t or shouldn’t. Is that what the old saying means? “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” I believe that it is true. Some of us wait until the twelfth hour to do what we need to do. Is that true of you? I will ask the question “Why did they wait until they had diabetes to workout?” Why did they have to wait to get high blood pressure before they started to work out?” Why did I have to wait until my thighs were rubbing and my butt was as big as a door to work out?! I was no different, mine was vanity, yours might be health. Why do we wait? Why don’t we try? Why don’t we move? Only you know. I have my theories; but they are MY theories, not your circumstances. I do know this: I am a Personal Trainer and willing and able to help anyone that really wants to try to change their weight circumstance, You are not your weight nor your story. TRY change, TRY something new, even if you are scared. TRY.

Stick to it!

The question is always what works for weight loss. We have become obsessed with what works; what pills we should take, what food combinations will help us lose, what exercises are most effective, etc. We tend to drive ourselves to distraction with all of the commercials and infomercials that constantly tell us that they have the “secret” to weight loss. They tell us to EAT MORE! EAT LESS! YOU WILL NEVER NEED TO EXERCISE AGAIN! EXERCISE MORE! Buy me! NO! Buy ME! NOOOO! BUY MEEEE!! STOP!!! these are the things that confuse and frustrate people. It’s a daunting enough task when you are trying to change your Life, feel better about yourself AND get healthy.  As a Personal Trainer I really do try and keep it simple.  I Still do the things that worked for me when I was starting to lose my weight: six small meals a day, tons of water, exercise, you know the drill. These are all things you have heard before I am sure, the difficulty is not in the schedule; it’s in the Doing. You might say that is a lot of food to eat, my answer to that; Small meals! When I don’t have time for a sit down meal, shakes work! Which one? Always Shakeology. Fills me up, gives me energy and takes my craving for sugar down. You must eat to lose, don’t let anyone tell you differently. I know what your saying right now “But Dawn, I know (insert name) and she/he lost weight doing such and such program!” I didn’t say that other programs don’t work, ANYTHING can and will work if you are diligent. But, are they good for you? Did they teach you to eat in “Real Time” meaning, did they teach you HOW to eat well and healthy? Or did you have to eat, breath and sleep their product and as soon as you got off of their product… did you blow UP like a balloon? I ask everyone, including myself: How’s it workin’ for ya? Do the things that help you live a better Life. Find and STICK with the routine, diet, exercise program that is healthy and fits You. Make it your ritual, remember this: There IS NO quick fix. Repetition produces results. I have learned that ninety-three pounds later and I still stick to it. Peace and Love :)


I have come to the realization that some people just don’t get it.  I see these postings, right, that say things like: “You could save money and time (by NOT hiring a Personal Trainer  OR joining a gym) if you buy our product” and I love when they give the calculations as to how much money you would save. What they don’t seem to get and for some reason the point seems to get lost in the hype is this: It takes motivation to get off of your sofa to do a workout at home.  I don’t care how good the video is, how inspiring and upbeat the instructor, if the energy is not there, you will pick up your remote and watch television and eat. Done. Raise your hand if you have owned at least four exercise dvd or vhs tapes and all they did was watch you!  We all have the best intentions, don’t we? I remember when I was doing the “yo-yo thang” you know what I am talking about( if you have ever been overweight). That one week that you plan.. for the following week, to Really get down to it and BURN.IT.UP! It being fat. I mean you have the outfit ready with matching sneakers… then the week comes and you pull out the first video, and you stare at it, then you say “let me preview” so you sit and watch the video.  That is Monday. This will go on for the whole week until you feel so bad and guilty that you will pack all the videos in a box and bury it in the deepest, darkest corner of your closet.  Now don’t get me wrong; I LOVE my dvds, I still have my vhs tapes! but I had to find the motivation to do them. That is where Personal Trainers and gyms come in to play. Personal Trainers ARE the motivators. We show up at your door( Yes! I have done that) when you call to cancel pretending you have a sore throat. No you don’t! You are sitting on your sofa, with a clicker in your hand, unmotivated.  Watching someone come to the gym right after work is downright inspirational and smart on their part. Don’t go home after work if you plan on working out, you know as well as I that once you have stepped into your home; there is no leaving it. You will be sitting on your sofa, with a clicker, unmotivated.  Stepping into the gym or a Group X class with like minded people who want to sweat and get healthy will give you a boost like no other. Pack your gym bag, put it in your car the night before, no excuses.  Believe it or not most gyms are affordable and unless you are the county club type you can find one that fits into your budget.  The cost of a trainer also depends on the gym, most are affordable.  Remember; how many times per week you see your trainer is up to you! You want to see a trainer five times a week, then get ready to pay. But to train twice a week, get the motivation you need to work out on your own and still have money in your pocket… Priceless.    So, get off the sofa, let go of the clicker, get MOTIVATED!

Friendship and maturation

” I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain, I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end, I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought I would see you again”

James Taylor

When we are young we believe that all friendships will last forever. I think that when we have friends as children it really is unconditional love, they can do no wrong,you do everything together, you love everything about them and that love is reciprocated in full. So what happens? We get to middle school and the love just isn’t there anymore. We won’t even discuss High School! That is an Oprah Show with shots of tequila. I have gone through my memories and realized that I have met really amazing people, men and women; but they weren’t ALL meant to be my friends.  I think for some of us that is a hard thing to acknowledge, why? Because as we get older we want to hold good people close. We want a circle of friends, and why not? As humans we tend to “filter” the people in our lives, not at any fault of our own; that is just life sometimes.  I had a hairdresser that told me every six months the people in your life will change, not your children or (hopefully) not your significant other, but what she called the “Fringe people.” I had never heard of these people, The Fringe People( sounds like a b-movie) I did take note though, and she was right, my core group was the same, but everyone else had been filtered.  Is that what it is about then? We meet people and for the moment, be it six hours or six years, we glean what we can out of the relationship, loving each other unconditionally the way children do. Holding the ones close that hold YOU close, letting the ones go that won’t even write on your Face Book Wall to say Hey! :) and being okay with both. “I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a Friend” and not saying those times were easy. But in those times, you find that you are okay with being by yourself; there is a reservoir of peace and strength.  Now that I am all grown up and liking this person I am turning into, at forty(cough)something I realized, finally, that who I am; is who I attract. Be the friend to Yourself that you always wanted and attract that friend, mate, Life. At the end of the day, when others have turned away, there are no family members, no lovers, doors have been closed in dismissal and eyes and mouth turned down. You will pull from your core, you will straighten your spine and be That best friend.  


Why hire a Personal Trainer?

There are people that are hesitant to hire Personal Trainers  for various reasons. The reasons I hear the most are:

” Why hire a Trainer? I know how to do everything on my own”  or ( my personal favorite) ” I read Men’s/Women’s Health, and they have pictures and stuff.”  Now both of those statements might be true, but hiring a Trainer won’t take away from the knowledge that you have gleaned from years in the gym nor will you be told that you don’t know anything. In fact hiring a Trainer can only broaden your knowledge regarding exercise and take you to a new level of fitness.  Find the Trainer that fits you, in other words, what are you trying to accomplish? Are you training for something?  Is your goal to lose weight? Be specific with your questions when shopping for a Trainer. Your questions should be based on your needs and wants. I know, I know, everyone says ” Oh, Personal Training is so expensive!” and yes, some are. But for the most part, it can be reasonably priced( especially through Park Districts) and if you have a friend or a couple of friends that will train with you; GROUP TRAINING! the price gets even better. Don’t be bedazzled or intimidated by “high end” prices either. Let me tell you this: A squat is a squat at $250 an hour or $75 an hour… You feel me? When you find a Trainer you are interested in, it’s like dating! Watch to see if they “play” well with the other Trainers in the gym, ask them if they work with a variety of people ( this is a great sign! shows they can adapt well), set a “date” for a half hour session, tell them you want to have every body part worked… on a BOSU and that’s it! TEST! Okay, you can get rid of the BOSU if you want :) but I think I made my point(s), find a good fit, for YOU!  Make sure your Trainer is knowledgeable, on and off the machines, a Trainer can and should teach you correct form and different techniques so that your gym life will be long.  Know what you want going in and you will get what you need. If you make the decision to  hire a Trainer, let me know how it goes! Write me :)

Get Real…and grow

People often ask me how I lost ninety pounds, what did I do that was so special. Did I change my eating habits? Yes.  Did I exercise? Yes. I did all those things, but most importantly; I was real. The excuses were cut out, I couldn’t create anymore actually. Getting to this point was hard, we love our excuses AND I have really good ones: 1. I am too tired or busy to work out(work, kids, cleaning, painting something, etc.) not that some aren’t legitimate, but there are a lot of hours in the day!  2. I will start (dieting, exercising) Monday. Why always Monday? Why not now? What makes Monday magical? Are we going to love it anymore on Monday? I  think not.  3. My knees, back, hip, head, throat hurt. Yes, they probably do. You are ninety pounds overweight! I am not trying to make light of this, but when I think back on all of the ways I bamboozled myself, I can’t help but laugh. I made the weight bigger than me(excuse the pun), if I didn’t see instant results I would just give up, I wasn’t ready to put in the work, hence the excuses and then the guilt. Oh the guilt; it takes on a life of its own, and why do we feel guilt?  When the reality is; we are doing just what we want, for good or bad, it IS what we want, it is our choice. That can be a harsh reality and it does require being honest and real with yourself and once started; it flows into every area of your life.  It is one of  The greatest gifts we can give ourselves; this whole honesty thing.  Acceptance,  Approval  and Honesty are required for change. Make it happen, no excuses.


For the Beautiful and Alone….

For the Beautiful and Alone….

Young, smart, beautiful, employed, fit, and…. Alone! How many do you know that fit this description? I recently joined a very popular, expensive, dating network( it shall remain nameless) and after four hours of filling out my profile and all that I want in a partner, etc. and blah, blah, blah; I get a little message that informs me that I am SO special that finding a “better half” to my “Best Half” will be a challenge for them! WHAT!!? WHAT AM I PAYING YOU FOR!? To repeat what my mama used to say!? That only someone “Special” would love me?! It was such a lovely way to let me down gently, how could I be upset.. but I was! Heck, I want to hold hands! I want to skip through fields and crap! But then I thought about what they were saying, I AM special! No People, in a good way, thank you very much! There is absolutely nothing the matter with me, just as there is nothing the matter with you.   I am turning this into a “lift a candle and wave it ” moment; but, in my rush to date and trip the light fantastic( what DOES that mean!?) I have kissed some frogs, gotten hurt feelings, and been DD( disgusted and disappointed) to the point where I had this impenetrable wall around me. The wall is the bad place, it is a waste of time and energy, but most of all; it doesn’t work.  I need to be patient, I will let Mr. Special find me for once and “trip the light fantastic” ( I still don’t know what it means, but I like how it sounds) with friends and.. Me. I happen to like me in all my Special-ness :) Be Patient my friends, set your standards and KEEP to them, write down all the things you love about yourself, instead of focusing on all that you dislike, and you will attract what you like! Expect the BEST and you will get the best, because you DESERVE it.  Now put your candles down before you burn you hand….
Peace :)
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