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Harnessing the power of karma to find your way

5 Jul

Hey friends.

I’m writing to you while I eat a very creative, “make it work” kinda dinner. Dave is asleep on the couch, declaring, “I’m not too hungry,” which meant my craving for chicken parm would not be quelled. Instead I had to think of a chicken-free option so that I could save that for a night we eat together, and pulled out some fridge and pantry staples to make it happen… or make it work, I should say.

Sauteed mushrooms with bacon and pinto beans, over spinach

easy dinner salad


- 2 handfuls of sliced mushrooms (I buy them pre-sliced whenever possible. Less work = more chance I’ll use them before they go bad)

- 1 clove of garlic

- 1/2 a slice of turkey bacon (there for flavor more than sustenance, but don’t get me wrong, I could love on bacon alone)

- 1/3 can of pinto beans

- Salt, pep & oregano (a bunch, a bunch, and a dash)

- Monster handful of spinach

- Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

First I sauteed the mushrooms, garlic, bacon, and beans in a little bit of olive oil in a pan for about 8-10 minutes on medium heat. I added the spices while it was cooking. Then I poured it, with drippings, onto the plate of spinach & tomatoes. I love wilted spinach. When I sat down to eat it, I added a little more salt, and also a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I felt I did a good deed for myself :)

Speaking of doing good things for myself, I’m still in the process of re-reading “The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success”, by Deepak Chopra. I just finished chapter 3:

Most of you are familiar with karma; the basic principle that says what you put out into the world is what you get back. I’m a big karma believer. I’m going to tell you a story that I think illustates the power of it really, really well. At least for me. It’s the story of how I founded my startup, Fit Steady (we renamed it Fit Steady instead of Trainer Link, in case you missed that post).

I have a mentee that I just started talking to, and he was telling me about his struggles with entrepreneurship and figuring out what he should do; which dream to pursue. His interest was actually in helping entrepreneurs themselves, and figuring out how to build something around that. I, too, had the same issue of not being able to figure out how to manifest my passion into something real. I had that issue for years. It was only in retrospect that I was able to tell him how I came upon the answer for me. This blog had a lot to do with it. Below is an excerpt from an email I wrote to him:

“I think the #1 catalyst for me was my blog–focusing my passion in a public medium. My blog loosely chronicles my ebb & flow with health & fitness. I don’t write the blog because I love building an audience (though I love my readers), I write it because I love to write, and I have a never ending quest to be in good shape. Out of that, I decided to become a personal trainer so that I could be more credible in the fitness industry (in addition to my other job). So I went and got certified, only to realize… that I didn’t want to be a personal trainer.
I blogged about wanting to do it. And about 10 weeks it took me to get certified. Therefore… people were asking me to train them.
I told everyone (everyone. the whole freakin blog reading universe) about the details of getting certified.. told my friends, family, etc., and then didn’t follow through.
I felt like a failure. 
For five months I wallowed in it. I thought to myself, “I have a blog, I AM a trainer, but it’s not clicking! AHH!! What can I do?” And I would think, “One day I’m going to look back on this time period and say to people, ‘Well, I went through a nebulous period, but then I figured it out!’” I would fantasize about having that epiphany moment. Five months of not having it pretty much drove me insane. But I kept thinking. Always. Hoping it would hit me. And then one day… it clicked. And it started as something completely different than what it is now. But. It started.
The reason why I’m telling you all of this back story is two reasons. 1) It will come to you. The right idea. You won’t know when, and it might not start off the same way it ends, but it will come if you open your arms to it as often as possible. 2) Talk to as many entrepreneurs as you can (if that’s where your passion lies), and write things down. For me, this took the form of my blog. that was my inspiration. It opened up the fitness conversation with everyone I talked to innately, and I learned. I learned the key insight that started my company. By telling the world I was a fitness guru, the world told me everything right back.
Tell the world you work with entrepreneurs. See what comes back to you.”
I’ve mentored a handful of people over the last few years, and the biggest frustration I hear is that people want to be a certain thing, or have a certain skill, but are afraid the world won’t perceive them that way. They are afraid they can’t embody that other person they wish to be. But I truly believe that if you tell the world you are something, if you take the step to put yourself out there, and you really believe in in your heart that you are, then you will be. You will manifest it on your own by following that path until you float right to the top of it. That belief led me all the way to Startup Weekend in Austin with my “personal trainer idea”, and here I am in the midst of the biggest project I’ve ever worked on.
So my question to you is, what will you tell the world you are?

Two Tricks To Staying Motivated & A 12 Minute Workout

29 May

After a Memorial Day Weekend full of hot dogs, hamburgers, beer, chips (sour cream & onion ridges… mmmm) and cookies, I woke up this morning at 7:15 with the mindset of kicking it really hard at the gym. The only thing was, I felt super groggy and kind of sick with an itchy throat. The cause of said shitty feeling? My allergies. Why, why, why won’t they go away? I made my ceremonial cup of coffee none the less, and sat down to watch today’s bodyrock routine.

As I watched the hosts sweat their asses off, I thought to myself, “Eh, that looks kinda hard, maybe I won’t workout today.” And then I immediately talked myself off the ledge. Don’t do it Mel!!!

I know myself by now, and there are two key things I need to keep in mind when trying to maximize my health & fitness:

1. Focus on an upcoming event I want to be in shape for. For me, it’s not just enough to want to be in shape. I’ll go to them gym 3x a week with that goal in mind, and eat okay, but I won’t be at my best. I need to be driven by the thought of how I want to feel at an exact future event. For example, last year I went on a cruise with my family, and that was a great motivator for me to say no to cookies–or really, just eat less cookies ;) . So this morning I focused on Bonnaroo. Dave and I are going to that 3 day music festival in only a week, and I plan on being a hippie in my shorts & bikini top the whole time.

2. Implement the 5 minute rule when working out. Like I mentioned earlier, I was very close to calling it quits this morning. But the 5 minute rule says this: get into your workout routine anyway, and give it 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, your heartrate will be up a bit, and the “feel good” feeling will start to kick in. If it doesn’t, and you still feel like this is not a good day to workout, then by all means, save it for tomorrow. Today I did just that–jumped on the treadmill for a warmup and after only 3 minutes starting feeling good. I ended up seeing my workout through to completion. Yeya.

Here’s my 12 minute workout for today, with reps included under each exercise:

12 minute bodyrock workout

After the workout, I made a nice healthy egg scramble. Cookies be damned.

  • 2 eggs
  • ~ 1.5 cups of chopped kale
  • 6 grape tomatoes, halfed
  • 2 mini yellow peppers, sliced
  • lil bit of sliced yellow onion
  • salt, pep, oregano

I’m lovin’ these little peppers lately. Not sure if it’s because they taste good, because their colorful, or because they’re really, really, cute:

How do you keep yourself motivated to workout and eat healthy?

12 Minute Workout & Chicken For Breakfast

24 May

Two very energizing things happened to me yesterday. First, an entrepreneur that I look up to in Austin agreed to grab coffee with me, and helped me realize some opportunity right at my fingertips with Trainer Link. Second, I tested out a new personal trainer model for Trainer Link that got traction in just 4 days. Granted, it’s not amazing holy moly I’ve cured world hunger traction–but it’s traction!! And because both of those very exciting things happened in the same day, I got no sleep last night. Too. Much. Excitement.


I woke up with only 4 hours of sleep behind me and decided to hit the gym anyway to keep my fitness mojo going. I created a 12 minute high intensity interval workout called “No Sleep”, heh, and knocked it out before 9am.

12 minute workout

Following my workout, I was completely out of time and needed to run out the door for a meeting–so I grabbed the quickest possible protein rich breakfast I could find. That ended up being cold leftover grilled chicken straight from the tuperware container. Dave then told me I smelled like chicken as I drove him to work.

Anyway :)

Here is a breakdown of the workout I did plus my reps. The 12 minute workout consisted of 50 seconds “on” of an exercise completing as many reps as possible with good form, followed by 10 seconds rest. I had a 4 exercise circuit that I completed 3 times through to total 12 minutes. You can follow the links of each exercise to see an example of the move.

1. Alternating jump lunges holding a 10 lb. weight: 22/20/24

2. Stability ball knee crunches: 13/11/9

3. Reverse push ups (without the kicks shown in this video): 16/14/13

4. Alternating one-legged push ups: 8, 8 (last two from knees), 10 (last 6 from knees)

I thought it was a great full body workout and a great way to start another busy day.

So tell me, what’s the oddest thing you’ve ever eaten for breakfast?



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