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HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Dad!  And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Meghann!  I hope you both have an excellent day!


Hello, hello!  I am driving from Tennessee to Orlando today – 10 long hours in the car with two whining dogs (just kidding, they are angels). 


I had an egg and cheese English muffin sandwich for breakfast and packed a bunch of healthy food to fuel me through the day, including:


Cheerios, a banana, and apricots:


Pumpkin muffins (bought from a Haiti Relief Bake Sale at my mom’s church!):


A peanut butter and jelly sandwich:


And carrots and an apple:


Not sure if I’ll eat all this food on the road, but I’d rather have SOMETHING than nothing/fast food.


Since I’ll be gone the rest of the day, I thought I’d share an interesting reader e-mail question.  I’m curious to know your thoughts, too!


Reader Question:

Sarah wrote, “I am working on changing my life (regarding healthy diet and working out). One aspect I struggle with when I try a new activity is being a newbie. I hate the feeling of not knowing what I am doing, not being perfect at it right from the start. I am interested in starting yoga. I even attended a yoga workshop but have been nervous about doing back to attend regular classes. I really enjoyed the workshop but couldn’t help but notice that I wasn’t able to do everything others in the room were doing. In one of your recent posts, you mentioned how you loved how bad you were when you started running. How did you get that attitude and not get discouraged?”


My Response:

When I was in college, my friend Lauren sat me down and told me I either needed to shape up (eat better, party less, and take care of myself) or shut up (stop Fat Talking).  It was a pivotal moment in my life because it really opened my eyes to the fact that I HAD A CHOICE.


I could CHOOSE to be proactive about my health and mental wellness, or I could CHOOSE to be lazy and continue on the path I was on.   Lauren asked me if I wanted to go on a run with her, and I agreed.  We went about 1/4 a mile, and I practically collapsed on the sidewalk.  Again:  I was confronted with a CHOICE.  I could choose to give up, or I could choose to keep trying.  


There is something about that conversation and first run that firmly ingrained into me one simple truth: life is a series of choices.  It’s important to consciously decide what your end goal is and then map out the appropriate choices to get there.  When Lauren slapped some sense into me, I realized that my actions (partying too much, eating crappy food, rarely exercising) did not match up with my end goal (to be happy and healthy).  That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect to met your end goal, of course.  But my point is – if you don’t buy a lottery ticket, you can’t win!  


This realization, however, did not comfort me very much when I was beginning my new healthy habit.  Running was hard, I had no idea what a training plan was, and I had to change other aspects of my life to make it work (i.e. stop drinking so much). I KNEW that is was important that I keep a positive attitude… or else I would get discouraged.    


Once you make the choice to be healthier, here are six tips for maintaining a positive attitude:


  • Fake It Until You Make It:  The key is faking it until you make it.  FAKE that positivity.  FAKE that willingness to learn something new.  Tell yourself you LOVE being the new kid, that you LOVE the challenge, and that you WILL do it again… even if you feel the exact opposite.  Tell yourself you LOVE to be BAD at the activity!  Eventually, the enthusiasm generally becomes real.


  • Set Realistic Goals (and Base These Goals on Your OWN, CURRENT Abilities):  Tell yourself that you can do ANYTHING for 1 week, 1 month, or 2 months.  This is the trick I used on myself to get myself in a strength training habit.  I committed myself to the Intro to Iron Pumping Challenge for 12 weeks.  Sometimes, I really don’t want to go to the gym and lift, but I remind myself that I only have to do it for 12 weeks and then I can stop if I don’t like it.     When you set goals, base them on your current abilities, not how well you used to be able to do the activity or how well other people can do the activity.


  • Find Inspiration in Others:  Although it’s important not to compare yourself to others, I think it’s so powerful to observe other people.  When I began running and did my first 10K, I was ASTONISHED by the variety of people at the race – young, old, skinny, overweight, parents, children… everyone!  Whenever I was really nervous about the marathon, I would think about all the grandpas and grandmas that are still running marathons in the 80’s.   If they can do it, so can I! And so can YOU!


  • Remember Everyone Starts Somewhere:  Similar to the point above, remember that everyone started from scratch.  Whether it’s running or swimming or yoga, even the “best” people you know were novices at some point.   They didn’t know they were fast runners or flexible yogis at first – but they kept going and probably surprised themselves.  


  • Ask the “Experts”:  When you’re surrounded by people who seemed to be so much better than you are at the activity, it can be discouraging. Instead of seeing other people as competition, see them as a resource.   Ask them how they got to be so awesome (trust me, they will be flattered)!  For example, Ryan is a great swimmer, so I asked her to help train me.  My dad is a great cyclist, and I ask him for tips all the time. 


  • Reward Yourself and Cut Yourself Some Slack:  The BIG one!  When you reach your realistic goals, reward yourself!  After my first 10K, I went to a seafood restaurant and got crab cakes AND a lobster (pre-vegetarian days, of course) and then I got two cupcakes for dessert!  🙂 After the lifting challenge is over, I plan to get a manicure!   In a similar tone, don’t beat yourself up when you don’t reach your goal… guilt is not very productive.


How do you cultivate a positive attitude?


See you in Florida!



  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is February 8, 2010, 6:38 am

    I love these tips – I am a huge fan of using the resources around me. If I am trying/doing something different, I am definitely going to ask someone who has been there before. It makes me feel more at ease and gives me confidence that it is something I can do.

  • Stacey February 8, 2010, 6:54 am

    I think it’s important to have a support that when you are down on yourself, you have them to tell you: yes, you CAN do this. And knowing that it isn’t going to come overnight is important too. Doing anything active is better than doing nothing

  • Sarah February 8, 2010, 6:56 am

    I totally agree with those tips, especially faking it. But sometimes you’re not gonna be able to fake it effectively and for that you’ve just gotta cut yourself some slack.

    Personally, I hate it when I join a class and I’m a total newbie. So what I do is I swot. For example, if I want to join a yoga class with no experience. I want to have the confidence to know at least what some of the positions are called and how to do them so that I don’t feel like a complete fool. So, I will get a DVD (these are usually very good for beginners), research online and basically study. When starting the class I might still be a bit out of depth, but I always find comfort and enjoy anything that I recognise and it makes me feel less like a newbie.

  • Lisa February 8, 2010, 7:16 am

    I agree with your tips above. I tend to look at things more of a challenge, with a healthy dose of realism and acceptance. As in, learning to swim is a big deal for me but I decided I want to do a triathlon. Well, this is the challenge involved. And realistically, I’m never going to come in first, tenth or even hundreth, but I’m ok with that. I’m competitive with myself (trying to better my own times) but try to avoid comparing myself to others since I don’t know what they’re own journey has been.

    And perhaps what’s unspoken in your reader’s question – she might be uncomfortable because she thinks people are looking at her and judging her because she’s not able to do a certain move. Try to get past that – I hate to be blunt but really? No one cares! They’re probably thinking the same thing about themselves (not doing the move perfectly, etc).

    And one last thing – if you’re in a specific class, you should make a point of telling the instructor that you’re new at it so s/he could help you improve. If you’re hidden in the back, you might not be noticed as much and it could take longer to be aware of your mistakes.

    • Caitlin February 8, 2010, 5:35 pm

      true, love your second paragraph! just do your thing, no one is judging you!

  • Lisa February 8, 2010, 7:18 am

    BTW, I wanted to say thanks for the swimming/shampoo tips. I’ll be ordering that stuff online!

  • christie, honoring health February 8, 2010, 7:35 am

    I’m just now learning how to cultivate the positive attitude over the negative one. Learning how to stop the fat talk has been important to me though. Having a negative attitude is a learned behavior and it takes a ton of work to get over it but I am living proof that you can prevail.

  • Freya @ February 8, 2010, 7:46 am

    These are great tips!I agree with Lisa ( – said in a nice way!) – no-one cares! I always used to worry waaaay more than I do now about what people thought, then my mum used to ask me if I ever looked at someone on the street or in a class and thought about them what I was thinking abiut myself. The answer was no!
    People are so selfish, everyone is too wrapped up in their own lives, yoga pose, running technique etc to care about anyone else 😛 (and again, I mean that in a good way!).
    I’m also a big believer in a positive attitude. If you BELIEVE you can do it, you will suceed!! I’ve had that with dressage riding and running – I believed my (very average) horse and me could beat the best, and we ended up getting placed at regional level (big achievement for me!). I believed I could run an awesome half marathon yesterday, and I got a PR time – belieeeef 😀

    Great post!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg February 8, 2010, 8:07 am

    I love this post– so often we act as if we’re helpless, when in actuality, WE create our own lives. WE choose to be positive or negative. WE choose to eat that second piece of cake, or to sit and watch television all night instead of going on a run.

    Good luck in the car– we did twenty hours in a car with our dogs over Christmas, and we all felt A LOT closer afterwards. Not necessarily in a good way, either. 🙂

  • Laura Georgina February 8, 2010, 8:24 am

    These are great tips (I love the Faking It advice–so true!) I think that, once you set yourself a goal, it’s really motivating to tackle one part of your lifestyle at a time to reach that goal (e.g. don’t try to run three miles AND totally change your food intake if you’ve been chugging beer and the most exercise you get is a walk to the car!) If you pick one concrete goal (example: stop eating potato chips for snacktime, or walk-run for twenty minutes) and keep at it for a week or two, you’ll feel proud of your success and capable of taking on the next challenge.

  • chandra h February 8, 2010, 8:28 am

    this is such an inspiring post & just what i needed to read this morning. thanks so much, caitlin! <3

  • megan February 8, 2010, 8:28 am

    I’m also a big believer in the “no one cares” idea. I get so self-conscious sometimes. i just have to tell myself over and over that these people are not thinking about me. they’re concerned about themselves. It also helps if I keep repeating to myself: “I’m doing a great job. Look at me trying something new. I’m really learning. I’m really proud of myself for being able to do this.” It sounds dumb, but that positive self talk stuff really works and I start to think, wow, I’m really doing something good! 🙂

    • Julie @SavvyEats February 8, 2010, 11:20 am

      So right! At my first spinning class, I kept reminding myself “no one cares how fast or hard you are going, and hooray! you’re trying something new!”

  • Jolene ( February 8, 2010, 8:30 am

    Happy Birthday to your dad and Meghann!!! Have a great road trip – safe travels 🙂

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) February 8, 2010, 8:34 am

    The “everyone starts somewhere” mantra really resonates true with me. I’m not a great runner — if I hit 4 miles, that’s a “long” run — but I figure it’s better to try than not. It’s better to start than not. It’s better to be moving than sitting down.

    And so I carry on.

  • Sam (Merit to the Carrot) February 8, 2010, 8:36 am

    Fantastic advice, especially the last tip.. Everyone needs to allow themselves some leeway, and rewards definitely make the sweat and tears worth it. Drive safely!

  • Tami February 8, 2010, 8:46 am

    i wonder where Sarah lives, maybe a reader could help her out. workout buddies are the best. and no one knows what they are doing 100% of the time, just go with the flow and do your best

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) February 8, 2010, 8:47 am

    I love your attitude and great advice! 😀 It’s so true that we have the choice, and I love how honest your friend was about it!

  • Joey February 8, 2010, 8:49 am

    THANK YOU for this post! I love it & the advice is very helpful at this point in my journey! 🙂

  • Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn February 8, 2010, 9:01 am

    This is really nice to read Caitlin, thanks for the post. We all struggle with motivation and confidence sometimes, even after yearss of running (okay, I’m taking about myself).

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) February 8, 2010, 9:13 am

    What great tips, Caitlin! Love your down to earth approach to the issue.
    Drive safe today!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing February 8, 2010, 9:19 am

    I love this post girl 🙂
    I hate being new at things too but you have to start somewhere. And positive thinking is SO important, so very important. I try to stay positive by focusing on the good and not the bad. And like you said, faking it. Eventually you will actually be happy, even if you are just faking it at first.

  • Run Sarah February 8, 2010, 9:29 am

    Great tips. I find setting realistic goals but not being too rigid can really help, and taking it slowly. Otherwise, it can be overwhelming and harder to succeed. Safe travels home!

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner February 8, 2010, 9:34 am

    This is a great post. I agree with the previous poster, small realistic goals are a great way to go. When I just started running I would set a timer for 20 minutes and just try to run the whole 20 minutes no matter how slow I had to go. Realizing I could do that made me realize I could do anything!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday February 8, 2010, 9:36 am

    I loved your post today. It was really inspirational. I think I have to remind myself on a day to day basis that I am the way I am because of the choices that I have made. If I want to change I can’t be making those same types of choices.

    Thanks so much!!

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! February 8, 2010, 9:39 am

    Great post, Caitlin! =)

    Changing your life towards something more POSTIVE is always “hard” but totally worth it in the end……my life change took years & had several UPS & DOWNS but in the end was so totally worth it because I finally found myself again and am so much happier inside & out now then I ever was!

  • Erin February 8, 2010, 9:41 am

    I always try to remember that most people REALLY aren’t paying attention to you. And if they are, they don’t care what you’re doing. Especially with yoga, I like that a lot of the classes I take are mixed ability. I’ve been practicing awhile but I’ll be in a class with beginners and the best thing about yoga is, that’s totally ok and you can modify anything to fit your needs. Some days I’m the one that needs the modifications!
    I’m also a big fan of “fake it till you make it.”

  • Haleigh February 8, 2010, 9:42 am

    I used to feel the same way. I felt uncomfortable if I wasn’t the best at something. While growing up, I was a gymnast and I was very good so that feeling travels with me when I started to try other activities after I quit gymnastics. But, I had to learn just to let go of that feeling. Every one is a beginner at some point. Since then I have tried yoga, running and biking 🙂 Great post, btw!

  • greenbean February 8, 2010, 9:48 am

    I’ve felt the same way. I think it’s important to not to take yourself too seriously. Enjoy the learning process and realize that the people around you have come to the yoga class or gym to do their activity. They did not come to watch you or me. They probably don’t even notice us. And sometimes, the newbies can be so encouraging b/c they are out there trying something new and sticking to it. Often times people are not as judgemental as we our to ourselves.

  • greenbean February 8, 2010, 9:48 am

    I’ve felt the same way. I think it’s important to not to take yourself too seriously. Enjoy the learning process and realize that the people around you have come to the yoga class or gym to do their activity. They did not come to watch you or me. They probably don’t even notice us. And sometimes, the newbies can be so encouraging b/c they are out there trying something new and sticking to it. Often times people are not as judgemental as we our to ourselves.

  • Sue February 8, 2010, 9:58 am

    Amazing post Caitlin! You are so good at this stuff, seriously! I can’t answer the question you pose because I don’t have a positive attitude, but I am working on it! Posts such as this really help me to see that it is OK to be crap when you start doing something and that shouldn’t stop you working at it. On the strength of today’s post I am going to try running again and not feel like an idiot!

    Keep up the great work, you truly are an inspiration 🙂

  • February 8, 2010, 9:58 am

    great tips!

  • The Brunette February 8, 2010, 10:11 am

    Asking thr experts is definitely the way to go! Personal trainers that are walking around they gym are usually more than willing to show you how to use machines, provided they’re not mid-appointment. I think another thingto remember is that most people are pretty in the zone when they work out and really aren’t paying attention to what you’re doing! How do you get away with wearing middle school sports shorts and old, grungy t-shirts to the gym?!?

  • Lisa February 8, 2010, 10:15 am

    I tend to find difficulty in trying new classes or activities too, because I’m not “good” at them. I definitely like your tips and will remember them next time I try a new class. For me though, I just try to remember that everyone was new at everything at one point. Not many people are naturally talented at running or yoga or swimming. We all had to learn how to ride a bike at one point. So I just remind myself that I’m at a different stage than they are and next week, when I take the class again, someone else will be taking it for the first time!

  • Ellen February 8, 2010, 10:27 am

    Fake it till you make it…totally believe in that. Sometimes you just gotta tell yourself that yes, you ARE all THAT! Tell yourself that enough times and you’ll start to believe it, and your confidence will start to shine through. I have to do that constantly when I go to indusry-related parties. It helps keep me from feeling insecure since I don’t have a FT job at the moment.

  • skinnyrunner February 8, 2010, 10:27 am

    great tips! i love the fake it til you make it one.

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) February 8, 2010, 10:28 am

    Gosh, I cultivate my positive attitude by being thankful, and realizing all the things I have been blessed with… and just a little smile goes a LONG way to improving a mood. 🙂

  • Jenna @ EatingGreen, StayingLean February 8, 2010, 10:39 am

    Great ideas and feedback! I usually just remind myself how awesome I feel AFTER my workout, and that even if I look a little bit silly that at least I’m out there doing something about getting in better health!

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion February 8, 2010, 11:20 am

    Great post. I get questions like that all the time. I feel like you just have to get out there and do it. If you want it bad enough you will be willing to do the work to get there. Realizing you have control and it is all a choice you have to make is the best way.

  • Heather February 8, 2010, 11:26 am

    this is such a GREAT post. I needed to be reminded of the “you can do anything for x amount of time” – sometimes i get so discouraged which leads to laziness – but i know that if i do something a few times, i usually stick with it. Making some new goals RIGHT NOW about what i can accomplish in the next 40 days. 🙂 thanks for the inspiration, Caitlin.

  • Amber K February 8, 2010, 11:36 am

    Those are really some great tips.

    I am biased since I have had such success with , but my favorite thing to do when I’m lacking motivation is to view the inspirational pages there. To see such successful and inspirational stories always makes me feel better.

  • Linda February 8, 2010, 11:42 am

    Wow, I can totally relate to this question from Sarah. Yesterday I completed an Anusara Yoga Immersion. It was five days of asana, sanskrit study, meditation, and learning the principles of Anusara Yoga. There were ten of us and several of the women in the group were already yoga instructors and the rest of the group had been practicing yoga for years and even decades. I however have been practicing yoga since November! I am totally inflexible and new to this practice. But I felt with everything in my being that I should do this and so I did. It was the most amazing and overwhelming experience of my life. There was so much support in the room and I got into a handstand yesterday for the first time and everyone applauded me and I almost cried! You can do this if I can do it. In almost every pose I have to use blocks because of my tight hamstrings and it’s ok. I got into poses I’ve never been in before and even touched my toes in forward bend. Anything is possible and I just set my ego aside and accepted that I am where I am. Go for it learn from it and love yourself!!!

    • Caitlin February 8, 2010, 5:37 pm

      you rock for doing a handstand! go girl!!!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing February 8, 2010, 12:11 pm

    I think people should know that when they work-out at a gym no one is looking or judging you!! We’ve all been the new gym-goer at some point in our lives – it’s totally normal. Plus, everyone is so into their own routine I doubt they are focusing on what anyone else is up to around them. Just dive right in!

  • Raya February 8, 2010, 12:11 pm

    Have a safe trip, I love long drives (for the most part)…they’re great for thinking, and singing at the top of your lungs! 🙂

  • Laura @ Run Eat Date February 8, 2010, 12:11 pm

    Awesome tips! Congrats to Sarah (and all the other commenters) starting on their healthy journey. Deciding how you respond to fear and doubt is pivotal in this journey. I know after losing 100 pounds and becoming a runner, I still struggle with fear and doubt creeping in. Sometimes I tell myself to just “suck it up.” And sometimes I have to examine what is the worst thing that could happen if I do X, Y or Z. And sometimes, I tell myself that instead of taking a giant leap, a baby step is sufficient. I say go to yoga class and try to master one pose each time you go. After a few weeks, you’ll string a few poses together and get there! Good luck Sarah!

  • Foy Update - Cook. Garden. Write. Repeat. February 8, 2010, 12:16 pm

    Yoga is a great place to start. Ask your local studio or gym where you should start. A confident approach will get you a long way. Yoga is a great one because everyone is so centered on themselves you won’t feel watched. Once you’ve completed the first couple classed you’ll know what is going on.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) February 8, 2010, 12:24 pm

    I love packing food for trips too so I can avoid the over processed fast food.

    I keep a postive attitude by remembering that I’m doing it for me. I’m not there to be seen by others and I’m making the changes for me. There is always room to improve and everyone else has things they are working on too even if they aren’t newbies.

  • Jenn ( February 8, 2010, 12:36 pm

    Love your road snacks and I agree with your response to that question. I just try to strive for balance knowing that there are ups and down. Focusing on the big picture and not one day at a time keeps me going. If I measured my success and failures on a daily basis, I’d drive myself crazy. Staying active and living a healthy life is a process over one’s lifetime, and I’m learning as I go along. I try to view exercise as a challenge and fun, not as something that HAS to be done. You have to make everything you do as enjoyable as possible and only do and eat things that YOU like, not what someone else likes or does.


  • Ariane February 8, 2010, 12:57 pm

    most perfectly timed post ever! i just try to see each week as brand new, a new start to do better on the things that i slacked on the week before 🙂

  • Jen February 8, 2010, 12:57 pm

    I agree with Beth @ DiningAndDishing. It took me a LONG time to realize that no one was paying attention to me at the gym. I would only lift weights if I was with my husband (then boyfriend), or a friend. I stuck to cardio, because putting one foot in front of the other left little room for criticism. I always feared someone would come over and correct me, or point out my flaws. However, this NEVER happened!

    I soon realized that I was the barrier that was stopping me from being as fit as I could be. I love taking classes, because the instructors are there to help you. As a teacher, I firmly believe in guided practice. You learn as you go! Enjoy the learning experience, and before you know it, you’ll be the pro and others will be watching YOU, not to hand out criticism, but to get tips!

  • Sagan February 8, 2010, 1:04 pm

    I like “faking it”- if you say, “this is who I am”, even if you don’t feel you’re QUITE there yet, other people will believe it, and you will believe it, and you will BECOME it. And that’s really cool.

    Mmmm PB&J sandwiches.

  • Ashley @ Good Taste. Healthy Me February 8, 2010, 1:04 pm

    I basically try to pep-talk myself. I can definitely be pretty hard on myself.

  • kate February 8, 2010, 1:12 pm

    Have a safe drive! (I would probably go batty 10 hours in the car by myself!)

    I’m saving this post for later–really inspirational and what I need right now. Even if I don’t realize it I have a choice in everything I do, and even though I’ve made some bad choices that doesn’t mean I can’t start making good ones!

  • caronae February 8, 2010, 1:31 pm

    Great tips! When I start trying something new, I just tell myself how much fun it is to learn a new skill or meet new people; I try to approach it from this direction rather than from seeing myself as inexperienced.
    In terms of yoga, one of the main ideas in yoga is respecting yourself and looking inward. It doesn’t matter if you can’t do half the poses; no one will be staring at you, rather, it’s a personal challenge for yourself.
    Hope that helps!
    Have a safe drive home Caitlin!

  • Andrea February 8, 2010, 1:36 pm

    Your advice is great Caitlin. I remember being new to yoga and realizing what a friendly, laid back environment I was in. My instructors always encouraged the class to do only what we were comfortable doing. I think yoga is a great activity for a newbie to try.

  • kwithme February 8, 2010, 1:42 pm

    To the person afraid to try yoga because of being new. Yoga is the perfect place to learn to accept and love where you are. I remember taking an Ashtanga Yoga class at 230 lbs. After the class, I was really depressed as I was “bad at it” and was nearly in tears. The instructor told me that I had done very well and that being “where I was” was the whole point of yoga. That mind set has allowed me to enjoy many more activities that I would have avoided for fear of not being good enough or the best.

  • Lisa February 8, 2010, 1:50 pm

    I love all of these, especially the “fake it til you make it”! I tell myself the same thing all the time, and even though I didn’t really like running when I started out, I kept at it and now I love it!

  • Laura February 8, 2010, 2:04 pm

    I can really relate to the reader’s question! I started yoga a few months ago and I went through the same mental berating of not being able to do what other people were doing. I almost gave up yoga because of it! The thing that made the difference for me was to go to a true beginniner’s class. My work offers a lunch time yoga. One class a few weeks ago was devoted SOLEY to the form and confidence you need to do a side plank. I had never done a regular plank in my life and after leaving the class that day I was able to do both a plank and a side plank (only for a few seconds) and feel good about it!

    Compared to the class at my gym, the class at work is EASY. Downward dogs are becoming an easy move to me and it’s remarkable to see that difference from practicing yoga once a week for only a few months. So just stick with it and don’t compare yourself to others when it comes to yoga!!! I promise it will get better.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) February 8, 2010, 2:13 pm

    Great tips Caitlin – I couldn’t agree with them more 🙂
    My only tip would be to stick with it – oh and accept that some days will just feel ‘off’. But these usually pass quickly. I used to get intimidated when starting a new class etc, however I find that often the anticipation is worse and when you actually get there and get started everything is fine 🙂

  • Mary C (A Greener Leaner Me) February 8, 2010, 2:49 pm

    I love these tips Caitlin! One thing that helps me is thinking about how strong and confident I always feel after working out. Have a safe trip home!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) February 8, 2010, 2:57 pm

    these are great points, but I love that your friend told you to shape up or shut up…i wish someone had said that to me in college, and that’s a mark of a great friend! keep the great advice coming, I know i could use as much tough love as I can get 🙂

  • Emily @ The Front Burner Blog February 8, 2010, 3:02 pm

    When I first started yoga I felt like a FOOL! I didn’t know the poses or anything, and I kept messing up and using the wrong sides, etc. I just watched everyone else, and realized that no one was watching me – they were all busy trying to get it right themselves! As soon as you realize that the only person who cares is YOU, you can move on and have a great workout. 🙂

  • Hannah February 8, 2010, 3:11 pm

    Did you and Meaghann get into an argument? It seems like you guys don’t talk or hang out as much as you used to.

  • Heather February 8, 2010, 3:54 pm

    thats how long it takes us to get to Orlando. bboorriinnggg!

    and GO SAINTS!

  • Gracie @ Girl Meets Health February 8, 2010, 4:14 pm

    Girl, were you an inspirational speaker in a past life or something?! Seriously…I always leave your blog feeling SO encouraged and motivated…especially right now. xoxo G

  • Christie February 8, 2010, 6:04 pm

    I haven’t read all the above tips but here’s what I do to get excited when I take on something new: I like to think that the journey is just as fun as reaching the destination. For example, if you have a significant other, think about how awesome it was for the first few months (the romance, the uncertaintity, the sappiness, etc) and how you feel now. Sure now is AWESOME but you really can’t get that newness back so enjoy it while it lasts.

  • John February 8, 2010, 7:23 pm

    Nice Post Caitlin. Tell Sarah not to worry about the yoga. I attended some yoga 3 years ago when I was 280-290lbs.I obviously wasn’t able to do all the poses as well as the others but the instructor was encouraging and told me to go as far as I could and with time you get even better.

    All my life I kind of snickered at yoga but it was definitely a workout!

  • Sarah February 8, 2010, 7:46 pm

    Hey everyone. It’s Sarah from the reader’s question. I loved reading the comments. They were very encouraging. I am happy to report I just got home from yoga class. I did the best I could. I feel so good right now. Thanks again for posting my question Caitlin. It was just the push I needed.

    • Caitlin February 8, 2010, 8:57 pm

      YAY 🙂 glad you went to class!

  • Cat February 9, 2010, 12:22 am

    For me it’s always about the end result. How will I feel later? When trying some sort of new workout thing, I’m basically never sorry that I tried it. But I am sorry if I didn’t just go for it. And at the end of a hard class? I feel on top of the world! Like I can conquer anything. And that is worth any awkward moments I may have during something tricky. Like a kickboxing class last year — I practically tripped over myself the WHOLE time. But at least I got through it!

  • Cat February 9, 2010, 12:26 am

    Oh and one other thought I had…When you’re in a fitness class environment, reach out to the instructor. They are there to help you and probably would be super happy to answer your questions! It might require you starting the convo with them first before or after class, but making a connection with them will definitely help make you feel connected and also give you the room to ask questions when you’re unsure about something.

  • Jessica @ WHY DONTCHA RUN February 9, 2010, 6:10 am

    Thank you so much for sharing these tips! I found that setting a realistic time line to train for my first 5k (9 weeks), I was able to stick to it even on days that I really didn’t feel like lacing up. I would tell myself that I only had so many more weeks and that I could stop running after that first 5k. BUT because I had set that goal, I wasn’t going to let myself down because I was feeling lazy or discouraged… I just laced up and went for it. All the hard work paid off because I ran my first 5k on Saturday. If I can do it… anyone can! 😉

  • Betsy February 9, 2010, 9:55 am

    Thank you SO much for these tips. You pop them into your blog in different forms the perfect amount. I know if i’m struggling to find motivation…I can turn to your blog for some straight talk – go get it advice. Thanks for telling your story and sharing your motivation/techniques as much as you do!
    I do have a question – how do you deal with excuses? Do you ever make them to yourself? I’ve had three knee surgeries and am allowed to run shorter distances but I find myself saying oh i shouldn’t run because of my knee. Another example is the weather. You live in florida so it might be the opposite for you (extreme heat vs. snow) but in PA we are currently drowning in snow and I find myself saying – its too snowy outside or too cold or you might slip. SO many excuses – I try to not let them get the best of me…but sometimes they do…how do you deal with excuses?
    Thanks for sharing all that you do! 🙂

    • Caitlin February 9, 2010, 10:02 am

      well, i think there are two tips of excuses:

      1) Lazy excuses
      2) I need a break excuses.

      Lazy excuses are when you should be working out but you are just feeling mentally lazy. I try to avoid this because, well, sitting on the couch is really nice, but it doesn’t get you anywhere in life. I just don’t allow myself to start making these excuses. If I feel it coming on, I stand up, put on my clothes, and walk out the door before I even although myself to really get on the excuses train.

      I think if you are making excuses because you really need a mental break or are physically tired or are too busy to workout, just let yourself rest. don’t beat yourself up about it.

      if you find yourself making excuses about outdoor exercise, i would say instead of blowing off your workout completely, try doing something else. like “it’s really cold outside, so instead of going for a walk, i’m going to do this workout DVD.”

      be kind to your knees!!

  • Heather March 25, 2010, 10:43 am

    the number of times i refer to this post while commenting on blogs/gchatting/talking in real life to people about fitness is getting kind of outrageous.

    you are like the Webster of blog reference for me.

    • Caitlin March 25, 2010, 10:45 am


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