Why I'm Against Exercise :: and I owned three fitness centers for 14 years

Why I'm against exercise | HOLSPARK

When I hear the words:  exercise, workout, training, training log, heart rate monitor, or God forbid...burning calories...I don’t know whether I want to cry or y-a-w-n. 

I don’t find the conversation or the practice of those things very stimulating or fun.  And yet I “exercise” all the time. I’m complimented for it and even admired for it. People tell me they wish they had my discipline and willpower.

Here’s the truth. I don’t do ANYTHING (w/ the exception of going to the dentist and that one time I took my daughter to an amusement park) that I don’t really like. I have never been able to muster up discipline or willpower to engage in something I didn’t honestly love just for some notion of “I should”, or “it’s good for me.” Not my style.

Here’s the deal, if you hate it, it is NOT good for you.   

For the record I run (trail running) and bike (mostly mountain) because it feeds my soul. Those are two of my passions. I connect to nature, Source, and to the deepest level of myself through these activities. Sometimes they are meditative or provide divine downloads and at other times they are purely freeing and playful. There is nothing like feeling the wind in your face and mud splattered on your legs. Love it.  It’s not exercise, it’s a lifestyle and a soul passion.

Any fitness that comes from biking and running is an awesome bonus.

But here’s the dirty (because I love mud!) on fitness, weight loss, health….

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a body in motion. But that can be achieved through many things. The key is to give yourself a break and permission to enjoy what you really enjoy. Quit forcing what’s not working. If you hate the gym, don’t go. Don’t feel bad about it. Redefine what exercise is and how it can look. Do what you love. Experiment, explore, and keep only what feels good. Dance, swim, have more sex, chase the kids more, walk your neighbor’s dog.

Listen, I owned 3 fitness centers for 14 years. I’m a certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC. I’ve studied with the best of the best and here is what you need to know.  It’s simple.

Yes, movement (what most refer to as working out) is a big part of your overall health and wellness. We are meant to move.

But, the NUMBER ONE thing that is going to lead to chronic disease and kill us first is stress. (And while we're at it...stress leads to fat too. But, we'll talk cortisol another day.)

STRESS. Got it. So do more of what you love. Feel joy. Laugh more. Enjoy more. Do LESS, not more. And quickly and without guilt cut out the shoulds of life and anything else that really isn’t working for you.

The second factor, even more critical than exercise in terms of reshaping our bodies and energy levels is diet. What you put into your mouth daily.

People are exercising more than ever and we are in a state of increasing obesity and disease.

You can exercise until the cows come home, and if your diet is full of toxic, processed food, your body will not lose weight, be strong, or thrive with vitality.

Let go of all the overwhelming and conflicting diet info out there and the guilt over missed workouts and not exercising enough and follow these 7 simple guidelines.

Here’s the roadmap:

  1. Reduce Stress

  2. Live YOUR Passions (a.k.a. do more of what you LOVE)

  3. Get good sleep

  4. Drink pure water

  5. Eat for vital nutrients — veggies, fruits, mushrooms, legumes, spices, herbs.

  6. Remove animal products & processed foods

  7. Move often and in a way that pleases you

  8. Be grateful

  9. Love more

So go unpack the gym bag unless you love the gym, then by all means…GO! Breathe a sigh of relief and maybe dance naked under the stars tonight. Be happy. Be healthy. Live more of what you love.

Sparking your EPIC!


No BS to Weight Loss & a HOT Body for women ... over 40

No BS to Weight Loss | HOLSPARK

80% of sculpting your body happens in the kitchen, not the gym.

Especially for women. Especially for women over 40. However, it's good to learn at any age.

Listen, I work out at the gym all the time. I love it. I have fun. I get to work out with one of my favorite girlfriends of all times and laugh. And it's true...I am in love with the pull-up machine.

So if you see me there, don't be confused by this message. When you hear me talk about epic bike rides and crazy long runs...don't be confused. That stuff feeds my spirit. It's actually harder for me to shape my body by doing so much endurance. 

What I'm saying here is...you don't need a gym or a crazy amount of mileage to stay in shape. I do it because I love it, not because I think it'll create weight loss or shape my body in any particular way. Just wanted to set the record REALLY straight there.

What makes me sad is how many women I see working so hard and who are dragging themselves to the gym everyday and hating it. Women who are there because they think it's the way or the only way to lose weight and get in shape. What makes me sad is all the women who are riding and running for weight control...to "get in shape" and not doing any of it out of pure passion and pleasure.

I know this isn't popular news for the fitness industry. Heck, I owned 3 gyms for 14 years. And I plan to own another one day. You know, for those people who love it. And of course my "gym" of the future won't be anything like most gyms...but that's another story.

But my point is...the No B.S. truth is....our weight is MOSTLY (like 80% mostly) controlled by diet. It is impossible to "work off" calories. Seriously, look at the calorie count in something and calculate the workout needed. It's a bad model. It's unsustainable. And it is so not fun. I'm all for fun. And food. And pleasure.

The moral of the story is you must fall in love with food. The good news: I bet it'll be easier to fall in love with food and preparing it than to fall deeply in love with that treadmill.

The thing that fires me up the most is I see so much struggle due to misinformation and over-information. That needs to stop.

I also see denial. Yep, sorry. What you EAT MATTERS. It affects every cell in your body. You have to be willing to take 100% responsibility for this area of life. It means shopping differently and preparing food differently. Yep, I mean YOU + Your Kitchen = True Love Forever (or at least radiant vitality!).

It's not a diet, it's a way of life. It's a lifestyle. People say that all the time, "it's a lifestyle" -- but I think people have a hard time taking that nice little sentence and figuring out how to create that lifestyle. Like what does that really mean.

The hardest part is getting started. There IS a learning curve. There will be things you'll need to toss. Things you'll need to buy. Mindset shifts and a willingness to learn a few "tricks of the trade." But once you make the transition, you will NEVER go back. You'll get leaner. Have more energy. Look younger. Feel happier. Be more confident. Be more connected to your body and to your life.

Now that's a pretty desirable place to be in that takes little motivation to stay in once you're there, but you've got to get there first, right?

We can’t live our best lives in bodies not at their best. We need energy, strength, nourishment, and a radiant vitality to go after and to live our lives and dreams to the fullest.

And every cell in our body recognizes it's our natural state. It's our primal nature.

Bottom line.  Get in line. Like at the grocery store. Food really matters. Treadmills don't.

Here's to your radiant vitality without all the B.S.!