By Susan Howard

The yo-yo, for as quickly as it goes down it can just as easily snap back up.  This was the topic of a text message exchange I had with a client whom I haven’t seen in months. She got a new job, and over the course of the year put back the 80 pounds she lost. I started to suspect problems when she was slow to commit to session times and started blowing off her workouts with me on the regular.  Although she did maintain her weekend spinning classes I got the feeling that she was scared to come to her workouts.  As if she knew she was slipping and didn’t want anyone (me) to be witness to it.  

I wonder if some people don’t think they can have it all.  They can either have the love of their lives, the body they want or an amazing career, but not all of it.

There is no limit to your joy, success and happiness.

When you are slipping into old habits don’t shut down.  You need to allow friends, coaches or even trusted family members in.  Don’t wait until you have undone every single pound you worked so hard to lose.  If you are “slip sliding away” here are a few tips to arrest the free fall…

First start with what you like. Maybe you love kick boxing or walking in the snow with your dogs or roller skating along the beach. Whichever is your favorite workout, the one that doesn’t feel like a drag and start there.

Then prep healthy food you love.  I hate chicken fajitas and for as healthy as anyone could tell me they are, I still would never look forward to eating them. Veggie lentil soup is one of my favorites and with all that fiber and carrots I know it’s a good pick to help me feel satiated and will taste delicious. Don’t let anyone convince you what you like or don’t. Go to your all time favorites and start cooking.  If you are too busy to manage this, Grub Hub something healthy to your desk at work.  Also Trader Joes has a ton of prepackaged salads and stuff that people love.

Lastly, engage your community.  Make a bet with a friend that you will workout for 30 minutes 10 consecutive days. You could also tell the front desk of your gym to call and bug you if you don’t show two days in a row.  (Whenever we get back to going to actual gyms.)  Do an abs challenge with a sibling and at the next family gathering you have to show the goods.

Covid is not an excuse to lay around and get fat.

Five pounds turns into 75 if you let it. Old habits and comfort eating are hard ones to break.  You got this. You are not alone. We are here for you. We see you. You are okay. Be kind.

Stay Ready. 

Continue Reading 0

Goody Two Shoes

By Susan Howard

Most of us don’t want to be perceived as boring hum drum types. 

I have a want, as many of us do, to be fit and eat well.  However, there are unforeseen obstacles to this task and one is self perception.  Beyond the struggles of passing up a yummy cheeseburger, fries and a Coke for lunch, past the I am too tired to workout, lies something less obvious.

As I have cleaned up my diet I have come to realize that sometimes I really want to mess up.  Intentionally.  It’s as if I don’t want to erase the old standby, not in as good shape, bagel and cream cheese eating me.  

I think of myself as edgy, someone that wants a triple espresso, someone that may drink too much red wine at a party and stay up until two in the morning laughing with friends.  And so, if I become the herbal tea drinking, steamed vegetable eating in bed by ..read more

Continue Reading 0


By Susan Howard

As I walk/run around a picturesque Los Angeles reservoir, there is a flock of ducks having an argument.  Maybe it’s not a full quarrel, but a deep discussion in quack language.  It’s a tough one to call.  I stand still for a moment to try and figure out if it’s an angry quack or simply a town hall meeting.  The conversation continues heads bobbing up and down as the early morning starts to wake.  I watch and laugh.  

One duck is defiantly in charge, barking at the other ducks to get it together.  They waddle around in zig zag circles and then as a group magically decide to fly off together in a “V” formation.  If I had pushed the snooze on my alarm this morning, I would have missed the fowl convention and the beautiful soaring as they sailed away.  

Clients come to me looking for a change and often times the story begins with self hatred.  ..read more

Continue Reading 1

Covid Health

By Susan Howard

Is there such a thing?  The title of this post may be a little misleading as many of us, including leading experts, seem to be stumped by the transmission of this pandemic.  Do I know more than anyone else about Covid, No.

One thing I do know is having a healthy lifestyle will improve your mood, your energy levels and yes increase your overall wellbeing.  While I don’t have a cure for this horrible virus, I do have some information about health in general that could help.

First off, get moving!  It is easy to lean into the fact that tons of gyms are closed, and we aren’t supposed to be going anywhere #saferathome.  That being said, we must figure out a way to move.

Here in California there are beaches, hikes and pools that are still open.  (Apparently since pools are so chlorinated as long as you keep social distance swimming pools are okay.)  Outdoor spinning and yoga classes seem ..read more

Continue Reading 0


By Susan Howard

Heroin is sexy.  Being a user is cool.  Movies featuring beautiful actors running in the rain are made about drug and alcohol addicts.  They are thin, strung out and amazing brilliant artists if they could just get over their one problem.

This, by contrast, is not the same for fat people with food and sugar addictions.  “I ate an entire bag of Oreos in one sitting, I finished a jar of peanut butter watching Game of Thrones, or I can never eat just one cheese burger.”  These statements are not hot or okay.

I drank too much last night might bring a responds of, “Oh wow you must be so hungover.”

Unlike I ate an entire pizza and three pieces of cheesecake might bring the responds of, “What’s wrong with you?” with a side snicker of, “That’s why he’s so fat, he can’t control himself.”

Who can control themselves?  No one.  It’s tough for us all.  We may be triggered by a ..read more

Continue Reading 2

Hot Hot Hot

By Susan Howard

Temperatures have risen to 116 degrees here in LA, even the desert succulents are drooping in our front yard.  It’s challenging for me, the fitness guru, to want to get in the gym and work up a sweat seeing as all I have to do is dip my head outside and I am dripping.  What to do when all you want to do is squeezing into a ball in your refrigerator or watch a double feature in the blasting AC?

Here are a few ideas to stay on track when it’s boiling out.

First off, if you have a POOL or access to a public one by all means get in that thing!!!  You could buy some of those webbed gloves to get some extra strength training in, but honestly swimming laps is great too.

Next you could find an iceskating ring and join in on one of their public sessions.  If you’ve been reading my blogs you’ll know I have ..read more

Continue Reading 0

Much Obliged

By Susan Howard

Like in an annoying friendship, hanging out with someone because of guilt or feeling like you are “supposed to” leads to a destructive unhappy life.  My new responds when someone tries to lay a trip on me about not calling is, “I don’t do that guilt thing.”  I verbally reject the bogus accusations because, guess what, I am an adult and I get to do what I want, when I want.  As I protest, it is obvious I have previously fallen victim and bought into their heavy negative feelings.  In the past I have felt remorse and crappy about myself.  That is why now I have to reject the lame attitudes out loud to prove it to myself.  “I’ll call you when I am damn ready.”

Which brings me to this; food.

You have no obligation to eat what you ordered at a restaurant.  

You have no obligation to eat what someone else ordered at a restaurant.

You have no obligation ..read more

Continue Reading 2

Hail Mary

What do Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson have in common? That’s right, with the football game on the line and time running out, they have each perfected the Hail Mary. They can throw a bomb half the length of the field, into the end zone for the game winning touchdown.

What does this have to do with you and why do you care? Maybe you don’t even like football and could give two hoots about the Superbowl. Fear not. My usage of the term “The Hail Mary” is to be used thusly; if it’s the end of the day and you haven’t had a chance to workout because of work obligations, travel, family events whatever, you still can throw a Hail Mary.

You should answer the question what could be your Hail Mary routine and keep it in your mind and write it out so you know what to do in a pinch.

Picture this; it’s 9:30 pm and you are ..read more

Continue Reading 0

Dark Daze

By Susan Howard

It’s a rough time right now, and all of us are being taken down by the political animosity in one way of another. Let’s face it, it’s stressful! We can pretend not to pay attention, but it’s impossible not to notice the frenzy around us. Even Tibetan monks are struggling on mountain tops, Namaste.

The only way around the craziness is through. Get sweaty, take action, walk in nature, write letters, wave flags, take a knee. You do you. Don’t let the dark cloud leave you lethargic and lame. Don’t let this time be an excuse to get lazy or be overwhelmed with anxiety. It’s time to stand up and be on the go.

I don’t mean this metaphorically, I actually want you to get to the gym, jump on your bike or go swim laps. Positive energy in your body creates positive thoughts in your head which in turn leads to calm focused decisions.

We all want change, but what ..read more

Continue Reading 0

Sense Memory

By Susan Howard

One of my clients, who at times struggles to maintain a healthy weight, was “off the wagon” as they say. She got a new demanding job and bought her first home so her stress level was a solid ten. During this time her workouts declined and in turn her eating went south as well. Months later coming back to her training sessions with me she had put on an extra twenty pounds on the hiatus.

Getting her back on track we looked at, in addition to strength training with me, some spinning classes she might sign up for. In the past, spinning was a strong foot hold in her weight loss habits. She enjoyed the music, competition and and energy in the room.

At her first class back, she had to leave the room halfway through the class because she thought she was going to throw up. She was used to maxing out her ride each time she went, but ..read more

Continue Reading 0