Opting Out of "Thin"

In this post, Coach Hannah shares her experience of redefining fitness goals based on her own desires, rather than blindly adhering to cultural norms. Enjoy!

For a long time I was running the race to be THIN.

(For most of my life, it didn't feel like there was any other choice.)

As a woman in America, it comes at you from all angles:

Thin is healthy.
Thin is attractive. 
Thin is achievable (if you aren't thin, you aren't trying hard enough, and you're probably lazy). 
Thin is the only worthy goal for your female body. 
Thin is
measurable (by the number on the scale, by calories in and out, by the size on your clothing tags.)

...And you'll never know if you are thin ENOUGH, so keep hustling.

And hustle I did.

To be honest, I started strength training as part of my pursuit of thin-ness.

But luckily there are are some key differences in the pursuit of strength, that helped me widen my perspective. 

Strong is healthy
Strong is attractive
Strong is achievable (this is actually true, any body can get stronger, whereas not every body is meant to look like our cultural standard of "thin")
Strong is also measurable. (By how much weight you lift. By how many reps and sets you do.)

But here's my favorite part:

Strong is relative. 

Strong is not one size.

Make Your Mornings Suck Less: Part 4

Today I want to talk to you about a concept that I call "Smoothing the Path."

I know that I am generally grumpy toddler when I wake up. It is often dark, and cold. There are lots of reasons to want to stay in bed, or to resent having to get moving. Especially when you are forced to wake up early. Toddler tantrums are a serious risk here.

At night, before bed, I am a grown-ass adult woman, and I have the bandwidth to make some mature and reasonable choices.

I have found it useful to leverage this fact to help my morning toddler deal with her shit. 

Hannah's Session with @HunterFitness

Hey, coach Hannah here, with a little confessional story for ya...

I just got back from a weekend in LA. Last November I signed up for an event I knew barely anything about (you’ve probably heard me talking about the Summit of Power if you follow us on Instragram) but when I signed up, it didn’t even have a name yet. This is a different story, for another email. 

Leading up to the event, I realized that I would be nearby to one of my mobility training mentors, Hunter Cook. I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t at least try to get in a training session with him while I was in the area. Amazingly, he had an opening in his crazy schedule, so I fought Friday LA traffic to get all the way down to Long Beach. 

Make Your Mornings Suck Less: Part 3

Good morning! Hannah, here. 

Nothing like daylight savings to remind us of a universal truth: 
It is harder to get going in the DARK. 

Seriously. Doesn't it just feel wrong to get up before the sun? Even though I am now in the habit of getting up before sunrise, it's always much nicer to walk out the door to a little bit of light in the sky. 

Oh well. It will be back in a few weeks. 

But this brings me to one of the key things you can do to make getting up early suck less: Get the right alarm clock. 

As I mentioned in my first email about mornings, when my S.O. and I finally agreed to do early mornings together, we treated ourselves to a new alarm clock. 

But my phone is my alarm clock, Hannah! 

Yeah, I know. But does your phone wake you up gently by slowly brightening your room? Mine sure doesn't.

But my alarm clock does. 

See, it's a light.

Say you wanna wake up at 6:30am. You set your alarm clock, and it will start slowly brightening your bedroom from 6:15-6:30am, so that by the time your alarm goes off, your room is filled with (artificial) sunlight. Ta da!

If this isn't a great example of faking it til you make it, I don't know what is. 

Another bonus of having a legit alarm clock is that you can leave your phone out of the bedroom. This helps on both sides of sleep:

  1. At night: We ALL know that we shouldn't be staring at screens prior to bed if we want high quality sleep. If you haven't heard this yet, you're late aaaaaaaand welcome to 2018. We're delighted to have you. 
  2. In the morning: the surest way to NOT get out of bed and do all the great things you had planned for yourself is to lay there scrolling through social media/news/whatever on your phone. WE ALL DO IT. 

If your phone is your alarm clock, it is ALMOST impossible to resist the siren call of those notifications on your home screen when you turn your alarm off. You know I'm right. 

Leave your phone in the living room. Read a paper book before bed. Get an alarm clock. Thank me next week. 

But seriously. Looking back at my journey to becoming a morning person (resentfully, slowly, now joyfully) one of the things that made an immediate difference in my waking mood and ease of physically getting out of bed was this stupid alarm clock.

I almost don't expect you to believe me because I remember the way I felt before I got mine and I wouldn't have believed me then either. 

But enough of you asked, so I'm sharing what worked for me! 


Becoming Fluent, part I

Everybody hurts, at some point. It is one of the ways our bodies learn, and critical to keeping us safe, because it's the alarm system that let's us know when danger is near. But it also creates a lot of strife, and keeps a lot of people from engaging with the world in a physical way. Becoming fluent in how you communicate with your body means that you are not just terrorized by the hurt, but also tuned in for the good stuff--strength, pleasure, flow--as well.

Make Your Mornings Suck Less: Part 2

Hi team, Coach Hannah here.

If you’re not a morning person, and you are forced to get up earlier than feels natural to your body (looking at you, teacher friends) it can be rough. As I talked about in my last email, you can start to deeply resent the people you serve in your work. 


Which is not the jam. 


So many of you replied to my last email - I had no idea mornings were such a struggle for so many of you! But I’m glad you piped up, cuz I’ve got more “make-your-morning-not-suck” emails coming your way.

And we are working on a quick video you can do along with us to help you get moving and set you on the right foot for a freaking fantastic day. More on that later this week. 

Today, I’m going to reveal my #1 secret to pushing past the grouchy bit and finding a way to be bright and shiny by the time you actually have to interact with people. 

You know how sometimes when you are really sad, or really angry, the feeling will get so absurdly big that you’ll find yourself laughing hysterically? 

Just me?

Well.  Laughter, my friends is the key for me. 

When I’m still feeling grumpy about being awake, even after moving and meditating, I listen to stand-up comedy on Pandora. 

I have a few go-to stations, based on my favorite comedians. Pandora pulls together choice bits from various comedians they think you’ll like based on the person you love. It’s brilliant! As a side bonus, I’ve found comics I didn’t know about. 

Short bits are perfect for morning grumpsville. You don’t have to get too involved, you’re not listening to a whole hour. If you miss one, cuz you’re electric toothbrush drowns out the sound of your phone, no biggie. You can pick up with the next bit.

Also it’s generally all the BEST bits from each comic, so you don’t have to wade through the kinda boring set ups to get to the real payoff. 

Once I’m laughing, I can’t be mad anymore. 

Some of my favorite stations to get the day started are:

  • Robin Williams (listening to that dude is like 8 shots of double espresso - he thinks and talks so fast! And makes me laugh so hard I cry) 
  • Maria Bamford (absurd, sneak-attack funny)
  • Jackie Kashian (family friendly side-splitting smart silly stuff)


But you should listen to YOUR favorites.

This is the whole thing: Pair something unpleasant with something pleasant. Prefereably a pleasant thing that changes you, physically (laughing/smiling). See when you laugh, it forces you to BREATH. And breathing makes everything better. 


Giggle and get going,