Where Have I Been & Other Excuses

Oh hi, hello.  I’m here, really, but this time, like actually really.

My 2016 New Year’s resolution (loosely) was to write more.  And I’ve sort of been doing so, in terms of submitting more articles to health & fitness publications and starting a collection of short stories (details later, don’t hold your breath) on my own time.

That said, have you noticed the blog kind of died?  Yeah, I did.  And I am turning that around.

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First of all, I am recommitting to giving you guys topical fitness and health-focused discussion here at least once a week.  That means talking about something near and dear to my personal trainer’s (cold, black) heart that might be of interest to you all as well.

Second, and perhaps most exciting – I am bringing back Ask Amanda Wednesdays (absorbing and reviving the ever-popular Would Amanda Eat It? series as well)!  OH HELL YES, loyal readers, we will again have our open-talk venue here and on my Facebook page for you to ask me all the weird / tough / confusing health and fitness questions you’ve been pondering and want some professional advice about.

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And finally, fit people, I’ll make sure to take the time to be real with y’all as well – giving you straight talk about what’s going on with me personally, rating all the best dresses on the red carpet (looking ahead to you, MTV Music Awards), and making sure ThisFitBlonde is giving you lots and lots of reasons to keep clicking back.

Thanks for sticking with me, guys.  I promise I won’t let you down.

My Top 10 Life Quotes

I was recently asked to share my “top 10 quotes” with a media outlet and to be honest, the first few were really easy – and then I had to dig deep.

Who are my favorite authors?  Who are my heroes?  What are they saying about life, love, and everything in between?

I was finally able to compile a list of my favorites, which taken together really do say a lot about my personality, my values, and what I hold to be true.

Read on and hopefully they’ll inspire you a bit, too – and I’d love to see your favorite quote down in the comments!

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He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg. [Chinese proverb]

  • ​I am a decisive person and indecisiveness in the name of “deliberation” drives me crazy.  Action is more valuable than inaction, and it is always better to redirect the ship than never to leave port.​
The cure for pain is in the pain. [Rumi]
  • ​As a marathon runner, if you stop when it hurts, you’ll never get to the finish line. Learning how to live with discomfort is a skill lost among many these days.
If things go wrong, don’t go with them. [Roger Babson]
  • ​Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, even at the risk of being unpopular.  This is especially important for women – use your voice and go with your gut.
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. [Henry David Thoreau]
  • ​I’m a “glass half full” type of person.  We can all see the worst in every situation, but it takes practice to filter our negativity and focus on the best.​
Always do what you are afraid to do. [Ralph Waldo Emerson]
  • ​My next tattoo is going to read “fearless,” but only after I make it through my biggest fear – childbirth!  I have jumped out of planes, off cliffs, and off bridges (with a bungee cord!) and I was terrified each time – which is why I knew I had to overcome it.​
You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot stop spring from coming. [Pablo Neruda]
  • ​Again, so many people live with sadness and negativity – doing their best to ​keep themselves in a place of darkness.  Remembering that no matter what we do within our lives, time does pass, and spring does come – it gets better.
​ Whatever you are, be a good one. [Abraham Lincoln]
  • ​My parents used to say some version of this to me growing up – they weren’t concerned with me being a doctor or a lawyer or some bigshot – they simply wanted me to strive for excellence in what made my heart sing, and I always have been happy because I do.​
You show people what you’re willing to fight for when you fight your friends. [Hillary Clinton]
  • ​Everyone loves a “yes man,” that is, until they say no.  If you are willing to fight for what you believe in, even against someone you love, that shows character – and hopefully you’ll remain friends because of it.
Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward in the same direction. [Antoine de Saint-Exupery]
  • ​My officiant read this quote at our wedding because I think it summarizes true love quite perfectly – you can be two different people, you can lead your own life with your own interests, but at the end of the day, your future is tied to your partner – and you are both working toward the same goals.  I love thinking of it this way.​
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. [Henry Ford]
  • ​One more tally for the power of positive thinking – ​​if you believe it, you achieve it.  There is no goal unattainable except the ones you tell yourself you can’t reach – and I have learned that less time and again in my own life.

Weekend Roundup

Time to sort through the chaff of blog links to find the wheat – and believe me, it’s quite a wheaty week!  I feel like the advent of fall brings an abundance of inspiration in the blogiverse, and I love the recipes, fashion inspiration, and holiday ideas that come of it.

Wait – you mean there’s such a thing as fitness fashion stylists?!?!  HOW DO I NOT HAVE THIS JOB?!?!

I know I already posted it on Facebook, but guys, I was a guest poster on Talk About Beauty this week!  Check it out!

I’m trying to convince myself I need an “L.A. winter” coat, and this one’s only $52.  I need it, right?

Sometimes I need motivation to keep writing.  This is a solid reminder.

My friend writes for Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, but the best part of my week is when he posts the jokes they didn’t use.  Hilarious.

The definitive power ranking of traditional Halloween candy – and no matter what list you look at, Reese’s always dominate (duh; that’s science).

What to do with your extra Daylight Saving hour?  Well, here’s some things you can do, whether you would actually try them or not is up to you.

I think I do a pretty good job of maintaining a comfortable guest room, but after reading this, I realized I can definitely up my game.  The bedside carafe is on order!

So nice I had to post it twice: Pumpkin-Spiced Bulletproof Coffee.  YES PLEASE.

What did I miss around the Internets this week?  What’s on your mind?

A Day in the Life

A loyal reader asked me to break down a day in the life of a personal trainer – when I wake up, what I do all day, and how I stay fit.

Those of you who are also independent consultants like me know this: there is no typical day.  Each one is different, and plan as we may, days tend to take very different courses depending on cancellations, traffic, and a host of other “unpredictables” as the hours roll by.

That said, because my days are so varied and (perhaps) somewhat interesting, I figured I’d combine that reader request with today’s Blogging 201 assignment, which is thus:

B201 – Day 6 – Make the Most of Events

Create a recurring blogging event on your site, and/or make plans to attend a blogging conference.

Besides looking up blogging conferences in my area (not too difficult seeing as I’m in Los Angeles), I am hoping to draw some inspiration from my daily life to create a recurring but meaningful blog event (think World Fitness Day, or American Clean Eating Month [don’t take my idea – this may happen!], or something we can all participate in for the greater food).

Until I figure that all out, here’s a breakdown of what my #dayinthelife looks like this lovely Tuesday:

5:00am– alarm goes off; I groggily walk to the coffee pot and brew up some DD

5:15am – take my temperature (for fertility tracking), take my Biotin (for hair growth), and get ready (using my fave sweatproof products by it Cosmetics)

5:30am – coffee in hand, drive out to my first (outdoor) client while listening to Kevin & Bean, my absolute favorite morning radio show

7:00am – first client done, drive back to Fox Studios to teach CycleSculpt class

8:30am – class over, client at Fox

9:30-11:00am – bathe and prep for wellness presentation; breakfast of two hard boiled eggs, leftover arugula salad, and 1/2 whole wheat pita

11:30-2:00pm – give back-to-back wellness presentations at Fox (title: Exercise Intensity – The What, The Why, and the How-To)

2:30-4:00pm – work with online clients (all 89 of them!) over on FitOrbit.com; nosh on leftover Winter Day chili and pumpkin cornbread from last night

4:00-8:00pm – train more clients (both at Fox and outdoors)

8:30pm – receive Amazon Fresh and Blue Apron deliveries, prepare delicious meal (tonight: caramelized pork and congee); watch Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, Tosh.0, and/or House Hunters International with the fiance

10:30pm – after a couple chapters of Lena Dunham’s new book, hit the sack

What does your #dayinthelife look like?  If you blog, what’s your favorite blogging event and/or conference?

NaBloPoMo Is Coming!

Yep, it’s time for THAT awesome thing with an annoying name – November is NaBloPoMo, also known as “National Blog Posting Month.”

For the month of November, bloggers are challenged to submit a post every day – meaning November 1-30 – loosely following prompts and themes suggested by the powers that be.

Well, readers – YOU guys are my powers that be, and I want to hear what YOU want to read about in the coming month.

What health, fitness, wellness, nutrition, and/or lifestyle questions would you love to know more about in a dedicated post?

Blogging 201: Day 4

(yeah yeah, I know there’s no B201 Day 3 post yet, but that project is harder and tech-heavy and takes longer, so I’ll update that when I get there).

For now, a look into B201 (the blog improvement project) assignment of the day.

B201 – Day 4 – Give ‘Em What They Want

Conduct a short and simple stats analysis that will help you create an editorial calendar for the next 30 days.

  • Takeaway #1: my most popular post is Lessons From the Organizing Pro, which featured photos of my home, “before and after” documentation, and a strong theme (household reorganization) that seemed to resonate with both male and female readers.  A distant second was Top 8 Lessons Learned in a Year of Wedding Planning, which makes me think that lists are also a popular click for my readers.
  • Takeaway #2: it looks like most of my readers are checking in on Wednesdays (not coincidentally, also #AskAmanda days over on my Facebook page) and Thursdays, and not as many on Mondays or weekends.  This means I might want to think about running my strongest content on the more readable (and hopefully, “shareable”) days.

Because I am committing to blogging 6 days per week, I will continue to provide content every day (and keep up with my Weekend Roundup link posts to make sure you guys haven’t forgotten about me when the weekend rolls around).

That said, I plan to add more list-style posts, personal (vs. stock) photos, and practical, life-hack type thematics – so get ready, readers!  TFB is coming for YOU!

What keywords, themes, or ideas get YOU to actually click over to a blog?