[Dysfunction Junction] Reactive Diets


– pertaining to or characterized by reaction.  Whether you are reacting to what you have seen or heard, trying to avoid an adverse reaction to what you are not admitting to or trying to snuff out continuous damage done to your physique by your bad habits, it is all in some way reactive.

Oh no!  I think Jodi just threw out her back while actin’ a fool listenin’ to your new diet request.  WOW.

The “I Watched Too Many Documentaries” Diet

What is the origin of this diet? Skinny Bitch, Omnivores Dilemma, Food Inc., Forks Over Knives

Why do we think we do this? Because we are on the cutting edge of health information and we need to set an example for our families and clients.  We need to be aware of what is in our foods.

Why do we really do it? We’re scared crapless!  Oh no!  We’re gonna die!  Aaaahhhhhhh!

I do not know why y’alls do it to yourselves.  And then I don’t know why you then turn around and do it to me!  Stop watching these films and reading these books!  It makes you psycho.

We all have things we do not like about ourselves and we make it a point to work on trying to change them.  One of the things that drive me crazy about myself is that I am physically dramatic whether I want to be or not.  Yes, I am dramatic when I tell you a story or I want to explain something to you and that’s a good thing, but it becomes a bad thing when you come to me with your new food kick you are on because you watched one of these documentaries:

“Jodi.”  The minute you say my name like that I tense up like my 7 year old does when he hears me coming up the basement stairs while he is illegally fishing for snacks in the cabinet.

“I was watching {insert scary movie name here} (instantaneously I just convulsed in your presence) and I had no idea that {insert some God awful thing here like cows were fed pig eyeballs for 4 weeks to fatten them up so they could be slaughtered with acid, fed to llama, regurgitated, breaded and shipped to school kids in Idaho}.  I will never eat {meat, starch, sugar, veggies, worms, etc} again.  Can you help me put a diet together of wheat grass, tempeh and locusts?”

At this point, I have rolled my eyes so hard that I have most likely sprained my Levator Palpebrae Superioris behind my eyeball, sighed in such a manner that I have expelled every inch of air from my lungs and my afro has grown at least 3 inches off of my head into a full blown peacock plumage.  I am visibly not on board with anything that you are saying and I am about as professional as a chimpanzee running around in IKEA.  I admit this fully and I apologize if I have ever done this to you.  But, please, stop watching these things.  If you are not set on changing the world through an aggressive social campaign, spare yourself the drama and just eat whatever food you are now afraid of while praying that it won’t kill you.  I say this because very few of you are truly prepared to become responsible vegetarians. What you actually become is an “I-refuse-to-eat-meat-a-tarian”, which is just a physique nightmare waiting to happen.  Suddenly your meals become cheese, lots of starch and the two vegetables you still eat (because you know you hate asparagus, green beans and broccoli now). Holy hodge podge of food, Batman!  Stop making me show my behind in public by acting out this way.  Just say no to these films!

I do realize that none of you would try to eat brickle every day and pass it off as okay.  But you see, I love brickle…and I do have a picture of chocolate and wine but…I love bricke…and I wanted to see it again…so…I added it.  Sorry.  It’s all about me right now.

The Hypnosis Diet

What is the origin of this diet? Wine is good for you.  Chocolate has antioxidants. It’s just a little milk in my coffee.

Why do we think we do this? We want to prove we can keep these things in our diet because we have restraint, unlike general public dieters, we are different.

Why do we really do it? Life is hard right now and we want what we want when we want it so we convince ourselves that the thing that makes us feel best is actually good for us. And it stokes our sense of adventure by making us feel like we can get away with something.

What I love about this diet is that this is the hidden diet.  This is the thing that you are doing that you think that I don’t know that you are doing that you are secretly hoping you do not have to confess to doing while we are still friends.  Whatever this thing is, it is so good and so important to your well being that you would risk a few pounds on the scale for it and you do not care.  It would take a force of nature to get you to give this thing up.  You would have had to have watched one of those scary food documentaries and find out that your beloved thing was made with squid guts from the sewers of a third world country and even then you would try to find an organic version of it.  You love it and you have convinced yourself it doesn’t have calories or any kind of impact on your goal whatsoever.  When I finally approach you about the thing that you think that I don’t know that you are doing or you finally have to confess it because the pressure is too much to take anymore, you present it to me in 1 of 3 ways:

1)      The scientific approach: “Jodi, studies show that having molten lava chocolate cake once a day enhances your love life and you know my husband and I are struggling.”

2)      The humanistic approach: “Honestly, Jo, this was the only thing keeping me sane during company layoffs.  I just figured that if it kept my cortisol levels down, it was helping. It was just a jar of nutella.”

3)      The defensive approach: “I figured you knew.  How was I supposed to know I shouldn’t be having a quart of cream and a ½ pound of sugar in my 7 coffees a day?  Jeesh!”

Face it, ladies, you don’t stand a chance against this foe.  Look at it.  It’s creamy and yummy and…and…

The Paying Penance Diet

What is a good example of this diet? Juicing, cleanses, any kind of “jump start” plan, shakes and also really hard, psycho workouts that defy human nature fall into this category, too.

Why do we think we do this? We’re cleaning out the toxins, we need to get our heads focused, we need structure, we love to sweat.

Why do we really do it? We put ourselves on punishment for some kind of out of control behavior that we feel we should not get away with so “pat me on the head for disciplining myself”, please.   In fact, you will try to talk about this diet like you deserve it for the awful behavior you have been engaging in.

If you have ever had the luxury of having this conversation with me regarding one of these diets, you now know you will never ask again because I will give you the hairy eyeball times two and force you to fess up.  It starts out this way:

“Jodi.  What do you think of {insert latest hot product name} cleanse/shake system/cat-o-nine tails? “

Sudden silence–enough for me to make you uncomfortable.  Steely stare.  No facial expression.  You start squirming.

“No, I know what you’re thinking.  I just want to try it out.”

I break the silence:  no inflection in voice, quiet, resolute.


You’re nervous. “Well, because I heard it really helps with cleaning out the body.”

“Oh?  Why do you need help with that?”

After what seems like hours but really was no more than a 2 min exchange you begin to babble…

“Honestly, Jo, I am just a mess right now and I need something to get me back on track because I can’t stop eating {insert whatever here but usually full of sugar and involves some form of peanut butter—I know of very few women who can stand against peanut butter} and I just want to feel clean again.  I feel gross.  Work is a mess and I am tired and I am not working out the way I want to and I am up 3 pounds and I eat it every flipping day and…and…and..”

…so you somehow think I am going to say it is ok for you to enter into an incredibly negative cycle of out of control eating and then “cleansing” it away.  Umm…yeah…no.  But what *is* good is that I just stared at you in such a way that you are now thinking about what you just asked me and realizing the root of your folly.  Bullseye.  I joke about this one today, but I bring it up again in a different way a little later on and all humor is gone.  Knock it off. {hairy eyeball}

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[Dysfunction Junction] Dysfunction Junction What’s Your Unction?

Dysfunction junction what’s your unction?

Hooking up diets with crazy thought patterns.

(Feel free to sing along)

Dysfunction: a consequence of a social practice or behavior pattern that undermines the stability of a social system

Junction: a place or point where two or more things meet or converge.

Unction: something soothing or comforting.

Let’s face it:  we have issues.  We do.  As put together as we may appear to our families and friends, we have some hard core, no joke issues that start with our bodies and then manifest through food.   For the longest time, dysfunction was a word that when I heard it I would think of families.  Don’t we all think we have the most dysfunctional family and even more so every time the cops show up to a backyard barbeque because Uncle Peanut and cousin George are going at it again over money?  Or is that just my family?  Now, the word dysfunction immediately makes me think of the way we perceive food—not our bodies—but food in relation *to* our bodies.   How many of you have a certain quirky behavior that you do now that you know you never did before because somehow doing it makes you feel as if those calories do not count or your clothes fit better or whatever?  We all have something and to some degree it’s cute and it’s funny, but then there comes a time when it begins to set up a pattern of thinking that starts out as dysfunctional and quickly morphs into mental bondage.  Where we can’t have a cheat meal—which is food albeit not necessarily the best food but food nonetheless–because we think we will gain weight but we will thoroughly ignore the fact that over the course of the week we ate a bunch of “little” cheats that added up to 4 cheat meals and a snack by the time we were done anyway.  But it doesn’t count…because it took a week…and it wasn’t as bad because…well…because it wasn’t.  [pouting while looking at the floor]  So, to make up for that folly we skip the cheat meal again coming up that weekend because we believe in our warped thinking that we should not have it because we just cheated our way through the week but now we are resentful because we can’t have it…and we want to be done with this dieting thing…and why are we the only one with horrible genetics…and we don’t need it anyway because it’s so much easier not to have it…so we—wait for it…–keep “cheating”!  UGH!

This is just one of the quirky things that we do and the most easily recognizable but there are many more dysfunctions, and yes, I am going to touch upon one of them in this series and it is not the cheat meal–it’s dieting in general.  Understand dysfunction was not our issue at first.  None of us started this behavior consciously and almost all of us developed it over a long period time.  Long enough that we may even tell our quirk to other people as if it actually had scientific basis or did not seem wonky at all while we try to convince them that we have no other motive for that behavior other than pure science (“Baby, I eat my food cold because studies show it digests better.”  Riiight).  Trust me when I say this, they think you are jacked in the mind.  Just accept it.  Especially when you try to convince them that something tastes amazing when it clearly does not (*cough* protein pancakes *cough*).   Again, all cute and funny here but like I said before, there comes a time…when we reach a certain junction in our lives…when we cross a line from a silly behavior to augmenting the way we eat to accommodate a twisted thought in our head.  Not cool.  That junction is normally at the meeting place of our bodies vs. ‘loss of control’ somewhere in our lives and we feel as if we need that control back NOW.  Stat!  Pronto!  Therefore, decisions must be made and behaviors must be changed (read that as ‘become more extreme’) so that we can feel more in control of something we have absolutely no control over.

The most obvious decision that we make is to do some sort of overhaul with our diet.  We need something to placate the feeling that we have.  We are spiraling out of control.  We are up 5 pounds, manically eating junk, feeling lousy about ourselves, not liking the look of our body for some reason, feeling insecure, wanting relief from something emotionally draining or what have you!  We may be one of those; we may be all of those. The point is:  We. Are. Something.  And if we do not have ‘something’ that soothes or comforts that feeling we have, you know…like an unction (i.e. crazy diet), then we could possibly self destruct until we do.   Here it is, though, here is the scary thing and it is happening so innocently that we may miss it.  The problem is not the choosing of an unction, the problem is in the justification.  What are you telling yourself to justify the decision that you are making?  What “science” are you convincing yourself of?  What rationale are you using to say it is okay to eat white fish at every meal for 2 weeks straight just to lose 5 pounds?  Again, the diet or method you may choose to do may not be bad, but the reason you choose it is and that is puts you on a game playing, weight loss merry-go-round that can be mind boggling at best; destructive at worst.

We, in our dysfunction, diet for many reasons but I have only chosen 3 for this series and 3 diets per reason; I could have easily chosen another 10 if given the chance.  I start the series out in full humor but end in all seriousness.  Tomorrow is about Reactive Dieting, how y’alls tend to do crazy things for silly reasons and try with a straight face to convince me that you have fully thought this through.  Wednesday is about Prideful Dieting.  This is slightly funny but more on the cautionary side.  I may come off as if I am lecturing you but I can assure I am not.  I am sparing you from your own folly.  Ask me how I know (hanging my head in shame).  Thursday I am in your living room, sitting across from you on the couch, looking you dead in your eyes and saying enough is enough.  You are worth more than this psycho behavior can give you and the destruction has to stop.  Friday, after you booted me out of your house on Thursday, I still had more to say so I made you meet me for a tea and I talk about the last diet and then I put a short wrap up together so we are clear on all that I am saying here.

This is much like the last series in that I do not have any lead ins or transition statements at the end of the blogs.  I will not “make sense of” or wrap anything up until Friday so be sure to read all the emails I send to you about the posts and this introduction again if you feel as if you are missing something.  I have much to say about the way we diet, I do not need to make the posts any longer with transition stuff.  I hope you enjoy.  “See” you tomorrow!  WOOP WOOP!

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[Take A Long Rant Off A Short Topic] So To Sum It Up…

Thank you so much if you have been reading all week long.  LOVE YOU for the support AND I appreciate the patience!  Let me know your thoughts at the end.

This just says it all.  Keep reading.

The last and most significant change that you will absolutely notice (if you haven’t just by this series alone) is that I am much more transparent in my writing, in my work and in my life.  I have no problem sharing my struggles with you, although, I have been for years but you may not have recognized it at the time because I never labeled them as mine.  If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, “It’s like you’re in my head.  How do you know what we’re thinking on that level?” then I would never have to work again. I have had people tell me they cannot read my blog on the weekday because they never know what I am going to dig up in their head and they do not want to deal with it the next day in work.  It is as if I have some sort of machine that can extract your thoughts and put them on blog, while that may be fun, that could not be further from the truth.  What if I just told you that…umm… I have lived it first?  Honestly, you cannot bull crap a bull crapper.  I can—and did—run circles around you ladies with diet games.  From manipulating the number on the scale to the crazy thoughts that go through your head when you lose a bunch a weight only to gain it back three months later and then live in the terror of “what’s everyone going to think?”, I have gone through everything.  I mean everything.  I would love to stand before you now and say that that battle is over but I would be lying.  It is not anywhere close to where it was 5 years ago, but it is still there to some degree and we are going to hash those things out together.  For 5.5 years of my life I lived in a body that was not my own and that brought things out in me that I did not know existed.  For the last 2.5 years of my life I have lived in a body that is my own but I needed to learn how take responsibility for it all over again.  Emancipation is a process, ladies.  You may think you are free when the chains fall off until you realize that they were never external chains but actually internal ones.  I do not know how I am going to roll that one out to you but I will figure it out as I go along.

So where does that leave me?  Let me give you what you won’t see on Jodiojo:

1) One and done articles (unless I have some major ax to grind and then I’ll figure out how to present it thoughtfully).  Everything will be series based.

2) Body part series (unless there is a moral behind it).  The tribute to our butt/thighs/shoulders days are over.

3) Generic health topics. Stuff like “Top 10 Foods That Will Enhance Your Cleavage”.  Not going to happen.

4) Snarky Rants. I was good for them.  I almost can’t read anything I wrote in 2010-2011.  Painful.  Kiss those goodbye.

5) Straight “lean articles”. Any topic that addresses getting you leaner on the outside without talking about what’s going on the inside of you will not make it on the blog anymore.

I have no desire to leave nutrition on a whole; however, I am retired as a trainer.  That does not mean that I will not put out training articles because I do not want to limit myself like that, but they will not be as often and will most likely be presented in a different manner.  I also have no desire to change my audience; I am married to the lean community.   I have been talking to lean (those who are or those who want to be regardless of their current size) women for twelve of the sixteen years I have been doing this.  I am good where I am at.  But I cannot stay who I was before or even write the way I did before (pre 2012), that woman is gone.  What you have now is a woman who loves to watch bodies change just as much on the inside as they do on the outside.  She is much more aware of her responsibilities as a coach, a friend, a mentor to some and as a woman in general.  She is a wise guy, a dedicated mom, a faithful wife, a dog with a bone about some issues, an intense person to have as a friend (ask Kris and Seanna) and a woman just like you. If you have been reading since January 2012, I hope that you continue to read the site because it will be much like that but more focused on all that I just laid out over the past 4 days:

1) Series based on our motives and why we behave the way we do. Type A, dedicated, driven, disciplined and successful are what we want to be seen as–that’s not a bad thing to want.  But I have not met a woman, yet, who has this drive for the right reasons and I have dieted a bajillion women.  We can have a lean, healthy body without it costing us our adrenals, marriage/relationship, career or integrity.  Let’s work on that.

2) Series based on the idiosyncrasies. You know the odd stuff you do in the name of nutrition.  Yeah…we’re going there.  (You’re probably doing something weird now while you’re reading this.)

3) Series based on hard topics. Disordered eating will be the first one that I tackle–I think.  But know that that’s where my head’s at in terms of “topics”.  No matter how hard the topic, though, there will be no shortage of humor.  I cannot change that part of me, I am a clown through and through.  I promise I’m not going sappy.

4) Workout series but only if they point to something about ourselves we need to know.

5) Honesty, transparency, fun, goofiness, the hairy eyeball and genuine understanding. There is an industry out there full of snakes and scorpions that is poisonous to our minds.  It’s validating us in all the wrong places and telling us that if we don’t keep conforming then we are somehow less than.  You know:  not strong enough, not disciplined enough, not attractive enough, not worth anything and so on.  Hold on, let me talk to the industry for you real quick…”SHUT UP!!”  There.  Now we can get back to focusing on working on the bodies we would like to have for all the right reasons.

If you knew me from before and are looking for that woman to come back then you are wasting your time, she will not so now is the time to step out with me waving good-bye to you with a sad face.  I will miss you!

Next up:  The 2013 Diet Review–I think.  It’s not what you think so hang tight and see how I present this to you.  You may learn a thing or two about yourself.  But, I also may write a completely different one that just started cookin’ in my head this week so I’m not sure.  Keep your eyes peeled…I’m back.  Woop woop!

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[Take A Long Rant Off A Short Topic] But more importantly…

Something to keep in mind as you read, today especially: Jodiojo isn’t really a blog, it’s a conversation between you and me.  I do not write to an “intended audience” and then hope to find readers.  I write to a few hundred women that I know very intimately.  I would say I know 75% of the Jodiojo readership because I’ve either dieted you or trained you in some capacity so when I write I am very specific in what I say but I’m also intentional in the detail that I share.  I want you to know what goes through my head the same way you share what goes through yours.  Hence today’s post.  Read on…

I appreciate genuine honesty.  We should know what we’re getting into before starting something.

Since we are on the topic of revelation, let me tell you about another one that I have had:  honesty is always the best policy but boy does it come with risk.  This is not the same as what I just described, that was more about you seeing that your psycho tendencies were real but not at all limited to just you and that there was something more behind them than you just not knowing how to take your face out of a bag of chips.  What I am now referring to is how every-so-often I will say something that floors even me.  Something so raw and truthful that once it leaves me lips, the only thing left for me to do is to hide under the table that’s between us.  Let me preface what I am talking about by saying this before illuminating more:  I love what I do.  And I love that there are women out there who trust me on the level that they trust me.  They literally tell me things they have never said to another human being before in their lives;  walk through things with me that take tremendous emotional courage; and look inside themselves in ways I know they never would have if it wasn’t for them trusting me that it was going to go somewhere productive.  I am not a therapist and I do not try to be one.  I am that girlfriend you wished you had to cry with when the one you really had didn’t have time to listen.  I totally understand the enormity of the position I am in because there was a time in my life when I didn’t and I have seen the pain it can cause when you don’t “get” this.  But I get it now—more than you will ever know–and it floors me.  It completely lays me out in lavender.  I am honored beyond all belief and very aware of the fragility of the relationship therefore I treasure our moments together and am never, ever casual about any conversation—even if it is just about the weather.  This is mainly because I understand that every conversation tells me more and more about you—even the silly ones.  You will open up and share about stuff that you may not have ever thought about simply by me asking you the most basic question and you feeling safe enough to be honest.  This is huge and it comes with great responsibility so when I let a grenade fall to the floor, I always hold my breath and pray the pin is still in it or we’re both going down in that particular conversation.   This is not easy!  This is risk in its rawest, most real form:

Will you talk to me again? Trust me when I tell you I have had some who took weeks before they would ever “go there” with me again.  But they eventually did.  Patience.

Do you understand that there’s not a lick of judgment on this end?  That I’m just like you?  And truth be told, probably worse because I know better? I would say yes because you keep reading/talking/texting with me but still, the risk is there.

Are you now a holy hot mess? Remember, I’m not a therapist and I don’t work with anyone who truly needs one, the things we talk about are all relational, but still…I just poked a finger into a gaping wound, major soft spot, place of shame or etc.  What’s going on in your mind right now?

Did I get the timing right?  Did I rush it?  Did I sound impatient?  Was I rude?  How could I have just said that out loud?  Are you hurt?  Do you hate me?  Do you see it, now? AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

I wish I could tell you what that feels like when you say something that may seem so innocuous to someone else but you know it’s a loaded scud missile:  “So…do you think you were being selfish when you said that?”  “You do realize that it’s your responsibility to do [X,Y,Z]—not theirs”  “Is it really her fault, or are you just jealous?  Because from here, all I hear is jealousy.”  I could go on for days.  None of these statements are super deep but they are like flaming arrows to the heart when they come out of the mouth of someone you trust, directed to you who is standing with your heart wide open and vulnerable in your hand and they land on it dead center like a bull’s-eye painted on the side of a wall.  I don’t know about you, but that kind of experience will humble anybody with a heart and/or conscience.  I had better have my information straight, my motives on point and my own internal defense mechanism off because there will be repercussions from that conversation—good and bad.  Between phone calls or meetings is where the action is because there are seven days before we will speak again and a lot can happen in your brain in that time.  Basically, you get to think…and think…and think and at times that is to your advantage, many other times, though, it is not.  Thoughts like:

“I never saw it that way”

“How long have I been doing that?”

“Oh my goodness, I really do, do that!”

This is the first day or two, however, if you are not in the place to want to see something, shame or blame may set in:

“Who does she think she is saying that?”

“She thinks she knows everything and she knows nothing!”

“She always gets my head going and I can’t stand it.  I don’t need to think about this to lose 5 pounds!”

Embarrassment and panic could set in because we pulled the ‘kick me’ sign off of you so now you are defensive:

“Why didn’t anyone tell me I’ve been doing that?”

“I can’t go back to the gym now.  I need to find a new gym.”

There’s a chance of bitterness and resentment from erroneous conclusions about friends and loved ones:

“I knew my boyfriend wasn’t looking out for my best interest.”

“This is all my mother’s fault.  She would always…”

“My so called friends are jerks.”

All of the thoughts introduce risk; not on the level of therapy—just on the level of pride.  Has your pride been damaged because if it has, I’m going down the next time I press in your ten digits.  And I am sure you are wondering, and I will answer the question for you now, yes, I have been eaten for breakfast by some folks but it is always temporary (because ultimately they get their breakthrough) and I have never ended on a sour note but I have had a few frosty phone calls that were not exactly fun.

Now that you know that I do this, how do I write about it?  You can’t hear love in my tone if you’re reading this.  I know I can soften it up but then it loses the effect.  I want you to wake up and smell the coffee:  He is NOT the best guy for you, yes he IS cheating on you and that IS why you just ate that bag of chocolate and I meant to say that, but reading it would come off harsh.  And if I am writing about it, then it most likely would not be that specific.  It would be more general which would mean that for me to make my point, the word I deliver would really have to be a major scud missile and then I just worry about hurting people’s feelings because you may not know me enough in this way now to understand where I’m coming from and you will read it wrong.  Sigh…

Again, I will figure it out and get back to the task at hand.  But you can see where I have been for the past few months in that I have been metamorphosing in the confines of my basement.  Did that sound sort of creepy to anyone else besides me?  What I mean is, a lot has been going on on this side of the computer.

Tomorrow I share where I am headed.  It’s not a mystery if you have been reading the last 4 days but I lay it out in black and white because the site is changing.  Normally, a blog would just sort of change and not make too big of a deal of it in terms of saying why.  It would just happen.  But back to my original point, this is “not just a blog” and I feel you should know where I am headed and decide whether you want to come, as well.  We finish up tomorrow!  Woop woop!!

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[Take A Long Rant Off A Short Topic] And then I realized…

You have to read this series as if it was one long blog post because…well…it was.  But it was way too long to post as one day so I chopped it in five…keep reading…

Flash forward to now.  Now…I don’t say a word.  Why?  Because personal revelation is far more effective and long lasting than me *telling* you about yourself (and boy can I tell you about yourself if given the chance. OY!)  Understand what I am saying here: I am not saying that I will let you walk around endlessly with a ‘kick me’ sign on your back because I thoroughly recognize that I have a moral obligation to tell you that you are smoking crack and you need to back away from the pipe.  What I am saying is that there is a huge element of timing that is involved in breakthrough and a certain level of risk on my part that I have to be willing to accept (i.e. you getting angry at me that the scale isn’t moving fast enough) if I really want to get you to a true place of success.  I am so done with ordering people around for 12 weeks only to have them back 6 months later because they didn’t learn a thing about themselves the first time around.  It is time for breakthrough but breakthrough requires patience and an element of looking like I don’t know what I’m doing for a while and back in the day, I was not willing to take that risk.  It is not always fun for me at first, but it is so worth it in the end when you are a whole new woman not controlled by your moods thereby not controlled by your eating.

Let me tell you what this looks like because you may still be thinking, “I don’t care, Jodi, I don’t ever want a ‘kick me’ sign on my back.”  I understand that fully but guess what, if you do, it will still be there after you lose whatever weight you would want to lose.  The only thing that would change is that you would be 10 pounds lighter with that sign on you only your friends and family won’t come along and take it off your back because they know you will need it again in 9 months when you gain all the weight back and start the crap all over again.  With that being said, hold on to your sign while I tell you what it looks like to take it off for good:

Most of us (in fact I can go out on a limb and say if you are reading Jodiojo then you have definitely at one time or another done what I am about to say) have struggled losing weight at some time or another in our lives and at the end of that struggle we may have found something that “worked” at that time.  Be it low carb, high carb, no carb, extra fat, no fat, certain types of fat, eating while standing up vs. eating while being upside down, the cute trainer in the gym vs. the old guy with the hairy mole at the boxing ring, whatever it was, we automatically thought, “that was it” and then we erroneously set our lives up around that food, food plan, gym, trainer or what have you.  May I be so bold as to tell you that it is never “them”?  If it was the first time that you had to lose weight, then yes, it could have been “them”.  But if you have worn a tread around the Mulberry bush losing the same 5 to 10 pounds every year—it’s never “them”.  Let’s flash back, then, to the days of my depravity.  I would have to beat you into submission/understanding that the root of your problem was not “them”.  I would tell you the truth and what I said was right, but I would say it in a way that just shut you down and never gave you the chance to experience it for yourself.  What’s so bad about that is you never got to see where you had gone wrong in your thinking so you could not appreciate/grasp the concept/understand what part of your thinking was holding you back in the first place.  Not one of you lack diet knowledge—not one.  There is not a shortage of brain power with the readers of this site.  However, all of us still walk around the Mulberry bush ‘over thinking’ our issue thinking that it is the glycemic index in relation to the mitochondrial influence on our Thyroid that has caused us to mysteriously put on 10 pounds while we were getting our hair done because we just learned on Dr Oz that if we don’t control the surge of ghrelin in our guts, we will surely release too much insulin!!  WHAT??  Really???  Heavens to Murgatroyd!  Say isn’t so, Sam!  You want to watch my afro grow 45 feet in 3 minutes flat?  Come to me with some nonsense like that and I could seriously launch out of my skin into your head and stomp on your thinking for about 10 minutes before I even realized that I had invaded your mind like that.  I know some of you are laughing right now because you are still picking out remnants from the bottom of my shoes out of your frontal lobes so you know what I am saying is true.  Please…whatever you do…don’t come to me with craziness like that.  It makes me psycho…and you wouldn’t like me when I’m psycho.

Now this is some bull right here!

After all of this, though, I still have not told you what this looks like so here it goes:  First, let me start by saying that this is not anyone in particular so please do not email me and say that that’s you.  One, get over yourself; two, we ALL do this.  ALL of us!  You are not a freak—you’re normal!  Seriously.  This means that no one can email me and say that I put their business out there because it is EVERYBODY’S business!  Get your hands off the keyboard now.  Thank you.  What was I saying?  Oh yes, you decide you cannot take the extra ten pounds anymore and so you hunt me down for a “diet”.  The conversation may go a little something like this:

Girl: “Jodi!  Where have you been?  I miss you!”

Who knows I haven’t been ‘anywhere’?  What they’re really saying is, “Why weren’t you here last week when I stuck my face in my refrigerator on Friday and then didn’t bring it back out again until Sunday night?  You slackard!  Now I’m up 10 and it’s all your fault for not making your voice loud enough in my head. Grrr.”

Me: “Uh…I’ve been right here.  I miss you, too.  What’s up?”

Completely said with that voice that says “I’m so onto where you’re going and I’m not going with you.  However, I’ll entertain you for a minute because I love you.”  Compassion in action. ;)

Girl: “I need you to put a diet together for me.  I need to take this extra weight off.”

Me: “Really?  What happened to the last 4 I put together?”

Who can hear me saying that to you?  Again…no shortage of knowledge on this site!

Girl: “They worked awesome!!  I just need to get it together again.  I need a jumpstart/energizer/refresher/focused plan/structured type of thing to get me back on track/serious/in line again/all about health/where I was before.”

Me: “That’s what you said before.  What happened?”

Girl: “Nothing.  It was awesome actually.  I hit goal.  But then…work/husband/kids/life/high school reunion/alien life forces/alignment of the stars got in the way and I’m back to square one.  Please Jodi.  Can you just make me a diet/make me hot/make me like my job/make me not want to hit my relative/make me look good naked just this one/two/three/four times again?”

Me: “I’ll tell you what…”

Right away you should know something is coming down the pike at you that is going to cost you something and I don’t mean money.

Me: “I’ll give you a new plan—we’ll start this Friday.  You have it for 4 weeks.  If you can’t stick with it, then can we talk?”

Girl: “Absolutely!!  I’m so excited!  Thank you!”

Said Girl (thank you, Norman) gets the diet.  She’s good for the first 2 weeks like it is her job! Then week 3 comes along and there’s a bit of a falter and by week 4 she’s bordering on being a mess (mind you, the whole time she was losing weight so this isn’t about lack of progress!):

Me: “Ok girl, what’s going on?  You know there’s no pressure from me but you’re not going to make the goal that you wanted to make if you keep falling apart like this.”

In other words, do you see what I see? Go ahead, sing it in your head.

Girl: “Nothing is going on.  I’m super focused…it’s just that my food is so boring/life is so hectic/I really want to be able to eat [insert here]/I hate cardio/I’m so tired from work/I need someone to cook my food…so I haven’t been on track lately.”

Me: Total dead pan tone, “Really.”

I get blamed for everything. Sigh.

Here is where back in the day I would have lambasted you, got you in a head lock and ate you for breakfast.  Now?  Not so much.  Instead, I wait…it  may take a few more weeks…but I wait…hear every word you say, we talk about your progress, we put minor solutions into operation…and then I wait again…drop little hints here and there…ask questions…and wait…chat with you like I know nothing….celebrate your achievements…and wait…til it hits you like a ton of bricks that it’s not the carbs/insulin/wheat/gluten/beef vs. vegetarianism issue that you have been plagued with and if someone had cooked your food/hand delivered your food/heck, ate your food for you, you STILL wouldn’t have stayed on track.  Instead, the issue lies with you!  Now if I had told you that, you would not have believed me.  You would have blamed the diet/republicans/democrats/gun laws/innocent wombats/webkinz and so on because you were not in a place to see what I was seeing.   But for some reason, the lights have been turned on and all our patience has paid off because THAT’s where the success lies.  When you tell it back to me like I had zero idea and honestly, I most likely didn’t, but I knew something was up then we are truly cooking with gas.  But you needed to figure that out—not me.  Me knowing does you no good.

This has been my last 2 years and it has impacted my writing tremendously because I can no longer write about what I used to I see things so differently now.  Hence my disappearance.  I’m not done, though.  There’s more.  Not much, but enough that I couldn’t shove it in today.  See you tomorrow.  Woop woop!

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[Take A Long Rant Off A Short Topic] As I Was Saying…

It’s so good to be back and the story continues…make sure you read all week to see where I’m at…

Honestly, I would never get you in a headlock on the first meeting.  I always wait a few months.  For real.

Another significant change is that I’m much more compassionate.  Five years ago if you had asked me ‘do these jeans make me look fat?’ I would have told you, “No, you make you look fat.  In fact, if you got your head out of your behind and focused, maybe you could fit in your jeans.  Not for nuthin’, but I have better things to do with my time like floss my teeth than have this conversation with you.  Anytime you’re ready and you can stop wishing the weight off, I’m here for you.”  Now, I know what you’re thinking:  ‘You just told me that last week!  More compassionate my behind!’  And you may have a point there, but now instead of saying that snarkily, I would say that with full love and compassion in my heart.  It would probably come out more like this:  “No.  You do not “look” fat. And you are NOT fat.  Are you where you want to be?  No.  But you know why and there’s no reason to go over this again and beat the tar out of you with it.  However, don’t ask questions you know the answer to that somehow prove you suck, because I’m not on board with that.  But do take off those jeans cuz they ain’t workin’ for ya!”  See?  Much better.  And then I’d give you “the look”.  You know what the look is because even those who only talk to me on the phone say, “I know you have that look on your face.”  Cracks me up when y’alls say that to me.

All joking aside, I have been having this ongoing revelation that on the other side of every diet question is a woman looking for someone to tell her she’s either beautiful, worthy or loved and I can no longer be party to being a soul “krusher”.  I have been transforming bodies for a long, long time now and no matter how many bodies I’ve changed the thing I remember most and what counts more to me than anything else is the woman who has allowed me to watch her heart be transformed more than her outer shell.  The ultimate privilege/honor/desire for me is to be there when the lights turn on in your head and you realize that that little box on the floor that you step on is a liar, or that you do not need to eat half a cabinet because your Aunt Betty Anne did not invite you AGAIN to the cookout or that your girlfriend who you think is the most-put-together-hot-chic-this-side-of-the-Mississippi is really a holy hot mess who is one Prozac pill away from losing it all and you’ve been worshipping her why????  THAT, my dear, is glory to me!!  Because on the other side of that is freedom!  And isn’t that what it’s all about?  What good is a great body if you are only a prisoner in it and not a landowner?

So am I now going to be writing sappy material that says ‘you can do it’ when you are much more intelligent than that?  Mmm..no…but I may not chew you up and spit you out like I did before…well…at least not in a harsh way…keep reading…

I know you THINK that’s why you want a new diet but let’s really get to the matter at hand.

Another thing that I have noticed is that I am much more perceptive of motives, driving forces, bull crap, excuses, superstitions, myths, crutches and bold faced lies than I ever have been before and at the same time I am much more comfortable in my own skin.  This has created an interesting combination.  Back in the day, I would have to call someone on their crap right away—not because it was to their benefit, no…that would be noble.  I did it mainly because I did not want them to think that I did not know—when I actually did–or have them blame me for something that was not “my fault”.  Awful—I know!  And honestly, it hurts my heart to even type that!  It was all about me and I was NOT going down with the ship.  I will try to illustrate this more in terms of training in a minute but for the sake of just getting where I am going, think about a girlfriend that you have that says stuff to you about herself that you know is not true.  She does not do it maliciously, she is honestly delusional or in obvious self denial.  The normal response is to not say a thing but to call another girlfriend that knows her and ask her if you are crazy because so and so just said such and such and you were dumbfounded.  I, of course, am not condoning gossip but let’s face it—we have all made that call once in our lives:  “Girl, I just got off the phone with Aunt Betty Anne.  What in Heaven’s name is she smoking??  She just said—no, I’m serious when I say this—she just said that she doesn’t understand why she gained 5 pounds over the weekend AFTER she just said she went to the Phantom Gourmet Food Festival and sampled EVERYTHING there while having 2 beers and a glass of wine—but wait for it…–she said she didn’t understand because they were all healthy choices!  WHAT????  I didn’t know what to say.”  If it happens and she is your girlfriend, that is ok.  If it happens and she is your client, that is called a-disaster-waiting-to-happen.  Should you lie to this person?  NO!  Absolutely not.  But are there ways to handle this without “krushing” a soul?  Yes.  Read on.

Although your girlfriend tried to convince you that it means “hot body”, deep down you know it means “kick me” with an arrow saying where.

Then I got to a point where I’d be a little more patient about it, but I still had to let you know that I knew or let someone else know that I knew (see call above) and I still refused to go down with the ship.  Again, back then it was never about their welfare or their progress, because if it was it would have been handled very differently.  Unfortunately, it was all about me not taking the blame for their delusion and me being right and me, me, me…UGH!  Right about now you may be thinking, “But wait!! Jodi, I WANT you to tell me I’m delusional.  I don’t EVER want to be that girl who is walking around with the ‘kick me’ sign on my back and I have no idea.”  I hear you but if you are thinking that or even thinking that it is my moral obligation to tell her as her nutritionist and you do not see the problem with this, keep reading and it will begin to make sense.

Yes…the heat is about to get hotter…see you tomorrow morning for more…woop woop!!

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[Take A Long Rant Off A Short Topic] See What Happened Was…

I’ve changed.  Yet again, I have changed.  I know, I know…I disappeared last summer and I am resurfacing today because this current series was nagging my fingers to type (and because about 20 of you called/texted/emailed/sent smoke signals saying ‘write or else you die’ but that’s neither here nor there) so here I am typing away but I have to tell you…I’m different.  At first I didn’t think that it made a difference that I’m not the same person anymore but how many of you already know how silly that statement is?  Then I thought that I would just throw out a few series here and there and I would figure it out as I went along.  Well, that didn’t happen either since I have now had the longest writing gap to date in the life of Jodiojo.  Now I am at the point of simply fessin’ up to the fact that I am not the same person but I have no idea how to package all that rattles around in my brain and get it to you in a way that makes sense so that I don’t come off like some kind of internet troll with an ax to grind.  Please bear with me over the next five days as I tell you how my metamorphosis affects the information that comes out of this blog.

There I am.  Eighty five and still talking someone off a Dr. Mercola ledge.

First, let’s talk about the fact that I’m older—and I don’t mean my age–I mean in my worldview, the way I think and process information–I’m like an old lady.  I am much older in the way that I view things but in my everyday life I feel like a kid again.  I describe it in that manner because I feel like I’m getting younger everyday (I’m so much happier, life really is awesome and if I could, I’d skip around my house a few times) but my professional disposition is that of an 85 year old woman.  I have no interest in the ‘latest happening’.  If it’s on TV, it’s not on my radar.  Period.  If you saw it in a magazine and want to know what I think, you’ll have a better chance of getting me to tell you that you can drink alcohol for the next 3 weekends in a row—and good luck with that.  So I’ve become this sort of…curmudgeon.  It’s terrible.  Yes, I know…you already thought I was one.  But if you can believe it, I’m worse!  No kidding.

What is worse is that I no longer have a passion for the nutrition and training industry.  It’s gone.  Dead as a doornail.  Sigh.  ALRIGHT!  That’s a little dramatic and far be it from me to be dramatic but the passion has severely waned.  The thing is, losing any part of my heart for the industry on a whole is monumental because I have lived nutrition and training for the past 16 years (and seeing that I just turned 21…haha!) and I cannot even imagine doing anything else since I “get” it and I can do it in my sleep.  It’s almost frightening.  Most of you know that I started out as both an engineer and group fitness instructor, dropped the engineering to stay home with my kids and voila! my career began.   It was fun, new to me and a perfect fit seeing as I had a biology concentration alongside my engineering degree from college.  However, the industry of old is not the industry of new and I can no longer stomach where it is going.  It’s a shame.  At one point there seemed to be dignity to the craft and people honestly gave a crap but now, not so much.  There’s a trainer on every corner but they are less and less interested in being educated, never mind certified; there’s a new diet on the market every month; and there’s a ‘new reason’ every ten minutes as to why the country is obese/dying of cancer/leprous/you-name-it and typically it’s wheat/gluten/dairy/meat/starch/sugar…whatever—gimme a break!  So much of it is fear mongering and whatever is truth is so massaged in favor of whoever is presenting it that it is hard to believe it for face value.

But it is more than just the charlatans that have moved in and set up camp on the internet or the latest fads on the market, it is the overall mindset of the consumer, too, because we are the ones giving these folks a voice.    If you do not have a gimmick, if you are not pushing the latest craze or if you refuse to put a gratuitous butt shot on your site, you might as well give it up in terms of being heard.  Please let me say, I do not mean being “heard” is about being “liked” by everyone on FB or having a super popular website because that’s not even in my vocabulary.  If I cared about that, I would be on Twitter, FB, Pinterest, Instagram and so on vying for attention like everyone else.  I am nowhere near that stuff; I am too busy sitting in my basement office loving life.  No, what I mean is you are not heard by the people you are working with simply because they themselves are drowning in life. The enemies are typical:  the news, the internet, the hot chic on FB, the latest myth in Oxygen, Oprah, Dr. Oz and so on.  The more I think about it, they are actually not enemies but more distractions.  The real enemy is what’s going on in our minds, and getting someone to see that takes time and patience that I no longer have in that capacity.  If you want me to sit with you one on one and walk you through a nutrition concept, I have endless patience.  If you want me to argue with you about why someone else can do something that you can’t (like lose 5 pounds while eating junk), I’m going to have to bow out on that one—I am fresh out of patience.  In terms of other trainers, you have to be willing to argue with whatever camp that may be out there pushing whatever the latest and greatest discovery is and if you notice one thing about Jodiojo—I am not into that at all.  I refuse to argue.  I’d rather pluck the tiny hairs on my toes with an old pair of pliers before I’d ever waste my time arguing over the metabolic impact of eating a sleeve of Oreos versus the slow response of serotonin when doing a squat. (I so just pulled all that out of my butt–with those pliers.  Thank you for humoring me.)  You get my point, though.

You don't really think those are my toes do you?

You know those aren’t my toes right? The question is: did I pluck my toe hairs first or pull that out of my butt? Hmmm….

When did the industry change like this?  I feel like I was on a deserted island for 10 years and this is what I have come back to.  ACK!!  However, the real question is:  How does this affect Jodiojo?  I’m getting there…  There’s more…lots more…hang tight.  So glad to be back.  Woop woop!

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[Track and Physique] Park and Play

Today we’re at a “park”.  Nowadays, parks come in all forms.  I miss the back-in-day parks with the dangerous 20 foot slides that were metal and the speed limitless merry go rounds that could shoot a kid 40 feet if spun the right way.  Ahhh…the good ole days of broken bones and knocked out teeth.  Today, however, is much different so you have to work really hard to find a park with these 3 things:

  • Monkey bars
  • 100 feet of open space
  • A taller than normal slide


  • Don’t go to the park and workout during mommy hours.  Do I even need to say that?
  • Do not do this in minimalist sneakers if you are new to them.  Try crosstrainers instead.
  • Use creativity to add to this workout.  You may not have my park at your disposal.
  • Avoid running in the park mulch if at all possible.  All kinds of hidden horrors are lurking in that stuff.  You’ll sprain an ankle in a minute messing around with that maniacal mixture.
  • Get used to people staring at you.  They’ll most likely be sitting on a bench with a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee wondering what in Heaven’s Name you are doing.  Just keep moving.
  • You can find any of these exercises by googling them.  I have used all standard names.


  1. 30 sec pogos
  2. 5 push ups (Alternate #1 and 2– 5 times.)
  3. 10 Flings
  4. 4 Groiners for stretch (hold them 3 sec each)  (NOTE:  I do the version that is one leg at a time—not 2.  It looks like a runners lunge but harder.)  Alternate #3 and 4– 3 times.

Do the following in place one right after the other, ten sec each:

  1. High knees
  2. Butt kickers
  3. Squats
  4. Alt side lunges
  5. Mtn Climbers
  6. Gate swings (do these half time for warm ups)

Repeat 3 times

Here is your dynamic “stretch”:

  • Leg swings in all 3 directions
  • Hip hip in place
  • Round house kicks in place


  • Starting with the monkey bars:  jump up and do 1 pull up, drop to the ground and do 1 push up.   Do this twice.
  • Stand up and perform:  4 jump squats, 8 squats rapid fire, 4 split jumps (T)otal, 4 alt fwd lunges
  • Repeat this sequence for a total of 4 times through.

If you have an open and free parking lot or field space:

  • Sprint for 15 sec.   (STOP AND NOTICE HOW FAR YOU HAVE GONE) Back pedal back.
  • Now sprint half that distance, touch ground, sprint back to start and touch ground again.
  • Do that 3 more times for a total of 8 half sprints.  (Remember that with me, 1 direction = 1 time.  Therefore, there and back = 2.)  Perform 20 russian twists, 10 plank jumps and 3 inch worms.  Repeat this sequence 2 more times.

Go back to the monkey bars:

  • jump up and do 1 pull up, drop down and do 4 prone jacks.  Do this twice.
  • Stand up and perform:   4 (T) alt side lunges with a plyo hop in the center, 4 lateral bounds, 4 rotational lunges
  • Repeat this sequence for a total of 4 times through.

Go back to where you were doing the half sprints.

  • Shuffle the half distance.  5 burpees
  • Shuffle back.  1 rocket jump/8 mtn climbers (5 X’s)
  • Repeat this entire sequence 5 times.

Head to the slide…

  • Run up an extra long slide.  10 squats at the top (there should be a platform); be bold here:  no hands if you can do it or super long strides.
  • Walk down the same slide, or another slide that is close, slowly.
  • Turn around (or run in a loop if there are 2 slides) and repeat this for 10 reps.

Go back to the monkey bars:

  • Jump up and hang there.  Perform 5 leg raises.  Drop down and sprint 5 sec away.  Touch the ground and sprint back.  Repeat this until you can’t do any more leg raises, you puke or you cramp up in the leg raise and become stuck in that position til a 5 year old helps you.  Ok, I was kidding about the last one but do let us know if you puke. J


Walk around slowly for 3 min.

Perform the cool down from the track workout in the place where you did the half sprints.

Tomorrow we conquer the beach.  WOOP WOOP!!

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[Track and Physique] Back That Swag Up

Yesterday was about the basics.  Today is about faking like you know what you’re doing on the track.  Ready?


We are currently on a state of the art track.  Well not physically, but I want you to envision it because it’s important for today’s post.  The track is made of that red, foamy rubber stuff that feels great on the feet; the middle of the track is covered in turf instead of grass and has the little black rubber beads in it, too; there are bleachers that are in good shape and are made specifically for running them because they are high, with evenly spaced stairs; and there is a bathroom within 5 min of walking to it (ESSENTIAL for a woman).

I am going to take yesterday’s basic workout and add a ton of fillers to it.  Depending on what I add, it will lean either more to the conditioning side (lots of plyos and rest) or more to the cardio side (not much rest but much less intensity).  I will color code this because the anal engineer in me says that that makes the most sense.  You don’t want to know what the lazy woman in me said.  I told her to shut up for your benefit. :)

Red = added to yesterday’s workout


  1. Performed in a straight line, over 15 feet or so.  Backslash BP means to return to start with a back pedal.
  2. 8 “runs”—each way is 1 run—get faster with each run so that the last one is just short of a sprint
  3. High knees/BP
  4. Every 3rd high knee/BP
  5. Butt kickers/BP
  6. Every 3rd butt kicker/BP
  7. Skip/BP/10 mtn climbers (from the down position, pop up into skip for height)
  8. Skip for height/BP/10 mtn climbers (from the down position, pop up into skip for distance)
  9. Skip for distance/BP/10 mtn climbers (from the down position, pop up into skips with a twist)
  10. Skips with a twist
  11. 5 push ups/Shuffle/5 push ups/shuffle (“pop up” from the push up like a burpee; do not get up slowly and shuffle)
  12. 3 groiners for stretch/Carioka/3 groiners for stretch/Carioka
  13. 5 gateswings/side run/5 gateswings/side run
  14. 180’s
  15. 360’s
  16. Fast walking lunge
  17. Lunge and rotate
  18. Frankensteins
  19. Prisoner walks
  20. Round house shuffle
  21. Monster walks

The purpose of this warm up is two-fold:  warm you up dynamically in a way that mimics the movements you are about to do and get you used to flowing from one move to the next.  For example, when you back pedal back it is very natural to go right down to the ground at the end of it.  This puts you in the position to do a mountain climber.  From the down position of a mtn climber, you are almost in the “start block position” and you go right into a skip.  This forces you to learn how to go from floor to fast, but we’re not doing in it into a run because we’re not Flo Jo so back it down.

WARM UP SPRINT—this doesn’t change

  1. Start at the beginning of the straight away
  2. Run at a fast, but easy, pace half of the distance of the straight away.
  3. Walk back to start.
  4. Do this 3 to 5 times depending on how long it takes you to loosen up and feel comfortable.


Start in start block position, run faster speed than the first set of sprints for the entire length of the 100m strip.  Walk back.  Repeat 2 more times.



Rest a full 3 min. from the sprints.  Really do this or you’ll be junk by the end of the second set of sprints.  Respect rest periods.

Head to the bleachers.  Run up/down the bleachers 2 times.  At the bottom do 10 squat jumps, 10 squat thrusts and 10 prone jacks.  Repeat 1 time.  Rest 3 full min.

Begin another set of sprints again only this time, empty everything you have into the pavement.  You will only feel fast for the first one.  You will get progressively slower after that.  Rest fully now.  However long it takes to come down to normal breathing, take it.   You’ll notice this will get better every week.  Head to the turf.  This should be a football field marked off in 5 yards.  Find a vacant “10 yard space” for you to perform a 5/5/10/10.  You are going to perform an exercise for 5 yards Right, 5 yards L, 10 yards R, 10 yards left.

  • Sprint/sprint/sprint/sprint
  • Shuffle/shuffle/skip for height/skip for distance
  • Bear crawl/bear crawl/carioca/carioca
  • Sprint/BP/Sprint/BP

Rest 1 min.  Do this in sets of 4, do no more than 3 sets as a filler and use anything you want such as leap frogs, side runs and so on.  Get creative.  Rest fully again.  However long it takes.

Last set of 3.  Feel this one out.  If you feel good, do them full speed.  If you’re new to this, just “run fast” but don’t empty your tank into the track or you could get hurt.  Rest fully.  Head to bleachers.  This is a combo filler.  Run up the bleachers 1 time.  Come down, run to the turf.  Peform the following crank 1 time:

  • 20 rapid fire squats
  • 10 jump squats
  • 10 squat thrusts
  • 10 burpees

No rest AT ALL b/w exercises.

And then run 4—5/5/10/10’s.  Rest 2 min and repeat the entire sequence again.  If your bleachers are short, double the amount.  Time for cool down.


Rest a full 3 min. from the sprints.  Really do this or you’ll be junk by the end of the warm up.  Respect rest periods.

Run a 400.  Not all out as a sprint, but at a good pace.  Rest 3 full min and repeat one more time.  Rest 3 min.

Begin another set of sprints again only this time, empty everything you have into the pavement.  You will only feel fast for the first one.  You will get progressively slower after that.  Rest fully now.  However long it takes to come down to normal breathing, take it.   You’ll notice this will get better every week.  Run the bleachers 2 times, come down and run across the track (meaning across the turf) to the other side and back at 70% of max.  Repeat this for time (5 min), not reps.  Rest 3 min.

Last set of 3.  Feel this one out.  If you feel good, do them full speed.  If you’re new to this, just “run fast” but don’t empty your tank into the track or you could get hurt.  Rest 3 min.  Run the curve of the track, if they have bleachers on each side you’re going to loop the track by doing the bleachers on the straightaway, a good run on the curves.  Do this for 10 min. People will think you’re nuts—tell them you lost your wallet while running.

Same cool down as yesterday for both conditioning and cardio sections.  We’ll change that next time.

Do you have all that? ;)   I know it’s a lot.  I’ll elaborate more when we head to the park tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

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[Track and Physique] Nuts and Bolts

Let’s jump (wow, unintended bad pun right there) right into this:


Sneakers: Running shoes.  Do not wear minimalist sneakers if you have never sprinted before, you will blow out your shins.  Bring those in slowly.  Sneakers are personal so no, I do not have a recommendation of a brand.

Time: NOT HIGH NOON.  I always see at least one crazy person on a track sprinting at high noon at least once a year.  And don’t ask why I’m there to see it–I’m nosy ok?  You feel better now?  If you go early morning, the grass will be wet.  Don’t walk through it, soak up your feet and then try to sprint with maximum traction.  Stay off the grass.  If you go later in the day, close to evening, the mosquitoes will make a meal of you so bring some OFF to show them who’s boss.  Track mosquitoes are a special gigantic breed that has been brought over from the Amazon.  Take heed.

Water: If it is hot, water may not be enough.  Nuuns are easy to bring with you in case you need them and are way better than any kind of Gatoraide product that’s going to kill your physique.


Assuming this is a standard track, the straightaway is 100m; the curve is 100m.  Altogether the entire way around is 400m.  Don’t try to stay in your lane or get all technical, just get around the track.  Be mindful of other people and don’t hog up a whole area like we can in the gym because most tracks are for public use so they’ll be all types roaming around when you get there.

If it has bleachers, fabulous!  Make sure they are sturdy.  TEST THEM OUT before you barrel up them like Chariots of Fire on crack.  You’d be surprised at how many good looking but falling apart bleachers there are out there.

Dynamic warm ups are best done on the straightaway that is separated from the track.  Typically it’s about 8 to 15 feet that is set aside and leads right into the straight portion of the track.  Most people will not bother you if you use that as your warm up area.  Do not start your sprint from there, though, because it adds to the length of the 100m sprint.


Overall: Conditioning.  We do not use these for anything other than to give you a nice tight body.  However, there is a nice side effect to sprinting which is your overall lung capacity.  If you are a runner, you’ll be able to run faster, longer after a few weeks of sprinting.  If you’re a gym rat, you’ll notice that your intense days of cardio in the gym are no longer intense and you’ll have to kick it up a notch.


  • ‘Start block starts’ work the glutes, hamstrings and calves.
  • The first ten steps work the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves.
  • Top speed running works the hamstrings.

I left out the hip flexors and other terminology like push/pull phase or return swing on purpose.  Unclog your mind of those things for now.  This is about appearance–not performance.

Mental stamina: There is something about sprinting that makes us feel fierce and productive.  Capitalize on this; don’t shy away.  Sweaty, smelly workouts that are directly correlated with a sense of being uniquely strong keep us focused on the task at hand, dieting, more than anything else we’ll do all week long.


A true track workout should not take more than 15 min.  We use them for conditioning only.  When used as cardio, lots of fillers are put in to add to the length of the workout and all fillers MUST BE less intense than the sprint portion of the workout or you will fry yourself.  Adding too much stuff into the workout is a great way to get injured but this happens because we feel like we can conquer the world once we start releasing speed.  Get your head together, girl.  You’re coming back next week.  No need to shove it all in at one time.  Here are the components:

  • Dynamic Warmup
  • Warm up sprints
  • Full out sprinting
  • Add ins, fillers and rest periods
  • Cool down

I will break all of these down for you tomorrow.  I’ll give you things to think about, how to do them, where you get yourself into trouble and how to keep it fresh.  Today, though, I’m just going to give you a sample workout to sink your teeth into so you have an idea of what I’m going to walk you through tomorrow and because I promised that I would.  I don’t want you to think I’m holding out. :D

You can google any of these exercises if you don’t know what they are:


Performed in a straight line, over 15 feet or so.  Backslash BP means to return to start with a back pedal.

  1. 8 “runs”—each way is 1 run
  2. High knees/BP
  3. Butt kickers/BP
  4. Skip/BP
  5. Skip for height/BP
  6. Skip for distance/BP
  7. Shuffle/shuffle
  8. Carioka/Carioka
  9. 180’s
  10. 360’s
  11. Frankensteins
  12. Prisoner walks
  13. Round house shuffle
  14. Monster walks


Start at the beginning of the straight away

Run at a fast, but easy, pace half of the distance of the straight away.

Walk back to start.

Do this 3 to 5 times depending on how long it takes you to loosen up and feel comfortable.


Start in start block position, run faster speed than before the entire length of the 100m strip.  Walk back.  Repeat 2 more times.  Take a walk around the track or put a filler here.  I’ll explain tomorrow what fillers are.

Begin another set of sprints again only this time, empty everything you have into the pavement.  You will only feel fast for the first one.  You will get progressively slower after that.  Walk around again or add another filler.

Last set of 3.  Feel this one out.  If you feel good, do them full speed.  If you’re new to this, just “run fast” but don’t empty your tank into the track or you could get hurt.  Walk around the track or last filler.

You’re done.  This is as basic as it gets.  It’s time to cool down.


  1. Prisoner walks
  2. Thinker
  3. Lunge and rotate
  4. Over the fence, under the fence
  5. Hip hip

Tomorrow we’ll do a “fancy” track workout with plyos and cranks before we move onto the park and the beach.  Sound good?  Woop woop!!

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