Running Wisdom

Running Wisdom

I was recently reminded of a time when I was living in Baltimore and had decided to head out the door for my run without strapping on my phone to play the current audio book or energizing music that typically accompanies me. Now, there are typically only two reasons that I leave my entertainment home, either I know it is going to rain or I feel an internal nudge that I need to spend that time in prayer and meditation. This was one of those times. I was in a state of deep contemplation, really desiring to hear one of those great nuggets of wisdom that God has given me in the past. Times where I’ve walked away just knowing in the depths of my soul that this thing- a thought, an idea, or just simply a feeling of peace- had been spoken directly to my heart. I remember that I was at a crossroads and feeling like my life was not moving as quickly as it should be and begging to be shown what I was doing that could be impeding my progress. I believed there must be something I was missing that was hindering my forward movement and I just couldn’t figure it out despite my many efforts.

The first part of the run felt especially difficult. A lot of it was uphill and I was struggling to concentrate on my prayers and quieting my mind. My thoughts were running much faster than my legs and I felt as though God had decided not to accompany me on this run. I finally got into a groove after about a mile as the road flattened out and I had beautiful views of the bay. I was overcome with such a thankful heart for all of the blessings I currently had and the many times I had felt abundantly cared for despite my shortcomings. As I had settled into a nice comfortable pace and a quiet thoughtfulness, I began hearing quick steps approaching me from behind. I could tell they were getting closer, which meant the person behind me was running faster than I was and quickly gaining on me. I did not like this. You see, I am very competitive by nature. Sadly, to the point that I actually still get highly bothered and must strongly resist the temptation to show it when I lose so much as a card game (and don’t manage to resist quite as well when I lose a tennis match). So you can imagine my frustration when I realized that another person was so much faster than me that they had caught and passed me within a quarter of a mile. I watched this fit girl run past me with ease and after a split second of increasing my pace to prevent this defeat, I assured myself that I would eventually catch her with my endurance rather than speed. I was sure that the pace she was running would be short-lived as she must be doing speed work or on a short run. I even began thinking about how I would re-tell my own version of the ever inspiring “life is not a sprint it’s a marathon” tale. I planned to offer an empowering experience where endurance trumped speed and my strong finish, rather than start, was what truly mattered!

However, the truth is that I never caught that girl. She ran off ahead of me and I did not see her again before turning around to complete my run. It was in this defeat that I heard the message of insight I had been seeking that day. I heard that internal voice of wisdom remind me that sometimes in life we are just not as conditioned or at the same pace as another person. Sometimes we spend a season in a place where it feels as though others are zipping by us and we are stuck in neutral spinning our wheels. It was impressed on me that this is not the case, rather this season can be a purposeful time of preparation or rest or even discipline, but that we are never there by accident and it is self-defeating to compare ourselves to others who are at a different place. Because that is not our place. We think ‘fastest’ is best or staying ahead of others is what makes us successful, but our internal worth or value is not measured by how far ahead of others we are, it is by doing all we are called to do in the place that we are currently at. It is making the most of our journey, not someone else’s. This occurs best when we take our competitive eyes off of another’s path and put them back onto our own.

Side note: I would love to say that I embraced this lesson and was changed on the spot, relinquishing my competitive nature and desire to be the best. However, I must admit that as I heard steps approaching me from behind a few minutes later, I increased my speed to the point of maxing out and sucking air in order to stay ahead of my pursuer. I could barely finish my run as I finally turned off and headed for home, no longer being followed. But I cannot lie and say that I didn’t walk a little taller and a little prouder knowing I had won the second bout… I’m still a work in progress.


Today’s blog comes from Affiliate Coach, Liz King-Reihm. Liz works with women of all ages to help them create healthy lives through mental, physical, and spiritual wholeness. She helps women discover their potential with both personal training as well as coaching. For more information about Liz, you can visit her website: or email her at [email protected] Or call (240) 397-6437 with any specific questions.

Liz will be co-leading our next event, ‘Be Well’ on Wednesday July 27th from 5:30 – 7:30.  For registration information and details on this event, click here


6 Tips for Holiday Bliss and Not Stress!

The holidays are officially here with Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas music on the radio. I love this time of year and the opportunity to connect with friends and loved ones! There are more parties and celebrations with tons of good and delicious food.

The only problem is that with all this great food, there is the temptation to over eat and indulge. If you are like me, over indulgence may leave you feeling sluggish and not feeling your best. There may also be the concern with all the delicious food, the fear of putting on a few extra pounds contributing to feeling less than your best. The good news is that recent research shows that most people only gain a pound over the holidays. In years past, that number was more like a 5 to 8 pounds gained once January was here, so, we are either getting better about controlling our indulgence or what we eat at the holidays is not that different then what we eat normally.

Either way, for me the main focus is to move through the holidays feeling my best and experiencing more bliss with love, peace, joy and little stress. If this is important to you as well, here are a few strategies that I have used when attending holiday parties to avoid over indulgence that will leave you feeling less than your best

  1. Don’t obsess about it. When our mind is trying not to do something, it causes us to do the very thing we don’t want. For example, if I say, don’t think about the color red. Well, there we are trying to think about every color but red, but it is still obsessed with the color red. Same with food, when we try to “avoid” something, we obsess about it until we give in and usually over eat the very thing we are avoiding. So have a little and move on to eating something healthy. This is called intuitive eating.
  2. Eat a small meal before a party. There are usually a ton of choices at a party and most likely we want to try it all, so even taking very small bites can really add up the calories. When we go to a party hungry, we often take larger portion sizes than we need and end up over eating. Especially, if raised being conditioned to “clean” our plates. But when we are nutritionally satisfied, we are in greater control of portion sizes and better with cues to stop. Another strategy is to leave a little food on your plate, so your host does not feel the need to offer you more.
  3. Balance rich foods with something healthy. There are usually plenty of decadent desserts available at holiday parties. Try to take a smaller portion than normal by connecting with someone to share. Then before you give in to your mind screaming for more, balance it out with some fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with water, fiber, and nutrients which will not only add beneficial nutrients but will help wash away the taste that causes your mouth to be hungry for more.  The fresh fruits and vegetables will also help fill you up and keep your intake with fewer calories.
  4. Drink water instead of your calories. Many holiday beverages are packed with calories, sugar and fat! Some popular favorites; Eggnog = 390 calories for 1 cup, Hot cocoa = 320 calories for 12 oz,  a better option is a glass of wine = 125 – 150 calories. If you want to have a beverage and keep the calories to a minimum, “double fist” it. One hand has a glass of wine and the other holds your water; for every sip of wine you take, then take a drink of water. This also keeps your hands busy from grabbing extra food you may not need. Another idea is to mix the wine with sparkling or carbonated water for a spritzer. Water is always a great idea. It keeps you hydrated and keeps your digestive system moving which can become slow when eating rich foods.
  5. Keep moving for more muscle! Often during the holidays, our normal exercise regimen goes out the window. As the schedule gets hectic, the last thing you want to give up is movement. Not only does this help keep the stress hormones lower, but it keeps your muscles engaged to burn the extra calories. Even if you do over eat and gain weight, when challenging the muscles you may gain more muscle instead of fat. If so, this will aid in losing the weight faster when the eating patterns go back to normal. When we have more muscle or lean body mass, the body is more efficient in using our calories for energy instead of storing them somewhere we don’t want.
  6. Get plenty of rest: Rest is essential to keep our stress low, our hunger in check, and our mood more positive, exactly what we all need during the hectic pace during the holidays. Therefore, set your day up for success by planning what time you need to be in bed to wake up refreshed, renewed, and ready to make your holiday everything you want!

May you be blessed with love, joy, and peace this Holiday Season! Be Well, and Be Whole!

Would love to hear your tips for breezing through the holidays with ease!


Written by Sandie Lynch MS, RDN, LDN, Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, and Wholistic Wellbeing Coach. Owner and CEO of ATP Consultants, LLC. Sharing 5 Key Principles to Attain Top Performance in living your best life at any age!

Check out ATP Fitness to “Maximize” your 2016. Learn, practice, and embrace the strategies that will build Wholistic Wellbeing for life! Contact Sandie via email at [email protected]


Thanksgiving in Balance!

Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family and take time to express gratitude for our blessings.  This practice of celebrating for blessings has existed since our creation and was encouraged by our creator.  These festivals would last for days and sometimes even a month.  Celebration in gratefulness is always a great practice to focus on what is good in our lives and minimize those situations that frustrate or discourage.

With that said, one source of stress is the very fact that Thanksgiving and the holidays always seem to be celebrating with LOTS of delicious foods that are tempting for those who are striving to obtain or maintain a healthy lifestyle.  The challenge is the ability to participate and enjoy the foods without feeling like we blown the bank and/or trigger going back into old habits.  Some researchers have estimated that the typical Turkey dinner with all the trimmings can provide 3500 to 5000 calories.  This is not including any other foods or appetizers prior to the meal.

Another concern is that after consuming such a large meal our activities are usually sedentary; sitting on the couch watching football or lying down to take a nap because of the “food comma” that follows.  This could lead to gaining about ½ pound or more.  Now that doesn’t sound like much but when it takes the average person 7 days to lose ½ pound it could lead us to feel stuck in the scenario; “Two steps forward, one step back.”   Another aspect to consider is biochemical analysis has discovered our activity following a meal can impact how that food is used and stored.  For example, when we are sedentary after a meal in excess of our needs we are more likely to store fat, but when we are active after the meal, like taking a walk, our food is used for energy instead.

The question lies, how can we get through Thanksgiving and the Holidays without gaining extra fat and frustration by the very foods we are celebrating with?

Here are a few strategies to consider or maybe try some of your own.

  1. Set up the Meal Buffet Style separate from sitting.  Eating family style with the bowls of food sitting in front of us increase the likeliness of second servings without thinking.  When we have to make the conscious decision to get up for that second helping we may find we don’t really want it and decide against it.
  2. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods.  Studies show that when we do, it usually triggers us to over eat later when our will power is low.  Go ahead and enjoy, just make the portions smaller.
  3. Use smaller plates.  We tend to eat 30% more food if given a larger plates or bowls.  Therefore, set out smaller plates for the meal; try 9 ½ inch plates verses the typical 11 ½.  You may even consider doing this on a regular basis as part of your healthy lifestyle.
  4. Drink plenty of water.   The Thanksgiving meal is usually high in carbohydrates and carbohydrates need water to metabolize.  Therefore, drinking water helps the body be more efficient.  Also, water can help wash out flavors from your mouth that are “calling you” to get more.
  5. Engage in fun activities that require movement using the meal for energy.  Play a game of Wii, or a game of touch football in the yard, or maybe take a walk.  Even just getting up and moving during commercials can help use that food.
  6. Laugh!  Tell stories or play games that are silly such as Pictionary or Charades. As I shared in my blog: Laughter is Incredibly Good Medicine  laughing 100 times is equivalent to 10 minutes on a rowing machine or 15 minutes on the stationary bicycle.
  7. Embrace Balance.  Don’t be discouraged if the Thanksgiving meal leaves you feeling like a sack of potatoes.  One meal does not need to be the trigger to sabotage your wellness goals throughout the holidays. Remember that every meal is an opportunity to balance the ones not in alignment with your goals.  Don’t sweat it or beat yourself up, just balance it, for this is truly the path of living a balanced life of “Wholistic Wellbeing!

Summary: Thanksgiving and the Holidays are a time of celebration and fun.  Choose to embrace strategies that create balance in self-care, health, and overall Wholistic Wellbeing.  Finding steadfast balance is only done after learning to stay standing on shaking ground.   For when we embrace balance to feel our best and live our best life.   Celebrate, Enjoy, Balance, and Thrive!


Today’s author: Sandie Lynch MS, RDN, LDN, Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, Personal Development Coach and CEO of ATP Consultants, LLC.   Sandie provides private coaching and group fitness classes sharing 5 Principles to Attain Top Performance in living your best life at any age!


Care for the Heart: Stop the War Within

I’m sure we all can think of a time when we were in the middle of a dispute and felt some resistance in finding settlement.  There is a saying that always comes to mind that causes me to pause before proceeding when agreement seems like a struggle, “people don’t care what you say until they know how much you care.  This saying has helped shape my thoughts and words on many occasions to help resolve matters.  This makes since when we consider most individuals are motivated by emotion and not by compliance.  Understanding how the decision is beneficial is helpful, but the key to change isemotionally” wanting it! 

Sometimes these disputes can be within when considering life changing decisions such as career, getting married, divorced, or even when embracing healthy habits such as following a nutritious diet and exercise plan to have a healthier life.  We all know the research shows that a nutritiously poor diet and a lack of activity can rob years from our life and keep us from experiencing our best due to low energy and increased risk of illness and disease…especially heart disease.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women starting in our 40’s.  So why do we continue these behaviors if we know they lead to negative outcomes?  Although, we may want the result of making healthy changes we are emotionally tied to the very behaviors we feel we should stop.  As we attempt to make healthy changes, many questions run through the mind.  “How will this impact my life and relationships? Will I like the change?  What will I miss out on?  What will I gain in return?”  Friends and family may also be involved with suggestions and recommendations, maybe with words of encouragement, and/or even strong direction of what they believe is in our best interest.  There are many things to consider and sometimes deciding what voice to follow, especially when emotionally tied, can be a challenge, almost like a war within. 

Consider this, when we unknowingly engage in activities that are not in alignment with what is best for us, deep within we may feel a sense of unsettledness or emptiness and unconsciously try to fill this hole with unhealthy things, such as relationships, behaviors and food.  As with every decision the only one truly living with the outcome is the one making it.  Yes, sometimes decisions impact others, and this is the very reason why being in alignment with one’s true authentic self will manifest the best result for all.  This alignment creates a sense of peace, loyalty, and commitment to the behaviors and activities that follow to support the decision.  Without this alignment, a lack of commitment exists and inconsistency is usually the result.  Many times this causes “self-blame” to rear its ugly head and make us believe we have no will power or are lacking in some way to make the change happen.  This lie can eat away at our confidence and resolve.

So how do you find this peace and alignment in a decision when it feels like a tug of war within?  Listen and follow your heart!  The heart is much more than a muscle that pumps our blood throughout our body.  Within the book, Heart-Centered Leadership by Susan Steinbrecher and Joel B. Bennett, Ph.D. they describe the heart as the communication center of the body and the home of our soul and/or authentic self.  The heart is where spiritual communication and true alignment happens.  It makes sense when we consider all emotions are felt within the heart especially love.  The heart was made for love and it seems that love drives all other emotions; for example, in the absence of love we feel anxious, lonely, broken, rejected, and maybe even lost, but in the presence of love we feel excitement, happiness, joy, and peace.  Authentic self-care for the heart and body stems from the heart for it desires what is best for us and seeks this above all else in love.  As we realize how much it cares to lead us to our best, we may feel drawn to reciprocate this love and WANT to listen to its guidance being emotionally tied to STOP the war within. 

So, take time to listen to the quiet voice within your heart, follow its guidance, and realize the amazing benefits in all areas of life as you discover true alignment and peace as you Care for the Heart!  

Join us on September 27th, 2013 for the Wholistic Woman Retreat as we invite you to explore your heart and listen to the voice within to lead you to your best life! Click here for more information and to register.


Written by Sandie Lynch MS, RDN, LDN, Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, Personal Development Coach and CEO of ATP Consultants, LLC.   Sandie provides private coaching and group fitness classes sharing 5 Principles to Attain Top Performance in living your best life at any age!


Grow Your Energy and Confidence!

Enjoy these tips from Coach Sandie’s BYOB: Get the “Skinny” on a Sassy, Sexy Summer.

Sassy is defined as pert, boldly smart, and/or saucy.  Looking deeper, one of the definitions for Pert is Lively; sprightly (full of energy): and in good health.

Isn’t being healthy, full of energy and lively what we all want?  When we feel like this, confidence exudes from us and confidence is what the polls say is considered sexy!  So when we are feeling “Sassy” we can’t help but be “Sexy!”

I know it is not everyone intention or desire to strive to be what our culture considers “sexy” but what would you say to being able to “turn heads” from both men and women?  It is not about attracting a mate but radiating an energy people can’t help but notice!

When we are healthy, full of energy, lively and confident, people want to meet and get to know us better. They want to know our secret!   So, what are some strategies to create this type of captivating energy?

The first step is belief.  Believing that this is possible and then visualize and dress the part of already being there…feel it, and breathe your confidence; being full of energy, health and liveliness!

Second, create and say out loud daily what you want to create using an “I AM” statement such as, “I AM confident” or I AM strong!”  Make it your own and assume the feeling of living life exuding this declaration!

And third, think of the things that will manifest health, fun, and joy in your life and then sow these habits into your life consistently!  Replace the things that rob energy and the health you wish to create.  Make sure the activities and habits you select create fun, and grow your energy.  Our heart, mind, body and spirit want to keep doing things that feel good and bring happiness in life and will avoid things that bring pain.  So by doing fun things that create health in your life will make it easy to live a lifestyle that will manifest the vision you want.

Therefore, find your joy and live it every day and you will have a “Sassy, Sexy Summer every year!

For more tips and strategies on creating a healthy body and spirit of joy, please feel free to contact me for more events and programs to start your ATP journey today!  240-439-9927.


ATP Consultants, LLC (Attain Top Performance)

Sandie Lynch, MS, RDN, LDN, CPT

Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and Certified Personal Fitness Trainer.


Preview – “Spark a Wholehearted Life”

I am so excited to be giving you a little preview of one of the upcoming workshops being presented by Lisa DiSciullo and myself at the upcoming Wholistic Woman Retreat!  We’ve titled it, “Spark a Wholehearted Life” and it’s being based around the work of Brene Brown.  I first learned about Brene Brown after watching one of her TED talks http://home/wholisu6/ and if you haven’t seen this, I highly recommend it.  Her work has given me permission to be perfectly imperfect and as a “recovering perfectionist” this is just the permission I’ve been waiting for.

Wholehearted living is about recognizing your worthiness, that you already are enough, and then living from that place in harmony with your perceived imperfections.  It’s about turning inward and acknowledging what is true for you and embracing that.  It’s about letting go of allowing other people to dictate who or what you are supposed to be, and choosing your authentic truth, and then being courageous enough to stand up and say this is the real me.  I’m done pretending to be something I’m not.  I’m done trying to live up to unrealistic expectation.  I’m done living by someone else’s rules for me.  Here I am world, vulnerabilities and all!  It’s not easy, but as someone who has been practicing this, I promise you, it has been well worth it!

Of course, this is life, and life is sometimes messy, so of course there are things that can get in the way of living a wholehearted life.  Some days are better than others, but knowing what the potential road blocks are, allows us options, or detours, around these potential pitfalls. And on the positive side, there are also daily habits you can create that will assist you in wholehearted living.  We will be looking at both of these aspects.

If this piqued your curiosity, if this leaves you wondering how effectively you are living a wholehearted life, if this has your imagination soaring about what would be possible if you started living life on your own terms, then please join us!

So, what are you doing September 28th and 29th?   If you’d like to join us at the retreat, sign up TODAY as space is limited.  You can do this at

Here’s to changing the world, one wholehearted life at a time!

Today’s author: Laura Hall is an iPEC certified life coach who believes every woman deserves a coach. She offers both one on one as well as group coaching services. She can be reached at [email protected] or check out her website at http://home/wholisu6/