When Yvette first started writing her newsletter, way back in 2012, I was the first contributing blogger. That post focused on physical challenges—eating right, working out, being committed. I have now been training with Yvette for going on six years, and our sessions are so much more than just working out. They’re also a way for me to keep my head in check. I have been an “intentional exerciser” since the late 1980s. Aerobics .Hi/Lo. Step. Kickboxing. Pilates. Spin. I have tried it all. The difference is that when I was younger, the only reason I worked out was to lose weight. Over the past decade, I’ve come to the realization that the reason I work out is not so that I will lose weight, or even so that I will get stronger. If this is my strength plateau, I’m actually okay with that! The reason I work out is because when I do, I just feel so much better. I’m more relaxed, less anxious, and have a greater level of mental clarity than when I don’t. This fundamental shift in my thinking developed slowly, and also affects other areas of my life. I slowly began doing things differently. I am a naturally introverted person, who would rather interact with the world from behind the screen of my laptop, so I’ve been intentionally getting out of the house and meeting people (outside of working out!). Just last week, I took a course in digital marketing at Rutgers. I had the option of doing the class online, or in person. I went to the in person class, and I made it a point to eat lunch with a different instructor each day. It’s not comfortable. It’s not easy. It’s hard. I’d prefer to stay in my pajamas and enjoy my anonymity. But that’s not helping me. And you know what? Changing my mindset and doing things differently make me feel better. I feel more alive than when I do the same old, same old. I was just telling Yvette this morning that I’m finally glad that I was never one of those super thin girls or young women who could eat anything and not gain weight. Even as a teenager, I was on the heavier side. Why am I glad that I never had the “advantage” of being able to eat whatever I want without gaining weight? Because at age 40+, I’m just used to it! Having to watch what I eat has been a constant for so long, that I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to suddenly have it be an issue. I’m already there! I started 2015 by throwing my bathroom scale in the garbage. I was looking at that beady-eyed, metallic monster one day, and I realized: I have been on a diet since 1985. Thirty years. Worried about the scale since age 15. And that’s nuts. For decades, that stupid scale held so much power over me. The number that flashed could either make me feel like I could take on the world, or it could make me feel like a total failure. This year, when I went for my annual check up, I told the nurse that I wasn’t going to look at the scale, and that I didn’t want her to tell me. She said she liked that, because so many women come in there and cry! This is my modus operandi for 2016. . .continue doing things differently. Wear real pants around the house (I know, the agony of the zipper and button!), connect with people in person, do what makes me uncomfortable. Change it, because status quo has only ever gotten me the same thing.Do you need a little spice of motivation? How about some Crazy Trainer Motivation….