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Date registered: February 3, 2015

Latest posts

  1. We Believe Things Because We’re Scared. Breast Cancer Shouldn’t Be Your Biggest Concern. — April 30, 2023
  2. Just Say, “No”. I Don’t Want to Take the Medicine. — May 25, 2018
  3. Why Can’t We be Honest with Ourselves? — February 25, 2018
  4. 5 Actionable Steps for New Year Goals — January 4, 2018
  5. False Assumptions and Rainbows — September 30, 2017

Most commented posts

  1. Waist or Waste? You Can’t Have it Both Ways. — 11 comments
  2. False Assumptions and Rainbows — 9 comments
  3. Are Other People Making you Eat? — 9 comments
  4. Build Your Best Self While You Sleep. 10 Tips to Help You! — 8 comments
  5. Avoiding a Train Wreck: Curbing Emotional Eating — 8 comments

Author's posts listings

May 14

Mother’s Day: It’s Not About Me

Family & FIT  |  Debbie Hatch

My husband and I were talking about Mother’s Day, on the plane, yesterday.

It generally makes me sad. I can’t talk to my mom because it puts her at risk when I do. Domestic abuse is a very real and immensely complicated thing. Please don’t judge, or give advice. You have no right; and neither do I at this point. Please don’t say, “she should just leave.” It’s not that easy. She has. Multiple times.  It breaks my heart but I remember, vividly, how much it broke her mother’s heart.



That’s not my point.


My point is, I don’t think Mother’s Day is about me.

It’s about her.

It’s about MY mom. It’s about YOURS.

I don’t think I should feel guilty that I have children, that they are healthy; nor that they themselves have decided to have, and are able to have, offspring. I’m not a selfish person but I don’t think the day was created to make those who can’t (or don’t want to……….no, not everyone wants to be a parent. Surprise!) have children, feel “less than”.





I can’t imagine a life without my children;

I wouldn’t be alive without my mom – and a whole string of moms before her.

Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate OUR mothers.
Birth or otherwise.


This is not just my opinion. In at least one version of the historical start to Mother’s Day, it was created by a woman who did not have children, herself. Like so many things, it wasn’t about cards, flowers, or gifts. It wasn’t about commercialism. It was about care.


It is a day to celebrate the woman who gave birth to us, or raised us, or took the roll of our mother. It is about the woman / women in our lives who made a difference.

Your mother may not be with you any longer; and you may miss her very much. When I’m gone, I hope the day is not sad for my children. I hope they view it as a day to remember me, even more often than they normally do.


I hope they get together and reminisce about all of the memories we made and that they will know, without one single question, how very much I loved them. I hope they’re happy we shared some life together.






You may adore your mother, or despise her. You may blame her for all of your shortcomings; or praise her for a hand in your accomplishments. She may not have done what you think she should have as a mother, or even a person. Or perhaps she was amazing and you strive to be exactly like her.


Maybe you mothered her more than she did you.


But she IS your mother.






Maybe today we take 24 hours off from judging other women for the way they mother? Maybe we say, “She’s doing the best she can with what she has (money, time, emotional ability, background, energy, etc).

Happy Mother’s Day.

Apr 15

Women’s Strength & Empowerment Weekend Day 2

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch


My second day at the Girls Gone Strong, Women’s Strength & Empowerment Weekend, in Kirkland, Washington, started early.  I got up at 6 so that I would have time to brush my teeth, get dressed, grab a handful of strawberries on my way out the door, and meet a bunch of other women for a group workout by the lake.




What a beautiful morning!  It was early.  It was a Saturday.  It was a chilly 42 degrees.  The energy was contagious.  Molly Scott Kieland, of FUEL House Gym in Seattle led the motley crew on a jog from the hotel to a local park.  There 4 other trainers joined her to set up 5 stations.  After a warm up, we rotated through the 5 stations.  1 minute at each, 3 times through.  To quote one of the ladies, “You don’t have to work long, but you do have to work hard.”


  • East / West jump squats and jump lunges.
  • Agility ladder exercises.
  • Push-ups and pledge planks.
  • KB swings and 1-legged KB deadlifts.
  • Core station (variety of different planks)

A short jog back to the hotel.  Quick shower and just enough time to make it to the coffee social.  

Before Neghar Fonooni, our first speaker of the day, took the stage, Hilary Paris of Nourish You led us through some centering and awareness meditation.

Yes!  I love this stuff!  All of it.

Group exercise.

The lake at sunrise.

Like-minded women.



Amazing speakers and interesting topics.

ALL of it.

Neghar reminded us to show up.  We do not have to look a certain way, or attain a certain body style before we can show up – authentically – in our lives.  The number on the scale – as well as the number on the barbell – should not be the factors we use to determine our mood or value.  It is an inherent truth that we have value beyond our bodies.  I, personally, needed the reminder.  I have so much to share but when I refuse to engage because I’m not wearing make-up; because I have bags under my eyes; or because I’m feeling (visually) less than, I do a dis-service to myself and to others.

F*&^  that. Here I am.  I am strong.  I am powerful.  I can show up authentically as I am.

Leigh Peele made going on after Neghar, look easy – although I’m sure that wasn’t the case!  Her presentation was on variations and determining factors in total daily energy expenditure.  Fancy words.  It boils down to the fact that we all burn calories differently, and in different amounts.

Not only that, but we each burn a different amount of calories each day.  Where are we within our cycle?  Have we been sitting still, moving, or fidgeting?  My biggest take-way from Leigh’s talk?  Stop changing so many variables!  Don’t do Paleo one day, count macros the next, do Keto the next; try this exercise program – no, and now that one.  Take whatever works for YOU from those programs and apply those pieces.  “Fit activity and training; pick dietary habits that fit within your life.”  That’s how you’re going to fit health and fitness into your life – FOR your life.

I left the event at lunch time.  I had a 4-year old little boy waiting for me to come and play.  THAT was important – to him and for me – this afternoon.

I’m absolutely certain Jill Coleman’s rest-based training and Jessie Mundell’s core and pelvic floor sessions were amazing!!  I can’t wait to dig into Starve Mode, Letters to Lola, and Mindset – – my new reading materials from this weekend.

If you get the chance to attend one of these events (this happens annually) – do it!  This community of women; confident in their strength and power fills me up.  Women:  all sizes, shapes, colors, ethnicity, age, holding a place for one another.  <3


<==  Here are some reasons a few of the ladies listed this morning.

For me it’s about seeing old friends, and meeting new ones, learning new things, sharing experiences.

Apr 15

Women’s Strength & Empowerment Weekend Day 1

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch


I’m in Kirkland, Washington at the Girls Gone Strong event: Women’s Strength & Empowerment Weekend. I try to attend one personal and one professional development event each year. I love to teach but, equally, I love to learn.
It’s been incredible:
  • Seeing old friends and meeting new ones.
  • Listening and learning about health & fitness from some of the best in the industry.
  • Being surrounded by about 175 strong, inclusionary women of all ages, size, color, and ethnicity.
 Day one was full day of amazing presentations.
We started off with Dr. Larissa Mercado-Lopez, digging into the “Isms” of fitness.  She reminded us that not everyone has access to whole foods or a safe, encouraging place where they can exercise. We looked at how women’s fitness has changed from 2013 through today.  Here’s a challenge for you – do a Google search for images of “fit women”.  I did and here’s the first two pages of what came up.
Notice anything odd?  There’s not a whole lot of diversity there, huh?  We don’t all “fit the mold”.  We’re not all white women with six pack abs and long torsos ranging from ages 20 – (maybe) 40.  We don’t all hang out in sports bras and short shorts.  
We – fit women – are different shapes, sizes, and colors. I’m a grandmother of five!
Here’s another challenge, while you’re Googling.  Type in “healthy women” images.  That’s got to be more representative, right?  You tell me.  Here are the first two pages.
The first session was followed up by Melody Schoenfeld.  This 5 foot tall powerhouse (who tears phone books and license plates with her bare hands!) helped us learn how to – quite literally – tear into preconceived notions.  “So much of what we look like and what we do is because it’s expected.  I used to scour Seventeen magazine.  I would look at the pictures and think, if only I could be pretty like her.  If I had her smile, her height, the six pack abs…life would be perfect.  I would be happy.”
With Melody’s instruction, we tore magazines promising to help us “lift our bottoms” “hide our tummies” and “make our boobs more perky” all within two glorious (and “easy”) weeks…  to shreds.
Dr. Kara Mohr presented on mindset, motivation and habit change; three of my all-time favorite topics!  She shared the fact (fact) that thoughts drive our feelings ==> feelings drive our behaviors ==> and behaviors drive our results. The problem is we rarely take the time to identify the thoughts  that are ultimately leading to our behavior.  What is the internal story we’re playing in our heads?  For me, personally, this is so incredibly important.  I’m my own worst critic.  I frequently think “I can’t do this” “I’m not good at that”.  If I stop there, without questioning the story, I feel like this thing is out of my control.  “If I’m not good at this, there’s nothing I can do about it.  That’s just the way it is……”  Which, I KNOW – when I take the time to really examine the thought – is BS.  I’m not good at it yet…..
I wasn’t good at teaching, the first dozen times I did it.  I wasn’t good at pull-ups until I practiced long enough to get better.  I wasn’t good at running, until I focused on doing it.  Mindset matters!!!!  If it’s too hard for you to change the story at first, try changing the behavior.  Consistently and routinely do the new thing – whether you feel like it or not; whether you’re motivated or not.
Repeat after me:  “Motivation doesn’t come first.  Action comes first.  Motivation is the result of action.”
After lunch, it was on to hands-on movement sessions.  My first workshop was with Jennifer Vogelgesang Blake.  I have a huge girl crush on her so this was awesome!!  We learned how to become stronger at pull-ups because, in case you didn’t already know, the idea that women don’t have enough upper body strength to do pull-ups is simply NOT true.  They’re hard!  They require practice!  How do you get stronger at pull-ups before you’re strong enough to do pull-ups?
  • We started with diaphragmatic breathing (aka belly breathing) and, holy cow, I need to work on this!!!!  A lot.
  • Kettlebell arm bars were next.  These can improve mobility and rotary capacity through the thoracic spine.  Strongfirst calls them, “the single best shoulder mobility and stability drill you can practice”.
  • Tension is key for max exercises so we worked on a variety of plank (tailbone tucked; pulling elbows toward toes, and toes toward elbows) and push up (lowering slowly, raising quickly) exercises.
  • From there, it was on to hollow body holds with a piece of PVC pipe.

As much as I hated to leave JVB’s session, my next workshop was high intensity interval training with Elisabeth Akinwale.

Whew!  Mountain climbers, burpees, squats, and v-ups, oh my.  It was fantastic!!  What are the benefits of HIIT?  It’s quick (so you’re less likely to get bored), can improve your endurance, and 15 minutes of high intensity interval training can burn some major calories!  High intensity means moving quickly, it doesn’t mean moving frantically.  It means pushing yourself out of your comfort zone but it’s not the same as “no pain, no gain”.  In fact, the quality of movement (your form) is very important because we can’t be fit if we don’t have a basic level of health and wellness.


We actually get a lot, mentally and physically, by pushing ourselves out of the comfort zone.  We have to be willing to embrace being uncomfortable and know that that is what’s going to make us better.”

 Dr. Helen Kollias wrapped up the first day, with a presentation entitled, “Why Calorie Counting is Flawed.”  How about these facts (yup, again, facts….)?  
  • The FDA allows a +/- 20% inaccuracy on food labels!!  First, it’s difficult to get people to look at nutritional labels; but even when we do, there’s no guarantee they’re accurate.  If an item lists at 250 calories, it could be as low as 200 and as high as 300!!!!  That’s a pretty big difference.  
  • Not only that, but how we cook our food can change the calories.
  • Ladies, there can be a 10% difference in your resting metabolic rate (the number of calories your body uses to support organ function) depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle.  It can be different if you’ve never been pregnant, during pregnancy, peri-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
  • Using your Fitbit to track trends may be helpful.  Did you exercise more today than yesterday or last week?  But…relying on it to tell you how many calories you burned doesn’t do much for you.  It has a +/-30% variability.
  • Want to burn extra calories but don’t feel like exercising?  It seems NASA did a study that shows, doing math problems can allow you to burn an extra 20 calories a day.  (lol…..)   OR
  • Get some sleep!  A single night of sleep deprivation results in a 5-20% decrease in calories burned the next day!

It seems the act of simply counting “calories in” vs “calories out” is a little more complicated than initially thought.  What should we do?  Just give up?  

Dr.Kollias recommends being mindful of our body’s messages.  She explained it this way, “When you go outside, you might look at the weather.  You grab a jacket – or you don’t.  When you get outside, you might find that you weren’t correct.  You can either go back inside and grab a heavier coat, or take your jacket off.  It’s the same with food.  Eat mostly vegetables.  Get some lean protein.  Eat when you’re hungry but check in with your body.  Are you full?  Stop eating.  The problem is that we frequently eating without thinking.”  We eat ‘because it is time to eat’ or to make ourselves ‘feel better’.  We eat because the food is on our plate.  We eat standing up, or rushing around, and barely even take time to chew our food.


I hope you enjoyed reading about these sessions.  I definitely enjoyed attending them!  Please let me know if you have questions or would like further information.

Mar 09

Don’t Follow “All of the Rules”

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch 

3 Simple Tips to Break Free



I received an email a few days ago from a woman desperate for help.  She’s continued to gain weight and is incredibly frustrated.  She feels trapped.  It occurred to me that the response I sent her might also be of value to other people so I want to share that here.



If I were to give you a bit of free, personal advice, my top 3 tips would be these:




A little bit every single day.

Outside is best, and as we move toward spring hopefully that will get easier.

Both literally and figuratively, baby steps ARE still steps.  Small changes tend to be more sustainable over

the long term.




Don’t try to be perfect.  Don’t go on a crazy strict diet.  Don’t detox.  Don’t try to live on salad.  Don’t start exercising 3-4 hours a day.


Pick ONE thing to change for the next two weeks.

Drink more water.  Eat more vegetables.  Make one meal a day “perfect”.


Focus on dinner since that’s where you said you have the most problems. You “don’t like to cook but like a hot meal”. Me too!!!  But you have to get comfortable cooking a little bit.


How about throwing something in the crockpot before you go to work?


How about cooking on Sunday afternoon? I grill a huge package of chicken, scramble up some ground turkey, and steam veggies on Sunday afternoon. I put all of these in individual containers and throw them in the frig. Then, in the evening, I just pop one in the microwave.
Pick a few local places to pick up food on the way home. I love Chipotle (salad with black beans, fajita veggies, chicken, mild and corn salsa is what I order 99% of the time), Panera (just about anything although I normally pick an apple vs bagette) or Applebee’s (shrimp and steak with potatoes and veggies).




Protein (e.g. meet, egg white, protein powder) with every single one of them

Some carbs (veggies mostly, but also fruit and grains) with every one – and

Healthy fat (olive oil, nuts) with at least two.


Scatter in snacks, treats, and the things you love.  Making them “off limits” does nothing but make you want them more.  You are not going to go through the rest of your life never again eating chocolate cake (or…..)



I might also suggest you pick up a copy of one or both of these books:





Both are written by people I’ve personally met, and trust: they’re reasonable, habit based, solutions.

Hope some of this helps. I’m here if you need anything.


Jan 11

Making Work More Healthy

Debbie Hatch |  Family & F.I.T.

I travel a couple hundred days every year.  Occasionally on road trips but more typically by plane.


Yesterday I flew from DC to Los Angeles.  Many people ask how it’s possible to stay fit with so much travel.


Know what, though?  I don’t think it’s harder for me than it is for anyone else.


While my commute might look a little different than yours; while I might get on a plane rather than sit in a car in traffic; while I might work with different people every day in a different location, it’s still “just a Monday morning work day”.


The way I stay fit – and the way you do – is to make myself a priority.  I schedule workouts on my calendar just like I do appointments with my clients.  I keep that commitment.


I keep things as easy as possible.  I’m not interested in a short term “fix”.  I want to be healthy for the rest of my life.


We need to take care of ourselves in order to do good work.


  • I got to the airport early and walked two miles.  Could you add in some time to walk “at work”?  Before?  After?
  • I don’t sit until I’m on the plane.  Do you have the ability to stand up at work a little more than you do now?
  • I drank a bottle of water while waiting.  Adding more water is something we can (and should) all do.  Have a glass before breakfast.  Have one before coffee.  Have one with each meal.  Have one before bed.



I brought snacks and lunch in my bag, merely because I like to be in control of what I eat – vice being at the mercy of the airline.

I adore the fact that airports are offering more healthy choices. Reagan International has fruit – and even a washing station.


Does your work center offer healthy options?  If not, can you bring something in your purse or briefcase?




Lunch on the cross-country flight was a salad from Whole Foods Market, including turkey and egg whites to cover my protein requirements.  And…yup,  water.


I have a bottle before I board the flight, during every lay over, and on each flight.





Staying fit, no matter what your job or life commitments might be, is not complicated.  That’s not to say it’s easy.  But it is simple.


Some suggestions include:


  • Plan your meals for the week – at least some of them.
  • Shop on the weekend – and do some prep work so you’re ready to go on that Tuesday night when you get out of work late and life is crazy.
  • Keep fresh fruits and veggies in your fridge (for me, it’s the mini fridge but, again……otherwise, the same.)
  • Drink water.
  • Have some protein at every meal.
  • You definitely don’t need to live on salads but you should eat a few servings of veggies, every day.
  • Set time to get to the gym (or to walk, attend an exercise class, do yoga, dance, or whatever you like) 3-4 times a week.  Then keep that appointment.
  • Read your  labels and know what one serving is – many times it is not one whole container.
  • Stop eating when you’re full – you are under no obligation to eat everything on your plate.
  • Plan ahead and have some healthy choices in your desk, or for that marathon meeting.
  • Take the stairs vs the elevator.

Healthy employees are more productive too. It’s refreshing to see many work centers focusing a little more on employee health and wellness.


Can you think of any other ways you might make your workday a little more healthy?  I’d love to hear them.

Jan 10

More Than Just a Body

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T. 

I’m sharing this with my daughter’s permission.  We’ve been talking a lot about goals for the coming year.



Educational.  Personal.

Health – body, mind, and soul.


These are Jessica’s thoughts about her health goal and I couldn’t be more proud:  about her statement, her feelings, her goal, her vulnerability, her honesty.


“I have had comments made about my body. I’ve made comments about my body. I have a lot of days where I avoid the mirror… because I hate my body and the sight of it. Trying to put on pants that I fit into last month but don’t now makes me break down and sob.

When I’m self-loathing, it might be more helpful for me to also remember that my body’s been through a lot.


It’s carried twins, to term.  

It’s healed from two cesarians, a hysterectomy, and hip surgery.

It saw me through military basic training.

I’ve had an article written about me (by a stranger at a waterpark) because I was playing with my children rather than hiding in a chair under an umbrella.

I ran a 5K last year.

I was brave enough to pose for photos for my husband’s birthday. Not only did he love them. Not only is one of those pictures being used in the photographer’s calendar.





I felt pretty.
I liked the way I looked.
I didn’t hate my body.


For 2017 I’m working on more of that.

I want to change some things. I want to start exercising – so that I can feel healthy and have more energy. I want to eat better, for the same reasons.


I want to like myself. All of me – as I am now and as I will be in the future.


I refuse to wait until I’ve lost a certain amount of weight before I think ‘I’m worth it’.”


Wow!  How powerful is that?  How amazing would it be for us to like ourselves as we are now, even as we work toward future goals?


We are so much more than a body.  So much more than our accomplishments.  Multi-dimensional beings with hopes and dreams.  Let’s embrace all of that.


Jan 06

What’s Your Nutritional Plan?

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.  

Between posting my dive photo for #GGSFlawless, yesterday, and a question asked in one of the forums I follow.

“What nutrition plan does everybody follow?”

I’ve been thinking a lot about nutritional habits.


I’ve written down everything I eat for as long as I can remember. I have food journals dating back 30 years. No joke!!




I competed in Figure for a number of years and started counting macros – a whole new level of “writing stuff down”.

I did that (to the extreme) for about 5 years. There was good that came of it too. I can eyeball one serving of “this” and 3 ounces of chicken, like nobody’s business. Seriously, one of the reasons I start my clients out counting macros is because most of us have no idea how much (or little) we’re actually eating and we don’t know how much one serving is. Tracking gets you familiar with both.



For the last two – it was Thanksgiving at my son’s house two years ago that I decided not to count my food – I’ve done very little counting or recording.


I still worry about it sometimes.

“Oh my gosh…how many calories have I eaten today?”

“Is my protein on point?”

“How long can I get away without writing stuff down?”


BUT – – I am in the best shape of my life.
Not counting.

Protein Waffles (egg whites& protein powder)        topped with Greek yogurt and fruit.


There ARE certain things I do.

1. I make sure I have some protein with every meal.


2. I have a salad at least once a day (all the veggies, no cheese and typically little to no dressing).
3. I drink lots of water.


4. Before I eat, I check in.  I ask myself, “Are you really hungry? Would you sit down and eat fish and veggies right now?” OR “Are you just in a mood to munch? Do you just want that candy because it’s sitting here?” If I wouldn’t eat the fish, but I would eat the carrot cake, I’m probably not really hungry……

5. I no longer (I was raised this way…..it was a hard habit to break) feel like I need to clean my plate. I stop when I’m full – not when the plate is empty.

Keep it simple.

Jan 05

My Body. My Business.

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.

I am sharing this photo and personal message because Molly’s article spoke directly to my heart this morning.

I believe all of this.  I stand with the 10 women in the article, and the hundreds more who are coming online with #GGSFlawless


When I was a young girl, I was told I had “man calves” because they were so muscular. As I grew older people frequently asked me if I was a runner. I wasn’t but I liked that comment better so I always said, “yes’.
I was called “bucky beaver” at school because of a severe overbite. Kids could be mean back then – I had ice balls thrown at me, I was pushed down stairs, I was laughed at and ridiculed. In fact, that comment bothered me so much I had my upper jaw, voluntarily, broken into 5 pieces and my bottom into 2, once I was an adult. Everything was wired back together and it took months to heal.

I have permanent nerve damage in my chin because of the surgery.
My parents’ nickname for me as a kid was “beanpole” because I was slender. Since then, I’ve been called “too muscular” “too big” and “manly” more times than I can count. When I was lifting in a gym in Mississippi, I had headphones on but my battery was dead so I could actually hear everything. Two guys in the weight room were talking to one another and one said, “Don’t worry about her dude. (I was lifting more than they were) She’s not really a woman anyway.” I’ve worn long sleeve shirts and sweaters because I didn’t want anyone to see my muscular arms.


I’m now in my 50s and I’ve said – out loud – more than once and to more than one person, “I hate my face”. I don’t like the wrinkles. I don’t like the bags under my eyes. I don’t like the grey hair. And, I’m not alone. Last year, American women spent over $2 billion on anti aging skincare products. That doesn’t include injectables or surgery.

How about this statistic? We spend about $60 billion on fat loss products/supplements. $60 Billion!! A year.


Don’t misunderstand me. I absolutely have physical goals! There are things I want to change/improve. I have strength, educational, and personal growth goals that I’m working on, too. I do not believe that accepting yourself, as you are right now, means settling. Not at all. It also doesn’t mean “giving up on yourself”, throwing in the towel and exclaiming, “Oh, well. This is just the way it is, I need to learn to live with it”.
It does mean being okay with the fact that you ARE right here, right now, as you work toward future goals.

Work on the things you want to work on but make sure YOU are the one who wants to work on them: that your goals aren’t being handed to you because you’re “supposed” to do xyz.
Your body is your business. Your journey is your own. Don’t waste time comparing yourself to anyone else. Work hard to be a better version of yourself…not the women in your newsfeed. Not me. Not your sister or best friend. YOU.

It’s hard!

I’ve asked the women in my private FB group, several times, to tell me what they love about their body. It’s hard for most people! Some of the ladies couldn’t think of anything at all. I’ve also asked them to tell me what they dislike about their body. They have no problem coming up with that list.

Fact is: “When we let other people define our standards and ideals, we hand our power over to them. We’re riding high when they tell us we’re beautiful. We come crashing down the moment they tell us we’re……” [insert your “too”. Too fat, too big, too skinny, too muscular, too tall/short, too lumpy, too much of this and not enough of that].


Time to face the mirror. You know what? This body, with all of it’s muscular parts, its dimples, moles, and scars has gotten me through some tough shit. A lot of it. Very well……..


I picked this picture specifically because I truly did not have one single concern about my body, my face, or anything else when my husband snapped it.
The photo was taken in March. I haven’t edited (or even cropped) it. My husband and I were on a dive boat in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. I was doing 5 or more scuba dives a day. I was in heaven!!!! I cared about having my equipment ready to go before it was time to dive. I cared about getting underwater as quickly, and as much as I could. I cared about capturing videos and pictures of the world I love so much. I cared about my dive buddy, cuttlefish, sharks, turtles, and crocodiles. I cared about eating local food, the sun, the dolphins, keeping my dive log up to date.

How my body looked did not cross my mind even once in that entire ten days.


if you feel comfortable, share a picture of your flawless body.

Dec 31

Was 2016 (Really) “The Worst Year Ever?”

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch


This is not a blog about politics.  It is not about socio/economic affairs.  It is not a debate.  This blog is about resiliency, reality, and mindset.


Let me ask you this:  What does your FB feed look like right now?

Mine is (has been for the past two weeks) filled with statements and memes about how horrible 2016 has been. That’s not how I usually handle things.  To each his/her own – there’s no judgement even in this, but

I prefer to review what good came of the past year (for me personally, professionally, and our world).  I prefer to make a plan for moving forward rather than staying mired in the past.  Acknowledge that stuff.  Feel it.  Work through it.  Don’t get stuck there.


I’ve been pushed to my limit for the “2016 was the worst year ever!” stuff so I spent a little time doing research this morning.

Turns out that 2016 may not have been “the worst year ever!”  It may not even have been the worst year in recent history.  Some really scary, bad stuff happened!  Absolutely.  I am not minimizing that in any way.  Before we lose all perspective, though, let’s do a quick history review of our recent past.  Not the past 50 years, just the 15 before this one.  Not all of the events, just a few of the quickest-to-grab highlights.  These are in no particular order and I’m making no judgment as to whether these are more/less important than other things that have happened.


Do you remember:


– The US 2000 Presidential Election? 

So contentious and tight that it went all the way to the Supreme Court! The term “hanging chads” became a national punchline as Florida seemed to have difficulty counting hand-punched ballots. This was the first time in our history that the SCOTUS had to settle a presidential election.


– Terrorist attacks of 2001?

2,996 people died immediately, 6,000 more were wounded. That doesn’t include residual deaths from breathing noxious chemicals of burning materials.

– The wars in Iraq/Afghanistan? (2002/2003 – today)

Official numbers for civilian deaths Iraq over a 13-year period stand between 168,905 and 188,152.  Total violent deaths including combatants 251,000.  We’re still fighting.  68 died last week.  149,000 people died/were killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan over this period.


– The 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake?

The 3rd largest quake ever recorded on a seismograph.  280,000 people died within a few hours, in more than 10 countries hit by surging waves; 200,000 in Sumatra alone.


– Hurricane Katrina in 2005?

1,836 people killed.  Rescue efforts led to a national conversation about race, poverty, and the efficacy of bureaucratic aid. The storm also destroyed $108 billion worth of property, making it the costliest hurricane in American history.


– Virginia Tech Shooting, 2007?

Second-deadliest school massacre in American history.  32 people killed and 23 others wounded.


– The Market Meltdown of 2008?

This wasn’t about physical casualty but it put a few things in perspective for us. We were going backwards!  The median U.S. household income in 2000 was $52,500. In 2008, it was $50,303. In 2000, 11.3% of Americans were living below the poverty line. By 2008, that figure was 13.2%.  I’m well aware that we need to be careful reporting such statistics – they have been changed several times, and are frequently massaged by whomever is doing the reporting.  No question, though that our financial institutions, auto manufacturers and housing industries all but failed.  We had government bailouts.


– Back to Back Earthquakes in Haiti in 2010?

The first earthquake measured 7.0.  A second, measuring 6.1 occurred a week later.  At least (reported numbers vary) 46,000 people died although the death toll may have been as high as 110,000.

– Hurricane Sandy, 2012?

87 fatalities occurred in the US. At least 126 additional fatalities occurred in the Caribbean and Bahamas.

This was also the year of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings where we saw 6 year old children and their teachers/caretakers killed.  I remember exactly where I was and how hopeless I felt when I heard this news.


– Boko Haram abduction in 2014?

276 Nigerian girls were abducted from a boarding school in the northeastern town of Chibok.  Here’s something you might not know.  Despite a “very aggressive” #bringbackourgirls Twitter campaign, as of May 2016, 218 of these girls are still in captivity.  The world has simply forgotten about them and moved on. It’s what we do.


Let’s not forget the Ferguson riots that spread over a four-month period of time.


There were 355 tornadoes throughout the Midwest and Southeastern US.

The worst being in Joplin, MO and Tuscaloosa, AL.  606 people died.


– Paris Attacks of 2015?

130 people killed and almost 500 injured.


“Peaceful protestors” (title provided by news agencies, not myself) lit 144 vehicles and 15 structures on fire in Baltimore, MD. 2,000 National Guard activated, 500 additional law enforcement officers from Maryland and as many as 5,000 from around the mid-Atlantic region responded.


Frightening stuff happens in our world.  Catastrophe’s – both created by man and nature.  We should care about this stuff.  We should not give up.  We should not tear ourselves apart, and/or burn our cities down in an outcry that “this is the worst…. ever.”


Guess what else….

People got married (both of my kids and numerous friends, within this 15 year period:  my daughter, in 2016).
– People were born (every one of my 5 grandchildren:  one grandson in 2016).
– Friends came through illnesses and injury (Rebeca and Linda in 2016)..
– Friends & family worked through significant life events (almost every one I know in 2016).
– People got jobs and promotions.  My company grew; both in size and number of customers – in 2016.
– Kids started, and finished, school.

A lot of good stuff happened every single year. Significant stuff.


I am very much looking forward to 2017.


Dec 18

What Season are You In?

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch



This picture, like the audio file, has not been edited, touched up, or filtered. They’re both just me.

The way I look (after a 90 minute hot yoga class, anyway).

The things I think about.

I’m not crazy about the fact that the banner shows only my eyes, and the wrinkles around them but – unless I’m going to continually filter photos, or wear a mask (I am not), it is what it is.  I agree with Madonna in her 2016 Woman of the Year award acceptance speech at the Billboard Women in Music event:  Society acts like aging is a sin.

“The anti-aging market is estimated to be worth $191.7 Billion US Dollars, globally by 2019.”


Going through some old computer files today, I found both. I recorded the audio back in January 2016. Some people get their ideas in the shower – I get mine right after a good yoga class and/or while I’m driving. My intent, a year ago, was to write a blog about the fact that we move through seasons in our lives. I wanted to write it and I wanted it to be “well thought out” “brilliantly written” “researched” “perfect”.

So I did nothing for 11 months!


That’s the thing with perfection. It doesn’t exist and when we refuse to move until things are perfect, we end up doing nothing. Great reminder and life lesson right there!!


So, today, I’m saying screw it and publishing “as is”. Perfection doesn’t exist and because I wanted to “work on this”, I did nothing with it for almost a year.



The fact that I am not the same person in my 50s I was in my 20s makes sense of course!  We’re okay with that – except when we start talking about our physical selves.

The “but I used to….” statements can consume and depress us if we fail to realize we go through seasons in life.


“Before I had kids, I used to…..”

“Before I got married, I used to….”

“When I was in high school/college/my 20s, I used to…..”

“Before the surgery, I used to…”


But those things did happen.  We’re not in the same place any more.  Why do we spend so much time trying to “get back” to what we used to be?

I refuse to let my age (any age) give me a free pass to let myself go, but I do realize I can “only” be the best 40, or 50, or 80 year old that I can be – at no point will I return to 21.


We’re staring a new year in a few weeks.  I don’t make resolutions but a lot of people do.

I DO set goals.  Rather than even trying to go back, I prefer to focus on going forward.  “I got married.  I had kids.  I spent 20+ years working my ass off to be successful in my chosen career.  I did put others before myself.”  Okay.  So….


At THIS point, right now, with this background, these injuries, this life….

At THIS starting place, what do I want to change?  Where do I want to go from here?


If you are ready to go forward, I’d love to work with you.  I will start extensive business travel, again, in January and my competition clients will increase at that point too but this is super important.  I am going to take on a very limited number (only 10) of new clients to being working with me on January 1st.  If you’re interested in getting more details, please email me.

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