Category Archive: Empowerment

Sep 26

Earning that Pink Tutu

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

It started simply enough.  In February, my daughter-in-law sent me a link to the Diva 5K and said, “we should do this”.  Within a few minutes, I wrote back, “we are signed up”.

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Turns out she was only joking.

I wasn’t.  After 5 years, she should have known better 🙂



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Two weeks later, I asked her mother to join us.

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Ashleigh started training.  In July we found out she was pregnant so she ended up racing for two.  Seeing mother/daughter teams out there, in matching outfits, supporting and encouraging each other, was especially touching for her.  We heard moms say, “we can walk any time you want to, honey, but I think we should stick to our plan of intervals” and heard daughters say, “Ok.  I can do this!”  We saw one woman receive a video from her two-year old son.  He said, “run fast, mommy, you can do this”.  We watched that video propel her from walking to jogging.  It was awesome!

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Speaking of mothers and their children, it was that relationship that ultimately caused Jackie to agree to run, too.




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Every Sunday she would call me, and text her walk/run time for the week.  She learned about wicking clothing, and bought her first pair of running shoes!!  She downloaded Endomondo (awesome app if you’re interested in tracking your progress/time) and started doing virtual 5Ks.  I frequently posted this stuff on Family & F.I.T. because I was so proud of her, but “Jackie” became “Diane”.

It was fun to see Ashleigh like those posts without knowing that it was her mom.





On Thursday afternoon, I picked up Ash from one airport while my husband picked up her mom and step-dad from another.  She knew absolutely nothing about it and the surprise on her face when she turned to go to the bathroom; running smack dab into them, was awesome!







The 5K was Friday evening.  Decked out in the tiara rings, charm bracelets, and headbands that Jackie bought each of us, we picked up our numbers and headed to the coral.

Start race

There were women, everywhere, dressed in pink tee shirts and tutus.  It was something to see!!

…it was also something to experience.  Life may be like a box of chocolates, but your first 5K is like life.

Lessons learned:

  • Agreeing to do something outside of your comfort zone is scary…
    • But if you push yourself, when accomplish your goal, it feels pretty amazing!
  • Talking about it.  Planning for it.  Dreaming about it are all nice…
    • But when the starting gun goes off, that’s when the real shit happens.  You have to start if you want to finish.
  • There may be hills that you don’t expect.  Some of them come at the worst possible time, and can seem insurmountable…
    • But if you just look down, focus on the small distance directly in front of you, and keep going, you WILL get to to the top of that hill!
  • Looking too far ahead can be over-whelming…   FullSizeRender
    • But if you put one foot in front of the other, you will get there.  Just take the next step, and then the next, and the next.
  • The road can be crowded.  People might try to push you, bump you, or get in your way.
    • Pick your own path and commit to it, Be aware that it might not be a straight line:  sometimes to have to go around in order to find your opening.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other people.  Your challenge is yours.  It’s an individual and personal thing.
    • Other people have different challenges.  That doesn’t mean they have it, nor that they are, better or worse than you.
  • The biggest battle is in your head.  There will be times when you feel like you want to give up and quit.
    • Keep your own cadence.  Focus on whatever keeps you going.  When you need it most, though, family, friends (and sometimes total strangers) are there to push, pull, or do whatever they can to help you. It’s okay to let them help you.
  • You might be a little messy at the end.  It doesn’t matter.
    • Straighten your crown, unbunch your tutu and be proud of the fact that you accomplished the goal you set for yourself.  You did it!!!


Sep 03

Taking Responsibility for Your Own Shit

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.



If you’re having a shitty day, read this. It was written by, Brian Grasso, CEO of the Mindset Performance Institute (MPI).  He’s working on a couple of books right now and I can’t wait to share those with you once they after published and available.

I know – for a fact – that mindset is the missing piece of the equation.  It’s everything!!

Struggling with fat loss?  Physical and mental health?  Family relationship?  Professionalism?  YES!!!!!  Mindset.  “It’s not all willpower, positive affirmations or goal setting.”


Everything in your life is predicated upon the foundation of your mindset.  I believe in this sooooooo strongly, in fact, that I am currently working on my Mindset Specialist Level I Certification through MPI.  I couldn’t be more excited!!!


So, here’s Brian’s post:


I like a good ‘motivator’ as much as anyone.

Those inspiring videos that tell you all is possible.

Inciting posters that contain really provoking quotes.

Posts about ‘climbing the ladder of success’ or ‘overcoming obstacles’.

Not only do I enjoy them, I often share them myself.

But here’s the thing.

Shit days, shit moments or shit feelings don’t ever get solved by stuff like that.

No matter how much we ‘like’, ‘share’ or ‘comment’ on them.

Negative states of mind aren’t natural. They must be produced through the assistance of your perspective.

A perspective you’re choosing to have.

And unless we reconcile with that fact, we’re going to keep chasing the temporary ‘feel-goods’ that don’t actually help us create lasting change.

Because the crash is inevitable.

You can drink your problems away.

Emotionally eat yourself out of the shit feelings.

You can even engage in more ‘healthy’ forms of deflection like obsessive exercise.

But in the end, when the momentary high wears off, you’ll find yourself right back where you were and in need of another fix to take it all away.

My life is a walking testament to that cycle.

I used to drink more than I should.

I used to eat as an avoidance mechanism.

I used to exercise fanatically.

And in between, I would blame other people, bemoan my circumstances and act as though no one on earth was facing the kinds of stresses that seemed to plague me nonstop.

One day, I decided to quit reaching for the quick-fix.

I opted to take control of my life by recognizing that my perspective was the guilty party.

That any shit day, shit moment or shit feeling I had really didn’t have to do with anyone or anything else.

That realization – and that alone – is where it all started to change for the better.

I apologize for the curse words.

And am sorry if this post forces you to take more responsibility than you may want.

Sure, I would have loved to given you that quick-fix today…

… But I’m about helping you create lasting change.

Not just diverting your attention for a few minutes.

Mindset Matters Most.

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…and here is my personal response to the group:

I am not having a shit day. I read the post anyway   Couldn’t agree more!

I personally started to make a shift, and accept responsibility, a few years ago. I’m not always successful, but on those days when I can stop myself in the negative state and assess, the shit doesn’t last as long.

My favorite master’s classes (my degree is is Organizational Leadership) were emotional and social intelligence.  NOT denying the emotions:  not using them as excuses, but understanding that (a) we do have emotions (b) we can become more aware of what we’re feeling (c) acknowledge those feelings and (d) then decide how to act upon them.

When I’m having a shitty day, I typically ask,

“Okay, what’s the deal?

What’s really going on here? Is it as bad as you’re thinking it is? Is there anything you can do about it?

If so – why don’t you do that? If not – know that this too will pass. It always does. Wade through it.

Is there someone who might understand, that you want to talk to? If so – call them. If not, keep to yourself and approach this day one tiny step at a time.

You don’t have to be positive but you don’t have share your negativity with the world either. Just keep going.”

I used to think it was weird that I had debates inside my own head….now I accept responsibility for those too.

It’s just my inner dialogue and it’s a critical part of my process.


Sep 01

Nothing on my Face Except Life

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 2.18.36 PMDebbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

Have you seen these posts on Facebook?  I’ve seen three of them in the past three days.  First, Kate Winslet, then Scarlett Johansson and this morning, Julia Roberts.  None of them were actually posted by the actresses mentioned.    It’s maddening!!  With algorithms determining what is and isn’t seen by readers of our FB pages, any traffic IS traffic. Good.  Bad.  Positive.  Negative.  It doesn’t matter.


Well, here’s the thing.  I think it’s a critically important message.  I think it needs to be said!  I think, if these actresses didn’t actually say it, they need to.

Beauty products alone (not counting surgery, supplements, and miscellaneous “miracle” fixes) are a multi-billion dollar industry. We’re always (females especially) trying to fix this, hide that, or change something else.

We may have done amazing things with our lives. Made incredible contributions. We may have changed others lives.  Hell, we may have given birth to new lives, yet we worry most about a new wrinkle, another grey hair, or the additional 5 pounds.

We buy into the perfect photos staring at us from magazine pages.11947556_1069913196360323_5088249956850635747_n

It’s not real.  I’ve met several of the girls in my magazines. They’re beautiful, yes, but they do NOT look the way they do inside the magazine.



To be completely honest, I’ve struggled (more…) with self-image as I’ve aged.

It’s hard.

It’s sometimes humbling

I want to be in the same shape and look the same as I did when I was a young woman. Yet, here’s the fact. I am not 23.  I am 51.  I have experienced so much.


I need to remind myself that it is LIFE reflected on this face. Nothing more and definitely nothing less!!!!


Aug 23

Life Lessons from my Kayak: I Prefer a Little Chop.

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.


In another life, I coached our US Women’s Dragonboat Racing Team on Okinawa, Japan.  (That’s me with my beachy bleached blonde hair, looking back).  We traveled to several islands in Japan and were international champions in big and small boats for a couple of years.

It was an incredible time!  I loved our team and coaching was awesome!

I still love rowing but I’ve downsized to an individual kayak.  My husband and I have spent a few evenings on the water recently (yes, we race – every single time!), and I’ve been reminded of several lessons applicable not only to rowing but to life.



I.  Sometimes you’re in calm water.  Sometimes it’s                       choppy, or down-right rough.


  • While it’s relaxing when the water is calm, it can also get boring if you sit for too long.
  • It can be nice to get a little push from the current but you still have to steer your boat.
  • You’ll feel the most accomplished and capable when you’ve worked through a little chop and things weren’t too easy.




II.  You have to point your boat into the waves. 

Sometimes it’s scary to face the waves (or any adversity) head on.  We approach timidly, trying to come at it from an angle.  Trying to be brave but afraid to go “all in”.  That’s the quickest way to capsize!

Paddling head on and straight into the waves allows you to cut through with the smallest impact.  It also gets you through the rough patches most quickly.




III.  It’s good to have a destination, but remain open and flexible to alternatives.

  • Some days floating aimlessly without a destination is all you want to do and that’s okay.
  • For the most part, though, it’s best to have a general destination in mind so you know where you’re going (otherwise, you might just as well  keep rowing in circles).
  • That said, flexibility is key.  For one reason or another, you may not be able to row straight to your destination – or you may not want to.  Stop here, go around there, float for a while and/or play.

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Yes, this <<<<==== is real, and it’s okay.  Enjoy your paddle along the way.

Aug 12

Dude! You’re in my Space.

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.



I read a great article yesterday about the issues ladies run into when lifting iron.  While more women are lifting, there are still very few in the weight room.  It’s not uncommon for me to be the only, or one of two, woman.  Most ladies are, stereotypically, sticking to cardio machines.  There could be several reasons why.

Many times, though, it’s because they are intimidated.  Men can certainly add to this factor.

Been there. Done that. If I had a dollar……

Here are just a couple of my personal examples.

One day in Vegas…. I was in the weight room doing DB side raises. I was actually in the middle of a set, put my arms down, and this dude got soooo in my space that I couldn’t lift my arms. I scowled at him and moved over. Then his buddy came and did the very same thing – still the same set!!!!! WTH? He got a little more than a scowl. I had a few words to say!!!! Here’s the thing though – they acted like I was the one with the problem…..

I’ve had guys take (correction….try to take) collars off my bar when I was squatting. I wouldn’t recommend it. I’ve had guys reach over MY shoulder and turn the fan on on my machine because I was sweating. Ummm. I’ve had guys come into my space to do pull-ups – when there were two other areas where they could do pull-ups…those were being used by other men, though. Two days ago, in Virginia, I was in between sets of seated rows. A guy sat down on my bench and was surprised when I ripped my workout log from under his leg.

In Mississippi, I had one guy tell his buddy (he was frustrated that I wouldn’t just give up my bench when they wanted it because I was doing overhead presses), “don’t worry about her, she’s not really a woman anyway. That’s a man in women’s clothing.” Again, I was the one with the problem…

YES. This stuff does happen.


Now, I want to temper this though. It doesn’t happen all the time. and




I have had the pleasure of meeting some very respectful guys in the gym.

Two examples (of many) come to mind. Once in Las Vegas, I was doing DB pullovers with a 75 pound dumbbell. A IMG_0570tall guy came over and stood by my bench while I was working. I finished and came up with an attitude, assuming he was “one of them”.

In not my nicest voice, I asked, “Can I help you with something?” He said, “No. I just wanted to tell you that I think you’re amazing. I’ve never seen a woman work out like that. Wow! Keep it up.” He shook my hand. I thanked him and he walked off. HE impressed me!!

In St Louis, I was bench pressing more than I should have, or I was tired….In either case, I brought the bar down to my chest and I couldn’t get it off. It just sat there. I wasn’t in any pain but it was a predicament. A man came over to the back of the bench (by my head), looked down on me and just asked, “do you need some help or have you got this?” “I’d love some help – and thanks for asking before you reached for the bar.”

You’ll notice that I remember the location of each of these incidents. I know what exercise I was doing. I know how much weight I had. Each made an impression on me. Good and bad.

Aug 09

You’re Not a Weekend Failure

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

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I’ve received a couple of messages from people who struggled to stick to their goals yesterday. That’s not uncommon. Weekends tend to be more difficult for many people. You’re not in your typical routine. Things are less structured, etc.  We can undue all of the progress we made throughout the week in one weekend.


If you didn’t take care of yourself in the way you’d prefer yesterday; meaning it wasn’t in line with the goals you’ve set….

…we’re not going to say you “fell off the wagon” “were bad” or “failed”


Learn from it and get on with TODAY!!!


How do you do that?


1. Think, consciously about what happened yesterday.

2. Evaluate why you made the choice(s) you did.

3. Plan for how you might change your decision to be more in line with goals, the next time this situation happens (and it will).


For example:


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Were you super busy and you didn’t have time to eat?
– – Keep something in your purse or your car (all the time, so that it’s there when you need it).  I learned this in a hurry when I had a son playing football and a daughter cheering.  They were on different teams with different schedules.  Following sports, we’d have some type of scouting activity to go to.  We’d leave the house in the morning and not get home until late in the afternoon.

– – Things like a couple of ziplock baggies with a scoop of protein powder; some unsalted almonds and raisins (or cranberries); high fiber cereal; or protein bars (find a variety that won’t melt, will all work. Pure Protein fit the bill. I’ll be honest:  they are not the most tasty!!! They do provide nourishment though when you’re running on empty and don’t have time to stop and eat.



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Were you sitting around the house, so you ended up munching all day?

– – When you’re bored, it can be easy to eat mindlessly. Ask yourself, “am I really hungry?” Have a glass of water, go for a short walk, think about something you’ve had on your to do list you want to get done, and start working on that. If you’re going to snack, get out one portion of whatever it is. That way, even if you decide to have a second portion, you’ll know how much you’re eating rather than being on auto-pilot.




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Were you out with friends and you decided to have a drink or two?

– – So did I. I made a conscious choice though. I thought about what I’d done during the day and whether I really wanted a drink OR I was just going along with everybody else’s choice.

Personally I decided to order an IPA from a local brewery that I had not heard of before. I drank half of it but didn’t really like the flavor. Too grainy and too much of a hops taste. Not my favorite. As we sat there for a while – we were done eating and were just chatting – my husband said, “finish your beer so we can go” and I said simply, “I’m not going to finish it. I don’t really like it.”

** Here’s the thing. How many times do we pay for something at a restaurant and feel like we HAVE to finish it. I mean we paid for it…….
– – That beer cost me the same rather I drank the whole thing or I didn’t. We’re back to that “waste vs waist” concept I’ve talked about before. If I drank the rest of the beer, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. I didn’t like it, AND then I would have consumed those extra calories merely so I would “waste $4”. Come on…… Where’s the reward in that?  I would have been drinking it out of guilt.


How do you undermine your goals on the weekend?  What do you struggle with?

Aug 04

What’s the Deal with all the Random Numbers?

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

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Today I’m in a mood to rant.

Rant against excuses.

Rant against self-imposed limits.

Rant against society’s obligatory feelings tied to random numbers.

Rant, specifically, against using your age as an excuse, or letting others do that for you.


Here are just a couple of personal examples to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

I went to the track a few early mornings at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. One of the Chiefs had some Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 5.53.20 PMAirmen, including my daughter, out there at the same time. They were doing group physical training and I asked to join them. He let me. Once we had completed the workout and were stretching, he said to the Airmen, “You should be ashamed of yourselves. This woman is doing more pushups and running faster than you….and she’s old.”

WTH? Yup. It’s true. I have witnesses. PS, it might have had more to do with the fact that I’ve exercised throughout my life and these folks were just starting out. I don’t know.

– – – This had nothing to do with age though.


I went to the doctor’s in October, had an annual physical and a bunch of lab work. She told me, “You’re as healthy as a 36 year old woman.” I walked downstairs to get a flu shot and was told I was ineligible for the nasal spray. “Why? That’s what I got last year. I prefer it.” The girl at the desk said, “Because of your age. People over 50 have to get the shot.”   It seems there are no exceptions for people over 50 who are as healthy as 36. I was slightly annoyed! Not gonna lie.

– – – This is a random imposed limitation based on age; it has nothing to do with the person.



It’s not just 50 either. My son had a herniated disc several weeks ago and needed to go in for surgery. His doctor told him, “At your age, you’re going to need to slow down.” At your age? He’s 30…and you’re a doctor!! My son has had back surgery. My daughter is having hip surgery in a few weeks. Not me. My children.  If it was me, people would attribute it to my age, but…

– – – It seems like this is not age-based.


And it didn’t start at 50 for me either. From the time I was a teenager, through just two weeks ago, people have told me:

“You’re not old enough. Sure, you’re doing things now. You’re energetic, you’re full of dreams, you’re still able to work hard. You don’t understand. You’ll slow down when you’re 30, 35, 40, 45, 50…last week it was 90.”

No I don’t understand.


I don’t understand why I would allow ANY generic number to restrict the way I live my life. This includes the number of pounds I weigh, displayed on a scale and the number of years displayed on my birth certificate!!

– – – These are societally expected limitations; they have nothing to do with the person.


If it’s bothered me for a while, why am I just mentioning it today? Well, for a couple of reasons.


First, a friend of mine stopped me on the street the other day. “Debbie, I’m now 56. I like to run and it doesn’t cause me any pain but should I stop running? I mean, because of my age?” She feels fine yet this is what she’s been told.

– – – This is a societally expected limitation, which has the potential to turn into a self-imposed limit based on age; it has nothing to do with the person.


Then, when I was talking with someone about my challenges in trying to learn so many new technological and social media things recently (I created my own website, started a business page for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and am learning about Speakpipe and Periscope), my friend said, “It’s our age. I can’t keep up with any of it, either.”   Look, it may not be intuitive because I didn’t grow up using a computer beginning when I was two (like my grandchildren) but I am also not willing to give up learning new things because I am “a certain age”. A few years ago, I had a friend – a Bataan Death March survivor – who was showing me things on his computer. He was 87 at the time.

– – – This is a societally expected limitation, which has the potential to turn into a self-imposed limit based on age; it has nothing to do with the person.


And…then there was this Disney Princesses Age.  Which just made me laugh, and pushed me over the edge. 🙂


I’m ranting. It bothers me! Know this, though. I’m not immune.   Knowing that the only one limiting us is ourselves, and actually doing something about it are two different things! I’ve never cared how old anybody else was, how much they weighed, the size of their pants, nor about any other random number that was assigned to them. But those numbers assigned to me? Well, that was a different story altogether!!


IMG_2889In fact, until June of 2014, I never told anyone my age. I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want anyone to think I couldn’t do something because of my age. I also didn’t want them to think I was “amazing” because I was doing things at “my age”. That happened in a boot camp class. I was working hard. A total stranger came up to me after class and asked how old I was. I said, “just a little older than you” and her response was, “Wow. I sure hope I’m in half the shape you’re in when I’m your age.” It was meant as a compliment. You know how you make that happen? Keep working out!!

– – – This is a societally expected limitation, which has the potential to turn into a self-imposed limit based on age; it has nothing to do with the person.


In 2014, I celebrated my 50th birthday and decided that I would face the fact, publically. It took IMG_8019me a few days after my birthday to work up the courage to actually put it out there. I had just brought home three new trophies from a figure competition. There was NO reason I should have felt less of anything, but somehow having other people know I was 50, bothered me. It bothered me a lot. After a few days of brooding, I did it anyway.  I stopped hiding.

– – – This WAS a societally expected limitation, which had the potential to turn into a self-imposed limit based on age; it had nothing to do with the person.



Now, if I want to be honest about my personal aging. Is anything different? Sure!


I now wear glasses to read. That bothered me for a long time. I was very self-conscious of putting them on my face. What to hell? I have friends (several) in their 20s and 30s who wear glasses. I know plenty of people who have worn glasses their entire life.

– – – Evidently, glasses aren’t limited to a certain age.


I no longer have aspirations of being an MMA champion, or competing on American Ninja Warrior. That’s not because I’m in my 50s. It’s because I haven’t trained in those things and, at this point, I don’t feel like putting in the time commitment, or effort, that doing those things would require.

– – – Changing goals is not always age based.


I don’t like to sit for long periods of time. Scoliosis has rendered some limitations in my back and neck. That developed when I was 13 or 14 and my niece has it too. Even with that, I can deadlift more and squat deeper than I have ever been able to in my entire life.

– – – Scoliosis is not based on age.  Weight training is not age limited.


PS, the kid sitting next to me on the plane is also having a (VERY) hard time sitting still!

– – – – Antsie-ness is not based on age.


I now don’t run as much as I used to. Not because of my age but because I never enjoyed running and now I know I don’t have to. There are plenty of other ways for me to exercise. I have a few friends who recently ran their first half and full marathons. They were, gasp, 50. I’m training for a powerlifting completion. This was their first; it will be my first.

– – – Starting new things is not based on age (and neither is stopping things).


I don’t look like I’m 20. Guess what?  When I was 20, I didn’t look like I was 6, either. My life was a mess at 20, short of making my son a baby again; there is NO reason I would want to go back to that time of my life. Here’s the thing. Every single person on the face of this earth, you, me, and everybody else is aging. We’re the lucky ones!


As we get older metabolism decreases, bone density may decrease, we may have had more injuries, which carry more scar tissue. At some point we go through menopause or see dips in testosterone.  Those hormonal changes, change things.  When I’m 90, my body may require me to slow down.


In the meantime, it’s super easy to use random numbers as an excuse.


Yes, I am older but I am not old. My age does not define me – that number, by itself, tells you nothing about me at all. Today I am smarter, more courageous, more experienced, and the strongest I have ever been. I’m also happier and have less tolerance for drama and no need to compare myself to anybody else.



This isn’t about me!!  It’s about every single one of us.  All I can offer you is my perspective for consideration.

If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it but own your decision!  Don’t use the numbers as your excuse!!


If you haven’t exercised in years, if you’ve never eaten well, if you’ve worked too many hours with far too much stress and too little rest, THOSE are the things that have caused you to get to the place you are today. It’s not “your age”. Know what?

You can change any of these things if you decide you’d like to.  You can change your life, at any age.



Mindset * Nutrition * Exercise

…are for, and in spite of, life!!

Aug 03

5 Tips for Getting Stuff Done

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.




There is so much we’re trying to accomplish, isn’t there?

I mean, we have work, family, community, friend, and personal commitments. It can be difficult to fit everything in.  This is definitely true for me!!

My commitments might be different than yours.  Yours might be different than everyone else’s.

But, you know what?  I don’t know of anyone (anyone!) who just wakes up each day without any type of responsibility.  Maybe you’re taking care of children.  You’re studying for a class.  You’re preparing for a competition.  You have a project at work.  Whatever.  There IS something you need to get done!


I read a fantastic article the other day covering 5 things we can do in order to FOCUS on what needs to get done.  I thought the perfect time to share this would be Monday.

Now, before we address the steps, for illustration purposes, let me tell you about just 3 of the things I’m working on, and why creating an environment of focus is so important for me personally.


  • I want my human resources business to continue to be successful. It’s been a lot of work creating this company

    My businesses are a priority.

    from nothing. It is a lot of work staying up with constant travel, and changes.  I need to read regulations and proposals, constantly.  I need to keep my handbooks and presentations current.  So far today (I’ve been up for 6 1/2 hours) I’ve written 3 proposals – they take 45-60 minutes each; set up complete travel arrangements for 3 trips; reconciled credit card reports; taken half a dozen phone calls; and answered e-mails for one hour (I set a timer…most of these have required research.  I’ll save the easy ones for later when I’m tired and don’t need to apply so much brain power. )

  • Not only does this provide my income (it’s my “job”) but I also know, based on constant feedback that I receive, that I am making a difference with the training I provide and that’s important to me.

I am a helper.

Always have been. It is what drives me, at my very core.

I am motivated (in all things) by being able to make things just a little easier for others. That might be by making things easier to understand; and, therefore, less stressful.  It might be helping to carry the load.  It might be helping someone with their diet and exercise so that they can feel better and worry less about their health.

For the human resources stuff, when I get feedback, like I did two days ago, from a former Pennsylvania dairy farmer turned government employee (because of some serious medical issues, he was forced to sell the farm) and his wife, it quite literally brings tears to my eyes. This is why I need to focus on being comprehensive and accurate.  He said, “Debbie, we simply can’t thank you enough. We were very worried about making these decisions. They affect our lives.  We’ve talked for hours and my wife has done tons of research but that only added to our confusion. You’ve made it so easy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You didn’t make it more complicated than it had to be.  You didn’t tell us what to do.  You didn’t even give us your opinion.  You gave us the facts, and told us how to think about it and make our own decision. What you do is invaluable. We are now confident in making the best choice for the two of us.”


  • My clients are a priority.

    My clients are a priority.

    I want Family & F.I.T. to become a resource for people.  Helping people realize they can stay healthy, and fit, without spending hours in the gym everyday – no matter how busy they are – no matter how crazy their life, is super important to me.

  • Today I kicked off my #GetB2B program so I’ve been writing content and responding to personal e-mails.  I had to re-do and re-submit my LLC registration paperwork, wrote new plans for two clients, and spent 45 minutes working on the membership site that will open on 1 September.

Here, too, I’m helping.

I’ve given a lot of time, some money, and a few sleepless nights managing this page. It’s a passion. Sometimes I wonder if it’s making a difference at all. Last Thursday, I received two messages; and Friday three more (perfect timing!!!!!!) affirming that it IS helping people.

That’s enough to keep me going.

To do so, though, I need to find the time to research information, stay up to date, post blogs, and answer questions.  It doesn’t “just happen”.


  • I need to take care of myself, or I can’t help anybody else.

    Box Jump

    …and I am a priority!

  • I exercise pretty routinely because I KNOW how important it is to my body and also my mind!  I make time for this!  Throughout August though, I’m participating in the #20x20challenge as an added layer of personal accountability.  I have (another) coast to coast flight tomorrow so I need to prepare some things to bring with me as I travel.  I refuse to leave this up to chance.


How do I get stuff done?  How can you?


1. Schedule your solitude.

I love this quote, “Collaboration and connecting with others is a beautiful thing, but in the end, creation is done in solitude. All great art is done in isolation. All creative work must be done by shutting out the outside world, sitting down, and creating.” – Leo Babauta

From a work perspective:  With my travel schedule, this is a challenge for me.  Either I’m exhausted, or I am finally getting some down time and don’t feel like doing anything.  Sometimes I have a headache.  Sometimes my brain is just fried.  It’s hard to think when you’re tired or stressed.  It’s hard to be creative when you’re merely attempting to put out immediate fires.  It’s hard to consider new ideas when you are inundated with too much.

From a workout perspective:  Find the time to fit some exercise into your schedule.  Remember, that this can be whatever you enjoy.  It might be going to the gym, going for a walk, taking a jog, doing an exercise video in your living room, or dancing around with your kids/grandchildren.


Solitude has to get on the calendar.  It has to be non-negotiable!  

I am not a morning person.  I don’t like to get up, regardless of how long (or short) I have been sleeping.  The only time I can fit this in, though, is super early in the morning.  As soon as I get up, I set my intention for the day.  Perhaps for you, it’s during your lunch break or once you’ve put the children in bed.



Here is a snapshot of my desk at this very moment.

2. Clear your desk, and work in an uncluttered area. 

From a work perspective:  I’m not going to lie.  This is a challenge for me.  I excel at pile management.  I always
have 8 million things I’m working on, and they’re piled up all over the place.  I know for a fact, that I’m more productive if I work in an uncluttered space.  Thank goodness for so much time in hotels!!

From a workout perspective:  This is the easier part for me.  I go the gym (either the “actual” gym or in my basement home gym).  Get out of your typical environment.  Again, it’s fine to workout at home but have a specific place where you do that.

When you’re in your space, focus on what it is you’re attempting to accomplish.  Nothing else.  


3. Disconnect from the Internet.

Yes, shut it off!!  Everything.  No FB, no e-mail, no Pinterest, no automatic messages popping up on your cell phone.  We’ve gotten to a point of thinking we need to be available every second of every day.  The world is not going to end if you’re offline for an hour of so.  I promise.  I know, it sometimes feels like that.

I talked about this in my To Don’t List blog.

From a work perspective:  When you get on the computer to accomplish something, shut down all of the other programs.  That incoming e-mail notification is going to be a distraction, whether you actually go to the message or you don’t.

From a workout perspective:  Resolve to use nothing except your workout log and/or music.  Trying to workout while checking email, texting, or playing solitaire (I’ve seen it…..please just don’t) is a waste of your time.

As you start your project (work or workout), shut off the cellular service function of your phone.  

Take it one step further by hitting “do not disturb”.   


4. Focus on just one thing.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 11.07.58 AM



I’m working on this one.

The way that I handle it is by setting specific blocks of time throughout the day.  This 30 minutes is only for checking e-mail.  This hour is only for working on a blog.  This hour is only for preparing proposals.

“It’s not ONLY one thing.  It’s only one thing at a time.”  – Gary Keller.


5. Use simple tools.

This, too, is about limiting distractions.

Jon Goodman shared this quote the other day.  “Apples have fallen on people’s heads since man first stood upright on two legs and walked under apple trees. But Isaac Newton was the first one to perceive the significance of this event.” – Rollo May

Think about that for just a second.

How many apples have fallen on your head without you thinking about them?

How many opportunities have come your way (even yesterday) which you missed because you were too distracted to even see them?

From a work perspective:  I had a perfect example of this last week.  One of my customers placed their order for handbooks too late for the production plant to get them out prior to our scheduled class.  I was too busy to give this much thought.  It crossed my mind but I was too fractured to actually think….until the morning of class.  I had finally had a good night’s sleep.  I finally had 10 minutes to truly focus on the issue.  I came up with a solution at 630.  Class started at 730.  “Disaster” averted.  While everything worked out, it sure would have been nice to have had the time to figure this out a few days in advance.

From a workout perspective.  Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be.  There are a lot of things advertised out there as “new” but the fact is your “old” standard exercises work.  You don’t need a new program.  You don’t need some fancy new gadget.  You don’t need the latest video.  You need to move your body.  Someone sent me a text yesterday.  “I can’t afford to go to the gym right now.  If I workout at home, is it as effective?”  YOU bring the intensity to your workout.  You can have effective workouts or be wasting your time in the gym.  You can have effective workouts or be wasting your time at home.

I have a notebook.  Yes, you read that correctly.  An actual lined-paper, coil-bound notebook. Several of them.  One for my to do list, one for my workout (plan and log), one for miscellaneous thoughts, one for blog ideas.

The notebooks are simple.  I can use them, even on the plane or if my laptop/phone batteries are dead (which is sadly, quite common).  There are no distractions.  I don’t have to be continually logging into some tracking app on my phone.  There are no flashing lights, no pop-up messages, nothing competing for my attention.


Stay focused.  Implement even one or two of these tips and see if it makes a difference for you.  I’ve been completely honest in sharing that I don’t do all 5 on a consistent basis.

We all have something we can improve on.

Do you have anything you would add to the list?  

Aug 01

Why I Love Selfies.

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.


Some people (lots of people, actually) complain about selfies.

“What’s the point?” they ask.

“Only people stuck on themselves post selfies.” they say.

“Nobody wants to see you in a bathing suit.”  they posit.

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.


Well, I personally LOVE selfies! I encourage all of my clients to take them.









Courtney 2

Courtney words 2


We’ve talked – how many times? – about the fact that your body can change without there being a change in the scale. Sure, that’s one measurement.


==> … but there’s so much that can affect it

How much water you drank yesterday, how much sodium you took in yesterday, where you are in your monthly cycle, etc. etc.


==> … and the scale doesn’t distinguish where the weight is coming from.

My hair weighs something, as do my boobs, my muscle, my body liquids, AND my fat.


Taping your measurements is another thing we can look at to monitor progress.







Alexi words




I also ask every one of my clients to take pictures as they start a program. NOT to make them feel badly about the state of their body but so they can actually see what they look like AND (more importantly) so that we can compare pictures as they go through time.







 Jen Collage




Courtney 4





Carol after









Carol words













Florence's words









Kristi collage


































Real Life

Jul 27

3 Things that Work Better than Dieting

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 9.47.05 PM


I wrote this as a guest blog for my friend, Becky, owner of B Kinetic Fitness, but I wanted to share it here too.  It’s that important!!!



Man, it’s been hot! I was in Seattle last week and Albuquerque this. It’s been over 100 degrees on a couple of days. I’m not complaining. I like the heat – but wow!

So, clearly, we all know that summer has arrived. This season, more than any other, causes anxiety for countless people. Oh sure, we look forward to the warm weather; longer days, barbecues, and family get togethers.


It’s those pesky trips to the beach that become the concern.

Shorts? Eek. Tank tops? A bathing suit?


Like clockwork, as the weather warms up and the beaches open, a lot of people start dieting – start “working on that summer body” and trying to get a “bikini bod”.   Did you know that the start of summer is actually the 2nd most popular time to diet? Second only to the start of the New Year!


Now, while the idea of starting a diet is popular, actually making changes in diet and exercise are quite typically short-lived at best. We feel good. We’re enjoying ourselves. There ARE the get togethers, the vacations, frozen margaritas, ice cream and s’mores. Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 9.47.35 PM


At least, we feel good at the time. Shortly thereafter, many of us feel guilty because we didn’t keep our commitment to the diet. Isn’t it crazy to feel guilty about enjoying yourself? But we do.


Ugg. I hate diets. I really do. I think we all do. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I can’t wait to start a diet?”

Even the word itself causes a reaction. Die-t. No thank you, I want a life!


What do you think of when you hear the word, “diet”? Just think about it for a minute. Write down your thoughts before you read any further.




Did you think about it?  If you’re anything like me, you might have thought about

  • Measuring
  • Monitoring
  • Being hungry
  • Going without the things you love
  • Being unhappy and miserable


Those feelings seem to be quite universal. I did a survey on my Facebook page a couple of months ago asking people why they think diets fail. The overwhelming response was, “because they make me feel deprived.”


Here’s the thing: it really (really, really, really) doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s keep this simple by focusing on 3 key points in 3 different areas.


I.  First work on mindset.


What if you weren’t so concerned about being “less”? What if you focused on:


  • Getting more healthy, instead of eating less?


  • Getting stronger and more fit, instead of weighing less?


  • Getting more energy by exercising, instead of “having” to exercise in an effort to get smaller?


II.  Then work on nutrition.

  • Don’t go “cold turkey” and eliminate everything you love to eat.   It is a proven fact that incremental changes are more easily converted to habits and; therefore, much more sustainable than extreme actions. Change only one thing at a time.


  • Apply a mindset of moderation. For example, if you normally eat a king-sized bag of Doritos, buy only one individual-sized bag. If you normally drink a lot of soda, cut your consumption by 1/3 or even just 1/4. Do that for a week or two and then decrease it again. If you normally have dessert after dinner, start having just half of what you typically do.


  • Be mindful of what and why you’re eating. That means, focus on the act of eating.

Don’t eat in front of the television or your computer. Don’t eat while multi-tasking. If you come into the house, grab that large bag of chips, plop onto the couch, pull out your iPad or turn on the television, that bag is going to be gone and you won’t even remember putting your hand to your mouth. That doesn’t even count the can of dip you cleaned out with these chips, either. Don’t carry the bag to the couch. If you don’t have an individual serving, get out one serving in a bowl. When it’s gone, it’s gone and you’ll notice it. Even if you go back for a second helping, there’s no denying it – you’ll KNOW what you’re doing and you’ll have to decide whether you really want to have more or not.

Why are you eating? If it’s because of stress, emotion, or because you’re bored, find something else to do. Call a friend. Go for a walk.


III.   And add a little movement.


  • I’ve called it “movement” vs “exercise” to remind you that you don’t need a full-blown exercise “plan” to start. Just do something…..anything. Anything you will do and you enjoy.


  • Commit to doing something active for 15 minutes a day. That could be walking, dancing, bicycling, or doing some basic exercises in your living room. Again, anything you like.


  • Find easy ways to keep your body moving throughout the day.

For example:

  • Take the stairs vs the elevator (soooooo many people forget about the stairs. This really became apparent to me a few weeks ago when there was a high school soccer team at the same hotel as myself. There would, literally, be a line at the elevator as none of the kids would take the steps!!!! I know those guys were healthy enough to walk up a flight of stairs).


  • Park a little further from your office, or the store, door.


  • Get up and walk for 5-10 minutes each hour or so at work – it’s not only good for your body but also your mind! You’ll find you get more done when you return to the desk.

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