First you make the choice, and then the choice makes you

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.



It was an interesting day.

One that has left me a little reflective, and sitting outside at Starbucks, penning my thoughts.

Here’s what led me to this place and time.  I taught a Federal benefits class today from 7:30 – 3.  97% of my students were women, ranging in age from 40 – 66.  They asked relevant questions and the class was very engaging for all of us:  my favorite.

Nothing out of the ordinary.

At 3, I dismissed the class and half of the ladies came up front to talk to me.

Nothing out of the ordinary.



They didn’t want to talk about benefits or the class I had just conducted.  They wanted to talk about my body and threw out all kinds of comments / questions.  “How many hours a day do you work out?”  “You must work out like crazy!”  “How much do you eat?”  “Do you eat carbs?”  “How do you keep your arms looking like that?”  “Are you a personal trainer?”

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It made me feel great.  Not just the compliments although, I’m not gonna lie, yes, those were awesome!!

It made me feel great because they wanted to hear about getting fit, and I love talking about ithat!!


We all sat back down and I spent 45 minutes answering questions about nutrition and exercise.  THIS is my passion so you know I would have been happy to talk for another 4 hours!!  It was amazing!!





They had a counter to most of the things I told them.  A reason for not “being able” to do these things.  Here are three examples.



QUESTION:  “How many hours a day do you work out?”

ANSWER:  I don’t work out for hours!  I tried that a couple of years ago.  Let’s just say, all that (excessive) working out, didn’t work out.  My body may have looked good.  My life was a disaster.  I was an emotional wreck.  My relationships were in turmoil.  I was unhappy.

I travel a LOT, and I spend all day in the classroom.  I work out 3, maybe (if I can fit it into my schedule) 4 times a week for a maximum of 45 minutes, but frequently much less.

COUNTER:  Oh.  I don’t have that kind of time.

ANSWER:  None of us think we have that kind of time.  Use what you have.  Fit in something.  Walk (this office is surrounded by landscaped trails) before work, during lunch, or before you go sit in traffic and head home.

COUNTER:  “I always plan to but I just never find the time….”



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QUESTION:  “When you workout, do you use the elliptical or the treadmill?”  and “What can I do about this hanging skin under my arm” (aka the tricep muscle – many women, as they age, notice changes in this area, primarily due to a lack of use).

ANSWER:  Neither usually.  First, there are no “rules” for exercise.  To begin, find something you enjoy and do that.  Whatever it is.  Personally, I do occasionally run on the treadmill but I prefer to lift weights.  That’s the best way for us to lose fat because it allows us to build muscle which increases metabolism.  Weights are so important, ladies!  To help hedge osteoporosis, to burn calories, to lose fat, to gain or maintain muscle – to “fix” those triceps that you asked about, to be mobile and independent for as long as possible, throughout our entire lives.

COUNTER:  “I’ve heard a lot of people say that weight training is good for me.  Maybe someday I’ll try it…..”



QUESTION;  “Do you starve yourself?  Do you do a no-carb diet?”

ANSWER:  NO!!!!  I like to eat much too much to starve myself and that approach doesn’t work.  Have you ever tried to stick to a strict diet?  Did it work?  That kind of restriction frequently leads to binging and over-eating later.  Carbs give us energy.  I need them to stand up here and teach all day.  I eat carbs but I’m a little choosy about how many I eat.  For example, I ordered a philly cheesesteak sandwich and a small salad (containing spinach, mushrooms, carrots, banana peppers, beets, cucumbers, and half a cup of pasta noodles).  I didn’t eat the roll that my chicken came in – not because it was a carbohydrate, but because it was nothing special.  It was like a plain hotdog bun and it didn’t add anything to my enjoyment of the meal.  So, I didn’t eat it.  I did eat the pasta.  We get to choose.  Just because someone in the cafeteria decided this meat should go on this bread – doesn’t mean I have to agree.  I put the meat on top of my salad.

We just have to think about what we’re eating and be mindful about our diet – not stress out about it.

COUNTER:  “That makes sense but it seems far too simple, and I like to drink wine.”


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ANSWER:  It is simple.  It’s not always easy, though.

You can drink wine.  I’m not a “wine person” but I drink Bailey’s in my coffee and a lot of my friends drink wine.

COUNTER:  “Ah, but probably not a bottle or two every night……”



That is probably true…..




Here’s the thing:  LIFE IS A SERIES OF CHOICES.  

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This statement doesn’t just apply to nutrition and exercise.

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LIFE IS A SERIES OF CHOICES.  Every single day.  Every single time.  With every single thing.

You have a choice.  You are in charge.  You are the only one who can be.  You have to take responsibility for those choices and you, you alone, have to live with the consequences of those choices.


If you want to reach a goal.  If you want to change something – anything – it IS going to require you to make some different choices.




Doing nothing is a choice too.  It’s a choice to remain what where you are with what you have.

Mindset Mostly * Nutrition * Movement


  1. Great example of making our own choices. I went for my first Health Walk on Wednesday. Organized Community Transport to do so. I’m excited about taking the first step.

    1. Oh, Francene, that’s AMAZING!!!!! Good for you. Please keep me posted!

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