You have a choice in your food addiction. Choose well.


By Susan Howard

From the second half of 2017 and up until now, I have been strict about my use of sugar.

One of my clients lamented, “Susan, is it really that horrible to have a cupcake every once in a while?”

“No, it’s not a big deal at all, you can easily metabolize those 300 to 400 calories on a 3 mile jaunt.  For me though, it sends me into a whirlwind of desire for more and more and more,” I replied.

Most everybody has their “thing.” I could drink a half a glass of red wine, or 3 glasses or skip booze for a month and not notice.  I will never have a drinking issue. Someone else could smell beer at a baseball game and become triggered into an all night bender. Other people crave fast food, french fries, cheesy creamy things. On and on it goes.

I was given my sugar addiction as a gift from my mom.  I will never forget more

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Susan Howard comes up with an idea to help you eat right.

Inspector Gadget

Susan Howard

At any given time there are two voices calling out, one the voice of the angel and the other the devil.  The devil tends to come out after several drinks, “Whatever, let’s get pizza and a pint of ice cream.”  While the angel comes out after a workout, “Kale salad dressing on the side, please and thank you.”

There is a constant battle between good cop, bad cop.  My friend Kevin put it this way: “Calories are like money; I spend all week saving it and all weekend spending it.”  Too true.

Here is my new concept (although I have a different one every other week. LOL): Act as if there were some bitchy Beverly Hills nutritionist inspecting your plate of food.  What would she say?  Let the good cop nudge you. “There is too much fat on that plate.”  “It’s too high in carbs.”  “You haven’t had a vegetable all day, you sloth.”

The truth is we know what is good more

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Susan Howard shares her favorite health minded podcasts and why they're great tools to help you stay fitness motivated.

Dirty Fingers

By Susan Howard

As a trainer, and yes, fitness guru, I am constantly reading and learning about everything health-related.  I love to know things so I can be better at my job. In the past, I would just hang out in the health section of a Borders and read through the aisle.  As times have changed and bookstores are more scarce, I have added podcasts as a source of information.  There is a bunch of cool ones out there, many of which have been recommended to me by clients trying to make a lifestyle change.

Podcasts are great because in Los Angeles we are trapped in our cars with a lot of useless time on our hands so it’s a perfect distraction. There are some great ones that feature some amazing speakers from ultra marathoners, to neurosurgeons, and even the founder of Whole Foods.

In order to make a change you must have your game face on at all times.  Let motivational thoughts sink more

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Our thoughts on what's healthy and unhealthy to eat sometimes gets more complicated than need be.


By Susan Howard

Recently I was listening to a health podcast and there was a popular nutritionist talking about food choices. Since I am trying to get my clients to make better choices, I am always looking for new solutions to reaching our best self.

This chick was talking about cheat days and picking between a glass of wine or a dessert when you are out. Agreed, both are high in sugar and are considered treats for anyone, especially those looking to tighten up. Then she goes on to say, “If I have sushi with rice, I can do it on a cheat day, but I just have to find a great yoga class to work through all those carbs.”

Wait, what?!

Since when did sushi become a big splurge? Pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, banana split, a six pack of beer, yes, I get that these are gonna pack on the pounds, but little old sushi rice?

Come on!

I love rice. I actually love grains more

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There's no use getting your dream body if you don't start to love yourself before you get there.


By Susan Howard

When we start from a place of self loathing — “I don’t look like she/he looks”/“I don’t look like I used to look”/“I don’t look like I should look”– there are a few things that happen.  We malnourish ourselves, or we overfeed ourselves, or we actually look and feel great, but secretly despise ourselves.  Ironically, I think the level of body disgust runs equally from my in-shape clients to my out-of-shape ones.

If we come from a place of love, there is a chance we will find movements our body loves to perform, food that digests well in our systems and clothes that fit our body and accentuates our figure. Seem easy? It’s nearly impossible. Even as I sit here typing I have my own level of  old school mental body noise that I am trying to abort.

I say, “Go blank off, you voices that say we are not enough!  We are enough, our bodies do incredible things everyday more

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Susan Howard explains how post natal moms can work on their cores after having a baby.

Where Did My Core Go

By Susan Howard

It is still in vogue to talk about core strength, but for post natal women, especially, abdominal activation can seem miles away.

Here’s how I explain it: “What if you were to get punched in the stomach. How would you brace to receive that blow?” With your core.  Core and abdominal contraction are a big part of how we live and move. Even just moving from sitting to standing, we find that the abs contract to facilitate that move.

Now back to my post natal moms… When you get pregnant, all those intercostal muscles stretch out to create room for the little beast inside. If you get a C- section, the doctors cut through some of these connections to get to the baby.  How then do we make it back to the one?

Well, it’s harder for my pregnant ladies, but hey, at least you get a mini me.

When you workout, stem all of your moves from your core.  This is more

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Susan Howard shares some tips on how to get a morning routine started during the week.

Wacked Out Weekend Warrior

By Susan Howard

There are those that jump up every morning at 6:05 AM and go for their morning workout, hit the shower at 6:50 and then head off to work with a nonfat latte in one hand and an egg white sandwich on gluten free toast in the other.

Then there is the rest of us.

If you are not this kind of type A personality, have no fear — even the erratic can become consistent.

When you just workout one or two times over the weekend is you tend to try and cram a whole week into one day and you really go for it.  In being aggressive, you risk injury or at the minimum, extreme muscle soreness.  In addition, your results are negligible because you don’t keep stoking your metabolic fire throughout the week, so the impact putters out.

Is it better to do something during the week, than nothing?  Yes.  It’s always better to be moving than static.

Here’s 3 ways to more

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Work out with total abandonment -- be strange.


By Susan Howard

I was walking with a client around the reservoir, an Eastside dirt track meant to get her heart rate up. As we walked, we checked out the ducks and people watched.  With our dogs in tow, we walked and chatted.  No, we weren’t the fastest ones around the loop; we were there just to enjoy the morning and burn a few calories.

There were some hard core folks practicing their interval routines, and some serious competitors clocking their fastest miles, which is all good and normal…until…

We saw a women run/sashay/bootie boogie/ around the trail, complete with large arm gestures and random hip twitches.

“Maybe she is a dancer?” My client wondered if she was practicing a routine.  She could have been.  What it reminded me of was the pure joy of movement, the celebration of one’s body for it’s own sake.

This purity of fun, a spunk and strangeness, was not lost on me.

So for you out there that was cruising more

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The secret to not gaining weight back when you go on vacation.


By Susan Howard

“I’m down ten pounds, but I’m heading out to New York.  I am worried that I am going to put it all back on,” said one of my clients who was stressing about her upcoming vacation and all the temptations in her path.  Hanging with old drinking buddies, the amazing N.Y. restaurants, and the “screw it” mentality all play a part.

When she says I am going to put it all back on, I trust that she is right.  I believe my clients know themselves well and are attuned to their patterns.

“Let’s create a plan,” I said.  I will offer you two drink cheats and two meal cheats in the two-week trip.  So, pick a night each week and let loose old school with your friends.  If you at least have a plan, you are much more likely to stick with it.  With no rules, every night is a party, and yes, you will regain the weight you worked more

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How finding joy can help you get fit and find happiness in your body.

Keep It Real

By Susan Howard

While visiting my parents in my hometown on the outskirts of Chicago, I got to connect up with some friends that I hadn’t seen in years. We went to Highland Park High together and suffered through Algebra tests, Homecoming dances and dealing with the bitchy girls.  We weren’t popular by any means, but there were enough of us to feel like we had our own pack.

Let me tell you something, after years of life, we look good.  All of us had kept healthy lifestyles and seemed happy in spirit.  The best part about seeing my old friends is that we laughed and laughed.  There is an inherent comfortability with people you have known for years that you automatically slip back into when you see them again.

With this I say, be joyful.

What brings you true joy?

Answer that and you will be on your way to a healthy life.

We are constantly looking for these quick fixes and they aren’t going more

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