Hi! I’m Kim Forsten.

My family and I opened the Old Town Athletic Campus here in Warrenton 25 years ago and dedicated ourselves to helping members of our community live strong, healthy lives.

We are proud to have won BEST health club of Warrenton for the past 15 years! 

I don’t know about you, but these last 20 months have been a real doozy. The pandemic has reset my perspective on life and has certainly taught me a great deal.

A few lessons I have learned (or was reminded of):

– Listen to your body—if you don’t feel well, rest.
– Love your family and your friends like never before.
– Support your local businesses.
– Love your employees like family. Because they are family.
– If you have it to give, give and keep giving.
– Adapt. Change.
– Become more interested in the real facts. Read and research.
– Become less interested in social media.
– The human body fights disease best when I practice the disciplines of eating well, sleeping well and exercising regularly. (Notice that I say practice…it’s never perfect, but a work in progress each and every day.)
– Listen to and respect another person’s view—it’s called balance.

For many of us, this strange time has meant some form of isolation. Short periods of isolation can actually be a healthy way to reflect on the past, present and future. We might even find inspiration while in isolation through a movie, a book, an article, or meditation. But inspiration is not enough to keep us motivated, determined and committed – we need more! 

To find continued motivation to fuel that inspiration is difficult to do alone. It is people—family, friends, co-workers, mentors, pastors, teachers, the young, the old—that provide real-time support, competition, encouragement and camaraderie. This is what makes us grow as individuals and allows us to reach our potential.

Even though we must walk our path as individuals, the journey is best when shared with others.

Is it time to create lifestyles of trust so that we can feel safe to move forward again? I think YES. We must keep going so we can keep growing—as individuals and as a community.

Old Town Athletic Campus is committed to finding a way to move forward by creating a healthy, strong community together. We realize there are concerns and uncertainty as fears linger. But we also realize that unless we move forward, we will not grow, and we will not rebound.

Please join us for an open house on Saturday, September 25 from 11am-12pm  or Monday, September 27 from 5:30-6:30pm. We’ll be having an open discussion on how we can help you feel safe to return your focus to your health and well-being.

We want to hear about your needs and priorities moving forward. How can we help you take the first steps toward sound emotional, mental and physical well-being?

Reserve your spot for this opportunity to explore ways you can take steps to a healthier and more confident lifestyle.  Space will be limited in each time slot to maintain open spaces.

Visit HERE to make a reservation or call 540-349-2791.

All attendees will receive a $50 gift card that can be used any time in 2021 toward services at OTAC.

If you have questions, we would love to hear from you. 

Some thoughts from Kim: Let’s Love Life Again!

Kim's Corner

By: Kim Forsten

Sunday was National Friendship Day! I felt really grateful for this sweet reminder to intentionally focus my energy on my friendships. It also got me thinking about the dynamics involved in this type of relationship, and how it’s changing for younger generations and people who are coming of age right now.

Just like any living thing, friendships depend on time and attention to thrive. Since my days as a kid and young adult, there has been a major culture shift. You may have noticed the steady rise in popularity of “the self”. We have embraced self-centeredness (I mean that in the literal sense!) so completely that the “put yourself first” mentality has already left obsession and entered into the more comfortable zone of acceptance. It’s so normal to think this way, in fact, that we probably don’t even notice how it’s permeated our lives, including our attitudes toward friendship.

In the last decade or so, a number of brands have successfully created an association of self-care with their products, emboldening us to take more “me” time, treat ourselves more often. You don’t have too far to go before you stumble across slogans like, “Your first love should be yourself, “self-care Sunday,” or “Because you’re worth it.”

Social media has only encouraged us. There’s the worship of selfie culture. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are platforms for us to share our feelings and experiences with the world on a whim, about everything from our kids to our moods to what we had for breakfast. We can even visually document our health, spiritual, and other personal journeys, and potentially be seen by millions of people.

Do I have enough examples?

Now, this isn’t necessarily all bad. I like that we’re working on learning how to love, appreciate and understand ourselves. There’s no denying that the explosion of online sharing has been eye opening for our world. It has brought attention to important topics, lifted taboos off of certain subjects, and it’s allowed people to connect on the basis of shared experiences and struggles. But it’s doing something else, too.

I think there is a problem with the idea that we can find happiness and self-worth by constantly putting ourselves first. There’s a piece of the equation that, when missing, throws the quest of a meaningful life off balance: To have a good relationship with yourself, you cannot be without strong connections to others.

With such a high importance placed on the self (made all the more powerful by the ability to disconnect with people and connect to a device instead) and with no real conversation being had about the joy derived from serving others, others become less important by default. And when others seem less important, we become less happy.

Because no matter what higher power you believe or don’t believe in, somewhere in your subconscious, you have to know this: You’ve been placed on this earth to contribute something. Deep down, you know society does not function properly if we all decide to be takers—of time, of resources, of attention, or of credit. The purpose of life is not to take; it is to give. It’s to be part of something much bigger—and dare I say, more important—than ourselves.

So, back to National Friendship Day. If you want to feel a sense of self-worth that is real and lasting, be there for a friend. Even when (not if—WHEN) over the course of a friendship, there are periods of struggle or dysfunction, it’s always worth the time and sacrifice to strengthen the relationships you choose to be in. When we support others, give of our time and share in another person’s success, the natural side effects are a sense of joy, contentment and fulfillment that a selfie stick or a self-care kit just can’t replicate.

If you have a friend you regularly work out with, think about why you do it. Your first answer might be that you do it to hold yourself accountable. A workout buddy motivates you to get there on time, break a sweat and reach your fitness goals more quickly. But do you ever think of it the other way around? That you’re going so that your friend has someone to hold him or her accountable? That you need to rise to the occasion for them?

Starting this week, try thinking of your workout partner less as someone whom you need, and more as someone who needs you. See how a mentality of wanting to be useful for the sake of someone else affects your goals, your feelings, and most importantly, your friendships.

Want to be the happiest person on the planet? You can, but it’s not about you…

Kim's Corner

“Gratitude” is a topic that gets brought up a lot. Spiritual guides, psychologists, and motivational speakers have an absolute field day discussing gratitude. I’m going to take a stab at it myself, because I’ve been thinking a lot about it. Maybe the reason gratitude comes up so often is that we haven’t found what exists on the topic to be very useful in practical application. Gratitude is like true love: It is a cliché because it is both essential and elusive.

This whole idea is intertwined in a much bigger idea than “Let us give thanks this season,” by the way. This isn’t just an element of life; this IS life. It actually truly is. What if every day you went to work and no one responded to you or a single thing you did? It would be horrible to go through life without gratitude. If we have no appreciation for what others do, then we don’t really have anything.

I know that for me, gratitude plays such a visible and important role in my health and my life. Gratitude has become something that takes up actual space in my heart—something as present and palpable as the air I breathe or the love I feel for my family. I don’t know if it’s because of the stage of life I’m in, or because of where I now sit in my career, but man. I sure do know some stuff now that I didn’t know before.

I’ve talked before about the wholeness brought to my life by family and friends, but our members and employees play a substantial role in the thankfulness in my heart, too. I’m beholden to a staff that steadfastly believes in what we offer. I really think about this: Our employees choose to spend up to 8 hours a day helping us carry out our mission because they feel that it has value. I mean, they are paid for their time. But! They choose to commit a chunk of their lives to a cause—an indisputable act of dedication. These energetic, talented, wonderful people make the choice to be with us, right here and every day. They are willing to be a part of this dream and this community, and I love them for it.

And then there are our members, who perceive what OTAC offers as valuable and worthy of receiving. We’re providing a service to them, but it doesn’t stop there! When they’re done working out, they go home or drive to work and proceed to give their own time and effort to others. Through family bonds, working relationships and community connections, our members repeat the same dynamic they have with us through countless others, and this phenomenon fans out into infinity. The time, work and love that we put into our members is energy that transmits to time, work and love that they put into other relationships. And in turn, their service becomes valuable based on how others respond to it. They’re giving something, sure, but they’re also getting something back: gratitude. Just like we are here at OTAC.

Most of us feel happier when we’re providing something we can stand behind with passion. When we really sincerely give someone a piece of ourselves, that person’s acceptance of our gift with a show of gratitude makes the giving wildly sweeter. I have to admit: If I didn’t think my kids were grateful for the dinner I serve to them on Thursday nights, it would take a painful hunk of the fun out of it. I love planning meals and making favorite dishes and sneaking in surprise desserts. I want them to eat my food because, frankly, I think it tastes marvelous. Cooking is my language of love, and I perceive what I do to be valuable. The best part of the whole night is the feedback—the warmth and laughter that ensues from consuming a good meal, the unspoken yet clear display of gratitude. If they didn’t care, it would drastically diminish the joy of our togetherness.

This passion and self-value is where it all needs to start. Imagine that we’re all moving train cars, hitching on to each other with the potential to deliver and receive countless valuable commodities. You are one of those cars, and when you appreciate your authentic self, when you are grateful for your own skill or service, you have the fuel that gets your own train moving. You’re attached to this stretch of energy with the people you surround yourself with, and when the train goes through challenges, your car is 1) pulled by the person in front of you and 2) pushed by the person behind you. At some point, it will be your turn to push or pull to keep the train going. The commodities you carry are whatever you perceive to be precious—a show of approval, a word of compassion, a job well done, spontaneous assistance of some kind. In our own ways, each of us is thankful for these relationships, for this train of giving and receiving that grows or shrinks as we allow it.

It’s your personal responsibility to believe in yourself, to find a piece of yourself that you value and share. Once you create that self-worth, the whole process of exchanging gratitude starts to build up speed. People see your energy, your passion, and they begin to appreciate it. It draws them in—they connect. Soon you’ve built a train with people you love, doing what you love. The passion in your efforts is visible, and it energizes people; it becomes easier to put effort into what you do because you’re all hitched up and pulling each other along. Each of us has to fuel our own car with all the “selfs”: self-gratitude, self-worth, self-value—so that the good energy blossoms and touches someone else.

The next time you’re in a position to give of yourself or show appreciation for a giving act, think of the train metaphor. It has to start with you. We all have to live on this planet together, and it helps to think of ourselves as connected. It helps us understand the necessity of gratitude and the role it plays in keeping us all well, whole and moving forward.


Kim's Corner

I have a big birthday coming up. This one gives me pause—not only because I’ll be turning 50, but because if all goes according to plan that week, I will also become a grandmother for the first time. That’s two major age-confirming life events showing up to the party at once—and I’m smiling about it. Really.

If you’ve been around for more than a few decades, you know how those 10-year benchmark birthdays can feel. Some manage to come and go without so much as an emotional ripple, and others are more like an earthquake sandwich with hurricane bread. Some people, for example, may suffer an existential crisis when they turn 30, and then just shrug and keep going at 40. You never know which big birthday will deliver a mighty sting.

Or do you?

For some reason, benchmark birthdays seem like a good time to get philosophical. We take stock of our lives. Ask the big, eye-popping questions. And it’s usually at night.

Oh my God, who am I? Am I who I want to be? Am I where I want to be? What have I done with my life so far, really? Am I a good [insert profession]? Do I try hard enough? Am I as [insert adjective] as [insert name of celebrity who is my age and not only has suspiciously youthful skin but is also a generous humanitarian]? AM I ENOUGH?

In smaller, kinder doses, these are great questions for practicing self-awareness. But they can lead down a dangerous path on a big birthday. It’s like all the years between numbers ending in zero are your chance to reach perfection once you cross that invisible line into the next decade. And like anyone who attempts perfection, these questions can make you feel depressed when they arrive in big batches.

For me, turning 40 was a rather unpleasant shock. I wasn’t in a good place. Work was extremely stressful. My husband and I were in a little funk. I took this birthday as a cue to evaluate myself and where I was in my life, and so of course, in my mind I came up short. My age felt like a big, miserable deal. But my woes had nothing to do with how old I was. They had everything to do with what was going on around me.

Conversely, if things are going smoothly and you’re feeling successful and fulfilled (hello, 50), there is no sting. Because here is the truth: Being 50 is no different than being 49 or 51. Decade drama, if any, is caused by real stuff and not by an arbitrary number. Isn’t that great news? It means you have control.

So here I am. Turning 50. And I couldn’t be happier. What defines me is not my age, but the connections I have made with the people who surround me. To have a friend, to have a beautiful, growing family, to have people who we love and who love us back—those are the things that make us well throughout the decades. If we have control over how we feel at a benchmark year, a major shift in perspective takes place. Life becomes more about growing than ageing, and I don’t know about you, but I just like the sound of that a whole lot.

Maybe right now you’re in a bothersome place for one reason or another. Maybe you’re unhappy with things as they stand. When you believe there’s no way out, you slide into distress and become ruled by helplessness (a truly terrible ruler). But it is not time’s fault. It’s more likely a sign for you to consider some changes in your surroundings to make things better.

Remember this: Relationships and human connections are the answers to happiness. Audrey Hepburn understood this, because one time she said, “People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed…never throw out anyone.” As someone who has been revived and redeemed by my relationships, I believe that.

If you’re still in that bad place, how do you begin your exit? Start by reflecting on what your relationships looked like at each benchmark year, and then ask yourself what they will look like at your next one. Then pursue what you want. Don’t become numb to the intolerable. Go after it. You have to go after it.

Life is abundant with crises and challenges. And thank goodness it is, because when you are touched by crises, as we all eventually are, you learn something. You learn how great the great things are. Through challenges—or big birthdays, such as turning 50—you understand how beautiful life is.


Kim's Corner

Remember all that rain we got back in May? I think it’s fair to say that spring 2016 was something of a letdown. But you’ve got to admit—your lawn looked pretty darn good!

Between those days of downpour, I attempted to keep our acre of yard subdued. I’m the official Mower of the Grass in my family, so it did not escape me that we had some very tall, green, soggy grass thanks to the record-breaking rainfall.

Just as everyone started to wonder if the deluge would ever cease, the last raincloud moved on, temperatures soared and the sun scorched. Four days later, I was mowing brown grass. Brown! Grass that had been nearly drowning just days before was now dying from thirst!

It struck me then how fragile the balance of life is. Without the correct amounts of nutrients, water and sunlight, living organisms suffer or even perish. Though nature is resilient, its equilibrium can be disturbed so easily. The poor grass, I thought. Good thing humans are around to help set things right again. Then I hopped onto another train of thought.

What compels us to preserve and protect things? What sets us apart from trees, grass and the like?

Our big, beautiful brains.

Brains have launched us to the top of the food chain. Brains are behind all of our analyzing, inventing, and problem solving. Our brains instruct us to care for our families and our possessions.

So then, ah… Why don’t we use our brains to take care of ourselves?

According to a study published this year, over 97.3% of Americans do not meet all of the standards of a healthy life. Here are the four standards that were measured in a pool of 4,700 test subjects:

Get moderate exercise
Eat right
Avoid smoking
Keep body fat under control

Yep. That’s it. It’s the same advice you’d get from a doctor. Or your mother. And almost no one is doing all of these things at once to keep their bodies in balance. This is not an opinion: As a society, we disregard the state of our health.

It’s easier for us to take responsibility and care for what is outside of our bodies—maybe because it’s easier to see them for what they are. Somehow, we don’t have the same clarity when it comes to ourselves. We can’t look at ourselves the same way we look at an acre of dying grass, or a wilting flower in a garden bed. Though it’s hard to see (and even harder to admit), our own state of imbalance, which is infinitely more significant than an imbalanced lawn, affects us long-term. Adversely.

We get sick. We have cancer and other chronic issues. And for the most part, we treat the symptoms but not the cause. As a collective whole, we have perfected the art of ignoring what is at the root of our most threatening problems. We can’t see that we’re wilting inside, that our systems need care!

So here’s a thought. Perhaps the “transformation” fad that is synonymous with what we think of as “good” health has it totally wrong. Maybe our brains feel defeated by the task (more like chore) of transforming ourselves, or have us believe it’s something we can put off until tomorrow. But health statistics scream that we cannot put it off until tomorrow!

Instead of making an abstract goal that someday you’ll have the body you want, make it a goal to find the proper balance for your body. Then make it a lifelong goal to maintain that balance.

The sooner we can make things about our long-term health and wellness, the body that we want will come to us naturally. If we can strike a balance, we’ll get the good body, the energy, the youthfulness and the happiness.

I don’t care how weird this sounds: Think of yourself like you think of your lawn. Your goal is to stay green. Give yourself water, but not too much water. Give yourself sunlight, but not too much sunlight. Balance is health. Balance is happiness. You can do it now, and you can do it all the days of your life.


Kim's Corner

Unless you are a stay-at-home parent (or a teacher who actually can take summers off), you probably don’t have the luxury of hanging out with your kids every day for three months. A full-time job makes it tricky to help your kids maintain an active schedule without the aid of school, clubs and sports—especially when they’d rather have a summer schedule that involves a combination of sleeping and Snapchatting. Whatever that is.


As a mom of twin boys, I remember the struggle of summer parenting all too well. Being active, even for non-teenagers, requires motivation that comes from within. I’ll loosely define being active here as “standing up.” Ha! Seriously! Doing chores, walking to a friend’s house, or walking the dog counts. And if your kids are old enough to be alone while you’re at work, you can still help them avoid wasting hours on the couch.


How do you typically approach creating boundaries and healthy habits with your kids? Here’s how my parents did it:

Your curfew is 11 p.m. sharp. If you’re even one minute late, you will be grounded.

Well, that could work… for some. But what if you formed a question that went something like this:

What time do you think you should be home tonight to meet the needs of your day tomorrow?

Showing your children how to set their own limits helps prepare them for a smooth transition into adulthood. Won’t it be nice to know they’re capable of making disciplined decisions based on their own needs, which, thanks to you, they have already been empowered to consider?

The same approach can be applied when you want them to have a healthy summer.

Instead of saying, School is out next week. This summer I don’t want you playing video games all day, okay? try: School is out next week. Let’s make a schedule for you to follow so you don’t fall into a rut. What three active things would you choose to do in addition to playing video games for an hour a day?


The first line, though it comes from a good place, is not exactly supportive and doesn’t actually accomplish anything positive. You haven’t given your child helpful tools or even a clear idea of what it is you actually want. Why should s/he buy in?

The second method is an invitation for them to hold themselves accountable with a schedule that includes room for their favorite thing. You’ve also provided a specific guideline that they can run with: choose three things that are active besides playing video games. Now they have buy-in.


Technology can be your friend in this scenario. Kids are driven by it, right? Then challenge them to be active through their favorite medium of communication! Kids love challenges, especially when they can win by competing against themselves.

Enter the FitBit, which lets kids engage with each other digitally in an activity forum rather than a video game forum. All FitBits track your steps and come with an app that allows fellow users to chat with each other. I personally use it and love it. My friends and I use the forum to taunt each other, cheer each other on, and check in daily to keep the inspiration (competition) going strong.

Here’s to a happy, active summer!

Sign up for Fit and Fun Camp

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Kim's Corner

You know those little cocktail napkins that have cute quotes on them? The other day, I bought some that say, “Let us celebrate with wine and sweet words.” I was really drawn to that sentiment, and the more I looked at it, the more I started thinking about the relationship between sweet words and our health.

People, myself included, have issues with the quick, convenient, crappy food that’s available to us wherever we go. Sweet foods can be particularly hard to resist. I’m not talking about savoring a cookie or two in a controlled, mindful way. I’m talking about robotically polishing off a whole box of cookies while you’re standing in your pantry.

The act of gorging on unhealthy food is usually tied to something else going on in our minds. I am not pretending to be a psychologist here, but hear me out! It’s possible that we turn to this kind of behavior when we don’t have a connection with other human beings in the way that we should. It happens when we’re missing something important from our lives, like hearing sweet words directed at us. Or, it’s when we’re missing the ability to say sweet words to ourselves. By eating and eating, we’re actually addressing an emotional need for human sweetness!

So what if we replaced sweet food with sweet words? What would happen? I can tell you this: It’s actually quite powerful. It really works. Sweet words are better for us than sweet foods, and in many cases kindness can be much better for us than medicine.

I know from talking to people that not everyone is at a point where they can be kind to themselves. So when I ask a person to write down five positive things about themselves and they can’t do it, I ask them to write down five positive things in their life. These are the things to focus on when you get an urge to smoke a cigarette, or go into the fridge or drink too much. Replace the negative thing with the positive things, and let them take center stage in your mind.

Say you can’t do that. What else can you do to counteract the urge to lose control?

What can you do to make yourself feel good and “full?”

Redirect your behavior. Step away and take ten minutes to write a note to someone, or work on a puzzle, or read a book. Identify a behavior that you’ll go to when that urge or that habit to act destructively rears its ugly head. By going to that behavior, you are empowering yourself. You’re doing something sweet and kind. Incredibly, when we live in a positive way, the emotional frenzy seems to dissipate. I can say that for myself. As a mom (and no stranger to bingeing on sweet foods late at night), I know what it’s like to address the needs of others all day long and feel an intense emotional responsibility toward my family. By 9 o’clock at night, I’d find myself standing in front of a shelf of food and suddenly diving into a sleeve of cookies. In that moment, I wanted to have control of SOMETHING. But the reality is that I had no control at all, and I was mad at myself when I woke up the next day.

Good habits can take years to manifest, and it takes many, many steps to strike a balance. For years, I’ve coached people in whole health and wellness. In the last year, I’ve expanded the idea of redirecting behavior and included the power of love and kindness through sweet words. As a result of focusing on the love and kindness piece, I’ve noticed that a major change has taken place in my life. I’ve struck a balance of my own. I feel lighter, more significant and more fulfilled, which to be honest was a completely unexpected side effect of concentrating on sweet words.

This is the experience I have had, and I want to share it with others. If you can learn to spend time focusing on goodness every day, and not on the things that make you feel powerless or angry or sad, you’re actually addressing your issues. Good things start to come back. You feel worthwhile. Slowly but surely, control returns to you.

You feel valued, loved, and most miraculously and importantly, want to give love.


Kim's Corner

These are headlines on the covers of actual men’s and women’s magazines:

Sculpted Abs Made Easy

How Not To Gain Pounds After A Pig-Out

Which Dietary Supplements Are Worth Taking?

It’s pretty clear that we live in a culture that tricks us into doubting ourselves, into fearing that we are never enough, and even trains us to hunt down proof of it. With each degrading phrase, each impossibly perfect image that catches our eye, we add one more item to a growing list of our own deficiencies.

With your help, we’d love to change that—starting right now. We invite you to come as you are to Old Town Athletic Club. Why? We already like you. Where you see deficiencies, we see assets, strengths and virtues.

Though we all strive to improve in some way, trying to change ourselves in isolation, without acceptance and without support, is NOT the way to do it! You deserve an environment where you feel comfortable being who you are in this moment, and can confidently grow into your best self.

If you’re ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle, we can help. If you want to take up running or weight lifting, for example, or you’re looking for some fun and inspiration in the fitness world, we have the people and equipment to help you with those things. If you want to find out what yoga and Pilates are all about, we’ve got you covered. If you need a supportive community that motivates you to exercise several times a week, we’ll take care of you.

But mark our words: We will never make you feel bad about yourself. Walk through our doors for a real smile, a warm welcome and automatic acceptance. We promise to meet you where you are, just as you are, and move forward—together.

Life’s too short for magazine covers. You are you, and we like that.


Kim's Corner

Hi! Real quick—how was your holiday? Did the mantra trick get you through to the other side?

Speaking of mantras, it’s resolution season in America. Gyms and health clubs everywhere are feeling huge spikes in attendance. We personally like resolutions in theory—especially if it means we get to see you—but they’re all too often connected to disappointment. Resolutions just seem determined to lose steam.

If you’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution and didn’t keep it, it’s not your fault. It actually makes sense that we crack under the pressure put on us to be healthy and happy and successful and well liked, ideally all while appearing reasonably attractive.

See if these crazy contradictions ring true for you: Self worth is measured by how many hours you work per week but also by how much time you make for your family. Or: Happiness is measured by how accepting you are of your own body, but aging isn’t really desirable or even acceptable. And if you look at models and movie stars, it seems downright preventable. (Hey … it is not.)

Instead of resolutions (I’m going to lose weight; I will travel more; I’m going to make more money), try New Year’s “themes”— sort of like the mantra idea we talked about a couple of months ago. Here’s one: This year, I am going to forgive myself when things don’t go the way I planned. Or: Whenever it feels right, I am going to take on a personal challenge without letting anything get in my way.

Think about a specific pressure you feel trapped by, and develop a theme that will help you outsmart it. This theme is your new best friend; let it stick by you through thick and thin.

Trusting and responding to your theme, no matter WHAT society is telling you to do, could open up a whole world of personal freedom—and could make for a pretty great year.

Let your theme and this refreshingly simple take on self-worth be your inspiration for 2016:

“The greatest gift you will ever receive is the gift of loving and believing in yourself. Guard this gift with your life. It is the only thing that will ever be truly yours.” – Tiffany Loren Rowe

Happy New Year, and here’s to a simply happy you!


Kim's Corner

WARNING: Enjoying your Thanksgiving meal has been known to cause … health and happiness.

Technically, this is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. But hark! Think back on the last several holidays. How did you feel throughout the season? If you can answer this question with “sheer delight,” then no need to read on.

However, if you experienced some negative feelings, like stress, fatigue, worry or guilt, then read on for some holiday liberation.

On top of the stresses that come with planning, budgeting, cleaning, cooking, hosting and shopping, there’s pressure not to gain holiday weight. Borderline psychotic tips for a “thinner Thanksgiving” go something like this: “Don’t go to a party hungry!” and “Police your portions!” You know what? These pieces of advice are only good at adding stress and stealing joy.

So how about taking an improved approach to our holidays this year?

Think about how you want to FEEL this holiday season, and let that be your mantra. How do you want the people you love to feel when they are around you?

If you normally feel stressed, you might select calm. If you normally feel tired, you might choose to feel energized instead. If you feel anger and resentment, pick joy. You get the idea.

Basically, you can create a mantra around how you would like to feel. It’s as simple as orchestrating your experience in a different way. For instance, stress can be alleviated if you create your holiday plan ahead of time and write it down. Feeling overwhelmed can be solved by asking people for help. Your mantra this season might be something like, “Organized and ready.”

Finally, let’s get to this food thing.

I bet you spend a whole lot of time on preparation, only to sit down and feel guilty about enjoying it.


Skip the side of guilt this time. Claim your right to experience eating wonderful food with your loved ones. Now, I’m not suggesting you stuff your face for 30 days – no one one wants to feel those aftereffects. However, I believe if you choose a mantra that gives you permission to enjoy the true feeling of the season, you may find that stress or the urge to overeat will automatically disappear.

What will be your mantra?


Kim's Corner

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