Category Archives: Preseason

How the NYC Sanitation Department can help you with your New Year’s resolutions

It was so exciting to spend New Year’s Eve in NYC this year!  While I did NOT stand with roughly 1 million people in Times Square in the 25 degree weather to watch the ball drop, I did get to see the whole area in its before and after states.

The before state wasn’t all that bad.  There were tons of barricades everywhere and NYPD’s finest were out en masse at every corner.  The streets were in their typical “clean” state, so there was some trash but not all that much.

 Times Square before
This is what Times Square normally looks like. On NYE,
they also had barricades and a stage (photo courtesy of

However as I walked home at about 2am on January 1st, the picture was pretty different.  The barricades were being picked up, and there were still plenty of cops out.  The trash situation though was VERY different.  There was confetti EVERYWHERE and garbage all over the place.

The garbage was piling up in the stairs for the subway’s entrance, all over the sidewalks and blowing down the street.  It was food bags and cups, beer cans and bottles, and plastic bags and food containers from any restaurant you can think of.

 Times Square after
This is just some of the leftover mess after the NYE party
in Times Square (photo courtesy of

It was pretty astonishing the amount of trash that people left on the street.

Even more astonishing though was what I saw when I went to the corner market about 6 hours later….

The city looked normal again!!  The barricades were gone, the number of cops out was back to normal, and all the trash was gone!

I learned later on the news that crews had spent the early hours of 2014 cleaning up 50 MILLION POUNDS of TRASH!  That’s a whole lotta garbage picked up super super fast.

Seeing all the garbage and how quickly it was cleaned up got me thinking about how we tend to perceive the holidays and New Year’s resolutions, in general.

We guilt about how we indulged in treats and drinks and skipping workouts during the holidays.

Because of this guilt, we feel bad and want to get “back on track” as quickly as possible and clean up the trash in our lives.

So what do we do?  We overhaul everything in our life at all once via New Year’s resolutions - what we eat, how we’re working out, how we budget/spend our money, etc etc etc – we change it all.

I call this the “pre-season perspective”. 

In order to completely overhaul so many aspects of your life, you’d have to have a pre-season perspective where you do nothing but think about the things you’re trying to change.

The problem is that we’re not on a team anymore where we have the luxury of quitting everything else in our life while we get our eating on track or while we re-ignite our gym routine.

We can’t put all our energy to these new habits anymore cause we also have families, jobs, friends, and a myriad of other demands on our willpower.

I’m not suggesting that you don’t have more than 1 goal for the year.

I am suggesting that you take a strategic approach to accomplishing those goals for the year.

If you’ve signed up for my email newsletter (did you know you get a free gift when you sign up that includes a workout, a meal plan, and stress reducing tips??), you know that I’m all about focusing on making one change in your life at a time.

Why is this?  The research shows that when you focus on making a single change in your life (i.e. incorportating 1 new habit), the chance that you’ll successfully implement the change is around 80%!   Those are some damn good odds!!

Interesting thing is, when you try to incorporate two changes at once that are both new to you (like 2 New Year’s resolutions), the chances that you’ll actually create a habit for either one drops to 30%.

If that doesn’t blow your mind, just stop reading.  [No no, don't do that.  The point is, that should reeeeeally make you think about how you go about making big changes in your life.]

Here are some examples of how to successfully implement common New Year’s resolutions.

Resolution:  I want to eat better.

Steps to success

-Start with observing/recording everything you eat and drink for one week.  Don’t make any changes, just observe.

-Pick 1 meal to change.  Maybe swap your sandwich at lunch for a salad, fast for 12 hours overnight (don’t eat from 8pm-8am), instead of cereal make a protein shake for breakfast, eat mainly lean protein and veggies at dinner, etc.

-Do that single action/swap till you’re doing it without really thinking about it, until it’s effortless.  This could take a few weeks, so be patient with yourself.

-Add the next change (different meal, more water, extra veggies at a meal, snacking on veggies and nuts instead of chips or crackers, etc.).  Keep making changes in this way until you’re eating the way you want to be eating and that works for YOU.


Resolution:  I’m gonna workout more.

Steps to success

-Start with observing – how often are you working out now each week?

-Schedule an additional 1-2 days working out at most, and pick an activity you like to do.  If you don’t know what you like to do, you could sign up for classes to try something out for a few weeks.  You could also try the workouts in my GET SMART workout program.  It’s 4 weeks worth of workouts that need minimal equipment (read: no gym membership).  Check it out here!

-Workout these extra days for a few weeks until it’s easy and it doesn’t feel like a chore anymore.

-At this point, add another day or a different type of workout until that becomes effortless, too.  Continue making changes this way until you’ve got the workout schedule you like and will do!


So before you decide to adopt the pre-season perspective and go all-out to clean up the figurative 50 million pounds of trash overnight, step back and take a moment to pick the most important thing to you.   Work on that change first.

Leave a comment below with what you decide to focus on changing first!

<3 Lauren


Preseason Doesn’t Work in the Real World

As athletes, our tendency is to take on the preseason, or training camp, mindset.  And why not?  It’s been the only thing we’ve really been taught about body change.  It’s a jumpstart, sure… but it’s not sustainable.

Preseason Doesn't Work in the Real World

Preseason told us,

“If you wanna take your body to the next level, then you have to eat, breathe and LIVE your sport for the next 2-3 weeks.  Basically, uproot your life and put your body through hell by training for hours a day and HOPING you get adequate nutrition.  You can recover later.”

And hey, this approach can work… when you’re 20 and have nothing but your sport and classes to worry about!!  

But what about when it’s all over?

It’s no wonder that after we “retire” from our sport, we think that if we want to tighten up our body or shed that extra 15 we’ve put on, we have to change everything at once – a massive diet and/or exercise overhaul.

But with everything else going on in your life now, massive lifestyle overhaul is NOT gonna stick.  I can promise you that.  Unless you’re friggin’ superman or something…

So what’s our other option?

We make ONE change at a time.

Resist the urge to do a ton of things at once.  The more changes you add to your plate at once, the LESS likely you are to implement ANY of them permanently.

Change one thing.  Work on that for a couple weeks.  When you’re comfortable with that, add another thing.  Get comfortable with that one AND the first.  Then add another.

So what one change can you make?  And does it matter what you change first?

I agree with the folks at Metabolic Effect who say there are 4 main components to body change:

  • Sleep – get at least 7-8 hrs
  • Stress – do something relaxing every day (no, TV watching/internet surfing doesn’t count)
  • Nutrition – what you eat tells your body to burn or store fat
  • Workouts – short and intense is the way to go

For me, when making small changes it was easiest to start with nutrition stuff.  So here are some changes to consider making first in the nutrition world.


1.  Keep a food journal  –  write down everything you put in your mouth and quantities – yes, food eaten in the car DOES count… I mean, not that I EVER believed that car food was calorie-free food…. ;)  A journal brings you some awareness about your food.  You gotta know what you’re doing that’s NOT working in order to change it later.

–use a small notebook (Moleskine notebooks like this one are my fav!)
–use an app like MyFitnessPal

2.  Drink more water  –  by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.  With more H2O you’ll likely end up with LESS hunger and MORE energy!

–aim for 3L a day… you’ll be peeing a LOT at first but after a week or two your body will
adapt… trust me :)

–join the Nalgene water bottle club.  Just do it already… and get one of those water filters that
attaches to your sink faucet (~$25)- way easier than constantly refilling a pitcher

3.  Eat as many fibrous veggies as you can  –  SO many health benefits in these babies!  They’re full of vitamins and minerals and best of all?  They help you feel fuller longer.

–try spinach, kale, cucumbers, asparagus, arugula, swiss chard, celery…

–Saute them, eat some of them raw, or blend into a greens drink/smoothie – fair warning
check your teeth after… you don’t want a piece of spinach hanging around on your smile for
the rest of the day

[Side note--> I HATE it when I've got something in my teeth or on my face and no one tells me!  I'm more embarrassed when you don't say anything than when you do!  LOL Anyone else with me?!]

4.  Nix the starchy carbs at lunch  –  Starchy carbs = breads, pasta, potatoes, pizza crust, rice, oats, cereals, etc.  Note that you probably won’t have the same energy slump around 2 or 3pm either…..which means you won’t be heading to the admin assistant’s desk at that time for your daily m&m’s fix……and you won’t be falling asleep at your desk and therefore not getting fired – see I’m saving your job AND getting you into smaller pants!!

–Instead of sandwich, have a BIG salad with some chicken on top

–If you eat those microwaveable frozen meals, pick the ones without pasta or rice – just
protein and veggies

–If you go out, pick salads, a burger without the bun and a side salad, your fav curry dish
with extra steamed veggies on the side instead of rice


Which of these will you try this week?  Give ONE THING a go and report back!

<3 Lauren