A hundred and HOW MANY $%#&in’ pounds? I think that scale must be broken!

I had an awareness recently as I coached one of my clients around a thrilling plan she has for her health in 2012. She’s pushing herself quite far outside her comfort zone to make some big changes with her exercise, eating so that she can lose weight and live a healthier, more energetic life. Her drive and enthusiasm inspired me and it got me thinking.

After talking with her I realized it has been a long time since I’ve challenged myself in a similar way. It’s easy to get complacent when exercise and healthy eating are already a regular part of your routine as it is with me, but as I notice a bit of holiday weight gain around my mid-section (that in truth began before the holidays) it became clear to me that I need to step up my game… so I’m walking my own talk with a Small Steps to an Energetic Life approach to recharge my health (and tighten up that mid-section) beginning January 10th.

First off, why January 10th? I mean it’s a TUESDAY already one-third of the way through the month.

Yeah, so? It’s when I get back from what will have been a 10-day road trip that ends with 3 days at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge New Year, New You event where I plan to indulge just a bit between presenting and skiing…so January 10th it is. Click the link to see if you want to join me in Jasper and we can talk ‘Energy Experiment’ between glasses of wine.

My plan is simple and abides by 3 of my hard and fast rules around getting healthy and energized.

1) If you prioritize more exercise, better eating and quality sleep you’ll feel better. Period.

2) If you’re making changes of any type small steps can make a big impact.

3) If you’re going to all that effort your goal should be to consistently do more than what is normal for you.


So here’s Phase 1 of my Energy Experiment if you want to see what I’m up to and plan your own experiment.

GOAL 1: Exercise – Add 16 minutes of strength and power based exercise to my Monday to Friday routine first thing in the morning

GOAL 2: Eating – Watch portion sizes at all meals.  Eat more vegetables. Drink more water. Eat less sugar (which also translates to drink less alcohol)

GOAL 3: Sleep – Get enough (quality) sleep most nights.


EXERCISE: You may be wondering why I’ve chosen to add only 16 minutes of exercise to the mix. Well, first off I want to experiment first-hand with small steps to great gains… to see how much of an impact short bouts can make.

Secondly, I get enough cardio exercise in my week with walking the dog and teaching cycle classes but I’ve neglected my strength training and higher intensity exercise lately and as a 42 year with a slowing metabolism I can’t afford to let that go on for much longer. I need my muscles working for me. If I can blast my muscles with 16 minute tabata-style strength and power exercises on top of what I’m already doing I think it could make a big difference for me. And I won’t know for sure until I try.

Plus, the short duration will make it easier for me to suck it up and get the work done, especially when the book tour schedule gets fully underway.

You can download a pdf that describes my 5 day plan here: Energy Experiment Exercise Component Phase 1

I’ve alternated strength days with cardio/power days and will moderate intensity so I’m not at risk of over doing the anaerobic insanity.

EATING: I confess to a love of food, and while I generally eat quite healthy, I can sometimes over do it with portion sizes, and I don’t always make vegetables the priority they should be. By making a simple shift to down-size portions just a bit at all meals, and increasing veggie consumption even a bit, I’ll no doubt cut calories without feeling hungry or deprived.

By drinking more water I’ll gain hydrating energy and also stave off the desire to nibble unnecessary calories. Read my hydration blogs for more good reasons to drink more water.

The ‘eating less sugar’ goal makes sense doesn’t it? This means I’ll be watching dessert and sweets consumption but I’ll also make sure I don’t eat too much fruit (especially the really sweet tropical varieties). It also means no sodas and juices. That one won’t be hard because I don’t drink much of those anyways, but since alcohol is essentially sugar, that counts and I do like that glass of wine (or two) with dinner. I’ll be trying to cut way back on weekday wine. ~sigh …

SLEEP: I’m happy to report that I already get decent sleep. I will continue to prioritize this one and focus on rituals that will help me get quality sleep (clean, cool, dark room… no heavy foods before bed-time… stretching and breathing exercises if tension is high). To read more about creating good sleep routines and a healthy sleep environment read this article: 2011 Energy Now – Sleep article www.worklifeenergy.com (excerpted from my new book Energy Now!)

REPORTING BACK: Every week (beginning January 10th) I will be writing several blogs each week to share my experiment experiences. I’ll start by posting my current weight and girth measurements (ouch) and then report my progress as I go. Phase 1, 28 days x 16 minutes … let’s see where it takes me.

Do you want to join the challenge? Send me an email sharing your plans and each week I’ll make sure you know when a new blog has been posted. You can share your experiences, ask me questions, or just laugh at me and my mini-makeover musings. Happy New Year.


Michelle Cederberg, Certified Speaking Professional | MKin, BA Psyc, CEP, Co-Active Coach

Health and Productivity Expert, Michelle Cederberg helps people with full schedules and a long list of responsibilities maximize their personal energy so they can optimize their productivity and success. As a highly accomplished speaker, author, educator, fitness professional, life coach and entrepreneur, she equips people to feel their best so they can do their best – on the job and in life.

With a Masters in Kinesiology, a BA in Psychology, and a specialization in Health and Exercise Psychology, Michelle combines mind, body, and practicality to inspire change!

As a Co-Active Life Coach Michelle works with her clients to help them find true focus and create a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life. As a Certified Speaking Professional she shares her experiences in a humorous and realistic way with delighted audiences across North America. Through her presentations, products and personality she motivates you to take small steps toward big changes, so you can actually find energy, productivity and success – even with a busy schedule!

Michelle is the author of three books. Her GOT TO IT accountability journal is a ground-breaking resource that supports people on their path to change. Her second book; If Your Life Sucks It’s Your Fault* is a fun and provocative pocket-book on personal responsibility. *Her first North America wide publication; ENERGY NOW! Small Steps to an Energetic Life will be released January 2012 in book stores everywhere.

Visit www.workLIFEenergy.com to learn more.