I Grew Up in a Cult

I Grew Up in a Cult

I was raised almost entirely alone for the whole of my childhood. I don’t just mean that as in I was a loner or kept to myself; I was raised on eight acres of land with little to no exposure to the world. Due to the teachings of the cult my mother was a member of, I was never educated. I taught myself to read, and learned all my basic writing skills on the internet. In the time between, I played alone in the woods. Whenever I did attempt to interact with kids my own age (usually by going to the town pool) I was teased mercilessly for my lack of common knowledge

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How to Create Healthy (& Happy!) Expectations in 2017

How to Create Healthy (& Happy!) Expectations in 2017

As we prepare to ring in the New Year these last few days of December, many people across the world will pause to capture their goals and aspirations for 2017. 

Less complaining and more smiling! Less technology and more human connection! Smarter spending and...less Target? (or is that just me?)

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Fitness Challenge: Pilates Roll Over


Words & Images by Eden Coiro


  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight up in the air at ninety degrees with arms by your sides.
  2. Exhale as you hinge your legs toward your face.
  3. Keeping legs tight together, without using momentum, articulate each vertebrae off the floor sending your legs overhead and behind you so you end up with them parallel to the floor. Maintain tight abdominals.
  4. To descend, roll down, articulating each vertebrae back to the mat trying to keep your legs as close to your face as possible. Return to the start position.


  1. Perform exercise only lifting your bottom from the floor. Omit attempting to send legs overhead.
  2. Assist yourself on the decent by placing your hands under your body and slowly lowering yourself down with control.


  1. Try performing full roll over with arms directly above you – perpendicular to the floor - to challenge your balance and control..
  2. Try performing full roll over with legs slightly abducted (separated) on the decent.


  1. Exercise is to be performed on a smooth surface.
  2. You should maintain a long neck throughout exercise and be able to breathe normally.
  3. Improve strength of core and overall body control.
  4. REMEMBER to breathe throughout the full exercise – as with ALL exercise – to continue to oxygenate your muscles.

Fitness Challenge: Pike Ups



MOVEMENTS A. PRONE PLANK ON HANDS 1.  Place both hands on the floor directly under your shoulders. 2.  Extend both legs directly behind you, squeezed together (pretend you're holding something between your knees) 3.  Body stays tight: a. Keep neck long b. Shoulders retracted and depressed (keep them back and down).

B. PIKE 1.   Shift your weight onto your arms/hands. 2.  Engage your abdominals as you draw your legs toward your upper body and your glutes into the air. 3.  Hold for a few seconds as you maintain balance and control.

C. RETURN 1.  Maintaining straight arms and legs slowly return to starting plank. 2.  Remember to hold legs close together. 3.  Remember to keep your shoulders low and away from your neck to prevent injury.

PIKE UP Eden Coiro

MODIFICATIONS A. Perform full exercise with bent knees instead of straight legs. B. Decrease the distance in which you draw in your legs. Instead of coming into a full pike with a tight hip-to-leg angle, maintain a larger degree of distance from hip to leg.


CHALLENGES A. Try full pike-ups with one leg! One leg extended in a hovered position but not touching the ground throughout the exercise. B. Once in the PRONE PLANK position perform a push up. Your core AND your arms and chest will feel this for sure.

GOALS & REMINDERS A. Exercise is to be performed on a smooth surface. B. You should be wearing socks/ballet slippers or have toes planted on a small towel/washcloth. C. Improve strength of core and upper body. D. REMEMBER to breathe throughout the full exercise. DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH.

Fitness Challenge: 1 Minute Side Plank With Pivot

file (1) Each month we're going to bring you a new fitness challenge to try for the month to lead to getting healthier.


MOVEMENTS A. SIDE PLANK (image above) 1. Start with your body parallel to the floor, propped up on right elbow. 2. Make sure elbow rests directly below right shoulder. 3. Create a long, straight line with your body - from head to heels - and lift your hips from the floor. 4. Legs stay connected and drawn/squeezed together. 5. Place your left arm straight above you. 6. Balance on your right elbow and side of right foot. 7. Hold position for 15 seconds. DO NOT COME DOWN. file (2)

B. PRONE PLANK (image above) 1. Take your left extended arm and wrap it underneath you and place on the floor. 2. Extend both arms (from elbows to hands) in front of you. 3. Body stays tight:

a. Shoulders retracted and depressed (keep them back and down).

b. Draw your abdominals in.

c. Engage glutes. (squeeze your bottom).

d. Maintain flexion through feet.

4. Hold for 15 seconds. DO NOT COME DOWN. C. SIDE PLANK 1. Pivot your weight onto your left elbow. 2. Set your body position exactly as listed in “set up” but now on LEFT side, right arm reaching up. 3. Hold for 15 seconds. DO NOT COME DOWN. D. ENDING PRONE PLANK 1. Take your right extended arm and wrap it underneath you and place on the floor. 2. Extend both arms (from elbows to hands) in front of you. 3. Body stays tight. 4. Hold for 15 seconds. Then COME DOWN! MODIFICATIONS A. Perform full exercise on knees instead of feet, thus, decreasing the length of your body. B. Decrease the time you hold each position. CHALLENGES A. Once on each side, lift upper leg into a hovered position for the 15- second duration. Keep both feet flexed. B. Once in the PRONE PLANK position alternate extending your arms in front of you while maintaining plank. GOALS & REMINDERS A. Increase strength of core(abdominals), deltoids (shoulders), adductors (inner thighs), and glutes (bottom). B. Improve balance. C. Increase stamina. D. REMEMBER to breathe throughout the full exercise. DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH.


How to Become a Runner


If you had told me ten years ago that I would someday run a half-marathon, I’d have said you were crazy. I was the girl who walked the required mile run in high school and couldn’t relate to people who spent forty minutes or more on a treadmill.

Times have changed.

Six years ago, a friend’s encouragement inspired me to download a Couch to 5K program, and thus began my long journey into running. Since that first jog, I’ve completed a dozen or so 5Ks, two 10Ks, and a half-marathon.

By no means am I an expert on running, but I can give you a few pointers for getting started.

Find a beginners’ training program. I used a Couch to 5K podcast that downloaded directly to my iPod. It included intervals of walking and running. There’s more of the former at first, and then it builds up. This is key – Take each run and don’t look ahead too far. That will only intimidate you. You can do this, but it’s a process.

Choose a race and set a goal. Find a 5K that interests you. Three to four months out should be fine. This gives you a deadline and keeps you motivated to complete your training runs.

Get fitted for good running shoes. Find a fitness store where they will look at your gait and analyze your shoe needs. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but the proper footwear will prevent injuries.

Have a running or check-in buddy. If you can find someone to run with you, take advantage. They’ll keep you accountable and provide good company. If no one will run with you, find someone you can check in with before and after runs. This is especially important if you run outdoors. I live alone, so I usually text a friend or two and let them know where I’m going and when they should expect to hear from me again. It makes me feel safer and more accountable in my running.

Be patient with yourself and listen to your body. It took me three tries over the course of a year to get through the Couch to 5K program. Don’t give up, and don’t be afraid to repeat a run or even week if you need to.

You might finish all of this and embrace running as a new hobby. You may complete the program and decide you never want to run again. Either way, at least you can say you tried it. Best of luck!