Ugh! Black Friday

I wrote about this last year.

I have never been a fan of Black Friday, for a variety of reasons. Initially it was the crowds and the crazies and the mayhem.

I still feel that way. But now there seems to be a lot of ugliness and greed and that makes it even less appealing to me.

When (I) we still gave Christmas presents I made sure to have my list checked off before Thanksgiving. Once online shopping became a reality I did all my shopping online.

For the past many years (I don’t remember how long we have been doing this) our families decided to no longer give Christmas gifts. No one really needs anything. And really, who needs another sweater or candle or something you don’t really want?

So instead we give money to charity. We all have done different things. We have given to local charities, Charity Choice Gift Cards, Heifer International, food banks, Planned Parenthood, etc.

There are so many people who don’t even have the basics, let alone Christmas gifts.

I am a huge advocate of helping others, around the holidays and all year long.

Curt and I have a new charity … Continue reading

Go Fit Girl! is thankful/grateful for many things

Today is Thanksgiving and I have many things to be thankful and grateful for.

This list is just some of the things Go Fit Girl! is thankful for. (If it was Ann … it would never end.)

I am thankful and grateful for:



Setting intentions.

In-Shape City Gym and teachers: Jenn, Jessica and Will.

Namaste yoga studio and teachers: Vickie, Baxter, Lily and Hannah and the occasional sub.

Being healthy all year long.

My supportive husband.

Grace and Gratitude Thanksgiving workshop.

Weight Watchers.

My readers, the regular and occasional, the new and the old.

My laptop in which I can write my posts and do my research.

The salad bar at work.

My gym friends.

Wellness plan at work.

My weekly weigh-in.

New spin bikes at the gym.

Exercise/health/nutrition challenges at work.

My friend Monica who is my Monday night gym class buddy and motivator.

That I can afford to grocery shop every week (or really anytime) and buy healthy food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.

Namate yoga studio focusing holiday workshop proceeds on charity (and yoga mat rentals going to charity as well.)

My subscription to Yoga Journal.

My husband being my new-ish gym buddy.

My Camelbak … Continue reading

Filling your heart while helping others

If you have been reading Go Fit Girl! for a long time or even for a month or two you probably have read something about my love for supporting and giving to charities and others.

In honor of Go Fit Girl!’s Challenge of the Heart for November I am going to talk about the benefit classes at my yoga studio being held Thanksgiving morning.

I try to focus energy on giving to others who are so much less fortunate than I am. I have worked hard for everything I have. But I never forget about my own struggles and the daily struggles of others.

One of the many things I love about Namaste, the yoga studio where I practice, is that they also focus on charity. If you have to rent a yoga mat for class that $1 goes to various local charities.

When a class (or workshop) is held on a major holiday, like Thanksgiving or New Year’s it is a benefit class. Most of the time the proceeds of the classes go to Alameda County Food Bank.

The proceeds from Ashley’s Thanksgiving class at Namaste Rockridge will go to the food bank.

Vickie’s … Continue reading

Giving to others is the best gift

Remember when you were a little kid and you would be so excited about your birthday? As an adult I wait for that feeling and well, it doesn’t happen. I guess that is just part of getting older. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with getting older. In fact, I love it. I love when people are baffled by “how old” I really am.

Speaking of birthdays, today is my birthday. I take the day off from work to do stuff just for me.

I feel really lucky to have a job where it is OK to take the day off and is never questioned. And that I can pamper myself with a mani/pedi AND a massage. Yup, I went all out this year.

Since I had the day off I also had the opportunity to visit a women’s day center and drop off some donations.

I collect toiletries from hotels when I travel. I also have a high sensitivity to perfumes and lotions. So if I ever get those as gifts they get thrown into the donation pile and get used by someone else.

In my decluttering I got rid of lots of stuff, including some housewares.

Continue reading

20 years ago today …

Twenty years ago today I was 17 and had graduated from high school about three weeks prior. I moved out of my home and moved into a crappy apartment with three of my high school girlfriends.

My mom was pretty strict, which as I look back I am rather grateful for. But I believe if you live under my roof you live under my rules. And I didn’t want to live under her rules anymore.

So I moved out.

Once I was on my own I was on my own. I paid rent, bought groceries, paid for my car insurance, paid for college tuition and books …

Moving out and becoming an adult that quickly was a humbling and major learning experience.

I made mistakes, screwed things up, did dumb things …

But eventually I started to figure things out and I became more responsible. (I remember a friend asking me about laundry and how I dried my jeans because his mom would air dry his. That makes me laugh now.)

The gig with the roommates didn’t last long and eventually I was living in my own apartment.

Twenty years later I look back and see how much I have learned … Continue reading

Giving, knitting and feeling good in new year

As I sit here and type this post I am missing the New Year’s Day detox workshop at my yoga studio. Man, am I so bummed about that.

With the cold being in my chest and me coughing I just didn’t think it was a good idea for me or fair to others attending.

Even though I don’t get to benefit from the workshop others do. All the proceeds go to the Alameda County Food Bank. So something good still comes out of this.

I am a huge advocate of giving to others, especially charity. I feel that I was put on this planet to help others. I get a great sense of good feelings and warm heart when I help and give to others.

I also enjoy knitting. I make scarves, hats, slippers and blankets. (Though I am so over blankets. They take so long to knit.) And for the most part I enjoy making them for others.

I have participated in knitting hats for the troops with The Ship’s Project. (I have made a couple of troop hats for friends’ husbands.) I have knitted scarves for the Red Scarf Project. I have knitted hats for premie … Continue reading

Best time of the year?

I am still not quite sure what this post is going to be about. I have been thinking about it most of the day: Should I talk about spinning on Christmas Eve? Talk about abs or doing dirty dog in body conditioning today?

Or do I reflect on the holiday season? It is great for many. But for some others it is not so great.

This time of year can be stressful, depressing, sad, difficult, lonely, emotional or really not the best time of the year.

Because I feel so fortunate in my life and I believe that I was put on this Earth to help others. So I do what I can to make things better for others.

Because most people we know are rather fortunate we no longer do Christmas presents. We give money to charity because there are so many people who need so much. (Curt and I do stockings so we have a little something.)

We have a variety of charities we support. Among some of them: food banks; Planned Parenthood; public television; alma mater department scholarships/programs; Curt’s hometown Boy Scouts; Humane Society; Habitat for Humanity.

The cliche saying about how it is better to … Continue reading

How to survive Black Friday: Just don’t do it

I have to say each year I get more disgusted by the idea of Black Friday, the commercials, the greed associated with Christmas.


Years ago with both sides of our families we decided to stop giving each other Christmas presents. No one needs anything. And really, a new candle or CD or shirt or whatever–we can all get those ourselves. So instead we give money to charity.

The stress of having to buy the perfect gift is eliminated; battling those crazy crowds … gone; spending money on something someone may or may not like … goodbye; never getting an acknowledgement or thank you for a gift you purchased … buh-bye; worrying about your Christmas shopping budget … adios.

The joy, pride and sense of being a good human being you get from giving to someone who really needs something: food, clothes, a new backpack, toys (when they aren’t normally under the tree), school supplies, healthcare, a home, education, pajamas, books, etc.) is the most amazing feeling and makes you feel like a better person. To me, that is the true meaning of Christmas.

More and more I reflect on the fact that there are so many people in this country and … Continue reading

Helping build self-esteem, fitness

As some of my readers may know I am a big advocate of helping others by supporting a variety of charities. From food banks, to animals, to hometown charities, to alma mater scholarship programs, to helping others who just need a little more help in life and many more.

My husband and I are fortunate enough to be in a position to help others on occasion. We do it for a variety of reasons: it feels good, we like supporting certain organizations, it is our duty and obligation as human beings, and the selfish part: we don’t have a house or kids, so we gotta do something to offset those taxes.

Anyway, Jen, my friend, fellow Go Fit Girl! and one of my biggest advocates and supporters, and I were talking about supporting a kids’ charity, which focuses on exercise or healthy living or fitness.

I did some research and found Girls on the Run International. I like this program because it focuses on girls, their self-esteem, healthy living and fitness while also working on making them well-rounded individuals.

Jen and I made a donation to this organization. I encourage my readers to find something they are passionate about … Continue reading