Faith and Fitness with Marsha Apsley

Helping Women Live Fit and Free

New Month. New Start. Getting Clear on Your Next Step

September!  New Month!  Fresh Start!  New Group!  My Birthday!  I’m so excited about this month!!!

New Month


I usually post my blogs on Monday and Thursday, but today is Wednesday.  Why Wednesday this week?  Tomorrow is the first day of a new month, and I want you to take today to consider some of the points listed below and what step you need to take to make the most of the final quarter of 2016.

We humans just love fresh starts.  We like clean slates.  The beginning of a week or month can feel very refreshing, especially if we feel like the last week or month wasn’t so good.  But let’s not forget that every day, every moment can be a fresh start.  What happens when you mess up on Monday?  Are you going to wait an entire week until you start over?  I sure hope not!  A lot more can go wrong throughout that week!  Instead of a little stumble on Monday, you could be 10 steps backwards by Sunday.  Nevertheless, we have reached a new month, a fresh start.  It kinda signals that summer is over.    

New month. Getting clear on your next step. #runmyrace Click To Tweet

How are you feeling right now?  

  • Are you beating yourself up?  Are you feeling bummed about how the last month, or how the summer, went?  It was supposed to be so good.  Summer time!  Poolside!  Beach vacations!  Kids running around!  No homework!  Get outside and move more!  Well, if it didn’t go quite as planned, that’s okay.  Reset and start today.  Look back at the goals you set at the beginning of the year.  Gather that intention and motivation.
  • Are you feeling energized?  Did you have a good month?  Are you moving in the right direction?  Then let’s keep the momentum.  Stick to it.  Keep those goals in front of you and keep pressing forward.
  • Maybe the summer just was.  You look back and can’t believe we’re already a month into school and fall will soon be upon us.  We’re turning yet another calendar page.  Maybe today is when you set a totally new intention for the remainder of the year.  Maybe you just need to set a focus for this one month then go from there.  

The struggle, and the victory, comes from recognizing where you are now and what comes next Click To Tweet

No matter how you’re feeling today, it’s always one step at a time.  The struggle and thus the victory comes with recognizing where YOU are NOW and what you need to do to move forward.   Let me repeat that:  Recognize where you are now.  That is the first step.  Pause.  Own where you are.  Then you can plan the next step based on where you want to go in the month, in the year, and in your life.  

My hope for you is that you choose to keep your eyes on your own paper and own your journey and walk towards a life of freedom in fitness.  By doing the work of recognizing where you are will help you get clear on where you need to go.  Sometimes we know where we want to go or what needs to change in our lives.  We know what goals we have.  But we find it difficult to figure out what the next step is.  That’s why I wrote this blog post today, the last day of August, so that you can join me in September in my private coaching group that will help you get a clear vision for your health and fitness and teach you the steps you need to take to live fit and free.*

Let me know…

How was your summer?  Highs and Lows?

What is your intention for September?  

Do you have a September birthday?  What day?  Mine is the 20th:)


*If you’re looking for some accountability, email me!  I’ll answer your questions and help you along your journey.  I’d also love to tell you about my monthly coaching groups if that’s something you’re interested in.  I’m starting a new one tomorrow!  


To Cheat Or Not

What are your thoughts on “cheat meals” or “cheat days”?  


I get asked this question often.  Let’s tease it out a little.  

We’ll start by considering the definition of cheat (as found on  As a verb it means  to violate rules or regulations.  As a noun, a cheat is someone who acts dishonestly or is a fraud.  It can even refer to victimization by taking an unfair advantage over someone.  

I didn’t read anything good about “cheat” in those definitions.  Did you?  And if you apply that to the idea of cheat meals or cheat days, then it leads you to consider that you are violating rules if you have a cheat meal.  Or it would mean that when I “cheat”, then I become a fraud.  That by eating “healthy” 6 days a week or 20 meals a week but “cheat” a day or a meal, then I’ve fooled you or myself along the way?  

Have you figured out where this is going?  I imagine you have.  All things related to “cheat” are negative.  And when it comes to something related to me or how I eat, I don’t need anything negative labeling me.  I have enough struggle in my mind fighting off negative thoughts, comparisons, etc.  I don’t need to weekly refer to myself and my eating habits in any way like I’m cheating and being a fraud.  

Are you a cheater? Considering cheat days in relation to healthy living. Click To Tweet

Here’s the deal, I don’t like the term “cheat” when it comes to how I eat.  (Actually, I don’t want it to describe me in any way!)  If I choose to eat chicken and veggies or 2 slices of pizza, I’m going to own it.  (Not become a victim of my choices as the definition may imply.)  I don’t need to explain or justify it according to a “cheat”.  

This goes back to what I am all about, what this blog and my programs are about.  We….you and I….need to find what works for our unique body.

When we do that; when we become a detective, we learn how our bodies respond to foods.  We know when we need to fight off a craving or when we can trust ourselves to have just enough to satisfy.  We also know that if we’re training for a big event, say we just did a 15 mile training run, and we want pizza for dinner that night, then we can, and we should if that sounds yummy and satisfying!  So if we did absolutely nothing today but still want to have ice cream at the end of the day, we can have it.  And not only have it, but we can enjoy it in the process.  Why do we enjoy it, because we’re owning our choices.  

Let's own our choices. #moderation365 #runmyrace Click To Tweet

Can we have pizza and ice cream everyday and expect that we’ll stay fit and healthy?  Probably not.  But if you’re honoring your body, you’re going to learn what makes it feel good and healthy, and you’ll want to eat mostly those things.  There will be room for what someone else may call a “cheat” but it will just be what sounds good and tastes good and makes you feel good at that given meal on that given day.  


Tell me….

What is your favorite indulgence? (I love ice cream, frozen yogurt, custard, any frozen dessert….healthy or not!)

We’re just a few days away from beginning our 20/20 September Coaching group.  You’ll get a clearer vision of what it will take for you to live fit and free!  Find more information here or contact me today and let’s get you signed up!

Are You Exercising to Eat?

“Because fitness is not a punishment, it’s a privilege” – Neghar Fonooni


I remember a time (in the not so distant past) that I logged calories in and calories out.  Basically I would workout so I could eat.  I did my morning workout, entered it into my handy dandy program, then I would plan my day accordingly based upon the calories I burned and what this program said I could have.  Of course, the more I exercised, the more calories I could consume.  Some days I would get off track and then I would feel I needed to add another workout just so I could eat dinner without guilt.  

Are you caught in the trap where you feel like you have to exercise to eat? Click To Tweet

Have you ever been caught in this trap?  Or maybe you’re in it right now?  Certainly no judgement on plans where you count calories and all that, but for me, it became bondage.  I couldn’t eat unless I went to the computer and logged it into my program to see if I had “earned” that food….whether it was lean chicken or dessert.  I never listened to my body when it came to eating or exercise.  It was all about the numbers.  

Feeling pain in my hamstring signaling a strain?  So what.  I’ll deal with that later.  I MUST log these miles, or I can’t eat today.  

A piece of bread sounds good with my grilled chicken salad for dinner, but first I have to see if it fits into my macros.  

Everybody is going out for ice cream after dinner, but I don’t have any calories left.  Can’t eat that….not even a small vanilla cone.  No Sir!  

While I love running and my daily exercise, this type of “plan” was not freeing for me.  I was doing multiple workouts a day not because of a special event I was training for or even for the joy of a bike ride on a nice summer day, it was all about being able to eat without guilt.  

Stop the madness of having to exercise just to eat! Click To Tweet

This madness had to stop!  

Exercise is supposed to be freeing.  It’s a privilege to move our bodies and see them at work.  To feel strong when we lift heavy things and feel accomplished when we cross that finish line.  

Food is supposed to be for our nourishment.  It is supposed to be enjoyed and savored.  

I stopped logging calories.  I stopped logging minutes running and riding. (This was so hard!)  I began to listen to my body. (This is a hard practice too!)  I focused on quality workouts over quantity.  I focused on fueling my body with food that gave me energy.  I also had food for pure enjoyment, but I didn’t overindulge (most of the time!).  

How about you?  Do you view exercise as punishment?  Do you exercise so you can eat?  Do you restrict calories if you don’t exercise?  

Believe me, I still struggle with these tendencies.  On days when I do a shorter workout or only lift or only do yoga (my emphasis on only because doing one thing is just fine!), I struggle with a bit of anxiety around eating.  I have to remind myself that I’m not going to be as hungry on days my workouts aren’t as intense.  I just have to listen.  But I do have to fuel and be intentional on how I do it.  It’s still a work in process for me.  (I could write A LOT about this topic!  Want to stay in the conversation, be sure you’re getting my weekly emails.  I write about this and  a whole lot more!)

So why not…..

  • Find an exercise that you truly enjoy doing?
  • Eat things that are beneficial for your body for strength and energy?
  • Be a detective and figure out how your body responds to various amounts and combinations of food and exercise and then HONOR that?

Tell me….

Is this something you’ve ever struggled with?  Exercising to eat?  

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