New Pants, New Outlook

For the past few years, I have made the effort to workout each morning, Monday through Friday. I have come to really enjoy (and dare I say even look forward to) my morning routine, but lately I've been feeling a little "blah" about it all. I felt I wasn't feeling and seeing the same results from my workouts and consequently wasn't feeling as "pumped" and positive about my workouts and myself.

Whenever I feel that I'm hitting a self-esteem plateau, I've realized that what works best for me is trying something new and being especially kind to myself in my thoughts, words, and actions. For my birthday, I received a kettle-bell (a ball-shaped weight with a handle used for aerobic strength training) and a few pairs of very cute yoga pants. This past Monday I used my kettle-bell for the first time. It was challenging, and I broke a sweat in the first 5 minutes! I felt so great afterwards. I had tried something new, challenged myself, and re-energized my enthusiasm for my workouts.

Today, I sported one of my new pairs of yoga pants during my workout. They fit me much better than my old sweats, and I actually felt cute instead of slightly frumpy. This small, cosmetic change really affected how I felt during and after my workout. Really, it did.

If you are feeling tired of your workout routine or are trying to start one up, think about things that challenge you, sound like fun, and make you feel good. Never go into it thinking "I have to do this to lose weight" - that takes all the fun out of it and makes you feel like a prisoner of your exercise routine. Make a list of all the physical activities you enjoy (even if they're atypical, like gardening or window shopping). Anything is better than nothing! Lastly, take the time to nurture yourself. Buy new sneakers, sign up for a dance-aerobics class, or take a few minutes out of your day for a peaceful walk. It'll make a world of difference.

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit or email