Tuesday, December 29, 2009

5 Reminders to Help Build Stronger Relationships

By: Chalene Johnson
To all subscribers to my blog: My blog has moved to a new location http://bit.ly/js8GV
Please join me there and subscribe to my new blog. Thank you.

Christmas is over you have given gifts to all your loved ones, now it’s time to give yourself a nice gift that will make you happy. Camp Turbo is 4days of fitness, inspiration and most of all FUN FUN and if you register by Dec 31st you save $30.00 http://bit.ly/7MpNzH

Happy Holidays to everyone
You’re distracted and upset. The dull ache in your stomach has robbed you of your appetite. You just can’t focus. Your day is a blur. You nearly ran a red light. The most recent events keep playing through your mind. Something is awry with one or more of your closest relationships. You ask yourself, “Why is this not working?” You may think, “Could I have married the wrong person?” Or maybe you wonder, “Is my best friend totally changing or did I just never see this side of her?” Maybe your impasse is in the workplace, “I used to adore my boss, now I see him for what he really is.”

When things aren’t going the way you want with the most important people in our life, you have to realize that the most important area of your life needs attention. People are the most important. People are more important than your job, your car, your house, your bank account, your clothes, your appearance. Yup. We work at all these other areas, yet we expect relationships with our important “people” to just happen naturally. But they don’t; relationships take work.

Learn to build better relationships with your family, coworkers, friends and your spouse or significant other. I’m not talking small talk, or humor, I’m talking about going to a deeper level. Faltering relationships can sabotage your attitude, your ability to perform, your weight and even your financial success. When your relationships are supportive, you feel like you can do anything. Create success in all areas of your life by understanding that relationships take thought, planning, attention and time. Building better relationships is a skill that with practice you can master.

Here are a few tips to help you build stronger relationships.

1. Read! Remember…you’re not the first. Whatever it is you’re going through, someone else has already gone through it and figured it out. Save time and headaches by relying on the expertise of others. Having difficulty with your teenager? Try “Yes your Teen is Crazy” by Michael Bradley. Wanna be a better spouse? Read “The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage” by Laura Schlessinger. Do you have a habit of investing time with people and find out later that they don’t share your morals, values or even common interests? Try ‘When Friendship Hurts” by Jan Yager. The easiest way to make sense of relationships and improve on your own is to learn from the experts. Read! No time to read? Then listen! Most books are available on CD too! Books give us wisdom, knowledge and help us learn from the experiences of others. Priceless.

2. Be aware of subtle cues. Your spouse asks, “How was your day?” Your response is automated, “Fine. How was yours?” His question was a subtle invitation to connect; an opportunity for you to share. You’re in a rush, late for an appointment, and bump into a casual acquaintance. You mention your pending meeting and do your best to quickly exit the encounter. You say, “Well, great to see you!” Yet, the other party continues to engage in conversation. You smile, while nodding and walking backwards away from the conversation with the most obvious of “I really need to go” body language. All the while he/she rambles on, oblivious to your body language. Yet, most cues from the important people in our life are more subtle. We recognize the slight inflection in our spouse’s voice that tells us he’s in a great mood, the nervous hands of our Mother when she’s uncomfortable with a particular topic, the facial expression of a friend when we need to decline their offer to get together. These are hints. Disregarding these cues because “you don’t want to deal with it” may lead to trouble. We offer hints when we want to send a message but want to avoid direct confrontation. When our subtle cues are overlooked we feel rejected. Learn how to spot these cues and how to acknowledge the sender!

3. Listen. Consider the words people use. Know the communication style of the people most important to you. You can learn how to interpret a person’s feelings by their word choice. Words can convey mood, emotion, underlying feelings and even messages meant to be subtle. Words can invite more of a connection or tell someone that your guard is up! Words like “hurt”, “lonely”, “always”, “never”, “painful” are used to draw others in, to solicit empathy and a reaction. Ironically, these words can produce the opposite reaction. Emotionally laden words scare people and can further isolate the user. To improve your relationships know the communication style of the people dearest to you. Make note of “red flag” words, or comments, that invite further communication.

4. Appreciate. Our need to feel needed, to feel important and desired in all relationships is a driving force for most of us. One of the best things my Mom did was greet us kids after school with excitement and a hug. I always felt like she was excited to see us and that made us feel special. I try to do the same for my kids. I let them know my world is brighter when they’re around. When I walk in the front door at Powder Blue Productions, even after so many years, Ellie (our customer relations expert) makes me feel like the Queen of England. She doesn’t just greet our customers with this enthusiasm, but each employee too. It sets the tone for the mood in our office. Try this yourself with the important people in your life. Greet your partner like he or she has been away for months. Act excited, happy, and undistracted. Make your partner feel as though the sun rises and sets because of them. Tell your best friend what it is that you most appreciate about them. Do a better job of thanking your partner for the little things he or she does that you appreciate. Take the time to send a thank you note to someone whose relationship you realize you’ve taken for granted. Let people know how much they mean to you.

5. Let go. One of the best ways to strengthen important relationships is to let go of those that are not helpful, healthy, supportive or rewarding. We all have someone in our life who seems dependant on us for all the wrong reasons. While even the best relationships have ups and downs, relationships with “life suckers” are almost always troublesome, draining, difficult and one-sided. The challenge is not in our ability to know which relationships are toxic, but what to do with them and how to end, or at least lessen, the ties. I’m not a psychotherapist, but it has always been my belief that once you realize you need to spend less time with someone, you just spend less time with them. Simple. Oh sure, plenty of experts will disagree with me, but I just don’t think there needs to be some big “confrontation” during which you express your disappointment in the relationship, or highlight the one-sidedness of your relationship. What’s the point? People don’t change. Just go about your business and invest more time with the important people in your life.

All relationships worth having take work. It’s funny how much time people spend working on their businesses, their bodies, their homes, their bank accounts and worrying what other people think of them. Ironically, all those areas fall into place when you put important people, the right people first.

Monday, December 21, 2009

11 Ways to Create and Maintain Balance (part 2)

By: Chalene Johnson
To all subscribers to my blog: My blog has moved to a new location http://bit.ly/js8GV
Please join me there and subscribe to my new blog. Thank you.

Health and fitness are great gifts to give yourself or someone U love if U add insane amount of fun to it, it’s called Camp TK 2010 & becomes the best gift. Register and spend 4 fun high energy days with fellow Fitness & Turbo enthusiasts. http://bit.ly/7MpNzH

7. Make a "Transitional" To-Do list: Sometimes changes should be gradual. If, for example, your number one priority is to quit your current job and work a full-time fitness career, quitting your "day job" tomorrow might make it tough to fork over the car payment at the end of the month. Consider a gradual transition. Speak to your employer about the possibility of working just 5-10 less hours per week. If that's not an option, propose a flexible work schedule that allows you to do personal training, or pursue fitness opportunities, during prime time hours.

8. Openly communicate your priorities with others. This serves as a constant reminder to yourself and a means of personal accountability. In communicating your priorities, you also establish your boundaries. "I openly express my priorities, so those who I work with always know and respect where I am coming from." Barbara Brodowsky, group exercise instructor for 24 Hour Fitness, Lancaster, CA.

9. Take cues from people closest to you: Sometimes we are too close to a situation to be able to make clear decisions. Listen to the questions and comments of those you most trust and admire. Has your significant other suggested that you look tired, seem distant, stressed or stretched too thin? Has more than one friend suggested you lighten your load or teach fewer classes? Have you seen a change in the behavior or mood of one or more family members? Projects consultant for AFAA, Amy Nestor, agrees, "When every day begins to feel hectic, rushed, and stressful and my mind feels like it's racing, I know it's time to take a look at what I'm doing. I also take cues from my family.”

10. Practice saying, “Can I get back to you on that?” If you know you should say “No” more often, yet find yourself saying, “Yes” just to be accommodating, try using “Thanks for thinking of me! Can I get back to you on that?" Just a few days will give you the time you need to evaluate the opportunity to see how it fits with your priorities, and if need be, politely decline.

11. Identify, and then remove your balance blockers. All of us have self-imposed balance blockers. These are deep rooted feelings that keep us in unhealthy or stressful situations based on fear or insecurities, like the need to please, misplaced guilt, fear of rejection, false appearances, believing that you’re supposed to be able to "do it all", perfectionism and more. These items will inhibit your ability to make sound decisions; decisions based on “your” life’s priorities. These 11 steps will change your life, as you strive to strike a balance; just know you’re not perfect. If you can’t put them all into action immediately, pick one or two and start there. Always keep in mind what your goals are and what’s important to you. By doing so, your entire being will be transformed!

Whether you want to try for the promotion at work, gain confidence, learn how to better connect with others, or maybe, you just want to improve yourself. You can do it, one step at a time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

11 Ways to Create and Maintain Balance (part one)

To all subscribers to my blog: My blog has moved to a new location http://bit.ly/js8GV
Please join me there and subscribe to my new blog. Thank you.

The number one New Year resolution is “to become healthy and Fit”. Powder Blue is offering a gift card that saves you a bundle and helps people on your list with their New Year Resolution. Pay only $100 and receive gift card worth $150. For more info click here http://bit.ly/5YO3hz

By: Chalene Johnson

1. Prioritize, in writing, the most important areas of your life based on your current situation. Many skip this all-important first step or fail to re-visit this question on a regular basis. Although you may believe you have prioritized your values, goals or agendas in your mind, listing them on paper helps to clarify their importance, so you can re-evaluate your activities. Our top priority is often easy to identify, its numbers 2, 3 and 4 priorities that sometimes over-lap in our minds and fluctuate depending on changing circumstances. Writing down your priorities makes it easier to make tough decisions.

Be ready to “shift and move”. As circumstances change, so will your priorities, therefore, so should your schedule. Any shift in circumstances, work-load, family, finances, health, etc. should require you revisit your written list of priorities.

2. Create a calendar, or list, of your regularly scheduled activities. List everything, including leisure time and sleep. Closely estimate the amount of total time each activity requires. For example, when listing a class or client, be sure to include set-up, cleanup and drive time.

3. Star those activities that support one or all of your top 2 or 3 priorities. These are the items you should fight to keep on your list, but be careful you don’t have too many! Fitness is on my list of priorities, but when too many workouts cut into family time (my first priority) then a few work outs need to be moved.

4. Underline neutral activities. Neutral activities are those which neither take from, nor support, your priorities. Some examples of neutral activities might include Saturday morning coffee with your girlfriends, art class, watching television, surfing the internet, etc. These are activities that you could give up if needed, but should be evaluated for their “peace of mind” value. Never underestimate the refueling power of mindless down time, something few A-type personalities allow for.

5. Next, boldly circle the activities or obligations that contradict your present order of priorities. This is going to take some courage. In some instances, it takes a non-objective 3rd party. Here's a personal example: One of my weekly activities was a late evening class at a health club 35 minutes away, at a rate of pay far less than I normally earned. I had the class for years and felt the students, who had become my friends, would “perish” if I gave up the class. Even though I was a new Mom, I felt I'd be letting them down if I gave it up. I was keeping the class out of guilt, a sense of obligation and, to be honest, ego gratification! It took a friend to point out, that by keeping the class, I was actually hurting my young family in terms of loss of time with them. Giving up that class was far less painful than I imagined.

Now, when I personally struggle with the decision to get a sub or give up a class, I remind myself that at the end of my life, I want my family at my bedside, not my Saturday morning step class.

6. Make an "Immediate Action" To- Do List: Each item which you bravely circled now needs to be removed. These aren’t areas that you’re going to “try to do better.” It’s time to take specific action. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The change doesn't have to be permanent, but it should be immediate. If the act of relinquishing responsibility, inconveniencing others, or change has you frozen in your tracks, look at your top three priorities and find the courage to endure a few uncomfortable moments for lasting peace of mind.

Monday, December 07, 2009

9 ways to avoid holiday weight gain


To all subscribers to my blog: My blog has moved to a new location http://bit.ly/js8GV
Please join me there and subscribe to my new blog. Thank you.

Gift giving made easy for the fitness enthusiast on your list. For the 1st ever & in limited quantity Powder Blue Productions Gift Card & You only pay $100.00 but receive $150.00 Gift Card. Click here to: http://bit.ly/5YO3hz

Happy Holidays

Aaahhhh, the holidays…the scents of fresh pine and baked goods fill your home; everywhere are twinkling lights and culinary delights…but every to die for dessert and festive cocktail represents temptation, overindulgence, and missed workouts. The season can be downright frightening for those struggling to lose or maintain weight. While gathering with family and friends is one of the best gifts shared during the holidays, most American families, including my own, gather with a healthy dose of high fat, butter infused, sugar coated, carbo-loaded family favorites. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without Grandma’s homemade apple squares. The crust alone calls for 4 sticks of butter! (I am SO not kidding)

It’s hard to say how many pounds the average American gains between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some studies suggest the average weight gain to be as high as 10 pounds while others argue the statistic is closer to a pound. Regardless of the number, most of us would like to enjoy the traditions of the season without the traditional weight gain.

Here are 9 tips to help you enjoy the traditions and treats that make your holiday season special without blowing the progress you’ve made all year.

1. Start your day by pushing play: No matter how many guests you have coming for dinner or how much you have left to do, make time to start your day with exercise. By “pushing play” and doing an exercise video like Turbo Kick®, Hustle™ or PiYo™ you’ll have more energy, decrease your appetite, reduce stress and boost your spirits.

2. Don’t deny yourself: Studies show that those who deny themselves their “favorites” often consume more calories in other food selections and are more likely to “binge” later. Decide in advance what you’ll have and how much you’ll put on your plate, and then stop. Make your calories count. Avoid mindless munching and take time to truly enjoy a small dose of any decadent treat your heart desires.

3. Keep a running total: Estimate your calories as you consume them. Research shows that those who are aware of their calorie consumption eat less and fill up faster. Don’t forget to include those “sneaky” calories consumed when testing and tasting recipes or the handful of nuts you ate while catching up with cousins.

4. Drink water before and after your meal: This rule applies regardless of the day of the year. Water consumption decreases cravings and helps to regulate hunger. Be sure to consume water after your workouts as well.

5. Use a smaller plate: If salad plates are available, use one for your main entree. A smaller surface area will help you become aware of moderate portions of all your favorites.

6. Plan a physical family activity. Start a family tradition of splitting into teams for a “friendly” game of flag football or doing a 5k together. Meet for a morning walk on the beach or take a post-feast stroll through the neighborhood to enjoy the Christmas lights. (Although in my neighborhood, there’s no sense in walking far because ours will be the best for miles! Honestly, I’m not a competitive person…except when it comes to my Christmas lights. Those Griswold’s ain’t got nuthin’ on the Johnson’s!) Anyway, even if it’s 20 below, you can have a dance party inside with the kids. Be silly, play and laugh with your family. Doing physical activity together strengthens family bonds and builds traditions that can last generations.

7. Give it away: If you’re hosting the festivities, add disposable containers to your shopping list so you can send guests home with ALL of your leftovers. Eliminate a week filled with left over pie, stuffing, gravy and goodies by sending family members home with special care packages. Ok, if you must, save yourself that one piece of cold pumpkin pie for breakfast or fixins for ONE of dad’s traditional turkey, mashed potato, and cranberry sauce sandwiches and send the rest packin’.

8. Throw it away: If you find yourself on the receiving end of a half eaten pecan pie, or a neighborly plate of cookies, graciously accept but once home…toss it! Yes, I said, “TOSS IT!” Which would give you greater long-term happiness, more pie or to fit into your skinny jeans?

9. Get back on track: Remember that the occasional splurge is what diet experts call “moderation”. Go ahead…treat yourself! You deserve it! Remember, a splurge should last a meal or a day at the most. By eating poorly for several days, you set yourself up for a season of weight gain. Plan for and enjoy your favorites then get back on track to your journey of healthy living.

Happy holidays! Enjoy the season and all of the goodness it brings

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Aspire to be “Rich”!

To all subscribers to my blog: My blog has moved to a new location http://bit.ly/js8GV
Please join me there and subscribe to my new blog. Thank you.

Gift giving made easy for the fitness enthusiast on your list. For the 1st ever & in limited quantity Powder Blue Productions Gift Card & You only pay $100.00 but receive $150.00 Gift Card. Click here to: http://bit.ly/5YO3hz

By: Chalene Johnson

It feels much better to be “rich” than wealthy. As we were close to wrapping up work on the Turbo Jam® infomercial, I have had a few moments to reflect on the experience. I had experienced richness, wealth and even a few moments of emotional poverty. What I have learned is that those of us who share with others are truly “rich”.Honestly, it was the most challenging thing I’d ever been through. I pride myself on keeping my kids first and everything else second. That was the part that killed me. When you own your own business, you can let things slide if there’s an important baseball game or ballet recital. When you’re working with other entities, that’s not always an option. Despite the challenges, everything went so well thanks to my “family” at Powder Blue and my family-family.

I truly couldn’t be more blessed to have found a spouse who graciously stepped up to the plate, taking over 100% of the family matters and running our business in my brief absence. He mastered the art of pony tail making on a moving target, cooked the meals, chauffeured the kids, chatted with the other Moms at dance class, finished the laundry and the end of the year school reports, and all the while, being my biggest cheerleader. He kept me motivated on the days that I (literally) worked through the night and pumped me back up, when I felt a little deflated. I am richly in love with a great guy.I am also certain that we chose the right company to bring Turbo Jam® to the masses.

I have radar for people with good hearts. When I met John and Carl (the founders of Beachbody®), they immediately set off my “good peeps” alarms! These are my, “my kind”. They’re all about customer service, but they like to take chances and do “real” fitness. They’re hip, they’re cool, they’re nice, they’re funny and get this… they’re fit!!!! I can’t tell you how many unfit fitness executives I met with.

Carl, John and especially Lara Ross, have made sure my program is represented with authenticity and all the kooky-crazy-non-conventional stuff that’s “just me”, flaws and all. Let me just tell you, Beachbody® has more than earned my respect. When I explained that Turbo is all about the music, they agreed. They have put together the biggest budget for music I’ve ever heard of! Turbo Jam® is everything I hoped it would be… and so much more! They took such good care of me. There were always flowers and fresh fruit waiting in my hotel room, thoughtful calls and thank you notes from their staff, when I should have been thanking THEM! I felt so honored. Beachbody.com rocks!

Turbo enthusiasts will be proud!Aside from constantly worrying about missing moments with my kids, the second most challenging part of the project was preparing the workouts and music for the 7 workouts. Those who know me are well aware of my need to be a “control freak” when it comes to music. If I were 15, I’d write to MTV and see if I could be “MADE” into a dance club D.J. I’m a music freak. I like to add perfectly timed sound effects, just the right bass lines, and hard core, motivating re-mixing! As is typical for me, I finished all of this prep work at about 3 a.m. on the 1st day of our 3 day shoot, for the first 7 exercise videos in 3 days. I was still tinkering with the musical sound tracks in my dressing room up until about 5 minutes before they announced “We’re rollin’!” With my heart pounding and my head racing, I would sprint to the set with a CD in hand and yell, “Wait, I have a better version!”I had this great group of incredible Turbo friends behind me, my sister and best friends, like Anna-Rita, Holly and Mindy. Beachbody® created a killer set and hired the best exercise video director in the business. We were filming in an actual movie studio sound stage with real camera men, video editors, a team of make-up artists (which I desperately needed, having lost so much sleep), Kraft services and all the “Hollywood” stuff I had only dreamed of! I finished taping each workout and the director (watching remotely from an editing truck) would announce over the p.a. system, “Okay…let’s move on.” Things went great. Everyone said it was the best “cast” they’ve ever seen. They couldn’t believe we were all friends and how much fun everyone had. The various crews could be seen dancing, kicking and punching while we filmed each section.

Many commented they were blown away with how cool this workout was, how contagious the energy, and motivating the music. I should have been feeling pretty good about things at that moment. I should have been soaking in all of the compliments and kudos. But something felt wrong.As for the wealth vs. rich part, I was about to get a big fat check for something I’d gladly do for free, i.e. sharing Turbo Jam® and motivating people to move! We had just wrapped filming all the videos. Friends and long time business associates were calling to congratulate me. They all opened with, “Aren’t you excited? Don’t you feel great?”

I didn’t know how to answer. The truth was, I felt “weird”. I tried to hide the fact that I just felt “empty”. In fact, I felt shame for not feeling “elated” to have finally realized this huge goal I had been working towards for so many years. I couldn’t put my finger on it. These were perhaps the most important workouts of my life and I felt… well… I felt…. “weird”. I can’t think of a better word. I just didn’t feel like me. It was uncomfortable.

I went back to my normal teaching schedule on Tuesday of the following week. Whew… I began to feel “normal” again. It’s true. I’m not an actress and I guess that’s why it felt so “weird” after filming the videos. Where was my Turbo family? Where were my loyal front row regulars? I was missing the faces, energy and personalities that inspire me to lift them up. I never realized how much my own students, like Leili, Astrid, Claire, Ed, Zane, Scott, Tina, Camilla, etc. etc. have done to inspire me, each time I teach. It brings out the best in me when I see the beautiful face of a woman with 75 pounds to lose or a man who is sure this couldn’t be an intense workout. I do what I do for them. I need the inspiration of these people as much as they need mine. It feels like I’m flying when I’m in a room full of people sweating and smiling all at once. It must be like what a pastor feels when the congregation affirms with an infectious, “Aaaaaaamen!!” on Sunday morning. It’s like heaven on earth for this little fitness preacher. Motivating a group of people makes me feel like a rich woman.

But, they weren’t there. I was missing the tall guy in the front who makes noise all hour, the grimaces, the smiles, and struggles that so fuel me. Instead of feeding off of the amazing energy of the people I know and love, I was trying to get something back from the reflective lens of a camera. I felt like I was teaching to a faceless class.


We finished filming and I was emotionally and physically exhausted. It took about 4 days to fully recover. That week I filmed the outdoor Turbo Jam® class at Universal City Walk. There to support me was a close friend and fellow fitness professional. I shared with him my “weirdness”. As if it were so obvious anyone should be able to figure it out, he said, “That’s because you’re not an actress and last week you had to play the part of an instructor. We [fitness professionals] do what we do, NOT because of the paycheck, but because it is fulfilling to see people’s faces light up when they’re having a great time and the joy people feel when they reach a new goal, or just master a move.”

Not even 5 minutes later, I met a woman who had lost 30 pounds doing Power 90®. She explained she was happy to hear that Turbo Jam® would be coming to Beachbody® and excited to invite me into her home. We spoke for only minutes, but for me it was a connection. She told me of the message boards at Beachbody® and the many people she’d met. Her name was Andrea and she probably has no idea, but she cured me. I was out of my funk. The cloud of “weirdness” had lifted.

Andrea, or at least the person who Andrea represented, was exactly what I needed to lose that “weird” feeling. I finally had a face. That’s all I needed. I just needed a face. All I wanted was someone I could “see” when I looked into the camera and assured, “You can get through this!”

I recently finished another set of Turbo Jam® videos. What a different experience. The viewer will probably not detect a difference, but man did I feel it! This time I could look at the camera and see the many faces I see everyday on the message boards, those who work out with me on Wowy and the special people who have visited me in Southern California since finding Turbo Jam® through the infomercial. This time I could see so many faces and the experience was truly fulfilling.

I am richly blessed to do what I do. It’s no wonder that many instructors, by night, are doctors, lawyers and independently wealthy folks, by day. It’s no wonder that despite his amazing success with TaeBo®, Billy Blanks still teaches a healthy dose of “real” classes at his facility in Sherman Oaks, CA. It’s no wonder that when I ask a room full of people to raise their hands if they “love” their job, the ones that do are in professions that help others, teachers, nurses, firemen, mothers, personal trainers. To do what you love will make you rich, maybe not wealthy, but I’d rather be rich.

[Side note: I always read my mini-articles out loud to Bret when I’m done writing them. I do it because I like to see if the words sound as conversational as I intend them. Boy, this one was tough to get through. It will probably read like a normal account of my month, but for me, this one represents so much. It was a turning point. I couldn’t read two words without doing a lip quivering sob. I don’t know if writing this was therapeutic, or just that rush of emotion when you have a (insert Oprah voice here) “light bulb moment” or perhaps I’m just hormonal (sorry…too much information). All I know is that I’m so happy now; cured of my “weirdness” and rich, rich rich...richer than I thought I could feel! ]

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The truth of the matter is that most people aren’t going to think you’re “the bomb”. At best, most people will find you likeable, tolerable, nice, efficient, a good worker, decent person, helpful neighbor or maybe a friendly acquaintance. Yet when it comes to choosing their all time favorite, it’s probably not you. It ain’t me either! Don’t take it too hard. In fact, we should be contented. Think about it. We only have enough time in our day, week, month, year and life to devote meaningful time to a small group of amazingly important people. Too many people live their lives desperately controlled by their need to have, not just approval, but the adoration of everyone they meet. Some are certain others will reject them if they are “just” who they are. I suppose we’re all guilty of meeting someone so remarkable that we find ourselves in some small way longing to be more like them.

When we held auditions for the cast of Turbo Jam® I asked people who I know and adore audition for the director. I invited people who I would want to spend time with. I think 40 auditioned. There was room for 8. It was difficult to help those I know so well, understand it was “nothing personal" if they were not selected. I assured friends that we may have needed a certain look, a white 40ish female, a muscular black male, tall, but not too tall, a red head with pierced ears or a petite green-haired alien with high kicks. Yet, I found even the most self-assured of my fitness friends questioned their physique, their experience, the outfit they wore, their hairstyle or energy level that day. Quite simply, they weren’t what she (the director) was looking for and there was nothing anyone could have done differently to be selected.

The point is that most of the people who cross our paths in life have their own agendas. They are looking for someone other than us. For them, we are too short, too tall, too quiet or too loud. We are too young or too old, the wrong sex, or the wrong body type. They are looking for someone easier to dominate or someone less intense. They aren’t looking for us. The solution:

Get very good at being
exactly who you are.

This principal applies personally and professionally. When I set out to make a fitness program most people told me I needed to be more drill like, more like Billy Blanks, if my classes were going to have as much appeal as his. I tried for a while, but that didn’t fit me. I like to groove. I watched a hundred fitness videos trying to figure out which traits I could pick up on. I didn’t much look like any of the tall, lean, graceful beauties I had come to know in fitness videos. I’m short, stubby and a bit of a spaz. Each time I heard a critique of my programs or my style, I jerked to attention and wondered what I could do to appeal to that “one” person. I started to drive myself crazy. Somewhere in those early years I came to terms with the notion that I was not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

Have you ever taught a packed class, received praise from dozens, felt the joy and energy in the room, yet the one person who walked out early with a snarled look on her face still haunts you days later? Maybe you weren’t her style of instructor or maybe she had to leave?

You don’t need to be everyone’s cup of tea. If everyone was looking for you, then you wouldn’t have enough time to devote to the people important to you. If it were possible to please everyone, there would be no Pepsi, only Coke.

You need to know who you are not, in order to know who you are. Be you times two! Don’t doubt yourself, or hold back. Those who do are tolerable, nice, average, boring, or nondescript are also not memorable. I’d take the comments of a legion of critics; if it meant I could connect with a modest group of people that would find, in me or my programs, “exactly” what they were looking for. Hooray! We found each other. Think of your favorite people - those who really leave their mark on you. Picture the quilt of characters that forms in your mind, each person wildly different than the next, but each uniquely engaging. As amusing as you find them, you’ve probably introduced them to others who do not see the appeal. Don’t change to be more like anyone other than you; just get better at recognizing the best parts of you.

Boldly be you, the real you, even at the risk that many may not care for “your type”. Be the person you are when you’re around the people that find YOU amusing. Those who are looking for exactly what you have, need to be able to recognize you when they find you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

11 Difference between Being Tall and Being Small

By: Chalene Johnson
To all subscribers to my blog: My blog has moved to a new location http://bit.ly/js8GV
home Please join me there, I’ll be able to share a lot more videos with you and the new blog has more flexibility and features and it is an integrated part of our whole website.
In many of my lectures I refer to people as "Tall" or "Small". Of course, I’m not referring to a person’s height, but rather their stature of character and optimism. Here are 11 examples of how I personally define "Small" and "Tall". 11 Differences Between Being Tall and Being Small. To purchase the lectures DVD please click here: http://bit.ly/Ow54A

1. A Tall person says, "I can see your point. I will work on that." A small person says, "That's your problem. I’m fine the way I am."
2. A Tall person doesn't need drama and works to keep it at bay. A small person doesn't realize how drama dependant they have become.
3. A Tall person gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. A Small person assumes the worst of people.
4. A Tall person works to be their best. A Small person just needs to be right and refuses to change.
5. A Tall person recognizes they grow stronger when they focus on self-improvement. A Small person sees admitting the need for improvement as weakness.
6. A Tall person conducts themselves with integrity, even when it's not convenient. A Small person consistently places their own interest first.
7. A Tall person looks at where they're going and who they can help along the way. A Small person looks at where they could be and blames others for
their circumstances.
8. A Tall person works to surround themselves with people who challenge them to be more. A Small person surrounds themselves with people who
will nod in agreement.
9. A Tall person can see both sides of the story. A Small person shares "their side" of the story with anyone who will listen, in order to feel better about themselves.
10. A Tall person looks to those who are more successful and learns from their experiences. A Small person resents those more successful and works to convince others of their faults.
11. A Tall person is able to see the positive side of even the most doomed situation. A Small person is blinded by only the negative and strains to see the positive.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Change your Brain Change your Life

By: Chalene Johnson
To all subscribers to my blog: My blog has moved to a new location http://bit.ly/js8GV home Please join me there, I’ll be able to share a lot more videos with you and the new blog has more flexibility and features and it is an integrated part of our whole website.

The Key to Long Term Success - Changing the Voice in your Head

What lives in your mind, affects your thinking. Your thinking affects your performance, your mood, your beliefs, and your ability to reach your goals. When we slip, or believe we should have done a better job of something, we beat ourselves up mentally. We say things to ourselves that we would never dream of saying to anyone else in our lives. “What a loser!” “I can’t believe how stupid you are.” “You’ll never be able to do it right.” We become what we think about most. Our own self-deprecating comments become our greatest obstacle.

When you Change your Thinking, you Change your Life.

Have you ever stopped and realized you had made things worse in your mind than they really were? Once the facts came to light, you recognized how you had allowed your imagination to take things off into a deep dark place where monsters live. It’s amazing how effectively we can convince ourselves that one of our co-workers is out to get us, that someone doesn’t like us. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of feeling tired because you tell yourself you’re tired. Certainly we’ve all had moments of self-pity; only to be snapped back to reality with the story of someone struggling with the illness of a child, or a life altering event. When that happens you reevaluate the way in which you were processing your own circumstances; you put yourself back in check and think, “Wow! I guess I really don’t have it that bad. I need to be more thankful.”

As you continue on your life fitness journey, remember that a great deal of your training time should be spent on exercises for your brain. When it comes to fitness, the number one area of the body that is most important and most often overlooked is…the brain!

It takes practice. It takes training. So many people defeat their own best attempts to lose weight or maintain their weight loss by speaking negatively to themselves. I hear from so many people, especially women who tell me they actually repeat negative mantras to themselves like, “I’m fat. I’m ugly. I don’t deserve this. I’m disgusting.”

Regrettably, many women recall hearing their own mothers say these things about themselves. Young girls take their self-esteem cues from their mothers. With a young daughter myself, I worry endlessly that my “line of work” may negatively impact my daughter. Think about it… my job is to help people lose weight and get fit. I can’t help but get excited when people reach their weight loss goals. Bret and I try to be extra careful not to spend too much time talking about people’s weight loss, but we have plenty of slips. I just never want my children to think that they have to be ultra fit or a certain weight to have Mom and Dad’s approval. As a mom, I try never to compare my body, speak negatively of my weight, or others in the presence of my daughter. Intentionally I praise those who look healthy, fit, or who have curves. I compliment women in the celebrity spotlight who have “normal” body types and try to put a negative spin on those who are dangerously thin. “Wow, doesn’t she look sad and weak; poor thing. She might be sick. She needs a healthy diet.” Certainly she’ll be inundated with plenty of negative messages from the media, but I have an obligation to do my part as her most influential role model. I work to improve my own behavior and word choice in her presence, as my opinions will affect the voice she hears in her own head.

Through awareness and practice we can change the way we speak to ourselves. It’s time to change the tone of “that little voice” you hear in your head. How empowering to hear the same positive motivation that you would give a child or someone else for whom you care about. If you care about other people, you need to care about and speak to yourself in a way that is positive, supportive, loving and encouraging. Have a sense of humor!

From this day forward, speak to yourself in a way that you would someone you care about. Change that little voice inside your head.

I want you to know that you’re beautiful. God doesn’t make mistakes. Believe you can do anything you set your mind to. Know that you can do this. Believe that you can be fit. You deserve it. You may learn from your experiences, but you will never fail. You will be, and you are, succeeding.

These are the messages I want you to hear when that little voice speaks to you. Lift yourself up when you’re tired, sad or disappointed in yourself. What would you tell your best friend, your sister, your child? Encourage!

By speaking positively you’ll begin to think better of yourself. You’ll start treating other people better. You’ll begin treating yourself better. Just change the way you feel about yourself by changing that little voice inside your head. Will it happen overnight? Probably not. Like all exercise, it must be repeated and practiced for that part of the body to become strong and fit.

Change your thinking and you’ll change your body. Change your thinking and you’ll change your life.

Please join me at the new location of my blog: http://biy.ly/js8GV

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


By: Chalene Johnson

To all subscribers to my blog: My blog has moved to a new home bit.ly/js8GV. Please join me there, I’ll be able to share a lot more videos with you and the new blog has more flexibility and features and it is an integrated part of our whole website.

The other day, I was thinking about when I went to my first motivational conference. It was a Super Bowl size "Rah, Rah! You Can Do it!" conference held at a sports arena. I dragged my ever-such-a-good-sport husband along with me. It was hosted by motivational speaker extraordinaire Anthony Robbins (the guy with the big white teeth). I admit much of it was coated in thick cheddar cheese, a bit over the top for my tastes, but reflecting on it I realize how that was money well spent. Let me tell you why.

We heard from a "who's who" list of business leaders and motivational speakers. We paid a couple hundred dollars for the day. Afterwards, while reflecting on it, we laughed thinking that of the hours and hours of speakers we heard from, we could really only remember about three things. I recall feeling a tangible click in my brain when I heard these three things. There were only three that hit me hard; but I reinforced those ideas by immediately putting them into practice. Come to think of it, these three things were invaluable. When I sit next to a stranger on a plane, or read a new book, or record Oprah, I'm always hoping to take away one new perspective. Three is actually a lot. Sometimes just a single word can improve your life....more on that in a future blog. Allow me to give you the cliff note version of what I took away from that day.

1. FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION: Donald Trump was there. He was not the pop culture icon he is today, but certainly well known. He told a story about the power to accomplish anything if you believe you can. It was 1991 and he was at the lowest point of his career and facing certain bankruptcy. He recalled walking down 5th Avenue in NYC with former wife Marla Maples. They were in front of Tiffany's when they both noticed a homeless man holding a cup for donations. Marla remarked something to the effect that the man "had nothing." Trump recalled saying to her, "He has $900 million dollars more than me."

2. DO THE YUCKIEST THING ON YOUR TO DO LIST FIRST. It's called "Eating the frog", a term explained to us by one of my favorite authors, Brian Tracy. For those who make a to-do list everyday, if you had a list of 10 things to do and one of them was to "eat a frog", that item would likely remain undone for months. We all have a frog on our list. It's that one thing on your "to-do" list that reaches the top. For whatever reason, we are either intimidated, uncomfortable, nervous, embarrassed or too lazy to tackle it. There it lives and grows. The longer it stays on your list the bigger it grows in your imagination. Everyday we expend energy avoiding it. If it's the 10th thing on your list, you'll make up a 9A, a 9B, and a 9C just to avoid "eating the frog". We hardly enjoy crossing off the 9 other things, knowing number 10 is still out there. We waste time to avoid it. Number 10 on the list festers in the back of your mind like an energy eating tumor. Just when you've blocked it out... boom...headache, stomach drops, your mood takes a dive south, and your self-esteem plummets. Brian Tracy's advice....Wake up each day and make the "frog" the first thing you do. It never takes as long as you think and it really never tastes as bad as you think. I'm getting better at this. My favorite book of his on this subject is aptly titled, "Eat that Frog". If you don't yet write a list everyday, you will after you read this book. Get it.

3. APPLY THE 80/20 RULE TO YOUR WHOLE LIFE: It's simple...20% of what you do accounts for 80% of your positive results. It's true of everything. Think about it. Of all of your friends only 20% of them really want to see you do well and support you, the other 80% are fun to be around, but not all that concerned with your well being, so give 20% of your friends 80% of your "friend time". 20% of what you do in your home directly improves the well being of your family. 20% of what you do at work that no one else could do as well as you, 80% could probably be done by someone who is paid less, allowing you to focus your time on the 20% that get results. Often 80% of the way you spend your day bring you no closer to living the life you want to live, 20% of your activities do. You never wear 80% of the clothes bursting from your closet. What is it you want for your family, your health, your marriage, your career, your life? Figure out which area you want to tackle first. Next make a list of everything you're doing. Finally select the 20% of that list that truly brings you closer to your goal. Focus. Focus on the 20%. Focus on a way of freeing yourself from the other 80% and feel 100% better. Every couple of months step back and re-focus on your 20%.

That's the beauty of life improvement workshops, books, articles, posts, television. It's kind of like cleaning out your closet. You can't just G.I the place once and hope that your sweaters and shoes stay all nice and neat. Pick up a book, do an on-line search for a topic you're looking to improve. If you're spiritual, attend a motivational service. Call a friend who is blessed with words of wisdom and listen this time. Watch Oprah. Listen to Dr. Phil. Tune in for Dr. Laura. Read a blog. Even if you only remember three sentences, the results of implementing positive change will be life improving.

In order to purchase my lecture DVDs please click here: http://www.turbokick.com/store/home.php?cat=81

It is Halloween and Powder Blue Productions has a monster of a sale, all CD/DVDs are 50% off and you can get additional 20% off by either joining FAN club or becoming a VIP. Please click here http://bit.ly/h5Uj1

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Volunteer Work that Matters the Most!

To all subscribers to my blog:My blog has moved to a new home bit.ly/js8GV. Please join me there, I’ll be able to share a lot more videos with you and the new blog has more flexibility and features and it is an integrated part of our whole website.

By: Chalene Johnson
Quite a while ago, at my son’s football practice, I met a Mom with three kids under the age of 5. When I asked how she was able to keep her sanity she replied, “I have TWO nannies and a girl who stay with us on the weekends.” In the presence of two of her children, she proudly added, “I have to work full-time. We have a huge house and I have an awesome job! The pay is just too good to give up!” That’s a quote!
I wanted to demand she hand over her license to mother, on the spot. (I wish the institution was licensed!)
I thought, so your job was too good, but the kids… what were they? Not so hot? Good, but not worth considering moving into a smaller house to be able to spend more time with them? Cute, but not nearly as likely to help her afford that Mercedes E-class?
Don’t get me wrong. I do understand that sometimes both parents have to work. Circumstances and finances are sometimes out of our control. A roof over your family’s heads is priority number one.
That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about people who seem to make everything else more important than being with their own kids. This leads me to my next point.
So I asked, “What would the weekend girl do when you were home on Saturdays and Sundays?”
She gloated, “Oh, I was the committee chair for XYZ charity and most of our events are on the weekends.” What? No really. This is what she said!
That’s when it hit me. I can usually see both sides to ANY story. I try to keep an open mind. Yet, there are a few topics which I hold strong, unwavering beliefs. My friends and close associates know my hot buttons. She had hit a nerve. I stood there quietly on fire. Yet, at that moment, I also had an epiphany. Suddenly, I felt really good about being a loser.
A few years back, I was nominated for an industry award. Part of the process required me to complete many questionnaires about my contributions to the fitness industry and my charitable work.
I didn’t win. I bumped into one of the committee members at a fitness event about a month later. She whispered that she had something to tell me. In a hush tone she explained, “You need to put in more hours of volunteer work to win. Just do a bunch of charity work for a year, and you’ll have it.”
No thanks.
Volunteerism is wonderful. In college I spent almost all my extra hours working for the Grand Rapids Aids Foundation. We delivered meals, did laundry, changed bed pans or sometimes, just sat quietly holding a hand.
Without volunteerism we wouldn’t be able to cure as many cancers, save as many lives, or offer the support to families who need it most. Volunteerism is essential. At some point, everyone should volunteer time to a meaningful cause. Yet, I truly believe the greatest thing a parent of young children can do for their community is to raise outstanding citizens. We could solve most of societies’ problems by being around more often. Donate your extra time to your kids.
You’ll have thirty plus years to devote to your free time when they’re out of the house! For now, learn to say “no” without regret. Learn not to care about what other people think if you politely decline without explanation. Instead, worry about what type of parent your kids will say you were!
When you have extra time, go to the park with your kids. Paint some rocks. Ask your teenager to teach you how to text message. Bake some cupcakes and open a lemonade stand. Build a tree house! Sit down on the couch and tell them stories about when they were babies.
There are many causes worthy of your time. I support the work of America’s volunteers. It’s just not my first priority when dividing my time. Yet, I want to do my part. So, Bret and I donate both personally and as a corporation. That is how I contribute at this stage in my life.
What I won’t donate is my family time. I will pass for now.
So here’s my request to working parents with young children: Devote yourself to your community by spending more time with your children. If your circumstances are such that both
parents have to work full time, then consider staying off volunteerism until they are older. Instead, use those precious extra hours to be at practices, pick her up from school, see
his first steps, act excited when she walks through the door. If you are compelled to volunteer your time, then volunteer to be the carpool Mom, the little league coach, the den leader or the more involved parent. Your kids, and your community, will thank you.

Monday, October 12, 2009

From Jammer to Kicker

To all subscribers to my blog:
My blog has moved to a new home bit.ly/js8GV. Please join me there, I’ll be able to share a lot more videos with you and the new blog has more flexibility and features and it is an integrated part of our whole website.

By: Chalene Johnson

I know you LOVE Turbo Jam®. Maybe you’ve found Turbo Kick® in a gym near you and you’re there every time there’s a class. Not only have you finally found something that works for you, but you have fun doing it. You also realize that you can’t stop telling others about the great workout you get and asking them if they want to borrow your DVDs or take a class with you.

Do you ever think about what it would be like to “teach” a class? Just for a moment, imagine that you’re in front of a class encouraging others to give it everything they’ve got. You’re the one reaching out to the people from the front to the back, letting them know that it’s okay to mess up. You’re the one telling them that smiling burns more calories.

I have to be honest, there’s nothing more important to me than teaching a class every day. Why? Because I can share my passion and LOVE for fitness with others. I “get” to encourage them on their fitness journey. I “get” to offer advice and helpful hints. I “get” to watch as people transform before my very eyes. I see people who are shy and lacking confidence become vibrant and outgoing; all because they’ve taken some classes. It’s a privilege to be surrounded by people who want to live healthier, happier lives. I “get” to be a part of that.

I don’t have to make time to workout, because as an Instructor, my workouts are automatically scheduled into my day. Of course, it helps that I teach classes that I LOVE. When I’m teaching, I push myself to reach new heights, whether it’s energy or enthusiasm, I want to be MAXED-out after every class. I want my Bobybugg® screaming when I’m done.

Would you like to “get” to do all that too? You can take your Turbo Jam® experience to the next level. All the calories burned and confidence gained is secondary to what you can do to help others change their lives. You can become an instructor who has an ever widening circle of influence. You can make that “what if” into a reality. All you have to do is go to an Instructor Training. There’s a whole new world out there. Why not start now?http://bit.ly/Z7Cr2

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Fitness Journey

To all subscribers to my blog:
My blog has moved to a new home bit.ly/js8GV. Please join me there, I’ll be able to share a lot more videos with you and the new blog has more flexibility and features and it is an integrated part of our whole website.

I was a pudgy pre-teen with a love for dance and an obsession with music. Like most girls, I took a little tap, jazz, and ballet. My parents let us experiment. Lacking the grace of my younger sister Jenelle, who excelled at ballet and pointe, I gravitated toward jazz. I really had no clue, wasn’t that good, but man I loved to dance, and I thought the recital costumes were way better.

I guess you could say I grew up on aerobics. As a kid in the late 70’s, my mom was one of the very first Jazzercise instructors in the state of Michigan. My sister Jenelle (3 years my junior) and I would accompany my mom to each of her classes, most of which were in the evening in local church basements or elementary school gymnasiums. The two of us would take turns dancing to the routines in our shiny spandex and changing her records between songs. I remember my mom watching the VHS tapes (although I think they were actually Beta tapes back then) to learn the Jazzercise routine for each song. She loved teaching the classes, and we watched her become strong, lean, and more confident. Growing up, I always remember my mom being on a diet. In fact, I remember every woman in my extended family always being on the latest fad diet. It wasn’t until my mom starting teaching Jazzercise that we saw her become very fit and just enjoy eating healthily. It was a great experience and one that certainly inspired me. Little did I know how profound the impact would be on every aspect of my entire life.

I began teaching aerobics when I was 18 years old. I was still a student, and I had a part-time job at a J.R.’s music store, but it seemed like a great way to stay in shape and hey, I’m not gonna lie...I loved being on stage! There were no courses to teach you how to teach and really the only formats were low or high impact aerobics. There was no spinning, kickboxing, sculpting, Pilates, or funk—at least not that were in popular demand. It was just “impact,” and unless you were a Jazzercise instructor, you made up your own routines, put together your own music, and just kinda went for it.

So that’s what I did. I mixed a tape of my favorite songs and practiced doing little routines to each one. I invited my girlfriends Liz, Katie, Nancy, Meg, Dawn, and Jenni over to the basement to “workout” with me. Those were my practice sessions. They were my guinea pigs. I stood in front, and they just followed along. There was no cueing, and I kind of doubt I was ever on the “beat.” I was, to put it bluntly, terrible, but having a good time.

Nonetheless, I had to wait until my 18th birthday before I could start teaching at a local women’s club. I loved it! I have no doubt I was the least popular instructor on staff, but I had a burning desire to be better. There are certain things you try and from your very first taste you know it’s for you! I just knew that if I had the right coaching and a whole lot of practice, I could be really good someday. That’s how many of you feel today. You know deep inside you have a calling to do something…and maybe it’s something that today you’re not that good at, but with some focus, you know you could master your destiny.

I met my then boyfriend, now husband Bret while were students at Michigan State University. He was from California, so after we graduated, we moved to Southern California. I took the LSAT, worked as a paralegal by day and applied to law school. In the evenings and before work, I spent my time teaching fitness classes. My life’s path was to be an attorney. Yet I never felt passion for law or for anything the way I felt passion for helping others find a way to live a healthier, more balanced life. I needed to follow my passion.

First and foremost, I am a mother. It’s the most important thing I do. My husband Bret and I have two children. But I am also an Entrepreneur, business expert, TV fitness personality, lifestyle coach, motivational speaker, author, clothing designer, artist, and reality TV junkie! I believe my calling is to help others find ways to simplify and improve all areas of their lives, from fitness to relationships. I have been referred to as the “Rachel Ray” of fitness; I am just like the girl next door. I was not born with a fitness model body. I have to really work at it. But when you find workouts you love, exercise doesn’t feel like work. It’s no surprise that fitness has to be fun or people won’t do it! Once you find something you love to do, like Turbo Kick®, you’ll stick with it!

A little bit about my signature program, Turbo! In the early 1990’s, I blended Tae Kwon Do, dance, and aerobics into a group exercise class that combined the sexiness of dance and the hip feel of funk with the power and strength of kickboxing. I’m a total closet DJ; I taught myself to digitally re-master and edit music to match the moves of every pre-choreographed routine. I have a blast adding sound effects and highs and lows to create exciting, electric, and energetic music that will hype up the participants and leave them wanting more! Music is such an important motivator and a huge part of the FUN factor. So that’s how Turbo Kick® was born. Turbo Kick®, PiYo™, Turbo Jam®, Hip Hop Hustle™, and ChaLEAN Extreme® are some of the most popular exercise formats around. Despite the fact that I have sold millions of videos, I still teach 7 days a week. People are often shocked when they hear that. I’m shocked they’re shocked! Why wouldn’t I do what I love? It’s a dream come true to know that millions of people have changed their lives from the ground up using my DVD’s, but nothing fuels my passion like getting in front of a live group and personally involved in someone’s life transformation. So yes, I teach every day, and I plan to continue until I’m 100!

She’s got the look! I’m a girlie-girl! I love fun fashion. I’m easily distracted by anything shiny. I’ve been known to stop my class in the middle of Turbo to find out where someone bought their shoes! Most of us feel like a million bucks when we have a new outfit that fits well, flatters the body, and says something about our personality. That’s why I created Turbo Wear. Part of the fun of working out is feeling great. It’s not easy to “feel great” if you don’t think you “look great.” I created a line of clothing that was flattering, fun, and made women feel great when they worked out! Put on a pair of my lightweight sweat wicking cargos, a cute tee shirt, a hip baseball hat, and some funky knee high socks, and you’re transformed and ready to TurboKick™!

I’m the founder and CEO of Powder Blue Productions, the fitness and lifestyle company that produces Turbo Wear, Turbo Kick®, PiYo™, and Hip Hop Hustle™. My husband Bret and I started the business in 1997, in a spare bedroom of our home, and now it’s a multimillion-dollar company. Both of us share the same priority, our children. We share a partnership in business and in our personal lives. As partners, the commodity we work to build is not wealth, but well-adjusted children with good character. We plan our lives around them. They are first. No job, no email, no amazing opportunity will ever be more important than being there for our children. Period.

When I re-read my own bio, it sounds like I do a lot. I do, but don’t be misled. I don’t do it all, and I have no plans to! I don’t believe you can “do it all” and enjoy a balanced life. I do what is important to me and my family, and everything else comes second. I’m not bothered when some “fan” calls me out for not answering their email or taking on the next project. I do professionally what I can with the time I have left over after my family obligations. Family comes first for me. I believe in balance. I often say, who cares if you’re the perfect weight or the perfect shape if the rest of your life is falling apart. Balance is the key.

I’m most passionate about family, fitness, to-do lists, prioritizing your time, and being good to others. But don’t be surprised to hear me blog about everything from the latest techno-gadget I’ve fallen in love with, this fantabulous bra I found, the life-changing book I’ve just read, the killer recipe I just found, or how to get rid of toxic friends. Let me be your “go-to” girl!

I want to help you live a fuller life by finding a way to do the things that are most important to you and the important people in your life. I want to help you understand how to identify your priorities, get more done, have more time, and stop worrying about what other people might think! I’m your straight-talking girl-friend who will give you a swift kick in the booty when I think you’re off track, and I’ll be the first to give you a high five when you accomplish your goals. I hope that you’ll allow me into your house as a fitness expert, but that you’ll understand my message is about far more than fitness. I look forward to getting to know you!

To join my new blog please click here: bit.ly/js8GV

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lower your Expectations – Kanye West is Consistent

By: Chalene Johnson

I so look forward to the MTV VMA's every year. Each year the show seems to one up the previous year! I just devour every minute of the fashion gone wrong, the over the top performances, the theatrics, the celebrity couples, the rants, the comedy... every hot, messy minute of it. With the exception of the host, who was NOT funny. I still, after two years, have no idea who he is and why he has been given this honor and who, by the way, really needs a stylist - skinny jeans and vest? Really? Not so much. But aside from the host, I thought this year’s show was captivating from start to finish. Pink. I'm speechless. Wow! Beyonce, when my son was 18 months he went through this stage where he would get really, really excited. He didn't know how to express his feelings, so instead, he would just open wide and bite down hard... on me! I wanted to bite Beyonce. Lady GaGa: I had no interest in her until this years VMA's. I thought she was a just a gimmick. Wrong. She is wildly talented, demented and a freak show that you can't take your eyes off. I'm dying to see her live!

But the big news of the night was, of course, Kanye West storming the stage and ripping the microphone away from sweet innocent, doe-eyed, 19 year old Taylor Swift during her attempt to deliver an acceptance speech. I may be the only person in the bloggesphere to say this, but I wasn't stunned or surprised in the least. Why? Because he's done this before. Kanye has had previous award show rants about Gretchen Wilson, Justice na Simian, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. He's a big spoiled bratty baby. His actions were rude, childish, thoughtless and small; but they were completely predictable.

Most people will tell you through their actions what you can and should expect from them in the future. We spend so much time being upset and disappointed when people don't behave or respond as we "wish" they would. I think we can learn a lesson in human predictability from Kanye's outburst.

I have great parents. Still married after 40 years, Marge and Bill didn’t drink or do drugs and raised my sister, brother and me to be good upstanding citizens. They are, however, late to everything. Because of my Dad’s compulsion to fit in one more things; my parents have missed a few things including thanksgiving dinners, flights, and the beginning of almost every movie, to name a few. I love them, but I have learned to expect them to arrive late. One of my dearest friends has never once called to make plans for the two of us. She waits for me to do the planning. I used to take it personally and “keep score”. I adore her, but I needed to accept that she’s simply one of those people most comfortable in the “passenger seat”. My kids are most demanding of my time when I have a cut throat deadline and really need to focus. When my husband has gone beyond 3 hours without food, he’s…well…shall we say…easily agitated.

These things used to frustrate me. You probably have someone in your life that routinely has you in a fit; and once again they have disappointed, frustrated, offended, or inconvenienced you. How often are you disappointed by the same set of circumstances, same friend, same frustrating co-worker or the same relative? Why don’t they just see the light, strand up and fly straight once and for all?

Ironically, the person who disappointed you most recently tried to tell you this was going to happen. Forget what you believe to be right or wrong; if you want to predict how people will behave, just glance at what they’ve done in the past. If your Mom or Dad were selfish or abusive toward you as a child; why would you think he or she would miraculously become a better person now that you’re an adult? If you have a friend who is always late, why would you foolishly believe this time they might be on time? If your sister is a total flake, what would possess you to ask her to help you with something important?

Response: “This time I was really hoping it would be different.”
Reality: People rarely change.

A friend of mine has shared stories with me of her horrific childhood and the pain she endured at the hands of her abusive, alcoholic single mother. Despite the cards dealt to her, my friend is a fantastic mother and a wonderful friend! I’m very attracted to resilient people. This girl defines resilient. She’s conquered her past, ended the cycle of abuse and created the life she deserves. Yet, several times a year, in a moment of weakness she invites this woman (who doesn’t really deserve the title of Mother) back into her life. Seduced by the fantasy of a relationship repaired, undermined by her deep rooted longing for the love and care she was denied; she allows her back in. Though not as trusting as she was when she was a child, there’s still a part of her that believes that this time things will be different and each time…it remains the same.

Your abuser will probably never drop to their knees and deliver the gut wrenching apology you deserve, no matter how many opportunities you create for them. Don’t expect people to change by creating more opportunities. They will only prove that people rarely change. It is what it is. They are who they are. Take it or leave it, but be realistic. The most that you can or should expect from people is exactly what they have done in the past. Should they do more, be more, or rise to the occasion…well then you can be pleasantly surprised. But to be surprised when someone acts or responds exactly as they always have is waste of your precious energy.

Be an optimist, but when it comes to people, a healthy dose of realism is required.

Why be disappointed by things you should expect. Most people will behave tomorrow as they did today. Most people are consistent: consistently reliable, consistently in a heap of drama, consistently negative, consistently taking charge, or just consistently inconsistent. If your best friend remembers your birthday a week late each year, why be disappointed this year? It has nothing to do with her adoration for you. Keeping track of dates is not her strong suit. It’s not personal. Get over it.

Unrealistic expectations are a sure-fire way to stir up stress levels and harbor futile frustration. It is useless. You can expect that your unreliable babysitter will not show up on the one day you need her most. You can expect that the “angry” woman who works the front desk will be just as unhappy today as she was yesterday. Expect that your toddler will use a Sharpie™ to make his mark on your beautiful white couch. Your boss, who hasn’t given you an “atta-boy” in six months, is not planning a parade in your honor. Accepting these things as fact does not mean that you’re rolling over, or condoning them. Rather, accepting them is to acknowledge that you can’t control the actions, thoughts or behaviors of anyone other than YOU! Expect that which is likely, predictable and realistic based on past experience and then relax when it happens.

Don’t invite a house full of kids over and not expect a mess. Don’t throw a party if you’re a clean freak. Don’t rely on someone who has been unreliable. Don’t expect a guy who has cheated on his wife won’t do it with you. Don’t think that the girl, who gossips about everyone, won’t do the same to you. Don’t believe that your dysfunctional parent(s) will suddenly see the errors of their past. Don't let Kanye West get anywhere near a microphone at an award show if you're not ready for his obnoxious rant!

The opening line of the book, 'The Road Less Traveled' by Scott M. Peck begins simply, 'Life is difficult.' Peck’s message isn’t negative. It’s the truth. If we expect that life will be difficult, we will be better equipped to handle its challenges and more likely to tighten our seatbelts and enjoy the excitement of the bumpy ride. Children of healthy marriages expect that relationships take work and that conflict will arise and that loving caring partners compromise, apologize and make-up!

When we accept that difficulties are a part of life, when we consider that most people are predictable, when we expect imperfection and malfunction, when we anticipate having to do the job ourselves and set expectations realistically; we lead a happier more predictable existence. When someone disappoints, frustrates or drives you crazy, just smile and think to yourself, “Well, I expected that.” You have two choices: 1. Accept who they are and set your expectations realistically or 2. Decide that you won’t tolerate the behavior and drive your car in a different direction. Changing the other person is not an option. You only have the power to change you.

So, set your expectations for others where they should be. Don’t take it personally. People do a great job broadcasting their next move; just pay attention to what they’ve done in the past.

For more information and fitness DVDs check http://www.turbokick.com/
to put a face and a voice to the words.. check out my Lecture Series http://tinyurl.com/my-lectures

If you like to own lecture DVDs check this link http://bit.ly/mlbbp

Hang out with me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/chalenejohnson

And Facebook http://www.facebook.com/chalenejohnson

To read more from my newly co-authored book “The Code” follow this link: http://bit.ly/7Ozb7