Archive for February, 2009

22
Feb
09

Not Goodbye… Just see you later :)

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(Thank YOU!)

BIG NEWS!  Over the Weekend Jessica and I made a decision… We mutually decided to take a break from posting on SWEATCity! It was a very hard decision because we’ve gotten so much joy out of sharing our lives with you. BUT this is not the end it’s just the beginning… Over the next couple of months Jessica and I are going to put all of our energies into developing our version of THE BEST FITNESS BOOK eevvveeerrrrr! 🙂  YES, You heard it here first  🙂

If you want to stay in touch join our RSS feed in the upper right hand corner of the SWEATCity! homepage (The little Orange Box).  We’ll keep you in the know as to all of our exciting happenings…  🙂  Also, don’t forget right now there’s already an archive of over 100 posts if you ever stuck on anything.  Aaannnddddd if you need to get in touch… Jessica will be launching her own website in the upcoming months and you can also get in touch with me through http://www.laceystonefitness.com .

Throughout SWEATCity! Jessica and I dug deep in every post we wrote.  We were as honest as possible.  We showed our faults and strengths in hopes they would inspire you.  We wanted you to understand that in order to be the best version of yourself there’s no shortcut.  Changing your life is a process that can only begin once you’ve decided you’ll do whatever it takes.

Being your best isn’t about being a size 6 or having 10 million dollars in the bank.  Being your best is about how you feel on the inside.  What makes it hard sometimes is that how you feel on the  inside changes everyday.  WE are all a work in progress… no one has all the answers.  The only thing we have control over is right NOW.  How are you feeling right now?

The answer to happiness is simple.  It’s being ok with no answer.  Being ok with your life right now.  If you want to change your life you can, anyone can… BUT here’s the biggest truth I’m going to share with you.  It takes courage to change.  YOU will be faced with many obstacles… but your biggest obstacle will be yourself.  Your doubts your fears… One of my favorite quotes is this.

“To see what few have seen you must go where few have gone.”

You have all inspired us with your comments and your emails, Thank you.  A special thank you to Rebecca, and Rachel JW you were there from the start and Jessica and I are so happy we got to know through our blog 🙂

If we leave you with anything it’s this;  No one knows the power you have inside you… Don’t let anyone get in the way of your dreams.  If you can dream it, you can make it so.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a higher power.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We were born to make manifest the glory within us.  It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.  And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

 Thank You ALL! 

Lacey  &  Jessica 

 

15
Feb
09

Get YOUR SH@$&! TogethA!

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(Hotties don’t just happen… 🙂 )

Jessica and I went to a Fun Movie last night, “He’s just not that into you…”  It’s good for a laugh, not an Oscar  🙂

The movie focuses on the lives of 4 women – Jennifer Connelly, Scarlet Johansson, Jennifer Aniston, and Ginnifer Goodwin. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ruin the movie for you… Sooo you can keep reading 🙂

Basically the theme of the movie is LOVE and the journey of love for each individual woman.  It got me to thinking about relationships and the journeys of love we all go on in our lives.

There are SO many different steps in the LOVE journey, SO many variables that have to be right in order to make that “connection,” that SPARK.  That’s what we’re all looking for, right? The spark… That feeling inside you where you know you want to continue to spend time with someone.

What’s Love anyway?  What’s that SPARK all about? Is it Chemical?

Here’s what I know about love, relationships… Before you go searching for a soul mate you need to find your own soul, ya know what I mean? I think the NUMBER ONE most attractive feature in a person is when they know who they are and what they want. That’s SEXY!

It doesn’t matter how good-looking you are, or how much money you have in the bank.  If you have a strong sense of self I guarantee the only time you’re alone on a Friday night is if you want to be 🙂

I see and hear people, men and women alike, looking for someone to fill their void.  Fill their emptiness inside.  They are searching for someone to make everything ok.  I’m a victim of it as well.  It doesn’t just happen in the beginning of relationships… It happens all the way through them.  YOU feel bad and you want your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or wife to make it all better.  That is A LOT of responsibility for another human being aaaannddd it’s NOT a turn on in the long run.  You’re partner isn’t a blood relative and they’re not meant to be your Mom or Dad.  Depending on another human being for your happiness is the quickest recipe for disaster.  It happens all the time.

Why is the divorce rate and break-up rate sooo high?  Because relationships are hard work… and a strong sense of direction in knowing who you are is vital in maintaining a strong, healthy, and lasting relationship.  Because times will get tough and if you know what you want you will have solid ground to stand on…  YOU will be able to keep that flame, that love alive.  What extinguishes the flame; the SPARK is when you think the fire will go on forever.  When you stop putting in the work, adding the excitement.  We gotta keep evolving as people, we gotta keep learning, keep dreaming… Once you’re in a relationship it’s not time to sit back and relax… It’s time to create new adventures.  If  you want your relationship to be new and exciting, you gotta do new and exciting stuff, it’s as simple as that!

The SPARK dies because people get comfortable in their boring patterns.  Travel, go to parties, go to the opera, keep the love ALIVE.  Love is like a Fire if you want to keep it burning you gotta keep putting wood on it.  Keep it FRESH, baby!

Here’s my life experience in a nutshell 🙂  I wanted a HOT, sexy, career driven women that knew what she wanted.  I knew if I was going to be able to handle someone like that… I had to get my shit together.  If you want a HIGH END Man or Woman… YOU best figure out how to bring your A-GAME on a regular… ookkkkkk?!

I see this all the time… People land a HOT Date… But a date, is a date, is a date.  If you wanna keep that hottie you gotta be standing on solid ground with lots of balls in the air to offer.  If you don’t have lots of wood to put on that fire… This flame is going to go out, it’s inescapable. 

Lots of  love analogies today… BUT I want you to find it.  Jessica is the love of my life.  She is the woman of my dreams… And I truly believe we found each other because I was on the path of my own dreams.  I was searching for my own soul and so was she.  WE met in the middle and we believe in the same things.  WE believe in dreams, in never being satisfied with the status quo, we both believe in love… And we know that LOVE doesn’t just happen… It’s not a Hollywood Happy Ending.  

Love is something we can all have.  We must first find love for ourselves and once we find that special someone both must agree to keep the flame alive.

 

 

 

 

11
Feb
09

Running TOWARDS life.

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Lacey and I were at dinner with a friend last night, someone that we are having the great pleasure to get to know better.  I found myself talking about how I have signed up to run my first ever full-marathon in San Diego at the end of May.  I’ve run half’s before but never the 26.2 mile distance  🙂

Every single person in my life in NYC now, knows me as a very physically fit and healthy individual, in fact many of my friends (and indeed my lovely fiancée!) I met at the gym 🙂  Nobody is surprised when I say that I’m racing, nobody except myself.  It wasn’t until I heard myself explaining at dinner why exactly I have become so excited about the prospect of running it, and running it well that I fully understood it myself.

It was about five years ago that I decided I should probably get a new life, because the one I was living didn’t feel worth the cigarette smoke filled air I was breathing.  About three days later I stepped into Central Park wearing the single pair of running shoes that I owned and which I had barely worn in years.  Central Park has a number of different running loops, and I figured that I’d start out easy and just run the 1.2miles around the reservoir.  I think I made it about 100 meters (if that) before I was doubled over wheezing and had to repeat a long and arduous walk-run which took rather longer than expected.  I literally threw up from the strain.  

I was genuinely surprised because I’d been an active kid, but looking back, the years of not eating or eating crap, smoking and general physical abuse that I’d put my body through had obviously taken its toll.  I do not joke when I say that there were several 70+ year-old runners in that park who could easily out run my young self.  Humiliating!

Initially I ran because I had gained weight and was having a very hard time with that fact, and with my reflection in the mirror.  Then I ran because I couldn’t believe that people older than my grandparents were in better shape than me.  Then because it gave me a sense of calm at a time when my life was anything but.  I ran and I wheezed and I went early, or late or whenever I though no one would notice how bad I was.  And I hated parts of running for about 6-9 months! 

But gradually I could feel differences.  I could run the 1.2mile loop without stopping, then the 1.5 loop.  The other runners started to smile at me like I was one of them.   My body started to change, but much more surprisingly so did my attitude towards it; I didn’t WANT to smoke the cigarettes I used to live on because I knew it would be so much harder to run the next day.  I DID want to eat real food so that I could feel stronger when I ran, and I could be OK with that food because I knew I was revving my metabolism up to burn the calories off efficiently.

And eventually it genuinely became fun for me to run.  Not always before I started, and usually not for that first mile (which is still tough for me to this day) but after that… and when I was done I felt and feel AMAZING!  It turns out that I’m actually a pretty good runner.  Who knew?  Certainly not me 🙂

My point is that I used to look at people on the treadmills at the gym, or running past me as I walked to work in the morning and think “There is no way I could ever run that fast or for that long”.  I would think that they had OBVIOUSLY been fit their whole lives and that if I tried running on the treadmill next to them they would be laughing at me huffing and puffing and think that I was pathetic. 

NONE of that is necessarily true and much of it was just an excuse for me not to try it, to not put myself out of my comfort zone.  But the fact is that with fitness (As with most things in life) we only get better at something if we push ourselves just a little bit further than what we believe ourselves to be capable of.  I didn’t start out to run a marathon.  I just focused on wanting to run for 1.2miles without stopping. And the sense of accomplishment on the day that I first did that is still with me today.  It still makes me smile 🙂

That’s why I want to run the marathon, for the tangible representation of a journey that has been my new life for long enough that it is now just MY LIFE.  Because it shows me just how far my health and fitness has evolved, gradually, over years and for all that the journey had given me and continues to give me; friends, self-esteem, physical and emotional health, focus, ambitions and an amazing woman to share all of that with.  Because it took time, and because it is meant to take time, and because the journey is never over but it can get a whole lot more fun!! 🙂

08
Feb
09

Did Peter Pan have it right?

babylaceydisney (That’s Little Lacey at DisneyLand. I’m trying to find Mickey… I really wanted his autograph 🙂 )

This afternoon Jessica and I were walking our dog and came across a playground.  I asked her if we could stop and look at the kids playing on the swings 🙂   They were havin a JOLLY old time, sooo jolly it got me thinking…

 When I first moved to New York I wasn’t sure what I was going to be when I grew-up  🙂   I worked in television but it just didn’t feel right, ya know?  I wanted to have a career that I was passionate about, something I LOVED to do.  I saw the Top Executives at CBS Sports on a regular, they looked MISERABLE… I thought to myself –  “That’s what I’m working towards… miserableness?” YUCK.  I seriously considered quitting and getting the hell outta dodge on several occasions… But something was keeping me there?

I did some major soul searching during that time.  I came to the realization that I was pretty depressed in my life.  The thought of leaving CBS Sports, a career that was supposedly “glamorous,” forced me to ask myself some Hard-Core questions…

How did you get this way? Why did you get this way? Why aren’t you happy?

I remember something really POWERFUL that changed my life that year.  During that time of MISERABLENESS I went home for Christmas.  One evening I found myself upstairs in the family den looking through childhood photo albums. I studied myself in those albums… I was sooo happy doing my own thing back then. I asked the Little Lacey pictures why are you sooo happy…? What happened to me?  What happened to us?

And I got the answer from my little self.  She looked at me and said – “You stopped doing what you love, you tried to fit in, you stopped having fun, you grew up.”

When I went back to New York I immediately quit my job at CBS Sports and decided to go full-time as a Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor at Equinox.  I was tired of doing what I was suppose to do and I wanted to do what my heart and my little self told me I must do.

I remember several years later looking in the mirror and seeing Little Lacey in my adult eyes… I thanked her for coming back and I promised her that I would never try to grow-up again…  🙂

 

 

 

 

04
Feb
09

What’s the problem?

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Why are we as women often not willing to express how we’re really feeling until the situation has got so bad that we can’t contain ourselves anymore, until it comes pouring out in tears, or anger, or weird passive aggressive BS?

A few days ago, with memories of our particular fight still fresh (but resolved 🙂 ) Lacey and I were eating dinner at a great Japanese restaurant when a couple next to us started to fight.  It’s NYC, the tables are very close together and you can’t help but notice it, as discreet as you try to be.  Seemingly out of nowhere the woman started laying into her husband, very angrily, with a lot of emotion and tears.  I say “seemingly out of nowhere” because it became apparent that she had to of been keeping these feelings bottled up inside her for a long time.  It was one long stream of consciousness.  She didn’t pause for breath. She gave him absolutely no opportunity to respond or to participate in the ‘discussion’.  He, for his part, seemed completely blindsided at first, tried to respond a couple of times. When that had no effect he basically checked out of the conversation and sat there looking a little like Homer Simpson does when Marge is ‘nagging’ him, only hearing “Blah, blah blah” not absorbing anything she says and merely waiting for the noise to stop.

Now I use this example not to apportion blame, or to take sides. I firmly believe that the only two people who truly know what is going in a relationship are those two people themselves.  My point is that however justified this woman’s anger and upset was, the way she had let it build up and then come pouring out was completely unproductive and inherently upsetting and unsatisfying to them BOTH.  I know; I’ve been very guilty of it myself.  I’ve let unexpressed anger and resentment build to a point where I lose my love and affection for the person, to the point where they only hear about it as I’m breaking up the relationship. In my mind it was “beyond saving” but in truth I hadn’t even given them a real chance to rectify the situation.  Sometimes it can be the other person who wants to leave because they can no longer bear the sniping, the passive aggressive, “tit-for-tat” behavior and dishonesty that the long-term inability to communicate your feelings to your partner often results in.

Here’s the thing; arguing with each other for the sake of it, or because you’ve had a bad day is missing the point. If we need to vent we need to ‘phone a friend’ and vent, not head home and pick a fight with our partner about something completely unrelated.

But expressing our genuine hurt, feelings of inattention, of being disrespected, or an outright difference of opinion is VERY IMPORTANT.  I would go so far as to say that it’s essential 🙂

Your feelings are valid, my feelings are valid, but here’s the kicker…. So are theirs!  If we hope to gain any clarity, any real resolution, any true chance to move forward in life together and not apart then we have to see it as a process.  There’s a reason why the other person is behaving the way they do.  Often when Lacey and I talk things out we discover that the upset has resulted from us having different opinions, different perceptions of what something is OR isn’t.

So it’s all very well and good for me (and I’m using hypothetical examples here people!! 🙂 ) to say that I’m feeling insecure, or that I’m angry because I feel disrespected, but unless I can go further and say what WOULD help me to feel differently, and actually to think about how much of that is Lacey’s responsibility and how much is MINE.  I also need to hear what Lacey’s understanding of what security in a relationship feels like.  It may be very very DIFFERENT!  She may be doing absolutely everything that her life experience tells her a relationship is about.  So her understandable response to me being inexplicably angry about that could be frustration and a feeling on HER PART that I don’t listen to HER or that I don’t pay attention to all the GREAT stuff that she does and the way she makes me feel.

Unless we’re able to talk THAT out we don’t move forward and we just run around in ever smaller and more frustrating circles until someone bails out. 

So we talk it out.  And then we talk it out some more.  And short term it can kind of suck because it means that we BOTH have to take some responsibility for our actions and inactions.  There’s no blaming the other person wholeheartedly for everything that is wrong in our life.  Unless your partner is emotionally/physically/sexually abusive… in which case YOU GET THE HELL AWAY FROM THEM STAT! Then there is no right and wrong.  If they regularly behave disrespectfully towards us, then unfortunately WE have allowed an environment to be created where that is OK. It’s not.  But by choosing to stay we are communicating that it is acceptable on some level. We deserve more than allowing ourselves to be treated that way.  It’s your life, so TAKE IT BACK.

I know what is non-negotiable for ME, what I as a woman need and want and DESERVE from my relationship.  And I accept that that means I have to treat Lacey as I would wish to be treated myself, because to me that is the single most effective way to judge if something is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.  If I lost my temper because I was tired ad sick, would I want to be forgiven?  Yes.  Would I be OK with my partner dogging around on me? HELL NO, so you better believe I know that means I can’t and won’t do that to her.

Love and lust and fun are all wonderful and amazing and kind of essential to a good relationship, but I don’t think that any of those things are enough to make a relationship last happily without COMMUNICATION.  We’re all just people trying to do the best we can, and that includes them, not just us.  So we have to TALK to them and just as importantly if not MORE so, we need to genuinely LISTEN.

So why is it so hard?  What mind shift do we need to take within ourselves to make honest, respectful expression of our feelings something that we take pride in as women and men, instead of something to fear??

01
Feb
09

The FIGHT.

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Love & Respect…

Jessica and I got into a full-blown FIGHT today.  Yes, Jessica and Lacey, the couple that has it all together got into a full blown yelling match. I mean… We like to call them “heated debates” but for all intents and purposes it was a fight  🙂

 I’m a little embarrassed to be sharing the details of ‘The Battle at Chelsea’ BUT if there’s something you can gain from our unfortunate squabble it’s all worth it to us at SWEATCity!  BRING IT 🙂

What’s a fight anyway?  I think a fight can be a mix of these 3 relationship FireBALLS!

  1. CLASH of egos
  2. Searching for the balance of power
  3. Finding the way to speak the unspoken truth of what you’re feeling

 For Jessica and I today it was a CLASH of EGOS!  I’m big into horoscope signs… You know Cancer, Aquarius, Scorpio…?  I think it gives you a benchmark to understanding your partner at their most raw state.  I know what my negative tendencies are and I do everything in my power to curb them.  Let me explain…

Jessica is a Taurus, according to her horoscope she’s as stubborn as they come.  There’s no budging Jessica when she’s made up her mind… No sirrreeee. Being Stubborn is part of what a Taurus is all about.  Jessica is conscious of this personality flaw and takes it into account in all her interactions.  On a very real level she’s also English, very reserved…  She does not like yelling and she rarely if ever raises her tone.  I think she’s yelled at me 3 times over the course of our entire relationship. 

I, LACEY, am an Aries 🙂  According to my horoscope I have an explosive temper and I always like to have things my way…  This is also a reality I’m very conscious of in all the decisions I make and the interactions I have.  I am not reserved. I like it loud. In fact, I enjoy a good screaming match on occasion 🙂

 Can you see how these two personality types might get a little messy? 🙂

Sooo here’s the situation.  For the past five days The Clark-Stone Household has been SICK.  I had a stomach Virus from Wednesday to Fridayish and Jessica inherited it from me late Friday into Today.  Those are the facts… I was feeling a little fragile and so was she.  Not the greatest ground to start on.

I woke-up on this lovely Sunday morning “kinda” ready to teach My Two HOUR Extravaganza workout.  Kinda ready because I hadn’t worked out since last Wednesday.  I really wanted Jessica to be there because I was feeling fragile and a little out of sorts. You can see my perspective, right?  🙂

As I was getting ready I could feel a little uneasiness in the apartment… I knew what was coming.  Jessica in her lovely English accent said – “Would you be upset if I didn’t come to class this morning?”

OH PEOPLE… Lord forgive me for I have sinned!  The Aries came out….  It wasn’t so much that I was mad at her.  It was that I was mad that I had painted this lovely picture of her helping me get through the next two hours and frankly in that moment I didn’t know how I was going to get through it.  It was a mix of my temper, my ego, EVERYTHING… I don’t even know what I said?

OUT of No where… ‘The Battle of Chelsea’ had begun! 

Before I knew it the reserved English Rose began yelling at me in frequencies I could barely understand… Dogs on the streets were howling.  Jessica’s tone shocked me back into reality…  Frankly I was a little scared.  OMG.  For the woman that never raises her voice… This was… this was… WOW.

In that moment of her yelling I became very upset.  Not upset that she was yelling at me, I was upset at the entire scenario.  Upset at my childishness, at my stupid loss of temper, at my stubbornness…  

You know what makes relationships work?  How you stay together?  Of course it’s about love, but another big part of the puzzle is respect.  In that moment when Jessica raised her voice and did something so out of character for her… I was silenced.  I had hurt her, I know her.  She was doing something that she hates to do… Just so I could hear her.  I wasn’t listening.  It wasn’t about me and my class… It was about her being sick.  She physically couldn’t do both classes.  If I hadn’t been such a jerk… she said she would’ve come to the second hour but now it was an impossibility.  She didn’t need to say it because I knew. 

I let my pain, DUMB ego, and Aries bullheadedness get in the way. Fighting can be good because if you love someone you can learn soo much about yourself.  You just need to back track and look in the mirror.  After a deep breath and a look back, this fight was very one sided… It was very much about my BS and I take full responsibility.  I could point fingers and say stupid stuff about Jessica… but the fact is that I love her and I don’t want to see her yelling.  She is not a yeller, as much as I enjoy a good verbal altercation… Jessica does not and I RESPECT that. 

When I came back from that 2 hour workout there were only three words I could think of to say to her…  The words might not be strong enough… But the memories of today will stay with me forever.  I will do my best to listen to her and respect her in the future.

I’m sorry Jessica.

 

 

 

 




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