The Most Common Exercise Excuses You Need Stop Making in 2018

The Most Common Exercise Excuses You Need Stop Making in 2018

Did you come up with some goals for 2018? It’s the 1st of the year, and you have to hold yourself accountable. No excuses! Perhaps you promised yourself that you'd live a healthier lifestyle by eating more healthy, more plant-based or by incorporating more cardio or a weight routine into your workouts?

My goal this year is to have a get back into a cross-training routine. I want to be able to do pull-ups and be a tad bit more healthy. These are all realistic and reachable goals; It is the getting their part that is a challenge.  BUT I have a plan and mini goals along the way to accomplish to achieve my big picture goals.

You see, to reach your goals, you need to stop making excuses. I and you both are guilty of them. And, believe me...I know this all too well. I know for my own goals, excuses aren't going to get me the results I want. Even when I'm the most tired and sore, I have to push myself not to let my excuse overshadow my goals, especially in the winter months when sitting at home watching Netflix with a cozy cup of hot chocolate might seem much more appealing.

I'm sure that you've used one of these excuses to NOT exercise:

  1. I’m tired.
  2. I’m hungry.
  3. I’m full.
  4. It’s too hot out.
  5. It’s too cold out.
  6. It’s raining.
  7. It’s Friday.
  8. It’s Monday.
  9. It’s too expensive.
  10. I need to lose weight before I can exercise.
  11. I don’t know what to do when I get to the gym.
  12. Everyone will laugh at me.
  13. I hate going alone.
  14. I'm too busy.

Most of these might sound a bit silly, but I’ve heard every single one of them. Without a doubt, each of us could add to this list as well.



#12DaysOfChristmas : 12 Days. 12 Brands. 12 Winners!

Happy December 1st and the start of my #12DaysOfChristmas GIVEAWAYS on Instagram!

12 days.

12 brands.

12 giveaways.

12 lucky winners. 

Each day, for the next 12 days, at 8AM PST, I’ll post a daily prize from one of my favorite brands.

To be in the running to win that daily prize, you’ll need to comment on the post, tagging ONE  person you’d like to share the prize with. To be eligible, you must be following @valeriefidan (me!) + the brand of the day [or, all the brands, if you enter every day!]

Entries are unlimited. You can enter once, or one hundred times each day, tagging all of your friends, one by one. But only tag one person per entry.

Some prizes will be open to international entries, while some will be restricted to United States-based entries. This will be clearly specified in each day’s giveaway. FULL competition terms will be posted on the blog tomorrow morning.

We can’t WAIT to play Santa!🎄

See you at 8AM on the 'gram!

5 Ways To Practicing Gratitude on the Daily

Each one of us is in the pursuit of happiness. We aren’t on Earth just to exist. We want a full life. We want to make the most of our days. For many of us, happiness is a mercurial and elusive concept. But it's not. Boost your happiness by practicing gratitude daily.


Studies suggest that writing in a gratitude journal three times a week might actually have a greater impact on our happiness than journaling.

Practicing gratitude is something that I’ve made a personal goal of this past year. Since keeping a gratitude journal, I've noticed that it's helped me be more appreciative, more aware, and more observant. It's helped me feel more grounded and much happier. 

Instead of focusing on the things that I don't have or haven't experienced, keeping a gratitude journal helps me focus on the things that I do have and experiences I've had.

Ready to start a gratitude journal? Here are some of my tips for getting started:

Pick a journal. You could choose one small enough to slip in your purse or a bigger one to keep on your nightstand.

Keep tabs on the happy moments. When something good happens to you, take a moment to write it down. How did it make you feel? By jotting down the good, happy moments, you're making it a habit to focus on the positive instead of dwelling on the negative.

Set an intention. Before you start your day, take a moment to set an intention for the day. It can be something that you are grateful for or an affirmation for the day. Don't know where to start? When I first started journaling I used to take the daily quote from my yogi tea. It helped a lot! As I got the hang of things, my daily affirmation and intentions just started to come naturally. 

Nightly gratitude. Before you go to bed at night, take time to capture your favorite moment of the day. What made you smile today? This will help you to appreciate things in your life. You’ll be amazed how much you were missing when you do. 

Ask yourself this... What are you grateful for today? What is one thing that made you smile today? Let me know in the comments on Instagram! Find me on Instagramtwitter and facebook


I'm going to keep it real with you; I'm anything but graceful and coordinated. I could walk a flat surface, and still manage to trip and fall. Clumsy is my middle name. Dancing? Don't even get me started! I was born with two left feet. While everyone is going right, I'm going left. Even in boxing class, I can't seem to get my combos right, even after two years of practice.

When it comes to barre classes, I'm always slightly nervous to try them out. So, when Pure Barre Pearl District invited myself and the Fit Life PDX crew to come try out their class and check out their studio, I was excited yet nervous!

If you've never taken a barre class, I know it can feel slightly intimidating with not knowing what to expect or what to wear. Sound familiar? Keep reading, girlfriend!


What is Pure Barre exactly? Like most barre classes, it integrates a fat-burning format of interval training with the elongating and shaping techniques of dance conditioning for a full-body workout. Through a series of one-inch movements, you’ll work muscles you never knew existed. With all small movements that focus on toning and tightening your body, you are sure to feel the burn. And the best part of this workout is that it will help you to build lean muscle, making your body a fat burning machine.

What to wear. Yoga or pilates wear is recommended. Something that you'll be comfortable in moving around. There isn’t any high impact jumping around, so a heavy duty sports bra isn’t necessary. During class, participants wear grip socks or studio wraps.

Arrive early. Like with any other new class you take, arrive 10-15 minutes before it begins. Once you fill out a short waiver, the teacher will show you where you can leave your belongings and help you get set up with any equipment You might be using in class. This is typically a set of light weights, a ball, and a resistance band tube. Once you’ve got everything you need, you'll find a spot in the studio where you feel comfortable, facing the front mirror.

The equipment. A pair of lightweights (very light weights - 3-2 lbs) were provided, along with a resistance cord, ball, and mat. I got a little cocky when I saw the light weights. I shouldn’t have.

The moves. I’m not sure what I expected. Well, yes I did. I expected ballet class, and because I had taken numerous BarMethod classes nearly seven years ago, I thought it'd be the same. It’s nothing like ballet class. It's similar but nothing like Bar Method. The entire class centers around small, repetitive movements with little to no weights. That description makes it sound easy, but let me tell you, it isn’t. We started with a "warm up" that felt like the workout. And after 5 minutes I feared I wouldn’t make it through the class. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what it was that made it so challenging, but I imagine the isolated movements, the number of reps and the focus on squeezing individual muscles made it, unlike any workout I’ve ever done. 

Embrace the tremble. Squatting and flexing and ‘tucking’ my way through class made my muscles tremble. By the end, I couldn’t keep my legs from vibrating when trying to straighten them.

There's a Tucking learning curve. There is a learning curve. The famous tucking that Pure Barre is known for takes some time to learn. It took some real focus and positioning trial and error for me to do moves correctly so I could feel my muscles working. 

I won’t pretend I didn’t love it; I did. Leaving class, my muscles felt fatigued. The next day I could feel it in my thighs and my lower butt. You know, the part of the butt that connects to the leg. Who doesn’t want to tighten and tone that area? 

Pure Barre Pearl District1124 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209; (503) 894-8623; Want to try Pure Barre? Join me on ClassPass  and you'll get $30 off your first month on a 5-class or 10-class plan!

Thanks, Pure Barre-Pearl District for hosting! As always, all opinions are my own. 

Finding Quietude: Meditation 101

Finding Quietude Meditation 101

Meditation: Shhhhh… it feels good.

Meditation was something I found endlessly daunting at first, but soon became the quietude and calmness that rocked my world. I can't put my finger on the why or the how, but I will tell you this much, for me... I am just happier and much more collected.

I urge you to give it a shot. The worst thing that can happen is that you gave yourself ten minutes of quiet in an endlessly loud world.  Here are some tips to help you get started:

A post shared by VALERIE FIDAN (@valeriefidan) on

 "This is how I meditate on the left, and this is how I wish I could meditate." @taralaferrara

Get Comfortable

Sit against your headboard while in bed, on a chair, on a couch, in your car, or anywhere with comfortable back support. It’s best not to lie down, but it’s not necessary to sit up completely straight.

Calculate Your Finish Time

Check the time and add ten minutes on top of your start time. This will be your finish time. So, if you begin at 7:30am, your finish time will be 7:40am. Repeat your finish time to yourself once or twice. It’s best not to set an alarm or you may end up shocking yourself out of your meditation. Close your eyes.

Notice Your Breathing

Without speeding up or slowing down your breathing, just notice it. Expect your mind to wander away from noticing your breath. Do not fight this; it’s a natural occurrence.

Embrace Your Thoughts

It’s okay to get lost in your thoughts. And whenever you realize you’re meditating, just passively begin to notice your breathing again. For now, let the act of meditating become synonymous with both noticing your breathing and getting lost in your thoughts. Let all of the thoughts come and go—as you forget and become aware that you are meditating, it’s best not to resist any thoughts, including ideas, songs, conversations, images, feelings, or sensations. Embrace all mental experiences without concern, remorse, or regret.

In a typical meditation, you’ll begin by noticing your breathing for a minute or two, then you’ll get lost in thoughts for a minute or two, then you’ll remember you’re meditating, and slowly return to noticing your breath for a little while, then you’ll get lost again.

Come Out Slowly

Check your timing device periodically, and after ten minutes, slowly open your eyes and bring yourself out.

Use Guidance

If the above tips are still a bit daunting, try using an app Headspace or Calm to help you with a guided meditation. I have found these apps to be very helpful, especially when you are first getting started.