About Me

About Me

Linda Bartosik...
First steps of a beginning writer. Follow me on my journey. Read More...

My newest book now available on Amazon!

My newest book now available on Amazon!

Many treasures lie under the sea, but will Alistar find the one that will make ‘The Perfect Birthday Present’ for his mom? Join this adventurous little sea star and his best buddy Barnaby (a blob fish) as they travel through the beautiful deep blue sea, meeting many other creatures of the deep. When the two friends finally stumble upon the perfect present, Alistar needs to make a difficult decision, which only he can make. When he does, the little sea star learns that there are times when it is not the present that is important, but the thought behind it.

My First Cover! Now available on Amazon – Kindle & Hardcover

My First Cover! Now available on Amazon – Kindle & Hardcover

For Linda Crowley, the first day of the year had always been set aside to work on new, positive beginnings and 1970 was no different. Her husband and children were by all accounts healthy and no one even considered the terrible thought that tragedy would strike before the day was over, and life as she had known it was gone.

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My first illustrating project available on Amazon

My first illustrating project available on Amazon

Haley doesn't have a normal pet she has a goat, Ralph. He thinks he's having fun but he's causing untold trouble for Haley. Trouble seems to follow Ralph everywhere he goes only he doesn't know it. Haley's father says Ralph has to be sold!

Illness & Injury Smarts

Many times my inspiration for this blog comes from my members. They may say something or tell me a story, and I think, hmm..there’s a message there. Today was no different.

A member came in while I was working out who had been out for a long time with surgery and after that a bacterial infection that landed her in the hospital for 5 days. While she was telling me about her ordeal, she said something I had not thought of. She said, “If I had not been coming to Koko regularly for all these years, I would not have made it through this illness. It was only because my body was strong and in good shape that I was able to kick the infection and recover rather quickly.”

Wow, I thought to myself, after she had gone on to do her workout, I never realized that my 16 years of working out consistently wasn’t about weight loss or a better body at all. (Those are just bonuses.) It really was 16 years of banking strong muscles and healthy cells to be able to battle such health issues that could hit me as I get older. I feel better just knowing that if I suffer a fall, a gall bladder attack, or a horrible infection that my body is strong enough to take on the fight.

Day by day, pound lifted by pound lifted, yoga stretch by yoga stretch – it’s all deposits in your health bank for whatever the future holds. Every class you take, every weight training you do, every effort to change your diet – it’s all time and money well-spent to grow your healthy body bank account. Keep making those deposits – day by day, week by week, and year by year. It’s the most valuable retirement account you will have, because if you don’t take care of your body where will you live in retirement?

And so, as another day goes by, it’s what you do for your body every single day that writes the tapestry of your future.

Results.

Everyone starts an exercise program for one reason: they want results.

I remember my first years of retirement where one of my focuses was to get myself into a regular exercise program. I really struggled with consistency. When something else would grab my attention, I dropped that planned session or class quickly. It is only now, after 4 years of consistent weekly strength training, I can look back on those days and understand why I had such a problem with consistency. In my mind exercise didn’t have it’s proper place. I looked at it as some extra-curricular activity that was more fun than serious, therefore when serious stuff stole my attention, exercise was the first thing to go. Yet I still wanted results.

It took working in the fitness business to help me see that I could only get those results through consistency. And to be consistent, strength training had to take a new place on my priority list. I came to realize that all those other serious things that took it’s place wouldn’t even matter if I was no longer able to do them. In our 40’s and 50’s we still have a lot of energy to give to our life. We think that will last forever. It won’t. Running, biking, yoga, and all the outdoor activities we enjoy are great – but they do not build muscle. Muscle is our fountain of youth and must be attended to consistently, 3 times a week, for the rest of our lives.

I get people all the time saying I can’t come to the gym because my job is overwhelming, my daughter is getting married, etc. and the best one? Because it’s summer. Since when does muscle building not have to happen in a particular season?

If you find yourself in the same situation I was in years ago, here is a simple solution to help you develop consistency. Print out a calendar. Schedule your workouts 3 times a week like appointments. On the top of the calendar write “CONSISTENCY = RESULTS” and hang it someplace you can see it every morning – in your closet or on the bathroom mirror. Give yourself a big fat star for every workout appointment you keep or reschedule. I’m serious. There is nothing more motivating than seeing all those stars. 12 stars for the month and guess what? You will start seeing those results. And those results will be the reason the you print out a new calendar for the next month, and the next month, and guess what now? You have achieved consistency and your results are getting better every month.

And so, as another day goes by, learn to look at those planned exercise sessions as appointments you keep with yourself. Be mindful that building muscle must be number one in your life because without it, all those other things keeping you from your strength training will not matter when you can no longer do them.

Change. Is. Hard.

Change is hard. I always adapt well to it, but whenever I’m asked to change the way I’ve been doing things for so long, there’s always a bump or two in the road. When you have been operating a certain way for so long, your processes are second nature. When facing change you are being asked to upend things ingrained in your nature. You don’t like it. You act like a whiny child and do a lot of kicking and screaming in the beginning.

Embarking on a new fitness program is certainly a change in your very nature. The change has to first take place in your mind. This can’t happen without a few bumps in the road. And bumps in the road DO NOT mean you are not being successful in adopting your new healthy lifestyle. It simply means you are learning and growing. None of us is perfect. We are not meant to be. If we were, there would be no need or room for improvement. I sometimes think we are made this way for a purpose. Change and improvement can be an exciting thing. It can be positive and invigorating. It can light a fire in your belly in a spot where there was just complacency. The process of change is even better than reaching your goal. It makes you feel alive again. It gives you a renewed sense of purpose.

If you are one of my 42 Day Detoxers and you are in your first week, you are changing the way you cook, eat and shop. At the same time you are changing your schedule – trying to fit those 3 exercise sessions in somewhere. You are resisting cravings. Things that were second nature to you are being upended. By week 2 or 3 you might have a few missteps. You might miss a workout due to a sick child. You might snag a piece of cake at an office birthday party. Yes, we both know you shouldn’t, but the best way to deal with these bumps in the road is to put them behind you. Tomorrow is a new day. Each day you get a new chance to do better than you did the day before.

And so, as another day goes by, don’t let the process of change derail you. Use it to help you dig in, focus on your goal, and do the job set before you. You are strong, you are powerful and you can do this.

PS – Those of you who are facing different life changes outside of fitness, apply this same line of thinking. Let change wake you up and invigorate you as you wrangle with whatever you’re going through.

Isn’t that the truth!

Smart Training

Here at Koko we workout on a Smartrainer – but today my workout was about BEING a smart trainer. The workout was a lot of arms and I knew the total weight was going to be about half of what I normally do. Arm exercises run at 15 lbs forever, and it took me six years to get to the 17.5 lbs I was doing today. It made me think of where I started out when I didn’t know anything about weight lifting and just had to trust the process and follow the program, no matter if I thought I could lift heavier weights or not.

When I work with people new to weights, I always hear “Why is it so light? I know I could do more.” I get it. I have been where they are, but I learned early on that you don’t buck the professionals. People new to weight lifting don’t understand it’s not about how heavy the weight is. It’s about the consistency over time that you do it. You cannot rush muscle building. This was the was the quote on the beginning of my workout today that got me thinking down this road:

“Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a great physique. But consistently putting a couple of bricks, i.e. strength sessions, in the foundation will yield visible results. Stick with it!” – Karen Smyers, World-Class Professional Triathlete (and Koko User).

I instantly pictured a huge building being built by adding a few bricks a day – brick by brick – a few a day, until the magnificent completion of something that didn’t exist. Our bodies gain strength the same way the building does – a few pounds lifted, a couple of times a week, and in time we have magnificent muscles where none existed maybe a year or two ago.

And so, as another day goes by, step by step, bit by bit, day by day…that’s how strong things are built.

Some muscles that were definitely not there 6 years ago!

30 Seconds to Decide

30 seconds. That’s it. 30 seconds to decide and make a new plan.

I never, ever let anything get in the way of my workouts. They happen on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. When something like an appointment, or travel, or a holiday interrupts them, I always reschedule – never skip. That’s easy to plan for. It’s the unexpected “crop ups” that could derail me.

This morning on my way to my workout I was approaching the rotary on 149 and realized I forgot something important for my work today. The rotary was coming up and I had 30 seconds to decide to go around it and go back home or continue on to the gym. In that 30 seconds I pictured my workout not happening, my day starting late, my food all messed up, and on and on… Once on the rotary I headed straight to the gym. I reasoned that the material I left home could be worked with tomorrow – even though it won’t be as quiet of a day as I’ll have today, I’ll make it work.

After my workout I was glad I made that choice. Clocking in and sipping my protein drink felt so much better than if I had hurried home, hurried back and rushed to start work. Both my body and my mind had a calm start to the day, making the quality of my work today so much better.

And so, as another day goes by, I realize it’s the small choices that add up to the big decisions that guide us on our path.

Green Food

To me, green food signifies healthy food – I always picture lettuce or broccoli. It being March, I thought I would share a green food recipe. Kale Chicken Soup. I love homemade chicken soup, but when you add kale and make it extra healthy it’s a win.

My hubby made it for me! Yum!
Here’s the recipe…enjoy!

And so, as another March goes by, settle in this St. Patty’s Day weekend, warm up with some comfort food, and think spring!

42 Days…That First Step

Today a new group is starting the Koko 42 Day Detox program. I’d like to take a moment and welcome them to the program and also commend them for taking that first step. The first step is the most important one. If you don’t venture out there by making an appointment and keeping it, your journey never starts. Good for those of you that walked in my door.

The first step in a 6 week exercise/nutrition program can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. It’s exciting to feel like you made an effort and set a process in motion. It’s daunting when you realize you committed yourself to making a huge life change in 6 weeks. 6 weeks is the length of time it takes to change old habits and adopt new ones. 6 weeks is only the training program. After the 6 weeks you will live and eat differently for the rest of your life.

I know because I did it. I have been where you are. Five years ago when I woke up weighing a weight I have never weighed in my life, I too, experienced that moment of clarity when “something must be done.” I committed to an exercise and food program and stuck with it. Today exercise and food are not even a question for me. And that is your goal.

In addition to preparing all your food for the week on the weekend, put your exercise schedule on your calendar and treat those sessions like non-negotiable appointments. Oh, and never, and I mean never, have conversations with yourself about possibly skipping the day’s session. Never. You see it on the calendar, you just go at that appointed time. If, and only if, something unavoidable interferres, you rearrange and reschedule. Never cancel. Once your body and mind get in the rhythm of exercise it will be as natural as showering and brushing your teeth. (You don’t cancel those do you? And they only take 30 minutes, too.)

One more tip – take it from one who has been there – you go when you’re tired. When you are dead tired at 5 pm you don’t skip your exercise appointment and head for the couch. Your body will respond by perking up and feeling wonderful, giving you energy for an evening with your family. All this exercise and food prep may be a little chaotic at first, and that’s okay. Be gentle and patient with yourself. Tomorrow is always a new day.

And so, as another day goes by, a very important day, let’s check that calendar one more time tonight, stack the food in the fridge, and have an amazing first week. You CAN do this. Let’s go!!

You Are Not Alone

We all have things that derail us…..

As I worked out yesterday morning I thought how we are ALL in this healthy eating and exercising thing together.

Each of us lives in our own life cell, but we all have things that cause us to derail. There are the “big” life changing events that derail us, however those are not the times we need to be the most aware of our habits because we are in survival mode.  It’s the typical daily life situations that we need to walk through with a different lens and make the most of.

We are not alone. Those derailments like snowstorms keeping you cooped up and eating to many carbs, the meeting you spent days preparing for and losing sleep over, or the kids getting sick for yet another time this cold season. Those are the daily derailments we can work through together to get you back on track.

First, be gentle on yourself. Self-talk can be a motivator or a motivation killer. What you say to yourself stays in your mind and guess what?? Your self talk dictates what your body does. If you tell yourself tomorrow is a new start, your body reacts. You wake up feeling better and ready to go.

Second, reach out! The more you connect with like minded people sharing the same goal the more successful you will be.

I have a group text with my daughters that is only for healthy living motivation. It’s a safe place to share some of the “derailments” or successes for the week. Just when you think you have derailed, a positive post or success may spark a new energy and help get you back on track.

And so, as another day goes by, remember, change your thoughts, change your life!

Hello Again!

Please like my new page in the right sidebar and visit often!

It’s been a long time, blog friends! I have been away and very busy reinventing my new career. Today I would like to introduce you to it and let you know where I can be found. As the photo says, I am the manager of Koko FitClub in Centerville, here on the Cape. You know I’ve been with Koko for 6 years and have loved every minute of my work with them. Koko took a retired kindergarten teacher that was wandering around without a passion and reinvented her love for teaching into fitness coaching. Part of my new role is to use social media to share fitness motivation and healthy living with not only my Koko clients, but with you, my long time readers, too. So, today I would like to invite you to like my Koko Linda page where you will be able to once again see what I am up to. ☺️

I will be writing about and searching for topics to help change and better the lives of all my followers. And so, as another day goes by, I have written and will be writing at Koko Linda. Come visit!

January 1, 2018 – Here We Sit

I, like you, spent today taking a moment to look back on the year that was. For me, the greatest joy of 2017 was the birth of my first grandchild. It has been a year of getting to know this new human being that was never before, but now, is. Watching him develop his own personality these last 8 months has been a joy. All of you Grammies and Grandpies out there know exactly what I am talking about. Looking forward to his first birthday and his first steps is a wonderful part of 2018. 2018 also holds the wedding of our second daughter on 8-8-18. I am enjoying the year of preparation for this event. Our first daughter’s wedding in 2014 was a day we’ll always remember, and to get to do it all over again is a blessing.

Looking back on the year that was in the political realm has made me complacent. I know. I should be out there ready to “fight.” Except I lost the cause of what we are fighting for. Politically I’m tired. I don’t want to fight. I’m sick of the fact that there are “two sides.” In my humble opinion I just don’t see anything happening that is good for us and our country until there are no sides. Only when the Red and the Blue decide to become Purple will any good change come to our great land. This past year I have watched families and friendships become torn apart over the election. It’s to the point that I think “Who am I to even try to predict what the future will bring?” Only God knows that. Are the Liberals right? Are the conservatives right? Are the Christians right? Are the snowflakes right? Tell me honestly, do you know? Everyone can sit there on top of their beliefs, with their arms folded, harrumphing with a smug look on their face, thinking they have it all figured out, and guess what? You heard the saying “If you want to make God laugh, make plans.” Don’t be so quick to dig in and refuse to even consider the opinions and ideas of the “other side.” The Bible clearly says, “Lean not unto thine own understanding “ and if I have learned anything over the last 7 years, it’s that I don’t understand a damn thing. Only God knows all and sees all. And with that, I tied up all things political in a tidy bandana and set it where it belongs – at the base of the cross and asked God to direct my energy in the direction that He would have it go. (I am a staunch believer in not putting energy into anything I cannot control.)

It’s ironic that I would still site not putting energy into things I cannot control in this post, because on January 3 last year in a post I made a big deal out of that very same thing – it was kind of my 2017 resolution. I guess I kept it because despite the riotous year it’s been, it’s actually been my most peaceful and calm one simply because I lived by that one principal. It’s time to think about 2018 and the only word that comes to mind is joy. Find the joy in everything. It’s 11 degrees out and I found joy in the cold breath I drew coming out of the house. I found joy in how my body felt after today’s workout. I found joy in the shower and clean pj’s I put on when we got home from the gym. And I certainly found joy in the nap I took in my chair, with the sun streaming in – cats and dogs get this.

And so, yes, as another year begins to creep by, for 2018, joy is the word. I resolve to find joy everyday in all things that cross my path. This new year I resolve to learn the lesson of joy as well as I learned the lesson of energy. Happy New Year my friends, may your 2018 be filled with joy, and may you find and savor each joyous moment.