Refreshed from “5 Days of Fitness” I want to highlight a blog post with healthy journeys from two incredible women and share a syndrome that afftects 1 in 10 women*. I hope it inspires, and educates you!


Dana’s Journey:

Dana has been on her fitness journey since 2009! 2009 was the year she made the choice to get serious about her health and quit yo-yo dieting. Dana’s mindset is “setting realistic SMART goals, and thinking of the journey as a marathon, not a sprint.”

In college, Dana was at her heaviest, this was contributed by school stress, late nights studying and bad eating habits. I think we have all been there!

“I started gaining weight during my pre-teen years and it escalated from there through adulthood. During that time I would lose and gain weight, eventually I got tired of it.”

Dana started with a workout video “Walk Away The Pounds.” Once she mastered the workout, she moved onto the treadmill, then Jazzercise fitness classes and an occasional fitness boot camp. Fast forward to present day and Dana describes herself as “a work in progress”.

Dana participates in spin classes three times a week, and eats relatively clean. Her goals are to start sculpting and strength training.

“Understand its a lifestyle change. The keys are sustainability, and tracking food.”

Her advice to others starting their journey?

“Be open to switching your exercises to keep losing weight. Joining fitness groups will help you stay encouraged.”

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Photo by Moe Magners on

Berdette’s Journey:

“I’ve been working out for 3 decades now. My fitness goals and needs change over the years as my body has undergone its own changes.”

Berdette explains how her fitness journey has helped her in addition to her ever changing business journey as well.

For Berdette, “fitness is my keystone habit. As I get older, my health and fitness has become one of my top priorities along with a thriving business full of flow and joy. Exercise has been pivotal as part of my journey as a business owner.”

My 30-Year Exercise Journey

As I approach my 1,000th Peloton exercise class, I reflect on the incredible journey that has brought me here. From the early days of lockdown to now, exercise has been my keystone habit, transforming my life in ways I never imagined.

What Is a Keystone Habit?

A keystone habit is a routine or practice that sparks positive changes in other areas of your life. For me, exercise has been that habit. It’s the foundation upon which I’ve built my health, resilience, and success. Consistent physical activity has provided structure and motivation, influencing my diet, sleep, and overall well-being.

The Early Years: Exercise for Aesthetics

In my 20s, exercise was primarily about aesthetics. I wanted to fit into my bikini, look good, and feel confident. I joined gyms, tried different workout classes, and enjoyed outdoor activities. Back then, my focus was on achieving a certain look, and exercise was my ticket to a toned body and self-assured presence.

The Transitional 30s: Balancing Act

As I moved into my 30s, my relationship with exercise evolved. It was no longer just about looking good; it was about feeling good too. Juggling being a single mom, graduate school and a teaching career, I realized the importance of maintaining my physical and mental health. Exercise became a way to relieve stress, boost my energy levels, and maintain balance. Running, yoga, and strength training were my go-to activities, helping me navigate the demands of a busy lifestyle.

Entering My 40s: Building Strength and Mobility

Approaching my 40s, I noticed changes in my body and mind. Peri-menopause brought its own set of challenges, and I needed a new approach to exercise. It was no longer just about staying fit; it was about building strength, enhancing mobility, and preparing for the future. When Peloton became my trusted companion at the start of lockdown, offering a variety of classes that catered to my evolving needs. I embraced strength training to build muscle, yoga for flexibility, and cycling for cardiovascular health. Exercise was my anchor, helping me feel empowered and in control.

The Present: Pursuing Dreams and Sustaining Health

Now, as I reach this milestone of 1,000 Peloton classes, exercise serves a dual purpose. It sustains my health and fuels my dreams. I am not just a participant in my fitness journey; I am a leader. Running my own business, I rely on the discipline and determination that exercise instills. It keeps me sharp, focused, and ready to tackle challenges head-on. Moreover, as I continue to age, exercise is my strategy for longevity, ensuring I stay active, agile, and healthy.

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Tips for Making Exercise Your Keystone Habit

Start Small: Begin with manageable workouts that fit your schedule. Consistency is key, so focus on creating a routine rather than intensity.

Set Realistic Goals: Define what you want to achieve with your exercise regimen. Whether it’s weight loss, muscle gain, or improved mobility, having clear goals will keep you motivated.

Find Your Passion: Choose activities you enjoy. Whether it’s cycling, yoga, or dancing, find what excites you and stick with it.

Track Your Progress: Use apps, journals, or fitness trackers to monitor your achievements. Celebrating small victories will keep you inspired.

Join a Community: Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share your fitness goals. A supportive community, like Peloton, can provide encouragement and accountability.

happy multiracial friends embracing on bench after basketball training
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Be Flexible: Life is unpredictable, so be ready to adapt your exercise routine. What’s important is that you stay active, even if it means modifying your workouts.

Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body responds to exercise. Rest when needed and avoid pushing yourself too hard.

As I celebrate this milestone, I am reminded of the incredible impact exercise has had on my life. It has been my keystone habit, guiding me through different phases and helping me achieve my dreams. I encourage you to start today, find your own keystone habit, and witness the transformative power it can have on your life.

Berdette Henry M.S. Sp. Ed 

PCOS: What is It & Resources to Help

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) affects 1 in 10 women. Think about that. You know at least ten women. That means one of them could have PCOS. 50% of women with PCOS are undiagnosed. * I believe this is in regards to health care industry misdiagnosing women (specifically women of color).

My mother has an autoimmune disease and it took four years of ER visits, and several doctors before her concerns were believed. I have several friends who have had similar hellish journeys getting a diagnosis or being told “its in your head”. Don’t think “no one talks about PCOS, this must be new.” Actually….the first case of PCOS was discovered in 1721 by Italian physician Antonio Vallisneri. That’s over three hundred years of us living with this!

We deserve better! Don’t suffer in silence. Be your own advocate. Fight until you are heard. You have a whole sisterhood behind you!

May 12th is National Women’s Check-Up Day (second Monday in May). Preventative health is essential to YOUR well-being. I was shocked when I researched the symptoms of PCOS. Some of these I can relate to.

Common symptoms irregular periods, severe acne, insulin resistance, and weight gain to list a few.* Up to a third of women may have polycystic ovaries seen on an ultrasound but they do not all have PCOS. If you have some of the symptoms listed above bring this up to your doctor, and advocate for getting an ultrasound.

Severe symptoms with PCOS are low sex drive, amenorrhoea (no periods, or several years in between periods), anxiety and depression.


Okay, now that I have inundated you with the facts you are probably opening tabs for WebMd, right? 😫

Back up.

Take a deep breath.

Before you self diagnose yourself and fall into a rabbit hole that is the internet I have resources for ya. That’s what sister’s do 😁.

You know how I love facts and if you want to know the history (going back to 1721) check out this nifty article on Healthline here.

Zaya Care is the official resource PCOS Awareness Association (yes, there is an association). You can even chat 24/7 and ask all your health questions to a registered OB-GYN. How neat is that? They didn’t have that in the 1720s. Click here for more details.

Lastly….Goddess Bae has a self care, holistic product line to help women with PCOS symptoms. She has sold over 100,000 products and created her company literally from the ground up. Check out her bio here and her website here.

woman in striped long sleeve shirt holding a book
Photo by John Ray Ebora on

Let’s get personal…..

I have dealt with a fluctuating weight gain most of my life. Until 2019 my weight yo-yo’d constantly. I couldn’t keep weight off and said many times “My body is weird, I can’t lose weight”.

This should have been a red flag, but I shrugged it off. I never hated my body, I just assumed it was normal. How many times have you complained jokingly to a friend “My weight doesn’t go anywhere but up.”? If this resonates with you, make an appointment. Get an annual exam to have peace of mind everything is good.

I have to admit knowing that I “don’t have a weird body” and the reasons for not being able to lose weight made me feel immensely better. My pancreas doesn’t regular sugar the way it should so I need medication, exercise and a balanced diet. I didn’t know this twenty years ago, I didn’t even know this ten years ago. I know now and have worked very hard to get myself to this wonderful place I am with my body and my lifestyle.

Me in 2015 ⬆️


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