If you have a goal in mind–say, fat loss, a higher GPA, getting a good job–and your friends are boozehounds, there’s only one solution:

Find different friends.


Casual sex

“But the bottom line is, if you don’t want to get attached to somebody, it’s easier to not sleep with them . . . Because you might end up being attached to somebody who really does not fit into your life.” ~ Dr. Helen Fisher, “This is Your Brain on Sex

Having sex releases a flood of oxytocin and vasopressin in the brain. These are the same chemicals that give a mother the feeling of attachment to her newborn. It would seem we are wired to feel attached to the people we sleep with.

And so it may be that there is no such thing as casual sex. Proceed with caution.

Not Your Average Gym

Two student employees just started a Twitter account for Fredonia’s fitness center, @NotUrAverageGym

There’s no content posted yet, but I’m told it will feature interviews with patrons and fun musings from employees. I’m excited to see what they come up with–it might encourage more students to use the fitness center.

As a fitness center employee, you can only be so good at handing out locker keys. You can only be so good at folding towels and cleaning machines. Everyone is equally good at being a fitness center employee assuming they show up on time wearing the prescribed blue t-shirt. It’s not difficult.

Acts of initiative are difficult, because there are no instructions.

You might not want to hear this, but it’s been my experience that very few employers care what your GPA was in college. They usually don’t care what college you went to or what you majored in. They don’t care that you were a “Fitness Center Desk Attendant.”

They care what you built. They care what you did that was outside the box. They care about what you failed at. They care about creativity. They care that you increased the amount of students using the fitness center.

Spending $6,000 on alcohol

The other day I overheard a junior say that she spent $6,000 on “going out” her freshman year.

Part of Fredonia’s mission is to create responsible citizens out of its students. Spending $6,000 on alcohol is the furthest thing from responsible I can realistically imagine this morning.

It would have been responsible to take most of that $6,000 and open an online savings account (I use Capital One). That savings functions as an emergency fund: money you use in the event that your car breaks down, you lose your job, or you find yourself with an emergency hospital bill.

If you don’t have at least $1,000 saved you have no business drinking alcohol, ever. I wrote a blog post about this called “Should you go to the bars tonight?

My 10-minute gym routine

Some days I’m only in the gym for 10 minutes. The specifics of what I do aren’t important.

What’s important is that I intend to sustain my exercise routine until the day I die–I still want to be exercising if I live to be 100-years-old. A daily, hour-long gym routine is unsustainable over the course of 70 years, but a 10-minute routine probably is.

It’s even more important to note that I’m on my feet coaching for most of the day. The body wants to be continuously in motion, not stuck behind a keyboard for eight hours a day.

Get up. Move.

[Here are the notes from the presentation I gave two months ago about the basics of exercise.]

Fredonia’s Patio BBQ’s

Remember last summer when Fredonia sent out weekly reminders about its Patio Barbecues? Remember how annoyed you were, given that you weren’t even on campus?

Yes, you were being spammed. The way I define it, spam is a message that you don’t want to get–it’s impersonal, irrelevant, and annoying. Spam was at the heart of television for decades: You bought a subscription to a television provider in order to see content you enjoyed, but advertisers subsidized your cost in order to spam you.

Now, advertisers do the same thing on social media. For instance, this morning I opened my Twitter feed and saw an advertisement from a children’s hospital in Minnesota. On my Facebook feed is a call to become a certified Zumba instructor. Impersonal, irrelevant, and annoying.

Fredonia’s Patio Barbecue e-mail campaign was considered a success if it persuaded even one person to come order lunch. E-mail marketers measure clicks and sales: “How many people opened our e-mail?” and “How many sales did we make?” The waning trust of the thousands of people who didn’t open the e-mails were ignored.

This is critical to understand if you use e-mail or social media: You are the product. Your attention is being sold to advertisers on every e-mail and social media platform. That’s what’s keeping the system afloat. That’s why Snapchat doesn’t charge you for it’s service. That’s why your Gmail account is free.

This is also critical to understand: Don’t act like an advertiser. For the first time in history, everyone has their own platform of people they can spam. Everyone can post selfies, measure ‘likes’ and ‘opens’, creating content that people don’t want to see.

Three months ago I started an e-mail newsletter. To date, it averages a 90% “open rate.” (15% is considered standard in the world of e-mail marketing). The open rate is so high because I make sure that the people who are on the list actually want to get the e-mail.

If you don’t want to get my e-mails, don’t sign up.

If you do, register here and I’ll send you Issue 11, which went out this morning.

How one athlete lost 18 pounds

Earlier this week an athlete told me she lost 18 pounds after taking a vacation to Europe.

“How’d you do that?,” I asked.

“I think it was because in Europe they serve smaller portion sizes,” she responded. “That, and we were walking around all the time.”

Her answer had nothing to do with a particular diet, exercise protocol, step-counter, or any other act of will (not that those are bad things). It was based on her environment.

This is why work environments that encourage you to walk around are so effective at managing weight. It’s why purchasing smaller bowls, plates, and silverware, encouraging us to eat less, are effective. Same with forgoing the frequent use of cars, chairs, and shopping carts.

The best form of wellness is wellness you don’t need to think about.