Movitation / Positive Thinking

Be Radiant

Be Radiant

Living up to your fullest potential can help you radiant. You give off your own personal vibration, which has nothing to do with the way you look, but everything to do with the way you feel. Exercise can help you boost your radiance and glow, but it’s just the first step to becoming the best you that you can be and stepping out of the shadows of your former self and into the star you will become.

You are what you think you are.

Thoughts are things. They have a vibration that almost magically gives us back what we think we deserve or will achieve. It isn’t magic however. What you focus on often comes to pass. That’s because you do things to make it happen. If you focus on illness, emotional pain or other negative things, you’ll find them occurring in your life. If you focus on positive change, the good things and successes, you’ll have more of those. Worrying about ill health can stress you to the point you have poor health. Taking a positive approach to health makes a difference. If you feel the energy growing inside you every time you workout, it grows.

Love yourself.

Loving yourself isn’t narcissistic, it’s necessary. If you can’t love the person you are, you can’t love anyone else and they can’t love you. You know innately just what you need to do to be your best, but you have to trust yourself and listen to your body to achieve that. You are a miraculous creature capable of anything and the minute you realize it, you’ll be on the road to the best you that you can be. Learn how to eat healthy.

Cleanse your system and help your body be its best.

We all are loaded with toxins. Just living in today’s world means you’ll be assaulted by them from the minute you awaken in the morning. The food we eat is often filled with harmful substance. The air we breathe is too. In order to help your body be it’s best, cleansing your system by detoxing can be the answer. It will help you look more radiant on the outside and feel fantastic on the inside.

Treat yourself right and accept pampering. Don’t ignore those aches and pains. It’s your body’s way of telling you something’s wrong. Pamper yourself with a massage to help you get back to your best.

Learn that you decide your future. No matter what anyone else says, you dictate what you’ll become and who you are. Trust yourself.

Exercise away stress. Not only will regular exercise help your body become stronger, exercising burns off the hormones created by stress and give your skin a radiant glow.

Get adequate sleep. There’s a time for everything and sleep is the time for the body to repair and the mind to process the events of the day. It’s as important as food. Learning to calm your mind for a good night’s rest can help.

Feel Better with Exercise

Feel Better with Exercise

(Photo by Stuart Locklear Photography)

When we talk about the benefits of regular exercise, we tend to focus on physical rather than emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits. Trust me… rock hard abs, solid glutes, and strong, lean arms are only the beginning of getting up and getting going!

Exercise absolutely transforms the way you feel and the effects are immediate.

While significant weight loss takes time and extended effort, all it takes is one quick workout to begin reaping the rewards of a more energetic and capable body.

WIth regular exercise, you’ll cultivate energy and vitality, alleviate lingering aches and pains, and feel happier and more confident. Sounds good to me!

1) Cultivate Energy and Vitality

How are your natural energy levels these days? How do you feel in the morning before your cup of coffee? Do your eyes pop open at the sound of your alarm or even before it goes off? Do you bounce through your day with a spring in your step or do you hit snooze half a dozen times before begrudgingly waking?

While you may not instantly feel like the Energizer Bunny, your energy levels will dramatically increase once you begin a consistent, challenging exercise routine.

Research consistently finds that regular exercise increases your body’s natural energy levels and reduces fatigue. It actually creates energy in your body. Basically, your body rises up to meet the challenge for more energy by becoming stronger and anticipating higher physical expectations.

2) Alleviate Aches and Pains

If your life is largely sedentary and inactive, you’ll quickly find yourself developing nagging aches and pains that just won’t seem to go away. You’ll feel it when you stand up – a throb in your back, creaking in your knees, and stiffness in your legs. This is pain due to underuse.

Your body is meant to move!

Movement improves flexibility and range of motion, and releases natural pain-reducing endorphins, which means that with a regular exercise program, you’ll be moving smoother and with less pain than ever before.

3) Exude Happiness and Confidence

The way you feel about yourself will improve drastically when you move just 30 to 60 minutes a day!

Think back to the last time that you accomplished something. Maybe you performed well at work and received kudos from your boss, or you finished a project at home that took weeks of your time and concentration.

Do you remember how that accomplishment made you feel?

You stood a little bit straighter, you smiled easily, and deep down you felt alive with excitement.

When challenging exercise becomes a regular part of your life, feelings of happiness and confidence also become a part of you.

From now on I want you to forget the idea that exercise is nothing more than a means to achieving a slimmer body.

Instead, look at exercise as a complete life enhancer.

Reach out to me and I’ll show you how to integrate a consistent, challenging exercise routine into your lifestyle so that you’ll begin to reap the benefits of an energetic, more confident you.

Don’t wait to begin enjoying the benefits of an active lifestyle – call or email now!

Tips to Feel Ah-Mazing This Summer

Tips to Feel Ah-Mazing This Summer

There’s really not much that can beat a San Francisco summer. Sure, it may not be as warm and sunny as some places but there is just so much to do. Block parties, cultural events, outdoor concerts and music festivals, Golden Gate Park, biking, hiking, you name it! And come on, who doesn’t love lounging the day away at our beautiful Dolores Park!?

To make sure our bodies are ready for days filled with adventure, it’s important to feel great. During the summer, we often react to the heat and a slower pace of work which can leave us feeling tired and lethargic. I don’t know about you, but sometimes the Mission can get just a little too stuffy with all the people and constant activity!

That’s why it’s essential to tune in, to listen to our bodies, and adequately refuel so we can tackle each and every summertime adventure! We need to remember to nourish and hydrate our bodies from the inside-out, hold ourselves accountable to our fitness goals, and #pushpause by breathing and sleeping enough each night.

Nourish and Hydrate

Summer is the perfect season to eat local, fresh, organic fruits and vegetables so stock up! We’re fortunate to live in a city with farmers’ markets galore so get out there and explore! Be sure to incorporate lean proteins and healthful fats to keep your energy levels up and drink plenty of water throughout the day especially when it’s hot and you’re active.

Get Moving!

When it’s hot and humid outside, it’s easy to want to stay indoors in the air conditioning and watch Netflix all day! Resist the temptation by rewarding yourself with a quiet show to wind down after a long, active day. Take an early morning class here at Ascend Body, go for a bike ride, or check out a new hiking trail! And, if you’re at work, take a stroll up and down the stairs or around the office, do some bodyweight exercises, or head outside for some fresh air and a quick walk.


If you’re like me, just the word summer hinders productivity! If you notice your attention wandering and need to refocus, the best thing you can do is breathe. Practicing mindfulness has incredible health benefits and a few minutes “offline” will do wonders later in the day. If you have no idea where to start, simply try ten deep, belly breaths while you’re at work or while in bed before falling asleep. This mindful activity will help regulate your heartbeat, disperse oxygen throughout your body, and calm your mind. It’s important to sleep restfully, too, to ensure your body has the chance to re-energize and keep up with all you want to do this summer!

Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and live it up San Francisco style! We’ll be there too.

Tantra Retreat, Workout Anywhere, & Upcoming Detox!

As many of you know, I have cultivated a strong meditation and spiritual practice. I study Tantra, which is a lineage of meditation from the Himalayan Institute focused particularly on expanded consciousness and personal awareness. Recently, I was accepted into a two-year training program and am super excited to deepen my meditative and spiritual practice within a group of committed practitioners.

Whenever I learn something new, I’m eager to share it with you. From the importance of breathwork to mindful eating, I hope to inspire you to think beyond the good/bad paradigms that exist in fitness and nutrition. Today, I’m happy to share part of my Tantra training experience with you. I met an amazing group of people during my retreat deep in the mountains of North Carolina last week, and let’s just say, my heart is totally singing!

As a holistic wellness practitioner, I am always mindful of moving my body while on any sort of vacation or retreat. Needless to say, there are definitely no 24 Hour Fitness establishments on the side of the winding Smoky Mountain roads. It would make sense that I’d take a break from exercising while I was away, however, my relationship with physical movement is integral to my spirituality. Therefore, I was compelled to tend to this need consistently and consciously.

So, what does one do? In addition to cultivating lasting relationships with fellow Tantra practitioners who are willing and open to engage in most anything, I also realized you can truly workout anywhere. Really, where there’s a will, there’s a way!

After a moderately-paced jog down the mountain to the communal grass volleyball court (such an awesome middle ground  that separates various sustainable eco-friendly communities near our Tantra retreat), I found a really great 35 pound rock with a nice, maneuverable shape. Let’s just say, that rock and I became pretty good friends for the duration of my 25 minute workout. (Note: a kick ass workout doesn’t take a long time at all as evidenced by the sweat dripping down my back at the end of this one!)


Squat with explosive overhead throws 15 x 4

Explosive pushups 20 x 4


Front squat with rock 10 x 4

Lateral hops 20 x 4


Rows off a soccer net stand I found (get creative!)

Oblique tosses 15 x 4

That’s it! Repeat the workout twice if you really want to burn. Now, it’s your turn to get out there and have fun in nature. I’m curious about how creative you can be with what’s available wherever you are so please let me know.

On another note, after returning from the retreat, I feel inspired to coordinate another Ascend Body Detox…I know you all love and want to do another! Let’s talk about food, our relationships with it, and how to let go of unwanted weight and beliefs that feel “weighty”. During the detox, we’ll examine our current habits and learn how to create new and sustainable ones that feel harmonious with the lifestyles we crave. Contact me ASAP at for dates and times. More information to come!


Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a sort of a glutton for punishment. I love to push myself during each and every workout I commit to. Really… if I’m going to show up, I’m going to get after it!

And, I’m certainly not the only one! I see so many of you pushing beyond your perceived limits day in and day out at Ascend. So, why do we do this? How do we benefit from pushing ourselves when we work out?

I want to share three reasons why I personally push myself each time I lace up and hit the gym for a quality workout or stretch session.

  1. The afterglow: Like many of you, I feel absolutely incredible after a solid sweat session! When I push myself past any resistance I feel, I cultivate an inner strength that I continue to carry with me throughout the day. My core feels solid and engaged as I move through the world. I have spinal integrity and experience every discrete movement in my body; it’s a true mind-body connection.
  2. Free drugs: Yep, you read that right! One word: endorphins. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety, endorphins are my body’s natural anti-depressant and I notice my mood is significantly better after an intense workout. I even feel good while I’m working out; I’m able to table my thoughts and focus intently on the task at hand. This is because when you exercise vigorously, your body releases magical chemicals called endorphins. When this happens, you experience feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, increased secretion of sex hormones, and an enhanced immune response. And, when endorphin levels are high, you actually experience less pain and fewer negative effects of stress. Sounds good to me.
  3. Disciplines of practice: Okay, so here’s what I mean by this: when I make a consistent commitment to get myself out of bed/off the couch/away from Netflix to workout, I actually realize that I become far more productive throughout the rest of my day. I recognize that pushing myself and dedicating time to working out is actually a transcendent activity which means the benefits of doing so extend far beyond the actual session. I become more committed to my meditation practice and caring for my physical and spiritual body. I cook healthier foods, maintain healthy social interaction, and fly through to-do lists!

Why do you #pushyourself? Comment below!

#PushPause – What Makes Me Feel Alive

I recently returned from a five-day fitness conference in San Diego and want to share how much I absolutely love and appreciate each and every one of you. Thank you for reading our blog, for prioritizing health and wellness, and for being such an integral part of our growing community at Ascend Body. I am so grateful to work and train among people who create a sense of fulfillment and bring meaning to my life each day. Thank you, truly.

We all experience times in our lives where our jobs seem unremittingly stressful, our kids (or furry friends!) get sick, or the car breaks down and we lose sight of what really matters in our lives– the people, activities, and ideas we hold close and true. We become so consumed and preoccupied by never ending to-do lists and deadlines that it becomes nearly impossible to appreciate “the now”.

Although it can be hard to admit, this happens to us all; it’s a natural part of being human and leading productive, coexistent lives. What’s important is how we respond to added stressors, unanticipated events, and those times where everything feels completely beyond our control. When it does, I find it helpful to pause and to either think or write about what drives me and create the time to actually do what makes me smile.

While I was away, I realized that having alone time in a hotel always affords me uninterrupted time to reflect and think about what’s important in my life– the reasons why I wake up each morning and aspire to do what I do with passion and grace.

I thrive in a community filled with love and positivity and want to share 5 aspects of my life that make me feel truly and uncompromisingly alive.

  1. Growth. Growth is one of my core values. I love to learn, challenge myself, and expand my worldview through listening and studying. Anything that has to do with the inner workings of mind, body, and spirit and their interconnected nature motivates me to adapt and grow. I am inspired by our infinite capacity as humans to transform through spiritual practice, reading, and quiet observation.
  2. Exploring my purpose. I love helping people thrive. When I see a client change, progress, or overcome I feel more connected to my purpose than ever. When someone experiences an “aha! moment” I can actually see and feel the light turn on between what’s happening in the brain and the body’s physical response; the shift is indescribable and truly magical.
  3. Exercising in Nature. Running, hiking, biking, climbing, and playing outside make me feel alive. When I “turn off” my brain, push through the fear of not having enough time, and I stop worrying about my to-do list, everything suddenly changes. Life seems simpler, more fun, and fuller. I just have to trust, let go, and get outside.
  4. Love. Feeling love for other human beings inspires me to live the best and truest version of myself possible. Shared vulnerability is beautiful and when I feel a connection, I feel whole.
  5. Playing with my puppies. Their sweet unconditional love reminds me not to take life too seriously and to never stop playing.

Stress Causes Disease by Finn Deerhart

We are often warned that stress causes disease. This fact is so widely publicized and accepted that we might noteven take it seriously. The world around us is so busy, as are our minds. Even eating well, exercising or building a personal-growth practice can seriously add on the stress because, really, for most, all these choices must be squeezed into a busy work week punctuated by weekend “crashes” and a perpetual “to-do” list. I cringe when I hear, “thank God it’s Friday.” A weekly five-day marathon of grueling self-compromise in exchange for two days of personal time is not exactly a recipe for wellness. I cringe because, frankly, I can sometimes relate, and I know that the key lies within my own imagination about who I am allowing myself to be and think. How am I thinking about what’s going on around me, whatever stressor that may be?

When it comes to organizing a life that minimizes stress, attitude is everything, and fixing a bad attitude seems so much more nebulous than, say, taking one extra vitamin that is supposed to magically ward off cancer. Why do some people completely freak out about traffic, deadlines, an ill-intended comment, self-image, etc., others remain unperturbed by the very same factors? A combination of our genetic heritage and conditioning creates a unique expression of who we allow ourselves to be.

We were taught from an early age by unspoken instructions. We watched the adults in our lives respond for better or worse to work, play, partnerships, grievances, insults, successes, hopes, failures and love. We absorbed this information along with the attitudes they had about life and began to formulate our own fledgling versions of reality. We inscribed their own limiting beliefs into our codices of truth and sought proof in the outside world for the way we imagined it to be. Along the way, interpersonal tragedy and comedy further shaped our beliefs into concrete, irreconcilable differences between ourselves and others, often leaving us feeling alienated and longing for connection. Sometimes we even feel ashamed about our own need to connect. By the time we reach adulthood, we have created elaborate blueprints of how we relate to the world and how we believe the world should relate to us, blueprints as individual to us as our own fingerprints. It is these blueprints that inform our “good” or “bad” attitudes about life and our choices.

Now consider human biology as it relates to stress. The almond-shaped amygdala in the brain is part of the limbic system. It is the place where emotions and long-term memory are created and negative-experiences are encoded. This little gland is the key to the “fight or flight” response because it signals to the brain when safety is threatened, and cortisol along with adrenaline pumps into the blood stream. Consequently, our bodies become tense, blood pressure and heart rates rise, and we lose touch with our natural state. Our ancestors experienced this trigger to fight or flee in the face of very real dangers like predators. Indeed, we need this physiological ability to weather true dangers; however, to our detriment, we feel this response in little doses almost all day, every day. Think about every time you feel stressed at work, in your relationship, about finances or about your own self-image, and your body responds. Maybe you lose your appetite. Maybe you get stress sweat. Headaches, muscle tension, shallow breathing, and rapid heartbeats plague the stressed individual.

Combine these physiological reactions with unprocessed traumatic memories from childhood, jaded blueprints, unforgettable events that tainted our spirits and painful emotions we’ve learned to wear as identities, and we have an internal chemistry that breeds disease and discontent. To assuage the stressed-out-thank-God-it’s-Friday-feeling, most of us reach for some sort of vice. It’s a perpetual cycle, and worst of all, seems completely normal and often supported culturally. You might try to comfort yourself with a behavioral change like biting your nails or drinking alcohol or eating junk food. Maybe you can’t look at yourself in the mirror because you don’t like the image therein. Maybe you withhold love from your lover or yourself because it all feels like too much and you need to put up quick and permanent boundaries agaisnt feeling those feelings.

Before you give in and say, “I really need a drink,” consider that our brains can be retrained to experience new perceptions and feelings. We can condition ourselves and rewrite the blueprints by which we build our lives. I use a tool called Emotional Freedom Technique, or Tapping, as a fast track to processing the “stressy” energy felt about virtually anything from a traffic pile-up to the abusive self-chatter in my mind. The process of tapping is so simple it can, at first, seem unlikely to affect the immensity of daily drama we create; we tend to seek an equally dramatic solution to our myriad difficulties. It is, however, its simplicity that makes it such an effective tool.

It works like this. Whenever you feel stressed or experience any negative shift in energy, whether induced by a present situation or a painful memory, you percussively tap on the same meridian channels an acupuncturist uses. Take a deep breath. Imagine in vivid detail the situation that is causing you grief. Focus on the specifics you feel with regard to visual images, emotions, spiteful self-talk, etc. You progress from one acupoint to the next, remaining in one place for a few seconds. Meanwhile, you practice accepting what “is” or what “was” without fighting it, fleeing from it, or deceiving yourself. When you can shift into accepting the situation, you release your resistance to it, and the brain will literally cease to create consequent stress. As you tap, you calm yourself faster than you would if you were to merely keep dwelling on the negative perceptions and situations. Your amygdala’s panic signal is halted, and your blood pressure and heart rate return to stasis. In your brain, the hippocampus then categorizes the stressful memory or present experience as a non-threat. It’s that simple, but the key is practice. In doing so, you cultivate the mindset that reaches for acceptance instead of vice, as the source of all our perceptions begins and ends within our own heads. We begin start a dialogue in our minds that daily tells us we are powerful, amazing, capable, enlivened and growing. It is this mindset we are cultivating that enables us to be free from the vices and behaviors that lead us to seek trainers in the first place. We must love and accept ourselves into the expanded versions we desire to create.

Personally, I have been using EFT for about eight years to process physical pain, stress, emotional angst, etc. I can further coach you on how to practice this tool in order to ditch your pain meds, heal a relationship, create a new emotional pattern, anchor new lifestyle changes and connect to a broader perspective.

Learn more about Finn here.

A BIG High Five to Lynn Tolin!!

Ascend’s very own Lynn Tolin just trained for and completed the Avon Breast Cancer Walk. Congratulations! This challenging course includes two full days of walking from Fort Mason to Corte Madera Town Park and back again! That’s a total of 39.3 miles!

Lynn worked incredibly hard doing a strength and endurance program that we wrote specifically for this event. The program included two full body workouts with reps of ten and sets of up to eight, which is a lot of work! Clearly this program paid off as Lynn says, “I clearly gained endurance and managed to have no back pain after 40+ miles. For goodness sake, I really expected that would happen! Without the strengthening you did with me I never could have pulled that off.” In addition to the strength work, Lynn was out walking every weekend for up to 5-6 hours at a time. On her biggest weekend Lynn walked 9 hours on Saturday and 4 on Sunday. All of this hard work definitely paid off when Lynn managed to raise $18,000 in support of Breast Cancer. Go Lynn! Lynn also says, “Of course having my skinny jeans “feel great” is just another added bonus.”

This year the Avon Breast Cancer Walk in San Francisco raised a total of 4 million dollars to support local programs serving breast cancer patients and researchers. This event is an annual if you’re looking to be a part of something exciting and super supportive to the community!

Check them out:

Fat Loss and Eating Cookies!

Many of my clients are working on curbing cravings and shifting habits that aren’t in alignment with their greater goals. It is a common thing to reach for something just out of habit, or for momentary satisfaction and comfort, but did you know that a typical food craving only lasts 3 minutes?

The first step to change your habit is to Push Pause!! Whether it is the extra piece of chocolate before bed, the bad relationship with the refrigerator in general, the wheat / gluten that is giving you a gut, the wine before bed that is waking you up at 2am when your blood sugar crashes, the dairy that has your allergies acting up, the candy bowl at the office that is making a muffin top out of your waist band… we’ve all been there, and the practice of pushing pause, while unfamiliar at first, eventually moves into and forms a new habit.

One of the most powerful spiritual heads in India for quite some time, and the founder of my particular lineage of Tantra, Swami Rama, has a humorous, yet powerful teaching on pushing pause. There is a YouTube of him from the ’80s talking about this very topic. He says when he is craving a cookie he pauses and has a conversation with his mind, the thinker of the thoughts is telling him that he wants a cookie. But the bigger part of himself knows better…and says, “Mind, you can have the cookie, but “I” will not have the cookie.” In other words, he pacifies the mind by allowing it to have the cookie, but he himself does not take the cookie. It sounds simple, but that is his method for pushing pause for long enough to ensure what goes into his body is a conscious decision. Our mind wants to derail us many times, but there is a part of our self that can be developed to see past the immediate gratification.

One of the most awesome things about developing a meditation practice is that it helps one bring the “Push Pause” into everyday life. Pushing pause before opening the refrigerator door allows you to check in with yourself. Am I really hungry? What is really going on with me? What does my body really want?

I love training, I absolutely love it! But from my years of experience, it’s not the exercise that gets people where they truly want to go, it’s diet, lifestyle and mindset. Losing fat starts in the kitchen. If we get those things in order, exercise is like the cherry on top. Then, everything is feeling good. I have too many times had clients who think that kicking their ass in the gym is the answer to their fat ass, but at night they are hugging the refrigerator. Why beat yourself up in the gym? How about identify and work with your relationship to food and what it means to you or what you are avoiding or covering up, and then, hit the gym? Feel good from the inside out!

If I am not responsible for the actions that are in alignment with my greater goal, like losing 15 pounds of fat or increasing my clean and jerk performance by 25%, or running a 1/2 marathon, then I am no where. Creating new and lasting habits has a higher success rate when we are conscious of why we are doing them. Ask yourself what is at the root of WHY you want to lose 15lbs? Do you want a new boyfriend or girlfriend? Do you want to feel attractive to your partner? We want these things because we want to be happy.

Connecting with your WHY gives you a bigger incentive to push pause long enough to really make lasting change. Don’t be afraid to really go there and ask yourself what is really beneath all of that emotional eating or sabotaging of one’s goals. And if you are afraid, that is why we are here, to guide and support you.

Can Your Thoughts Prevent Healing?

It takes much more than movement to truly reach our potential as a human being – that’s been my coaching experience over the last 15 years.  This may seem obvious, but it also takes more than nutrition, hydration, sleep, and functional breathing to reach our potential.

I believe that for each of us to reach our dreams, it takes a willingness to look within and find the roots of why we are the way we are physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  What are the conscious/unconscious boxes we keep ourselves in?

What does this mean for me?  In this moment it means that your physical body is simply a biofeedback mechanism for your more subtle energy systems – specifically our consciousness, which through our organs, glands, and musculoskeletal system gain expression.

It means that your physical body can guide you into your sub-conscious by paying close attention to what your body is sharing.  I would also invite you to consider that even “random” injuries hold purpose and expression from our consciousness.

What we perceive is what we believe, and what we believe is what we perceive.  Your perceptions of yourself and others literally create the movie you watch each and every moment.

If your current movie is seen through the eyes of the past, can you actually ever be present?

If you are unaware that you are responsible for your movie is it possible to change the film reel?

If what I am sharing is even half true, is it possible to cultivate healthy change without addressing your thought patterns?

I’ve had many clients come to me with issues related to posture, many of whom present with an upper cross syndrome (forward head, rounded shoulders, kyphotic thoracic spine).  What does this posture really say about their state of mind and how they see the outside and experience the inside world?

In my experience, using only five of the six foundational principals – Nutrition, Movement, Hydration, Sleep, Breathing – will not change this person’s posture long term.  If he perceives the outside/inside world as overwhelming, feels as if he has no personal power to take a stand, is afraid to share his heart openly, or is in a relationship in which he’s continually choosing to be abused physically, emotionally, and mentally, I would be highly surprised to see postural changes that hold unless these roots are addressed.

To see the future all you need to do is look to the past. Until these roots are addressed we will each continue to create the same “movie” over and over – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

The above is only my experience – it is only what I have perceived which has become what I believe, could this be true for you too?