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I've never been good at dancing, but for some reason I've always felt drawn to it. In elementary school, I would make up mini dance routines and perform them for myself in my bedroom mirror. In middle school, in an attempt to gain some semblance of rhythm, I asked my dance-adept cheerleader friend to teach me how to body roll. During college, I would beg my friends to go out with me—yes, drinking would be involved, but mainly, I just wanted to dance the night away.
RELATED: Try the Dance Cardio Workout That Inspired Zumba
Now, at 23 and with a full-time job, spending late nights dancing at a club isn't always doable. But I've discovered something else that's kept my passion for the dance floor alive: dance fitness classes.
It started with Zumba, which I discovered during a summer internship. I remember hitting the studio after work and being surrounded by all types of women—young, old, thin, thick—but still feeling self-conscious. I'd never danced in a space that wasn't secluded or where the lights were in full effect, where everyone could see me and my flailing body.
Still, when the music started, I followed the instructors as best as I could—which, for the record, wasn't very well. The music was upbeat and so were the teachers and students, and even though I missed so many beats, I felt happier after that class than I had all summer. By then, I didn't care if I messed up and the entire class saw my misstep because the joy the movements brought me was so much greater than any feelings of embarrassment or reservation.
RELATED: How to Be More Confident in the Weight Room, Dance Class, and More
While I've always been drawn to these workouts and how positive they make me feel, I could never understand why I walked out of the studio or gym feeling so radiant. So I reached out to exercise physiologist Tom Holland, who had a more scientific understanding of the allure of dancing. "The full-body movement and neuromuscular connection is so unique," he told me. "You don’t get that from CrossFit or strength training, where the movements are static." 
Dancing can also build self-esteem. "You add in music that is fun and you're learning and you go, 'Wow I can do this!' when you get it right," says Holland. "It's not super complicated but complicated enough to feel rewarding." It's true: My first couple of Zumba classes felt awkward at best. But as time went by, I started to nail certain movements, and it felt so much more empowering than setting a personal record in the weight room. It's hard to compare the mind-body connection of a high-powered dance class with any other workout out there.
I'll never forget the recent Monday night hip-hop dance class I took with my similarly dance-challenged friend Nora. We felt like fish out of water, surrounded by some amazing dancers. But the instructor was kind and enthusiastic, breaking down the moves and trying his best to teach us how to Milly Rock (emphasis on trying).
RELATED: 6 Dance Cardio Workout Videos That Will Get You Out of Your Exercise Rut
When our 60-minute class was over, Nora and I were dripping with sweat and out of breath. Our instructor wrapped things up by thanking us for coming out and left us with this: "Dance is always there for you. If you have a good day, you want to come dance to celebrate. If you have a bad day, you want to dance to forget about it and move forward."
That's why I'll keep taking dance classes, even though I'm so horrible sometimes, I stumble over my own feet. Dance can ground you in your own experiences, but it can also inspire you to take the next steps in life and live more joyfully—and you don't have to be a famous choreographer or ballerina to feel that effect.

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I've never been good at dancing, but for some reason I've always felt drawn to it. In elementary school, I would make up mini dance routines and perform them for myself in my bedroom mirror. In middle school, in an attempt to gain some semblance of rhythm, I asked my dance-adept cheerleader friend to teach me how to body roll. During college, I would beg my friends to go out with me—yes, drinking would be involved, but mainly, I just wanted to dance the night away.
RELATED: Try the Dance Cardio Workout That Inspired Zumba
Now, at 23 and with a full-time job, spending late nights dancing at a club isn't always doable. But I've discovered something else that's kept my passion for the dance floor alive: dance fitness classes.
It started with Zumba, which I discovered during a summer internship. I remember hitting the studio after work and being surrounded by all types of women—young, old, thin, thick—but still feeling self-conscious. I'd never danced in a space that wasn't secluded or where the lights were in full effect, where everyone could see me and my flailing body.
Still, when the music started, I followed the instructors as best as I could—which, for the record, wasn't very well. The music was upbeat and so were the teachers and students, and even though I missed so many beats, I felt happier after that class than I had all summer. By then, I didn't care if I messed up and the entire class saw my misstep because the joy the movements brought me was so much greater than any feelings of embarrassment or reservation.
RELATED: How to Be More Confident in the Weight Room, Dance Class, and More
While I've always been drawn to these workouts and how positive they make me feel, I could never understand why I walked out of the studio or gym feeling so radiant. So I reached out to exercise physiologist Tom Holland, who had a more scientific understanding of the allure of dancing. "The full-body movement and neuromuscular connection is so unique," he told me. "You don’t get that from CrossFit or strength training, where the movements are static." 
Dancing can also build self-esteem. "You add in music that is fun and you're learning and you go, 'Wow I can do this!' when you get it right," says Holland. "It's not super complicated but complicated enough to feel rewarding." It's true: My first couple of Zumba classes felt awkward at best. But as time went by, I started to nail certain movements, and it felt so much more empowering than setting a personal record in the weight room. It's hard to compare the mind-body connection of a high-powered dance class with any other workout out there.
I'll never forget the recent Monday night hip-hop dance class I took with my similarly dance-challenged friend Nora. We felt like fish out of water, surrounded by some amazing dancers. But the instructor was kind and enthusiastic, breaking down the moves and trying his best to teach us how to Milly Rock (emphasis on trying).
RELATED: 6 Dance Cardio Workout Videos That Will Get You Out of Your Exercise Rut
When our 60-minute class was over, Nora and I were dripping with sweat and out of breath. Our instructor wrapped things up by thanking us for coming out and left us with this: "Dance is always there for you. If you have a good day, you want to come dance to celebrate. If you have a bad day, you want to dance to forget about it and move forward."
That's why I'll keep taking dance classes, even though I'm so horrible sometimes, I stumble over my own feet. Dance can ground you in your own experiences, but it can also inspire you to take the next steps in life and live more joyfully—and you don't have to be a famous choreographer or ballerina to feel that effect.

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You’ve been doing everything right: loading up on greens, lifting weights, and going easy on the wine and late-night snacks. But whenever you step on the scale, the same digits stare back at you—or worse, the number is higher than it was last time. WTF?
Before you get too worked up, the scale doesn’t tell the whole story—and you know this! Fortunately there are other ways to gauge your progress: As you get healthier, a few subtle mind-body clues begin to surface. Read on to learn what to look for. If you can check any of the boxes below, it’s a safe bet you’re on the right track (even if the scale claims otherwise).
Your junk food cravings have mellowed out
Once you’ve adapted to a cleaner diet, your hankerings for sugar and processed foods should get less intense (and may even go away completely), says Mark Hyman, MD, director of the Center for Functional Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. “You can absolutely train your body to crave healthy foods instead,” he says. In other words, jonesing for edamame is an excellent sign you’ve made headway.
Test your taste buds: Make a list of five foods you once craved; then after two weeks, note whether you crave them anymore. The shift can happen very quickly, says Dr. Hyman, who wrote The Blood Sugar Solution: 10-Day Detox Diet. “If you load up on plant foods, healthy fats, and protein with every meal, you will find that eventually you won’t want the junk.”
RELATED: 9 Before-and-After Photos That Show Weight Is Just a Number
You’re reaching for heftier dumbbells
So you finally started lifting—or doing body-weight workouts—to build fat-burning muscle. Here’s some encouraging news: You may notice progress stat. For some people, it takes just a few weeks to see improvements in strength. “This is often referred to as beginner’s gains,” says Kourtney Thomas, a certified strength and conditioning specialist based in St. Louis. (After that, progress may slow, but it should still happen over time.)
Track your gains: As a general rule, if your regimen includes progressive overload (meaning you gradually make your muscles work harder over time, by adding weight or tension) you should be able to lift weight that is 7 to 10 percent heavier—or do endurance strength moves (such as planks) for longer—after every 14 days or so. Try using specific exercises (think bicep curls and a squat hold) as "benchmarks," and testing yourself every two weeks or so. But keep in mind that fitness progress isn’t always linear, Thomas notes. “Other general clues like having more energy for workouts, and better balance and coordination are valuable indicators too,” she says.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter
You’ve never felt more rested
“Exercise has been proven to not only boost your daytime energy, but your sleep quality, too,” says Marci Goolsby, MD, a physician in the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Researchers have found that when people with insomnia get on a long-term exercise program, they tend to doze off quicker, snooze longer, and sleep more deeply than before they started working out. (Just don’t bang out a HITT routine right before bed, Dr. Goolsby warns, because that might actually keep you up.)
Collect some data: Use a sleep tracker device for a few weeks. “It can give you some general feedback,” says Dr. Goolsby, such as how long it takes you to drift off, and how long (roughly) you spend in REM sleep (the deepest stage). Once you start noticing positive changes, you may be motivated to hit the hay earlier, she adds.
RELATED: 6 Weird Things That May Help You Sleep Better
Your appetite has changed
If your get-fit plan has you turned you into a gym rat, you may not be as hungry as usual—or, you may be famished. Exercise can actually have both effects: Some people experience a drop in appetite, while others crave more food.
If your end goal is a slimmer waist, feeling ravenous can be frustrating. But you may actually need more food to keep burning calories, says Thomas: “You might have to increase what you are eating to fuel your body through your exercise routine.”
Assess your eating habits: In a notebook or with voice recordings in your smartphone, keep tabs on your hunger levels and rough calorie intake. If you do notice you’re eating more since you’ve started crushing your workouts in full-on beast mode, that okay, says Dr. Hyman. “Just make sure you’re adding real, whole foods,” he says. “Eight hundred calories from an avocado is going to do dramatically different things to your body than 800 calories coming from gummy bears.”
RELATED: How to Control Your Hunger Hormones to Lose Weight and Keep It Off
Your jeans fit differently
“Focusing on how your clothing feels is a good gauge for most people,” says Thomas, "as long as you recognize that sizing is a messed up mind game and are able to not worry about that." But don’t expect your pants to get looser necessarily; you may actually fill them out a bit better. This is what happens to Dr. Goolsby (who describes herself as not naturally muscular) when she starts a new workout. “If I start doing Spin, for example, all of a sudden I’m starting to notice my pants feel a bit tighter as I’m building my quads. It’s not because I’m gaining weight, I’m putting on muscle.”
Do a mirror check: If you want visual evidence of how your body is changing, consider snapping pics of yourself wearing the same outfit (and at the same time of day) every so often. (Note: If this habit becomes obsessive or makes you feel discouraged, it’s not worth doing.) Even just taking a mental note of how you feel physically in your clothes when you get dressed in the morning is fine.
Should you toss your scale?
The number on the scale is not worth fixating on—but that doesn’t mean weighing yourself is a complete waste, says May Tom, RD, an in-house dietitian at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in Vista, California. “Having objective data to look at can help move people toward change,” she says. Research backs her up: Two recent studies have reaffirmed that people who step on the scale regularly tend to lose more weight than those who weigh themselves less frequently or not at all.
So how often should you weigh in? Once a week at most, says Tom. “That’s my usual recommendation if people feel like [the scale] keeps them on track and accountable,” she explains. “Any more than that and you can become frustrated if you don’t see progress.”

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You’ve been doing everything right: loading up on greens, lifting weights, and going easy on the wine and late-night snacks. But whenever you step on the scale, the same digits stare back at you—or worse, the number is higher than it was last time. WTF?
Before you get too worked up, the scale doesn’t tell the whole story—and you know this! Fortunately there are other ways to gauge your progress: As you get healthier, a few subtle mind-body clues begin to surface. Read on to learn what to look for. If you can check any of the boxes below, it’s a safe bet you’re on the right track (even if the scale claims otherwise).
Your junk food cravings have mellowed out
Once you’ve adapted to a cleaner diet, your hankerings for sugar and processed foods should get less intense (and may even go away completely), says Mark Hyman, MD, director of the Center for Functional Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. “You can absolutely train your body to crave healthy foods instead,” he says. In other words, jonesing for edamame is an excellent sign you’ve made headway.
Test your taste buds: Make a list of five foods you once craved; then after two weeks, note whether you crave them anymore. The shift can happen very quickly, says Dr. Hyman, who wrote The Blood Sugar Solution: 10-Day Detox Diet. “If you load up on plant foods, healthy fats, and protein with every meal, you will find that eventually you won’t want the junk.”
RELATED: 9 Before-and-After Photos That Show Weight Is Just a Number
You’re reaching for heftier dumbbells
So you finally started lifting—or doing body-weight workouts—to build fat-burning muscle. Here’s some encouraging news: You may notice progress stat. For some people, it takes just a few weeks to see improvements in strength. “This is often referred to as beginner’s gains,” says Kourtney Thomas, a certified strength and conditioning specialist based in St. Louis. (After that, progress may slow, but it should still happen over time.)
Track your gains: As a general rule, if your regimen includes progressive overload (meaning you gradually make your muscles work harder over time, by adding weight or tension) you should be able to lift weight that is 7 to 10 percent heavier—or do endurance strength moves (such as planks) for longer—after every 14 days or so. Try using specific exercises (think bicep curls and a squat hold) as "benchmarks," and testing yourself every two weeks or so. But keep in mind that fitness progress isn’t always linear, Thomas notes. “Other general clues like having more energy for workouts, and better balance and coordination are valuable indicators too,” she says.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter
You’ve never felt more rested
“Exercise has been proven to not only boost your daytime energy, but your sleep quality, too,” says Marci Goolsby, MD, a physician in the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Researchers have found that when people with insomnia get on a long-term exercise program, they tend to doze off quicker, snooze longer, and sleep more deeply than before they started working out. (Just don’t bang out a HITT routine right before bed, Dr. Goolsby warns, because that might actually keep you up.)
Collect some data: Use a sleep tracker device for a few weeks. “It can give you some general feedback,” says Dr. Goolsby, such as how long it takes you to drift off, and how long (roughly) you spend in REM sleep (the deepest stage). Once you start noticing positive changes, you may be motivated to hit the hay earlier, she adds.
RELATED: 6 Weird Things That May Help You Sleep Better
Your appetite has changed
If your get-fit plan has you turned you into a gym rat, you may not be as hungry as usual—or, you may be famished. Exercise can actually have both effects: Some people experience a drop in appetite, while others crave more food.
If your end goal is a slimmer waist, feeling ravenous can be frustrating. But you may actually need more food to keep burning calories, says Thomas: “You might have to increase what you are eating to fuel your body through your exercise routine.”
Assess your eating habits: In a notebook or with voice recordings in your smartphone, keep tabs on your hunger levels and rough calorie intake. If you do notice you’re eating more since you’ve started crushing your workouts in full-on beast mode, that okay, says Dr. Hyman. “Just make sure you’re adding real, whole foods,” he says. “Eight hundred calories from an avocado is going to do dramatically different things to your body than 800 calories coming from gummy bears.”
RELATED: How to Control Your Hunger Hormones to Lose Weight and Keep It Off
Your jeans fit differently
“Focusing on how your clothing feels is a good gauge for most people,” says Thomas, "as long as you recognize that sizing is a messed up mind game and are able to not worry about that." But don’t expect your pants to get looser necessarily; you may actually fill them out a bit better. This is what happens to Dr. Goolsby (who describes herself as not naturally muscular) when she starts a new workout. “If I start doing Spin, for example, all of a sudden I’m starting to notice my pants feel a bit tighter as I’m building my quads. It’s not because I’m gaining weight, I’m putting on muscle.”
Do a mirror check: If you want visual evidence of how your body is changing, consider snapping pics of yourself wearing the same outfit (and at the same time of day) every so often. (Note: If this habit becomes obsessive or makes you feel discouraged, it’s not worth doing.) Even just taking a mental note of how you feel physically in your clothes when you get dressed in the morning is fine.
Should you toss your scale?
The number on the scale is not worth fixating on—but that doesn’t mean weighing yourself is a complete waste, says May Tom, RD, an in-house dietitian at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in Vista, California. “Having objective data to look at can help move people toward change,” she says. Research backs her up: Two recent studies have reaffirmed that people who step on the scale regularly tend to lose more weight than those who weigh themselves less frequently or not at all.
So how often should you weigh in? Once a week at most, says Tom. “That’s my usual recommendation if people feel like [the scale] keeps them on track and accountable,” she explains. “Any more than that and you can become frustrated if you don’t see progress.”

BATTERIES!
That’s what I found myself screaming at my television at the end of the latest This Is Us episode, “Clooney” — and be warned, spoilers ahead. The episode is not, in fact, about George Clooney, nor about the late William’s cat, Clooney. Rather, the episode is about a trip to the mall where Rebecca asks Jack to remind her to pick up batteries. They forget to pick up batteries, and guess what? This directly relates to how Jack dies. WHY? Because Rebecca needed the batteries to put them in the smoke detector in the house.
Are you getting that? Rebecca needed batteries for the smoke detector, and soon, in the near future on This Is Us, Jack is going to die in a house fire because the smoke detector doesn’t have batteries. S-C-R-E-A-M-I-N-G.
While we still don’t know how this Pearson house fire comes to be — there’s a good theory surrounding the fact that it might be the Best Washing Machine In the World’s fault — we’ve now got this new piece to the puzzle. The episode begins with Jack doing some woodworking, because he’s building Rebecca an entertainment center (awww). A few episodes ago, we saw Jack fight with some faulty wiring in the basement after a fuse blew. Any of these things could be what starts the fire in the house, and all of them are making me anxious and nervous. We know Jack’s death is coming, and This Is Us is teasing us with the worst clues in the world. Because one way or another, this puzzle leads to Jack’s death.
And, worse yet, we’re inching so close to it. “Clooney” features Kevin in a cast. Randall goes to the mall to ask out the redheaded girl we’ll see him with the night Jack dies. Kate’s got her dog. We are terrifyingly near this horrific event, and I’ve never wanted a show to just STOP, so I can hold onto it in the here and now for as long as possible. If This Is Us would just STOP, then nothing else can happen, and Jack doesn’t die.
But it’s going to continue on, no matter how broken I am right now. If only Jack and Rebecca had remembered to pick up some BATTERIES. I don’t think I will ever be okay ever again.

BATTERIES!
That’s what I found myself screaming at my television at the end of the latest This Is Us episode, “Clooney” — and be warned, spoilers ahead. The episode is not, in fact, about George Clooney, nor about the late William’s cat, Clooney. Rather, the episode is about a trip to the mall where Rebecca asks Jack to remind her to pick up batteries. They forget to pick up batteries, and guess what? This directly relates to how Jack dies. WHY? Because Rebecca needed the batteries to put them in the smoke detector in the house.
Are you getting that? Rebecca needed batteries for the smoke detector, and soon, in the near future on This Is Us, Jack is going to die in a house fire because the smoke detector doesn’t have batteries. S-C-R-E-A-M-I-N-G.
While we still don’t know how this Pearson house fire comes to be — there’s a good theory surrounding the fact that it might be the Best Washing Machine In the World’s fault — we’ve now got this new piece to the puzzle. The episode begins with Jack doing some woodworking, because he’s building Rebecca an entertainment center (awww). A few episodes ago, we saw Jack fight with some faulty wiring in the basement after a fuse blew. Any of these things could be what starts the fire in the house, and all of them are making me anxious and nervous. We know Jack’s death is coming, and This Is Us is teasing us with the worst clues in the world. Because one way or another, this puzzle leads to Jack’s death.
And, worse yet, we’re inching so close to it. “Clooney” features Kevin in a cast. Randall goes to the mall to ask out the redheaded girl we’ll see him with the night Jack dies. Kate’s got her dog. We are terrifyingly near this horrific event, and I’ve never wanted a show to just STOP, so I can hold onto it in the here and now for as long as possible. If This Is Us would just STOP, then nothing else can happen, and Jack doesn’t die.
But it’s going to continue on, no matter how broken I am right now. If only Jack and Rebecca had remembered to pick up some BATTERIES. I don’t think I will ever be okay ever again.

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Olympic champion Simone Biles is the latest gymnast to come forward and share that she was molested by Team USA doctor Larry Nassar. Biles, 20, opened up about her experience in an open letter on Monday, January 15th. She shared the note on Twitter, captioning it “Feelings…” and “#MeToo.”
“Most of you know me as a happy, giggly and energetic girl. But lately…I’ve felt a bit broken and the more I try to shut off the voice in my head the louder it screams. I am not afraid to tell my story anymore,” Biles opened the post.
“I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” she continued. “Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak those words out loud than it is now to put them on paper. There are many reasons that I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault.”
Hundreds of athletes have accused Nassar of sexually abusing them, including Biles’ 2016 teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, as well as McKayla Maroney, who competed with Raisman and Douglas in 2012.
Biles explained that she initially wondered if she was to blame for the abuse. “For too long I have asked myself, ‘Was I too naive? Was it my fault?’ I now know the answers to those questions. No. No, it was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG, and others,” she wrote. “It is impossibly difficult to relive these experiences and it breaks my heart even more to think that as I work towards my dream of competing in Tokyo 2020, I will have to continually return to the same training facility where I was abused.”
She also firmly wrote that her experience of abuse “does not define” her, and that she “won’t let one man, and the others that enabled him, to steal my love and joy.”
And being the amazing woman she is, Biles hopes that her experience will help prevent anything like this from happening to other girls in the future.
“We need to know why this was able to take place for so long and to so many of us,” she said. “We need to make sure something like this never happens again.”
Aly Raisman shared her support for her former teammate on Twitter. “I am so proud of you. You are incredible Simone. I stand with you. I am shaking reading your post,” she tweeted. “I know we will all get through this together.” She also tweeted her intent to get to the bottom of what happened, as well as a photo of herself and Biles at the Olympics.
 
 
As reported by CNN, Nassar is scheduled to appear in a Michigan courtroom on Tuesday, January 16th. All of the women and girls who he abused are being given the opportunity to speak at the sentencing. Raisman tweeted that she wrote an “impact letter” to be read in court in front of Nassar, as attending the sentencing would be too traumatic for her. In November, Nassar was sentenced to life in prison.
We applaud Biles for sharing her story, and we’re certain her bravery will make a difference in the lives of others.

[brightcove:5644281469001 default]
Olympic champion Simone Biles is the latest gymnast to come forward and share that she was molested by Team USA doctor Larry Nassar. Biles, 20, opened up about her experience in an open letter on Monday, January 15th. She shared the note on Twitter, captioning it “Feelings…” and “#MeToo.”
“Most of you know me as a happy, giggly and energetic girl. But lately…I’ve felt a bit broken and the more I try to shut off the voice in my head the louder it screams. I am not afraid to tell my story anymore,” Biles opened the post.
“I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” she continued. “Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak those words out loud than it is now to put them on paper. There are many reasons that I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault.”
Hundreds of athletes have accused Nassar of sexually abusing them, including Biles’ 2016 teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, as well as McKayla Maroney, who competed with Raisman and Douglas in 2012.
Biles explained that she initially wondered if she was to blame for the abuse. “For too long I have asked myself, ‘Was I too naive? Was it my fault?’ I now know the answers to those questions. No. No, it was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG, and others,” she wrote. “It is impossibly difficult to relive these experiences and it breaks my heart even more to think that as I work towards my dream of competing in Tokyo 2020, I will have to continually return to the same training facility where I was abused.”
She also firmly wrote that her experience of abuse “does not define” her, and that she “won’t let one man, and the others that enabled him, to steal my love and joy.”
And being the amazing woman she is, Biles hopes that her experience will help prevent anything like this from happening to other girls in the future.
“We need to know why this was able to take place for so long and to so many of us,” she said. “We need to make sure something like this never happens again.”
Aly Raisman shared her support for her former teammate on Twitter. “I am so proud of you. You are incredible Simone. I stand with you. I am shaking reading your post,” she tweeted. “I know we will all get through this together.” She also tweeted her intent to get to the bottom of what happened, as well as a photo of herself and Biles at the Olympics.
 
 
As reported by CNN, Nassar is scheduled to appear in a Michigan courtroom on Tuesday, January 16th. All of the women and girls who he abused are being given the opportunity to speak at the sentencing. Raisman tweeted that she wrote an “impact letter” to be read in court in front of Nassar, as attending the sentencing would be too traumatic for her. In November, Nassar was sentenced to life in prison.
We applaud Biles for sharing her story, and we’re certain her bravery will make a difference in the lives of others.

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This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com
We’ve all been there: You’re at the end of a workout class when the instructor says you have another set of burpees to do. Your muscles and your mind want to scream “no” as soon as the words come out of her mouth. You can’t possibly push through another cardio set…except you can. And you should.
Even some of the toughest trainers — ones who barrel through sprints and hoist heavy weights like they’re lighter than shaker bottles — play this mind game. And it all comes down to mental toughness and a few motivating mantras. So next time you’re up against a round of squat jumps or your last 50 meters of a 5K, channel these mental tricks from our top fitness pros. The only question you’ll have left to ask yourself: Can you handle the ego boost you’ll feel at the finish?
RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think
13 Mantras Top Trainers Use to Boost Their Mental Toughness
1. “How we do anything is how we do everything.”
“The way we practice is the way we perform, so in moments of fatigue it’s a great reminder that even now — especially now — I need to give my best. The mantra motivates me to give 100 percent even when I’m tired or don’t feel like it. And these are the moments that help form my habits and shape my mentality as an athlete.”
—Milan Costich founder of PREVAIL boxing
2. “Do more than expected.”
“My main mental focus while training and pushing through my last rep always circles back to what was embedded in me as a professional athlete. The importance of finishing is something I’ve carried with me not just in training but in life. I constantly remind myself of what I’ve accomplished simply by doing a little more than expected. Holding myself to that standard doesn’t change with how I train myself. Chasing greatness in all things is a mentality for me… a way of life. What you achieve is dictated by how you respond when you’re being challenged the most.”
—Curtis Williams, owner of Training C.A.M.P. and former NFL player
RELATED: Meditation Meets HIIT in New Mindful Fitness Approach
3. “Think of how good you’ll feel.”
“Sometimes when I struggle with motivation, whether it’s finishing a workout or even just getting to the gym in the first place, I try and tell myself, ‘Just think of how good you’ll feel when you’re done.’ Remembering the feeling of finishing a workout strong or pushing myself to do more than I thought I could always gets me through and keeps me coming back time and time again!”
—Nora Minno, trainer on Daily Burn 365
4. “Let’s go!”
“Some days are just a struggle! But that doesn’t mean I give up; it means I have to get creative. The mind is the most creative and powerful muscle so I can either let the blues take over or I can shift my attitude and make it happen. My mantra ‘let’s go!’ is so simple but it really pumps me up. I also dance it out. I do just a little movement, side to side, shake out my hands and take a deep breath — all while repeating ‘let’s go!’”
—Astrid Swan, celebrity trainer
RELATED: 9 Ways to Find Workout Motivation (Every Damn Day)
5. “Gratitude and competition.”
“On days where I want to stop the workout, I’ll think about how grateful I am to have a strong, healthy body, and how lucky I am that I get to choose the gift of exercise. It’s not a punishment. On the other hand, I am very motivated by competition. So on days when I take class, I’ll take a mental note of who I think is a better athlete than me, and he/she will be my mental competition. It makes me work harder and it also makes it more fun for me.”
—Ashley Borden, celebrity trainer
6. “I’ve got this.”
“I repeat this passionately — and with conviction. I also take a moment before a truly challenging moment, set or interval, and visualize the experience as clearly and authentically as possible. For example, seeing myself perform each rep of a set and vividly imagining what it will feel like, especially the last couple reps. I see and feel the struggle and myself successful in overcoming it. I actually feel my nervous system start working. I think that feeling is so important. Then during the movement, I focus all attention and energy on the muscles working and imagining them bursting with power. I also make sure to be fully in it until the very last second — like, bar back in the rack — before shifting my focus.”
—Gregg Cook, trainer on Daily Burn 365

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This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com
We’ve all been there: You’re at the end of a workout class when the instructor says you have another set of burpees to do. Your muscles and your mind want to scream “no” as soon as the words come out of her mouth. You can’t possibly push through another cardio set…except you can. And you should.
Even some of the toughest trainers — ones who barrel through sprints and hoist heavy weights like they’re lighter than shaker bottles — play this mind game. And it all comes down to mental toughness and a few motivating mantras. So next time you’re up against a round of squat jumps or your last 50 meters of a 5K, channel these mental tricks from our top fitness pros. The only question you’ll have left to ask yourself: Can you handle the ego boost you’ll feel at the finish?
RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think
13 Mantras Top Trainers Use to Boost Their Mental Toughness
1. “How we do anything is how we do everything.”
“The way we practice is the way we perform, so in moments of fatigue it’s a great reminder that even now — especially now — I need to give my best. The mantra motivates me to give 100 percent even when I’m tired or don’t feel like it. And these are the moments that help form my habits and shape my mentality as an athlete.”
—Milan Costich founder of PREVAIL boxing
2. “Do more than expected.”
“My main mental focus while training and pushing through my last rep always circles back to what was embedded in me as a professional athlete. The importance of finishing is something I’ve carried with me not just in training but in life. I constantly remind myself of what I’ve accomplished simply by doing a little more than expected. Holding myself to that standard doesn’t change with how I train myself. Chasing greatness in all things is a mentality for me… a way of life. What you achieve is dictated by how you respond when you’re being challenged the most.”
—Curtis Williams, owner of Training C.A.M.P. and former NFL player
RELATED: Meditation Meets HIIT in New Mindful Fitness Approach
3. “Think of how good you’ll feel.”
“Sometimes when I struggle with motivation, whether it’s finishing a workout or even just getting to the gym in the first place, I try and tell myself, ‘Just think of how good you’ll feel when you’re done.’ Remembering the feeling of finishing a workout strong or pushing myself to do more than I thought I could always gets me through and keeps me coming back time and time again!”
—Nora Minno, trainer on Daily Burn 365
4. “Let’s go!”
“Some days are just a struggle! But that doesn’t mean I give up; it means I have to get creative. The mind is the most creative and powerful muscle so I can either let the blues take over or I can shift my attitude and make it happen. My mantra ‘let’s go!’ is so simple but it really pumps me up. I also dance it out. I do just a little movement, side to side, shake out my hands and take a deep breath — all while repeating ‘let’s go!’”
—Astrid Swan, celebrity trainer
RELATED: 9 Ways to Find Workout Motivation (Every Damn Day)
5. “Gratitude and competition.”
“On days where I want to stop the workout, I’ll think about how grateful I am to have a strong, healthy body, and how lucky I am that I get to choose the gift of exercise. It’s not a punishment. On the other hand, I am very motivated by competition. So on days when I take class, I’ll take a mental note of who I think is a better athlete than me, and he/she will be my mental competition. It makes me work harder and it also makes it more fun for me.”
—Ashley Borden, celebrity trainer
6. “I’ve got this.”
“I repeat this passionately — and with conviction. I also take a moment before a truly challenging moment, set or interval, and visualize the experience as clearly and authentically as possible. For example, seeing myself perform each rep of a set and vividly imagining what it will feel like, especially the last couple reps. I see and feel the struggle and myself successful in overcoming it. I actually feel my nervous system start working. I think that feeling is so important. Then during the movement, I focus all attention and energy on the muscles working and imagining them bursting with power. I also make sure to be fully in it until the very last second — like, bar back in the rack — before shifting my focus.”
—Gregg Cook, trainer on Daily Burn 365