For Mother’s of Boys

Energetic mother, I have been thinking about you all day, I was you. I was a protective mom of one toddler age boy, once upon a time. I worried that the forces of the world were going to infect my perfect precious child. I worried about baby talk, gender toys, paint, pesticides, vaccines, racism, sexism, egocentricsm and a dozen other “isms” and then… my boy (or his two brothers that followed after) knocked out their teeth by force. My whole and perfect boys, they broke their bones. They rode bikes with no helmets, no hands, then no feet. The boys have skateboarded off mountains and off the roof.   I was called for concussion alerts by the ski patrol, the school nurses and several coaches. I have heard from principles and the police. (“There’s a man on the roof with a rifle!”…”uh, no …there’s a tall boy with a BB gun keeping rabbits out of his mother’s garden”)

So after some years and some tears while mothering I realize there are forces in the world to be concerned about, but there is a bigger force with in each of my sons. The fire and force of a young man’s passion, curiosity and aggressive nature you can guide for a while but with an ever-lightening touch.   After babyhood is gone most mothers of boys come around to this: We provide cuddles and calories and cheer loudly from the stands!

Love you my sons and my sister’s out there who are raising young men….

Julie and the boys2014

Shoppers for Belly Blockers:


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Tweet Today in the Studio Mat class I heard from a witty, wonderful, sexy and stylish woman that she has accepted middle age and is in a retail quest for Belly Blocker Tops.   At first I thought she meant these … Continue reading

Pain in the neck??

One of my favorite students came into the mat class today and told me of her neck pain.  I replied, “The simple solution to a pain in the neck is to keep your chin up”  “how metaphorical!” another student replied.

It is bio mechanically sound, if you keep your head balanced on top of your shoulders, your neck muscles won’t fatigue as quickly.

It’s also true, that if we bring our perspective on life up a notch, lots of pain will dissipate.

Just a few hours later I was speaking to my son about his last days of Biology in summer school.   His study plan for the final had none of the skills I hoped he’d demonstrate.  My chin sank, my shoulders hunched in frustration and then my neck hurt.  I scolded and scoffed, and then my stomach hurt.  It took about 10 minutes and I realized I could choose to look up.  I could elect to elevate my headspace.   I don’t really know all he’s done in preparation since he’s at school for 5-7 hours a day and spends half his free time at his dad’s house, I reasoned.  More importantly if your own mother looses faith in you, that’s more of an issue with the faith of the mother.  Well, since I am she, I can affect that piece a great deal.

I looked up.

My neck released.  Jared and I printed notes from the website he needed and made a plan for organization.

All in one magical day… Neck pain and the metaphor that fixes it came into consciousness.

Look up!  (I’m high — in the tree)  From Tree Hammock


Deeeeep Core

The most of my work in my home studio is core related. I teach Pilates principles on Pilates equipment but what I get most inspired by (that most teachers gloss over) is Pelvic Floor. That’s why Steve found me when his Doctor said do pelvic floor work and that’s why we made this YouTube Channel for guys who were diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.

Pelvic Floor vs. Core

The truth is EVERYONE needs to know their pelvic floor, how to control, strengthen and differentiate those muscles. Why? To avoid incontinence in old age and keep all your parts high and tight, for longer better deeper orgasms, and for the foundation of your spinal and abdominal muscles. It takes some courage and imagination but go for it. Learn your body inside out!

Castration, Friendship and Karma – How will you live the rest of your life and who will you serve in doing so?

Below is a heart moving tribute from a client who endured a complete prostatectomy on this week, last year. Steve reminds us our service in the world creates substance and significance. In the next few posts I will review his year as his mind-body coach.

In one week I get castrated – I have never been so terrified in my life

This is the worst thing a man can go through personally and it has shown me the good and the bad in me – and unfortunately there is more bad and selfishness than good that I’ve identified. I have found such strength in my close friend and personal trainer Julie W. Poplawski – every coach needs a coach says my friend and mentor Mikel Harry – she is the strongest (mentally and physically) woman I know other than my Mother, and for the record her teachings and philosophy about life brings me a sense of calm I’ve never found before, and what is so interesting and beautiful is that everything that she has said or done for me is something I have done or said for others in my life – a reason to live a life for others has never been so clearer.

How will you live the rest of your life and who will you serve in doing so? – Steve Cooper

On the edge of your life, your core emerges. Now or Never, Ready or not… you drop your polite training, your public image and then the essence of what you believe is right there. We worked the core of Steve, Literally. Pelvic Floor and we worked the soul of Steve. What is worth fighting the disease for, breaking the medical communities predictions for, what is really worth living wholly for?

Book Signing this weekend in Park City, UT


“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”   – JOSEPH CAMPBEL.

It takes a courageous type of soul to talk about weight management before Thanksgiving, when the weather is cold and all you really want is a mocha and a muffin.  But you’ll feel and look better when the sweater eventually comes off if you come explore appetite and life balance with me this Sunday at Atticus at 10 am, I’ll be there with my honey latte, no one will judge your order, so sip what you like.   I can’t wait to meet you.  Love,  Julie

8 lbs. vs the Whopper

Today in class two students who have been part of the Fill Your Cup tribe from inception were talking about a weight loss goal. One woman said, in the next 6 weeks she wanted to lose 8 lbs and so she got diet pills so she could still eat fast food cheeseburgers. The other replied, “You know you get one or the other, 8 lbs off or the whopper.”

It was so simple and clear and we all laughed at the obvious conclusion. You get thin or you get full, not both. So which one matters more?

The next element to the morning that made me smile is the tribe itself.  Your community can help support your cause.  Think about your family, friends, the classes you take – do they inspire a light living life? What would YOUR friends say in a similar situation? Are they going to tell you want is comfortable to hear, everyone deserves a Whopper sometimes hunnie or will they tell you the truth? 8 lbs vs. whopper – you decides who wins.

(PS it’s worth mentioning eventually, you will feel satisfied and satiated eating less – give yourself a month to adjust.)

Appetite in Light

I’m not a vegan. I’m not gluten free. I’m not vegetarian and I don’t abstain. I don’t juice and I don’t fast. I don’t know who Mr. Atkins is and I don’t binge or purge. I’ve never been to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. I don’t have a gym membership or a physical trainer. I don’t always eat dinner before 7 and I don’t measure my portions in relation to a deck of cards.
I am a happy, healthy, fairly well adjusted size 10. My life is full of lots of unconditional love and I don’t feel the need to be something else. I’ve had ups and downs with my weight in my life. Two kids and a few too many ice cream sandwiches. But, I’m active. I’m super, duper active. I just go, go, go. I like a number of physical activities and rarely go a day without working up a sweat. At least once.
I eat when I’m hungry. I eat what my wonderful husband prepares at night for dinner. I try to be moderate with my portions. Salad on my dinner plate. Pasta in a small side bowl. No to that delicious smelling garlic bread. I try to count how many chips I had with my sandwich and make mine open face.
I’m strong and I’m flexible. I’m short and I’m curvy. I’m 44, but I feel more like 30. I’m more comfortable in my body now then I was 24 pounds lighter at 21. My kids have seen me naked more times, I’m sure, than they could ever count. I’m comfortable in my body. I know my body doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
I practice yoga. I look at myself in the mirror and I practice loving what I see. And what I see is beauty and grace. I just want to love myself, because time is always passing and I don’t want to waste a precious moment beating myself up. I can hike and I can run. I can’t bench press my own body weight, but I can do a black belt push up. I can swim 60 laps right now if you like and I can almost always get a full bind in parsvakonasana.
I have a healthy appetite for food and for exercise. I crave love and I crave friendship. I indulge in the here and the now and consume every minute of my day. My life is very satisfying and I feel most full when I am giving to others.
All this talk about appetite is making me hungry.

– Julie Tuomisto-Bell, Yoga teacher and blessing to all who know her. (Thank you again for all you are)

What is your story? Jennie Sikora 2011 Chapter 3: ENJOY THE EMPTY SPACE

For the past two weeks, I kept thinking I was forgetting something. I was constantly doing a check list in my head to make sure I had everything I needed for wherever I was headed. I just couldn’t figure it out… Then I realized what it was, but I will need to back up to explain.

Now, what I have experienced in the past two weeks, I probably should of experienced over the past month and half. You will have to forgive me for I am a slow learner, or maybe I needed to just go through the highs and lows to really understand the feelings.

I have been trying to practice what I preach by being religious about my food tweets and following the cups. In my last chapter I said accountability is the key. But I was tweeting more for others than myself and not being completely honest. These two weeks (now going on three), I set a short term goal: I will tweet absolutely everything no matter how far out of the cup it is. I also will use a small or medium cup for everything I eat.

It wasn’t right away that I felt any different than other days and thoughts like “UGH” or “this is hard” or “this is such as small amount” were coming into my head. But after a day or two, instead of feeling burdened by writing what I was eating, I felt a twinge of excitement. That excitement came from the notion that I was actually following my cup portions. I was stopping when I was done and not wishing for more and feeling deprived. I actually felt satisfied. Sure there were and are moments that I had to “ride the wave” and take some deep breaths or just walk away or say NO THANK YOU. Then something strange began to happen. I couldn’t put my finger on it but my thoughts were weird. That is when I realized what I was feeling like I was forgetting something. It wasn’t keys, paperwork or leaving the coffee pot in. It was the negative and guilty thoughts.

Julie checked on me one of the days to ask how my week was, and it was ironic that she reached out that day. I had gone running earlier in the day and was reflecting on this journey along with the other issues of life. It may sound strange because it was a strange feeling to me, but I could feel the joy, excitement whatever you want to call it, of the empty space in my stomach. I was not hungry, or full, more like the neutral zone. Then the next day, I felt the same feeling began to feel empowered. “Could I actually be getting the fill-your cup?” “Is it finally clicking?” “Is my body or more importantly my mind accepting the smaller portions?”

The strange feeling I had was control and positivity. In the first chapter, I wrote that I had control over my own story. I lost site of that during the initial challenges. This past week, I actually FELT the control of my story. I felt the Empty Space

I have felt almost three weeks of silence. Silence from many bad and self defeating thoughts. Are those thoughts completely wiped away like cob webs? Probably not, but damn it feels good to be in control and actually feel the neutral zone. So the next time, I face a difficult food choice or want more etc. I can remember how good THIS feels and stay focused.

Stay Empty!:)

What is your story? Jennie Sikora 2011 Chapter 2


I have learned the power of simply saying “No Thank You”. I wish I could say that I said it all the time this month but I didn’t. However, I learned that it is the simplest strategy to adopt my new eating habits. This month has been a challenge, but every goal that is worth it, is never easy right?

I travel a lot for my job and many times have no control over where or when I am going to eat, so it makes it difficult to plan my meals. I was starting to feel like an alcoholic being dragged to bar after bar. I felt that I had to explain to everyone what I could eat or not eat and how much. (On a side note-It is amazing how that triggers feelings in the people you are with). I was getting frustrated with other people’s questions the “Why’s?” Why am I trying to live a lighter lifestyle? And “What’s?” What are all the things you do in the Fill Your Cup life style? It’s eating less, eating only when your hungry, eating to a point that you are only 80 percent full so, still a little hungry. These conversations regarding the why and what caused me to give in several times because I didn’t want to explain it. At one point, I laid in my hotel room questioning if I would even be able to do this. When I was loosing my motivation and feeling embarrassed that I could not get a grasp on this, I reached out to Julie. She reminded me of my goals and put things into perspective. That helped me a lot. I actually looked at my long term goals and began my visualization. To fit into my goal jeans is a lot more rewarding than a dessert at a customer dinner or more food than my body needs. It is something I am starting to say everyday to myself to help keep those thoughts in the front of mind instead of pushing them to the back.

On my next trip, I simply said, “NO THANK YOU”, when offered tempting foods or more portions than I needed. I found that was so simple. No one was asking any questions. Just saying “No Thanks”, shut everyone up-End of Story. It is so strange and I guess a bit basic, but I started to feel empowered by the word “NO”. I actually looked at my long term goals and began my visualization. To fit into my goal jeans is a lot more rewarding than a dessert at a customer dinner or more food than my body needs. I am not “there” yet but for the last week and for my next two business trips it is definitely helping.

Things I am learning:

I have to be held accountable. I am getting better at my tweeting. If I eat it I have to write it. I was “avoiding” my food journal tweets when I did not make good choices. I decided that I HAVE to write it down. I am learning to ask myself, “Would you want to say you ate that or that much of it?”

If I do make choices that are not favoring my goals, I can not loose motivation. I cannot turn one set back into 5 or 6 setbacks. Once it is over it is over and my next decision or choice can be better. By saying “No Thank You”, I am getting control within situations I can not control. So the decisions and choices are MINE.