Body Love Part 1: Shocking Discoveries

Join me on a journey to find true and lasting appreciation, awe, and love for your body. This spring, I will be co-hosting a four-week course based on science, research, my work with thousands of women, and my own tortured roller coaster ride turned to appreciation for my body!



While ‘wellness’ and ‘well-being’ are buzz words in my industry, I still find after almost 20 years, as women, we want to feel better about ourselves and our bodies. Ultimately, we want to declare a “ceasefire” in our war with our bodies. We long to relate to our bodies with appreciation, not disdain; love, not hate. Most of all, we desire relief from the angst-ridden relationship we’ve had with our bodies for decades. We just don’t know how to get to peace.


This story introduces my new Alexandria Wellness program, Body Love, a true labor of love for me. I have worked with so many women who, at 45, 55, 65, and 75, continue to bad-mouth their bodies and harbor ill feelings about how they project to the world. Worst yet, they continue to talk about the dang scale. Over the next several weeks, we will offer heart-felt, research-driven articles on how you can come to love and appreciate your body and all it does for you. I will provide ample fodder for you to consider as you “weigh” your own wellness, your satisfaction with your body, and ultimately your contentedness with your life. Better yet, I’ll invite you to Body Love, an interactive, confidential, enlightening, and game-changing four-week program. Be on the lookout!


What better place to start on loving your body than with the scale and our relationship with it? 

Many of us grew up with one in our bathrooms. Our moms got on them daily, and every doctor’s visit is welcomed with a “step on the scale.” It is a measurement we loathe; it is a part of our lives.



Next week, I will share my one-week log of my own weight ups and downs, and how in the course of one week, A plus B does not equal C. In other words, we’ve been sold a myth. This myth tells us that if we eat less and exercise (cardio especially) more, we will see a difference in the number on the scale. We must measure up. We must fit into some societal image. Instead of focusing on the true measures of wellness and progress like our energy levels, how our clothes fit, etc., society tells us we must see a certain number on the scale to feel that we are worthy. My weight log will show you that it is just not that simple, and in some cases (especially over the course of one week), it is not close to true.


Below, I’ve listed my diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits. I did not include some really important details such as: how much I moved throughout each day, how much sunlight I got, my stress level, my body fat percentage, and other vital factors. I am intentionally not including them to show you how diet and exercise alone, especially after 45 years of age, is simply not going to change the number on the scale!

My Exercise Program:

I exercise daily for one hour, give or take 15 minutes. Does this mean I kill myself and push myself to the limit every day? Heck, no. I consider my training a part of my self-care and love. I use my body as a living laboratory to develop new movements to get my clients strong(her) and to build my new online fitness program (launching this summer! Sign up to receive details at I boundary this time and my exercise space every morning. My training plan is programmed by my coach, and I continually train to master a variety of movements. I pay attention to what I’m doing and how I complete my exercises. I have fun. I dance between sets. I play with my cats. I record videos for concierge clients. It’s my own personal party.

My Food:

I practice intermittent fasting. I also don’t take it too crazy seriously. I mindfully pay attention to how my body responds to its environment: sleep, food, stress, and yes, bowel movements. I know my body very well, and when it needs breakfast, I eat breakfast. When it occasionally needs a late afternoon snack, I snack mindfully.

My Sleep Program:

I am far more strict about my sleep than exercise and food. I sleep eight hours every night and stick to the same sleep schedule, whether it is Tuesday or Saturday. When I stray, I feel it in my body, my mood, my hunger, and my disinterest in exercise… as you will see in my diet choices the week, I logged my weight.


I aim to drink between 60 – 80 oz of water daily and have hydration goals that I meet by 8 am, 12 noon, and 4 pm.

Social Outings:

I normally do not meet friends out during the workweek. However, on the week I logged my weight, I had a friend in town and another friend’s birthday. This was a rare week when I was out twice, drank wine, and was in bed later than usual.


Next week, do not miss my actual weight log after two nights out, “breakfast for dinner” in the Cotton house, lack of meal and menu planning, and varying intensity workouts. I can’t wait to reveal my discoveries related to the scale! Until then, join my newsletter to learn about our upcoming events like Body Love and our online wellness program starting with fitness at!



  • The latest from Adrien
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home after a successful career in policy and public affairs communications. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 2,000 clients, 30 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now, more-than-ever, passionate about helping women view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty and heart pumping workouts to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep, and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down,” a healthy mix of strength and metabolic (cardio) work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength in mind and body. She believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and that change, or improvement, is within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help women learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness, listening to success stories, and bragging about her twin 13-year-old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!

Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314



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