On Cheating, part 1

We’ve all been there. Temptation sets in, it’s late, or we are out with friends celebrating. We’re tired. We’ve had a really bad day. We haven’t planned and BAM: we cheat on our normally healthy diet.

What’s the big deal? Life is short. You want to enjoy your time out with your friends, your late-night Netflix show with your boyfriend, your life! After all, they are cheating. Why can’t you?!

The answer lies in how you view your wellness and if it includes a well-defined stress resilience practice. That is: is your wellness plan sustainable for the rest of your life?

Cheating is a sign that you’re stressed. Hey, just thinking about it raises your cortisol, the stress hormone. Then, stressing about the cheat increases your cortisol even more! Double whammy…

Cheating can also mean you view food as a reward or that your wellness plan doesn’t include a reward system — one that isn’t food-based — that is satisfying to you. Some questions I invite you to explore are:

What is your relationship with food?

Is it fuel for your beautiful body?

Is it your enemy?

 Or somewhere in between?

The answer also lies in what you really want from your diet, and whether or not you have built in regular splurges. Mine is a glass of champagne, but I build it in to my plan for the week. Building in simple yet really effective practices that add to your wellness and don’t detract from it will make a huge difference not only in your waistline but in your ability to manage your stress.

You’ve heard me before: building healthy habits into your daily life will be the basis for an incredibly successful wellness, fitness, and food plan. Take stock of those plans – or build them – define what they are, assess if they are working, and work to replace those that detract from your wellness with those that will embellish it.

I’m asking you, readers, to get curious about your wellness. How high on the priority list is it? Is it something that frequently falls by the wayside or is it something that is part of you…and defines you? Is it sustainable…forever? Or only until that next “event” like a reunion, a wedding, a big celebration year?


Do you get 7-7.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night? Just there, you’ll be prepared to stave off the “hangries.” (Stay tuned for part 2 to find out about the “hangries.”)



Do you exercise every day? This too will ward off the temptation. You’ve worked so hard today — why ruin all you’ve already done for your body? If the goal is weight loss, the research says you’ll need to exercise every day for at least 30 minutes. Every. Day.



Do you practice meditation, mindfulness, and have you mastered effective breathing practices to help you navigate your most stressful days?



Is your “to do” list under control and really filled with important tasks or, well, “fillers?”


Do you have a healthy relationship with food?


Next week, you’ll learn my five most trusted — and researched — practices that will help you stay away from your cheat…forever!


  • 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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