Shrink Your Waist by Growing This…

In conversations about why they are failing or struggling in their fitness and wellness – or not where they want to be – the vast majority of women tend to focus first on diet and exercise.

Do you think you need to take away food and add exercise? Did you know there’s another step that is even more important to reaching your goals?



Yes, I am happy to lead you through the best workout you can ever imagine. Yes, I can guide you on your food choices that will result in feeling – and looking – better.

Diet and exercise are certainly important. However, there are so many other important factors that will get you your best wellness and fitness. My campaign is to help you understand them.

Today’s key component of a wellness program is something that works 100 percent of the time. It is not only important: it is essential. Without this, your plans will fail. Maybe not tomorrow, yet eventually.


Are you the 45-65 year old woman struggling to find your fitness? Are you really still fighting the scale and the read-out on your wearable?


So what is it?
  • • It is the factor that motivates you to start – or not – a program.
  • • It is the factor that leads to sticking with the program or “giving up.”
  • • It is the factor that keeps you interested in getting better, or not.

It is your outlook on life, your thoughts, your beliefs and what we call a mindset.

It is well known in psychology and behavior-change circles that if you believe you can achieve something, then you will start the new behavior. When we innately do not believe, we tend to not start a new healthy behavior.

Statements like those below are the start to a beautiful journey.

  • • “I believe I can be as fit as I want.”
  • • “I believe I can start and stay with a new program and see lasting results.”
  • • “I believe I can take stock of my diet, my sleep, and my stress and make necessary changes to get healthy – for good.”

…get the point?


The Start is the Key to you Making Progress!

Next you take action. Once you’ve started, it means you’ve acted on those beliefs. Once you’ve acted, you make progress. Once you make progress, you continue to make progress. Yet, you have to start with the belief you can do it.



Another reason I quit being (just) a personal trainer and decided to full-time work on my crusade to teach women my superior approach to wellness was a result of my research – and my own journey to build – a growth mindset. I too lacked confidence and punished myself for poor food (and drink!) choices. I questioned if my stress was really the culprit to my extremely poor body image. When I realized my stress was the trigger for my poor choices and the toxic loop of deprivation, overworking my body, and fitful sleep, I made change. Yet, only after I found my own growth mindset.

By developing a growth mindset, I overcame my preconceived notion in my head, and you can too, and overcame exercise, diet, stress, sleep, mindfulness limitations. It created success at pretty much anything, including my interminable war-with-myself to get in shape.

Another way to view this is to change your personal identity so you talk to yourself in a way that is totally triumphant and will succeed in your wellness. For example, I am a person who thinks positively, trains five days a week, places great value in always improving myself, breaths deeply with stressful moments, and who eats nourishing foods. It is how I identify, not just who I want to be.

When we have awareness of our thoughts, we have the choice to change our actions. You can too. Yet you must start with a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset.


Here are some examples of a fixed mindset:

“I am too overwhelmed with food prep and what it takes.”

“I’m too busy.”

“I have to eat every three hours or I’ll be “hangry.”

“I cannot change my stress. Others around me dictate my actions.”

“I can’t _____.”

“I don’t have to grow at _____. I’m already good at it.”



And now a growth mindset:

“I can always learn new skills.”

“I am in control of me: no one else is.”

“It may be my stress or lack of sleep that is (making me crave 4pm sugar) preventing me from making progress.”

“I am in control of my skills and actions.”

“I can do __________.”


Belief leads to action. Action leads to growth. Period.

As you begin to understand the fixed and growth mindsets, you will see exactly how one thing leads to another—how a belief that your qualities are carved in stone leads to lack of progress. Conversely, you will understand how a belief that your (new) qualities can be cultivated leads to a host of different thoughts and actions, taking you down an entirely different road.

Next week, I’ll talk about the best way to apply this growth mindset and change your beliefs so that you can make more progress and see the results you want.

I currently have very limited space in my Concierge Wellness Program. You can schedule a free consult with me to get more information. Or if you want to get started right away by joining our Foundations Online Wellness Program or our highly popular Fitness + Foundations Program, click here.


  • 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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