Warning: Act Now, Don’t Wait.

This may sting, but it’s tough love time. Early this year, literally on January 1st, my phone blew up. As I lounged at my parent’s house, texts, DMs, emails, calls, and even FB messages (do people still do that?) gobbled up my parents’ dial-up data (LOL, my dad would kill me for that). Can you guess what it was about? Mainly (which makes sense) it was inquiries about fixing arrays of health problems. Anywhere from bum knees to a loved-ones recovering from strokes. I was inundated with requests for who to see for this, who to see for that, or even, PT appointments with me (I am retired). This pattern continued into February. I received on average three to four requests, inquiries, questions daily, as did many others in this business. In reading this back, it sounds like I’m complaining and frustrated by it, but I’m not, I’m happy to help. But what concerns me is the timing. 


This is me tracking who needed appointments. Just kidding. I’m not that organized.


Why do we wait? I’m guilty of it too. My self-care family wellness to-do list is backing up as well. But why do we wait until the new year to act? If anything, as you can see, you’re not alone, everyone is trying to act at the same time which, in my opinion, affects the quality and timing of your care. For example, I could not respond quickly enough to requests, and if I did, it was difficult to get appointments since everyone and their mother was doing the exact same thing. It’s like flushing all the toilets at the same time.

In addition, as you all know, every boutique fitness joint, gym, studio etc., etc. is inundated with people either “starting” an exercise routine or trying to get “back on schedule.” We already know: exercise will save your life, improve your quality of life, and improve your function. We already know this, so why are we waiting until January? I’m not asking this to shame anyone, I truly want to know. This January-starts-everything mindset has got to go. The irony of this mindset is we think it’s a start to making us healthier, but it’s actually making us unhealthier. In order to be healthy, we must adopt behaviors that are sustainable throughout the year. 


Let’s break it down. Although this sounds and looks simple, I understand that breaking a habit and adopting new healthy habits is not easy:

  1. If you need to lose weight, that takes strict sacrifice at first. Make the sacrifices!!! I am begging you. They are not forever. Lose the weight–your health (joints, brain, heart, lungs, literally everything) depends on it. Please, do it now. You will live a longer and happier life, it is proven. Losing weight always starts with eating well.
  2. Once you have lost the recommended amount of weight, maintain with moderation. What do I do? I eat well during the week (you will rarely find me eating a big sandwich with french fries on a Wednesday, or pasta and wine on a Tuesday night), practice intermittent fasting, and exercise at least 5 days a week (that is non-negotiable, I have Alzheimer’s in my family). Moderation is sustainable…restriction is not. (Side note: My husband told me to take out that I exercise 5 days a week. He said that would intimidate people, “They may not be able to do that.” he said. “But it’s the truth” I said, “Do you not want me to tell them the truth?” He replied, “Ease them into it, give them a starting point.” Point taken Brooks Brown, I will do that at the end of this article.)
  3. Which brings me to the most important point, themed throughout every one of my posts: we must exercise. We have to. Our bodies are structured to move and not sit. Please refer to one of my favorite posts from New Year’s 2019: The Secret to Life is Simpler Than You Think. But keep in mind, losing weight is not just about exercising. My husband lost a ton of weight this year. Prior to losing the weight, he worked out almost every week day. It wasn’t until he changed the way he ate (for him it was dropping carbs–beer, pasta, etc.) that he had to buy an entirely new wardrobe.


My friends often say, “Let’s go on the Brooks Brown Diet.”


In closing, the message is this–start now, ease into it now. Make the steps now to regain your health or if you’re already there keep it up! We’ve made it easy for you at Mind the Mat, we have just about everything: expert-designed classes that make you flexible, strong, mobile, healthy. We have cardio, strength, stretch, specialized workshops. We have early morning, mid-morning, all the way up to late evening. We have knowledgeable instructors who make you feel welcomed. And right now we are having a big-time Black Friday Sale. We hope to see you on your mat…whether here or there!


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  • The latest from Megan
Megan Brown, physical therapist, Pilates instructor, mother and co-founder of Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga in Alexandria, VA, likes to goof around. Yet her commitment to her students and her skill set in the field is no joke. After graduating from University of Virginia with a degree in Sports Medicine, Megan went on to receive her Masters in Physical Therapy and eventually her Doctorate in the profession. Although Pilates was never part of the plan, the method changed the way she treated patients, positively re-directed her career path and enhanced her own active lifestyle. Customized Pilates instruction is her specialty–she designs classes based on clients needs: athletes, new moms, rehabilitation or just for fun (why be serious all the time?). Pilates + Yoga is the best of both worlds, hence the creation of Mind the Mat studios providing classes for all—in every walk of life.

Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga was founded in 2008 by Megan Brown, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Polestar Certified Practitioner of Pilates for Rehabilitation and Sara VanderGoot, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher (e-RYT 200, RYT 500). In their private practices as physical therapist and massage therapist respectively Megan and Sara observed that many of their clients were coming in with similar needs: relief for neck and shoulder tension and low back pain as well as a desire for more flexibility in hips and legs, stability in joints, and core strength.

Together Megan and Sara carefully crafted a curriculum of Pilates and yoga classes to address needs for clients who are pregnant, postpartum, have injuries or limitations, who are new to Pilates and yoga, and for those who are advanced students and are looking for an extra challenge.


2214 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301


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