Fitness Design Solutions

Health and Wellness Coaching, Massage Therapy, Pilates and Yoga Studio in Ashburn VA. or listen to the Unspoken Cancer Truths podcast

Meredith Eaton works with business owners to write their book. She says, “A book is a point in time, not your life’s work, just get the words on the page.” So True! Today, your challenge is to let go of perfect. Is there something you have been putting off because it isn’t perfect? Would asking for help enable you to get it done? Let me know in the comments what you can finish today.

Unspoken Cancer Truths with Jessica Walker

An interesting thing happens when you are diagnosed with, well anything. People start telling you exactly what you should be doing with complete authority. My question is always have you had the condition and done the thing yourself. Most of the time they haven’t. Making their idea of a perfect approach a bit meaningless as it relates to you.

In my Unspoken Cancer Truths podcast interview with Jessica Walker this week talk about this. We also talk about making choices that are perfect for us, which is unique person to person. How does the idea of perfection change when there are no comparisons to others or opportunities for others to judge or assess your choices?

“Perfection is the enemy of progress” Winston Churchill

I will tell you a secret. I write all my posts then my VA posts them. For too long, I would have ideas, write them out and NOT post them. Having someone else post my topics stops the perfection cycle in its tracks.

Judgement abounds on social media and at some point, as humans we stopped allowing people the grace to make mistakes and learn from them. The truth is sometimes we do make mistakes. I think we can learn more from a mistake then we can from the paralysis of perfection. Can you think of a time that the need for perfection paralyzed you?

According to Webster’s Dictionary, Perfectionism is a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable. Where is the need for perfection holding you back?

Has talking about bias and perception this week uncovered any new awareness for you?

This week I am talking about perception. It is always interesting to see how we can all view the same photo or situation differently. We are all affected by our bias. As a cancer patient and survivor, I commonly see people’s bias around cancer. People respond to items about cancer from their experience and that experience drives their bias. How about this, when I started digging in to breast cancer research, I learned that as late as the late 80’s breast cancer treatments were being tested on men because the hormones of women were “too unpredictable”. What! Since a large proportion of breast cancer patients have hormone positive breast cancer, maybe we needed to test treatments on the people with those hormones in higher amounts! I wonder who was leading that research? Are you aware of your bias? Have you noticed any bias coming up for you recently? Here is a link to a Harvard study on many different kinds of bias. I did the race bias a year ago and was surprised by my results. I took the test again today and was happy to see my implicit bias had shifted for the positive. Let me know what you discover!

I was so curious to see your responses to this photo Monday and Tuesday. Thanks to all of you who commented! It was interesting how my question was what do you see and people responded with the way what they saw made them feel and some responded with physical locations of beaches or specific places it reminded them of like Ireland. When I teach a group movement class I always chuckle when I say change sides and some people turn around, some people stay facing the same way and change their position to go to the other side, there are many possibilities and none of them wrong! Just different because we are all different humans and the direction was open to interpretation.

So, the big reveal for today! I took this photo in Yellowstone National Park in the Middle Geyser Basin near the Grand Prismatic Spring last June. I love the blues and yellows and grays of the photo. The gray, rocky edge is actually quite fragile and if you look closely knowing what it is, you may see some steam coming off the water. That water in the center of the Grand Prismatic Spring located very nearby is around 190 degrees Fahrenheit (87degrees Celsius). For comparison, the boiling point is 212 degrees Fahrenheit. So while it made for a pretty picture, what that water contains is a sign of the super volcano that lies beneath the surface. Now I am wondering if knowing what it is changes how it makes you feel?

According to the dictionary perception is a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something, a mental impression.

How often do you hear the words perception is reality? Now let me ask, IS your perception reality? Maybe not. Who saw yesterdays post and didn’t respond because the answers already there were different from what you thought was “right”? Here is the thing. Right is subjective and answering the question may not mean the same thing to everyone. If you have not weighed in on yesterdays picture. Hop over there now! I will be back tomorrow with the reveal of where I took the photo.

When you see this photo what do see?

The world is a difficult place right now. On I usually provide a tip or a challenge around the topic of the week. This week is challenging enough. I want to know how you are. How are you embracing the uncertainty of the week? And what does your uncertainty look like. People in this community are facing many different challenges, new cancer diagnoses included.

Have you ever heard a song on the radio and every time you hear it, it reminds you instantly of someone or some event? As I was writing this I am reminded of how every time I hear Billy Idol’s White Wedding I am instantly 13 again in the parking area at Mount Monadnock in NH with my friend Donna, her brother, one of his friends and her parents where we had been hiking for the day. We did these types of things sort of regularly so not super significant in the grand scheme of things but that is what I see in my mind’s eye every time!
I am usually asleep within a few minutes of my head hitting the pillow. Except last weekend, I was just lying awake and I didn’t know why. See that is the problem with recurrence fear and survivorship anxiety. It is sneaky and it can just leap up without warning.
Cancer survivorship is a huge lesson in embracing uncertainty. Fear of recurrence is very real for survivors. Even those of us who appear to have it together most days. It is also true that most days the idea that I could have a recurrence is not a thought that crosses my mind. Then there are days like last week, when a condition originally caused by my chemo treatment popped back up. It has been over 2 years since I had needed to see the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor. Why was this happening!?! Turns out this is something they have come to learn may not be 1 and done, and especially for people with celiac it can now be an ongoing challenge. Knowing that actually made me feel better. I don’t love it, but the more I know the less fear there is. Less fear means less uncertainty. What uncertainty are you navigating today? Does it spark excitement or fear?

The world is a challenging place, especially right now. As we deal with states and local communities starting to reopen and grapple with the economic and racial divides in our country there are a lot of uncertainties. Tell me a positive way you are embracing uncertainty this week?

Check out this weeks Unspoken Cancer Truths podcast with my guest Linda Graziano @

I am happy to share the Canvas of Hope Summit starting today. Canvas of Hope is part of Linda Graziano's Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year Fundraising effort. Canvas of HOPE is a Journal containing art work accompanied by a word of HOPE from children and people connected to cancer. In the summit, 15 business leaders and survivors share a time of struggle and how they overcame that challenge related to their chosen word from the Canvas of Hope. I hope you will check out the free summit interviews and consider donating to LLS. Cancer does not quarantine. We need to keep raising awareness and funding the research that is extending and saving lives!

Holiday weekends often hold traditions for us. As you are going in to Memorial Day weekend, how will this holiday differ from Memorial Day weekends past? Are you feeling called to do things differently during this time or are you welcoming tradition?

This week I have been talking about listening to the whispers. Sometimes the whispers are pushing us to do something differently. Take a gentle yoga class instead of the faster moving vinyasa or go for a walk or an easy hike, rather then the run. Or maybe it is the opposite. You are doing the gentler activities and now you are getting the push to turn up the volume.

Today I have a challenge for you. Tune in to the whispers, see if you are being invited to take a different approach. Then go do the thing you are being invited to and share in the comments!

When I start a movement session with individual clients I start with the question “What do you need today?” After working with me for a while people get used to this and sometimes, I do not even need to ask. They come to the session with exactly what they need.

This week, a virtual session started and my client said, I need stretching and stress management. So, we combined stretching exercises with restorative yoga poses that calm the nervous system for stress reduction. Sometimes movement is needed. Sometimes a mix of moving, trouble shooting to figure out the source of a trouble area and education to manage the issue are the mix needed. What kind of movement/exercise are you in need of this week?

Do you ever think of someone you have not heard from in a while and later you get a text of the phone rings? Things like this happen to me a lot. Like everyone, sometimes I am busy with the busy and I dismiss the thought. After it comes up a couple times, I start to think I better check in with the person or pay attention to message that is coming up.

If you have been in my world for a while, you may know this was a contributing factor in my breast cancer diagnosis. I started getting whispers to get a mammogram. Had I ignored those whispers, my diagnosis may have been much farther along then it was. This week is all about paying attention to what is coming up for you, even if it doesn’t always make sense at first. What has been coming up that you are putting on hold? Or what was coming up that you acted on right away and that made all the difference? Share it in the comments.

What whispers are you ignoring? If you act on the whisper what is one small step you can take today?

This week we have been sharing about physical well-being challenges and triumphs. Tell me your go to physical well-being practice that always brings you joy! Go.

Striking a balance to create positive feelings about our physical well-being is often more art than science and it is different for everybody. Your perfect amount of sleep, your nourishing healthy foods, the level and type of hydration you need, and the type of exercise you like and that is sustainable is as unique as your fingerprints. Of course, there are guidelines for each area, how you apply the guidelines and where you fall on the continuum of choices is uniquely you. Today I want you to choose an area of physical well-being and experiment with something new. For instance, if you are a night owl living in a morning person world, but maybe you don’t need to be, change your alarm to a later time and see how getting more sleep feels. Or if you find that you are pushing with your workout everyday when your body is asking for a break, take the day off without judgement and see how your body feels with the break. Let me know in the comments what one thing you experimented with.

UCT with Jenn Cochran, Ep. 24: Dane David on the Insurance Physical That Saved His Life

Season 2 of the podcast has begun! With a new name, Unspoken Cancer Truths. Join Dane David and I as we talk about the importance of screenings, and the insurance physical that saved his life. Welcome to season 2 of the podcast! The Cancer Cliff Notes™ podcast is now Unspoken Cancer Truths™! My guest this week is Dane David. Dane is the owner of an insurance agency, and today he shares his story about how a routine physical in 2016 to apply for life insurance through his own company l...

Last spring I was out in CA on a work trip. I was sharing an Air BNB with a friend. As we were headed to our morning meeting, we stopped off in a local coffee shop. As we were waiting in line to order, my friend was dancing. She always makes me smile; she is a wonderfully spirited soul.
Suddenly, she said, oh maybe I shouldn’t be dancing, and she stopped. She wasn’t taking up a lot of space, she was just swaying and enjoying the song with her whole self. I asked why she needed to stop it wasn’t bothering anyone. She said, probably someone her age shouldn’t be dancing in line at the coffee shop. What? What if we dance in line at the coffee shop? Or skip down the street rather then walking? How might that make your day and the day of those around you happier? Have you experienced this before? What has your self-talk, talked you out of when maybe it should have minded its own business?

Physical well-being always feels like a bit of a moving target for me. Exercise, movement, nutrition (food choices), hydration, sleep, so many moving parts. It is work to keep them all in balance! During this time of social distancing I have been really feeling on point with my level of movement and exercise. Staying consistent with my movement breaks, listening to my body and what it needs in terms of exercise and movement. With our shelter pup walking has really increased and some days my steps are crazy high.

I have really been working on sleep! This is a big one for me. I feel best when I get at least 7 hours consistently. Honesty moment here, I am not the best at achieving this. So, for the past month I have been tracking my sleep quality via my watch. I am really finding that it is keeping me honest about those days that I stay up too late and am not hitting my minimum 7-hour goal. Abbie, our shelter girl is a morning dog. She is freakishly consistent up at 6:15 howling her awakeness by 6:30 am! I am a night owl in a morning person world. Can you relate? Let me know how you are navigating physical well-being right now. What are you focusing on?

Remembering this is a space where we can all feel how we feel without judgement. As the states and localities are starting to reopen, how do you feel about your physical well-being in this moment? What one thing can you focus on this week to boost your positive feelings about your Physical Well-being?

What new awareness or silver lining has come out of your COVID 19 experience so far?

There are very few things that can only be accomplished in one solitary way. I often find I learn more from the attempts that do not go so smoothly as I do from those attempts that go well right off the bat. Have you experienced this before?

One of my clients is AMAZING at hearing and implementing the movement directions or cues I give during class. When we are working privately that is perfect, all the cues are hers. When we are in a group class it is not so perfect. Not every cue is hers yet being a diligent student she tries to apply them all anyway. The challenge here is that when she incorporates feedback that is meant for another body she may actually be doing the opposite of what is ideal for her body, in an effort to make someone else’s guidance fit.

The biggest challenge for my client has been to let go of the cues that do NOT apply to her. To become aware of the cue and to check in with her body to see if it applies and then to say “Nope, I am good right where I am.” Have you found a time that not taking the cue was the right choice for you? Did you try it anyway? Tell me in the comments what happened!

When I work with clients, whether we are doing movement work or health and wellness coaching, building awareness plays a huge part in our work. You may know that I drive a mini cooper. It also happens to be a stick shift. Eleven years or so ago, I was having a problem with my right hand, wrist and forearm. I would go to the Chiropractor, he would straighten it out and a few days later I would be in pain again. After several repetitions of this, one day he said what has changed? What is new? What the heck are you doing with this hand? I had no idea. I also realized in that moment that I also had not even thought about.

I started to pay attention. Not 10 minutes after I walked out of there, I had solved the problem. It was the way I was shifting my car. Rather then using my full hand I was putting pressure on a couple bones in my hand. Those bones would to the impact of shifting, the muscles reacted, and it caused a chain reaction into my wrist and up my arm. I stopped doing that right then and there. When I went back in a month later, no issues with my wrist or my hand. I became aware and was able to shift my approach. Can you relate? Habits are invisible! Do you have a nagging issue, physical or otherwise, that could benefit from a little extra awareness today?

Health & Wellness Coaching, Movement and Massage Therapy

I began getting survivors moving again following illness in 2005. After becoming a survivor myself, it became my mission to help people make the transition from treatment to survivorship. By shining a light on the challenges and realities of survivorship we find we are not alone and that and there is strength in that knowledge. Using the tools in my tool kit I can help you get moving again and partner with you to create a plan to meet your health and wellness goals.

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Videos (show all)

Unspoken Cancer Truths with Jessica Walker




19723 Island Avenue
Ashburn, VA

General information

Sessions by Appointment Only
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FPM: Functional Pilates Method FPM: Functional Pilates Method
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YogaSix YogaSix
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YogaSix is a modern approach to yoga. We believe in making yoga accessible to everyone. Visit us for classes that are energizing, empowering and FUN!

Bikram Yoga Ashburn Bikram Yoga Ashburn
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Bikram original Hot Yoga

Pulse Inferno Pulse Inferno
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Ashburn, 20147

The Ultimate Fitness Studio has arrived to Loudoun County. Offering the "Hottest" Classes - Inferno Pilates, Yoga, Barre, Buti Yoga, Inferno HIIT and Small Group Training. Come Sweat With Us!