Reimagining the Narrative Around Fitness

The relationship with ourselves, including our bodies, is the most important one we will ever have. It’s our vehicle for living life and a part of who we are. That’s why learning to treat it with respect and celebrating its strengths is imperative. Today, Logan Russell (a.k.a. “Lolo”) is sharing her mission in changing our relationship with food and fitness. Lolo is a blogger HOKA was originally introduced to through our partnership with Zappos. She is a body love advocate based out of Charlotte, North Carolina who strives to inspire women to embrace their bodies and celebrate their personal style. To learn more about her journey, check out her blog or find her on Instagram @lolo_russell.

Everyone has their own agenda going into a workout: to push our body to the next level, maintain our health, or maybe we need that blissful release of endorphins. Fitness, especially running, has the power to completely transform our bodies and minds. It’s an opportunity to do something good for ourselves both physically, mentally and emotionally.

Unfortunately for many of us, especially this time of year, exercise becomes a form of punishment rather than a positive experience. Instead of lacing up our shoes with the intention of doing something good for ourselves we walk into a workout focused on how many calories we need to burn to compensate for last night’s dessert, the distance we will push to earn a meal or hours needed to make our goal weight. It’s a toxic pattern that must be stopped: it’s time we change the narrative surrounding fitness from punishment to empowerment.

TiesWe’ve all fallen prey to the winter binge-regret routine at some point in our lives. As someone who has recovered from an eating disorder, I know this story all too well. Many of us indulge in sweets and lavish meals during the holidays only to spend the first part of the new year punishing ourselves for enjoying the season. This cycle ends up setting the tone for our relationship with food and fitness. In each month that follows as we choose to eat a simple treat, like a perfectly flaky butter croissant or a slice of pizza, and we think something along the lines of “I’ll need to run later to work this off.” What’s the point of doing something if you’re just going to punish yourself later? Are you really going to reap the full benefit of your workout if you’re busy beating yourself up? Life is too short to miss out on the joys of this world. That includes both pizza and running!

RunningsLet’s work on shifting that inner dialogue. Every time we choose to move our bodies with the intention to serve them we are honoring ourselves. It is a moment to embrace the life we have, block out everything else in this world to focus on us and come out the other side of it a better version than we went in (albeit more sweaty, tired and maybe a little sore). Sure, it isn’t always easy. There are days where the thought of running one more mile makes me want to crawl back in bed! But nothing truly worth having ever comes easy, right? We have to work for it. That includes choosing to work toward a more positive mindset with our workouts.

This is the resolution I want you to keep this year: enjoy food that serves your body and soul, let it fuel fitness that does the same. When you choose to indulge change the internal dialogue from “I’m going to regret this” to “I’m going to enjoy every moment.” When you step out for your run don’t think “I’m working off all this weight.” Instead, remind yourself “I am strong, I am capable, I am celebrating my body.”

Shop the Clifton 6 Lolo is wearing HERE:

Encouraged, supported, confident

Suzie-Luthe,-FF-Fort-Wayne“Throughout my life, I have always been on a diet of some sort. But all the quick fixes never worked for me. I would lose weight, and then I would gain the weight right back, plus even more than what I had lost. When I met my husband, I quickly found out that dating and dieting was too hard. I loved food and so did my soon-to-be husband, and together we packed on the pounds. A year after we were married, my husband suffered a heart attack at the age of 37. My whole world was turned upside down. Recovery was long and hard, and even though you would think that would of been my wakeup call, it wasn’t. Food was my comfort at that time, and I used it. Not too long after that, I lost my mother to cancer. It was very hard on me and once again, the only comfort that I had was in the answer of food. Later, when I was getting ready to turn 40, I was depressed about it. I was sitting in the breakroom at work when some of my co-workers were talking about how our city was having a 10K. One of them said, ‘I will do it when pigs fly.’ The others were laughing and one said, ‘You mean you will do it when Suzie flies.’ Their laughter continued, but I was mortified. I slipped out of the break room, found my friend and asked her to do a 10K with me. She never laughed or asked me why, but just said yes. Together we trained for the next few months. I turned 40 and was more determined than ever. We finished that 10K strong and proud. I was at 300 pounds and had lost about 50 pounds training for the 10K. Since then, I have had many ups and downs, but have learned a lot along the way. After that, I saw a posting on Facebook about a 5K running program at Fleet Feet Sports. The first few times that I showed up to run took everything I had to push myself to go. I was so worried that I would be laughed at and that people would discourage me. But I soon realized that this group was welcoming and encouraging at any level. They didn’t look at my size or how fast or slow I was. They encouraged me and supported me. Who knew that there was more to running then just running? I had so much to learn, but the support and advice I got through Fleet Feet just made me even more confident in myself.  Most importantly, they helped me realize that yes, I am a runner, and I can do it.” – HOKA fan Suzie Luthe

Suzie’s favorite shoe is the Bondi.


Fast Food: Breakfast Acorn Squash Two Ways

Grocery stores are filled with beautiful squash varieties this time of year, but it can be overwhelming figuring out how to actually use them. Here are two easy and unique ways to enjoy acorn squash for breakfast. A Roasted Acorn Squash with Yogurt and Walnuts for those of you with a morning sweet tooth, and a Sausage and Egg Roasted Acorn Squash for those in need of a hearty breakfast.

Sweet Roasted Acorn Squash with Yogurt and Walnuts

(serves 2)


1 acorn squash

1/2 cup walnuts

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

pinch of salt

1 cup vanilla yogurt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut acorn squash in half. Remove seeds and fibrous threads. Slice halves into wedges. Place wedges in a pan over aluminum foil. Prepare wedges by rubbing with coconut oil, and sprinkling on salt and cinnamon. Bake wedges for 30-40 minutes, or until they are soft. While wedges are baking, prepare filling by mixing walnuts, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Remove wedges from the oven, and spoon mixture onto squash. Return to oven for 20 minutes, or until edges are slightly crispy. Be careful not to burn the walnuts. Top with your favorite yogurt, and a drizzle extra maple syrup on top if desired.


Sausage and Egg Roasted Acorn Squash

(Serves 2)


1 acorn squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper for seasoning

2 large sausages (Italian style vegetarian sausage also works well)

1 tomato

1 cup spinach

1/4 cup cheese

2 eggs

1/2 avocado


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice acorn squash in half. Remove seeds and fibrous threads. Place halves in a pan over aluminum foil. Prepare squash by rubbing with olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Bake halves for 30-40 minutes, or until they are soft. While the squash is baking, prepare the filling by sautéing sliced sausage, spinach, and chopped tomato. Remove squash from the oven, and place filling in the halves. To create more room, you can scoop out some of the squash and mix it with the filling. Top with cheese, and crack one egg on top of each half. Return to the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the egg has cooked to desired consistency. For a more cooked egg, finish off cooking with your broiler. Remove from oven, and top with fresh avocado.


Fast Food: Halloween Stuffed Peppers

Halloween may be all about the candy, but here is an equally festive way to enjoy the holiday while sneaking some veggies in. These jack-o-lantern inspired stuffed bell peppers are half the mess of a traditional pumpkin, and simple enough for your kids to be involved in the preparation.

Our filling is an easy no prep involved burrito style. We know how busy Halloween on a Monday night will be. However, you can be as fancy as you want with your creation. Cooked ground meat with taco seasoning would be a great addition to up the protein. Salsa, sour cream, and avocado would also make delicious toppings.


Here is what you will need to make your own Jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers.


3-4 orange bell peppers

1 small can black beans

1 small can enchilada sauce

1 package pre-cooked Spanish rice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut tops off of peppers and remove seeds. Carve peppers with desired jack-o-lantern style faces. Layer spoonfuls of rice, enchilada sauce, black beans, and cheese in the peppers. There will likely be room for two layers. Finish with cheese as the top layer. Replace tops of peppers. Place in an aluminum foil lined tray, and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until peppers have softened and cheese has melted.