Reinforcement Versus Reward

It’s strange how inspiration works. For my book club selection next month, I chose an oldie but a goodie, Karen Pryor’s Don’t Shoot the Dog. I chose it for a variety of reasons. It is what animal trainers sometimes call “the Animal Training Bible”. This is a book I grew up reading in my career. It influenced me as an animal care specialist and zookeeper, and it is one of the inspirations for The Zookeeper’s Guide to Fitness (or whatever I’m calling it these days). I was curious how my friends in the book club would appreciate a self-help book over their normal selections of science-fiction, fantasy, and occasional memoir/autobiography. I am writing a self-help book. It’s kind of important for me to know how people will potential review my own book. Continue reading Reinforcement Versus Reward

Whole30 Rant

Whole30 is a program where you remove certain foods from your diet, such as processed foods, addictive sugary foods, foods with a history of causing inflammation, and foods with high correlation to allergies. For thirty days, you maintain a steady diet of whole vegetables and unprocessed meats. This is essentially resetting your body by removing all the potential negative foods, and letting your body settle into a completely natural and whole diet. After thirty days, you reintroduce the foods you eliminated, one by one, and evaluate how your body and how your brain responds and reacts to it. Continue reading Whole30 Rant

Conservation Hero WODs

I will have to admit a little factoid about myself. My fitness program is heavily influenced by CrossFit. I have a strange love-hate relationship with CrossFit, but for the most part, and I do mean a majority of my feelings are quite positive. CrossFit offers camaraderie that I have never experienced before. They also offer a huge variety which I greatly appreciate in a workout program. And most of the time, they are very positive reinforcement and encouragement driven.  Continue reading Conservation Hero WODs

Writer’s Block

What do you do when you have a daily goal of writing five hundred words a day, and you don’t have a thing to write about?
Okay, I have plenty to write about. I have two book projects that need desperate attention. I have several other books I could start work on. I have several side projects that I need to finish soon. I have articles to write for blogs and magazines.
I have plenty to do. But, if you are another writer reading this, you know what my problem is.
I have nothing to write about. Continue reading Writer’s Block

Trying New Things- ZooFit Edition

I love trying new things, and this week has been chalk full of new adventures in ZooFit. I’ve been trying new classes at the local gym. I’ve been trying new recipes at home. And I even tried my hand at canning and pie baking.  Continue reading Trying New Things- ZooFit Edition

Back in my Element

This weekend has been a great reminder of how powerful finding one’s sacred space for fitness can be. I participated in two activities over the weekend that got me back in my element. And I can’t wait to return, again and again and again. Continue reading Back in my Element

Event Training with ZooFit

I am a part of an amazing team competing in the Whidbey Island Triathlon this Saturday.  In my continuous effort to practice ZooFit in all my affairs, I figured training for this event utilizing the principles of operant conditioning, enrichment, and even conservation would be a great experiment. While we are definitely a competitive team, I feel confident that event training with ZooFit will prove beneficial and effective. Continue reading Event Training with ZooFit

Lessons from a Sloth

I started a running club this summer. I know, shocker! The girl who hates running, and avoids it at all costs just admitted to creating a running club. But wait. You didn’t hear the name of our running group. We call ourselves the Sloth Army. And in the past few weeks, I’ve learned there are some valuable lessons one can learn about health and fitness from a sloth. Continue reading Lessons from a Sloth

Positive Reinforcement for Punishing Situations


I’m reading an interesting book called Triggers: Creating Behaviors That Last, Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith, and I just had the most interesting insight from reading the book. 

When discussing our most powerful triggers, they tend to be one of four specific types- Encouraging triggers (associated with what we want), discouraging triggers (what we don’t want), productive triggers (what we need), and counter-productive triggers (what we don’t need).   Continue reading Positive Reinforcement for Punishing Situations

Boredom is a Four Letter Word

I’m working on the Enrichment section for my book Zookeeper’s Guide to Fitness. Enrichment was one of my favorite aspects of being a zookeeper. Keeping the animals mentally and physically active, increasing naturalistic behaviors, and engaging them in more dynamic ways was the epitome of zookeeping, personally.  Continue reading Boredom is a Four Letter Word