Alicia Capetillo

Alicia graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a minor in film and media studies. Prior to joining SparkPeople, she worked in marketing and public relations and once left it all behind to backpack through South America. Alicia enjoys practicing yoga outside on sunny days, farmers markets, planning trips to practically every country and cheering aggressively for her beloved Cincinnati Reds and New Orleans Saints. She can also make a mean guacamole on toast.


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50 Things to Consider Before Giving up on Your Goals

When you set out on your journey to self-betterment, what were your goals? Were you determined to fit in dreamy dress before December? Pushing toward becoming a Pilates pro? Fixated on flexing your fierce muscles four times a week? Maybe you were motivated to meal plan your way to health? Riled up by the idea of running a race posthaste?
 
Whatever goal drives you, there are bound to be days when you're just not feeling it. Between stress at work, shuttling kids back and forth between activities, getting dinner on the table, enjoying a happy hour, walking the dog and remembering to pick up the dry cleaning, daily life has a funny way of getting in the way of our goals and motivation no matter how determined we were at the start of the journey. On the days when the couch is calling your name or the thought of eating another kale chip makes you want to cry, even the most inspired vision board is futile. On those days, you'll be happy you bookmarked this list.

Posted 6/12/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 66 comments   24,097 views

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Start Summer With Socks, Santa and Squats With Schnauzers

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Spark: Santa! I Know Him!


 

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Whether you were a skeptic or a more-excited-than-Will-Ferrell-in-"Elf" believer, most of us fell for the world's greatest lie to some degree as children. Santa Claus was the man. He could do no wrong, he was a people pleaser and that magical giggle was enough to bring a smile to even the grumpiest of faces.

As kids, we believed in the impossible, the magical and the opportunity for greatness. Santa Claus was the epitome of this and as we aged and stopped believing, many of us lost that zest for the incredible and magical along the way. One of the unfortunate side effects of our transition from the gawky teenage years to the anxieties of adulthood and beyond is that we sometimes stop believing in our ability to do great things. When life comes at you hard and fast, or you've experienced one failure after another, or you simply feel like you're stuck in a rut that you can't climb your way out of, it's easy to think "Well, I'm just not worth it" or "I guess this is just the way things are now." It's what leads to overeating and complacency, weight gain and being sedentary.

Posted 6/2/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 49 comments   8,893 views

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Are Your Fears and Self-Criticisms Holding You Back?

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Spark: Little Ears are Listening


From a young age, it's an uncontested truth that mother knows best. While we don't do it often enough, every Mother's Day is a chance to reflect on all the ways the women who raised us regularly resembled superheroes in disguise. Whether it's them flying in out of nowhere to help you find that shirt that you swore was in your bottom drawer but is now lost and you absolutely must wear today; calming you down when you take the curlers out of your hair an hour before prom only to realize that there's a good chance your date might mistake you for a poodle; or talking you off the ledge the first year you do your taxes on your own, moms have this omniscient extrasensory perception that seems to give them advanced degrees in almost anything at a moment's notice.

As with any great power, this indubitable wisdom also comes with great responsibility. For moms who are struggling with their body image or weight, it's the offhand remarks that make just as permanent a mark as the intentional advice. "Well that cookie is going straight to my thighs." "I could never wear a shirt like that with these belly rolls." "I just wish I could lose my arm jiggle." "I love pasta but I always feel so guilty! Looks like I'll be skipping dinner tonight." Children especially are at risk of latching on to these self-deprecating sighs mumbled under your breath. Take this video featuring young girls repeating phrases they've heard their mother's say, for instance, and consider all the times you've verbalized a frustration with your own body.   

Posted 5/5/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 67 comments   17,364 views

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Regain Agility and Reduce Pain with the Alexander Technique

It happens quickly, seemingly overnight. You stand up after a decent night's sleep and suddenly there's a small, irritating pain in your low back and you can't for the life of you figure out how you would have tweaked it. A few months later, it's your knee and then your left shoulder and neck. Suddenly it's difficult to remember what it felt like to spring out of bed like some kind of superhero without the twinges of pain that cause you to cringe before the day even begins.
 
Yes, getting older can be a literal pain sometimes, but you can decrease your chances of aches running your life with some smart, targeted training. While many are familiar with the benefits of functional fitness training, Mary Derbyshire, author of the book "Agility at Any Age," endorses another kind of training to keep your body in tip-top shape no matter your age. The Alexander Technique is a mindfulness practice that focuses on how our daily habits negatively interfere with how our bodies were designed to move. Introduced to the technique as part of her acting and theater curriculum in college, Derbyshire later became a certified instructor after realizing that she was drawn to teaching and communicating with people.

Posted 4/26/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 77 comments   24,680 views

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Why You Should Embrace Humor and Your 'Thunder Thighs'

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Smile: A Love Letter to the Goofballs Who Play Baseball


I love baseball for a lot of really important reasons—the intensity of a pitcher's duel, the glory of a walk-off, the anxiety of a no-no in action, the excitement of Opening day, a well-executed double play, all-out diving catches in the outfield, the grace of an infielder flipping a ball behind his back or through the knees after a particularly epic sliding catch. My brothers play ball, I played softball, my family and I are aggressive Cincinnati Reds fans and, really, is there anything better than taking in a game on a cool summer night under the lights? I could go on and on.

Posted 4/7/2017  12:00:00 PM By: Alicia Capetillo : 56 comments   21,138 views

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The Case for Stuffing Your Sorry's in a Sack

Honestly, friends, last month got the best of me and I wasn't feeling 100 percent like myself. Between a few frantically busy weekends plus a bunch of appointments during the week, I failed to squeeze everything in and slowly started drifting away from my resolution to not be so late to every social engagement I make. I ended up apologizing left and right for a lot of things that were ultimately out of my control, which is perhaps why this post resonated with me as we move into this new month: 

Posted 3/3/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 16 comments   23,258 views

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The Fuel You Need to Go After Your Goals This February

While it might be St. Valentine who's on everyone's minds this month, I'm using February to realign myself with Team Me and you should, too. January is the month to get swept up in the excitement of change, but it's February where winners are truly made. Chances are you went into January with clear eyes, full hearts and we all know what that means. Now that it's been a month, you've probably hit some bumps along the road and some of that New Year sparkle might be starting to wear off. But this is the time to shine.

Posted 2/3/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 8 comments   16,908 views

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10 Functional & Flattering Black Leggings You Can Buy on Amazon

The black legging is to exercise as the little black dress is to wedding season: an essential wardrobe staple. Tall, short, small or large, the black legging is flattering on practically every body shape and it's functional to boot. With a lot of stretch in the fabric, cuts and seams that accentuate your curves and muscles, lengths that keep you warm or comfortable depending on the season and the ability to seamlessly transition from gym to grocery, the black legging boasts endless reasons why it's is an absolute must no matter what your training schedule requires.

Posted 1/20/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 23 comments   50,574 views

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Why I'll Never Be a Runner and That's Okay

In this industry, the phrase "new year, new you," tends to lose its pizazz right around September, after my inbox has been flooded for a month with PR pitches claiming their product—we swear!—is the one that's going to turn the common promise into a reality. The same tag has been used on this site, as well as countless other health, fitness and wellness websites, and for good reason—it's promising, catchy, optimistic, all the ingredients you need to inspire daydreams about New Year's resolutions.

Posted 1/6/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 36 comments   27,146 views

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The 2016 Airing of Health and Fitness Grievances

A Festivus for the rest of us. That's all Frank Costanza wanted when the doll he was going to gift to his son was viciously ripped from his hands by a fellow shopper that fateful Christmas.

Posted 12/2/2016  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 48 comments   25,199 views

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10 Gifts That Will Motivate Your Loved Ones to Lose

We're big fan of losers. Dedicating yourself to weight loss day after day, week after week, month after month, can be quite intimidating if you're just getting started, though. Whether you're near the end of your weight-loss journey with your goal in sight or you're right in the middle, you know better than anyone that the first few weeks can be the most challenging. That's when you're figuring out what kind of workouts fit your lifestyle, which types of recipes you actually, really, really enjoy, mastering the balance of indulgence and control, and, ultimately, learning to accept a new normal once you shed all the bad habits that were holding you back.
 
This holiday season, why not inspire someone to take the leap and get healthy? The right gift—one that makes fitness fun and healthy eating seem achievable—could be just the encouraging push they need to make a lasting change. With New Year's Resolutions right around the corner, offering a loved one a gift that motivates and inspires them to take charge is a gift that speaks volumes.

Posted 11/11/2016  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 9 comments   40,872 views

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A 500-Word Argument for Smashing Your Scale into 1,000 Pieces

Let the positive, grateful-to-be-alive vibes flow, folks—it's Thanksgiving month. To get the ball rolling, I thought I'd share a few of the things (off a much longer list) that I'm very thankful for from this past year, including all of you epic people.

Posted 11/4/2016  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 12 comments   15,416 views

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Ding, Dong! Turn Halloween Into a Calorie-Busting Workout

The candy is supposed to be given away, a prize for the little trick or treaters hiking up hills both ways to hit every house in the neighborhood before the sun goes down. That's the plan, anyway. But when you're sitting there by the door for two, maybe three hours, that huge bowl of fun-sized candies staring you in the face, it can be really easy to grab one, then three more, and a few more before calling it quits for the night. They're bite-sized and harmless enough, after all.
 
Even though it's just one night, Halloween can be a terrifying trap for your health goals. You don't have to fall in the fun-sized hole, though. Instead of grabbing every candy that crosses your path Halloween night, use the cute, scary and downright clever trick or treaters as an impetus to workout. The concept is simple: We matched some of the best Halloween costumes with an exercise move. When that doorbell rings, check out the costumes, deliver the goods to each trick or treater, then perform the move while you wait for the next group to arrive. Get in the spirit by throwing on your best Richard Simmons getup and get sweating!

Posted 10/21/2016  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 18 comments   24,818 views

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4 Great Reasons to Steal This Toddler's Morning Pep Talk

In 2011, Major League Baseball kicked off their "Legends are Born in October" campaign to promote the excitement and glory that is postseason baseball. With one swing of a bat, you can cement your place in history, they say. I latched onto the tagline immediately and understood it to mean that I, with my October birthday, was clearly destined to be legen…wait for it…dary.
 
Living up to the challenge every day is not for the weak of heart, but it's one I think we can all take on in little ways every day. My own examples include: Being a champion at waking up 15 minutes before I have to leave and still making it to work on time; whipping together a beet salad after walking to the farmers market and back; holding on for those last ten reps of bicycles even though my abs are screaming; challenging myself to exercises that I think are way out of my element (see below) even if I end up a sweaty, weepy mess on the floor; resisting the urge to buy another pair of black workout leggings even though they're on sale and I have a coupon.
 
Regardless of whether or not you had the good fortune of being born in October, I hope you, too, will use this month to be your most legendary self.

Posted 10/7/2016  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 2 comments   15,740 views

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8 Hardcore Core Workouts Every Level Will Love

It is a truth universally acknowledged that abs day is a dreaded day. The isolations, crunches, planks and Russian twists are moves we love to hate, the ones that make our bellies hurt when we laugh the next day. But, in the end, it's all so worth it for that tight core feeling. Yes, even the laugh pains.
 
Aside from the fact that strong abdominal muscles look really, really great, working out the mid-section of your body also reaps a whole bunch of health benefits. Not only will bending, twisting and lifting start to feel easier, but your posture and balance will also improve tremendously. While it's important to exercise every part of our body to see a real difference all over, taking some time to work on your abdominals once or twice a week is important for any exercise routine. Get a confidence boost in as little as 10 minutes with eight hurts-so-good at-home workouts.

Posted 9/21/2016  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 7 comments   56,198 views

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