The Constant Struggle

Stacey Soble | October 1, 2016 | 5:14 PM

One of our family’s favorite fall activities is screening the pilot episodes from the new television lineup, making many cuts and committing to a select few to watch at least the next episode. One of our favorites this year was NBC’s This is Us, a dramedy that follows the storylines of four people who share the same birthday. Aside from the surprise ending that connected all four of these characters in the first episode, there was another scene that resonated with me.

One of the show’s main characters is Kate (played by Chrissy Metz), a 36-year-old woman confronting an ongoing struggle with her weight. In one of the first scenes, Kate dumps all the junk food from her fridge then sheds her clothes before stepping on the scale. At the last second, Kate pauses to take off her earrings, as if those mere ounces might make a difference. Anyone who has ever struggled with weight issues recognizes it as one of the many games you play with yourself.

Like they are for Kate, carbs are both my best friends and my worst enemies. While they comfort me and see me through the stress of strategic planning, frequent travel and tight deadlines, they also sabotage my attempts to recapture a smaller dress size.

When it comes to achieving fitness and weight-loss goals though, I know one thing is true. I’m more successful when I’m not doing it alone. I’m less likely to talk myself out of a morning walk when I’ve scheduled a time with my neighbor. I’m less likely to cheat on my food plan when my husband and I are dieting together and keeping each other accountable. Recently, I’ve had success tapping into a virtual sense of companionship through technology. The iFit program on my treadmill encourages me to explore the world with different daily workouts powered by Google maps, and my Apple Watch tracks my daily activity and sends me positive messages when I hit my goals.

The natural camaraderie that exists in most salons lends itself to the kind of support system that fuels success in health and wellness programs. We explore that issue this month in a collaboration with Healthy Hairdresser—an industry-wide wellness campaign started by our parent company MODERN SALON Media.

Forward-thinking owners know that their team members are better able to nurture the salon’s many guests when they take the time to take care of themselves first. Our cover feature, “Salon Strong,” starting on page 14, follows the journeys of Leti Latham, Candy Shaw Codner, Mary Swank, Denise Provenzano, Donna Huston and Denise Avallone—who have leveraged their salon cultures to launch voluntary programs that provide fitness opportunities, keep participants accountable and celebrate the achievement of personal goals. They are designing friendly fitness competitions, bringing in trainers for classes and swapping out the salon’s junk food for healthy snacks.

Although the goals these programs celebrate are individual and personal, the salons themselves are witnessing the benefit of stronger salon teams. Service providers have more fuel to get themselves through busy days, team members are more willing to help one another on the salon floor, and the increased atmosphere of positivity and camaraderie is attractive to both guests and new talent.

Rosanne Ullman, our Healthy Hairdresser editor who penned this feature, helps interested salons get started with a healthy workplace checklist full of tips, as well as a series of suggestions for portable protein power snacks from nutritionist Kate Geagan. For more story ideas on health and fitness, as well as monthly challenges, visit our Healthy Hairdresser community at

Good luck in hitting your goals—whatever they might be!

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