Declaring independence

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, lifestyle/weight management coach

Another 4th of July celebration is upon us! As most of us relax and enjoy a day off from work and responsibilities, it is worth taking a moment to reflect on that which we are truly recognizing as we shoot off sparklers and fireworks. To quote John Adams back in 1776, “…this will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.” Of course, Mr. Adams was referencing the legal separation of the 13 colonies from the stronghold and control of Great Britain.

Today, I challenge you to consider your own declaration of independence….from whatever may be holding you back from achieving your goals. What aspects of your life are controlling you negatively, in much the same fashion as our colonies were experiencing from Great Britain? If you could break free and establish your own rules, what would they look like?


The good news is that, even in the absence of a Revolutionary War, you already possess the ability to set yourself free from your own self-imposed rules. Identify those things in your life that are preventing you from eating better, getting to the gym, or making time for yourself. Devise a strategy for working around these obstacles, while carefully considering others’ needs and feelings, of course! Then, chart a path towards freedom from the anchors that have weighed you down and kept you from being the healthy, independent individual you deserve to be!

This path may include steps as simple as setting the alarm clock 45 minutes earlier to make time for a workout before your commute to the office. It may take you down the road of establishing carpools to save travel time, which you could use to plan a healthy dinner instead of stopping for fast food. Or, you may discover that the act of saying “no” when unreasonable demands are being placed on your time might be the greatest and most impactful declaration of independence you can create.

Take a lesson from those proud 13 colonies. Stay strong to your convictions and the goals you have set for yourself, and celebrate you own personal Independence Day as you free yourself from whatever is standing in your path toward self-improvement!

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, is a lifestyle/weight management coach and a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center.