The Flourishing Experiment

Kari and friends sit down for the February Book Club book report on Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits—to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life by Gretchen Rubin. Serena Marie, RD, talks about how the four tendencies in Rubin’s book help drive the food choices that we make. Also, Serena Marie and Kari do a Side Stitch by Ginny headband product review.

Jabra Jiven’

Jabra, a TRLS show sponsor, is giving away a pair of Pulse earbuds in March, so sprint over to and sign up for the TRLS e-mail list at to enter to win. This month’s winner will also receive an amazing thirty-­minute exclusive Skype call with Kari. She loves the Pulse model because the sound quality is amazing, there are five different ear settings/fits, and she can do heart rate training as well.

Featured Guests: The Book Club Gang

Kari, go-to, real-food dietitian Serena Marie, RD, #1 TRLS fan Tracy Slayton (featured on “Seven Disney Race Reviews with a Father–Daughter Duo,” which was Episode 119), and Foti Panagakos (featured on “Chicago Marathon Recap w/Jeff Galloway & Team TRLS,” which was Episode 98 and who represents one of the TRLS Chicago team members who ran and raised funds and awareness for Action for Healthy Kids) all join forces to discuss the February Book Club pick.

  • There are four different tendencies of people, and one of each is represented in today’s episode. Take the quiz here.
  • Understand yourself and how you’re wired, and in return you can understand others more and you may be more understanding of others.
  • #1: The Upholder (Foti)—someone who doesn’t need outside accountability, he or she makes goals, sticks to them, and achieves them
    • Foti read Gretchen’s first book (The Happiness Project) and this particular title, and he knew almost right away what he was based on the criteria and the characteristics.
    • He’s very self-directed, and he likes to have goals in mind (deadlines, required obligations to finish).
    • He doesn’t finish early often, and he enjoys in some respects being under a little pressure (which he’s been trying to work on).
    • He believes in rules (they’re there for a reason) and likes to follow them; for example, he dislikes when someone turns in a car and doesn’t use the turn signal. If we can’t obey simple rules, then why do we have them?
  • #2: The Questioner (Kari)—someone who asks “Who are you to tell me this?”
    • This type of person doesn’t like to stand in line and can have tendencies toward one of two ways—to an Upholder or to a Rebel personality.
    • Kari was surprised when she took the quiz that she became a Questioner.
    • A Questioner can question authority, research, data, and so on, and many people don’t like to be questioned.
    • The downside is analysis paralysis. The way to overcome that is to go to three sources and make an informed decision.
  • #3: The Obliger (Tracy)—someone who is a people pleasure
    • Tracy was a little surprised that she was an Obliger, because she thought she would be an Upholder.
    • This is someone who has a hard time meeting internal expectations, but doesn't struggle at all to meet external expectations. They can break promises to themselves, but have no trouble keeping promises to others.
    • This is the only tendency type who is typically unhappy with what their tendency is.
    • Obligers excel at work because they are reliable and dependable.
    • One downside is not having enough time for themselves and sometimes that causes resentment toward others.
    • It’s hard for Obligers to say no to others. They tend to be sensitive to seeking others’ approval.
    • There’s something called Obliger rebellion where they’ll meet expectations over and over and then all of a sudden it’s either a small or big act where they just stop meeting expectations and it’s usually symbolic
  • #4: The Rebel (Serena)—someone who resists inner and outer expectations
    • No one has control of them including themselves.
    • One negative of this is that Rebels sound mean or rude at times.
    • Rebels can still be nice people, but they decide how they see themselves and that's how they motivate themselves to do things.
    • If someone tells Serena to do something, she literally doesn’t want to do it because someone told her to do it, or if she writes a To Do list, she doesn’t want to do those things.
    • Serena loves that she is a Rebel. They bring gusto and place a high value on authenticity.
  • When it comes to couples, it’s interesting which tendency marries what other tendency.
    • Foti is an Upholder, and his wife Judy is an Obliger.
    • Kari is a Questioner, and her husband Robert is an Upholder. (Kari skews to an Upholder, so it works well).
    • Tracy is an Obliger, and her husband is an Obliger as well. She thought he would be a Questioner or a Rebel.
    • For Rebels, they are oftentimes married to Obligers.
  • Abstainers versus Moderators
    • Abstainers (like Tracy and Foti) are people who prefer to never do something that’s tempting to them. If you really like chocolate, you would make a rule to not eat chocolate.
    • Moderators are people who like chocolate so they eat chocolate and not go out of control.
    • Some people can be moderate in their abstaining with certain things.
  • Four key things when it comes to habits and what helps you keep up those good habits:
    • Sleeping (listen to Episode 71: “Sleep Doctor Robert Rosenberg”)
    • Moving
    • Eating and drinking properly
    • Uncluttering
  • Sleep for Foti is driven by his training (since he runs in the morning before work).
  • Kari makes sleep a higher priority and getting off electronics an hour before going to bed and having a snack before bed (15 g carb and fat combo).
  • Tracy is a night person, but she’s bound to her husband’s sleep schedule because she doesn’t want to disturb his sleep.
  • Serena uses an app to switch the light from being a red light to a blue light (which won’t stimulate the brain so much); Serena wakes up early and works out in the morning.
  • Kari asks Serena about the recommendations to drink 64 ounces of water a day. Gretchen says it’s one of the biggest misnomers out there. Serena recommends looking at your urine color (pale yellow is good).
  • Gretchen also talks about uncluttering. For most people, a cluttered space is a cluttered mind.
  • Tracy knows that she’s spreading herself too thin when her house is chaotic and she can’t find the things she needs.
  • Foti is all about organizing and keeping things straight.
  • Rewards
    • It could be a slippery slope of eating healthfully for awhile and then rewarding yourself with cake.
    • Another example in the book was crossing a finish line after a marathon, taking two weeks off to rest, and then not running again for three years.
    • At the end of the day, you be you and figure out what works the best for you.
  • An “Mmmm” Moment
    • Habits free us from our decision making.
  • Associate with people who are likely going to improve you. Kari asks each member to speak to one friend or running group that has helped develop them into an even stronger person.
    • Tracy: She runs every week with the Ocala Runners Club, because it’s external accountability.
    • Foti: He runs with the local running club periodically, but being part of online running communities (such as the TRLS Facebook group) are most important to him.
    • Serena: As a Rebel, she’s been on the South Brooklyn Running Club list serv for over a year, but she can’t abide by her schedule, so she loves the TRLS Facebook group and her com group
    • Kari: She loves running outside with friends.

Must-Listen Podcasts

Podcast Junkies by Harry Duran (listen to Kari’s episode here)

Introspectology by Joanna (Jo) James-Lynn (listen to Kari’s episode here)

The 5 AM Miracle Podcast by Jeff Sanders (listen to Kari’s episode here)

Side Stitch by Ginny Product Review

Serena Marie, RD and Kari review Side Stitch by Ginny headbands.

  • These are cloth headbands that have velcro on one side.
  • Serena thinks they are adorable, are easy to wash, and she’s totally obsessed with them. She purposely did HIIT training to get sweaty, and the headband stayed on perfectly. She threw it in the washer, and it came out looking brand new, so she really loved the design and comfort.
  • Kari loves that the headband doesn’t squeeze her head and doesn’t give her a headache. She found them at Philadelphia Runner. There’s a special discount to get two headbands for $20 there when you mention TRLS! She also loves the colors. When she puts her headband on, she’s ready to work, her hair is out of her face, and she can focus.
  • Serena feels excited to go work out to coordinate her outfit around her headband, and it gets her to the gym. You could match them to your normal, everyday wear.
  • There’s going to be a special TRLS edition of this headband with a special pattern and logo! Stay tuned for pictures on the TRLS site.


  • Kari is going to see Dr. Vinny for her back issues and should have an update on next week’s episode.
  • Gratitude Jar: Kari wants to come up with a theme song for this segment at the end of each episode and to think about something that they are grateful for.
    • Serena: She is grateful for the warm weather because she’s getting more Vitamin D.
    • Kari: She is grateful that it seems like she’s getting to the bottom of her back issues with a new PT and Dr. Vinny.

March Book Club

Don’t forget that this month’s book club book is Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being by Deepak Chopra, MD, and Dr. Rudi Tanzi. Kari thinks that this book is phenomenal. All the latest research shows that genes make up five percent of your chances of getting something like cancer. It also speaks to the power of habits.

Next week, Kari chats with the amazing Kim Stemple to give an update on her next challenge and deep thoughts about the meaning of life and what matters in life. Kim was featured on “Special Mindful Monday w/Kim Stemple, Founder of We Finish Together” from Episode 103. Kari also announces the April Book Club book!

Finally, please do us a solid and go over to iTunes to leave a review for TRLS! Here’s how:

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Tracy Slayton:


Fotinos Panagakos:
Foti P


Serena Marie, RD:
Facebook: /SerenaMarieRD
Twitter: @SerenaMarieRD
Instagram: SerenaMarieRD


Kari Gormley:
final unedited 2 (1 of 1)
Facebook: The Running Lifestyle Show
Twitter: @KariGormley
Instagram: @KariGormley

Direct download: book-club-03-17-2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT