Cheryl Keaney has worn many hats over the years: competitive bodybuilder, personal trainer, entrepreneur, newspaper columnist, mentor – the list goes on. It was last year that Keaney put on another hat, realizing one of his longtime goals of becoming a published author. Her book, “Mind over Muffin Top: The Inspiration to Get on Track, the Knowledge to Stay on Track and the Mindset to Achieve Your Goals”, was released in May 2021.

Cheryl Keaney has been a competitive bodybuilder, personal trainer, entrepreneur, columnist, mentor and, now, author.Residents of the Blue Water area may already know Keaney. Currently a health mentor at St. Clair County Community Mental Health, Keaney can still be found at area gyms like Afterburn Fitness Club in Port Huron, where she hosted her book signing party. She sold her own gym, Buff Bodies in Marysville, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. And his newspaper column, “Matter of Fat,” ran in the Times Herald for about five years.

It was the column that led her to write “Mind over Muffin Top,” a holistic approach to getting in shape and staying in shape. It’s not a diet book, she says, but a motivation book. Personal fitness, for all its benefits to the body, begins in the mind.

“There is not just one thing or one piece of advice that is the ultimate solution; it’s a combination of factors. I wanted to write something to inspire people, to motivate them. I wanted to provide that ‘Aha!’ time for people,” Keaney says.

“And at this time of year, people have New Year’s resolutions and goals, but find it hard to stick to those goals.”

It helps to think of your body as a home, she says. Start with a solid foundation and build the pillars of diet and exercise on top of it, with the roof resting on the pillars being your mindset. All of these different factors work together in the effort toward physical fitness; take one out and the house starts shaking.

“Think of your body as the only place you need to live,” she says.

“Mind over Muffin Top: The Inspiration to Get on Track, the Knowledge to Stay on Track and the Mindset to Achieve Your Goals”, was released in May 2021.Keaney’s book is all about the mindset. Indeed, the title itself is a playful take on the old adage “mind over matter.” Keaney hopes to help readers identify and address the underlying issues that lead to poor healthcare decisions. We all know that eating fast food is unhealthy, so why do we do it? Often the reasons boil down to something much deeper, factors like poor time management skills and bad sleeping habits. Tackling these issues first will lead to better health choices later.

“Especially at this time of year, when it gets dark earlier and it’s so cold outside, the best thing people can do to relieve their depression and their health is to go for a walk,” says Keaney. “But it’s when people need it the most that it can be the hardest time to do it.”

Keaney strongly recommends that people commit to their fitness goals with a trainer, professionals found at local gyms who can help them get the most out of their workouts. About 80% of people Keaney sees at the gym are exercising incorrectly, she estimates, wasting time and energy for hours on end. She also encourages people to find out why personal fitness matters, which she says will inspire them to make the changes needed for a healthier, happier life.

“Mind over Muffin Top” aims to do just that. The book can be purchased online, but Keaney hopes people will venture to one of the local stores that sell it, a list that includes Exquisite Corpse Coffee House, Nature’s Living Bounty and Weekends in Port Huron. The book is also available at the Weekends location in Lexington.

“I’m a big fan and supporter of local businesses. I had one myself and I always try to do what I can to get people to support the local,” says Keaney. “I know how much work that takes.”

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