Monday, September 24, 2012

Hello Old Friends! It's been a while....

That title sounds like the beginning of a cheesy 80’s song doesn’t it (Acutally, I think it is!)?  Well for me today, it was the recurring theme for my workout.  With the swelling in my ankle down after 3 weeks off (OMG seriously!?!?!), my food for the week taken care of (Thank you again to My Fit Foods) and feeling like a sloth sitting on the couch, I made my goal for today to officially get back in the gym. 

I decided to go during my lunch as I am not back in the routine of getting up early yet. All morning while I was doing my work for my full time job, I had my workout music blaring in the back ground.  Hello old friend #1!  Thanks for getting me pumped up and motivated. 

At the stroke of noon, I mixed up my usual workout drink of water and glutamine (tastes like cherry), grabbed my music, slapped on my shoes and was out the door!  As I was walking to the clubhouse in my condo complex, I started sipping my drink. Hello Old Friend #2!  The taste was immediately familiar. 

All of a sudden in my head it was 2006 and I was getting ready for my figure show.  It all flooded back in…the hard work, the dedication, the motivation, the exhaustion, the sweat, but mostly the desire.  It is the type of desire that drives a person to do their very best and leave nothing on the table.  It is the type of desire that drives a person to all ends of the earth and enables them to jump over or mow down any obstacle in the way of their goal.  At that moment I knew I this was going to be a HARD but GREAT day back.

As I walked into the workout room I saw that no one was there.  It was just me.  No one was there to distract me. No one was there to steal the equipment.  No one was there to make sure that I got every set and rep done.  No one was there to keep me from slacking off.  I was completely alone and on my own.  It was all me!  I took a moment to scan the room and take inventory:  Elliptical, treadmill, bike, free weights, benches, universal machine, and stability ball.   Hello Old Friends #3!  Oh my I have missed you. 

Finally, I took a deep breath, turned on my music and went to work.  Mostly, I took aim at my chest and my triceps.  Since my ankle was feeling good I added some basic cardio intervals.   However, my abdominals were feeling a little bit jealous so I pounded on them for a bit too.  After I had sufficiently punished myself with weights I started to walk towards the door and paused at the bike (boy do I miss spinning).  I got on to see how it worked and how it felt to ride.  Well, it must have felt good and familiar because before I knew it 10 minutes had passed.  It felt so good that I could feel my body craving more.  And even though I had not done ANY activity in 3 WEEKS (Man I was SUCKING WIND!), the more I pedaled, the better I felt!  Unfortunately, after those 10 minutes I had to call it quits so I could get back to work.   And just like that 55 minutes after I had walked into that room, I was walking out.  My goal for today was met!

Mentally, I feel awesome.  Physically I am toasted.  I believe that my muscles do each have minds of their own.  Today I could feel them shaking in what I am going to describe as FEAR (in reality it is FATIGUE).  Tomorrow I am positive they will be screaming at me in ANGER (in reality this will be SORENESS).  My response to them is this…..Bring it on!  I welcome the pain!  Change does not come without some degree of mental or physical pain!

Monday Motivation.... 
You are only ONE workout away from a good mood!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pinch Me.....I'm Dreaming!!

Confession time!!!  I absolutely HATE dealing with grocery shopping and cooking.  I mean it is the last thing that I want to do (I would actually prefer to have root canal done).  Cooking and being in the kitchen is just not my thing.  My mother, who has always been an excellent cook, has tried for years to get me to appreciate and enjoy time in the kitchen…..and bless her heart that effort has failed miserably.  Don’t get me wrong… I can cook.  I have prepped healthy food.  I did it consistently for a long time.   I did it under protest over and over, got burnt out, and needless to say that time spent in my kitchen over the past year or so has been sporadic at best.  I do see cooking as a chore and do not get an ounce of enjoyment out time in the kitchen.

Unfortunately, my decision to refocus on healthy living and eating has brought me face to face with this demon.  Even though I do my best to pick healthy options when I eat out, it is completely unrealistic for me to think that restaurant dining and avoiding my kitchen is going to get me the health results that I am looking for right now.  I want to find a way to eat healthy and not have to do the grocery shopping and the cooking.  Yes….Yes….I know that is having my quinoa and eating it too.   If I could, I would hire myself a health nutritionist/chef to do all this leg work for me, but unfortunately I have not pinpointed the exact location of that stinking money tree yet! 

However, I am excited to say that I think I have found the next best solution!!!!!!  I stumbled across a business here in Arizona (BTW…also in Texas, California, and Idaho) a couple of weeks ago that was created exactly for someone like me!  It is called….

Courtesy of My Fit Foods (

My Fit Foods was started by a personal trainer that began cooking meals for his clients that were not getting results in their fitness programs because they were not eating the right foods, were too busy to cook, or HATED TO COOK (HEY! That’s me!).  I am sooo excited! 

You go in and pick out your healthy, clean, pre-made, pre-packaged, perfectly portioned meals from the really LARGE refrigerators.  If you want, you also have the option to order your food a day ahead and pick it up the next day to ensure what you are looking for will always be in stock.  All the food is made fresh there with no preservatives. Each meal has a “best by” date on it that will not exceed more than five days from the time you purchase it.  The protein/carbohydrate/fat ratios are balanced and the meals come in three different sizes based on your caloric needs.  Their meals are healthy and tasty!  In addition, many of their meal choices are also GLUTEN FREE!  On top of everything else….grocery shopping and food prep this week has taken me 30 minutes!  Pinch me I think I am dreaming!!!  What’s the catch?

Well, I will tell you.  It is more expensive than doing your own food prep of course.  Each meal can range anywhere from $4.85 to $10 a meal with the average being about $6.00/meal (depending on what you get and the size you get).  Of course, you also do not have 100% control of what goes into the meals, which is a huge plus to prepping your own food.   Nothing will replace the value of preparing, portioning, and packing up your own food.   I will eventually get back to doing my own food prep, but for now this is going to get me going in the right direction and is a great interim solution.   

So with that, my food prep for the week is DONE and I am on my way!…WOOOOHOOOOO!
NOTE:  I was not lying.....other than my meals f
or the week see how empty my frig is?????? Yikes!

Coming Soon!!!!!  Workout Move of the Week!  Stay Tuned!

Monday, September 10, 2012

A New Chapter.....

Four Months! Four Months!  Are you kidding me?!??!?!?!  Where did it go?  Let me see if I can, teach Group Fitness (GF), sleep, work, teach GF, sleep, teach GF, teach GF, work, sleep, and did I mention TEACH GF.  Ok, so you get my point.  All of a sudden four months has flown away, and I didn't even see the direction it headed.

On a side note, please note that in my todo list above there was no mention of personal workouts or food prep.  My point....not a lot of personal workouts and food prep has been consistently occurring.  The training has suffered, my diet has suffered, and my overall physical condition has suffered. 

All of a sudden, it started to get worse.  Crohn's/Colitis flare up.....CHECK!  Injury (mysterious ankle sprain that I don't remember injuring with swelling that will not go down).....CHECK!  And before it could get any worse I called TIMEOUT!  My body is trying to tell me something.  If I don't listen to it now, it is just a slippery slope down hill until I hit rock bottom.  

So what were my options?

Option 1:  Keep going at the rate I am going.  Change nothing.
Potential Result:  Risk permanent physical injury and major internal inflammation that could turn into something far more serious, perhaps even permanent, if ignored.

Option 2:  Something has to give, so.....OMG!  Dare I say it....Give up teaching group fitness classes for a while
Potential Result:  Take the time to refocus, establish goals, get healthy, and come back strong.  

How did this happen?  How could I let it get so bad?  I could ask these questions until I am blue in the face.  The answer is simply this....I lost my focus on my health and I lost balance.  It is time to stop asking those questions and take control.  Like so many, I am human and not perfect, but I do have the power to change.   

After many tears and CostCo sized boxes of kleenex, I reluctantly decided to put teaching classes (my passion) least for now.  In my mind, to get back to where I want to be, option 2 is the ONLY option.  I want to regain my balance, I want to establish some new goals, I want to be strong, I want to be comfortable in my skin again,  and most of all I want to regain my health.  

So here we go.....Let the "New Chapter" begin.  
Join me as this new chapter in my journey unfolds will you?   Am I excited?  Yes!  
Am I nervous? Definitely!  
Am I going to move forward?  Oh yeah! You Betcha!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Beast Hath Been Slain!

Who finally did it?!?!?!!  Who finally stared down the Fear Beast and kicked it’s A$$????  Oh Yeah....I DID!  OK, OK, Here is the story.  A few months ago….okay maybe more than a few (November 2011) I humbly confessed that my biggest fear at the time was to take the leap and actually get in front of a class to teach Spin.  If you missed the blog it is a must read for all the background information:

I made a promise at that time and to you all and myself that I would do it and right away.  And guess what…..I put it off.  Then I said I was going to make it my 2012 New Year’s resolution to teach a Spin class before I left on our cruise April 6th.  And guess what……it didn’t happen.

Now, I could rattle off a whole slew of reasons why it was put off, but they would serve as nothing better than a bunch of excuses. (BLECH, Hate that word!)  When it really came right down to it I was afraid of not being very good, failing, and I was letting that fear get the best of me.  This is something that I am not proud of, but hey, I am a work in progress.

Well last week (Monday) I found out that they were looking for a permanent instructor for a Spin class Tuesday evenings at 6:00pm  at the gym where I am on staff.  And here is how the internal monologue went….

Positive brain:  “You can do this”
Negative brain:  “No I can’t”
Positive brain:  “Shut up, YES you can! You can get everything you need together and practice for a couple of weeks and you will be ready to rock!”
Positive brain (I think the positive side got ticked and duct taped up the mouth on the negative side):   “Ok I will I do it, I will give it my all and it will be great”

I called my boss to let her know I would love to give it a shot.  After we chit chatted for about 15 minues, I asked in a very breezy tone, “So when is my first class?”  
To which she answered, “May 1st, next Tuesday.”  I about dropped the phone.  I had ONE WEEK!

Negative side of the brain: “Oooooops…..What the heck did you just do?!?!?!?!?!   

That was not at ALL how the plan was supposed to go! I wanted to hang up the phone and RUN! There was no way I was going to be ready (even though I have had a class plan ready to go since December).  However, instead of running I mustered enough breath to say in a now muffled tone, “Sounds great, I’ll talk to you later.”  I hung up the phone, and then….PANIC!  You name it… shakes, nerves, tears, hyperventilation, worry, doubt, stage fright…. I panicked for an entire week!   Boy did Chelle and Mike (my husband) hear it…….ALL……WEEK…….LONG (Thank you to you both for not killing me). 

What I did not do though, was run.  With their encouragement, I made the decision that ready or not, now was the time to conquer this goal.  Once I make those kinds of decisions I will do whatever it takes to get the job done.  I studied my notes, fine tuned my plan, visualized my class, and listened to my playlist (over and over and over again)  In that weeks’ time I did everything I possibly could to feel prepared and then Tuesday came and……Yep you guessed it!  I PANICKED some more.  But I knew what I had to do.  I should tell you that when I walk in to a room to teach it’s game time!  My students don’t care if I am scared, nauseous, or have stage fright.  The only thing they care about is getting a fun, and challenging work out and thus I will do everything in my power to make that happen for them.  I did what I had to do as I tried to check all my negative energy and emotion at door and then…… IT WAS ON!  I don’t mess around when it comes to teaching classes.  Just ask anyone who has been in my classes over the years.  Class started promptly at 6:00pm and I had two of my favorite familiar faces there to get their butts kicked and offer their support in person (Thank you Chelle AND Bill)!!!   I pushed, I pedaled, I coached, I missed cues, I almost puked, but I gave it my all!  And 5 minutes AFTER class ended…..I FELT BETTER! Then I realized....

I DID IT!  No, it wasn’t perfect and yes, I need some work, but I CONQUERED IT! I followed through, I finished, I was alive, and I felt great! VICTORY WAS MINE!   It was fun (at least for me!) and most importantly….I would do it again! Oh wait, I do have to do it again, in ONE WEEK!  YIKES!  That being said, I have to go now and work on my class plan for next Tuesday.  While I go do that, I challenge you all to work this week on one thing you have been putting off forever in the shadow of fear. 

What’s it gonna be?  What Beast are you going to SLAY?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

HIATUS & VACATION OVER! Back and Ready to Go!

Where the heck does time go????  Poof! Right out the door and before I was able to blink has been 2 months since I last posted.  Well, it is time for that to change!  So here is a summary of how the last two months have gone……first, the End of Case Study….next, the start of a new full time job…. then, work, sleep, teach, work, sleep, teach, (repeat)....and finally, to an AWESOME cruise vacation on one of the largest ships on the sea with some great friends!  I know that Chelle addressed some of the most common questions being asked and so I will give my side of the story also on the same ones ;)….

Q.  Did you come back with a tan? 
A.  I did not come back with a tan either!   In all fairness I don’t tan mostly because unlike my “Armenian, I can almost think about tanning and make it happen” friend (Chelle/Ethel) I am German and English which leaves me with a very pale complexion.  I don’t get to tan; I get to BURN and endure lots of freckles.  As a result, my daily morning cruise ritual included an intimate relationship with my 115 SPF tube of sunblock.  It is ok though, I have gotten very used to walking into a room and having people put their sunglasses on when they see me in shorts ;)

Q. Did you gain weight? 
A. Yes I did gain a little.  (SIDE NOTE: the average person will gain anywhere from 7-14 pounds during a one week cruise)   The grand total weight gain I had was……2.2 pounds!  Phew…Nothing really to worry about and I am calling that a V*I*C*T*O*R*Y!

Q. Did you work out on the boat? 
A.  I DID workout on the boat, yes….I couldn’t help it.  I made it into the gym on our at sea days.  That amounted to three days total.  The equipment in the gym was plentiful and amazing.   The only thing that I didn’t see enough of was a larger selection of group fitness classes.  The only thing they really had was a couple of yoga/stretch classes, a couple of spin classes, and one or two bootcamps.  No ZUMBA (WHAT?!?!?!), no Step Aerobics, no Kickboxing!  I have to admit, I was pretty disappointed, but not disappointed enough to leave and stay away.  I focused mostly on cardio (elliptical, stepper, and rowing), and came up with a very creative workout with the rowing machine that actually ended up doubling as an awesome upper body workout also (oooooowwwwcccchhhh)!  I am positive that the trainers on the ship either thought I was really creative or completely out of my mind.  As I got into the zone and kicked my own rear-end, I was able to look out over the ocean.  As I rowed, I couldn’t help but imagine that the faster and harder I moved, the faster the ship was going to move.  In addition, I have to say.... the stairs on a ship are your friend!!!!  Use them often if not always!  I LOVE the stairs (and I mean that sincerely!)

Q.  Were you tempted by all the food on the boat?
A.  All the food????  Nope.  H O W E V E R, I did have two vices…….Pretzel rolls! And Caramel! (not at the same time of course)  They had amazing pretzel bread EVERYDAY and I think I ate some every day!  In addition, they made homemade caramel on the ship which was great on ice cream, brownies, and even on its own (DARN YOU STUPID SWEET TOOTH)!  Yes, Yes, I might have had a spoonful or two (*shrug*, it’s a weakness).  The rest of the time though, I really watched portions and kept migrating towards as many healthy options and portion sizes as I could.  Once all the healthy options were scoped out, they were not very difficult to put together while still being able to get treated to good food.  ;)  It is important to realize that even though you are on a cruise you can ask for food the way you want it, you can balance out your choices, and as long as you do not just blindly shove food in your mouth at every turn you can treat yourself without going “overboard” (pun intended).

and finally....check it out....these people had a good time!!!!!!

Coming soon....more Cruise Highlights, Weekly Top 10 Lists, and Workout Ideas!
Ciao for now!!!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Moment You've Been Waiting For!!!

Group 2 Final Reveal....
These ladies worked it, worked it, and worked it until they KILLED IT! 
They have persevered through the real life adversity of getting started, 24x7 detailed planning and scheduling work outs, following through with their plans, and sharing their progress with all of us.  In addition, it was all done for 12 weeks with challenges at work, with family, with injuries, and let's not forget with ALL THE HOLIDAYS in their paths!!!!

Even with all of that, GROUP2 has said
Bye-Bye to 36.4 lbs!!!
and 41.25 inches!!!

(Seriously!?!?!?!?!  Yes...Seriously!)
They have sculpted, transformed and they invite you to review their entire journey and see their final results!
Their stories of strength and courage are true inspirations for lifetime transformation!


oh heck... Let's make it a high SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, AND TEN TOO! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Wait...You did what??????
Yes, you heard me right.  We invited 7 ladies with dreams to join a Case Study and we challenged them to set health and fitness goals.   Then we gave them all fitness and nutrition road maps on how to get there, put them through the WRINGER, and gave them a little guidance along the way.
And you did this when?????
Yes, again, that is what I said….We did this right smack through the holidays!!! And after 12 grueling weeks of blood, sweat, and tears, the final stats for Group 1 are in.   

Each with their own unique story, struggles, and goals; these Group 1 ladies didn’t just smack it out of the ball park, it was smacked clear out of Yellowstone Park! 

If you have not seen their final numbers please make sure that you check them out, as well as their journals recording their journey and their progress pictures.   ( ladies went up against the odds, looked them in the face and laughed them off with a collective loss of 55.2 lbs and 51.35 inches!