Thursday, January 31, 2013

Burpee Challenge!

Burpees.  You either hate them or...hate them.  But, really, they are a great total-body exercise that you can do pretty much anywhere.  You work chest, core, legs, glutes PLUS your heart rate gets elevated so doing several in a row provides a cardio burst to a circuit training workout.
Burpees also make for great "Commercial Break" workouts.  Do them during the commercial break of your favorite show!
The best part of a burpee is that you can do them anywhere, anytime.  Add it to your workout or make it the workout.  Squeeze your set for the day in whenever it is convenient.  I have been known to do them in my kitchen while cooking dinner or during a break a work :)

So, my challenge for you is to be able to do 30 burpees in a row by the end of the month.  I have come up with a training schedule for you to follow that will get your body conditioned and strong enough to do 30 in a row.

Click here for my post on the burpee.

Step 1 Squat down.
Step 2 Hop or step back to plank.
Step 3 Do a push up (in the beginning you can just hold plank for a few seconds and work towards a push up as the month goes on.)
Step 4 Hop or step back to the squat.
Step 5 Jump as high as you can!  (Can't jump?  Just reach your arms up over head, keeping your feet on the floor.)

A few extra tips:
  • When you are in plank make sure your shoulders are over your hands.
  • Keep your body in one straight line, shoulders down to heels, when you do your push-up.  Lower your body towards the floor but you have to be able to make it back up to plank cleanly, so don't go to low to soon.
  • If you can't hop back or forward keeping your legs/feet together, just step back.  Better to have good form than to injury yourself, right?
  • Shoes are optional, but I have found that wearing my trainers keeps my toes/feet happy.
  • After you do the assigned number of burpees make sure you keep moving, walking or marching in place, until your heart rate has gone back down.

So, who's joining me?
Comment below and let me know that you are participating.  
Take a picture today and then at the end of the challenge...I want to see some before and after pics, okay? 
ALSO!  Let's get this going on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter...where else?

Click on the training schedule for a printable version and feel free to take a screen shot of it on your phone and share away.  If you are the hashtagging type use #30burpeechallenge

Your day 1 of the challenge starts NOW.
Let's do this!

**helpful hint** to pin this post click on the blog title, scroll down and you will see the "Pin It" button.  Thanks!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Road to Weight Loss with Ronnie, Part 2

Hi friends!  My friend Veronica is back this month with her weight loss journey.  If you missed the first post last month, go here to get caught up.  I am so happy that she is sharing her story with me and you, the readers.  Make sure to comment with any advice, your own struggles, or just a word of encouragement.

'I'm so fat even my lumbar discs are bulging.'
By Veronica Batton

So, last time we met I was telling you all about my goals and how I wanted to be fit and healthy. And while that is still true, I haven't done much to make those dreams a reality.

Even though this past month has been a bit more challenging than I expected, I'm not going to give up. 

Last month I started my diet and exercise routine. I even joined a group of runners at my work on "Monday Run day." 
And Monday Run day was when I noticed the burning issue. 
My back was on fire. 
We started out with a light jog, but I soon had to slow down to a walking pace, where I took frequent breaks to stretch my back. It was bad news. 
I went to my chiropractor about a week later and discoved I had a bulging disc. 

Decompression table at the chiropractor's office.
He told me no more running and to take it easy until I heal, which meant only walking or swimming.
A few weeks later when I went to visit him, I described more pain after vaccuming. 
"Think of vaccuming and sweeping like exercise, and take frequent breaks." 
I felt defeated and discouraged. Vaccuuming as exercise? That's pathetic!
Relaxing on the decompression table.

I admit that I gave up. But only for a little bit. 
On top of this I had a lot of stress: buying my first home and the need to deliver a great post for my employer's blog. (check it out here!) When it came to losing weight this month, I, unfortunately, fell to the wayside. 
But that's OK because, well, you'll see at the end. 

Tired of being fat … and using too many excuses
I promise that was the end of the excuse train. Last stop. 

My back is slowly recovering, but I did receive an OK from my doctor to start exercising again. Although my back is getting better, I still need to take it easy and stick with low-impact workouts. 
So here is my old-lady-bones plan for this month of February:

  • Perform low-impact exercises three to five times per week for 30 minutes or more. 
  • Increase water intake by 80 percent. 
  • Stop eating two to three hours before bed. 
  • Soda allowed in moderation only on the weekends. (come on, that's a tough one to give up.)

Back in the saddle
So I know that I may have disappointed some people, hell, I disappointed myself. 

However, my therapist taught me something truly amazing and outrageous, which is that I can start over again. Just because I didn't accomplish it the first time, doesn’t mean I can't try again. 

So here I go! And I'm going to keep going till I get those skinny jeans! Wish me luck and I'll see you next month! 

Thanks for reading, and leave me a comment! I'd love to hear from you. 

“You never fail until you stop trying.” — Albert Einstein

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mantra Whisdoms by FatWhisperer

 My friend Mary Ascension Saulnier, aka The Fat Whisperer, has a brand-new bracelet line that incorporates so many of my favorite things:

Workout-friendly accessorizing

Each Mantra Whisdom bracelet is designed and hand-made by Mary using remnants from her Sling System, a piece of Pilates equipment that Mary also designed.  (details soon!)

Look at the stitching!  Beautiful.

While she was working on the Spine Align Sling she wanted to do something creative with the leftover material rather than just throwing it out.  How green is that?!
She began to play around with designs and mantras and her bracelet line, Mantra Whisdoms was born, with the "h" added to wisdom as a tie-in to "The Fat Whisperer."

After Mary wrote her Workout Wednesday post last month she was kind enough to send me a couple bracelets.  I absolutely LOVE the fact that the bracelets are workout-friendly.  It's great that my work clothes happen to be comfy Pilates clothing, but I rarely get to accessorize as it is a safety hazard to wear lots of hanging jewelry.  A bracelet that is hand-crafted and durable makes perfect sense.

Add a motivating, inspiring or just plain fun word or quote and it makes for an accessory that not only looks good but feels good.  Sometimes, when the day gets tough, it's nice to be reminded of what really matters.  Love.  Peace.  Dream.  Choose a word that means something to you.
How do you make a Pilates instructor smile?  Give her a Mantra Whisdom bracelet!

Take a trip to the Mantra Whisdom page and see for yourself the fun colors and statements.

The best part?  You can have a bracelet custom made with any mantra YOU choose.  Favorite color, soothing material and a word or phrase that is just for you.  For more information on custom orders email

A Mantra Whisdom bracelet would make the perfect gift for a workout buddy, friend or your favorite instructor ;)  Or why not treat yourself to a bracelet to celebrate an accomplishment such as losing those last 10 pounds, completing your first road race, or any other special moment.

To celebrate the launch of the Mantra Whisdom line Mary was kind enough to send me a second bracelet to give away to one lucky reader!  The "bliss" bracelet is so beautiful I totally want to keep it for myself, but I can't wait to share it with one of you!

Entry is easy, simple and safe with Rafflecopter.  The information you provide (email, etc.) is ONLY used for this giveaway and not shared with any third parties.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 28, 2013

Let's Be Friends Week 3

I took last week off because of the MLK day holiday.  Today is bright, sunny and unseasonably warm so it got me thinking about the year.

1.  What is your favorite season?
I LOVE summer.  I try to appreciate all seasons, but summer is my favorite.  Long days, warm nights and lots to do outside.

2.  Favorite holiday?
I love Thanksgiving.  The excitement of Christmas is right around the corner but on Thanksgiving it's all about being with family and enjoying good food.  No hustle or bustle just yet.

3.  Favorite type of weather?
I love a good, sunny day that is about 65 degrees.  Don't we all?  A rainy day is nice now and then, but I function much better in the sun :)

Okay...your turn.
If you are a blogger create a post and link up here.

If not, just answer in the comment box below.

Thanks for stopping by!

The Groundhog Run

In my 15-ish years as a runner I have done a pretty good amount of 5K races.  On Sunday, January 27 I did my first 5K in a cave!  The Groundhog Run has been a tradition in Kansas City for many years, but I always seem to miss it.  I was anxiously awaiting what running in a cave would entail.

Sunday morning was dark and drizzly and, even though the temps were high for January, it made running in a cave sound ideal.
The cave is part of an underground industrial area that is home to businesses and storage facilities.  

Just below those trees is a giant, miles-deep cave complex.

The starting area is fairly close to the opening of the cave so it didn't seem too claustrophobic.  I got there with only about 10 minutes to spare, my favorite way to arrive at a race.

Getting ready to start!

The cave is climate-controlled so I could have worn shorts and a t-shirt, but I was pretty comfy in running tights.  I got warm at one point, but the course switched directions and there was a breeze.  It was fun to run around the cave walls think about how deep the cave goes.

Running in a cave = no hills so my time was pretty fast since I typically train with hills.  I averaged 8:55 miles and my time was 27:55.  Not the fastest, but pretty darn fast for me!

In addition to being my first cave run this race also marked my first official race alone.  I did the Hospital Hill 10K alone, but had spent the night at my bestie's house only a few blocks away so it wasn't like driving alone.

The least blurry of my course photos.  Cave-like without being oppressive.

I have decided I actually prefer to do races alone.  I can arrive when I want, do the course and then leave.  I am not a huge fan of dragging the day out with a post-race meal.  I also HAVE to listen to music when I run so it spares the anti-social "hey, I am glad we rode here together, but I gotta put my ear buds in now" conversation.
I arrived feeling kind of like a weirdo because 5K races have become such a social event for some.  But as I was leaving I had a nice chat with an older gentleman that runs races alone all the time.

At the finish, sporting my Shwings.  Stay tuned for a giveaway!

**funny side story** I spoke with my therapist about my feeling like a weirdo about going to races alone.  I mentioned how I didn't personally think it was weird but how it did feel sort of like junior high, with the people that show up in a big group and run it all chatty and together.  He agreed with me that it doesn't have to be a social event, especially for someone that prefers to run alone and make good time.  BUT.  Guys!  I think I saw him walking into the cave the morning of the race in a group of chatty people!  What's worse than showing up at a 5K alone?  Showing up alone and seeing your therapist, that you just lamented to a few days ago about feeling like a weirdo.  So, I did what any well-adjusted, totally mature person would do.  I put my hood up, ear buds in and ran past the group with my head down.
Keeping these in my car forever!

**snarky side story**  I think it's great that so many people are running 5K's these days.  It's come a long way since my first race when I was 19.  HOWEVER.  There are runners and then there are 5Kers and the latter just ain't that friendly.  I ran into several people on my way in and asked for safety pins because I didn't have any in my race packet.  I, of course, have a metric ton at my house, but didn't think to grab any.  How do you find a runner at a race?  Ask for pins.  One guy looked nervous and told me his wife had the safety pins.  Another lady said she couldn't spare any.  (you really only need two, duh.)  When I got in the cave I found some ladies that were runners and they totes shared their pins with me.
Wanna blend in with the runners?  Be friendly!

Okay...Q&A time

Do you have caves in your area or is this a Missouri thing?

What is an unusual race you have done?

Do you hide from people to avoid awkward conversation?

Would you have shared your safety pins with me?  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pilates is embarrassing!

Okay, so Pilates really isn't embarrassing.  But I had to grab you with a good title.  The truth is, Pilates can be embarrassing sometimes.

As a brand new student you may feel embarrassed because you are between two experienced students and you just aren't strong enough yet to do what they are doing.
It's okay.  They were new once, too.  Everyone takes different amounts of practice to get it right.  6 years in to my own Pilates practice and I am still working on lots.

Pilates releases pressure in your abdomen.  Translation:  it can make you toot!
Don't worry.  Your instructor has heard a symphony of toots in her/his career.  The other students will either understand because it's happened to them or be so relieved it isn't them that they won't judge you at all.  This may sound weird, but I actually feel good for the person that passed gas.  It's a natural thing our bodies do and part of Pilates is to help with intestinal issues.  Hello!  We have an entire series for massaging the stomach.  So, don't be embarrassed.  It means you and the exercises are working!

Bootys get touched.  
As a Pilates instructor I touch tails.  Yep, the good old tail bone.  It's not that I want to, but if a student isn't properly engaged and their rear is up in the air, a good old goose can do wonders.  Trust me.  I have been on the other side of it and had an instructor place her hand on my tail bone to lengthen it.  It works.  Touch works so much better than a verbal cue sometimes.  So this one is more for Pilates instructors than students.  Don't be embarrassed to use touch techniques.  Study anatomy, study where a prompt can be helpful.  Don't use a touch technique you are not comfortable with.  You have to own it and use gentle force.  No one wants a feather-weight touch on their back, leg, or anywhere.  It's just creepy.  If you are comfortable with it, your students will be, too.  And for students, if you do happen to be uncomfortable with being touched, make sure to let your instructor know.  They should ask, but may forget during the busy beginning of getting settled into class.

We get sweaty.
Pilates is typically done in gyms or fitness centers, but, for some reason, I have noticed people think they won't sweat.  You will.  And it's great!  Pilates is a full body workout that elevates your heart rate and challenges your muscles.  Sweating is a sign that your body is healthy and working properly.  So, don't apologize.  But do bring a towel :)

Your feet will be naked.
Ideally, Pilates is done with bare feet.  No one is looking at your pedicure.  I promise.  I know.  I have been a student with a cute pedi thinking SOMEone will notice and, trust me, no one does.  And on the other side of that, you don't need to apologize for not having nail polish on.  Your instructor has probably seen ugly toes, dry toes, toes with out nails (yep.) and all sorts of things that are a pinch worse than chipped OPI.  So, let it go and take your socks off!

Any experienced instructor will not be phased whatsoever by sweat, feet, your pants sliding name it.  And as for your fellow classmates, they will be so wrapped up in their own workout that a toot or misstep will probably go unnoticed.

I want to know:

Do you avoid group classes because of embarrassment/shyness?

Have you ever experienced an embarrassing moment?  

Is there something I missed from the list above?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Workout Wednesday Volume 10

It is rare to meet another Sally my age.  It is even more rare to meet another Sally that has a child the same age as mine and that loves to run.  But I happen to know a Sally just like that.  And she is one of the best runners I know! Just scrolling through her list of running accomplishments gives me IT band pain ;)
I am also extremely wowed by the fact that she is not only a before-the-break-of-dawn runner, she is also a cold-weather runner, running in single digit temperatures by the light of a head lamp.  So impressive!

Name: Sally Bowerman
Age: 30
Location: Blue Springs, MO
Occupation: Volunteer coordinator Hospital Hill Run/Stay at home Mom
Fun Stuff:  Running is my number one hobby, but just being around family and friends is what I love to do most.
How long have you been a runner? I have always played sports since I was little. I ventured into basketball, a little bit of softball, and found a good solid fit for me in soccer. I only ran cross country as a Fall sport in high school to stay in shape and be ready for soccer season. I absolutely hated race day. The nerves got to me and eventhough I finished every race, but physically I wanted to finish faster and stronger. I had a love for running, but not a love for racing.

Give us a list of the distances/races you have completed.
 2010: I completed Go St. Louis Half Marathon, Hospital Hill Half marathon, win for kc triathlon, Royals 5k, and Waddell and Reed Kansas City Full Marathon
2011: I completed: Rock the Parkway half marathon, Wesport St. Paddy's 5k, Hospital Hill Half marathon, LAKC 5k, House of Hope 5k, Trolley Run, win for kc triathlon, susan g. komen Race for the Cure 5k, Royals 5k, and CHICAGO MARATHON, Girls on the run 5k
2012: 39.3 Heartland Series: Rock the Parkway, kansas Half, Run with the Cows half Marathon, The Color Run 5k, Glow Run 5k, Hospital Hill Half Marathon, All Star 5k, Rock N Roll St. Louis Full Marathon, North Face 50k <----that's right, folks a FIFTY kilometer run!

You seem kind of unstoppable. Have you ever had an injury or illness keep your from training? 
When I refound my love for running 3 years ago and I was training for my first half marathon my ankles were so sore and in so much pain. Someone told me to push through and my body was just getting stronger. I used kt tape to try and help, but ultimately I got fitted for the correct type of shoe at Gary Gribbles. I needed a stability shoe which helps when runner's overpronate or their foot rolls inward when they run.

What is your favorite race and/or distance to run? 
Tough question. I do love the half marathons.. tough enough to dig down, but still short enough (comparing to a marathon) that I can walk after the race.
In addition to running, what else is a part of your fitness routine?
I try to mix it up with some anaerobic activity-spin class, jillian michaels home videos, I tried insanity at one time.
Weight training? 
A definite yes for me. I love weight training it tones and strengthens in ways that running doesn't. to be honest I need to get my anaerobic/weight training back in on a regular basis.
Flexibility/core training (like yoga or pilates)? 
I love yoga/Pilates when I am doing it, but unfortunately the extra fitness time I have usually goes to my training for races.
Cross training? Do you swim, bike, walk? 
I love spin class, I recently learned I really don't have a love for biking.. I don't know why? I would like to incorporate more brick workouts this Spring.. ex: run 1 mile, bike 5 miles, run 2. I could use a hard core fat burner workout into my routine.
Least favorite exercise to do? 
Jumping. As I have gotten older I really don't like workouts that continuously make me jump. It makes me feel annoyed. LOL
How do you get your miles in on weeks that are busy and hectic? 
I feel like we all are busy and we have to make time for fitness. Some days I will meet some other crazy runners for 5 am runs close to home, a lunch time run, or even sometimes we will run at 7 at night with our headlamps. Planning a workout is just as important as planning dinner. One night I ran 6 miles while my son was at his flag football practice. One Dad commented it was like Deja Vu' seeing me run by time after time.

What is the longest you have gone without going for a run? How did you feel? 
The longest time I have went in three years is a week and usually that is post marathon. Its something about that marathon for me that mentally takes everything out of me. I really have to talk myself into a short easy run after. Plus my body hates me for awhile.
Do you follow a specific diet? If so, give us a peek. 
Diet is my weak area. I wish I could say I eat completely clean. This is another goal of mine to eat better! I would say I eat about 70% clean. some things I love egg whites for breakfast, we usually have a healthy dinner, and lunch is usually dinner leftovers, salad, or something easy/light. I have sometimes made egg white omelets for lunch.
What do you typically eat before you head out for a run? 
5am run-half a banana before and half after. I used to eat half a bagel with peanut butter and a whole banana for my longest run. It sat well on my stomach, but I just got burned out.
After a run? 
Lots of water and either an apple, half a banana, or a small orange within a half hour of my workout.
What is your favorite healthy snack? 
Golden delicious apple
Do you have a favorite cheat food or meal? 
Pizza/mexican food is a big weakness of mine!

What are some ways that you include your family in your love for running? 
My son has run several 5k's with me and he picked up a love for triathlons last year. Addy has done a couple kid races, but I don't want to push too much too soon with either of them.
Do runners automatically love getting up early or is it a struggle? 
Getting up is a struggle, but running at any hour is fun!

A typical weekday run/workout: 
 Stretch, 4 mile run (sometimes tempo run), followed by stretching and free weights or a core workout. 

Thank you so much Sally!  You motivate me to keep running and trying new distances.  I also love that you run while your son is at football practice!  Much better than staying parked on the bleachers.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Social Vol. 2

Happy  Sunday everyone!  We have been cleaning ALL morning!  I found some great ideas for cleaning lists on Pinterest and we are finally putting them to the test.  I just love the feeling of a clean, organized house.
How is your Sunday going?

Alright.  Time for The Sunday Social Link-Up.  Thanks to Ashley and Neely for hosting this!  Head to their blogs to say hi and join the link-up!

Top 3 Favorite Kinds of Food

  • Sushi
  • Pizza
  • Sandwiches.  I know.  Sandwiches sounds kind of boring or weird, but I really love a GOOD sandwich.  Good bread, lots of veggies, cheese and some fun condiments.  YUM!

First 3 things I do in the morning

  • Push a kid or two off of me.  Seriously.  Both L & E have been making their way into my bed each night/morning.  It's cozy but also chaotic.
  • Check my phone for emails/texts/missed calls.
  • Drink a full glass of water.  I keep a glass on my night table so whatever is left from the few sips I take during the night I finish.  I have heard that this is a great way to start the day since we go 8-ish hours without water during the night.
Last 3 things I do at night
  • Turn my phone to silent/make sure my alarm is set.
  • Take a sip of water.
  • Give JF a goodnight kiss :)
3 TV shows I never miss
This is going to sound very hipster-elitist, but I don't really have 3 show that I never miss.  On a weekly basis at least.  We don't have cable and I work 2 weeknights.  Combine that with sports and other activities and I am not home much to watch TV.  I do occasionally fire up hulu to catch up on these:
  • Grey's Anatomy - I hate all of them.  Every single character.  And I am so over all of their problems.   But I have been watching the show since episode 1 so the folks of Seattle Grace Mercy West are kind of like that annoying family member that you don't really want to catch up with but find yourself unable to detach.
  • Modern Family - I love all of them!  I would live in Modern Family world if I could.  Such a great show that speaks to so many people.  I can't get through an episode with out laughing out loud at least once.
  • Portlandia - not on hulu, but NetFlix.  Love this show.  It's the only TV show we all watch as a family.  Is that weird?
3 places I want to visit
  • Italy
  • NYC - I mean, who doesn't?
  • San Diego
3 people I can always count on
  • JFW
  • My mom and my inlaws
  • My bestest friends VDog and SStarr
  • Adding a 4th--my aunts and uncles. :)

Now it's your turn!  If you blog, write your own post and join the link up.  If you aren't a blogger just answer below in the comment section!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fresh Friday 1/17

Real Food Runner

For todays Fresh Friday link-up I am going to do something a little different and tell you about 3 blog posts that freshened up my week. 
I just happened to come across some really great posts this week:

A beautiful post about saying good-bye to breastfeeding.  **Warning** have a kleenex ready.

Photo courtesty of
About timing.

Photo courtesy of
A nice little motivating post.

Photo courtesy of

I, too, host a link-up called Let's Be Friends.  Each week we share three fun facts.  It's a great way to let your readers get to know you and to meet other bloggers.  Join here!

Enjoy, friends, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Workout Wednesday Volume 9

Today I am so happy to introduce you to Dee Kennedy.  I first met Dee at my YMCA Pilates class.  Like so many instructors, Dee had a love for Pilates, Yoga and fitness and then took that passion and became certified to teach!  I am honored to be a Peak Pilates mentor to Dee and so lucky to have her as a role model for healthy eating, gardening and green living.  

 How long have you been practicing Pilates?  Yoga?

 I actually have only been practicing Pilates and Yoga for about two years now. I became a certified Peak Pilates mat instructor in October 2011 (after meeting Sally) and started teaching in March 2012.

What classes do you teach?
 I currently teach a Pilates Core class and a Pilates 101 class at Club 7 Fitness in Blue Springs.

What is your favorite class to take?
My most favorite class is Vinyasa flow yoga. I love the constant fluid movement of asanas with vinyasa style. I also love to teach it as well!

Do you do cardio?
 Ughh, the cardio question. Well, I despise running and I love cycling so it's about half and half. I have given running a good honest go and I just can't get into it, I find it really boring. But cycling on the other hand I really like because of the variables in pace and it helps that you kind of get a "fresh start" every time the songs change.

 I know that you are an avid gardener.  Tell me us little about your garden!

Gardening! Yes, I love it! I never thought I could or would grow anything but it has become a passion of mine in the recent years. Even with snow on the ground presently I am planning my spring garden in my head. I grow organic and pesticide free produce for my family and it's a challenge. It's no wonder organic food is more expensive, keeping bugs away from my garden organically is a HUGE challenge. Last year was a tough one due to the heat but I will be back in full force this year. Everything is a complete learning process but it's amazing how many resources there are on the internet to help me. Last year we released about 1,000 ladybugs into our garden (they are beneficial in keeping the bad bugs away) and it was such an awesome experience for my family. Unfortunately it was so hot and dry out that they didn't stick around but it was neat anyways. This year we are going to raise and release praying mantis to help with the bad bugs.

What type of diet do you follow?
The type of diet I follow generally depends on the season. I am mostly vegetarian but have succumb to meat more recently. Meat has a very ill effect on me now since I don't eat it as much so avoiding it is the goal. I cook vegetarian all the time at home and love to!

What is your favorite healthy food?
My healthy food of choice is anything from Nature's Pantry (a local health food store). That store for me, is like McDonald's to most other people. They have so much variety that it's awesomely overwhelming.

Do you have a go-to "cheat" food?
My cheat food, and I'm not proud of it, are those rice and noodle packets. They are awful for you but also super tasty (MSG) and easy.

You caught me at a baseball game letting my son have a Ring Pop.  Your daughter didn't know what it was.  I was pretty strict with what my boys ate (organic, very low sugar/processed foods) and still am to a certain extent, but now that they are in school and sports I find it hard to keep them from having junk.  Peer pressure for sure.  How do you keep your kids away from junk?  Is it a struggle?
Junk food for my kids is few and far between. We are really strict when it comes to the kids. I feel like it's our responsibility as parents to teach them about healthy choices. It's not to say that they don't ever get "junk" food, they do, just not very often. Social situations are hard because of, like you said, the peer pressure. I got quite a few dirty looks from Garrett's ( my 7 year old) baseball teammates when I handed out carrots as their snack. I just don't understand why parents give their kids snack cakes after they have played a physical activity. Their bodies need good vitamins and minerals not sugar and fat.

For you, what is the most difficult part of working out and being a mom?
Being a mom does sometimes conflict with my workout schedule. Fortunately, I work at a gym that has child care which is extremely helpful. I am not the type to workout or practice at home so being in a class is where I need to be. It does affect my teaching times more so than it does my personal workout. Not every gym or studio offers child care to help cover while I teach.

How do you stay motivated when life gets busy?

 Motivation, motivation, humm. Like I said before the seasons really affect my mood and motivation. During the spring, summer and fall I have no problem with motivation and the drive to stay active. But when winter comes around it is extremely difficult to stay motivated. I have found that taking liquid Vitamin D and just doing it instead of over-analyzing what I need to do really helps. Teaching my Pilates classes helps a lot too. I need to be there for my students and provide them with support.

What's next on your health and fitness calendar?
My family will be moving to Houston this summer so I will be entering new Pilates and Yoga territory. Teaching styles vary greatly depending on the region so I am excited to see what Houston has to offer. I am focused on getting my RYT (registered yoga teacher) this summer and furthering my Peak Pilates education.

One piece of advice for new students that want to take a class but are worried about being new, alone, unpracticed, etc.

 My most important advice for ANY new student of anything is to focus on YOU. As Americans, and especially women, we judge and compare others and ourselves way too much. But when we can let go of our own ego and just be the best self we can possibly be it is freeing. So, if you are taking a new class, you are taking a class for you, not for anyone else, so work on you!

What does a typical week look for you when it comes to working out?
A sample of my workouts would include a vinyasa yoga class, a Piyo class or my own Pilates classes that I teach. My Wednesday morning class is a classic and modern pilates mix. I am classically trained but my students really like the modern twist. So I will incorporate stability and small ball work into my classical mat order. I my take a cycle class here or there too.

I would also like to add that Miss Sally herself is the one who first introduced me to Pilates. If it were not for her and all her help and mentoring I would not be doing what I do today. Thank you Sally!

Thank YOU Dee!  I just love how you describe cycle class!  I think that one thing I like about it, too...a new beginning with each song.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Resolutioners

We all know it's that time of year.  The gyms are overcrowded with people trying to lose weight and get healthy as part of their New Years Resolutions.
Facebook and Twitter are filled with posts about how this person is working out and that person is saying goodbye to carbs.
And then I also see the posts and the eCards and the rants online and in person about how annoying it is that the gym is over-crowded, etc.
I get it.
More people in your space, taking your elliptical, sweating on your chest press machine.

It's easy to take on an Us VS Them attitude.  I mean, they will be gone by March, right?  Where were they in August when you were still doing sprints and bootcamp class?  Where will they be when, come May, you are still drinking spinach smoothies?
But, lets step back for just a moment, okay?
Aren't they in a spot that you were in at one point?
Everyone has been the new person in a fitness class, the confused person punching the buttons on the elliptical, the weakling just trying to find a good weight to lift.
So, instead of sighing, rolling your eyes, and then filling your head and online world with snarky comments, why not help out?

If that's all you can do, just smile and make the newbies or returning (from 3 years ago) faces feel welcome.

If you are the type to help out, do it.  Help someone find a yoga mat, show them the trick to getting the Pull Down bar attached, or hand them a towel when you see them sweating all over a piece of equipment.

Share a Story
You have a perfect Pilates Teaser, but the student next to you is red-faced and struggling to scoop.  A simple "You should have seen me in my first class.  I toppled to the side!" can go a long way in making the people around you feel welcome.

Invite them back the real reason we get snarky is because we WANT the Resolutioners to know how hard we train all year, right?  So, go ahead, throw that in the conversation in a friendly way.  Once you have done all of the above tips, go ahead and say something like: "See you next time.  It gets awfully lonely here come summer time." Or, you know, something like that.  Let the new people know that they are welcome while also standing as an example that you have made fitness a part of your everyday lifestyle.

Be a friendly, helpful example rather than a grump.  You may just inspire someone to keep going.