MY Summer Body!

Summer is here and we are ALL enjoying our summer bodies….. Right? Ok, maybe not all of us.  It’s ok…. Just know even fitness professionals have times where they aren’t in their “best” shape. This summer, I feel amazing and I still have great endurance, but I have lost a little of my muscle definition….. But….

Winter body 💪


Oh well. I have been working so hard during the previous months with many classes and passing my personal training exam, that I have chosen to take some R&R.

Post 7 day cruise Summer Body 😁


I have been enjoying my three kids as school was winding down and the weather was warming up. I went from 12 classes a week (as previously stated a few months back) to now teaching 6. I have more time to enjoy summer with the family and I am thankful for that….. And my lil bit of body fat.

We just got back Sunday from a week long cruise to the Caribbean, where I didn’t get a chance to work out at all. Of course right now I’m dying to go lift some weights to make up for it.

We are getting ready to take two more weeks vacation to celebrate my daughters birthday and July 4th as well. You know that expression Summer bodies are made in the Winter….. That is exactly what my life motto is right now as I miss lots of gym time to soak up sun with my family. 

I am still here staying true to my fit business and life and will still be posting along the way but Summer is truly about my family time. So if you see my not as previously flat tummy out say hi… Don’t worry I’m happy and comfortable. I’ll work it off later. 😜❤️💪

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Working out with kids at home.

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People ask me all the time how I got back into shape so fast after having my third child. First, let me say, fitness is literally my job so I am able to do it a lot more than most people. Second, I worked extremely hard between teaching classes and working out at home.

As a mom of three, my home workouts don’t usually go as I originally planned. It’s like an alarm goes off that only little people can hear that tells them, “Mom is trying to have time for herself, get her.” I’m sure most of you with kids can understand what i’m talking about, but it doesn’t have to be a wash. You can still workout just find a way to get your kids involved.

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My daughter Kylie “stepping” in for attention.

For me when this situation happens, I just tell myself that today will not be my most intense workout but it will be one of my more fun and entertaining ones. Besides, I already know that if I tell myself to just try to do it later, something else will happen and I may not be able to workout then either.

First thing I make sure to do to is start with giving my son a job. He is the type who likes to take control, so by giving him a task he’s already enjoying himself. He likes to pick out our workout music with his iPad. I let him plan all the Kidz Bop he wants, which entertains him. He proceeds to map out our whole workout playlist.

Now that we have music covered I can focus. I need some weight… Ahhh…Yes my 20 month old daughter who was just crying for attention works as the perfect solution. She needs me to hold her so I do some squats and maybe even some shoulder presses.

She loves when I do this so much that she giggles uncontrollably as I squat down and then “throw” her in the air. It’s the cutest!!! I do a few sets of these and without a doubt that’s a great workout.  To her it is the best thing that has ever happened in her life.

Now it’s strength training time with my son. He likes to use the resistance band while I do free weights.  It’s not too much to harm him but he is doing something to build a bit of strength. I even have him count for me so that he feels like he’s in charge. Of course this doesn’t last too long because my kids get bored quickly.

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We finally end up reaching a point where I just let them come up with new “exercises”. I pretty much try to keep this going as long as possible by helping them come up with new creative ideas. They always seem to think its hilarious to lie on my back while I’m doing push ups. I even do wall sits with a kid on my lap. A lot of times I do crunches while kids or steadily jumping on my stomach. Disclaimer that last one is not recommended.

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One of my most favorite things to do with my kids is yoga. My son found a YouTube channel a couple years ago called Cosmic Kids Yoga and we have been doing it together ever since. It simple enough for kids and keeps them engaged. Of course I save this for my cool-down portion of the workout because it’s a bit slow paced for an adult. It really has brought us together quite a bit by having time on the mat. I totally recommend checking it out with your children if you are trying to get them to be a little bit active with you.

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There are plenty of ways for you to be active and sweat with your children.  Another great idea that is always a hit in our house is dance parties. From your favorite music or theirs.  There are times when I practice my routines for my dance fitness classes and my kids practice with me.

Still need more options that work for your family? Follow my Pinterest board and YouTube channel as I continue to update them with more pictures and videos from our family fitness journey.

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Well now I’m half crazy!

I did it!!! I ran my first half marathon.

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My day started at 3:15 am. I can’t remember the last time I woke up that early on purpose…just like the saying, “but first, COFFEE!” After getting my caffeine, I got dressed as quietly as possible as not to wake up my family who was up later than me the night before (I’m so thankful for my husband who took care of the kids so I could go to bed early).

At 4:00 am, I headed to the hotel lobby to catch the RunDisney shuttle to Epcot. There was, of course, loads of traffic but we get off the bus and started walking to the bag check to get to the staging area around 4:30 am.

Keep in mind at 4:30 in the morning it’s cold and dark. Plus I had been hydrating to make sure I am good to run 13.1 miles. The race was scheduled to start at 5:30 am…. For corral A…. I was in L. There were over 18,000 people participating so it would take a while.

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Staging area- still dark!

 

After getting photos and checking my bag with my warm blanket; the time was 5:20 am.  I got in line to use the porta potty just like lots of other runners with the same hydrated body, and small bladder as me. Finally, my turn comes and goes. As I walked to my corral I realize as I’m still walking it was about a mile away…. Literally! By the time I got there ….SURPRISE I had to pee AGAIN!

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Crowd of runners trying to get to their corral.

 

I located my corral and got in my group of fellow runners, where we would hang out for the next 40 minutes. Slowly, we made our way closer and closer as each corral was announced and fireworks lit the sky. Our turn finally came and the official time I crossed the start line was 6:22 am. I seriously could have slept longer…. Just saying.

So my Disney Princess Half Marathon running experience began. Guess what thought I had at about mile 2… “Dang it, I have the smallest bladder in existence.”  It didn’t help that I waited in my corral for 40 minutes freezing, but I found the porta potty. The lesson so far, if you have a fear of porta potties, you probably won’t enjoy running a half marathon.

The first couple miles were road miles where I felt great but I made sure to walk a couple times here and there to pace myself. We came upon the entrance sign for The Magic Kingdom parking area and soon we would be running through the park. The excitement was starting and I forgot all the miserable moments leading up to this point. I no longer cared that I was so tired, who cares if I stood in the cold and waited for what felt like forever to go across the starting line. This was why I was here.

As we entered the park, the crowds of observers called the “chEAR Squad” were in full force. These are friends and family members of the race participants who pay to enter the park before it opens specifically to cheer on the runners. They had cowbells and signs rooting all of us to keep going.

I love Cinderella’s Castle!

I had been to Magic Kingdom plenty of times before, but there was something different about running a half marathon that involves going through Cinderella’s castle. I loved every moment of that run, including the creative signs from the chEAR Squad. I didn’t feel tired like when I run in my neighborhood or on a treadmill. This was special.

As I said before in my previous blog, I was going to enjoy the race and stop for photos and I did. I didn’t care about trying to get a great time. I made sure to think about which photo lines to stand in because I didn’t want to go over the 16-minute mile pacing minimum. So I didn’t take photos with every character. I did, however, get a photo with Beast, which was pretty awesome. It was the longest line I stood in and affected my time the most.

The Beast and his fancy suit.

Once we got out of Magic Kingdom, we were back to running on the road. I was good until mile 10 or so when my leg muscles were not so happy. Thank goodness for the energy gels I packed in my running belt. I knew I was still okay to keep going but I was definitely getting fatigued. At around mile 11 or 12, it started to hurt more to walk than run so I made sure to just keep running…after I ate another energy gel of course.

The end of the race was through Epcot. Since I spent the last 2 miles or so running because my feet hurt, I didn’t get many photos in Epcot. At this point it was after 9:00 am and the park was open. The organizers had blocked off our running path so that people entering the park didn’t get in the way or run over. The last leg to the finish line ended in the parking lot of Epcot with lots of people “chEARing.” I was so happy to cross that finish line and get my beautiful Belle rose medal.  I definitely surprised myself with this run because I didn’t get to train as much as I wanted to but I did it. Bonus…I didn’t pass out.

I had to get this epic photo.

There was a time when I envied people who ran long races but at the same time wanted nothing to do it. I didn’t understand it then. The thought of going out to just run sounded awful. I had previously done 5k’s and a couple of 10k’s and started to really understand but now…. after this…. there’s no turning back. I’m half crazy!

My new Belle themed medal.

 

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Princess Half Weekend Pre-Race 

I just want to say I love Disney! That’s why I chose this to be my first half. The hype before the race is almost better than completing the race…. Almost. My family is Disney Vacation Club members and annual pass holders so we try to go to Disney a couple times a year. We planned our vacation around my race this time so I have been wearing all my Run Disney shirts around the parks all week. 

The expo started Thursday with a crazy frenzy and a long line of people waiting for it to open. I read all the stories of people who waited in line and fought the crowds to get the merchandise they wanted before it sold out in my “Run Disney” Facebook group. This was not for me but I loved seeing all the pictures.

Photo of expo on day one. (Not my photo)

I ended up going to the expo the middle of the second day. See I have three young kids; ages 7, 5 and 19 months….. No way I’m bringing them in to that craziness. Not to mention they don’t allow strollers in the building. I was able to bring one in since my oldest daughter who has Autism has the Disney assistance stroller tag, where it shows she uses it as a wheelchair. 

Expo on the second day.


The expo had EVERYTHING! Jeff Galloway was there meeting people, there was all kinds of cool running gear plus there was someone taping people with kinesiology tape. I had the plan to go straight for the official race merchandise first because those were the hot items. Most of the time I wouldn’t be all about getting a lot of stuff from a race that I run but this is Disney and again I am obsessed with Disney! So when I go, this is what I pack to wear each trip. I made the dash straight to the gear, got pretty much everything I was hoping for and was happy. Guess what ……I didn’t have to fight with anyone. 


Next, I needed energy gels because I didn’t pack any since I didn’t want to risk them exploding in my suitcase. Got it!

I did a lap around checked everything out, including the newest New Balance Run Disney shoes but I just spent all my money on my Princess gear so I was good to go. Not to mention my kiddos had already finished off their free GoGo Squeez applesauce so we HAD to go. 

A note about the Run Disney shoes for anyone interested for future: these require an appointment to try on and purchase. You can make the appointment online a couple days before hand. I opted not to because the shoes can be kind of pricey and A. I’m pretty cheap B. Sometimes you can get lucky and find last years shoes at your local New Balance outlet store for under $40. Recently my husband found them and we scored a pair for everyone in the family. Please don’t take that advice and buy all the stock and put them on eBay like some selfish people.

So I bring you to today, the day before the half and there’s already been the kids races, 5k and 10k. Everyone is posting pictures of themselves in costumes with their finisher medals. Plus the tradition is to walk around the parks with your medal. It’s so awesome to see the community of runners walking around with their bling taking photos with characters. I just love everything about it!   The excitement of it all makes me forget that I’m super nervous for tomorrow. 

On the road to my first half marathon.


The Disney Princess Half is this weekend….. Eeeeeekkkkkk! This is my first ever half marathon and I’m pretty nervous, mostly because I don’t want to hurt myself by pulling something. I’ve been training when I can but honestly it’s not as much as I would have liked. Between teaching nine fitness classes a week and studying for my personal trainer exam this kind of was on the back burner.

Don’t get me wrong, aerobically I’m in great shape but it’s a different story using certain muscles for basically three hours. I’m not stupid I’m not going in without having trained at all so please don’t take this as advice to do that… DON’T! 

I will be doing the Galloway Method; which is the combination of running and walking to save my muscles, preserve energy and help with post race recovery. Which I need because once the race is over I will be headed back home to teach more classes the next day. Again not recommended for the average joe, but I have been teaching these classes for years and can do modifications that are easy on the body.

My goal for this half is not to push myself to the limit or get a pr. This is a Disney race and it cost more than an average race. I want to “get my money’s worth”. There will characters along the route so I plan on stopping for some photos when possible. Not to mention we are running through the princess castle in the Magic Kingdom! How awesome is that!!! That is a definite photo stop for me. As a huge Disney fan this half marathon was on my bucket list and I’m going to enjoy every moment of it and not just rush through and dread the whole thing. 

So as we drive to Florida the nervousness and excitement is overwhelming but all I can do is just keep calm.

Where have I been?

It has been a while since my last post and I was busy to say the least.  I suffered two injuries (the hip and lower back) with in a month due to over use of my muscles. The doctor told me I had Ilioinguinal strain and Iliofemoral sprain and I had to take time off from teaching. I took a week off like he said but once I came back my body still wasn’t 100% and ended up with Sacroiliitis.  Fortunately the family and I had a cruise planned so I was able to really relax and give my body some more time to take it easy.

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My son Gavin on running track of the cruise ship.

I’ve been back teaching my classes now for about two months but I did cut back just a bit. I had to drop a couple of classes that were really taking a toll on my body. I am now teaching eight classes a week which is on the lower end for me. After this experience of injury I really had to reevaluate how I teach as well. My strength classes are more and more geared towards teaching and coaching and not doing it all myself. Don’t get me wrong I always knew to do this and would when I had members come who needed modifications and more guidance but I would still work hard when it was a class of only high intense members who need that push because we all had fun pushing each other. I am that personality who loves a fitness challenge. Boy has my mentality changed.

I need to be able to stay in the game for years to come and not get injured. As a fitness instructor my health and wellness is a priority to be able to conduct my work. This job already naturally takes a toll on the body so I have decided to make sure to take precautions to slow that process down. My workouts at home are no longer super intense and I don’t push myself to try to obtain a goal that I saw on instagram or pinterest. You know what I’m talking about, all the yoga challenges that make me think…. “ohhh I can do that” when in actuality that’s probably the main reason why I got injured in the first place.

That was one of the last yoga poses that I did before I felt my hip “go out”. I probably should just stick to simple yoga from now on, and I’m ok with that.

I have been up to so much more but that is not ready to reveal yet so I am going to just keep this at a to be continued……

 

There are many shapes and sizes of fitness professionals, does it make or break your experience?

We have all seen these memes going around the internet that put down the professionals in our field. First off this was obviously made by someone who knows nothing about what we do, second don’t be like that person.

 

I have met many people in this field and all of them are inspiring and passionate about what they do.  There are many hours that go into putting together your group fitness class or personal training session. Most of it is intense studying to learn all the information needed to make it safe and effective for all levels. (I must clarify everything I write about goes for “Certified” Professional’s so please be wise in choosing your Instructor or Trainer. It is OK to ask if they are certified or not, as a Professional I am proud to announce that I am Certified.)

As a Certified Professional you need to pass an exam and then are required to maintain your certification by obtaining continuing education units to keep up with the latest research. Once you have the knowledge, then comes the process of figuring out what to do with it, which takes even more time.  Once that is mapped out you practice, refine and tweak the details to make sure it’s appropriate.

“Wait, didn’t you get into fitness because you like to work out too, when do you get to do that?” We do but it’s not as often as you probably originally thought. Group Fitness Instructors teach a class; which is working out but it’s not “their work out”. We don’t work out to our highest intensity because we need to be there to show modifications and cue all participants. Personal Trainers are at the gym all day but they are creating plans, meeting with clients and helping others reach their goals.  We work out on our own time (when we find it of course between work, studying and taking care of our family). Does that mean that those that don’t have a flat stomach are out of shape and unhealthy? Absolutely not!

I know so many fitness professionals who may appear “out of shape” to the common eye but in actuality they have better cardiac endurance than a skinny person walking down the street. These people can do more burpees than most people in the gym, they are healthy AND strong. If you ask them what their diet looks like on a normal basis it will most likely be healthier than most people you know. They may not have the ability to spend hours at the gym working on themselves because they are too busy thinking about you. Maybe they have an injury that prevents them from reaching a particular goal that you may have for yourself.  Some fitness professionals may be working on their goal and can tell you their story about how they lost 100lbs already… I know a few! Each and every person has different goals, your view of fit might be that you are skinny or have a six pack or a flat stomach but really the definition of fit is “in good health”. Every single one of these fitness professionals are fit but your view of fit may need to be adjusted.

So what really makes or breaks your experience? The Fitness Professionals knowledge, dedication and passion not their shirt size.

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After attempting to be “perfect” I failed and I’m OK with it.

I have an Apple Watch and I cannot love it more.  Just like any other fitness tracker it motivates me to move just a little more each day to reach a goal.  Those of you that do not have the Apple watch I will explain how it motivates you.  There are these “Achievement Badges” you can get with each certain goal. There’s one for a new personal record, doubling your move goal, completing all three activity goals (move, exercise and stand) every day of the week etc. There’s one achievement badge called “Perfect Month” where you reach your move goal every day in the month.

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I have had my Apple Watch for six months and have a lot of the badges but I do not have the Perfect Month Badge. I am the type of person who sees a challenge and says “ok, sure GAME ON!” So I started the month with it in my head I was going to hit my move goal every day for the month of June even if it meant doing an extra work out right before midnight.

My move goal is different than yours would be because everyone burns calories differently.  There are many factors that go into, so by telling you my number would be irrelevant. Just know for me to reach my move goal I have to actually get up off my butt and workout and be active for the day.

I could do this right? Yeah of course, I’m a fitness instructor who teaches many classes and workouts all the time. No problem. The first week … easy! Just like any workout regimen, you can do it for the first week. Second week was going great as well. Now on to the third week, I was killing it. I had worked out every single day for three weeks and met my move goal.  Father’s Day came and the whole family was home, we spent all day together. We took a long walk to the playground, walked back then we went to a family dinner and I took another walk with my daughter; who by the way I had been chasing around all evening making sure she didn’t break anything in the nice house that wasn’t ours. It was a great family day. After the kids went to bed I decided to practice a new routine for one of my Zumba classes and finished with a bit of yoga to stretch out before I went to bed. Sounds like a pretty active day right? Can you believe I did not meet my move goal? I was just shy by 33 calories.

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Red indicates daily move goal.

Let me tell you as a wife and a mother of three I now feel like a “Perfect Month” is unattainable. How can a “normal person” go a whole month forcing themselves to work out that hard to reach their move goal and still be a good wife and mother or friend? On top of that everyone needs a rest day for their body to recover, repair and get stronger. I spent a great day with my family and was completely active and could not reach my goal. I was still up until 11:30pm doing activity and the goal was not achieved. Given my goal is higher than most people but I already do more activity than most people.

 

Do I regret going to bed knowing that I was that close and didn’t make it? Not at all. I could have easily forced myself to get out of bed to get the extra 33 calories to keep going and make the month “perfect”. I chose not too, not because I am lazy but because I was content. I wanted to rest with my husband and enjoy the moment before we both woke up and were separated by work.

I am in great health, I am in great shape, I have an amazing family and I am happy. I don’t need to neglect the things or the people that I love for validation from an app connected to something on my wrist. I appreciate challenges and I have goals but sometimes something’s are more important. Thank you Apple for a really cool watch that I still do love and wouldn’t give up but I don’t know that I will promote the “Perfect Month” achievement badge to my students because  honestly it’s just overkill and asking for a burn out.

OH HI THERE!

It shouldn’t surprise you when I say the fitness world is an inspiring place to be, I have met a whole spectrum of people working to better themselves. For me, the best part is that I get to see their journey. I have witnessed not only the weight loss journey but the growth in confidence and all over joy that has come to ones life after they have overcome a certain obstacle. There are many aspects that never get shared, not only that but many questions that don’t get answered. With my experience, certifications and licenses I have so much in this brain that I want to tell all of my students but there is just never enough time after class.

Solution? My new blog.

I want to share with everyone all the inspiring stories and positivity that I see daily. So much of the world today is focused on negativity so we all need those feel good stories. One of the concepts of physical fitness is mind/body vitality and what is better for your mind than positive energy? As a bonus you will get to learn some useful information along the way that can help you with your health and wellness journey.