Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A friend of mine posted on her Facebook page “Before you start making a list of goals or resolutions for 2014, take a few minutes and acknowledge all that you’ve accomplished in 2013. Make a list of at least 25 things you accomplished. Coming up with the first five or ten things isn’t usually too difficult. But when you get to 20, this gets a little more challenging. Keep going though! You’ve accomplished a lot in 2013. Give yourself credit for all of your accomplishments, big or small.”  Well this got me thinking, what have I accomplished this year??  So here I am compiling my list of things and in no order other than how they came out of my head LOL
1.       Tried some amazing new fitness styles!!!  Bought some Kangoo Jumps and started running in those….actually started running regularly this year as well!!!!  Where would I be without starting running…..I wouldn’t have met half of the amazing people I did!!!!  Also tried Barre classes
2.       Spent my first official year as a fully certified Pilates Instructor!!!!
3.       Met Nicholas Sparks, only briefly but it still counts!!!
4.       Went to the New Kids on the Block/Boys II Men concert (not an accomplishment but still cool!!!)
5.       Stood up for what I believed in and left a job that was not making me happy and I still stand behind that decision!!!
6.       Met Danny J and Bex – how many of you know what that means?? LOL
7.       Ran 1 race a month from July-December
8.       Donated my hair to Locks of Love
9.       Ran my first obstacle race
10.   I was selected as the Weight Loss Guru for Girls Gone Sporty!!!
11.   Found the strength to get my health and fitness back on track after losing all motivation in the Spring (see it happens to the best of us!!!!)
12.   Created Mommy Bootcamp, to give moms a workout they can bring their kids to!
13.   I was part of the Sweat Pink Ambassadors Healthy Moms Spotlight
14.   I was quoted or guest wrote for multiple fitness blogs
15.   I took Stand Up Paddle board lessons
16.   Was selected as a Brand Ambassador for some AMAZING companies!!!
17.   Starting working for 2 AMAZING companies, doing what I love everyday!!!
18.   Got to meet some amazing people!!
19.   Moved my family from Manhattan to New Jersey, in the process meeting more amazing people!!
20.   Learned to LOVE myself and appreciate all the hard work I do everyday

Reflecting on this past year has me super excited for what’s to come!!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

10 Gifts of Christmas

It’s mid December…..still need some gift ideas for that health nut or fitness freak??  Here is a list of my FAVORITE things to give this holiday season!! 
  1.        The Running Buddy – wwwherunningbuddy.com   The Running Buddy is perfect for holding your keys, phone, money and whatever else you need while running or just running errands.  Keeps your hands free with the “fanny pack” feel.    ** Bonus get 15% off and FREE shipping by using code A23**
  2.        Cozy Orange Yogawear – www.cozyorange.com  For the yogi on your list, this line is eco friendly and extremely stylish…from studio to street.
  3.       Swirlgear – www.swirlgear.com  Womens running apparel, designed by women especially for women, flattering fits, and great colors….my go to for running apparel!!!
  4. Hylete – www.hylete.com For the hard core gym goer/crossfitter in your life!!!!  Amazing fabrics that withstand a beating!!!  **Bonus get 20% with code TRTC06CC5**
  5.   Enegybits – www.energybits.com  Natural energy from algae (I know it sounds odd but totally works!)  No added chemicals and comes in tablet form you just swallow with water.  Algae is good for energy and immunity, so jump on these during cold and flu season!! ** Bonus get 25% off with code JerseyDoll**
  6.   Island Boost – www.islandboost.com  Perfect for the endurance athlete on your list!!!!  This fuel gives you the energy to keep going without the awful effects on your stomach and no crash effect!!!!
  7.  Ripped Cream – www.rippedcream.com  For the coffee lover on your list!!!  Coffee creamer with protein in 2 yummy flavors, chocolate and vanilla!!!! 
  8.  Lole – www.lolewomen.com  Live Out Loud Everyday in this amazing workout wear line
  9.  Fitmark Bags – www.fitmarkbags.com Fashionable and functional gym bags and lunch totes.
  10.   100 Hours of Kettlebells – www.strongfigure.com  Exactly what the title says…Strong Figure brings you the 100 Hours of Kettlebells ebook….100 awesome hours worth of kettlebell exercises!!!

Disclaimer:  These items are listed in no particular, only the order they popped in my head, and none of these companies paid me to put them on this list….they are all just things I love!!!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving, New Beginnings and Going Streaking!!!!!

Thanksgiving, New Beginnings and Going Streaking!!!!!

I’m sitting here on the couch after stuffing myself full, reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to the new year……so many new things, disappointments and exciting things have happened and I am looking forward to many more to come!!!!!

Looking back on this past year and what I am thankful for…….there is so much!!!  I don’t even know where to begin!!!  I am most thankful for such a supportive family, without their support I never would have been able to quit a job I didn’t love in order to pursue one that I am so in love with that it is hard for me to stop working J  This year alone I have been selected as a Brand Ambassador for some AMAZING companies…….including Sweat Pink (Fit Approach), Girls Gone Sporty, Janet TV, Cozy Orange Yoga Wear, Swirlgear, The Running Buddy, Fit Mark Bags, Strong Figure, I am on the Train Team for Hylete  and most recently was selected to be the Weight Loss Guru for Girls Gone Sporty!!!!!!  I consider myself so blessed and thankful for the opportunities that these companies have given me!!!   I am also super thankful for the AMAZING companies that have worked with in other capacities and those that have supported programs that I have developed or events I have done……Island Boost and Ripped Cream have been awesome!!!!!  I can’t thank you guys enough!!!!!  The support of all of these companies has helped me get my message out there J  I am also SUPER thankful for the AMAZING companies that I work for, they allow me the opportunity to create programs and help those that need it!!!  If y’all are ever in the NYC/NJ area and can get to Hoboken please come by and visit us at Harmony Pilates and 35 Minute Bootcamps….programs for ALL!!!

I am also EXTREMELY thankful for the journey that I went on, had I not gone through my journey I may have never found my true love – well besides my husband LOL- fitness!!!!!!  Had I not gained the weight (and I’m not saying you should go out and gain a ton of weight) I would have never found fitness…..I would have never met so many amazing people…..everything in life truly happens for a reason, I was meant to take that journey so I could turn it around and help others!!!!!  Yes, I have made mistakes, I have had set backs, but I continue to push forward and strive to make myself better and more toward my goals………I have learned so many lessons in the past year as well, I have learned to be happy with myself (oh that one took a LONG time), not to get discouraged by the little things, and most importantly to put myself first!!!!!  I was stuck in a rut of constantly putting others first and being a people pleaser but no more!!!  I am focusing on what’s best for me, be it life, family, business….I will no longer be a stepping stool for others J  I am developing my own fitness brand, with apparel, motivation, training plans and much more!!!!
I am also thankful that I am healthy enough to perform the fitness fetes that I love so much!! I am thankful my body is able to run, lift, teach and do my daily activities.  I am thankful for the friends that have stuck by my side through everything (moving, cancer, the struggles, moving again LOL), they are my rocks!!!  I am also thankful for the new friends that I have made during all of those things as well….my fitness friends, who keep me pushing even when I don’t want to…..my clients who remind me why I do what I do on the tough days……my son, who can make me laugh no matter what……
New beginnings….as we embark on the holiday season and the new year that is fast approaching I am focusing on my new goals.  The New Year is a fresh start, a push forward…..a clean start!!!!  I have set myself some pretty hefty goals BUT I am also designing the action plan to make em happen!!!  I have found that putting your goals out into the universe they are more likely to happen, so here you go……
My 2014 Goals
-to qualify for the NYC Marathon
-to complete the Spartan, Tough Mudder and whatever other crazy shit Dave convinces me to do!!!
-complete 5 marathons (I want 40 by 40 LOL)
-compete in a Kettlebell competition
-complete a duathalon
-run the stairs at Rockefeller center
-build my programs (increase my classes)
-be more active on my blog and social media (I get so distracted…..squirrel!!!)
-get kettlebell certified
And that is just the beginning I am still brainstorming!!!!!!! I can’t get past my addiction of fitness!!!

I am soooo excited to start my marathons!!!!!  I NEVER thought my body would be capable of so many of the things that I accomplished, especially at almost 300lbs!!!!!  I never imagined I would get excited to run, go to the gym and especially run 26 miles but now just thinking about it I get giddy!!!!

And lastly, I’m GOING STREAKING!!!!  Not that way, get your mind out of the gutter!!!!  I am joining the crew at Runners World and making this year a running streak!!!  I vow to run at least a mile EVERY single day for a year!!!!!!!  Who wants to join me??? 

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Put down that afternoon cup of coffee, or sugary treat and stand up and get moving!!!  Exercise releases endorphins that make you happy and give you energy!!!  (Anyone else suddenly picturing Legally Blonde…..exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy and happy people don’t kill their husbands LOL)  But seriously, if you are in a funk, have low energy and need a quick pick me up stand up, go for a walk around the office, smile (ever hear the phrase “fake it til you make it”?)  If you walk around with a smile your mood actually improves!!!  As far as boosting your energy….here are my tips (not all will work for you but pick what does work!!) get outside for your lunch, simply being out in the sunshine and fresh air will give a pick me up to get you through that mid day lull.  If you can, go for a walk after you eat, don’t skip lunch to walk, food also gives you energy, you don’t want to crash at 3pm.  If you can’t get outside, walk around the office, make sure you drink plenty of water and have a healthy snack (greens juices are amazing for a boost as well as nutrients) J 
Some more tips
-Stand up and take a big stretch!!!  Stretching increases blood flow and oxygen to the body, it’s a quick way to wake the body J
-Close your eyes really tight for about 30 seconds, take a deep breath and open them (do it a few times)…..this is great to do if you are sitting at a desk and can’t get up and move around….looking away from those papers and computer screen even for 30 seconds can give you a boost.
-Green Tea….studies have shown that the small amounts of caffeine in green tea can give you a boost without affecting your sleep cycle.
-Have lunch with a coworker, socialization with someone can get you laughing and destress you.  Don’t go to lunch with Negative Nelly though, that will only pull you down more!!!!  Go with someone you enjoy spending time with or would like to get to know….energy is contagious.
-Don’t sit still…..I know when we were kids our parents always said “will you sit still”….sitting in one spot or position for too long actually can make you drowsy!! Move, switch positions…..go ahead and fidget!!!!  What helps me not sit still??  Drink water…..if you drink enough water, you have to go to the bathroom, so you are gonna have to get up often!!!!
-And lastly please, please, please don’t skip meals!!!!  When your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs it slows down……


One of the biggest questions I get asked as a fitness professional is how do you keep your child active in a world of convenience and video games……the answer seems simple….keep the video games to a short spurts and go outside and play…….honestly growing up I don’t remember on a sunny day sitting in the house with any sort of computer, TV or video game so how did this become such a habit of our kids???  How did so many American children get to be overweight???  I don’t know that there is one cut and dry solution to this problem but here’s my opinion…..we need to make going out and playing FUN for our kids, make healthy eating FUN for our kids…..we need to make going to McDonalds (dun dun dun) less fun for our kids…..how do we do this???  My family is by no means perfect, don’t get me wrong, my son eats a happy meal every now and then (he is actually eating a piece of pizza as I write this) BUT I have from the time he was little talked about food choices with him, helping him understand why he should have the apple instead of the bag of chips……we even made a game out of it when he was little, take an apple, a candy bar and a bag of chips put them out on the table and ask them which one is grown by nature….they know….now ask them which is a better choice for a snack, show them the labels, there are even words Mommy can’t pronounce, they will 90% of the time say that is “yucky” or “why would I eat that Mommy?”  Think about it children choose things because of the influences around them, when babies we feed them apples and say yummy apples, right??  So how do they begin to think yummy cookies??  They were influenced to try them…..yes, they will be exposed to things as they grow up BUT if they are taught to make smart choices young then honestly that is what they will do as they get older…..my son is now 9 and given a choice between the same 3 snacks listed about, he 90% of the time picks the apple……I feel it is our job as a society to give children ALL the education they need to be successful, strong, healthy people so why wouldn't food choices be there as well?  Let them help make dinner one night, let them toss a salad, pick out fruit for desert……make healthy eating fun….going apple picking show them how people can get their food right from the source not a store, plant a vegetable in your house or yard…..I live in Manhattan and we grow our own basil right in the window and pick it to make pesto sauce, take them to a farmers market and play the find something that grows on a tree game (this is a game we used to love…my son had to go around and find 5 things for each category….grows in a tree, grows underground, grown in a field, etc….then I would challenge him to find food made in a factory – which was hard at a farmers market)…..I still take him to all of these places any chance I get J  As far as keeping kids moving…..turn off the TV…..the biggest obstacle with kids getting out and moving is the family dynamic today…some days it is hard because both parents work, single parent homes or the amount of homework that kids get, BUT on days you can get out do it together as a family!!!!  You get quality time plus you are setting an example for them.  My family goes running every Sunday; we take turns running with my son so we can get our full workouts in.  When we don’t go or are running behind schedule my son always asks when we are going, he loves this time we spend and it gets his energy out J  It is our special time, we schedule it out….of course life can get in the way but then we make sure we go for a walk in the park or just something small…..give your kids something to look forward to and of course, after we go for our run we go for brunch J  It’s our little treat …….kids NEED to work off some steam just like grown ups why not channel it into something healthy??  Just my thoughts :) 

Family and friends…..support system or gateway to failure?

As I watched The Biggest Loser this season it brought some thoughts to mind…..first of all I am always in awe of the transformations but the biggest question that was brought to mind is do our loved ones have our best interests at heart or are they stuck in our habits as well?  I watched the episode where the contestants went home to spend some time with their families and all the families took them to greasy, fatty restaurants and I understand that is life BUT if my family knew I was really trying to lose weight and get healthy for them, I would be truly upset with them for taking me to a restaurant like that while I was so vulnerable.  Thinking back on my journey (and oh what a journey it has been!!  125lbs down the drain) I remember my biggest set backs were always at family events or when I was around my extended family…..not saying I was not to blame BUT if instead of taking me to that Mexican restaurant and eating those nachos what about let’s make a healthy dinner as a family and spend the time cooking to chat and mingle…..I am starting to realize that having support and “having support” are very different……just as in the show I constantly heard, “one little bite won’t hurt” but for some people that one little bite opens a gateway of little bites, which turns into big bites, which turns into entire cakes L  Finding a proper support system is so important, not just someone who says they understand what you are doing, or a spouse who is a “yes man” but someone who will truly be there for you the entire journey even when it gets tough…..this is true for not only weight loss but for everything in life….you want someone who is actually there to support you not just say that and show the opposite….be picky about who you choose…..don’t just go with your spouse, parent, friend, if they don’t understand what you are going through, they can’t help……don’t pick your Aunt Maggie if you are trying to lose weight and she works in a bakery unless you have nerves of steel, don’t pick your friend who is still at entry level after being with a company for 10 years to help you figure out how to get that promotion (she may be the sweetest thing but I’d go to someone who knows their stuff)……don’t be afraid to ask for help!!!  There is always someone out there who knows what you are going through and knows exactly how you are feeling…..I have found many people like this, people that motivate me not discourage me…..our habits are learned from those around us, surround yourself with people who will bring you good habits not those that promote bad ones J


Want to improve you abdominal workouts??  Make your Pilates/Yoga classes more effective??  Then do what your doctor has been telling you…..practice your KEGELS!!!  Huh???  Kegel exercises work the muscle group called the pelvic floor…the pelvic floor is the muscles that support the bones of the spine and the structure of the abdominals.  In today’s society we are becoming more and more aware of kegels and why they are important during pregnancy but they are also important for everyday life!!! Balance, movement, flexibility and stability of the abdominals all stem from the pelvis, so why wouldn't you want to strengthen that area?  First we must understand what these muscles are and why they are so important……the best definition that I could find to explain the pelvic floor is “You can think of the pelvic floor muscles as a web of interrelated muscles, tendons and ligaments that form a supportive hammock at the base of the pelvis.”  These muscles are there to support everything in the “core”.  So by using these muscles while doing abdominal exercises digs deeper into those muscles by lifting also from the “bottom – up”.  Even when switching positions during yoga classes, lifting in the pelvic floor will help you move with more easeJ  Ok, fair enough you say but how do I tell if I am using those muscles??  Practicing you kegels outside of your workouts will help, so then when you get into class you already know what feeling to expect.  If you take a lot of Pilates classes you will often hear the instructor say REPEATEDLY “now lift you pelvic floor” or “engage your pelvic floor” and I know at least 75% of you are thinking WTH is this crazy person talking about…..we want you to help support your spine more!!!  Ok so, lay down on your back (after you are done reading this entire thing LOL), do a couple of crunches, NOW lay still on your back, I like to imagine there is a mini elevator at the base of my pelvis and it needs to go up to my belly button so I must lift in my lower pelvis and pull it up, some people like to think about squeezing their sits bones together and up, there are many ways to imagine it, use what works best for you J  Do a few lifts, squeezes, whatever you decide works best to call it, now do those same crunches again, lifting the pelvic floor as you crunch up…..feel a difference?  Feel like you are using more muscles??  I bet you do!!!  Now try a few planks while lifting in the pelvic floor, for you yogi’s go into down dog, lift the pelvic floor while you step forward into a lunge….different??  These muscles are not just important while pregnant or as you get older they are SO important everyday!!!!  Please, please, please lift your pelvic floor everyday….do it while you brush your teeth, wash dishes, heck, I’m doing it as I type this blog LOL…..save yourself fromm incontinence and pelvic prolapse and flatten you tummy at the same time!!!!