Um… Low rise jeans? What were we thinking with that one?

“Oh when I bend over my pants fall half way down my butt” 

Squatting to pick something up conservatively? …not happening.

Who even came up with these? Why? And why did I buy multiple pairs? That my post-child hips will never reasonably get into.

I’m not even saying i prefer mom jeans… *snl*… Just not low rise pants. Like… Let’s cover our underwear.. Is that asking to much 1990’s self?

End rant.

Gotta go buy some pants…

😉

R

If you’re in the north east.. I feel like you probably made the same prediction due to our lack of winter, but I want you to embrace this. Now is the time to think about “tank top arms” “bikini bodies” and “walking on the beach with a thousand blankets and bags”… I don’t know about you but the last one motivates me to get a bit more intense with my workouts… Dragging all of our stuff to our beach spot is exhausting!

So in light of a summertime mindset, I am taking on an “eat-like-it’s-summertime” challenge. Instead of waiting for the warm months to lose weight by eating better and fresher, I’m starting this week. I want you to try to do this 7 days in a row and see how you feel. 

Our family eats a lot of comfort foods in the colder months, once spring comes and I bust out our grill, salads accompany almost every meal and our meals are mostly protein and veggies with our carbs coming from vegetables and not pasta. The summertime also brings fresher, hydrating snacks, like watermelon and grapes… Not hot cocoa or cookies. 

Think about the changes you make that make you feel healthier and lighter in the summer and start them now.

Thanks for the inspiration, Phil!

R

With holiday parties, gifts of sweets, and big holiday brunches, keeping your sanity and the same pant size can be tricky, so I’ve complied a few tips I recommend to clients this time of year. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy yourself, but there are a few ways to keep you on track through all the sugar plums and good tidings to be had!

  1. Keep your workout schedule as consistent as possible: get accountable. My advice, if you haven’t already, is to write down your workout schedule on a calendar. Even if you don’t stick to it down to the hour or day, if you stay on schedule more often than not, you’ll be on a winning path. Getting a friend to workout with or a trainer, even just for these months, can help you more than you realize. While I often see people “take the holidays off” from training, this is the opposite that should be happening. This is the time of year you need to carve out time for yourself and motivation to workout harder and regularly. Get a trainer and make it a Christmas gift to yourself, there are some great deals in gyms this time of year and I offer a stellar friends and family rate! 😉 If you have a friend who is health-minded like you- let them know your goals. Text each other to find out when the last time you worked out was. Having at least one other person on track with you can make big changes in your habits. 
  2. Keep your nutrition in check and just as consistent as your fitness. I’m an advocate for the “my fitness pal” app. While I don’t use it year round, when I need to get my nutrition back on track I’ll use it for a few weeks to get an idea on what I’m eating everyday. It makes a huge difference seeing what you’re putting in your body- and if you have a few go-to meals, keep eating those. There’s nothing wrong with eating the same things every week if they’re healthy and filling. My breakfast is almost always old fashioned oats and peanut butter- and occasionally a banana. It’s filling and full of fiber and protein and I know how many calories it is so I start my day in the right direction. If you’re eating healthy meals all winter then you don’t have to feel guilty when you splurge at the celebrations you are participating in this year. 
  3. Trash the cookies and opt for healthy contributions. You don’t have to bring carrot sticks, but there are some low-cal, delicious treats out there. One of my favorites is a cream cheese brown sugar dip that compliments green apples AMAZINGLY. And green apples look so festive!! You know there will be a ton of breads and sweets to eat, so break it up with something you don’t have to feel bad about putting in your fitness pal or food journal. 
  4. Share your gifted sweets. You may abide by all of these already and think you’re in the clear until you get a plate full of cookies or candy. Leave that thing on the coffee table and invite your friends over for coffee. Bring some to your neighbors or to one of the parties you’re going to. Even work! You don’t need to eat that yourself and it’s the season of giving so enjoy a couple and give away those treats!!
  5. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Put the parties on a calendar and communicate with your significant other. If you’re both exhausted there’s nothing wrong with enjoying time alone with your family. This time of year should not run you ragged and left to wake up with a cold on Christmas morning. If you’ve committed to an event and you all want to attend but it’s amidst a thousand other things you have to do, try to pick a time you want to leave- or check in with your family. If everyone’s having a good time, tack on 45 minute or so, and check in again. If you’re losing someone to exhaustion, say thank you and good bye and decompress at home.

Enjoy your holiday season everyone!! Hope one or two of these tips keeps you feeling good through the fun and excitement of the holidays!

R

So over the past year I’ve learned so much more than I could ever put into words. But one huge lesson in becoming a mother was in the vast change of my identity. No one could have prepared me for this, but I wouldn’t have been mad if I read about it on one of my “what to expect” apps or books… I would imagine it would be entitled “…a huge kick in your former identity’s face”. So this is my attempt to let other mommas know something I went through and if she’s feeling similarly, you’re not alone.

Motherhood is the most INCREDIBLE job I have ever had. I get to see my beautiful child (miracle, really, is what all children should be called) learn, laugh, everything! I also get to be the one he takes out his teething pain on! I chose to stay home with him, my husband and I decided it made more sense for us. You do whatever works. Had we had family nearby, I would have gone back to full time work most likely, but that’s neither here nor there. 

Before I got pregnant, I was a manager, a trainer, an instructor, a wife, and a friend. That was me. My life. My identity I suppose. Husband, work, church, friends. Simple. When people said “so what do you do?”

I said “oh I’m a personal trainer”

It’s what I did- think about it- when someone asks what you do, it’s work that typically defines us, it’s where we spend most of our time. Or you’re a student. But no one really ever says “I am the one at home that cooks dinner” that’s not how you define yourself, right? No man who has a full time job says “I mow the lawn” when asked what he does. 

But when someone stays home, for some reason, they often get the “just” put in front of it. 

I was chatting with a working mom aquaintence and she told me where she works and I said “oh I stay home with this guy” she said “oh you’re just home with him?”

Just

What an awful word. Yep. Just.

Just home with my child trying to educate, exercise, feed and stimulate him 24/7. Just

I wonder how she’d feel if her boss lived with her all the time. 

My baby boy, I love him, he is the most demanding boss I’ve ever had. I don’t mind it, I chose it, I teach here and there and my husband and I go out on dates when we can, but man, if your boss lived with you, would you tell people you JUST worked a 9-5? No.

Just.

So I felt down- that was kind of a put down to someone who’s personal identity had already been dramatically changed overnight to trainer, instructor, wife, friend, AND mom. AND mom guys. Not just mom. You don’t drop the rest of your life and become just mom. You’re all of it. Some days I feel bad that I’m home getting to play with my son all day. Making him giggle and say new words, but other days I would gladly grab a packed lunch and work on a job site with my husband. 

But later .. After the just conversation, this sweet event gave me perspective… I was at breakfast in our hometown a while back and ran into a friend of my moms- she hadn’t seen me in a while and I introduced her to my pride and joy. She asked what I was doing and I said “I’m just mom right now”

And she turned to me, with a very serious look and said “you’re not JUST mom, you’re a mom, the most important job you can have.”

She shared with me an anecdote about her re-entering the work force after her babies had gotten older and she used her past job history as “mom” in her interview. She said that as far as she was concerned, when asked by her interviewer, mom was the most challenging job she’s ever had, and she felt she did a darn great job at it. Huh.

Amen sister.
So all the moms, the new moms at home who are overwhelmed, the stay at home moms who have a new identity, the working moms who sleep less than everyone else in their workplace and STILL kick butt at what you do, remember you’re AND mom. You’re doing the job that many people can’t and you’re doing the best at it. Don’t ever let someone make you think being JUST MOM is a bad thing. These years will fly by, and when they’re older, you’ll never regret a second you spent being mom. 

In the end, what I’m trying to say is: embrace your identity. Sometimes it’s hard to find it, but look to your faith, your family and what you’re devoted to. Rock it and do it well, and don’t let anyone make you think that what you do isn’t enough. 

Stay fantastical

R

Dear teenagers:

 The doorbell you’re ringing tonight will most likely be answered by a homeowner, who works for the money that paid for the candy you’re asking for *not entitled to*. Say “trick or treat” and say “thank you” just like your mommy and/or daddy ((hopefully)) taught you to do. Then continue on your way. If you are choosing to partake in Halloween traditions and you’re old enough to work and buy your own candy, you BEST be putting on an amazingly elaborate costume and being nice to the children on the street, because this holiday is not for you, it’s for them.

It’s for the little ones dressed as princesses, super heroes and characters they admire and look forward to “being” tonight. It’s for parents to teach their kids how to be polite and how to be brave and walk through scary decorations. It’s for them to get a thrill and get to bring home candy they otherwise wouldn’t get. 

Halloween is NOT for you to go out with your friends and STEAL entire unattended buckets of candy. That’s what it is- you’re stealing. The reason that bucket is outside is probably because a family is taking their little one out and introducing this holiday to them, and instead of leaving other little ones candy-less, they chose to trust humanity a little and hope that trick or treaters would take one and leave some for the next ghoul or goblin. (This post inspired by the two teenagers that emptied our bucket at 6pm last night- I hope you got a fierce belly ache)

So good job taking that away by dumping the candy into your bag and laughing about it with your friends who didn’t even try to put a costume on ((a hoodie and basketball shorts isn’t a costume)). Know that by doing this, you are being a scummy person, and stealing candy from 1. A person who spent WAY to much on it and 2. The small children walking the street behind you.

In the event you are NOT a jerky teenager and not the reason I worry about the upcoming generation: dress to impress- put a group costume together that adults would enjoy- then we want to give you candy for the effort you put forth. 

All in all I’m just encouraging you, teenager, to remember, this holiday isn’t about you, and to try to make it about the little ones out tonight with their parents. Leave candy for the next person, and say thank you to the person who spent their hard earned money on over-priced candy so you and the kids in the neighborhood could have a nice time.

And if you disagree with this, any of this, stay home tonight and hand out candy or think about how you can contribute to making it more exciting for the little ones, who it’s really about. If you have to be a jerk and empty out the buckets left out on doorsteps, wait until at least 9pm when I don’t want to hand out candy anymore and I leave it there in hopes there won’t be any left in  the morning.

Thank you, and Happy Halloween.

Every season brings changes, and along with it I always recommend changing your workout schedule or programming a bit. 

Obviously if you have a favorite class or are completely addicted to your regular yoga routine on Fridays, keep it. But I know personally, I get bored of the same old thing. 

In the summers I hike, bike, and lift in my basement, once it begins to cool off I like to bring the intensity up outside and I am going to implement more Pilates and core work this season as I’m planning to do more running this fall.

Everyone is different, but I recommend sitting down and checking your class schedule, or talking to a fit friend and motivate them to try something different with you! Make it a regular workout date to get friend time in and a healthy benefit for you! 

Along with programming evaluate your menu. I begin to use the crock pot more and use more pasta. Keep the comfort foods in check and don’t go cray with all the pumpkin desserts your pinning on Pinterest and save them for special occasions. 

I’m excited for the cooler nights and less humidity, but I am making it a goal to get a few more beach days in with baby boy! He’s turning 1 TOMORROW can you believe it? I can’t. Anywho…

Reevaluate what you’re doing- is something boring you? Or irritating an injury? Are you tired all the time, or maybe you need a more challenging program. Nonetheless add some excitement and bring on autumn!

Today I implemented some more core work and stability workouts to accompany my increase in running.  

 Hope you discover something you love this season! Like a new-found appreciation for how much your body is capable of doing! I hope you discover this appreciation after all your workouts, enjoy these last weeks of sweet summertime!

R

Today Im sharing another favorite exercise- it hits all major muscle groups if done right. You must engage and use your entire abdominal wall throughout the entirety of the workout, walking out with your hands uses your arms, push-ups hit pecs and the walk back also uses supporting muscles in your back. When standing back up, engage your glutes and hamstrings while keeping a slight bend in your knees, much like the top of a deadlift. And then repeat. They’re called walkout push-ups. Do 3 sets of 15 and youll wonder why you weren’t incorporating these into your workouts earlier. #fitmom #fitfam #pushups #summerarms #workout #workhard #playharder #livingroomworkout #bodyweightworkout #noequipmentworkout #dailyrenew 💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪looking for a challenge? Find out how many you can complete in 1 minute. Let the burn begin! 

In the last year I have learned what I love and what I hate that is on the market for baby. I obviously have established a preference for most things for my little one, but I have an overwhelming passion for some of the products I use for him and want to share them with the first time or like-minded mommies out there! 

1. The Honest Co. Diapers and Wipe bundles. Now, I’m not any sort of all out organic exclusive person- otherwise I’d be using cloth diapers and making my own diaper cream- but I do think there is something to be said about the overwhelming use of chemicals and plastic in standard disposable diapers. I didn’t realize the use of chlorine and other intense chemicals even existed in diapers until I spoke to another mommy about baby boy’s unending diaper rash when he was about 4 months old. The horrible redness wouldn’t end- I used EVERY diaper cream and changed him EVERY HOUR- it wasn’t for lack of trying. Until this mom mentioned trying a non chlorine diaper- I tried pretty much everyone on the market and Honest honestly won me out (see what I did there?). They don’t leak, they fit well, and they contain the dreaded poop explosions. WIN WIN WIN. They also breathe because they’re made with cotton and not lined with plastic, which is what held in all the moisture on my baby boy and led to his rashes with the other diaper brands. Once I switched I would never go back!! Also the bundle is worth every penny! I was buying the $26 boxes every week and a half and wipes separately- spending about $120 a month, the bundles which offer enough to last a month in diapers and wipes are $80- a savings significant for me, and one less thing to buy at the store. I know there are cheaper diaper options, but I was going through those at an insane rate trying to keep ahead of the rashes- and you try wearing plastic underwear with chlorine in them and let me know how your underside feels. That justified the bundle cost enough for me! **edit: I forgot to tell you! The customer service at the honest company is AMAZING- when I didn’t realize there was an extra week in the month and was running low, I missed the cut off date to move up the shipping, I emailed them and they moved up the shipping as early as they could and refunded me 20% because I had to go buy a box at the store. Amazing right? This is just one of the few blissful encounters I had with their customer service- I cant say enough good things about this company!

2. Mustela’s Stelatopia Lotion. Also found in Target and CVS, an amazing lotion!! It runs about $22 a tube, but lasts about a month or so because it’s so light and easy to spread. Baby boy developed slight eczema and this cleared it up!! No scent, no parabens, light and not sticky!! The BEST lotion on the market for babies, in my opinion. I’d put it on after every bath and before bed, eczema was gone in a matter of weeks! My ped hadn’t heard of it- I found it on google, and I would recommend it to babies with or without dry skin! Also Medela has a great foaming shampoo for cradle cap- works like a charm! Scrub scrub scrub that head with this shampoo and it moisturizes and gets rid of any flakes! The smell is strong at first but I’m kind of in love with it now. 

3. Nose Frieda. I know. It sounds so gross. But try to clear out your nose with that sad sucker bulb when you’re sick and see how far it gets you. This thing got us through many stuffy noses and one good effort is shorter and easier than 30 tries with that bulb thing. And the nose Frieda is super easy to clean! So there.

4. Humidifier. So, this is the first thing your doc is going to recommend when baby has a cold. Also, turns out, if you have central air, your house is even try in the summer, which I didn’t even think about!! Babys’ membranes are so much more sensitive than ours, so having it run on low helps all year round. 

5. The Graco Click Connect Jogging Stroller and Car Seat. OMG I love this thing. It’s the first of its kind- a jogging stroller that takes the car seat and easily switches over when they’re bigger and want to sit up. Obviously you can’t JOG when they’re little floppy guys but the tires are serious and can roll over almost anything. They’re like regular bike tires, not silly plastic wheels that feel every bump. It takes up a good amount of space in the trunk, but it’s so nice when taking him out for walks, on most terrain. It even handles grass and dirt roads fairly well.

So that’s that. My 5 fave products for baby I’ve discovered in the past year. I also LOVED my carriers, I used a moby wrap when he was tiny and floppy and an infantino back pack type carrier when he could keep his head steady-ish.  

 I tell all expectant mommies about these things.. And I plan to pack a few in my baby shower gifts this year.

Hope these recommendations help you make a worthy purchase for baby!! 

Please let me know what your fave products for baby are!!

Xo

R

What’s great is that this can last 20 minutes or 40! You can either alternate two exercises for the 8 rounds of 20 seconds or do each exercise for each set of 8. You can modify any of it if need be!

Either way you’re getting a killer workout. High intensity cardio- go hard the whole 20 seconds, rest for 10 and do it again! 8times through! 

The stills are high knees, mudruns, and burpees with a push-up and jump. 

Get it!

  
Xo 

R

These are twists on some basic moves, but the challenge here is increasing the weight every set. Do 4 sets of 15 increasing the weight each time. I’ve got a 5, 7, 9, and 15 set- ideally I need a 12 to drop the 5, but you do what youre comfortable with.  

 The first set should feel easy and let you consentrate on proper form. The final set should be tough to finish. Here they are  

  
First is a Burpee chain (left frame)

Do a Burpee, row, bicep curl, and shoulder press. 

Top right is a platter lift- start with elbows at 90 degrees and press arms out and up to make a straight arm- don’t shrug- this targets your shoulders and biceps.

Next is robots

Again maintaining 90 degrees at the elbow lift up to keep elbows in line with shoulder and then bring hands up, rotating your shoulders 

Next is a bicep curl breakdown

Do the bottom half for 5, top half for 5, and 5 full curls (15 in total)

And finally a French tricep press- go higher for a single dumbbell or combine the two you’re using for the other exercises. 

Keep elbows close to your head, don’t allow them to float out to the sides, press up and return to 90 degrees keeping your biceps next to your ears.

Cycle through 4 times increasing the weight each set.

I love throwing a high intensity interval in with lifting to keep your heart rate up, hope you enjoy this and grab a friend to try  it with!

R