Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fat Girls Tone Up [the Chive]

My husband sent me this link from the Chive.  He thinks I should be on here too.  I would be if I was okay with taking pictures of myself in a bikini, but even after losing 79lbs, I am not.  But how inspirational are these women.  No matter if they are losing weight & toning up for health or to compete in bikini competitions, they are inspirational for making a change in their lives.  Having the drive and determination to work hard to hit your goals isn't easy. Congratulations to all of these women.

Fat Girls Tone Up to Be Fit

Monday, November 26, 2012

"I work out"

Working out has become part of my daily routine.  I saw this picture floating around on pinterest and it is so appropriate for this post.

Many people have asked me what I do for exercise and fitness.  Aside from running, spinning, swimming, and other fitness classes at the Y, I have done my share of at home workouts.  With two children, I need to be flexible and have other options for getting in my daily dose of fitness.  I compiled a list of dvds that I think are worth the time and money you invest in at home workouts.

Season 10 of the Biggest Loser had just started the same week that I decided it was now or never to make this change in my life.  I personally respond better to Bob Harper than I do having Jillian Michaels scream in my ear so I tend to look for BL videos with Bob.

Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga
I personally love this yoga video.  Yoga is really hard for me to do at home.  I like the whole yoga experience: go to a class with your mat, be lead by a yoga instructor, & have a meditation at the end.  However, there isn't always time for that in a given day.

This video is broken down into three segments not including the five minute warm up and cool down.  The first takes you through vinyasa style yoga. The second is more ab work with some pilates thrown in and the third works with yoga poses and weights.  I personally think this is a great mix in an at home dvd workout.  If you are crunched for time, you do not need to do all three segments.  That's the beauty of at home workouts, unless of course you pause it to go grab some chips, but I know that wouldn't ever happen.

Bob Harper's Yoga for the Warrior
The title says it all.  This is a power yoga workout and is great for an intermediate/advanced yogi.  Not a good pick if you are a beginner yogi, but definitely a good workout if you are a fan of Bob Harper.

Transform Your Body with Brooke Burke
Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from this workout.  But if I could look half as toned as Brooke does, sign me up. I will give it a chance

There are two different ones: Strengthen & Condition (S&C) and Tone & Tighten (T&T).
S&C is led by her trainer Greg Joujon-Roche.  Brooke and Greg do the exercises side by side and Greg stops to give tips along the way.  Brooke is very motivating throughout the workouts.  The video is a combo of strength training as well as small bursts of cardio to raise your heart rate.  I was sweating like a beast after both of these videos.  There are three segments in S&C: abs, lower body & upper body.  In T&T, Brooke leads three ladies throughout the workout which flows as one long workout and not broken up into areas of the body.  One of the ladies modifies the exercises for beginners.  Some of the exercises are repeated, but not many of them.  Each exercise is done for one minute at a time, which may sound long, but totally manageable.

I was pleasantly surprised with this set of dvds.  It was exactly what I was looking for at the time I purchased it from iTunes.  I still use it on occasion when I am crunched and can't get to the gym and need to workout at home.  

I found this website through Pinterest, my other internet obsession.  Cassey Ho is a pilates & group fitness instructor as well as the brains behind blogilates. She is a blogger, a fitness instructor, a fashionista, a pop music lover, a yoga bag creator, a clean eater, and just overall a woman that inspires.

Cassey has many different series of workouts: Pop Pilates, Bikini Blaster, HIIT (high- intensity interval training), Pop Challenges, and Pop Cardio.  These workouts are so incredibly effective.  I have done many of the challenges and my new favorite series is the VS Sexy Super Model which includes a stiletto workout.  Yes, a leg workout in your favorite stilettos.  The VS Sexy series also has arm, abs and butt workouts.

Her website also has a workout calendar as well meal plans & recipes for the total health and fitness package.  So go! Check it out.. NOW!

Couch to 5k
I used the C25k app on my iPod before I had an iPhone and two years ago, it didn't need gps capability which worked well for me.
I was never able to run a full, complete mile before training with the C25k program.  In HS, I would walk the mile; it just never interested me to run because I was never good at it.
This program made me feel challenged, but never felt like I was unable to complete the workouts.  And now, I run miles and miles without stopping.  Something I could have never done before C25k.

So there you have a few at home workouts that I have used along my journey.  In addition to these, I also have pinned a lot of workouts on my fitness pinterest board which many of the links are to Blogilates, Self Magazine, Women's Health & Shape.

The most important thing to working out is finding what you love to do.  Don't start a running program  and training for a marathon if you hate to run.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Being grateful and thankful for the people in our lives and things we have shouldn't only happen on Thanksgiving Day, but it's a special day to pay extra special thanks to our family and friends.  I have always wanted to have a "friends" Thanksgiving and this year, we were lucky enough to have three of our dear friends join our dinner table, two of which were last minute, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  It was a wonderful holiday surrounded by wonderful friends and delicious food.

Below is the playlist I used for my class the night before Thanksgiving.  The overall theme of the ride was what Thanksgiving is all about: coming to America, freedom, having courage, following our dreams, and being grateful for the life we live.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend on Repeat

This weekend was one to remember and one that I want to repeat over and over in my head.  My husband and I went to see Zac Brown Band at Madison Square Garden; his first country concert & my first time seeing ZBB!  We had a phenomenal time away.  ZBB was definitely one of the highlights as was the delicious food we indulged on.  We hit Sala One Nine, a tapas restaurant in the Flatiron district, which was absolutely fantastic.  The three best tapas we had were the fried goat cheese with honey, bacon wrapped dates stuffed with almonds, and the sea scallops.  My mouth is still watering now.  Thankfully we had a few hours to digest, boogie, and sleep before our fantastic breakfast at the Breslin Bar.  Dave & I shared a greek yogurt to start, but this wasn't your run of the mill yogurt.  No, it came with macerated fruit, honey, and pistachio pralines, not too mention it was the creamiest, most delicious greek yogurt.  And then for my main dish, I decided to have the goat cheese & leek tart.  And from start to end that was the best breakfast I have ever had.  

Thankfully, Sala One Nine was twelve blocks from our hotel and the Breslin was three so we were able to walk off a few of the calories we ingested.  :)  But seriously, it was worth every calorie!

So this playlist is my weekend on repeat.  And my class thoroughly enjoyed the profile that I created for class tonight.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Don't Stop the Party Playlist

Mother Nature was pretty crappy to us last week.  Just over a week after Hurricane Sandy touched down in NJ, we had a snowstorm.  No, you aren't crazy and yes, you read that correctly.  Snow.  Here in southern Somerset county, we were lucky to only get about one to two inches of snow, but the areas that were also hit hard by Sandy got more than a foot of snow.  Thankfully by Thursday afternoon most of it melted away.  

I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but it doesn't feel like Thanksgiving yet and it's a mere eight days away.  Maybe because NJ rescheduled Halloween this year.  Maybe it's the warm weather.  Maybe it's just me.  

Hopefully this week won't bring any more precipitation.  The sunshine has been sparse and I could definitely use a week of rays.  Until then this playlist lifted my spirits!  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hurricane Sandy // Anything Could Happen

Oh it feels so good to be back in some sort of routine.  We were very unfortunate here in NJ this past week when Hurricane Sandy barreled into us, but fortunately, my family and I made it through without any major damage to our home.  However, the rest of the state wasn't so lucky namely the Jersey Shore.  Schools and businesses were halted for a week and while some are still closed, our district is lucky enough to resume some sort of normalcy although part of our borough is still without power.

It is devastating to see the pictures and videos on tv and news sites, but it is hard to not look at all the pictures too.

Ever since I was a tot, my family rented a vacation house on Central Avenue in Point Pleasant Beach.  It was the best two weeks of the summer every single year.  Back then a water park stood where the aquarium is now. We spent hours and hours on those foam mats sliding down the water slides and even more hours on the rides at Jenks.

As the years passed by, I would venture to PPB with my friends to hang out during the summer nights. One of my first dates with my husband was to the Point boardwalk so it will always hold a special place in our hearts.  We have taken our girls to the boardwalk numerous times to continue making memories.

Sea Bright was hit even harder than PPB.  Dave and I got married in Sea Bright in 2005.  However with all the devastation surrounding it, our wedding venue withstood Sandy's punch and survived with minimal damage.  But the town is completely devastated.

But we are Jersey Strong.  We will rebuild, restore & recover.  Although the iconic places will not be there, I look forward to seeing an even better Jersey shore.

The gym I teach Spinning at was closed for almost a week so all of my classes were canceled.  So Monday was my first day back in the saddle.  It felt so good to sweat and ride and workout all the stress from the week.  Here's the playlist we rode to: