Before we get all silly –

I alluded to this last week, but unfortunately, at the close of this week, I will have attended two funeral services.  Cancer absolutely sucks, and prayers for folks that I consider family would be greatly greatly appreciated.  And forgive me if I’m extremely weepy this week.


So, the other day, I posted a photo from Buzzfeed’s timeline of Jennifer Lopez.

I’m gonna let you feast your eyes for a second.

Jennifer Lopez 45If you’re not aware, this is Jennifer Lopez, of “In Living Color” fame.  She also was partner to Sean “P-Diddy” Combs, had an excellent MTV diary, married Marc Anthony, and starred in Selena, Enough, and The Wedding Planner.  I still have questions about the vocals from time to time, however, J.Lolas doesn’t have student loans so I’m just being a hater.

One thing I’m not hating on?  Her body!  At the age of 45, she looks better than I do having had 0 children.  To review, Juannifer has a set of twins.  That grew inside of that stomach.

But, upon checking out some of the Facebook comments on the picture, one of my biggest pet peeves started to rear its ugly ugly head.

Catherine Claridge REMINDER: Jennifer Lopez is a celebrity with a team of nutritionists and personal trainers on her payroll. Fuck off BuzzFeed.

Okay.  A few questions for this charming commentator.

  1. Does Jennifer’s team of nutritionists force her to eat the right things?
  2. Do Jennifer’s personal trainers run on the treadmill for her?
  3. How about her lifting?  Does someone else do her lifting?
  4. And under this assumption, this would mean that all famous folks with teams of personal trainers and nutritionist have similar bodies and never struggle with food.  Stars that have had very public battles with food, our Carnie Wilsons, our Janet Jacksons, our Oprahs, are just not a thing?

Laura Miller It’s also her only job too.

  1. Jennifer Lopez has no other job than to work out and look amazing?
  2. Isn’t she a mom?
  3. Isn’t she an actress?
  4. Isn’t she a singer?
  5. Isn’t she a judge on American Idol?

The point of this is all to say: working out and staying healthy is hard, AND we should give credit where credit is due.  Mama looks good, and we should celebrate that.

Do you look up to any celebs for their exercise and healthy eating habits? 


I blogged a few weeks ago about how I was in a little bit of a running slump.  And almost as soon as I wrote those words, I went on a run the next evening that felt like my breakthrough.  A friend and I comfortably ran nearly seven miles and chatted, and I felt a little bit of my old running self coming back.

I’ve also found that sometimes, when I’m in a slump, if I buy myself a new toy, I seem to be able to overcome the slump rather quickly, since I’m focused on whatever new pair of shoes/jacket/shorts/watch, and it kind of kicks my motivation back into gear.

Well I’d been thinking about a Fitbit for a while, and going back and froth on weather the purchase would be a worthy one, since I’m pretty active.  But last week, after a particularly rough day at work where I’d received a ranty email (is ranty even a word!?), I was feeling very sorry for myself, and went and picked up a Fitbit off of my wedding registry at a cool 15% off (yay!) and I got to setting it up.


I think the original reason why I went back and forth on the Fitbit is that I wasn’t sure what it could offer someone like me who’s super active – buuut I will admit, the thing is pretty darn cool.  A few points?

  • It comes in a pretty sleek design, and isn’t super obtrusive, which is one of the main reasons I can’t wear my GPS constantly.  I don’t feel uncomfortable popping it on with my business casual during the day, and it fits in with my workout clothes just fine.  (As a point of reference, it sort of looks like one of those Livestrong bracelets folks were rocking in the early 2000s, and it’s not a whole lot heavier).
  • It was really really easy to set up.  You take it out of the box, put it on, and you just kinda go!  There’s a little dooder so you can sync it with your computer, and there’s a super simple app for your phone.
  • On aforementioned app, you can track your calories that you’ve eaten.  Not that I’m a super-stickler about my caloric intake, but it’s something that I loosely like to keep an eye on, and that tool was invaluable when I was losing some college weight – being able to keep track of everything I put into my mouth.
  • If you’re at all competitive, or like big round numbers, Fitbit sets a goal of 10,000 steps per day for everyone, and it encourages you – even on a day where you’re taking a break – to get up and move.  Just because it’s your day off doesn’t mean sit around for hours and hours, and Fitbit sort of reminds you of this.
  • …But I can see how this amazing little piece of technology can make obsessive folks such as myself, well, a little more obsessive.  If I feel like I haven’t hit my steps, I will move heaven and earth to make sure I hit those steps – I have to watch that in myself.
This is not indicative of my usual - I'd run over 7 miles, taught a class, and worked at the store that day!
This is not indicative of my usual – I’d run over 7 miles, taught a class, and worked at the store that day!

So overall, I’m loving this little gadget that I’ve thrown into the mix.

Do you have an Fitbit?  An app?  How do you keep track of your activity? 

Getting back on track.

Since we got married on Saturday, I think there are a few days in there that I haven’t run or worked out.  Friday, before I drove down for the rehearsal and the night before the wedding, I managed to sneak in a short run, but Saturday, the day of, and Sunday, not only did I not run, I ate like I had never seen food before in my life.

Usually in my life, I try to be conscious of what I put into my mouth, without being obsessive.  I flip over labels, check to make sure that high fructose corn syrup isn’t the first ingredient, and I’m loving that they put calories on the menus now, so I’m far less liable to put something in my mouth that doesn’t belong there.

Friday night, I noshed on some delicious food at our rehearsal.  Don’t worry, I have some gorg pics on my camera, as soon as I figured out where that camera is.  Saturday morning, and Sunday morning, I ate biscuits from a little joint North Carolina has to offer called Biscuitville, with no shame or remorse.  I didn’t have my first run until Monday, and quite honestly, I’m feeling a little funny about it.  The run itself was a dream – it was my first run with my new husband, but I felt weird about the fact that I skipped out for a few days.

I can’t honestly remember the last time I’ve gone so many consecutive days without a good run, and consecutive days of eating crap.  I think sometimes, my fear is that if I go too long without working out, that I will start drinking cokes, and suddenly become disinterested in working out.  But it doesn’t typically work like that, does it?

But, I’m taking these next few days to get back on track.  Get back to my runs, my yoga, my cycling sessions.  It’s a feel-good thing, not even a weight thing – and I hate the sloppy, slow feeling you get after a few days of not treating yourself right.

Oh yea, also, I had to bathe my cats again – as the weather cools down and the fleas start to make their way back into the apartment, I have to wash/clip all my pets….on my honeymoon.

Wash Cat
Note the pile of wedding pressies behind the wet cat, who broke my blender and went for the money maker as he was escaping the sink…

How long is the longest you’ve gone without working out?  What did you do to get yourself back on track? 


Wilmington, NC

I can’t tell you how incredibly just…happy I feel right now.

It kinda feels like all the pieces kinda are starting to fit together for the first time in a long time, and I feel happy, content, and incredibly grateful.

Let me backtrack, and this will explain, at least a little bit, what I’ve been up to for the past few days.

I told you guys a few days back that I’d gotten a new job, right?  Of course, the timing is pretty funny, what with our wedding being in a few weeks, but that’s life, right?  So on Thursday, I officially started my new job, and I totally hit the ground running helping out with a community wellness event.  I ended up spending the entire day teaching modified fitness classes to kids a variety of different ages, and of course, ended up sorer (is that a word?) than hell for the next few days.  When I came into work on Friday, I arrived to the sweetest sign, the sweetest basket full of goodies, and a day/schedule PACKED to the gills, but all with good stuff.  I know it might be early to call it, but I’m really thinking in my heart that this job is a really good fit.  I just want to do a great job and excel, and see where the health and wellness industry can take me.

photo 2

Body Pump Training Part One/My friends are the greatest

As if life weren’t crazy busy enough, I scheduled another wrinkle in time for this weekend, my Les Mills Body Pump training at UNCW.

First and foremost, my friends are incredible.  Realizing that the training was this weekend and that I had no place to stay, I group texted some friends, one of whom is a bridesmaid, asking frantically if we knew anyone in Wilmington.  Long story longer, bridesmaid did, and hooked me up a friend who opened his home up to me.  Added bonus?   There were no cats or poodles named Coco there to wake me up at regular intervals, and I had the best Friday night of sleep that I’ve almost ever had.

So I’m gonna totally recap the Body Pump training after all is said and done, but it’s a two-day training, and day one completely kicked my butt, but in the best way possible.  Today, we took the equivalent of like twoish 60 minute Body Pump classes, and we all presented a track that was assigned to us like two weeks ago.  I surprisingly don’t feel as bad as I thought I would – I think once your body shifts into that level of pain, it sort of resigns itself, and that’s what I’m feeling is happening here.  I’m also pretty sure I blacked out during my presentation because it was filmed, and I was like, who’s that tall chick clean and jerking?! Yeah, that was me so…

But my first day impressions are really cool.  The training is really really pushing me, the trainees are really already an active and well-prepped group, our trainer really knows what it is that she’s talking about , and I’m extremely impressed at the fact that rather than banging through exercises gratuitously, there is a ton of focus on form and technique, something I haven’t really experienced before in the many trainings I’ve attended.  And since I’m a total workout nerd, this has made me incredibly content as Saturday almost draws to a close.

This was pre-training, and pre-shoulder shredding workout!
This was pre-training, and pre-shoulder shredding workout!

So tonight, I’ll be reviewing more tracks, reading a book, missing my husband-to-be, and wondering what it is I’d do without these fantastic people in my life.

What are you up to for the rest of the weekend?

How long did it take you to fall in love with running?

I’m becoming a big fan of the Hungry Runner Girl, Janae, because she’s so freaking positive.  It’s funny, I’ve seen a few things written about her online, and the overwhelming “complaint” about her, if you even want to call it that is that she’s too positive or that she gets too excited about the littlest things.  I can relate to her – I actually had an associate at Barnes and Noble physically back away from me when I expressed my excitement that they had the Gavin DeGraw album in stock.  Okay lady, let me be happy, kay?

Anyhoo, so HRG posts yesterday and posed this question:

How long did it take you to fall in love with running?

The truth is, I don’t really know.

Sport Photo mailed me this blast from the past from my first race in 2011.  I’m not sure what possessed me to sign myself and my boyfriend (now almost-husband) for the race, except it sounded really really cool, and I think I saw in ad in one of the women’s fitnessy workout mags that I’d been reading like a Bible.

Mud Run

Austin so sweetly agreed to to the race with me, an obstacle 5k in Virginia, and we drove up there after a shift at the Whole Foods Bakery.   Yes, I know.  I’m a fitness director, and I worked at a bakery my first gig out of graduate school.  But I like my sweets, and I love Whole Foods so it worked.

I ran that race.  Finished in decent time.  Felt great afterwards, and within about a year’s time, I was running my first half-marathon.

There was never a moment where I was like “aughhh this is awesome,” but I guess I always just liked the way it made me feel.  I also loved the way you could kind of click into cruise control for a long run and just…run.  Like after a while it didn’t feel like death on a stick, but it just felt like a state of being, as natural as anything else did.  Sure, there were still some runs that made me feel like vomiting on on the side of the road, but the vast majority of the runs just felt…good!

So all that to say is, I just don’t know when I started to love running.  I’m not particularly fast or fancy, but it feels natural to me, and it feels like the kind of workout you can seriously do anywhere, and burn the most calories/stress off without killing yourself.

So my question on this wonderful Friday is….

When did you fall in love with running?



“I don’t have time to work out” – Let’s fix it!

I’m kind of the office freak.  I’m tall, thin.  I eat green things.  I sometimes pack workout clothes, and then head out around 4pm for a run.  Often a coworker will look at me in disbelief or disgust, and say something like, “I don’t know how you do it!  I don’t have the energy.  I just don’t have the time to work out.”

That line of…interrogation sometimes irritates me.  Usually it’s said with some judgement.  Some disbelief.  A little bit of mean.  And there’s this assumption that I just am some kid with oodles of time and that it’s easy for me to find the time to work out.  I get it.  I don’t have kids.  I’m young.  So maybe people assume that I’m just an idiot.

Well, fun fact.  I work my day job.  I also have jobs at 3 or 4 gyms where I teach classes.  I work at Fleet Feet Raleigh when they need.  And I blog.  Like a decent amount.  So I’m not just some idiot with time and time and time on my hands, I do actually have to work to sneak my workouts in.  And trust me, these days it’s always a sneak.

But if you’re interested in figuring out how in God’s name you’re gonna make some time to work out, allow me to at least offer you a couple of suggestions for good ways to sneak in the time for physical activity that we all need to maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart, and healthy mind.

work out


  • Are you a grad/college student?  Got a break between classes?  Even if it’s like only a 40 minute break, use that time to put on some running shoes, and walk/run.  A lot of times on Tuesdays my second year in graduate school, the only way I could ever get a workout in was to run between my second and third classes.  A lot of times it meant that I got to my last class sort of sweaty, but honestly, I probably wasn’t going to show up to that class looking cute anyways so it all worked out.
  • If you’re into this, wake up early.  I truly hate to wake up early.  I do it two or three times a week now for a Body Pump/Body Attack class, and the waking up part of it is literally the worst thing ever.  I’m miserable when I first wake up, but I’m a happy gal by the end of it.
  • If you’re not an early bird, pack your workout stuff with you, and sneak out of the office when you can.  In my office, typically around 4 pm I can sneak out without anyone asking me too many questions.  I can come back, finish some work, and generally, no one asks me a question.
  • If you’ve missed the early morning, and you didn’t pack your workout clothes, do something after work.  For me, sometimes that means a run.  Sometimes a class.  Sometimes it means getting on my bike for a few miles and cranking it out.  But it makes me feel good, and as Austin says, it’ makes my dinner taste better 🙂
  • For the ladies with the kids, I understand how tricky this can be.  I honestly commend you for what you do.  And I’m not a mom, so I don’t want to overstep my bounds and give crazy suggestions, so I’m opening this part up to the moms – Mamas, how can you sneak your workouts in and keep yourself healthy and sane?  I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

So moms, kids like me – how do you sneak in your workouts? 

The 1800 Minute Challenge

I follow a really great chick named Erin at Living in Yellow.  Back in April, Erin challenged us to partake in her 1800 minute challenge, a challenge that entailed documenting 1800 minutes of exercise between April 1st and May 31st.
#1800MinuteChallengeThat number averaged out to about 30 minutes per day of working out, which for me, didn’t seem too hard, since I’m pretty active, but for this challenge, I focused on my old motto of sweating once a day (rather than relying on the fact that I was running for hours on end to carry me through the challenge) and I managed to complete the challenge with 2278.18 minutes, an average of about 37 minutes of activity a day.

The challenge was good for me.  I respond well to challenges, real or not, and I take them very seriously.  Last year, at this time, I was doing a streak, and something about the officialness (in my mind) of the streak, pushed me to continue running, even though in North Carolina it gets hot as hell, and staying active.

My activities over the 2k minutes included a lot of variety.  With me getting my Body Pump cert, I did a ton of Body Pump, some Body Attack, some trail running (cause it’s so crazy hot and humid here), as well as continuing to teach my regular Zumba class schedule.  The bod is looking good, and I want to keep it going so thankfully, Erin hooked us up with ANOTHER challenge, 1000 minutes in 30 days.  This time, the challenge has us averaging closer to 33 minutes a day, so I’m excited to see what I can do.

Anyone else in?


Weekend Buzz

So, I totally hope you guys had an awesome weekend – I sure did!  It went by way way too fast, and I don’t feel like I got to spend enough time with Austin, but I’m hoping to make up for some of it this week.

So, after I did wine with Matthew on Friday night, and taught Zumba, I headed to the Raleigh Half Ironman expo to grab some cowbells, because come Sunday morning, I had plans to wake up early, cheer on some Half Ironman and Half Iromwomen, and grab brunch with one of my best friends in the entire world.

Let’s review really quickly.  So for those of you who are unfamiliar (cause prior to last year, I was!) with what a Half Ironman is, a Half Ironman (often denoted as 70.3), is a triathlon that involves a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile (whew!) bike ride, and a half marathon at the end (13.1 miles), to top it off.  I spectated last year, and had such a great time, that I went for it again this year.


We started off by spectating some of the guys that would be considered elite.


DSC_0710DSC_0711We changed locations to meet up with the Lemons (the cool chickaroos from Lululemon)



Caitlin, on the left, was giving out free hugs, and it was really really cute to see folks stop, look really relived, and then go in for a big, sweaty hug.  At one point, she said she had to spit someone else’s sweat out of her mouth (GROSS!!?) but she was an awesome sport about it.

After I cheered and cowbelled for the Ironmen and ladies, I headed down to a carwash closer to the north side that had been revamped, and that was doling out free carwashes.  Since I’m on a budgeting kick, I could not justify paying to wash my car, so I went and got a wash, and vacuumed it out as well.

DSC_0720DSC_0719I’ve got to admit, the part where I put my car in neutral, and just sort of rode along was a little scary, and I’m not sure I’d like to do that again.

And finally, I was inspired by the folks from this morning that I topped this busy day off with a run.

How was your weekend?  

OMG PS ONE LAST THING!!!!!!!!!!  I finally registered for my Body Pump Training – so as of mid-July, I am going to Wilmington to get trained to teach Body Pump.  I am SO excited!!!!  Can you tell by all the exclamation points?

Body Attack in Review

Two mornings ago, I dragged my butt out of bed to go to something called Body Attack, a class that is in the Les Mills family.  Les Mills, by the way, is the umbrella under which Body Pump falls.  Body Pump is that toning and weightlifting class I’ve been taking.  But I digress.

So I dragged my butt out of bed because I knew my favorite Body Pump teacher would be teaching this called Body Attack.  I get there, and I started off a little skeptically.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 9.23.03 PMI was skeptical, but as I looked around, I saw a lot of the folks that were regulars at Body Pump, and the class was pretty packed, especially for 5:45am.

Instead of the class being dancey or boppy, like the classes I’m sort of used to taking the class involved some plyometrics, aerobic exercises, and high energy interval trainings that sort of reminded me of when I would go off on my own and do some of the Nike Training Center (NTC) workouts on my phone.

As the class went on, I felt like it got a little less weird, and the class morphed into exactly what I needed, especially some of the plyometric exercises that involved me holding and working with my own body weight.  Especially in my upper-body, this is something I’d like to try to develop.  Additionally, the class involved a good bit of running around the studio, something that I feel so at ease with.  So between the running the development of some sweet strength, I think me and Body Attack (and Monica, the fabulous teacher) will get along just great.

So, when you go to try this class out, definitely give the class a little longer than the warm-up, which definitely feels strange, and you will fall in love.

**As a side note, the adorably amazing teacher, who can bust out like a million push ups, kept saying “jack it” when she wanted us to fly into some jumping jacks.  I could not stop laughing.  I have the maturity of a 15-year-old I know.**