all the kettle BELLS and WHISTLES

motivation and drive to work out, be healthier and have fun


June 2013

it’s hot & i want a cookie.

Summer has arrived and so has the heat.  We don’t have AC so you can just imagine how 3 o’clock in the afternoon feels inside the house – about 85 degrees actually.

Therefore, I spent the past two days sticky and sweaty, which caused a serious case of laziness and boredom and all I wanted to help “fix” the day was cookies.  In my mind, there was an obvious connection that made a treat a sensible solution.  But, what was it exactly?

I was uncomfortable, which led to feeling cranky.  I was annoyed by the heat and more importantly, that I couldn’t escape it.  Then I started getting frustrated that we hadn’t finished cleaning and repainting the basement so I could at least hide down there.

I was clearly dealing with a ton of emotions.  Negative emotions that drove me to crave a sugary fix.

Once my son woke up from his nap (drenched in sweat), we left the house to run a few errands.  While driving, with the AC on full blast freezing my brain, I was scheming on how to get cookies without having to drag my two little ones in and out of the car.  Especially since I didn’t want my oldest to see them and start begging for one.  Even while plotting out my purchase, I was becoming more annoyed by all it’s potential failures.

More negative emotions that were leading me down the cookie road.

Well don’t fret, this story ends happily, in a way.  Once my children had gone to bed, I was sitting on the couch holding a package of cookies and dipping them into milk as quickly as possible.  Bliss.  It was about half way through my last cookie when I realized, I’m such an emotional eater!

All day long, I was trying to find comfort inside these delicious chocolate chip cookies.  But where was it?  Cause I couldn’t find it.  They must have left it out during the manufacturing process so I’d like my money back please.

I’ve recognized this pattern in the past.  Either I’m tired or having an off day, and I turn to cookies like they have some magical powers to make everything ALL BETTER.  And they don’t and it is always a let down.

So, I did some research and there are some helpful steps to avoid emotional eating.  There are tons of triggers, not just feeling down in the dumps, so step number one says to identify your trigger.  Mine is usually the overall not feeling my perky, chipper self.

Second, find alternative ways to “feed” your feelings.  How about read a book?  Or take some deep breathes?  Or lock yourself in a closet until your children stop yelling?  Whatever works.

Next, take a five minute break when a craving hits.  Typically cravings will pass within that time.  Or if you’re like me, they will haunt you for the rest of the day.  But I will try my hardest next time to forget about the cookies.

Lastly, support yourself with healthy habits to help promote an overall healthier lifestyle.  For example, work out, maintain healthy relationships, sleep and relax.  Mmmm, ok.  I work out five times a week for almost two hours a day.  I think I have great relationships with the people in my life.  Sleep, did I mention I have two children?  And relax, did I still not mention I have two children?  Because I have two children.

Well, now we all know the steps to help stop us from reaching for the chips or ice cream or cookies when we’re tired, upset, bored, stressed, anxious or even happy and excited.

Good luck the next time these feelings start creeping up and hopefully those few deep breathes or a quick read will help you pass up on those tempting treats.


hot dogs, cookies & upset tummy, oh my!

Hello Tuesday!  The weekend is behind us and how did you fare?

I weighed myself first thing Saturday morning.  Gulp.  After sticking, mostly, to my new diet and fitness routine, I was eager to check my weight.  Down two pounds!  Quiet a few emotions went through my head. I was proud that my hard work had paid off and I felt motivated to stick with my diet over the weekend, BUT I would love to have some cookies.  I deserve them don’t I?  My efforts were clearly obvious in the weight drop so what harm could a congratulatory treat do?

Fast forward to Saturday night.  Upset tummy!  Our day plans went hours longer then we
sumed well over 1000 calories in cookies and milk that night.  Yes, you read that correct – over 1000 calorianticipated so dinner was picked up in the frozen food aisle along with oh, my wonderful cookies.  I con

es.  And after a week of grapefruit or greek yogurt for dessert, my tummy was uncomfortable and I was not happy.

Even though I was feeling physically and mentally upset, I acknowledged these feelings in a good light.  Maybe next time I won’t eat the whole package of cookies or better yet, maybe next time I will decide the cookies aren’t worth it all.  As much as I feel the need to “reward” myself for the previous

week, all the sugar doesn’t help my body recover any quicker or simply feel good.  Therefore, how much of a reward is it really?

Sunday was not an improvement.

We spent the day cleaning out the basement, which entailed hauling away metal shelving systems, vacuuming and sweeping, moving boxes from here to there and of course, trying to keep the two little people content.

When lunch time came around, I threw something quick together and needless to say, it wasn’t healthy.  I was hungry and tired, a disastrous combination which resulted in hot dogs.  Afterwards, I was annoyed that my failure to plan a meal for us resulted into such a disappointing lunch.

Post hot dogs, I had two thoughts.  One: don’t have hot dogs on hand anymore and two: plan something that’s both exciting and easy to make for the weekends.

I found the weekend very challenging to stay on track.  Our family schedule is different because my husband is home and we’re usually working on a house related project or out for the day with the our kids.  Not only do I loose track of the time and forget about my morning and afternoon snacks, but both lun

ch time and dinner time seem to sneak up on us when we’re exhausted and feeling lazy.

In anticipation of this upcoming weekend, I’ll do my best to find healthy and quick lunch and dinner options.  Maybe some chicken sausage and grilled peppers instead of hot dogs.  Or ground turkey m
And for dessert, I found two options I’d love to try.  Chocolate mouse made out of prunes and chick pea peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  I’ll report back on my findings!  eat for hamburgers (sans the bun) with baked sweet potatoes.  Yes, our weekends tend to always be traditional summer time BBQ foods cause well, it is the summer and who doesn’t love a BBQ?

Even though I still have fourdays until Saturday, I am determined to better manage our meals throughout the weekend as well as remember that preparing snacks

and food is still as important on the Saturday and Sunday just as during the week.  And that it is too easy to ruin your previous weeks hard work in a matter of two days.  So plan and be prepared and

stick with it!

a mom’s body

Have you ever received this compliment and felt slightly insulted afterwards?  “You have a great body for a mom.”  Thanks, I think.  Well, this was recently said to me and not only am I still trying to figure out if I was in fact insulted but it started me thinking, what is a “mom’s” body supposed to look like?

If you are a mom, I think it’s safe to say a million facts about your body are running through your head right now.  “I have (insert number here) children.  I nursed them for (insert number of months or years here).  I loved late night (insert your favorite food here) while I was pregnant.  I still love (insert your favorite food here).”

Obviously our bodies go through a lot since it is a mom’s body after all.

First, to bring you a few steps back.  One of my motivations for working out is to be able to protect my children.  Like the flood waters are coming or dare I say, a tornado and I am the only one capable of saving them.  If this sounds totally crazy, you probably don’t have children and if you’re thinking “Yeah, I worry about that too” I’m glad I am not the only one.

So now to tie this all together.

I believe a mom’s body needs to be a capable, healthy one.  That as a mom, not only have our bodies gone through so much to just give us our children, but they continue to go through so much on a daily basis…

Lifting children in and out of the car multiple times a day.  Bending over as we endlessly put on toddler shoes.  Running after quickly escaping babies.  Loading ten grocery bags into the car and then unloading them at home.  Carrying a 25 pound diaper bags filled with every possible necessity.  Hauling five loads of laundry downstairs, and of course, back up stairs.  Reaching up into the kitchen cabinets putting away plates, bowls and sippy cups. Pushing the vacuum around the house once a day, if not more.

We do a lot.  And we put our bodies through even more, so shouldn’t a mom’s body look good.  It deserves it!  All the effort it goes through, we should help it succeed.  Fuel it well and exercise it often so it’s strong to handle whatever your mommy day throws at it.  Not only will exercise make you feel good about your body, but it also boosts those energy levels.  Who couldn’t use some more energy?

And not only should you treat your body well for it’s own sake, but also for that of your children.  You are their most important role model.  Showing them the importance of being healthy will help build a healthy foundation for them.  If the frig is full of fruits to snack on because you have decided to eat better, I bet your little ones will want to share in the fun.

So whether you decide to eat more veggies to green up your diet or start training in preparation for the next natural disaster, your body is a mom’s body and you should be kind to it.

to mimi’s house we go

Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT go to my mother’s house when you decide to start eating healthy.

I drove to New York for my sister’s high school graduation.  And not only was I greeted by the soon to be graduate, but a beautiful box of Italian rainbow cookies.  Know the kind I’m taking about?  Multi-colored cookie with layers of jelly filling surrounded by chocolate.  Ringing a bell?  They are my absolute favorite!  My determination to stick to my diet instantly disappeared and was replaced with the urge to rip the package open and start chowing down on them .  At 3 o’clock in the afternoon.  Who needs to wait until desert time?!

I did manage to walk away and funny enough, a few minutes later my mother decided to hide them from my brother who was expected soon, another sweet tooth in the family.  But don’t worry about me and my wee little shred of will power.

On the upside, I had started the day of great.  My new fitness planned called for 60 minutes of cardio and I wasn’t going to miss that.  The car was packed with all things necessary for our overnight stay and we went straight to the gym.  After 30 minutes on the treadmill my knees started to give out so I switched to the elliptical for the remaining 30 minutes.  After a quick shower, my and my two kiddies started our journey North.

I knew we would be traveling for snack and lunch time so I filled the car with healthy options from apples to hard boiled eggs to greek yogurt.  I even brought left overs of tuna and baked soybeans to have for lunch, which I’d like to proudly announce, I did eat while driving.  Everything was going wonderfully and healthfully until the dreaded cookies were spotted.  By dinner time at 8 pm, three hours past my usual dinner time, I was defeated.  The half of a cheeseburger and half of a hot dog went down with some regret, but those 10 or so rainbow cookies were simply amazing.  Oops.

I’m home now, a cookie free home, and tonight will be half a grapefruit for dessert.

Traveling long distances or even just driving down the street can be so challenging when you’ve decided to eat healthy.  Rest stops and restaurants make it impossible to make healthy choices.  Why eat one of the four salad options when you can try one of the 17 different burger combos?  Grilled onions with extra BBQ sauce, I’m in.

So, do we dare cross the threshold of our front door hungry or so near to our afternoon snack time?  I’m learning that it’s not a good idea but if you have to, go prepared.  Throw some almonds in a baggie.  Grab an apple.  Or even carrots sticks.  As tempting as those chocolate bars are at the check out lane, you’re more likely to feel better about the fruit you just ate 10 minutes later instead of the sugar crash 20 minutes later.

Chocolate bliss is so fleeting.  Remember that.

Back on the diet track I go with a couple lessons learned.  One: always expect to get hungry while out of your house so pack a smart snack.  Two: inform your friends and family of your new diet plans so they can be supportive and not unknowingly ruin your hard work.  Three: temptations exist everywhere, so you better work on your will power.

tackling the day


I sat on the couch last night dreading the coming morning.  Would I be able to resist eating cereal?  Or the left over pastries from this weekend?  And guess what, I did!  My husband offered me a bite of his apple fritter and I said, “Nope, I’m done.”  And he responded, “So that’s it?”  “Yes.”

It was an empowering little conversation and I continued to exercise my sad excuse for will power when it came time to pour cereal.  Second morning victory!  I scrambled three eggs instead of two cause if your meal time is anything like mine, my kids come running to eat whatever I have just made for myself.  Therefore, in order to ensure I had the opportunity to consume close to two eggs, I threw in an extra.

And good thing I did.

I sat down and my son starts with his “Ma. Ma. Ma. Ma,” which I am unsure if that is “mommy” or “more” these days.  And my daughter began scooting down the bench to hover over my plate, “Can I have some?”  Well, I shouldn’t be too upset they want to share my food cause hey, it’s healthy and good for them.  Just wish they would eat the eggs when I cooked ‘em for THEM!

Soon I will be heading out for my first session with my old personal trainer.  I am expecting to have my butt kicked and needless to say, I am pumped!

Until tonight….

First, I would like to state that I have officially stuck to my new diet plan.  All day.  Not one single crumb of granola bar or chunk of thrown onto the floor peanut butter and jelly sandwich made it into my mouth!  And as a mom, I am constantly cleaning up all these left over pieces, which can be very tempting to just eat it.  But not today!  My daughter was even lovingly offering me the crusts from her sandwich but I was able to resist.


Second, training went great.  But I need to preface my workout with: I’m not a pusher on the treadmill.  I’m super comfortable at a 6.0 speed, taking it easy and watching whatever show E! has to offer.  My heart rate stays in the mid 150s and I tend to burn a decent amount of calories.  Too bad my trainer doesn’t care about what makes me comfortable.  In fact, she loves the complete opposite and started me off at 7.5 for a quarter mile run followed by a couple other exercises for four rounds total.  And because I didn’t look like I was struggling on the treadmill, she amped me up to 8.0.  (p.s. my HR nearly reached 180)

Lesson learned: work on my “working hard” face!

I left tired and nearly sick to my stomach.  Walking the little people to the car was exhausting and I was relieved to sit and eat an apple.  Phew.  I finally checked my heart rate monitor and I burned 458 calories in 30 minutes.  I was impressed.  Impressed with how far I have come when I started training a year ago after having my son.  Impressed with my determination to accomplish every thruster and pull up as strong as possible.  And impressed we all made it back to the car!

So there, I did it.  This one day was a huge step in the amazing direction I needed.  Knowing that I am capable of actually making conscientious decisions about what I eat and more importantly, do not eat is, well, a relief.

I guess we all just need that one day, hour or moment when we decide to finally stick with it and succeed.

Now, tomorrow doesn’t seem so scary.

set some goals.

Today is the day to figure out what your goals are.  Are they fitness or nutrition related?  Overall health related?  Or maybe you just want to be a nicer person?  No matter what you decide you want to work on, write it down or print it out or set it as your phone background so you can see it every day.  Once you identify your goal, do some more thinking to figure out what motivates you.  Mmmmmm….   

I would say my goals are to lean out and spend ONE entire day eating according to my nutrition plan.  And my motivations would be to continue feeling strong and to feel more confident in my clothes.

In order to achieve my goals, I needed a new fitness routine as well as a healthier diet plan.  So yesterday I met with my trainer and she helped me figure out the first steps to help me get things going.  Here they are…


NO more bananas.  NO more protein powder.  only HALF a grapefruit for a treat like snack at night time. And lots of WATER.

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs & green tea

Snack: Greek yogurt

Lunch: Fresh fish (either tuna or salmon) with veggies

Snack: Spinach, fruit & almond milk smoothie

Dinner: Chicken with veggies

Treat: Half a grapefruit


Add multiple days of running, yoga and interval training.

Monday: Interval training

Tuesday: Kettle Bell class & 40 minute run

Wednesday: 60 minute run

Thursday: Kettle Bell class & yoga

Friday: Intense Interval Training class & 30 minute run

Saturday & Sunday: rest days

This new routine will be nearly doubling my time at the gym.  I am currently going three days a week for the above mentioned classes with an occasional run afterwards.  But as a mom, I struggle trying to determine how my time is better spent at the gym.  Since child care is only two hours long, do I work out more after a class or do I take a quiet ALONE shower before heading home?  Usually I’ve forgotten my towel and clean clothes so I rush home for my son’s nap time and hope the shower doesn’t attract the attention of my daughter.  Good luck to me.   

So now that I have this new plan of attack, when should I begin?  Immediately of course but I always think that one more night of cookies is in order before I can give them up.  Or that we should go out for burgers one last time before I totally give up carbs.  And here I am again, failing before I’ve even started.  So how about NOW?!  Maybe, but not likely.  Saturday and Sundays are my rests days anyway, right?  

Therefore, I will sit on the couch today and eat the pizza my daughter helped me make for lunch.  And I will ask my husband if he wants to go get some local, freshly made ice cream tonight cause it’s a beautiful day.  And it is likely for Father’s Day tomorrow we will BBQ some ground beef and hot dogs, which brings us to Monday morning.  Scrambled eggs – I promise!  Greek yogurt, you bet! Freshly made fish, how about tuna in water in a can?  Okay, fine.  My spinach smoothie will be a welcomed sweet drink.  But by 5 pm, let’s hope I have enough energy to make some chicken for dinner.  Two kids can be draining sometimes, which brings me to after they go to bed and I’m rummaging the kitchen for a treat.  Half a grapefruit remember?  I’ll do my best!

And that’s all we can do.  Our best.  Monday night is likely to be a huge struggle and I’ll probably follow my husband around the house asking him for “permission” to eat the chocolate in the freezer and hopefully he has more will power then me!  I should wrap those chocolates up and put a note on them…

“my goal: spend ONE entire day eating according to my nutrition plan”perfect time

being positive.

I have a photo shoot scheduled next weekend to take some fun pin up girl styles images, for my husband of course!  And with only nine days between now and then, I started evaluating what I eat cause realistically, I can make some last minute physical changes, right? RIGHT?!  If my husband hopes to have any of these photos developed, we all better hope so for his sake.

Anyway, I thought I’d start with a cleanse since I have a serious sugar problem.  My thought process was if I only have explicit list of smoothies to eat, I should be able to follow it.   So I found a three day detox cleanse on where else, but Pinterest, printed it out and brought it to the grocery store with me yesterday morning.  I might have bought 1/4 of the ingredients needed.  Poop.  I’ve tried a smoothie detox diet in the recent past and knew I couldn’t swallow or rather chew another celery apple “drink”.  Well, where I was already failing at trying to make some changes in my diet and it wasn’t even 9am.  That was disappointing, but I thought to myself, try to do something more realistic.  OK.

I came home and made myself a protein smoothie.  A large handful of spinach. Half a banana.  One cup of unsweetened almond milk.  One scoop of vanilla flavored protein powder.  And half a cup of strawberries.  Super delicious.  Miraculously, I was able to avoid snacking on whatever sugary cereal I gave into buying at the grocery store earlier.  Twice I even put a piece in my mouth and took it out!  Usually, I’m eating whatever cereal was thrown on the floor (yes, the floor) or whatever my son has thrown across the table.  But not yesterday, which was a huge accomplishment.

As the day went on, I found that I was starving because naturally my brain was saying “eat cause you’re trying to be good,” which wasn’t helping my cause.  I thought I would try an oatmeal smoothie.  Oatmeal is very caloric and has protein so I hoped it would fill me up.  Mental note for those who try an oatmeal smoothie, chances are you will need to double the liquids needed so it is actually drinkable.  By dinner time, I‘m pretty sure I had a Fig Newton, or four, and I knew I had to sit and eat some real food.  I don’t like the idea of sitting down for dinner and not eating in front of my children.  I worry that I might send a bad message as I’m telling them “eat your dinner” without a plate in front of me and I don’t want to be a hypocrite.  Dinner was chicken sausage and grilled zucchini so at least it was healthy.

By night time, I wanted a treat, of course, and my husband busted out some greek yogurt and apple slices.  SUGAR! So I was happy again.  It was before bedtime that I realized, I should not have been so hard on myself all day.  Clearly this is going to be a challenge and some days are going to be easier to avoid the temptation, while other’s I’m bound to buy a box of cookies or pour myself a bowl of my kids cereal (which I’m sure everyone thinking, don’t feed them sugary cereal and I could not agree more.  that will be another post).

So today I made a decision to focus on the positive and be optimistic.  And hey, no cereal for me this morning.  Just good old scrambled eggs.  And I knew we would be out before heading to the gym so I brought a spinach/strawberry/banana/protein smoothie with me so I had healthy food intake before hitting the gym.  And while at my normal Friday morning class, the instructor who also happens to be my old personal trainer, made me switch my 15 lb. kettle bells with a woman who had 20 lbs. because she was new and they were clearly going to be too heavy for her.  The instructor had faith in my strength and that was so encouraging that I tried my hardest to never put them down.  But eventually my forearms gave out – maybe next time.

So all in all, it’s been a healthier mental day and I’ll take that!

how this all started. sort of.

So, this is how the whole thing started.  Sort of.

After having my son, we moved to Delaware and I joined a new gym.  And like most gyms looking for more business, they offered a free personal training class, which I took and loved.  My husband and I agreed upon a certain number of sessions and I was ready to loose the 65 plus pounds I put on with my second child.  For the first 4-5 sessions, I was sore for days afterwards!  Like, it was hard to bend over or lift my arms over my head sore and I was THRILLED!  I believe it was session six that my then trainer told me she was taking a new position in the facility and would be passing me along to another trainer.  I was worried since things were going so well and I really liked her workout style.  Needless to say, my new trainer was way more intense and pushed me so much harder, which again, I LOVED!

I never weight trained before, I always turned to running to stay in shape or rather, the weight that I was happiest seeing on the scale.  After my first pregnancy, I took to running our neighborhood, pushing my daughter around in a jogging stroller.  I would do 3-4 miles a day, which has pretty always been my limit distance wise, but she was always hefty so my arms and abs were also getting a serious workout too.  I think it was at this point in my workout life, I was the happiest with my legs.  I am a typical woman who struggles with how I feel about my inner thighs regardless of my pant size.

But back to how this came to be.  Once my original set of personal training sessions were finished, I signed up for a few more cause I really wanted that extra time with my new trainer.  It was amazing until the end and I was sad when it finished.

A few times during our sessions, she had me do some Kettle Bell exercises, which I was familiar with as my husband bought a couple and I would watch him throw them around in the yard.  Scary business.  Well, after my personal training stopped I marched myself up to the Kettle Bell studio for a class back in December of 2012.  And the instructor, who I now see twice a week for his KB class, likes to remind me how I spent the first class laughing because I pretty much had NO idea what I was doing.

Now fast forward to mid-June 2013, present day, and I am proud to say that I have consistently attended midday Kettle Bell class offered twice a week since the end of December.  When I started, I was struggling with a 15 lb. for single bell exercises and two 10 lbs. for doubles.  Now, I’m rocking 20s for doubles, sometimes I drop down to 15s cause I don’t want to hurt myself, but I feel like a rock star.  At least as far as my arms and back are concerned.  Even though Kettle Bells are a total body work out, I still struggle with how my stomach and legs look, which brings me to why you are reading this and why I am sharing this.

Healthy.  Clean eating.  Paleo.  All words I wish I could use to describe my diet, but it is barely scraping by.  I have a sweet tooth like no other.  Right now, I am sitting on the couch salivating, wanting a night time treat cause that’s what I’ve done every night since,  FOREVER.  I have no will power or self control and if I know there is a cookie, piece of chocolate, anything sweet in my house, I will search it out and eat it.  All in one night.  Yuck.  I go to bed feeling badly about my bloated belly and how I’ve totally ruined all my hard efforts during the day at the gym and I know I am not the only one!

So, I’m starting this blog to make myself accountable and hopefully motivate myself to ditch the sugar and just share how even as a fit woman, there is always room to improve your health and strive for the body that makes you happy, even at bed time.

Please read along as I write and I look forward to “hearing” from those who stop by.


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