Top 5 Reasons I Work Out



There are a million reasons to exercise… obviously!! I could go on and on about the benefits of working out, but that’s not why I’m writing this. I want to give you the honest to goodness reasons why I’m totally dedicated to working out kicking my bootie in the gym!


  1. I’m a teeny bit competitive. Sure, I never really played competitive sports in high school (or really ever…. but does competitive all-star cheerleading count? 14 years under my belt, baby). I’m not really the athletic type. I totally stink at basketball, can’t serve a volleyball to save my life, and lack the hand eye coordination that is essential to softball. What I can do, however, is totally crush a HIIT workout and kill the compound exercises necessary to toning up. 
  2. It puts me in (and keeps me in) a good mood. Truly! I’m a naturally happy and optimistic person, but the endorphin’s keep my mind clear and my heart happy. For example, I tend to get some road rage (not gonna lie… I come by it honestly, though. You should see my dad drive down the freeway). I have been known to say some impolite words in the car while screaming at a totally unnecessary tone in my car at the person in front of me who refuses to get out of the left lane (not my proudest moments). With a solid workout in, though (I’m an AM work out girl), I’m far more even keeled for my morning commute and all day long for that matter.
  3. I can think so much clearer all day! It is not difficult to get totally distracted at work. Office chit chat… twitter…. the news (I’m a total new stalker. Proud of it.)…. checking the weather… looking at pictures of my beautiful daughter.. emails.. you name it! But when I have the adrenaline pumping after a solid gym sesh, I can focus well on the task at hand and be pretty super productive. 
  4. I enjoy my allotment of fun calories. I reallllly enjoy having a glass (a big glass) of wine at night after Tenley is in bed and the house is cleaned up. It’s my night cap and so relaxing. I truly enjoy the taste of a rich cabernet or a crisp pino grigio. Because I kind of refuse to give that up, I had better get my bootie moving at the gym! No long slow walks on the treadmill while reading magazines for this girl. I seriously crush it. 
  5. I’m just vain enough that I’m totally convinced that the other gym goers would absolutely notice my absence and judge the hell out of me for not going. It’s legitimately my only motivation to get out of bed at 4:45 to head to the gym some mornings. “What would that girl that is always on the elliptical think if I didn’t go today? She will laugh at me for not being there!”. Totally vain and likely not true at all, right?

There are millions of other reasons, but I’m pretty certain these would be the top 5. What about you? What keeps you going?


xoxo- M


We all have different triggers… here’s a glimpse into mine. Any advice?

In the spirit of true accountability, I have a confession to make….


I just gave in to my craving for Wendy’s for lunch. Yes, it’s true. I do not crave fried food very often, but all of a sudden today, I really needed it. So, off I went to Wendy’s where I ate (and admittedly enjoyed) a spicy chicken sandwich (yep, it’s fried… and has mayo), a small order of fries and a diet coke. Triple whammy. I will give myself kudos, though, in that I didn’t scarf it down. I tried to be very present so I could soak up the experience of eating this “delicious” food. I hesitate to call it delicious since there isn’t a single nutritional property about the whole thing. 

As I pulled out of the parking lot, though, I made a promise to myself. I will not beat myself up over this. I crave fast food rarely and this time, I gave in. I ate it. It’s over. It’s done. In my past. Typical me would sit here the rest of the day thinking about all of the calories and fat I just consumed and then beat up on myself continuously for making such a poor choice. Not today. It’s over.


I am going to spend a minute, though, reflecting on what got me to this point today since I started my day off feeling so healthy and incredibly motivated. I ate well for breakfast and morning snack. I packed a healthy lunch and was looking forward to it. Then something changed…. 

Around 11:00 (not long before lunch time!), I was walking down the hallway at work and became acutely aware of the fact that the woman I was passing was looking at my stomach (my body part that makes me so incredibly self-conscious… always has… especially not that I’ve had a baby). In reality, it’s quite possible that she was looking at my dress. However, I was (and kind of still am, to be honest) completely convinced she was eyeing up my stomach and thinking to herself “Is she pregnant or just fat?”. I tried to shake it off and tell myself I was just being paranoid. Then I passed someone else in the hall a short time later and had an exact repeat of the situation. Perhaps I am being incredibly self-conscious, but maybe they really were thinking that.

 It’s at that moment that my motivation and focus changed. I’m realizing now that a trigger for me to eat unhealthily is to feel self-conscious, to feel fat, to feel like I’m still too far away from my goal weight that it doesn’t even matter if I eat horribly. What’s one more bad meal?


It sounds really sad, but believe me.. I do not intend for it to be. Instead, I intend for this to be my moment of clarity… my ah-ha moment in terms of recognizing triggers. Now I just need to figure out how to overcome this trigger. Next time I start feeling this way, I need to recognize it as a trigger. How do I turn it around? Any tips? What has worked for you? 

I love you all for your support! Truly.

Xoxo -M

Do you engage in any of this negative self talk? This is how I’m going to change it… Join in!

On my drive into work this morning, I hit some pretty terrible traffic (there’s a whole story there…. Long story short: fuel tanker exploded right before morning commute in the middle of the beltway near the city yesterday… it’s turned traffic into a disaster and isn’t expected to be fixed for months!). Anyway, it turned out to be a blessing today because I got to catch Dr. Jenn Berman’s segment on Cosmo Radio. I had downloaded her app a few months ago (No More Diets- it’s a MUST READ). I needed the reminder, though, that listening to my body is the most important and necessary thing for me to do for myself. It also gave me a chance to reflect on just how much self-deprecating self-talk that I really do. It’s a lot! 


So, here’s my focus today. I’m going to recommit to the blend of the No More Diets methodology and my tips and tricks from my TIU lifestyle and start really taking care of my body and self. I’m going to write out some examples of the main ways I find myself diving into negative self-talk and I will commit to ways to turn this around. I know I beat up on myself with this negative self-talk every day… how sad is that! I realize how I spend so much time supporting and building up my family and friends but only ever tear myself apart. I realized that (being the visual person I am), I need to actually see examples of how I do this to myself and how I can combat that. 

You know what? I know for a fact I’m NOT the only person that does this to myself. I hope that I can encourage even one person to think through their own list and figure out their own ways to combat the self-deprecating and self-esteem diminishing thoughts. 

Pictures. Immediately, I focus in on all of the physical features about myself that I hate. I pick myself apart! It’s so sad that I treat myself that way. 

So, I am challenging myself to find 3 things that I love about myself in each photo that I see of myself. No more focusing on negatives!! 

Conversations. I automatically replay them in my head to find every flaw. Even further, I will remind myself of every flaw literally forever. 

Next time I realize I’m doing this, I commit to finding 2-3 examples of how I executed well in that conversation. I will find points to focus on about how I handled myself well.

Comparing myself to others. I realize this is pretty common, but that’s no excuse (for me or for you!!). 

I am committing to recognizing and respecting how we are all different from each other and how no one is any better than anyone else. Just different! 

I literally convince myself that others are focusing on my every single flaw when I’m talking to them. I’m just certain they are zeroing in on everything wrong! 

Why?? As I sit here and think about it, I’m realizing that the other person is likely doing the exact same thing about themselves. We are all self-conscious about things. I’m going to remind myself that rather than them focusing on any “flaws”, they just might be focusing on how great they think I am or focusing in on a characteristic I have that maybe they wish they could see in themselves as well. 

I’m always telling myself that whomever I am talking to or in a room with his much smarter than I am, they know more about whatever we are talking about or doing, etc. 

No. I am an expert at what I do. I know the projects I am working on and I have my own ideas. Instead of feeling like others will have  better ideas than me, I will remember that they just have a different perspective and they are reflecting on ideas and concepts from their own experience. It makes no ones ideas or thought processes any better than another. 

When I’m given feedback, I get super defensive and take it soooo personally. I tend to separate myself from people because I feel in adequate! That’s really sad, right? 

I need to take a step back. When I feel that way, I need to table the discussion for a minute if that’s what it comes down to… but I will work on realizing that the feedback is intended to be constructive and that it is not a reflection on me as a person. I will focus on my confidence and feeling assured in my decisions and myself. 

I literally never make decisions on where to eat, what time to leave, what to do, etc. I’m too afraid it’s not what the other person wants to do! 

I will remember this…. Whenever someone makes a decision on what to do, etc., I always go along with it. Even if it’s not what I really wanted to do, I find a way to make it work for me. They can do that too!!! If my decision isn’t want they necessarily wanted to do, that person can find a way to make it work for them. Or worst case? They will make an alternative suggestion and we can go from there. 

I literally hide behind my hands when I talk to others and I show my nervousness. 

Like a true Tone It Up girl, I will focus on improving my posture to exude confidence!


Thanks for letting me vet this out! Xo

If you do this at the gym, you’ll probably get on my nerves…

If you do this at the gym, you will probably get on my nerves. If I’m offending anyone, I apologize (…. sorry not sorry). I take my time at the gym very seriously. Especially at 4:30 in the morning!! I’m there to get my workout in and kick my own behind doing it. I want to leave there red faced and sweating. I realize this is not everyone’s goal, but please for the love of all goodness, refrain from doing the following:



1) People who are running (or even walking) on the treadmill and allowing their feet to constantly hit the plastic piece in the front. Sure, it happens once or twice… but for the people who continue doing it throughout their workout- Do you not hear it???? Do you not see me glaring at you?? You have some options here….

     a.) Speed the F up.

     b.) Slow down!

     c.) Just move back!!!! 


2.) People who insist on having inappropriately LOUD conversations. I am not here to socialize. I’m here to whip my booty into the best shape I can. I appreciate that you’re here and utilizing the buddy system. But, please oh please, talk at a reasonable level. I don’t care what you have to say and don’t want to be forced to hear what you’re saying over my already loud enough music playing directly into my ears (so as to not disturb YOU) via my ear buds.



3.) Similar to the one above… Excuse me, oh important one who is holier than thou and cannot bear to even imagine missing a phone call…. PLEASE remove your bluetooth from your ear!!! You’re not fooling anyone. Chances are pretty good that you’re not sealing a super huge business deal while panting for your life on the stairmaster today. If you’re trying to conduct anything work related while huffing and puffing away at the gym, you need a lesson in time management so you can get your work done during normal business hours or at least focus your attention on your work to the 23 hours in a day that you’re not at the gym.



4.) People who hold on for DEAR LIFE when they are on the cardio equipment. Hey half asser- let go and you’ll get a better workout!! I see this most frequently on the cross trainer where I have literally seen people holding up their entire body weight while swinging their legs that are barely touching the machine and actually THINK they are getting the right workout. Kudos to you for possibly building some arm strength, but you’re not getting the benefits you think you are out of your cardio sesh. Hate to break it to ya!



 And last but certainly not least…

5.) I get a HUGE kick out of the people that show up to the gym in all of the latest and greatest workout gear looking 100% the part of a tough and dedicated gym goer… and then they just stand there. Sit down. Pace back and forth for a minute playing with their phone. Sit down again. Walk on the treadmill for 10 mins and leave. News flash: you just wasted your money on a bunch of gym gear that you’re totally abusing by not using at all. 


Alright. Rant over. Who knows what I do at the gym that annoys other people, I’m sure there’s plenty. But this is my list of gym pet peeves… what are some of yours?!

Have a good day, lovies!


Kicking off the 2,000 lap challenge. Whoop whoop!

Today is officially New Years Day for my company and the beginning of a new fiscal year. Yay! Even more exciting? It’s the start of another year for the 2,000 lap challenge!

Quick background: My company has rolled out a Wellness Program that gives everyone an incentive to be healthy and make good choices! Throughout the year, we have opportunities to rack up points that essentially turn into healthcare savings- your rate is directly related to the level you achieve in the program (and for people like me who obtain benefits elsewhere – ie; hubby’s employer- we get a cash bonus equal to the amount we would have saved!). Pretty awesome, right?

So anyway, day 1 of the 2,000 lap challenge! I meet the goal every year and I cannot wait to do it again. It’s a great supplement to my already fierce workout regimen (Check it out here: and gets me up and moving during the day. 

There are also milestones throughout… 

1. At 100 laps, you get a shirt (not too exciting… but hey!)

2. At 500 laps, lunch with the president of the company

3. 1,000 laps, casual days and a total of $200 toward your gym membership fees (my fav part!)

4. 1,500 laps, casual days and $100 toward new sneakers (love this!)

5. 2,000 laps, casual days, t shirt and raffle prizes


For an idea of how much walking that is… 8 laps = 1 mile and thus 250 for the year.. totally realistic. Here’s to another amazing year of lapping it up at work! 

Killer strength training & sculpting today! LOVE IT!

Hey heyyy! Checking in on day 3 of Bikini Series 2013! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go check it out here: The Bikini Series is completely free and the community will change your life I can promise you that. I’ve met some of the most amazing TIUSisters and I feel better with every challenge and with the constant motivation from my incredible trainers.

Alright so first, I need to get something off of my chest. I’ve done awesome with my daytime eating and I’ve totally cut myself off from night time snacks (a huuuuuge issue for me.. I normally snack late at night… tisk tisk). However…. I have had some crummy dinners the last two nights. Crummy as in horrid for my body, not as in bad tasting. Something that my TIUSisters have taught me, though, is that today is a new day. I get a fresh start and new opportunity to eat a healthy lean and green dinner. So, that’s the plan!


With that off my chest, I want to talk about my workout this morning. I feel awesome about it. I got my cardio in on the stair stepper at the gym this morning (feel the burn, baby) and then knocked out 2 rounds of the Bikini Strap workout. I’ve never done that one before but I have heard so much about it. I couldn’t wait to try it! Let me tell you.. it was EVERYTHING I expected out of a K&K workout and more!!


The workout kept my heart rate up (even got into zone 3!), made me sweat like a crazy girl and made my muscles burn in all the right ways. I loved it!! Holy smokes, though… that ultimate arm & back toner was KILLER. I struggled through it and did it, but I cannot wait to feel stronger doing it. I had to do the modification (keep my knees down), but I’m determined to do its actual form ASAP. If there is one thing I know for sure, my trainers will whip me into shape fast and I’ll be able to do it soon! There were plenty of moves in past challenges that started out super tough for me that I mastered quickly. This will be no different. I know it!


So there is my recap for my killer Bikini Series workout for today. I feel awesome for getting it in this morning and I know this is going to be the best day because of it. Looking forward to some HIIT tomorrow with the Bikini Cardio!


How are your workouts challenging you in new ways?


M. xoxo

Bikini Series 2013… Let’s do it!

Ahhh today is the day!! My trainers are launching Bikini Series 2013 and I cannot wait. It’s my very first one! 


To prepare, I set my intentions yesterday. I sat down and mapped out my goals for the Bikini Series as well as clear cut motivations to keep me going. My goals need to be realistic for me but also crystal clear so that I can focus on the end result when things get tough (though, with the support of my Tone it Up Sisters, it’s so much easier to keep going!). 

So what are they?

My goal for the next 8 weeks is to stick to the assigned workouts. I’ve learned that when I try to reschedule things or shift the planned workouts around, I end up falling off the wagon. It’s so motivating knowing that thousands of amazing women are doing the same workout! It makes checking in even more fun! Also, no carbs after 3:00. This is a TIU girl staple, but I’m determined to stick to it for at least 5 of the 7 days each week (may sound lax, but trust me… I’ve been going for carbs more often than that lately). The biggest part of my goal is this… no snacking at night! I’m a late night snacking culprit. 

Now for my motivations… what better motivator than self confidence. When I’m losing weight and toning up, I’m the most confident! I feel the best and I feel good about my body and what I am accomplishing. Ultimately, I want to be at my wedding weight (5 years and 1 baby later) which I CAN accomplish in the next 8 weeks by losing 2 lbs per week. 

So there it is. This is my focus, motivation and goal for the Bikini Series 2013. 

What are yours?