Monday, July 1, 2013



As most of you know, I just returned from Nashville (Franklin), TN last night after a 3 day intensive training certification to become a BarreAmped Instructor.  And let me just start this post out by saying, I packed my Kindle, yeah I actually packed my Kindle. Its very laughable now looking back over the last 3 days, I mean in my defense with most certifications I have experienced in the past, there is a bit of downtime in the evenings.   How was I to know that this BarreAmped class I am bringing to Burn Studio, that I was going to train for, was actually not a class at all, it was a METHOD. A method built on solid integrity and form and an actual real science behind each and every movement.  BarreAmped is no "quickie" one day certification you will find created by Sally or Susie with moves they just thought looked cool and came up with. No!!  BarreAmped is based on 12 years of practice and research by Suzanne Bowen (who for you dancers out there studied under Lotte Berk for years).  It is first class all the way.  This by far, is one of the tougher certifications I have ever worked for and I am so proud to have it.  Its the best Barre method out there, hands down! BarreAmped you have won my heart!!

But lets just say, its taken me 4 solid days of tears, laughter, excitement, fear, panic attacks and more to get here.  ( Did you forget already that I packed my kindle)?   Let's chat about it, it goes a little something like this:

Friday Day 1:  I wake up bright and early to arrive pretty and shiny and ready to learn. I actually think singing birds pulled my covers back that morning, is how glorious it was.  I walk in to Amy Weber's studio Releve One, who by the way is a total BarreAmped bad a*#@ you must know this, and sign in ready to go.  I think to myself, I totally have this, I mean I have 13 years fitness experience, no need to be nervous, right?  I mean I have taken a BarreAmped class so I wasn't totally in the dark. And I know all about form in the fitness world, right?  This rainbow and butterfly scenario came to an abrupt hault once we delved into the manual and starting working with the positions.  My knowledge of everything fitness did not apply here.  The realization that this was a method and not just a workout class became real.  What also became real, is I knew nothing!!!!  And my hips were tight, my chest was tight, I want to squat to do everything, and what I thought was working deep in my core all these years, yeah it wasn't .........For the first time in a long time, I was starting over, I had to learn something new from scratch.  And to top it off, 99% of the girls in my training class all have BarreAmped class experience. I was longing for a good ole' burpee!  This quickly turned to tears at Embassy Suites later that evening with a couple chocolate cookies. Yes, I had a pity party.  But, because I'm a fighter, I had the pity party in front of my BarreAmped manual.

Saturday Day 2:   The birds did not show up to pull my covers off, I knew the minute I woke that I had a LOT of work to do in the next two days.  I decided I would not give up and spent the morning before training class studying more.  But, little did I know this is the day that would change everything.  Amy Weber, our trainer for BarreAmped, had us take one of her actual classes with her clients, to start out the day.  I set up my mat and approach the bar knowing how many corrections with my form I was in for.  It was in Amy's class that the rainbow came back---it wasn't just about the burning and shaking muscles, and getting my form just so---it was about MORE THAN THAT.  BarreAmped is all about connecting your mind and body as one.  Amy not only gave me an amazing workout, she somehow tapped into my very soul.  And by the end of class as I lay on the mat, exhaling away all the stress as she instructed, I not only was brought to tears, but I did just that---I exhaled all the fear away and I left it on that mat!!! It was at that moment I knew, I am here for a reason.  If I can make my clients feel the way that I am feeling right now, after I teach my own class---that is my purpose.   I arose from the mat and decided to become "the barre".  The next 48 hours were just that.  After the long days of training it was late nights of studying.  Who knew a desk chair at the Embassy Suites could become your barre in a pinch?  Still, even though I was enlightened and confident---I still had Sunday--practical and written testing.

Sunday Day 3 :   After a late night of studying, muscles soreness,  and an early alarm to study more I knew I couldn't have given this any more than what I had given it.  I poured everything I am into learning this method.  The 3 hours of testing came and went like a flash. And to my excitement (and a couple cheerleader type jumps with tears) I actually did pretty well! In fact, I got "Most Improved" in my training class. And coming from a master like Amy Weber, it felt amazing.   Of course, there are many things I need to work on to get my form to teacher level--BUT I DID IT!  I got in my car to make the drive feeling like I really did something.  Something filled with fear and as far out of my comfort zone as I could possibly get. And the best part: I GET TO BRING THIS METHOD OF PRESTIGE HOME TO YOU!!!  So,  until the studio opens you can bet I will be practicing--and a lot. Some of you need to be prepared to be a guinea pig.  Hey, you cant beat a free Barre Amped class from your favorite trainer can you? No way! So get ready!

Can you still believe I packed my Kindle??????

Monday, February 18, 2013


I must say, I LOVE the "after" pictures sent after a workout is completed! 

Meet my Tuesday/Thursday 530am group!  Kerri, Ashley, Lenisa, and Chris.  

  Yes, that's right, you didn't misread anything, I did say 530am.  It takes serious habit to be able to get up at that hour of the day and work out----I have been doing it for a decade now and it really never gets easier to get out of bed.  The only thing that keeps you going is HABIT!  Trust me, no matter how motivated you start out when you first begin getting up that early, you will not stay motivated enough to continue.  It's just plain HARD!   MOTIVATION IS NOT ENOUGH, IT TAKES CONSISTENT HABIT!    ( and just for the record this photo was sent to me after their workout on a morning I couldn't make it, due to my recent sick times. Habit at its finest.)


1. We all have our reasons for choosing specific workout times during our day.  Most of the time it revolves around work and family/kid activities. When can you realistically stick to a workout routine--this is what it is all about.  Early morning isn't for everyone, but if work and family life activities seem to be getting in the way of your workout HABIT, The BEST thing to do ----get it done before all of those factors kick in for the day.  Trust me--no one will have a basketball game at 530am or a surprise teacher meeting.  Never happens.  This reasoning alone should get you up and out of bed--there may be no other time!  

2. It also helps to have a friend (s) meet you there! I know this is a huge key to this early morning 530am group's success! They know that if one of them doesn't show up, more than likely they will be getting a text from their partners asking where they were! 

3. This one is my favorite motivator
What a great reason to just get up and get it done!!

And as a Monday bonus for you, here is the workout I put together for this 530 am group the week I was out sick.   The Odweyer's, who are part of the group, are so awesome that they created this to bring for the next morning! This is amazing to me---I just had to share it! 
If only I could afford a "graphics guy"!!  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013



Hard work, dedication and CONSISTENCY! This is what it takes to be successful when keeping fitness a part of your life.  And life, as we know it, never happens with a perfect schedule.  There will be meetings, and ballgames, and dinners, and lunches, and school programs, and sickness, and the list goes on and on.........  When fitness becomes your priority, you will find it's not always going to be easy to fit  your workouts in.  There will be a LOT of obstacles that get in  your way.

  I would say a big obstacle for not only me, but also for some of you is sickness! Sickness is part of life, it can't be helped. So, what do you do when you are sick and can't work out? Rest of course and then pick back up when you are COMPLETELY well! 


What do you do when your trainer is sick and she can't lead your workout????


I will say I am blessed to work with ALL of you!! Yet, these special crews must be recognized.  
They are the definition of NO EXCUSES!
Even though I have been down and unable to lead them through their workouts----that didn't stop them! They printed out a workout I sent them, pushed tables and chairs aside in lunchrooms and empty studios and DID IT ANYWAY! 


Can you believe I even got a thumbs up with smiles? And after a burpee pyramid!

Motion shots---In an empty studio, after work, with no leader---they did it anyway! 

I have to admit, I enjoyed the sad faces! Is that bad?

The key is consistency! And it won't always be easy.  I can't imagine the temptation it would be to say "Well, trainer is still out sick and there is no class---its after work and I'm tired. Let's just wait till she is back"  But they didn't.  And I know there are more of you that pressed on, despite my absence.  

Send me some pics of the "after"! I always love them! Keep it up!

Friday, February 1, 2013


Sick days are for the birds I tell you! Three days I have been home sick.  The first of three spent in denial, thinking this is just a "blip" on the radar screen, Ill get some rest and be back at it tomorrow.  The second day spent in accurate realization that, yes, this is really happening--and I even think I lost about 5 hours that second day in a weird "fever funk".  And now the third day is all about "I think I will live".

Most of you that know me well, know that the hardest part of me being down--is wrapping my brain around it.  Why is it so hard for us trainers to accept sickness? We know we need to take care of our bodies, but a part of our brain just doesn't want to relent..  and you should know that the whole time I've been in this bed, a small piece of my brain keeps telling me 
"YOU ARE THIS, MUST DO THIS, MUST GET UP, high knees, burpees, squats........"

My brain seriously won't give this up even sick (crazy right?)


                                  SERIOUSLY THOUGH, 

I really have missed everyone and had to post something.  And let's face it, when you are sick and in bed, for me, Pinterest is my friend. As I am sure you have guessed from my colorful, picture type posting today.  I think I have pinned 800 recipes I will never make and in my mind my house will look better than ever with all the house pictures I have pinned, and let's not even go into my "fake pinterest closet full of clothes." But lets be clear, when you are running a fever, even things like this become funny

Here's to hoping you all had a great week! I plan on full steam ahead come Monday and am already feeling much better!  Stay focused and strong. Remember to rest when your body needs it and then get back on track when you are feeling better. Cheers to wellness!

Friday, January 25, 2013


Sharon Spadafore is not only a story of weight loss success, but one of HARD work and sheer WILL that she will never give up, even when told she should! (Wait until you read about how they told her she wouldn't run again----ummm have you seen this chic do burpees?!)

 I have gotten the privilege of working with Sharon through many boot camps at her office site in Conway, and during this time I have witnessed a true transformation---mind and body.  Once a "first timer" and "new kid" (we have all been there, and its pretty scary) in class----this girl is now leading the group! Sharon is known as the "boot camp lady" now!You want to know about boot camp? You see Sharon.  She will even move furniture in her suit and heels to assure everyone has room for class!

 Now, through her hard work and healthy lifestyle she is changing the lives of all those she works with.  By example! They want to know what she is doing and how she is doing it.  And just for the record, I don't consider what Sharon does as just changing lives---SHE IS SAVING THEM

                                               AFTER                              BEFORE


My journey has been interesting to say the lease but has definitely taught me a lot about myself and my commitment and dedication level to goals that I set out for myself. I was a normally active person I had just gotten interested in running but I was involved in a car accident a couple of years back I took a 90 mph impact and had neck and back trauma. That slowed me down considerably and is where a majority of my weight gain started at. At my heaviest (the picture above right) I was 183 lbs. I finally came to a point where I realized that I was denying the fact that I needed to purchase a larger size and would just purchase bigger baggy shirts to cover up the fact that none of my clothes fit me the way that they were supposed to or were intended to. In one of the first of many meetings that I had with the physicians and physical therapists I worked with I was told that I would probably never be able to run again and I would need to make adjustments to my work spaces and even how I slept at night. I have always been the type of person that if you told me that I couldn’t do something that drove me even more to accomplish whatever it is you told me I couldn’t do. I spent 6 months in physical therapy twice a week and finally tried to run again and boy was it painful, by that time I was 183lbs and felt terrible bout my appearance. I never gave up and still pushed through the pain. I started to pay more attention to my diet and became very strict on what I ate for 6 months straight. I cut out all fried foods and all white foods (white bread, pasta, Alfredo sauce, mayonnaise) I picked up running in 5k’s and set a goal of running one a month. Along with the weight falling off the 5k’s were not enough of a challenge anymore. One of the last conversations that I had with my mother before she passed away in June was about the last 5k that I ran and how proud of me she was. She made it very clear that she wanted me to keep running, so since 5k’s weren’t a challenge and I wanted to continue something she asked me to do I challenged myself to the Little Rock Half Marathon in March in her honor. I now have made a life style change and I am 147lbs and I have keep the weight off for about a year now. I run 3 to 4 times a week, I take boot camp at work with Robin and do strength training throughout the week. I have gotten to where the fatty, greasy food is not a craving or a “cheat day” food. I find great pleasure and satisfaction in helping others to achieve their goals and motivate them along the way. The motivation is so very important since it is so easy to give up along the way when you are tired or you hurt, that is when you have to reach deep down and remember why you started this journey and what you are going to gain from it in the long run! It truly has to be a lifestyle change in order to keep the weight off long term. There are too many temptations for it to be a temporary change.

This quote reminds me so much of Sharon and completely defines her WHY!

Monday, January 21, 2013


The start of a busy week is already upon us! If you are anything like me, you are already staring at a long (slightly unrealistic) list of To Do's not just for today, but the whole week.  At first glance, it might seem impossible to fit in a workout. And honestly with that ever untruthful gym myth of needing lots of time to get a results driven work out  lingering over our heads,  who could? That's just it--you don't need a lot of time, you just need to dig in for the small amount of time you have. Short, uncomfortable, and slightly (OK maybe a lot) painful--DONE!  Forget spending hours at the gym.  


A study shows folks who exercised for 30 minutes daily for three months shed more weight than those who worked out for 60 minutes daily.  The folks who exercised for the shorter amounts of time tended to increase their activity level throughout the day, indicating that they got more energetic.  While all study subjects did only cardio----try a variety like cardio and weights to challenge different muscles and optimize fat burning!

Friday, January 18, 2013


Wow--so I just checked the last date of my last blog post----Nov 19th, yikes! So even though I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions, one of my goals for 2013 is to get back to my blogging!

At the beginning of every New Year, I always take time off and assess my life.  I assess what I am doing, how I am doing, where I am spending the most time---and are all these things leading me to what I think is my best self.  My worst fear is to work so hard climbing to the top of the ladder, to only realize I leaned it against the wrong wall! You follow me on this, I know. So.....when I do sit and reflect, my very first thought in the goal setting process is HAPPINESS.  AM I HAPPY? This friends, is the key to everything.  And ultimately, we create our own happiness.  We are in control . Happiness is not an end goal---it just IS.  And you control the IS.

I saw this today and loved it! I want to share it with you.  You won't be able to read the small captions, but I want you to take in the large points.  Notice, the very first sign of happiness!!   My other personal favorite is enough sleep, I am working on this one also! Enjoy