DON’T Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days

I’ve got a MAJOR ax to grind. With summer just around the corner, there a millions of people totally stressed about showing more skin. The lovely people publishing “health and fitness” books and magazines are fully aware of our fear factor and are putting on the full court press to capitalize on every imperfection, moment of self-doubt and body insecurity we’ve got. I’ve been increasingly disgusted with all the crazy headlines trying to “help” you have the “body you’ve always dreamed of.”

I mean REALLY?! Think about it: if “getting the perfect body” was as simple as reading a book or following some “program” in a magazine, wouldn’t you already have “the body you’ve always dreamed of?”

One of the top health & fitness personalities leading the pack with the current wave of hysteria is Jackie Warner.

I read Jackie’s latest book, “Lose 10 pounds in 10 days” to test myself and see how much I’ve grown.

The good news is that I am a heckofa lot smarter than I was even a few years ago. That my friends, is a very good thing. The bad news is, most of America has not had the education I have received and cannot decipher the huge amount of BS that sells these suckers. Millions of people (people at risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc.) will purchase these books thinking this is going to be IT! They have finally found the answer. They are committed and WILL NOT FAIL! this time…

…until they are having a bad day, can’t follow the ridiculous meal plan (because it’s not REAL LIFE) and find themselves at some fast food joint around 1pm. They end up consuming every single calorie they have been sacrificing and then some. Depression and a sense of failure sets in immediately. They are off the wagon and on to another year of not feeling STRONG! ENERGIZED! EMPOWERED!

It IS NOT OK to survive on 900 calories a day as Jackie suggest in her book. It’s just not ok. Plain and simple. I have survived on even less than that and let me tell you, it’s NO FUN and definitely NOT WORTH IT! There are those of us that actually thrive on this ultra rigorous suggestion of a very low calorie diet to “lose 10 pounds in 10 days”. There is an initial “high” from the success, but that is short-lived and leads to a whole other set of issues. Crawling into this rabbit hole can take YEARS to climb out of. My suggestion: don’t even go there.

What I want you to know is this: YOU CAN lose weight. YOU CAN have a strong, healthy, sexy, beautiful body. YOU CAN use nutrition to fuel your life. YOU CAN wear shorts and rock a bikini. YOU REALLY CAN!


….it’s going to take more than 10 days.

Sorry for the buzzkill! I mean, you might be halfway to your goal after dieting on Jackie’s plan for 5 days and here I am telling you to knock it off?! What do I know anyway?!

What I know, is that a life on a diet is not a life. I know that a trainer that is just as much of an expert, if not more, than Jackie Warner and actually CARES about YOU (like my friend DEE!) is not EVER going to recommend 900 calories per day NOR are they going to tell you to give them 10 days and you will be 10 pounds lighter. I know that loving yourself exactly as you are is the first step to living your life in the body you’ve always dreamed of. I know that working out is not easy; it’s painful and hard and takes time. I also know that I’ve never felt more alive than when I am kicking tail in the gym and walking away stronger than I was yesterday. I know that dieting can make you feel good for a moment…but the moment is fleeing because dieting isn’t really living. I know that LIVING and taking charge of your destiny totally rocks.


And, because I follow Jackie Warner on Twitter, I also know that she had to leave the movie, “The Hunger Games” because she was HUNGRY and had a horrible “hunger pain”. You just can’t make that up. I think I’ve made my point. HA!

Swimsuit season is NOT a reason to gain control of the health habits that are weighing you down. Neither is a wedding, vacation, class reunion, or 1st date. I swear!

The reason these are NOT good REASONS is because they are single moments in time. They are big awesome things, but they only last a day, or, at most, a week. That my lovelies, is not enough to sustain a HEALTHY WAY OF LIFE.

At the same time, an unpacked suitcase, load of laundry or any other mundane chore is also not a reason NOT to gain control of your health. Those things aren’t going anywhere – remember that. I like to call those pesky little things, excuses. And, if you’re makin’ them, there is a reason. It’s up to YOU to figure that one out ๐Ÿ˜‰

My wish for all of us is that we stop with the quick fix. It just doesn’t exist, plain and simple.

What does work is surrounding yourself with people that love you and can pick you up when you stumble. Find someone to inspire you, push you, question you. Tell yourself that you deserve more; that you don’t want to spend another day not feeling like you have honored the AMAZING body you have been given. Do the basic things our ancestors did before us: drink plenty of water, eat whole (real) food as much as you can, MOVE, take time off, SLEEP!

Strength and beauty can’t be found in a book or a magazine. Those things lie deep within each one of us. The journey of life is to reach in and embrace our inner strength and USE IT. Honor it. Don’t let it go. Don’t let some publisher cheapen it with a fictional headline. Grab it, hold on, and enjoy the ride…for a LIFETIME, not just 10 days ๐Ÿ˜‰

Peace out angels. xx

















Gerry Haeger in da HOUSE!

OK, Minneapolis, so I KNOW I’m a little (a lot?) behind the 8-ball on this one.
Gerry Haeger has been kicking a$$ in the group fitness community for YEARS…like 20…at least.
I’ve heard people mention her, say I should try her classes, tell me they’re good, blah, blah, blah.
I’m REALLY picky when it comes to group fitness instructors.
I mean…REEEEAAAAALLLLLY particular about who I give my time and attention to when it comes to my very precious workout hours.
So, because of that, I’ve been doing my thing and wondering, “Who should I try next?”
{Mind you, while I was wondering, Ms. G has been kicking severe tail – I can’t even begin to think about the hours of classes I’ve missed – ARGH!}
Anyway, my dear friend Susie FINALLY got through to me. Susie is a MAC girl and she is also REEEEEAAAAALLLLLY particular about her instructors. {And btw, I’ll be featuring Susie in a future post – stay tuned!}
Gerry can be found in Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and Minneapolis. I decided to hit “the MAC” downtown first.
Yes suburbanistas, I said downtown.
I live in the suburbs, and I hear you. It might seem like a lot to commit to drive DOWNTOWN, park, etc. Here’s the thing…IT’S SATURDAY MORNING! There isn’t any traffic and parking (validated by LifeTime @ $2) is a breeze. So, get over that excuse right now because it’s just silly.
The MAC is such a cool location for a gym – there are lots of levels and, if it’s your first time there, you WILL have to ask the friendly LifeTime Fitness employees where the heck you are going. But no worries, those people in the black shirts get paid to do just that and trust me, they are (mostly) happy to help ๐Ÿ˜‰
I have taken two of Gerry’s Saturday morning classes at “the MAC”. I ventured out one freezing cold February morning for her 2-hour spin class, and, just last week, I did the “triple bypass” (2.5 hours of weights, cardio and spin). Oh lord, let me tell you, after BOTH classes, I felt completely spent yet totally exhilirated all at the same time. I think I’m still high from all of the endorphins.
I have also taken her spin class at Eden Prairie Athletic Club as well as her Wednesday morning class at Minnetonka Athletic Club. Both of these are HARD (of course), ATHLETIC (duh), and PUSH YOU beyond where you imagine you can go. That my friends, is called getting out of your comfort zone.

Here is the thing about Gerry. She is a total rockstar and super sweet. You will adore her the minute you meet her. (Did I mention she’s in CRAZY good shape?) BUUUUT, don’t get too excited because she is about to inflict a serious amount of pain and make you REALLY uncomfortable. Doesn’t that sound like fun? HA! OK, for me, I don’t want it any other way. I can dance in my kitchen and burn a few hundred calories, no problem. And yes, that is fun and a sign that I like to move and be active. However, if you want more than your average “dancing-in-the-kitchen” group fitness class, you need to get your booty to one of Gerry’s killer workouts ASAP. Serioulsy run, don’t walk. Get there!
If you want to change your life and change your body, Gerry is one of my best picks for how to make that happen.
Case in point: I have been doing “halfsy” (from the knee) push-ups for a really long time. I’m not really sure why, probably because it’s a good resting position ๐Ÿ˜‰ That doesn’t fly in Gerry’s class. No way, no how – but I am oh-so-thankful for that. Gerry is helping me to do the REAL DEAL, full on, grown-up PUSH-UPS. She helps me get through them and is there to catch me if I can’t push back up. That is the serious dedication which has helped to elevate my expectation of myself. That’s the real gift that you get from her. She believes in you and KNOWS that YOU CAN DO MORE.
If you look around her classes, the people in there don’t look like people in your average group fitness class. They are ATHLETES, the real deal. They are there to prove to themselves what they are made of. They push, go, believe, sweat, start and finish…strong.
I want that.
I really do.
So, slowly but surely, I’m going, getting there, trying. I suck wind in the first 5 seconds and feel like I can’t do another minute. I let Gerry help me, check my ego at the door, and go for it. I struggle and I want to cry because it really is just so hard. But I don’t cry. I keep going, I tell myself I can, and I listen to Gerry tell me how strong I am. I start to belive her. It’s crazy and it’s intense, but it’s AWESOME.

Lets be clear that this isn’t about a quest to be a certain size or weight. Ya’all know I smashed my scale. I honestly could care less about how much I weigh.

What I DO care about is how much I CAN DO. I want to be able to do full-on push-ups. I want to build core strength to protect my back. I want to see how much weight I can use for a bicep curl. I want my legs to feel like jello and futher challenge the idea of what kind of leg designers need to fit. I want to be a good role model for Ella, to show her what a truly strong mama can do.

The cool thing is, I know Gerry wants this for me too. She is right by my side helping to make it happen. I have to show-up. I have to do the work. She is there to guide and inspire. Together, it is a beautiful thing. I can’t wait to see how this story is gonna end.

In the mean time, I challenge you to try her class if you haven’t. Don’t be scared, don’t hesitate, don’t doubt what you can do. Just go. Rock out. Let her do what she does best. In the end, you’ll feel a little more bad-a$$ in your everyday life. Can’t go wrong with that my friends.

Peace, love and push-ups ya’all.


Dear Demi Lovato


So, I am a big fan of MTV. I commend them for tackling issues that are wildly important to our young people. About a week ago, they aired a documentary about Demi Lovato titled, “Stay Strong”. Camera crews were by Demi’s side during her first tour post-rehab.

*Demi was treated for anorexia, bulimia, and cutting in early 2011*

I watched the documentary.

It really made me think about my 19 year old self. What do I KNOW now that I wish I would have KNOWN then?

As someone who kicked an eating disorder in the A$$, I feel compelled to write a letter to this beautiful, young girl with a great, big, LIFE ahead of her.

The thing is, this letter is addressed to Demi, but really, it’s to the 19 year old me, to the mothers still battling and trying to keep it all together, to the grandmothers that still haven’t found peace, to our friends that never feel good enough, and, maybe most importantly, to all the young girls of the world that have the power to make a difference.

And so, myfitnessangel friends, I bring to you,

“Dear Demi.”

Dear Demi,

At the tender age of 19, your world may feel at times so big, maybe too big. Too many dreams, too many possibilites, too many things unknown.


The crazy thing is, your world may also feel so small and so lonely.

I wish I could tell you that at some magic moment those two worlds will collide and it will all make sense.

That’s not gonna happen sister. That, is the crazy little thing called LIFE.

What I can tell you, is that the world does get easier to “be” in. BUT, you have to learn to “be” first.

BE brave, BE bold, BE honest.

Be BRAVE with others – tell ’em what you NEED and don’t settle for less. Surround yourself with positivity and l.o.v.e.


Make BOLD choices – just go for it. Whatever you can believe, you can achieve. THAT, is a true statement.

BE honest with yourself. This is a tough one. I mean, REALLY tough sometimes.

Are you loving YOU for YOU? Are you treating yourself with unconditional LOVE and RESPECT?

Answer honestly, for you and only you. The truth really does set you free.

Know what you ARE and what you ARE NOT…then BE that.

It is impossible to serve two masters. You cannot be in recovery and also try to “be fit”.


Ya, I speak your language sista. When you say “be fit”, I believe you mean:


Not gonna happen. No way, no how, not happenin.

That’s Lights! Camera! Action!

Recovery is just the opposite.

The deal is this, GOD gave you a wonderful, glorious body. HE also gave you some crazy mad TALENT to go with that BODY. YOUR BODY was made just for YOU!

You will BE much happier if you REDEFINE your definition of “BE FIT”.

The “in recovery” definition of “be fit” should be all about the things you CAN DO and what you ARE:


Get through this! Do what I LOVE! Feel strong and empowered!


beautiful*perfect just as I am*ok*strong*smart*talented

not what you can’t:


Being “fit” is not a size or a number, it’s a feeling from within that you first must choose. You then need to let go. Let go of perfection, the highs and the lows, feast or famine. Just let it all go, and move on to the REAL YOU.

Get it. Own it. Rock it.

Throw away your scale. Keep your favorite letters and photographs. Journal. Take risks. Try new things. Cherish the happy memories, write them down. Take a day off to see a movie and eat ice cream. Run in the park. Write love notes on your mirror with red lipstick. Compliment yourself just as much as you compliment others. BE comfortable eating alone, and with others. Connect with people, acknowledge your fears. Set your own boundaries and respect those of others. Believe that you already have all the answers. Make mistakes & learn from them. Don’t dwell. Cry when you need to, laugh just because. Smile not only at those around you, but at the beauty looking back at you in that mirror that DOES lie. Eat what tastes GOOD. Give thanks everyday for the little things that make you whole. Don’t worry. LIVE with abandon, but don’t be reckless. Just BE.

In the end, it’s your life, your time. Make it count and always,



Stay strong fitness angels.

And in case you forget,




Strong Legs

Oh wow, what a day.

It’s crazy town over here. Can ya relate? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today I stopped the madness that almost was but never will be. Boom! Dead in IT’S tracks. Boo-ya! Score one for the home girl. Yes.

Here’s how it went down:

Monday morning; wake up later than planned; off to the races

*drink a little coffee

pack munchkin’s lunch, get dressed (sort of), dress the mini me, feed the munchkin, feed the pets, drop-off at school

**drink a little more coffee

teach my fitness class; get sweaty; AMAZING!; happy happy joy joy

***still not hungry, eat a granola bar, more coffee

run errands, shop for jeans



****Defeated and starving at this point….need food NOW!

screw it, LeeAnn Chin it is


tiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeedddddddddd now….

head home, shower, thinking…….

wishing shopping for denim was easier….and it would be, if I weighed 10 pounds less….right?!

QUICK! Google the latest diet book, order it ASAP!!!!!!

Take action! Yes! Count calories! 1200? Low sugar, low fat. Have a plan! Get on track!


Ok ladies, we’ve all been there, right? Something (for me, today, it was shopping) triggers us to think we are NOT OK JUST AS WE ARE.

I really had to take a breathe and remind myself:

I work hard. I am strong. My legs have MUSCLE. No denim designer is going to make me think something is wrong with ME because THEY don’t know how to design jeans for STRONG GIRLS!

I also was reminded why BREAKFAST is the most important meal of the day. You really do not do your body or mind any favors by skipping it.

You must know this: sometimes, at the start of the day, you NEED to fuel your body even if you don’t feel hungry. This has been REALLLLLLY hard for me because I used to pride myself on how many hours I could go in a day without actually chewing anything. I was young and not nearly as brilliant as I am now ๐Ÿ˜‰ These days, I try and keep it simple by following a protein/carb/fat routine every 3 hours. I can tell you that I am SUPER energized when I do this. I also avoid those yucky blood sugar drops because I keep my body in balance throughout the day.

However, in my REAL LIFE, it isn’t possible to ALWAYS eat a lovely protein/carb/fat every three hours. And sometimes, I just cannot consume one more protein bar. So, the trick is to make a choice, be ok with it, and hop back to what gives you energy and life at your next meal.

I did end up buying a pair of PAIGE Premium Denim jeans. They are the Lou Lou Tulip Flare. They fit like a glove and I like ’em.

It’s Monday, and you might be tempted to diet or “be good”. Maybe, just BE. Be aware, be gentle, be fresh, be ALIVE! And really, being good is sooooo overrated anyway. xo

Fitness Angel has been soaring lately. I thank you my friends. You can follow me on Twitter and “like” my Facebook page by clicking the links to the right. I appreciate the LOVE ya’all. We are changing bodies and minds and that rocks! Watch for some cool partnerships coming your way!

Have a GREAT week. I love you, but most importantly….

Appreciate Your Body….

…and use it in every way YOU can.

I love this image. As I sit here, a little annoyed that I am on day 7 of not working out, I am reminded that we too often focus on what we CAN’T do instead of what we CAN.

I’ve got a kink in my neck and a hacking cough…I’m not about to grace the gym with my presence. However, I can snuggle with Ella, make a spaghetti supper, sip immunity tea all day long, and enjoy my family being together tonight. It may not get my heart rate up like a good kick-a$$ cardio session, but it will build me up in other ways.

I’m cool with that.

Today anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you CAN move today, DO IT!

If not, chill out and get ready to ROCK tomorrow.


Give It UP!

I’m terrified. For real. What am I thinking?

After much thought and consideration, I’ve decided to give up reality TV for lent.

I know, it’s drastic. After all, I am the girl that made

cutting room floor, which did air. Ug. It is definitely worthy. But, alas, it’s still too fresh. You’ll have to wait until I’m well into my 50’s before I resurrect that video.

Giving this up is a little traumatic today as I didn’t even have a proper good-bye. I was busy with my hubby last night (oh yea, taxes, get it!) and missed three of my faves, which makes me sigh an even bigger sigh. I am really hoping Brad makes it big as a stylist and Bethenny finds a little peace (and gets the apartment of her dreams). Tabatha, you keep taking keys and making grown men cry. Housewives of Wherever, I think we all know who the REAL housewives are, right? I think I will miss Abby Lee the most – she baffles me. I’d NEVER send my daughter to dance with her, but I love watching those that do. What IS that?


what in the heck



The only peace and quiet I have in a 24 hour cycle is the time after my sweet cherub goes to bed – roughly between 8 and 10pm. I started to think about the fact that I am out of my mind exhausted by this time of day and end up pouring myself into bed with my iPad and reality TV. Why do I choose to spend the only free hours of my day consumed by what other people do, have, say, etc?

It’s ridiculous.

There is an interesting parallel with my reality TV habit and any other habit we have that proves to be toxic – to body or mind.

(and, ok, toxic might be a LITTLE dramatic, but come on,ย I live on the same emotional scale as Kristen Bellย demonstrated here)

You might be a sugar fiend or maybe you are starving your body from the physical activity it desperately needs.ย  Maybe you are surrounded by toxic relationships or are hindered by alcohol on a daily basis.

All of these things are toxic, and one is not cooler than the other.

They all suck.

I am choosing to use lent as a springboard for ME to rid myself of something that I feel is toxic in my life. Regardless of your religious practice, I challenge YOU to think about something that you could do without,

and……………….wait for it…………………


Do it because you are ONE TOUGH MUDDER! ha! ;-0

I’ve kicked a bad habit or two in my day.ย  It’s almost impossible to successfully take something out of your life without putting something else in its place. I’m sure Newton or some other dude has a law proving this. I can tell you from personal experience, it is true. Think of things you WANT that you feel are MISSING.

I want to read all these dusty books on my bookshelf – there are some GOOD ones!

I want to make a scarf….and a hat, for Ella. This is my Grams’ knitting basket:

I also miss my journal.

I’ve been writing in one since I was 13 years old and I’ve kept them all. Sometimes, on a rainy day, I go back and read them. I think of it as my living legacy – my own personal guide through life. Usually I’m too tired, but maybe if I reserve a little space in my day, and my mind, I will get back to it routinely.

Today is a day I will be meatless, I will write, I will practice yoga. I will sip coffee and catch the first twenty-minutes of the Today Show on my DVR. I’ll cook and clean, do laundry, and maybe organize a closet. I may or may not wear make-up or blow-dry my hair. I will hear “mommy” yelled from another room at least a thousand times and I’ll feel with every “I love you” it’s totally worth it. I’ll take care of my pets, child, and husband the best I know how.

And, at the end of the day, today, in those first quiet moments, it’s not going to be about who is at the top of the pyramid on Dance Moms or which housewife is the trashiest. It’s going to be. about. me.

Make today be. about. you.

Peace and love my friends xo

Mental Toughness

Strong Body. Strong Mind.

These words are ringing true for me today, except in reverse order:

Strong Mind. Strong Body.

We all have days when getting to the gym seems like a battle we’d rather not fight.

So much “TO DO”, so little time.


We also have days when we are motivated to sweat, get strong, and feel powerful. This is how I was feeling today. I wouldn’t say I was extremely energized, but I had the desire to –


OK, so lucky me, getting there was the easy part today – half the mission accomplished.

STAYING “there” was a different story.

I’m not talking about staying physically in the room. I’m talking about staying strong in my mind & fighting through it.

FIGHTING through the things I struggled to do without being disappointed in myself. (um….core work?!)

FIGHTING through the awkward glimpses in the mirror and not loving the reflection. (lighting perhaps??)

FIGHTING the sad-angry-disappointed-jealous thoughts about the way too thin girl in the front row. (so many people LOVE you for YOU!)

FIGHTING the thoughts about the million and one other things that need to be done. (let IT go!)

I could feel myself starting to take a dive after class.

I know, shocking.

But really, with all these things running through my mind in the course of an hour, how could you not start to spiral?


That’s how.

TODAY I know that there will always be outside factors that will try to bring us down, make us feel less than, throw us off our game.

It happens to EVERY BODY. Truly, it does.

Sometimes, you have to take a moment, dig deep, and feel the strength and quiet within.

To me, the real WARRIORS are the ones that can SHUT DOWN the outside chatter and find the quiet determination to persevere and keep moving forward.

THE mantra for today my friends:

SHUT IT DOWN! (say it with a little attitude) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Shut it down with friends that want to drag you into their own private battles.

Shut it down with the person that refuses to see the sunshine through the rain.

Shut it down with YOURSELF when you start to focus on what you ARE NOT instead of what YOU ARE.

Those things don’t serve YOU.

There are so many people that have broken through mental barriers to develop a rock solid mind that has led them to breaking physical barriers they never imagined.

THAT is real strength my friends.

I don’t care how many reps you can do or whether you are rockin’ a six pack. If you are not strong in your own mind, you will not only be unable to serve yourself in the best way possible, but you can’t REALLY BE THERE for those you care about most: your best friend, your husband, your children, your co-workers, your parents, etc.

The strongest warrior is the daughter whose parent is battling cancer, but they push through day after day and STILL bring joy to those around them. Not only does she SHOW UP, she ROCKS!

What about the single mother of two that works two jobs and STILL finds a way to take an hour at the gym because she knows she is a better mother/friend/sister for not neglecting herself.

What about the guy down the block that has a hundred pounds to lose. Every movement he makes feels like a thousand pounds on his weak joints and muscles. But he is there, day after day; fighting the pain; getting STRONGER in mind and body.

This is the true strength that inspires us all. They are rockin – So. Can. YOU!

The really cool thing about MENTAL TOUGHNESS is that we are in 110% control of it. No one can take it away, nothing can destroy it. EVERYONE has the power to OWN IT.

Have a great weekend. Here’s to shutting it DOWN! and being tough (in body and mind) this weekend. I’m “Climbing for the Cure” tomorrow…think I’ll be needing a little mental toughness half-way through the climb. Don’t you worry, I’ll be sure to share the adventure with you all!


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