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Homework or Extra-Curricular?

Welcome to my Friday night!  It's 7 o'clock (on the dot. I'm in my drop top cruisin the streets... Anyone else have that song pop into their heads every time they hear/see/think 7 o'clock???)

Usher Nice and Slow
I admit...this really has nothing to do with this post.  But I saw the quote and I couldn't help but share it!
Anywho - back on topic.  It's here and I just got out of the shower after finishing my second double day in Focus T25 Beta round!  I feel absolutely incredible and I am so glad I chose to do this program; I am a huge fan of Shaun T and T25 is absolutely no exception to the rule.  While 530 on a Friday night may not seem like the most normal time for a workout, that is what worked for my schedule today so I went with it!

Focus T25 Double Day

Over the last year I have done a lot of thinking about what got me to 249 pounds; it's only natural to reflect on your past as you start and progress on a new journey and I have definitely done a lot of it.  I think a lot of my past struggles were simply with dedication. 

I would tell myself that today was the day - I was going to change - I would eat better - I would workout - I would be different - I had to lose weight - I wanted to fit into smaller clothes - and the list goes on, and on and on.  Every couple months I would get ready, get set, but not go.  I would stick to something for a day, maybe two, and then give up.  I had no dedication, no determination and I didn't actually believe I could do it!

Convince Your Mind

I have changed how I look at it: it's not something that I am telling myself I have to do.  It's something I want to do - I think that has made all the difference in the world.  In my mind it's a lot like getting up at 5 am for work vs getting up at 5 am to catch a plane to Paris.  Which would I be more willing to do?  Obviously the flight to Paris!  I would be jumping out of bed at 430 because I'd be so flippin excited!  For work?  I'd push the snooze button once, twice, maybe three times and then rush to get ready in time.  

So what's the difference?  The fact that I have to go to work but I want to go to Paris.  By thinking of my health and fitness not as a homework assignment but as an extra-curricular activity it has become FUN in a way that I never thought it could be.  I love my workouts and I love the results I've been getting!

I am so grateful that I found the Beachbody family because not only am I enjoying everything, I have people with whom I can enjoy it!!  I have people cheering me on, supporting my progress and helping me when I stumble (which, of course, we all do sometimes!)

Do you have fun with your workouts or are they a chore?  Have you noticed a difference in your motivation when you're doing a workout you love vs one you're not so sure of?  Have you still not found the one you love?  If you're looking for more motivation and support, let me know!  I have enjoyed every minute of being a part of challenge groups and having the support of fellow coaches and challengers - I would love to offer you the same support and encouragement!


Weight Loss in Selfies

I have been told that I take and share too many selfies.  But selfies are the new rage, right?  Take a picture of yourself looking your best, your worst, your funniest and share it with all your closest friends (as well as people you don't know and even some people you don't like!)

Through Instagram and Facebook I have been documenting my journey in weight loss and healthy living, and one of the main ways I do this is by taking selfies!  I take them after working out as accountability pictures, I take them after fitting into clothes that once were too small as a way to celebrate and I take them simply because I am proud of the changes I'm making and why shouldn't I document the journey?!

My very first smart-phone selfie taken last January.  I think I've changed quite a bit since then! 

But, like I said, some people think that I take too many.  Once every couple of days doesn't seem like a lot to me, but everyone's entitled to their opinion, right?!

I started thinking about this phenomenon called "selfies" this morning after I took another one and I realized that, to me, they are more than just a way for me to share my smile with the world :)  They have become an important way for me to see my progress as my journey goes on.  My face has become much slimmer and it is fun to see the difference from when I first started to today!  I don't take a lot of pictures besides selfies, so if it weren't for them I wouldn't be able to document the progress in the same way.  

Never Apologize for Selfies

So, for anyone who is sick of my selfies, I will apologize right here and now (#sorryimnotsorry) and advise you not to continue reading!  If you're a fan of selfies (or don't have an opinion either way) then please see the collage below!  This is a time-lapse collage of my selfies starting from March of last year (Upper Left) to today (Lower Right).  

Weight Loss Selfies

I may not see the changes every day but it is SO cool to see how I've slowly been changing over the year!  I do have to note this, though - I think my face actually looks the slimmest in the lower right, but I think a lot of that is thanks to angle, hairstyle and Instagram filter :)  

What do you think about selfies?  Are you a fan?  Have you ever put all your selfies together like this?  If so, share!  I'd love to see your journey as well!

As a quick reminder - my Shaun T-exclusive challenge group is looking for two more members and there are only a couple days left to register!  Comment below or send me an email at to let me know you're interested!  The last two participants will be getting an extra-special surprise from me :) 


Focus T25 Beta Week One

I am happy to announce that today marks the beginning of week two for me of Focus T25's Beta cycle!  This, of course, means that I have completed week one.  Going into Beta cycle I was a bit nervous because I had still been struggling a bit with Alpha cycle (using the modifier, having difficulties with some of the moves, etc.) but after speaking with some other people who have completed the program I decided to jump into Beta cycle at the end of Alpha!

Focus T25 Beta Round Week One

I am so completely glad that I made the leap!  I enjoyed Alpha round a lot; I could feel myself getting stronger and I loved that I finally could see some arm muscles showing.  

As much as I enjoyed Alpha round, I am enjoying Beta round even more!  The workouts seem to be more geared towards specific body parts.  At the end of some I can feel my core; at others my legs are burning and after others my arms are sore.  I can tell that Alpha made me strong enough to handle Beta and so feeling my muscles after each of these workouts is an awesome feeling.

Whereas Alpha seemed more cardio-based, Beta seems to be more strength and toning based (though it's still a Shaun T program so you know the cardio is still awesome!)

This is the workout schedule for the first week - 

T25 Beta Round Week One Schedule

Of all the workouts I would say Rip't Circuit is my absolute favorite - it reminds me of Pure Cardio from Insanity which was my favorite in that program as well!  You do each move for a full minute, then at the end he puts them all together - it's a lot of fun and it really gets the time moving quickly!  I see that it will be appearing on the workout calendar a lot over the next 4 weeks so I'm glad for that :) 

If I had to choose a least favorite at this point it would probably be Dynamic Core - but I think that this will change over the next couple weeks as I get stronger.  This workout was the most difficult for me so far but I'm excited to focus on it and really nail the moves!

Focus T25 Beta Round Women's Progress

This is me after I got done with Friday's Double Day - I was a sweaty mess but I felt like a darn super hero!  The Shuffle + Burpees was absolutely insane but as I was doing it I felt incredible!!  A year ago I was just getting started on this journey and I would NOT have been able to do them in the same was as I can now.  It may not be a victory on the scale but it IS a victory nonetheless!

One week of Beta down, four weeks to go!


Life hits hard. I hit harder.

Do you ever have a week where it seems like the punches just keep coming?  I have heard about so many difficulties and struggles people are facing lately and it has had me playing my music a bit louder than normally, lunging a bit deeper in my workouts and praying a bit harder than during an ordinary week.  

We have one life - no matter what is thrown at us or what we watch being thrown at those around us, we get the hand we're dealt and have to roll with the punches.

But no one ever said we can't punch back!  

I believe in living life with a smile, a positive attitude and a dream I'm reaching for.  I have complete faith that every struggle with which people are struggling will turn into a success story they can share later in life.  As they get to that success story, though, I will be thinking of them, praying for them and fighting alongside them in any way I can.

I titled this blog Life hits hard.  I hit harder.  because that phase has been running through my head lately.  If I could punch all the crap people are dealing with lately and get it gone I would do so in a heart beat.  Call me the love child of Chuck Norris and Ali if you'd like; I'd be in full-on attack mode.

I guess that's another life lesson I'm relearning.  Just because we want to fix something instantaneously doesn't mean we can.  But we sure can join in the fight while they make their way to their bad ass survival story.

I'm fighting alongside future cancer survivors; I'm fighting alongside premature children who are just starting this crazy ride called life; I'm fighting alongside people much too young to be dealing with such heavy issues. 

 I'm fighting alongside, I'm fighting for.

I feel like I should have more to say - any decent blog writer can fill a page with thoughts, musings, ponderings, etc., right?  

I apologize for the lack of length we've got going here today, but my YouTube playlist is pumping out Cascada and Pink like its life depends on it and I'm not going to let them play to a room without motion!  T25 Beta Day 3, here I come!

If you couldn't already tell, I'm in a praying, fighting and overcoming type of mood.  Feel free to share what you're dealing with - I'd love to help you fight!  


Focus T25 Alpha - A Journey

On Friday I posted about my results from the Alpha round of Focus T25, but when I woke up this morning I realized that I just hadn't said everything I wanted to say.  Sure, the inches, pounds and emotions that changed throughout the last five weeks are incredible and I am very proud of all that, but there is definitely a lot more to it than that!
T25 Alpha Woman's Results

During the past five weeks I have been excited about my workouts.  Nervous.  Pumped up.  Hesitant.  There have been days that I didn't want to push play and, I'll admit it, days that I gave in to how 'busy' I thought I was and I convinced myself to skip them.  I always made them up, but I wish I had stuck to my guns and done the workouts every day I was supposed to.  I'm human, I'm imperfect and I always will be - but, along with that, I will also always strive to be better, do better and live better than the day I did before.  I truly believe that is a pretty respectable goal to have.

This morning was the very first day of Beta round and it was intense!  I was a bit nervous about it but I got up, pushed play and got my 25 minutes done.  It's nice to be home from work and not have to suit up for my workout; I'm off for the night!  Which leaves me plenty of time to shovel the six inches of snow we got here this morning...lovely.

Morning Workout

Anywho - back to T25 Alpha.  In thinking about Alpha round this past weekend, I realized that I feel very much the same about it as I do my introduction to Political Science / International Studies course that I took my freshman year at Aquinas College.  Weird?  Perhaps.  But let me explain and maybe it'll make a bit more sense.

I walked into PS150: World in Crisis back in 2005 (was that possibly 8 1/2 years ago already?!) and I was excited about the class.  I had heard a lot of good (and scary) things about the professor who taught it, Dr. D, so I thought I had an idea of what I was getting myself into.  I knew that I wanted to study international topics, so this was my entry into that program in college.  It was a semester long course that taught a lot of EVERYTHING - history, politics, government, etc.  It was intense, demanding and difficult.  

Aquinas College 2005
My college dorm in 2005 when I was a wee little freshman.  Please note the awesome flip phone.  

It was, in a lot of ways, similar to Focus T25.  

They both demanded work.

They, quite simply (and yet quite difficulty at the same time) demanded that I bring the best of me every day.  
When I signed up for both I knew that I was going to have to work for it.  It wasn't going to be handed to me and it wasn't going to be the easiest task I've ever done.  

Another thing I knew?

That they would be worth it.

Best Shape of your Life
This was originally written for a weight loss journey, but I think it applies to a pursuit of any type of growth - intellectual, spiritual, physical.  To see results, we have to be willing to work.  Not everything may require the same amount of effort, but if we're not willing to put it in then how can we expect to change?
And, not surprisingly, they both were worth it.  So worth it, in fact, that at the end of Focus T25 I found myself asking the same question I asked myself when I got my final grade back in World In Crisis.  That question is this:

Now that I have proven to myself I can do this, how much better could I be and how much further could I push myself if I did it again?

My roommate and I joked about taking World in Crisis again our senior year of college just to see how we'd react to it.  Neither of us got around to it (instead of the senior slide, I was the girl who took 20 credits my last semester because I simply couldn't not take Arabic 2, French and finish my 3rd major.  I still look back at that semester and wonder how I did it.)

The great thing, though, is I didn't have to retake the same class or re-do Alpha round to see how much further I could push myself.  I'm testing myself by jumping into Beta round, just as I tested myself with every advanced-level poli sci and international studies class I took.  My completion of the first step showed me that I could take steps 2, 3 and 4.  

Aquinas College Graduation
Me on graduation day!

I'm proud of my college career and I am just as proud of my health journey.  I intend to spend the rest of my life learning more about the world around me while also focusing on making myself the healthiest me I can possibly be.  The fact that I got through World in Crisis, the rest of college, a semester in France, Insanity, and now Focus T25 Alpha tells me that anything is possible if I put my best foot forward - and then work on improving it so my best is better than it used to be.

What has been one of your proudest accomplishments?  What are you working on improving about your life, yourself or your situation today?  If you're ready to take the plunge and focus on your nutrition and health, please let me know!  I'd love to help you along the journey.


Women's FocusT25 Alpha Results

Five weeks DONE!!!  I am so excited to announce that I have finished Focus T25 Alpha round - and I am pretty darn proud of the results I have to show for it.  

This program has been challenging, fun, exciting, tiring and crazy!!  I haven't always felt like working out and I have had some bobbles along the way.  But the important part is that I didn't give up and I didn't give in!  It took me six weeks to complete a five week program (super senior year I guess!) but I finished all five of them and I am proud of myself for sticking to it.  To give you a taste of just what it's been like, here are a couple of my post-workout accountability selfies:

Focus T25 is the newest program by Shaun T, the same man who created Insanity, Hip Hop Abs, Insanity: The Asylum and Rockin Body.  I have tried a lot of programs with various trainers, but I seem to respond the best to Shaun T - I trust him with my fitness journey and he hasn't let me down!  

That being said, I can also say that doing Insanity and now Focus T25 has given me more strength, endurance and confidence to be able to tackle ANY workout; I am excited to tackle my next program, Body Beast!  But before I get too far ahead of myself, I still have another 5 weeks with Focus T25 Beta to complete, and most likely Gamma after that.  

Today, though, I am celebrating my results from Alpha Round!!!

T25 hasn't just helped me lost 3.4 pounds and at least 5 inches, it has also helped me GAIN so much more!

I am stronger, healthier and more confident than ever before.  I can do lunges, squats and burpees like a champ (though, of course, there is room for improvement).  I broke through the plateau that held me between 198 and 201 for the longest time; I am on the downward trend and I am loving it! 

It helped me fit into a dress that I hadn't been able to zip before, and it has me seeing changes in my muscle definition that hadn't been there yet!

I loved T25 Alpha and I can't wait to get started with Beta!  If you have been contemplating starting up with a fitness program to lose weight, tone up or gain muscle I would love to help you out!  I am starting a Shaun T-focused challenge group in just a couple weeks and am looking for a few more challengers.  Because I am such a fan of the Shaun T products, I am offering $20 cash back to anyone who joins up!

Head over to to fill out the application and to learn more!

Now, onto Beta...


Shaun T Challenge!

It's no joke that I love me some Shaun T.  His Insanity program is what got me past my first 50 pounds of weight loss and made me realize that I can love working out.  (Me, the girl who hated gym class and would avoid it at all costs.  No joke.)

Shaun T

He is most well-known for Insanity and his newest program, Focus T25 but there is a lot more to the man than just those two!  He also has two less-crazy-intense programs, Hip Hop Abs and Rockin' Body, as well as Insanity: The Asylum, which is a more sports-training version of Insanity.  

The man knows what he's doing when it comes to training and I would trust myself to any of his programs for awesome results but also a great time!  There are some workouts that seem to drag - they may only be 35 minutes but they seem like an hour.  This is totally not the case with any of these programs!  The time flies, you're getting a great workout and you're having fun all at the same time; what more can you ask for?

Women's Insanity Results
My Insanity 60 day results!

I have been sharing my experiences with these programs for the last year or so, and I have noticed that there are a lot of people who want to try out the workouts but aren't sure they can cut it or don't know where to start.  Well I'm here to help!  I am putting together a Shaun T Challenge Group and during this week I am going to make it easier and cheaper to join!

So here is how it works:  You pick a Shaun T program (and I can help you pick the perfect one!), commit to the 60 day focus group on Facebook and replacing one meal a day with Shakeology - if you can do these things, I will commit to you and I will be with you every step of the way on your journey!  Not only that, I will give you $20 cash back!  I'm a huge believer in these program, Shaun T as a trainer and in YOUR ability to transform your health and life - and I'm putting my money where my mouth is!!!

Shaun T challenge

All you have to do to get started is fill out the application form below - then we can work together to not only hit your goals, but to exceed them as well!

I can't wait to celebrate your successes!

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Focus T25 Women's Progress Week 4

Today marks the very first day of Focus T25's Alpha Week 5 for me - I've just finished week 4 and I'm beyond excited to get started on week five!  I will be one hundred percent honest, though.  The workout I should be doing this evening will be done tomorrow as a double day.  I (not so gracefully) smacked myself in the face with the very heavy bottom of a chair I was attempting to put together at work today.  My upper nose and head are still throbbing from this accident so I just can't make it through the workout tonight.  But that doesn't change the fact that I have now finished four weeks of T25!

I absolutely love this program.  When I first started working out last year it was with Shaun T's program Insanity - the decision to complete that program completely changed my life.  I felt strong, successful, proud and FIT - I can honestly say I have never felt like a stronger version of myself!  Since that time, Focus T25 is the next best program I have found for my life.  I don't know if it's a soft spot I have for Shaun T or if it's just that my body reacts well to his type of training, but I am in love!

While the scale hasn't changed by a great deal yet, I am still very happy with my results!  I can tell that I look different than I did; the muscle is slowly overtaking the fat in my body and I am very happy with that!  Earlier in the week I was able to fully complete the Ab Pyramid and this had me grinning from ear to ear!  I love that the program gives you a ton of room to improve - you can start at a very basic level and work your way up on each and every exercise.  That type of progression is, in my opinion, the greatest way to workout because there are always places where you'll improve but also there is always room for improvement!

I have just one more week in T25 Alpha round and then I'll be on Beta!  I've heard that this is the round where people really start to see results on the scale and measuring tape and I'm excited to see if this is true for me as well!  

My goals for the next week are two-fold:

1) Drink 100 ounces of water EVERY DAY!
2) Stick to a clean eating meal plan 100% - no more cheats!

I am seriously ready to rock this week and can't wait to start Beta!

I've been thinking about starting up a Shaun T challenge group - something specifically for people who would like to try out a Shaun T workout program!  These would be Insanity, Focus T25, Hip Hop Abs or even Rockin Body!  Would anyone be interested in this?  Comment below or email me at and we can chat!


24 Weeks Without Alcohol

This morning as I type this it is exactly zero degrees outside (yay for it not being negative!!!), I just finished my daily Shakeology (Chocolate Shakeology + Ice + Milk - YUM!) and I am getting ready to leave for work!  This is my second rest day of week 4 in Focus T25 (look for that recap tomorrow!) and I have officially finished an entire 24 weeks without alcohol - that is 6 months!!!

Give Up Alcohol

This week has been very simple, honestly.  I am now used to the practice of turning down drinks and most of the people I see on a frequent basis know that I have given up alcohol, so they don't even ask if I'd like anything!  The amount of support I have been given in not only my attempt to give up alcohol but my entire weight loss and healthy living journey has been incredible.  It has shown me that people truly do want the absolute best for me.  Of course I already knew this, but it is nice to have a very obvious reminder every once in a while :)  

On Sunday night I went to my parents' annual Superbowl Party and got to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a very long time!  It was such a nice feeling to have people ask right when they saw me if I've lost weight - it must really show on me and it's a great ego boost!!  I have become accustomed to the reflection in the mirror so I don't see the drastic change everyday; it was fun to see their reaction to it!

There were, of course, snacks and drinks and anything else you might like to sample available to eat!  Earlier in the day I even went to the liquor store with my dad to get the ingredients to his world-famous Long Islands (Ok, maybe they're not world famous, but they're epic and they're awesome.  Though the fact that I've now published this post might make them world famous?  Okay, maybe not.  But still - you know what I mean!  They're yummy.)  It was fun to have some time to hang out with my dad, and truthfully I wasn't even tempted by the teas once they were made - I had my water bottle and I was perfectly content!

The fact that this has become so simple has led me to decide to post about this journey just once a month for the next 6 months.  If I have something to add in the weeks between these posts I will do that, but for the most part I feel like I've overcome most of the hurdles that may come up when trying to give up alcohol so I think it should be pretty smooth sailing from here on out! (Famous last words??  I hope not!)

As a quick reminder, I am still accepting applications for my 21 Day Fix Test Group.  This is Beachbody's newest program and with it we will really delve into meal planning, proper nutrition, portion sizes and the program takes all the guesswork out of the equation!  You are given a meal plan, recipe book, food containers so you know you are getting the exact right amount of food as well as 30 minute workouts so you can keep up with your fitness while we focus on nutrition!

21 Day Fix

I have the application and more information for this group over here: - head on over there and check it out!  This is a limited-space group so I suggest you reserve your spot asap!!!


21 Days is All I Ask!

It's Monday, February 3rd and that means a lot of things!  The Superbowl is officially over and the football season has been decided.  It was perhaps the most boring game to watch, but I'm sure the Seahawks were okay with that!!  

Now that the Superbowl is over that means the cheese dips, wings, beer and other football foods can be put away for a while!  Are you feeling like you overindulged this season?  Took too much in without getting enough exercise?  Spent your time watching people workout instead of getting up and doing it yourself?

Or, are you more like me, and don't really watch football at all?  Maybe you had set New Year's Resolutions and you're ready to re-commit to them.

Either way, I have a solution!  Along with this being the day after Superbowl, this is also the day Beachbody releases their newest program, 21 Day Fix!!!  

The 21 Day Fix is not only a workout program and not only a nutrition program - it is both!  You seriously get everything you need to get the greatest results in the shortest amount of time.  It takes away the guesswork and gives away the results - all you have to to is commit for 3 weeks!!!

And you remember that old saying that it takes 21 days to create a habit??  Well this is perfect for that!  This is exactly 21 days; your healthy living habits will be created and you'll be pumped and ready to keep going after it is over!  

The 21 Day Fix not only gives you 30 minute exercises and a meal plan to follow, it also tells you exactly how much to eat!  It comes with color-coded size-specific containers for your food!  No more guessing what a serving size is or when you've had enough; you eat the food you give yourself for that day, and when it's done, it's done!  Pairing that with the workouts will be the perfect one-two punch for losing weight AND getting fit!

To top it all off, I'm hosting a free 21 Day Fix Test Group!  Everyone will be doing the program together and you will be given support, motivation, encouragement and help along the way!  I KNOW you can do it - and I'm here to help!  

This isn't an impossible program, and it's not only for people who are already in shape.  It's for anyone who wants to lose weight, tone up or reshape their body!  They had people in the original test group who had little weight to lose as well as people who had a LOT of weight to lose - and they all had great results!!

Do YOU want to be the next success story?  All you have to do is let me know!  I'm creating my new test group now and I'd love for you to be a part of it!  

Please fill out the application below and I will get back to you within 24 hours with more information and to chat about it!  This program is being released TODAY - you can be one of its very first success stories!!

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