Saturday, December 8, 2012

My secret to passing the ACE exam

I will cut right to the chase, my secret is that I got to a point that I decided I deserved it.  I have wanted to pass this exam since I was 21 years old.  For the last 13 years I have thought about this test in some way.  I remember the first time I bought the materials, I was young and impatient.  I spent my $300 on all the books, I even registered for the test.   I opened the books and was overwhelmed by muscles, bones, nerves, blood flow and I decided that I just couldn't pass it.  WITHOUT EVEN TRYING!  Somehow I convinced myself that I didn't need to follow my passion.  There was no way I could ever pass a test like that let alone work with Fitness Trainers. 

I have bought these materials a couple of times in my life.  Thinking maybe this time, by some miracle from God, I can pass it.  Every time until recently, I quit WAY too early.  Like after page 5.  I would buy the books, open them, doubt myself and move on. 
I would look at Personal Trainers everywhere and wish I was them.  It is funny because that is such a huge sign of my path but I think until recently, I just wasn't in the right space to take it on.  I continued training myself and learning as much as I could about workouts, the body and the fitness industry, just because I thought it was fun.
Two years ago, I reached a point in my life and in my journey of self discovery when everything changed.  I think the stars were aligned, Traci (my current boss) took a chance on me and became someone who taught me about inner strength.  She really helped me continue to step into myself enough to believe I could stop freaking out over so many things and just have fun going after a career in fitness.
In the last two years I have gotten many fitness certifications but was still delaying the ACE exam.  I still had so much fear surrounding this test that even when I told Traci I was going for it, I was scared shitless.
I did not buy the book this time, I borrowed it from one of my fellow Fly Instructors.  When I opened it, everything  in my brain was different.  I actually knew so much of the material already and felt comfortable reading it.  I was shocked!  I found it interesting and started to use what I was learning in classes or with clients.  I studied off and on for about 9 months.  This was my little fitness exam baby.
The day of the test, I was freaking out.  Whenever I would think the word TEST or say ACE, I would get this wave of nausea.  Like, "shit.  SHIT.  I am actually taking this test that I have been  wanting to pass for 13 years.  No big deal."
I decided it was time to talk to myself in front the mirror, literally right before I went into the exam room.  If you have never tried this, it is actually really awesome.   I went into the restroom and  said out loud to myself, "Casey.  You deserve to pass this test." As I said it, I realized how unsure I was of this truth.  For a second, I thought, "I do??"  I just kept going saying, "you have studied for this.  You are a good person.  You DESERVE THIS.  You do and I love you."  I was shocked at how much this helped me.  I felt a difference in myself and was ready.

The test was Fing HARD.  For alot of the questions there seemed to be two right answers but they wanted the MOST right.  How annoying is that?!  I was also so pissed because alot of the things I spent alot of time studying were not even on the test.  Can you see how fear can disguise itself as anger?  I was literally pissed with fear.  I got halfway through the test and decided I had to accept failure.  I was sure there was no way I would pass this fucker. (sorry for the f bomb but I was heated at this point)  No way.  I knew that no matter what happened I would not stop taking the test until I passed.  If I failed, I failed but atleast I studied my ass off.  Even if I had to take it five hundred times, I would get this certification.  I felt like I was taking this thing for an eternity.  I just wanted it to be over but I also would not give up.  I did my best on every question but also started talking back to the test.  I would read a question and find myself saying "are you kidding me?  come on!"  I had written down about ten questions that I thought I should go back to and double check at the end of the test.  I started this process and got through two of them before I said to myself, "you know what?  I am done.  I did my best.  I can't look at this thing for another second.  Just be done."  So it took all my courage to click SUBMIT TEST.
I held my breath, I started to feel the panic flow through my body. 
When I finally saw the thing say that I passed, I almost passed out!  I really could not believe it.  I was so happy and I really felt so proud of myself.  It felt amazing.  I realize that all that stress, all the nerves, they were so worth it.  In a way, they were kind of fun because I definitely felt alive.  I noticed that throughout the rest of that day the feeling of bliss started to fade quickly and I was back into myself.  I want to share this because I felt it was actually pretty eye opening.  This test didn't define me.  For the last 13 years I thought if I pass this test, I would be amazing, I would be different somehow.  What I realized by actually passing it was that I was already enough.  I am the same person after the test as I was before only now I am someone who will go after what she wants and I highly recommend that.  I already have a few new goals set for myself because I never want to stop.  I keep on keepin on and that is what makes this life feel more like a playground.  The journey is always more fun.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Crestwood Park Blaster Workout

The weather has been amazing this week and an outdoor workout was just what the MAMA ordered.
I put Dutch in the stroller, got Vader on the leash and started my workout by walking to the park.  By the time we all got to the park, I was sweaty and ready to go.  There is a baseball field (sign says, NO DOGS, just ignore that) that is fenced in so Dutch and crazy Vader could run wild.  The field was big enough to use for sprints and there were plenty of things to distract Dutch so mama could get her sprint on.  I have no idea how long I was doing my workout but my guess is about 30-40 minutes of hard core-ness.  I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do but with Dutch there, I just had to just go with the flow.
First of all, you really have to let go of worrying about looking crazy.  Luckily the park was quiet but there were a few other moms close by the swing set.  Don't worry about sprinting and burpee'ing in a public place.  It's cool.  You will just look hard core.  (That is what I tell myself)
It went a little something like this:

sprint length of field, jog back 3 x
reps of 30 for the below
lateral hop overs
push ups
squat jumps
plank jacks

At this point, I was dying.  The key is to push yourself HARD, meaning, move fast and strong. 
Dutch decided he wanted to race me, he kept saying, "RUN, c'mon, mommy.  RUN."
So we did.  Vader was right there with us.  I have to say, it made me so happy.  My boys.  I just love em.  Looking over and seeing Vader's slobbery ass running next to me, dog smiling.  It just melts my heart.  His bro, Dutch, (yes, they are brothers)  running so fast and laughing so loud.  ahhhh, I am in trouble with these two.
We would race one, then I would give Dutch a piggy back for one and we did that whole thing twice.  He would crack up when I was running with him on my back.  It was so cute and it made me so happy that I just kept going.

After our amazing running sesh, I went back to my reps of 30.
reverse lunges each leg
in and out jump squats
push ups
jump lunges
high knees
butt kickers

By this time Dutch was done.  He wanted to go swing and slide and so I decided I was done too.  I was totally worked and I felt awesome.  We played on the swings and then had a nice walk home.

If this workout sounds too crazy or not crazy enough, make up your own.  I am sharing this because park workouts with kids are an amazing way to get your body moving.  I hear so many mom's say they can't workout because they are with their kids all day.  The kids love this stuff!  They love fitness and just being with you.  Create your own workout and include the family.  They will love it.  If they don't (which could happen, depending on their age.)  then maybe try again another day or another way.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Mother's Perspective

You never know where you are going to be when you hear a message that changes your perspective.  Chad and I went to a beautiful and very special wedding last night where I heard something that did just that.

Let me start by saying we did not bring Dutch.  Kids were allowed, in fact they were encouraged, which was so awesome.  We were planning to bring him until the last minute when Chad's mom wanted to have him over night.  She is crazy and amazing enough to want both Dutch and his cousin (also 2)  over at the same time.  Although I wondered how she was going to make this happen and if the kids would get any sleep at all, I agreed.  Sometimes I need to let him have an experience on his own and trust that it will all work out.  It is so good for Chad and I to get a break when we can and this wedding was perfect for that. 

The venue was gorgeous and the bride is someone who is very special to me.  She may not even know that because we don't hang out all too often.  We used to work for the same company and our kids were in daycare together.  Finding another mom to confide in, to text about stuff like big boy beds, to just have as someone who "gets" you as a mom, that is so special.  Tracey, the bride, is amazing because she is one of the nicest and most caring people I have ever encountered.  I am not just saying this.  It is rare to meet someone who instantly wants the good for every person they meet.  Tracey is always thinking of others first whether its the barista at Starbucks, her son, her friends or the kid who is biting our kids at daycare.  She is the very definition of KIND.  Of coarse she chose a very intimate gathering for her ceremony and she had a way of making you feel like if you were there, you mattered to her.  It felt like such an honor and I teared up quite a bit last night just truly feeling the love in the room.  It was BIG and GOOD.

Tracey's son was in the wedding, pillow pet, binky and all.  It was so awesome to see him share in the ceremony and party and to really watch her and her husband love BIGGER with him in the room.  A few times during the night, I wished Dutch was there and not at his grandma's.  I DID high five Chad during the ceremony, when I heard and watched all of the little kid's losing their minds trying to be quiet.  I know he would have had a blast and I know Chad and I would have loved having him there, but it also felt really good to just enjoy the night-off duty (let's be real, you are never off duty, EVER, but sometimes breaks count)

Chad and I were having such a great night.  Chad hit it off with some man named Bob who looked kind of like Santa.  We were sitting next to him during the ceremony, he actually gave me a tissue when I started bawling during Tracey's vows.  He ended up at our table and Chad and Bob were BFF.  I loved it. 

Tracey's mom gave such a loving and heartfelt speech.  This speech is really what changed my perspective and I think the only way I could HEAR IT the way I did, is in this circumstance.  There was a moment she told Tracey and Bret that they needed to enjoy each and every day.  She said people get into the habit of thinking life will get better after __________.  Maybe life will get better after potty training, after school starts, after you win the lotto, after the vacation, after you lose the weight.  She said life is NOW.  She said this was one of the happiest nights of her life and as she said it, you could really feel how this night came so much quicker than she could have imagined.
This reminder really got to me because I find myself, even if its in the back of my mind, doing the whole- I can't wait until after _____.  I know about staying present, I know life is happening now, I have heard this message lot's of other places and I say it in my classes all the time.  Something about THIS time was different.  It sunk in.  I got it.

Each day means something special and I am going to do everything I can to cherish my life.  I know I may forget this from time to time but I know those beautiful reminders are sprinkled throughout our days.  If I look for them, they will help guide me.  I look back at pictures of Dutch as a tiny baby and I miss his little body.  I miss how he felt in my arms as a bambino.  It seems like the blink of an eye before he was walking, then running, now running away from me at times.  I was terrified of becoming a mom, that so much of that beautiful baby stage has gone way too quickly.  All the while allot of me was wishing it would hurry up and pass.  I appreciate all of this and all I can do now is move forward with all of these lessons, all of this perspective. 

Look for the messages.
Be open to receive them.
Love BIG.
The present is a gift.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Art of Letting Go

Below is an old post from like two years ago that made me LAUGH!!!  Please note I do not condone hot hot yoga that cooks your body like a turkey on Thanksgiving.  I LOVE yoga and I do want to practice more but have since determined that HOT yoga (over 95 degrees is NOT for me).  This post made me laugh and smile because 1. I thought it was funny and would have never remembered this day if I didn't write about it. 2. I appreciate the fact that I am reminding myself the art of letting go via blog post.  Perfect timing for me.  I am going to let some shit go right now..............  There.  Gone.  Done.  bye bye.

Now enjoy this old story....

What is yoga to me? It is not only a physical workout that allows my body to feel strong, healthy, challenged and loved but it is a mental cleansing. I go into the yoga room whether its heated or non heated to clear my mental clutter.   Once I enter the room and lay down my mat, I set my intention to clear my thoughts. If there is a mirror I focus on my third eye with such connection, that I often don't pay attention to anything else in the room. It has taken me a few years to find my yoga breath and to really feel that strong connection to myself and let go of the ego that can creep in, especially in hot yoga.
I know how important nutrition and diet can play into my mind and body during class. I have learned many lessons and each class is different. I can honestly say the yoga room is the one place in this world where I really feel connected to my spirit. I know that sounds heavy but its true. Even if the connection is subtle, it is there if I am open to it.
The other night I went to class despite the fact that I ate a LOT of garlic at lunch that day. My breath reeked, my stomach was bloated and I was not in the best condition for a class. My husband was like...."you are still going?! Oh man, I feel bad for whoever is next to you!"
Of coarse I still went. I figure you don't open your mouth in yoga-I will be fine, no one will even notice. I really wanted some yoga that night.
At this point, I can taste the garlic in my mouth like the clove was hidden in there somehow. It was gnarly and I did not like it at all. I even said out loud before I ate it, "oh man, this is going to be bad but I don't care."
Later-I cared.
As soon as I walk into the "silent" room, a fellow yogi who I know, instantly came up to me and wanted to chat. Um......this is a SILENT room so as you can imagine, I was forced to whisper with him. I was picturing my husbands face on his face waving his finger and laughing hysterically while saying "I feel sorry for whoever is next to you!" Chad would crack up if he knew I was frickin whispering with some dude.
BUT-in this moment I was able to practice the art of letting go. Yoga has this way about it that keeps my spiritual radar wide open. I am aware. Not only of my body and the class, but of my spirit. Just let this go-I heard in my head. Don't worry if he thinks your breath is stanky and now thinks you have halitosis and possibly are the grossest yogi alive. Why does that matter? It doesn't....let it go.
Whew, letting go felt so liberating. It was not an instant letting go but after a moment or two, I was able to do it. I realize this is a weird and insignificant story but the letting go lesson is something that can help me throughout my life. If garlic and whispering get me to let go then I will take it!
Yoga is practice, whether its a downward dog pose or the art of letting something ego related go.....its all good and its all practice.
I find my place in the room and lay out my mat and get into dead pose. This is my favorite pose of all time, you just lay there and find inner least that is the goal.
The lady next to me starts HACKING! She is obviously recovering from a cold or throat thing and decided she HAD to come to class. Doesn't she realize how selfish she is being?! How could she do this to me! She is so gross! OMG-if she coughs one more time, I am going to be so pissed. Wait........what am I doing? Why am I thinking these awful things about this nice lady who unfortunately has a cough? What if I just let her cough go? What is so different about a cough vs garlic? Someone could have easily thought the same thoughts about me with garlic. Yoga lesson number two, we are all connected and number three-its always all good. Each time I take a class I realize the yoga is not always in the physical postures-but inside the mind during the class.
Could I ignore this lady's cough? Really ignore it and love her anyways? Send her healing energy and love rather than anything else?
I found I could. It was not easy, each time she coughed for the first instant I was irritated but the seconds that followed allowed me to work through it and let it go, love her and feed my own soul with positivity rather than the negativity.
While I was practicing letting go, I was having an amazing yoga class physically. I felt my body going an inch further when I needed to. Slipping more comfortably into standing bird and feeling places to adjust myself. I do think the physical side of class is a necesary distraction for getting my mind through the other mud. I picture my body holding my mind's hand and saying-"hey, lets walk through this park together."
I have thought about this class the remainder of my week. When something at work is bothering me, I continue to practice the lesson of letting go. It feels so much better than holding on.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hill workout

I did an amazing workout at home the other day and wanted to share it with my homies.
I had major energy, a great playlist, not much of a plan and no equipment.  oh ya.
I live in a condo complex that has a very long and safe driveway.  It is more of a hill  and when you are running up it repeatedly, it seems long.
I decided I would run up the hill and jog down, doing 10 burpees at the bottom and repeating this combo, 10 times.
It was awesomely hard and I really made sure I pushed myself up that hill hard core each and every time. 
At one point I saw a lady from the old folks home come out and watch me and that made me even more motivated.  I had to show her I was strong!
When I was done with my 10 times up the hill/burpee combo, I did 10 more, this time stopping halfway up the hill to do 10 jump lunges and then when I got to the very top I put my feet at the top of the hill and my hands going downhill (on the grass, so I would not get hit by cars) and did 5 decline push ups.  I was really struggling the second half but the mojo was strong so I completed the workout.
Hills are such an amazing tool for home workouts.  If you want to do this with your bambino, just put them in a stroller and go for it! Don't worry about neighbors watching or people thinking you are crazy for doing cool workout moves.  Who cares.  Seriously.
If you want something a little less crazy, find an amazing hill and walk up and down it, many times.  Listen to your breath, feel your body, you will know if you are working hard or not.   
Get creative.
Set goals for the workout and don't stop until you are done!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sexy and I Know It

My little fam moved into a new place about a week ago.  Moving is never easy but we feel so upgraded, so refreshed.  While packing up boxes I found my wedding dress, the most elegant dress that has ever been in my Universe.  My wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life and that dress brought back so many memories.  I remember feeling so beautiful that day, so loved.  So happy.  I could not wait to put that dress on again and feel even closer to that day.
I slipped  my feet in.
Pulled up the beautiful white fabric- and reached for the zipper.

It didn't fit.
What the........
Like, not even hold your breath and don't move, you can zip this up for a second, not fit.
Here is a recap of my thoughts as accurately and honestly as I can convey them immediately after this realization:
Holy shit.  It doesn't fucking fit.  I am a fatty.
I need to lose 15 lbs as soon as humanly possible.
What did I eat today?
Should I cleanse?  Maybe just cut out sugar and carbs.
I wonder if I look fat.  Can anyone tell I used to be skinny and now I'm not?
I wonder if Chad thinks I am fat?
If I was in Fitness magazine, I would look ginormous.  I could never be in that magazine.
If I want to be in that magazine, I better lose the weight.
Do my students think I need to lose weight?
Do they wish I was skinnier?
I love chocolate. 
Peanut butter and jelly toast is a staple of my morning.  shit.  I love waking up to that.  shit.

the above thoughts all happened almost simultaneously in a matter of two seconds.

I say to Chad, "honey, maybe I need to lose some weight, this thing doesn't fit."
Chad to me-"huh? are you sure?"  (he probably cant even tell the difference. love him.)

deep breath.  stay present.
thoughts flowed quickly again.  this time more honestly.  less in the fear. 

I am beautiful, who needs to fit into this thing?
Man, I was STARVING that day.
it used to be so hard to listen to my body.  i enjoy listening to it now.  I don't ever want to lose that.
I feel really good in this weight.  I rock this weight.  I have strong muscles.
I can actually eat and not obsess about food anymore.  That feels amazing.
I am beautiful and healthy whether I fit into this thing or not.
What made this dress the definition of perfect?  I guess that is up to me.
I don't ever want to fit into this thing or feel like I should have to.
I had a frickin baby.  I made a person.  I am awesome.
I don't want to diet and I am very comfortable in my skin.  I love eating healthy and working out.
I don't want anyone that I train to feel like they have to be who they were 5 years ago.
I am 34 frickin years old and I teach hard core fitness classes. BOOM, yes!
That dress is so five years ago.  change is good.
You can not defeat me, dress.  We had a good time, you are done now.
I can't believe I am okay with this.
That is really awesome.

me to Chad-"actually, I am crazy, I am totally cool with it.  I almost lost it there for a sec.  I feel pretty good with not fittin into this thing."
Chad to me -"hon, you look amazing."

I smile and realize I just defeated my ego.  I appreciate how I can sift through my brain and get to a place of love and gratitude. 

That Sunday I told my spin class at Fly about the wedding dress incident.  A few ladies actually clapped and every single woman in class could relate to the story in some way.  I felt so much stronger and more confident after I shared the story out loud.  I could feel my body respond to the positive energy and appreciate the praise.  One of the things that really truly helps me step into the authentic me is being honest and sharing as much as I can, even if it puts me into vulnerability.

This post is a reminder that you are a new you, everyday.  A healthy body does not exist based on the scale.  Health is how you feel in your skin.  How you choose to fuel yourself and move.
Here is to healthy living and loving ourselves.  If we are truly doing that...........whatever follows is amazing and beautiful.

 wedding day, August 11, 2007, weight watchers, really restrictive and hard on myself, trying to figure out how to be happy in my body.

 present day June 2012
a whole new focus, happiness and piece of mind.  It's funny, you would never know from looking at the outside.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Comparison-It's a Killer

I found an old blog post that I wrote almost a year ago.  It made me laugh and not laugh because I feel like I still struggle with the same issue.  I actually made myself feel better by finding and reading the old post.  I am proud of the me who wrote so confidently and it made me remember how good that feels. I thought I would share this ole post in case anyone else needed the same reminder.  Let's love ourselves and accomplish whatever goals we desire.  I kept saying in class this week that power really comes from vulnerability.  I truly believe that and that is part of the reason I write so candidly.  Spilling my guts to the world can sometimes give me my power back. 

So here it is-
Comparrison. Is it ever really a good thing? I am game for friendly competition when it motivates me or lights a fire under my ass in a good way. Lately though, I have been comparing my own body to other bodies. Is this needed? No. It seems to happen without my control. The day starts out normal, wake up, feel good, proud of how sore I am from my workouts, eat a healthy breakfast, head out of the house-ready to feel awesome. Then I see some chick with lean muscles, a nice tan, probably a six pack somewhere and a little piece of me freaks out. I start to pick apart my own body, analyze my body fat percentage, worry that I eat too much, wonder how long it would take me to look like them, exactly. Does this sound crazy? It should, because although I am thinking these things, at the same time, I know perfectly well that these thoughts are totally bullshit crazy. Its like I cant help it, the thoughts start to snowball and my confidence takes a backseat for atleast a few minutes. I have really been paying attention to when this happens and focusing on talking myself back into reality. I owe it to myself to let these negative thoughts go. I guess its all just fear. Fear of what? Not really sure, I guess being totally and completey comfortable with who I am. Can I live in that comfort? I really think I can. It is going to take some effort to send love to myself whenever I feel doubt. Send love and appreciation to all the hard bodies out there that I start to envy. My son Dutch is a constant reminder to get real. My body made him, for the love of GOD. I need and want to radiate self love in his honor. I notice when I do feel good about myself and value who I am no matter what that is, I feel empowered. When I love me, no matter what is going on with someone else, I remain happy. I think its wierd that the natural tendency for women is to be so self punishing, even if its a small thought. I work with some amazing teenage girls and it reminds me so much of the struggles I had when I was in my teens. Self love was pretty much non existant from the age of 16-26 for me. That is ten years of negative thinking to recalibrate and it is defnately feeling like a whole new view on life. I think all women struggle with insecurities. How can they not when everywhere they look are supermodels, reality tv stars, magazines and diet pills. I want every woman to realize they are beautiful, good enough and its okay if there are other people out there that have the hot looks. There is enough beauty, love and happiness to go around. I want to remind myself to admire other women and remain confident no matter who is around me. No matter who you are, you are good enough. Always. High five sisters.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hollenbeck Hardcore Workout Wednesday

Sarah Hollenbeck turns 30 today.  Who is Sarah Hollenbeck?  She is a friend that takes classes at Fly Fitness and she is one of the most awesome people ever.  I created a workout in her honor today because it IS her birthday and I want to do what I can to celebrate her.  She is someone who is excited about turning 30 which is so impressive to me.  Every birthday comes no matter what so why not use it as an opportunity to celebrate, right, girlfriend?  Sarah is someone that is extremely dedicated to fitness and overall health and when you are around her, you feel happier just because she is such a positive person.  I know Sarah has gone through some hard times this year, like we all do when we are in this adventure called life.  What has truly impressed me is that she seems stronger, more loving of herself and even more willing to take whatever comes her way. 
A person really does reveal their self confidence in the gym and this chick-a-dee is no exception.  If you have been in class with her she is the one hootin and hollerin that her body is burning all the while pushing herself as hard as she can EVERY TIME.  Even when she was not physically feeling her best this year, she took the time to find her edge that day- and go right there.  I am inspired, LITERALLY INSPIRED, by Sarah.
We all go about our daily business, interacting with people, forming opinions and thoughts.  Taking what we can from each situation.  I am pretty sure Sarah knows that I think she is awesome but she probably doesn't know that she positively impacts my life on a pretty big scale every day I see her.  That is a pretty cool thing.  So today, how do you want to be?  How do you want to live your day?  How do you want to treat people?  I am pretty sure Sarah is going to be making people laugh and smile all day long.  That sounds pretty fun to me.

Here is my Hollenbeck Hardcore workout for this special day.

Warm up your body for at least 3 mins before starting this workout.  Remember I have 8lb. dumbbells at home so that is what I use.  Feel free to modify any of these exercises to find your level of hard.
The beginning of this workout is when your heart rate will be the highest, you will sweat and you should be breathing heavy.  All of the reps are done to the beat of the music, or one count.  Make sure you know the form for these moves.  That is always rule number one.  I was listening to BT Every Other Way and Love Will Kill You.  Find beats similar to that or just a fast pace.

Today is about STRENGTH.

Split lunge with bicep curl 20 curls, switch legs and hold for 20 more curls
One leg balancing airplane row 15, switch legs, 15 again
Assisted Pull ups 15 (if you don't have a pull up bar, just do another set of rows)
Push ups on toes 20
Tricep dips 30
Squat with a dumbbell lat raise 20
you will think I am crazy right here.  Catch your breath and GO, you can do this.
Squat with an X press 20
plank on your elbows 1 min
cobra pose on your mat for 3 long slow breaths
crunches 50
reverse crunches 30
oblique twist with one dumbbell 40
Now back on your feet, lets burn it out!!!  Focus on your muscles that you are working!
bicep curl with dumbbells 50
tricep dips 40
push ups on toes 10 push ups on knees 10
assisted pull ups 15
overhead seated shoulder press 20
plank with arms fully extended 1 min.  really squeeze your belly button to your spine as tight as you can, the entire time. 
jack knife sit ups 20  lay your body long on the mat, then bring your arms to your toes, right up in the air.
calf raises 50, then hold high for 10 seconds, then give me 20 jumps while on your tip toes.  You will have a bend in your knees, get high on the balls of your feet and jump.
hammy curl on soccer ball or other household object 30  lay on your back, feet up on the ball and lift your hips, like a pelvic thrust
leg lifts to when you think you cant go on, then hold for 10 seconds and give me 10 more
inner thigh lift 50, hold for 10
repeat other side
crunches 50
hammy curl on soccer ball 30
Now, the last 10-15 mins of this I did a yoga flow series.  It was like free style yoga and it went something like
Warrior 1, 2, 3 with reverse warrior on either side
I did some balancing like tree, dancer
Then I flowed to the mat for bow pose and stretch.
I want you to just follow your music and your body through a yoga series at the end.  If you really need to you can just find a yoga video on cable or something but the whole point was to just listen to your body and breath and find a practice that feels good.  It was really relaxing and I had Adelle, Counting Crows and Florence and the Machine helping me along.
I felt seriously amazing after this workout today.  I hope you do too and if you do this, please let me know!!!  I know Sarah is going to do this at some point.  She is that supportive voice who tells me how much she appreciates my blog.  It really helps me find the confidence to keep writing. 

I have not done an at home workout for awhile because I have been getting out to get my sweat on.  It felt great and for some crazy reason Dutch was entertaining himself downstairs.  It was amazing.  I had a few pangs of guilt, like, man-I should be playing with him right now.  Then I quickly let those thoughts go because I KNOW I deserved an hour to myself.  I focus every single minute of his waking life on him so I could take an hour without feeling bad.  I coached myself through it.  Namaste!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What NEVER works for Fit Mama....EXTREMES

What Never works for Fit Mama?  EXTREMES.
Before I share exactly what that means, please remember my philosophy.  You need to do what feels good to you and follow that feeling, always.  Trust and listen to your body.
There are a few things I need to rant about today.
I am not a fan of any cleanse that does not include food for a certain number of days.  In fact when I have done a "cleanse" in the past, it only made me HUNGRY, ANGRY, CRANKY, MEAN, UNHAPPY, HUNGRY and HUNGRY.  For me, it has the opposite effect and makes me want to eat anything and everything.  I used to be a cleanse fanatic and would get so excited to drop 12 lbs. in 2 weeks by just drinking shakes and eating nuts "when you really needed to."  UM....mama no likey.  I would lose weight, yes, but in my opinion it was not because my body was releasing toxins.  It was because I was starving myself.  I do understand the health benefits of taking a break from certain things like caffeine, dairy, sugar, processed foods like breads for a limited amount of time.  Sometimes you need to get your groove back, to break addictive habits like eating chocolate after every meal (I am working on, actually, no I am not.  Not today anyway)  I am talking about the shake cleanses, the juice cleanses, the artificial cleanses sold in pretty little packages.  I just worry that powerful marketing for the latest and greatest cleanse is giving people the wrong tools.  I don't think extremes work for the long term and if someone wants to get healthy and change their life, I want them to know they can be just as effective without starving themselves.  You can eat healthy and clean and feel good first.  I really truly believe that if you start inside the body will follow.  It's science.  It's the law's of the Universe.  Start by treating your body kind and loving.  Feed it good foods that make you feel better inside yourself.  Your body will be so happy and will start to show that by trimming down.
I have heard it one too many times.  "I was bad last week so I am going to do two spin classes a day for the next two weeks."  Okay, maybe that is an extreme example but sometimes I think people make exercise a punishment rather than a tool.  I understand falling out of routines for a few days, maybe talking yourself back into the gym.  The thing that can sometimes have the opposite effect on success is going to extreme, then realizing the work is too much, quitting and repeat.  In my own personal experience when I would be hard on myself or cruel, it would affect how I felt in my body.  It would lead me to the wrong place and I would feel guilty so the cycle would continue again.  My advice for creating a fitness routine is finding something you love to do.  Find something you enjoy or something you atleast want to see if you can learn to enjoy.  Do the amount that feels right.  Work as hard as you can in one class so that one class is enough.  I completely understand sometimes a double dip (two classes in a row) is in order, just to see what you are made of or possibly you are feeling super strong that particular night.  That is alot different than...."I was bad so I am going to make myself take two classes in a row."  The punishment always leads to rebellion which means stopping the workouts.  What if you worked out to FEEL GOOD.  Period.  I say it all the time, your body will follow your thoughts every time.  This example is no exception.
I know this one is controversial because for some people, they have no issue with the scale.  It motivates them.  They can weigh themselves and not obsess.  Not Fit Mama.  (for some reason it makes me lol when I do third person Fit Mama)  I don't do the scale.  Once again, I used to.  I used to go NUTSO over it.  I had to learn it didn't work for me.  Simple way to realize what works and what doesn't is to ask yourself some questions......does this make me feel good?  does this help me reach my goals?  does this motivate me or make me feel discouraged?  I have the perfect example to share.  I have an absolutely gorgeous, lean, healthy client who comes to my toughest class.  This woman is a knock out.  She is extremely hard on herself and this week she was upset because she had "gained 3 lbs."  First of all, I don't think she gained the three pounds-I didn't see them anywhere on her and second of all, if she did-they looked great on her.  Did you hear that?  THEY LOOKED GREAT.  She is a scale person like me and has some crazy number in her head, probably from when she was like 21, of what she should weigh.  Why?  Who is the judge?  The judge is how you feel.  This beautiful woman had been working so hard.  She was about to go on vacation and wanted to enjoy how she felt in her bikini.  Because of the 3 lbs. she was not going to allow herself to feel good in a swimsuit.  It killed me but I can understand because I used to do the same thing.  Back in my weight watcher days I would eat as much pudding as I could handle, feel totally gross and awful in my body.  (what IS pudding???) As long as I lost weight that week I would celebrate by eating more pudding, feeling gross.  NO MAKEY SENSEY.

deep breath.  Today I encourage you to find YOUR guidelines.  Not rules- but find what makes you feel successful.  Take inventory on your patterns and evaluate which one's are working.  It all boils down to how you feel.  Every time.  Take a step and start to be aware of how you feel in your body.  Create that connection.  Free yourself from anything that has been holding you hostage to AWESOMENESS. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Don't Forget About Fit Mama 8pm workout

Ay vey.  The past few days have really gotten me.  Life has just been a bit rough and I feel it in my body.  A heaviness, a stress heaviness.  Today was no exception and my workout kept slipping further and further away from me.  When my body feels stress I need to get my sweat on.  Like, BAD.  I am almost like a caged beast and someone bess let mama out of her cage before she go crazy.  Working out just re calibrates all of me. 

Dutch and I had ALOT of fun today.  We had fun from 7am until 8pm, with a nice 2 hour nap in the middle.  The BEST part of the day was from 4-6pm.  Dutch, Vader (Dutch calls him VER-its so cute) and I headed for this park by our apartment.  We ended up finding the RADDEST walking trail in the trees behind the park and all three of us went on a lil hike.  I just absolutely love being in the trees.  I really do think Dutch is athletically advanced.  What 2 year old can hike?  Seriously.  He was grabbing handfuls of mud and throwing it into nothing.  He was using sticks as imaginary swords and fighting battles with someone only he could see.  It was that juicy part of my day where I just felt like I was a cool mom.  Grabbing mud chunks has to balance the chakra's, right?

Today was long and all of a sudden it was 8pm and I had not worked out.  I WAS SO TIRED.  I really didn't think I had anything in me to give to a workout.  I debated just taking a shower and getting in bed to read.  Then I quickly thought how much better that would feel after I worked out.  I decided to just go upstairs with my ipod, leave the boys downstairs, and just see what happened.  If I can get myself to start a workout, I usually find my groove quickly and get into it.  I definitely got a good sweat, my breathe was challenged, my body was working.  I feel really good about it because I was up there for at least 40mins when I planned to only do about 20.  I wouldn't say I felt FABULOUS in my body during the workout but I did release allot of stress and burned allot of cals.  I just mean, I wasn't my normal self and I could feel it but after a long day, just getting that in felt like an accomplishment.

So, here is the Don't Forget About Mama, 8pm workout
jump squat tabata
push ups 20 (on your toes!)
squat thrusts 20
tricep dips 20
high knees 40 (count each knee)
sumo squat with bicep curl 20 (I had 8lbs. in each hand)
weighted squats 40 (I had an 8lb. dumbbell in each hand. using proper form, go as quickly as you can)
Reverse lunge with knee tuck 20 each side (reverse lunge then just bring that same knee into the chest, no plyo here, just move quickly with good form.  tight tummy to get the extra core blast)
one leg balancing row 10 each leg
mountain climbers 40 (count each knee in)
pull ups (if you dont have a pull up bar, just do a row) 20
crunches 40
plank/downward dog tabata  (hold plank when you are 20 secs on, move into down dog in your 10 secs off)
do that whole first round again  (the 13 moves)
core tabata (each 20 secs choose a new core exercise, don't forget the low  back)
definition of tabata-20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nap from God Ice Cream Break

I just had a bowl of soy peanut butter and chocolate ice cream, with a glob of peanut butter on top.  I paired it with a delicous cup of coffee.  Let me tell you, it was amazing.  I decided to give in to this little fantasy after about 2 hours of thinking about it.  I can guaruntee if Dutch was not still sleeping it would not have happened.  I tend to really try to relax when Little D is taking a nap but I don't always do a great job.  Today I just turned on Army Wives on netflix and kept hoping for the relaxed, I am resting, feeling to hit me.  It never did.  I just kept thinking about how tired I was and that ice cream and coffee sounded BOMB.  BOMB.COM. So bomb that they might take away my exhaustion, transport me to a land where my two year old son gives me back rubs and pedicures.  He changes his own diaper and is happy and sweet all day long.  (he is the sweetest most beautiful boy in the world, btw, he still kicks my ass)

So, Dutch is into hour three of his nap from GOD (Naps from God are atleast three hours plus) and I decided to do it.  I knew before I ate this that if it was going to happen I was not allowed to feel guilty.  I would do it.  ENJOY THE HELL OUT OF IT.  And move on. 

There was a time in my life when this little indulgance would have sent me into a depressed spiral of shame but as 34 (almost) year old AMAZING MOM GODDESS CASEY, I am learning to enjoy these moments of delicousness.  Why not?  Really, why not.  I love my body and I love ice cream and I think these two things can go hand in hand.

I also realize if I would have read a book during nap time or actually took a nap myself, I would not have turned to the desert.  Sometimes I make the wrong choice, I act a fool, I over caffenate, I nag my husband.  I am human.  A mom human. 

In this moment I am VERY proud of myself for eating desert in the middle of the day and feeling happy about it.  That is a big accomplishment for me.  I re-learned ( I already knew this) that tv does not relax me at all and when Dutch is taking a nap I need to do things that are good for me.  Being overly tired and MOM'ing all morning makes me want to eat chocolate or peanut butter in any form unless I find some constructive down time for myself.  (I also learned that Army Wives is an awful show that I love to love.  I kind of want to be Roxy and am in love with Matt even though he had that drug problem after he got back from Iraq)

I do kind of have a tummy ache now.  I will remember this tummy ache tomorrow when I am READING my book, sipping my green tea during nap time.

So far, a great day at the office.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Body Image Nirvana, the constant quest

I love myself so much and can't wait to look into the mirror each morning. I thank my body for being so amazing and living with me each day, working hard, supporting me no matter what. AND THEN I WOKE UP. Does anyone out there really feel that way? Is it even possible to be kind to our bodies every day, every second of the day? My guess is that it might always take a level of effort to quiet the negative thoughts when they creep in but I have to believe if I put the intention out there, I can achieve that level of body image nirvana.

I have already come so far in my journey. I could be so cruel within my own mind, even when I was completely beautiful. (Even typing that I used to be completely beautiful makes me cringe for a second but I will carry on, part of the journey) Knowing how far I have come gives me faith that continuing to search for all the love I can find for myself will bring me to a more loving place till the end of time. I want to be 100 years old and loving the hell out of myself. I sometimes daydream of how easy it will be to let all the shit go when I am older than dirt, wrinkled-so the pressure of being beautiful is gone, eating all the desert I can handle because who cares, I am an old lady?! How demented and twisted is that?! I am definitely not going to wait till my old wrinkly, cute granny years to find my self. I know it starts today so whenever I find myself being completely judgemental I ask myself a few questions to snap myself out of it:

What would you say to Kelly (my bff) if she was thinking these things about herself? The answer here is always the same. I would tell her she was nuts and that she is gorgeous and fantastic and AMAZING!!!

What does Chad (hubs) think of you? He is constantly telling me I am beautiful (cringe again) and he loves me so much. Why am I being so mean to myself when I am married to an amazing man who thinks I am gorgeous?

What would I do if I heard my lil sis picking on herself? This one REALLY gets me. I love my sister so much and I never want her to struggle with judging how she looks. She is completely and totally gorgeous and I want her to know that every day all day. I want her to step into her power and own that hot bod. Feel confident and free. Women in this world rarely do that as much as they should.

When I think about the women in my life I honestly can't think of a single woman who does not pick on themselves regarding their looks. Not one. How is that possible?! They are all so beautiful in different ways. Why in the world are they not celebrating that every damn day? I would love to blame the media, tv, magazines, all of the evil tools out there that don't help the case. But really.....we are the one's picking up the mags. We are the one's who watch the tv shows that lead to self doubt. We are the one's comparing ourselves, deciding the airbrushed reality star is who we should look like. How about we all stop that today? I am not kidding. Let's make it simple. It might be a conscious effort everyday to let the negative thoughts go but let's start with today. One day at a time. Wake up and look ourselves in the mirror, tell ourselves we are gorgeous. I am going to stop typing to go to the mirror right now.

***Looking in the mirror, saying sweet nothings***

Okay, that was actually quite fantastic. Even if you may not believe the words now, keep saying them. You never know when your perspective will change. Let's all be in charge of finding as much love for our bodies as we can. This has to start now. Not 10lbs. from now. Not when you get to your goal weight. Of coarse you can still want to lose a few pounds but why not start loving your body while you are on your journey, even if you want to lose 100 lbs?

What sparked this intense rant? I had an amazing workout with a room full of super hot, fun women last night. There were three Instructors in that class and afterwards we were discussing how we feel in our bodies. I was SHOCKED to hear the other ladies describe what they were focusing on during class. It was nothing major but there was some negative in there. I was watching them in class thinking I wanted to BE them. I was in the same boat, staring myself down, going through a mix of thoughts like- "dang, my guns look good-to-man, I would look so much better if I could just shed a layer of fat- to- Man, look at HER, she is doing this so much better than I am." My brain was all over the place and the other ladies had the same experience. We all confirmed that we thought the others were crazy. They had the same game playing in their brain. It was like a science experiment into the female brain. The conclusion-every single woman I know is way too hard on themselves, myself included.

Deep breath.

The good news is, we are all in charge of this. Let's keep truckin, keep finding the love, keep surrounding ourselves with people who support us. I am so proud of how far I have come in my journey and it will never stop. Today I am going to be kind to me. When I look in the mirror I am going to smile and say thank you. When I pick up my heavier than hell son and throw him around, I am going to be proud of my strength. When I hear a negative thought I am going to observe it and quickly let it go. Small steps matter. Let's support eachother, girls. Get our power back.

There is so much to this message but for now, I want to focus here. I hope that being open and honest about this helps someone else realize they are not alone in their struggles. Whether you feel you have far to go or are on your path, I appreciate you. I support you. Now go look in the mirror and say something amazing! If you are ready for the next step, START BELIEVING IT!!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Spiderman Sneak Attack Workout

Today was one of those days that was just so awesome I feel like a zombie right now. It is only 8pm. I mom'd my ass off and I am exhausted. I did get my workout in today, which is always an accomplishment. Dutch, Vader and I took ourselves to the park to see what we could come up with. I knew I wanted cardio today and I am very happy that I got it. It was misty raining out this morning, but we still went for it. Misty rain is great when you want to workout at the park because the place is usually empty. Today of all days, everyone had my idea. We usually walk to Grass Lawn park which is uphill pretty much the whole way. I clocked it today and it took us 17 minutes. We usually just hop on an empty field and do some sprints, burpees and whatever else sounds fun. When we got there and saw everyone and their mama on the fields, we came up with plan B. I figured we could run around the track even though there was kids soccer practice going on. Fun, right? mmmmm, fun for one lap before Dutch decided he didn't want to be on that rainy track, watching the other kids do cool soccer moves.

No problem! Time for Plan C. We all just started walking around the park and did a bit of exploring. I strategically had us walk past the play structure, looking at the AMAZING trees and grass (distraction so Dutch would not want to go on the wet slide and detour my workout) right to the tippy top of the park. I could not belive Dutch got back in his stroller willingly but it happened so away we went. We just kept walking as fast as I could power walk up to Bridle Trails which is about another 10 mins up hill. Not bad! My body was enjoying the power walk. I usually go so hard core that today I was diggin on the low core. But then I wanted to sweat. SO! We did a nice jog home and I still felt like I had some mojo. I have never taken Dutch into our apartment complex workout room and today was his day. I told him we were going to see a MAGIC, HIDDEN room and it would be so cool! The gym is not bad at all and has the basics. There is also a flat screen tv to entertain the Dutch man. I got in atleast 10 mins of hard core elliptical before he started to go nuts. I did pick him up and elliptical with him which he thought was hilarious. We then moved to the treadmill and I actually jogged with him in my arms for a minute. Not really that cool although again, he thought it was awesome.
By the time I got back home we had been out and about doing our workout adventure for over an hour and a half! I will take it!

We never really stopped the action today and went on many little adventures including fro yo and Juanita Beach. Two year olds are so crazy because one minute they are the light of your life, bringing you so much joy, then its time to go home and they become DEMON CHILD.

You will see my little angel playing on the beach, so peaceful.
Right after this innocent picture he ran into the water, up to his knees. Managed to cover himself in sand. Chase some ducks. When I told him it was time to go he FAAAAREAKED out. He was the kid kicking and screaming, begging me to let him stay. Homie don't play that, Dutch.

Being a mom all day and night for the rest of my life (doesn't that blow your mind, sometimes?!) is something I am fully in love with but at the same time, can just wipe me out. I understand how people can put exercise off or think they are too tired. That is when I encourage you to find things the whole family can do or atleast find something you love, that makes you feel good. I appreciated Dutch as a workout partner today and I love that feeling of accomplishment after a good workout.

I will also share that my baby is not in a crib anymore. On an impulse I tore that sucker down today and just decided it was time Dutch had a bed (which is a mattress on the floor right now cuz I was kinda crazy and did this with no plan). It was such a surreal moment. My a bed. Or atleast not a crib. Even typing this right now and picturing his little body on that bed like such a big boy makes my eyes water a bit. I am so proud of him and who he is.
Kids really do grow up so fast. Before you know it they are out of the house and you are back with just you. It is so important to make sure you know who that is. Its okay to take the time to remember yourself when you are mom'ing your ass off. It's okay to continue to sneak in time for yourself when you need it, whether its for a workout or just to close your eyes and breathe. Make sure you are looking out for yourself, ladies. You are allowed to love yourself too.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hunger Games on a Bike

I had the privledge of teaching two Hunger Games themed flycycle classes last week. ( People LOVE these books and the characters and I didnt want to let them down! I wanted to do this class to allow us "ADULTS" to have a little fun. Play pretend and get inside our imagination. The soundtrack to the movie came out the day of the first ride. The songs were very slow, dark, mysterious, almost sad. This not a traditional soundtrack for a cycling class but I knew the magic would be there.
I had to rely on the people in class to make this an EPIC experience. If they were willing to play along and go INSIDE themselves, this was going to be amazing.

Both classes WERE AWESOME!
I stayed pretty traditional to the soundtrack with the first group. It was a heavy and dark ride and they were able to go inside themselves and find the work. I felt comfortable telling stories and quotes from the book and we even had some trivia! My favorite prize was (Dave's Killer) bread from District 11. (Get it?!)

I threw in some faster songs for the second group because I knew atleast one person was doing this for the second time. It worked out perfectly because this group was definately a bit sassy. They were fired up and ready to have fun. A few of them were going to the midnight premier and they came into the class excited for anything Hunger Games.

I personally loved all three books and can understand why people are creating and looking for Hunger Games workouts. The story is so powerful, suspensful and full of hope. People want to connect to the characters as much as they can, wherever they can. When the books are over you are kind of left with.......whatever you can find. The movie, a workout, a book club, maybe even a mockinjay pin. (I saw these in my class!)
I had both classes write down a quality about Katniss that got her through the first Hunger Games. I loved what they came up with!:

Strong Athlete

I do think everyone has a little bit of Katniss inside of them. You can choose to tap into that Katniss power or not. If she can battle to the death against all odds, we can do whatever we set our minds to, right? That is all she did. She DECIDED how it was all going to go down. She was rarely weak minded and usually had goals and a plan of action. She was willing to adapt to her situation and even when everything was against her, she never let herself be a victim.
The odds were NEVER in her favor and yet she became the Mockinjay.

I hope this story and the hype behind it keeps going for awhile. It helps us all remember Katniss and helps us connect. I know she is a fictional character in a book but we are all just as strong as the story we tell ourselves. In every situation.
WHEW! All this Katniss talk makes me want to go throw some sand bags or run some sprints.
Happy Hunger Games!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Burning the Mommy Uniform

That is it. I am having a fashion intervention for myself. Moms, how comfortable and safe does it feel in your sweats with your hair pulled back, lookin like maybe you have some relaxing to do? Maybe your kid is kicking your ass and it feels nice to be comfortable while it happens? Makes sense if I am working out in the afternoon to just wear workout clothes all day long. How practical of me?! Right? Very wrong. I have always felt very out of place when it came to fashion. I have always told myself, it really doesn't interest me and I don't even really know what my personal style is. I have never felt like I had any so I would avoid it at all costs. Shopping makes me beyond uncomfortable and almost depressed. I don't know how to shop or how to even put articles of clothing into a style so I just don't do it.

I started to realize this really needed to change. What did I just learn from Tony Robbins on Oprah? That we all have a story we tell ourselves about our lives. We need to make sure we like the story we are telling. This can apply to fashion! I WANT to rewrite my story and help myself find some sense of style. I realize it's not that I don't have an interest in fashion, I just avoid it. Deep down I do care but it scares the crap out of me. I need to believe it's possible and know I can do it. You may be reading this and thinking....she is thinking WAY too much about this. It's just clothes!!! Fashion is bigger than that to me. It is my fear. My phobia. One of my major insecurities. I think it's time I kick this insecurity in it's ass. If I am coaching people to get past their fitness fears, I need to look my fashion fear in the face.

Something clicked when I was speaking with my boss at work last night. I was telling her I needed to either get a superfly makeover or someone needed to send in an application in my honor for that show, WHAT NOT TO WEAR. I confessed some of my awful fashion NO NO's and she said something that really struck me. "You have to realize that you are worth the effort." OH NO SHE DI-IN'T. She was totally right. I am always on a mission to find love for myself and this is a category where I need to get uncomfortable. (Zone 3 in flycycle land) I am constantly telling my students to get out of their comfort zone, go beyond where you think your body can go, surprise yourself. I realize I need to practice what I preach, not just in fitness-where I feel safe pushing my limits. I need to do this with my everyday fashion too.

Again, you may be thinking-this girl lives in her head way too much. Actually, I do, but that is beside the point. I did something radical today and it felt amazing. I showered and I put on makeup AND JEANS all before 9am. My usual routine is to throw on my "mom uniform" which is workout stretchy pants and a hoodie. I do my fave hairstyle which my husband tells me looks like Tom Cruise in the movie Magnolia. Then I rock the day. BLAM BLIGGITY. After taking the time to actually care about my appearance and value being a beautiful woman, I felt better today. Things seemed to feel really good and I was way more proud being me. I am not saying all mom's have to look smokin hot everyday and get all done up, although I am sure dad's would love that. I am just recognizing a pattern in my life that needs to change because it would make me feel better. I felt so good I took pics with Dutch to share with my fit mama's. I know how mom's can put themselves LAST, VERY LAST, in most categories and my whole mantra is to value yourself because it sets a great example for your kids. So this is my declaration to give myself a new story. I am now a fashion Goddess and I plan to find my own personal sense of style.

First challenge as a fashionista. Sorority girl shot with the hands on the hips, looking over the shoulder. I think this pose came out way after 2000 when I graduated from my sorority days. When would I ever get the chance to embrace the pose, especially with no fashion sense??? I decided to do it at home, with Dutch and Vader standing by. ME: "oh hey---I am just casually turning around and looking awesome. I didn't realize you were there."

Who's your sexy mommy? Oh.........that's me.

NO MORE, Tom. NO MORE. Well, atleast not before 8pm.

So where are the patterns in your life you WANT to change? What stories do you tell yourself that need a revamp? If Casey Phillips can find fashion, YOU can do anything you set your mind to. I can promise you that.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mama Ain't Tired-Rally Time workout

Dutch and I had quite the day today. It was crazy pouring rain outside and yet we had to get out. My family has one car so if I want to use it, I have to take the bus or walk to get it from my husband's work. It is a quick ten minute walk or five minute bus ride but when its pouring cats and dogs outside, it can feel like forever. The weather has been so bad that Dutch and I have chillaxed inside for two days too many. We had to get out today, plus we had a date with some homies for library story time. We went for it. There were times of joy, times of frustration, laughs, tears (his, not mine) and fun. All in a day's work, right moms?? Needless to say I was smoked! So tired! I really wanted to workout though because I created a fun workout and wanted to finally make a video. I was in lazy mode after our adventures and I had to pull myself out of it. I did, and my video is proof! I am so glad that I did. The workout I am going to share is SUPER hard or at least it should be. Like any at home workout, you will need to create the intensity for yourself. Feel free to wear your most ghetto at home workout gear, like I did. Grab your timer and dumbbells and get your sweat on. I created my first video and I have to say, it was super fun. I watched it back and cringed a little. It's hard to watch yourself on camera and I felt like a total dork. I am posting it anyways because it's real. I also think seeing me demo the exercises will make you realize we are doing this together.

Alright peeps, here ya go:

Mama Ain't Tired-Rally Time workout

warm up your body for at least 3 mins before you start this.

Do each exercise for 1 minute. Repeat this set of exercises 3x and BAM! 39 minutes of work and you are smoked like bacon!

1. Jump knee tuck alternating with a push up
2. curtsy squat with a one dumbbell shoulder press, Right side
3. balancing airplane rows, Right leg up
4. plank with knee to opposite elbow
5. curtsy squat with a one dumbbell shoulder press, Left side
6. balancing airplane rows, Left leg up
7. sumo squat with bicep curls
8. triceps kick back alternating with a squat thrust
9. Knee in's Right
10. Knee in's Left
11. Reverse lunge with a hop up Right
12. Reverse lunge with a hop up Left
13. Mountain climbers

I was literally dying at the end of this. I am also cracking up because you can hear me telling my hubs how to film the shots I needed. I kept telling him "okay, babe, enough" because I was to my max! The thing that was keeping me going was knowing I was sharing this with all of you. If three rounds seems crazy, then do as many as you feel you need. This is your workout so you might need to change it up a bit. Maybe doing the push ups on your knees or take mini rests throughout the work. You are working to your level of hard so celebrate that and rock on. If anyone does this workout or wants to make fun of my video, I love your comments. LOVE COMMENTS!!!

Here is the link to my video, y'all. Next time I will learn how to upload it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Diva Within-finding your passion

You know who I was dressed up as, right? Tina Turner. I LOVE dressing up with a little bit of crazy thrown in. My wig was that crazy and it felt good. Amanda and I taught a Flycycle Diva ride the other night which was a cycling class for women only-AKA-diva's. We jammed to Cher, Lady Gaga, Tina, Beyonce and many more. As I am posting these pictures I realize how incredibly proud of myself I am for taking risks in my life. I can't believe I am actually teaching alongside an Instructor of Amanda's caliber. I am shocked at the love and comfort I have found within my teaching style. A year ago I was working a corporate job contemplating finally going after a fitness career. Something I was too afraid to go after for the last 12 years. Looking back, I can't imagine not doing this. It completes me in so many ways. I am sharing this because so many people are afraid to take risks, especially when it comes to a career. So many people hate their jobs and loathe Mondays, this has become the rule rather than the exception. For me, sometimes my job is what keeps me sane after a day with my crazy yet fantastic, kid. I want everyone to know they can have a job they love as long as they believe that. I say time and time again in my cycling classes, "Believe you can do it and you will." This does not just apply to the bike, my friends.

If I would have stayed in my "safe" job, I would have traded my passion for a 9 to 5 that made me feel "LESS THAN." I remember days feeling so undervalued and overlooked that I started to doubt myself. I remember waking up and dreading the work ahead of me and just going through the motions. I would get home from a long day's work and just feel my negativity. I am so grateful for the time I spent doing a job that was "just okay" because it has given me a broader perspective. My biggest point is-TRUST YOURSELF. Deep down I knew I was in the wrong place but it was buried by fear, big time. I almost ignored it. I didn't hate what I was doing but I definately didn't love it and that was very clear.

Sometimes just asking yourself the right questions can open up your eyes.

1. Do you get excited to go to work?
2. Do you feel passion for the work you are doing?
3. Does your job bring out the best in you?
4. Does it seem weird that you get paid to do your job since you love it so much?
5. Do your career goals excite you to the max?

I can honestly answer yes to all of the above. I want everyone reading this to know you can have that same feeling and let me tell you, ITS FABULOUS!

Now, how about finding your passion? I know there are alot of people who think that is a really hard thing to pinpoint. I was one of them, although I am shocked because fitness was always my favorite thing in the world.
Here are some questions to get you thinking:

1. What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
2. What brings you joy?
3. If you could get paid a million dollars a year to have any job in the world, what would that job be. Don't hold back here.
4. Think of someone who has your dream job and pretend that is what you do everyday. Do you feel excited, tingly, have goose bumps?
5. What are you naturally really good at? (Do you ever get compliments on a talent or hobby and shrug it off? For example, I used to try to get my friends together to do workouts in the park. My little sis used to let me pretend to be her trainer when we went to the gym.)

You can really listen to your reaction and thoughts to these questions or you can ignore them completely. There is never a right or a wrong choice, but there is always a choice. The road to your dream job may not be easy but if there is passion and a decision to go for it no matter what-it will be there. That is the law of the Universe.

So.....what'll it be?
Sometimes a good workout helps me clear my head. What about you?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mommy just threw her food journal away....then ate a piece of dark chocolate guilt free

A client of mine, we will call her Rene, sent me an email last week letting me know that someone in her office gave her a really nice compliment. They said whatever she was doing, was working, she looked amazing. Rene forwarded the email to me to allow me to get the credit for pushing her in her workouts. I always tell my students that they are the one's doing the work, I am just there as a guide. Rene pushes herself incredibly well. She goes after EVERY workout and looks like an athlete in every class. Rene and I had a training session a few days later and I let her know I was so proud of her, not only for that email, but because she does look awesome and has worked SO HARD. The first sentence out of her mouth was, "it was a really nice email but I haven't been food journaling and I just don't think I have been totally on track."
I wanted to support Rene in whatever journey she wanted to go on so I suggested we food journal together. I said I would do it if she would- and I don't do food journals. Rene seemed to like that idea so I went with it. I know she works well with challenges and kind threats (I told her if she didn't complete her food journal and give it to me in a week, her next workout would be HELL) so this idea seemed like the right one at the time. I could tell Rene liked the plan.
When I got home later that day, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. This was my idea!??
I eat very healthy and I am finally to a point in my life when I feel really confident about what I put into my body. Its not always kale and oatmeal but its usually the right balance for me. I listen to the feeling I have in my body when I am eating (this is not always perfect, especially when you have a 2 year old) as my guide. I listen to my tummy, feel the energy the food provides and don't think about it too much. I LOVE not thinking about food all the time because I definitely used to be a slave to healthy eating. That sucked. Period.
I started to question my little food journal idea with Rene. Why did I suggest something that I don't even believe in? It might be right for her and she may benefit from food journaling but I realize that I suggested it because that is what alot of smart fitness people say, it's not my idea.
As the week of food journaling went on, I felt more and more uncomfortable whenever I ate. I found myself thinking about food WAY too often, not listening to my body as much and not enjoying my food. I like to eat and move on. I don't like to eat, analyze what I ate, stare at the choices I have made, judge myself based on what I ate....that is what happens in my brain when I food journal.
I understand the idea behind it is to be aware of what you are eating and to make healthy choices, to hold yourself accountable. I am sure for alot of people, the food journal method is a fabulous choice. I just want people to know it doesn't have to be. If it doesn't work for you or doesn't feel authentic then screw it. Tear it up. Throw it away. Do something else. I used to beat myself up if something that "works for everyone else" didn't work for me. I used to think, "I cant food journal, I am a failure, I am a let down, its hopeless." Dramatic, I know, but really-this girl used to be the queen of being really mean to herself. I can look at it now and think........I don't BELIEVE THAT. I don't. If you are reading this and you suck at food journaling and you don't feel good doing it. too. Lets stop. Lets stop and find something else. BELIEVE in your instincts. Don't do what you think you are supposed to. Create your own tools and love them. ahhhhhhhh, feels so much better.
So what does work for me? INTUITIVE EATING. Eating slowly, sitting down at the table, tasting the food. Asking myself if I am hungry and how will this food affect my energy levels or my workout. Setting a good example for my family and trying new things. If that sounds like a recipe for disaster, I am so glad you know yourself well enough to make that observation. What feels best to you? Trust that, always.
I wish I would have said things differently to Rene. Instead of "let's rock that food journal." I wish I would have said, "You know what, you need to accept the awesome compliments you are getting. Your homework this week is to ACCEPT and feel every single compliment you receive." That should have been our first step.
Time to use your instincts, your gut instincts, to plan your own journey. Lets rock.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Kid is Watchin a Movie Like a Zombie BOMB DIGGITY WORKOUT

I found the best kept workout secret for moms in the WORLD! Drum roll please..... The movie Puss in Boots. We purchased the movie a few days ago and Dutch is in LOVE with it. I am confident that if Chad and I dressed up like bears, danced around the living room with drums, and howled like maniacs, Dutch would not even blink. I personally think this is awesome. I feel lucky in the sense that Dutch can get hooked on movies pretty easily. I think of this as advanced intelligence. He is so smart he "gets" the movies that are well beyond his years, right?! Yes, my child is a genius. But really, if you need a distraction, movies can be amazing, atleast for my kid.
I told myself I was going to wake up and go to the 6am class at Fly yesterday. I pretty much knew that wouldnt happen when I was still awake at 11pm. If there is any "maybe" in a decision for a 6am class, that is usually a failed mission. I know for me, I have to tell myself 100%, all in, no doubts, wake up. It is hard to do that now when I know I have the whole day, therefore I did not wake up at 6am. I have been noticing that my desire to workout when Dutch goes for a nap is really low, but I did already know that. When he naps, I want to watch Gossip Girl on Netflix, drink some coffee, sit down and put my feet up. I feel really energetic and I WANT to workout usually at about 11am. I did that yesterday to make up for my 6am no show and it was BOMB DIGGITY!!! Probably because I have the energy from breakfast and a snack in my belly. So-I have done this a few times now-put on Puss in Boots, rock and roll into my workout. Don't worry, Dutch and I do plenty of other fun, non TV activities after I getter done.
I am super sore today and I think that is the coolest thing ever. I love that I did this to myself in my own living room!
I named the workout that I did yesterday, The Sexy Sixy. I led my Organized Chaos class on Tuesday night through most of this workout and they sure did have me fooled. I had no idea how hard this would be. As soon as I started this workout at home, I realized the women who train at Fly Fitness are frickin STRONG! They made it look so smooth and flawless! I knew they were working hard but dang, this had me dripping with sweat and huffing and puffing.

We are going to do 6 sets of work with 6 exercises in each set going from cardio to strength. Do each exercise for 1 minute, no breaks. If you need to catch your breath in any of the work, do it and get back to it as quickly as you can. You can take about 30 seconds in between sets to walk it off, take a sip of water, feed your kid some lunch.

Start with a Dynamic warm up for about 4 minutes.

Set 1
1. jumping jacks
2. burpees with push up
3. high knees
4. reverse lunges with hop ups Left
5. reverse lunges with hop ups Right
6. lateral squat jumps (legs are together and its almost like you are skiing down a slope. Just jump side to side, keeping the legs together, getting as low as you can.)

Set 2
1. push ups
2. up and down plank (start on your hands and feet, then come down to your elbows, push back up to your hands and repeat)
3. dive bombers
4. moving plank (start center, then move to a side plank on right, back to center, side plank on left, holding each side plank for a full breath)
5. Bent over Rows (8lbs)
6. slow burpees with 8lb dumbbels and push ups

Set 3
1. jump squats
2. mountain climbers
3. mary katherines
4. big jump squat forward, two little jumps back
5. jumping jacks
6. high knees

Set 4
1. butt in the air push ups (start in downward dog then do push ups right there. basically a decline push up)
2. tricep dips
3. plank
4. sumo squat with a bicep curl (I used my 8's)
5. sump squats swinging both weights up like a kettlebell ( I remember this point when I was teaching class. One of my all stars was like-DANG! This is heavy and hard!!! I coached her through it and told her to keep going. I now realize how hard this actually was. I wanted to go down in weight but knew I could do it. Stay with it if you can! PUSH YOURSELF!!)
6. chair pose

Set 5
1. Single hops on right leg (just bend your left leg so you can just hop on your right foot. Your calves will be on FIYA!)
2. Single hops on left leg
3. In and Out squat jumps
4. plank jacks
5. mountain climbers
6. high knees

Set 6 -only set where we do reps rather than working for a minute
1. pull ups 15 (I used my pull up bar, you can sub rows here if needed)
2. split leg bicep curls 15, switch legs, 15 - 30 total
3. lateral raises 25 (8lbs)
4. pull ups 15
5. butt ups (I used my sons little chair, put my feet on it, laid on my mat and lift that booty.)
6. Boat pose -30 seconds to a minute, as long as you can

Whew! That was a crazy good time!!! I really did love it and was happy when I was done. If anyone does this workout, I want to hear about it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chase Dat Kid Workout

When it's not raining, us Seattlites need to take advantage and get outside. You can see the field where Dutch and I worked out today. It was kind of spur of the moment, I had my workout clothes on and we headed out for an adventure. It started with visiting Chad for a cup of joe in the sunshine. He loved visiting his dad, then Dutch and I just started walking on the trail behind Chad's work. We ended up at this huge field by the Redmond library and the police station. It was perfect because there were lots of big ledges for tricep dips, decline push ups, explosive jumps, step ups and whatever else I could think of. I started just jogging the field and Dutch thought we were playing tag. Depending on what direction he went, I just did what I could and made it up as I went. I would do push ups, squat jumps, burpees and the other moves that I could think of with the ledge. There was no rhyme or reason, no magic number of reps. I just did what I could until he started to run away from me then I just chased him as part of the workout. I ran the field with him in my arms a few times (just like a sandbag only this sandbag was either cracking up or whining) which was actually really challenging. I tried to distract him with dirt piles to kick or grates to bang on that made a cool noise. He was never distracted for very long but I was able to get a good sweat and get my heart rate up.

I did not have a stroller with me because we had taken the bus down to Chad's work. That meant workout part 2 was walking home carrying Dutch most of the way. The gnarly part was going up Redmond Way (big incline) with my 40lb. D-Money in my arms. I kept having to switch my grip so both biceps were burning, not just one. I will say this was not the best on my back, I was feeling it by the time I got home but it was really fun. We played "touch the tree" on the walk home to distract him from squirming. We also pointed out birds, buses, cars and people. It felt really good to be outside getting creative with my baby boy. I finished it up with Scooby Doo (distraction tool) and abs when I got home.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I love my body. I am serious. What do you think of when I say that? I am curious? I think our society has tried to train us to hate our bodies and doubt ourselves so that we can buy more, need more. What I realized and have been going over in my mind is that for once in my life, I am totally and completely proud and in love with my body. I hope that by writing this and sharing how I feel will help others do the same or possibly give them permission to CHANGE how they feel about themselves. Let it be okay to be happy and loved. Every single person deserves this feeling because we are all amazing just because we exist. I just got super deep right there, but I am serious. It was not an easy journey to get to this realization. There were many many years that I did not feel this way. In fact, I probably hated my appearance for a number of stupid reasons that I completely imagined up in my head. BUT this is the first time in my life that I actually love myself, inside and out. Sure, sometimes I pick on myself or get into negative thinking but I make a decision to be concious of that, to redirect that, to be in charge of my thoughts. I have been on a journey to find peace and the key to that has been love. Every time. So, my question is, do you love yourself and is that okay? Do you want to live in a happy body that feels respected and appreciated? Seriously, what if your body was a seperate being, like your best friend. (If you think about it, your body does a whole heck of a lot more than anyone or anything else in your life) What if everyday, day in and day out you were hurtful, negative and mean to your best friend? Saying things like, you are so ugly, lazy, you could never do that, why are you so fat, ugh, you are just gross. How would that feel? Horrible! Just typing those statements got me feeling all not good. How would your body react? Negatively. Then please tell me why someone who says they are happy with themselves, they love themselves, why does society try to make them feel conceited, less than, egotistical? We are all in charge of how we react to things and how we feel about things. That is where the power lies.

The main reason I love teaching fitness classes is helping people find respect and love for their bodies. There are days I position the bikes so that people are forced to look themselves in the eye. I am shocked when an ENTIRE class of beautiful, fit women have trouble doing that. I have also seen a room that starts out avoiding eye contact in the mirror, open up to it- and realize its safe and actually pretty cool. I LOVE THAT! I want the world to know that it can be okay to completey and totally love who you are, no matter what. How did I come to this realization? It really started with setting a goal for myself because I needed something. I have been writing it down for atleast the last 5 years and that is-- I want to have a healthy and happy relationship with my body. That has been my goal for awhile because I was really struggling. Part of me didn't even believe I would ever really accomplish that goal but I knew I would never stop trying to find my path.

Let me break it down for you:
In high school I was completely insecure and so worried about being liked. I had little self respect although there was a little bit hiding in there somewhere. Of corse this lack of self confidence showed itself in my behavior and relationships.
College- I started to really love working out and lost alot of weight the summer before I started WSU but I was a little too obsessed with being HOT. I was way too concerned with the scale and being skinny with little regard to how I was feeling in my body. I had confidence but not inward. I remember thinking, "I hope I can lose weight and look really good and then I will get a fresh start. No one will know who I really am or that I am not cool at all." I decided my self worth based on how I fit into my pants or looked in the party pics. I really didnt realize how far off I was, I thought I was rockin it. oh boy, I had a long way to go.
Late twenties were a mix of finding more of myself and still struggling with my insecurities. I was too busy getting my party on, hiding behind alcohol and trying to figure out who I was after college, to even slow down and form a relationship with myself, although this is when I started to open my eyes. I started to want more.
Dont get me wrong- I was never a bad person and I had a great time through all of this, my point is, I was not proud of my body during any of those years, no matter what I looked like. That is when I had the beauty of youth on my side but no matter how I looked, I felt ugly and obsessed because of my head space.

At 33 years old I have never felt healthier in my life. I am 15 pounds heavier than my college days, I have had a baby and I am far from perfect but I LOVE myself. I have learned how to find the mind body connection and focus on how I feel rather than how I look. I do think I look great and I want that to be okay. I feel strong when I exercise, I LOVE food and am so happy that I finally know how to eat without feeling too full. I can carry my 40 lb child through the grocery store AND push that TOTALLY LAME cart that looks like a car. I eat desert quite often and love my carbs but I want to feed my body healthy foods because it feels so much better. It feels awesome to be inside a body that is healthy, strong and loved. My perspective and my mind have created this love and acceptance for my body, not the way I eat or how I workout although of corse that matters. It had to start in my mind and my heart before anywhere else. Once I let go of trying to do things to look good or fit into someone else's standards, I found what I had always love myself and my body no matter what. Funny how once you let go the magic happens. Once the love is there you want to eat better, exercise, see what you can accomplish.

I hope anyone who is reading this who feels lost or would like to change their perpsective, realizes you can, 100%. What if you started just by setting a goal for yourself? What is it you really want and how do you want to feel inside your own body? That might just start a chain reaction into motion that can guide you wherever you want to go.