Since I’ve started teaching morning boot camps, I’ve had so many people tell me that they just can’t wake up that early. (“That” meaning early enough to attend a 5:30am Camp Gladiator Boot Camp. If you just shuddered at the thought of that, keep reading.) Well, I beg to differ, so I thought I’d put together a quick list of tips that will help you transform yourself into a “morning workout person.” And believe me when I say, this comes from the heart. I don’t necessarily “love” mornings, but I have taught myself how to become one of those morning people!

1. Set Your Alarm

I know what you’re thinking…”duh”…but there’s more to it than just setting one alarm. Set your alarm the night before with just enough time to eat something light*, grab what you need and head out the door. If you allow yourself more time than you need, you will likely hit snooze and potentially sleep through the workout. Then, set a back-up alarm for about 2 minutes after the first alarm, in case you accidentally hit “snooze.” Make sure it’s something “alarming”, pun intended so that it really wakes you up! Lastly, you can always set your alarm across the room from you, forcing you to actually get out of bed to turn it off. Once your out of bed, STAY out of bed! Don’t go back there!

2. Prep the Night Before

Before you hit the hay, lay out everything you need, so that you don’t have to overtax your already not fully functioning brain early in the morning. Set out what you’re going to wear and anything you need to bring with you. I even go so far as to put everything I need to remember to take with me (that I’m not actually wearing) in the car the night before so that I can’t forget to grab it. I set a banana out as well, and as soon as that alarm goes off, I drink a good 8 ounces of water, have my banana, then start getting ready. This way, by the time I arrive at my destination, my banana is digested and I’m ready to work out! The less you have to think in the morning, the better your chances are for getting out of the house successfully!

3. Do It More Often Than Not

Consistency is key here. If waking up early is difficult for you, try to do it as often as possible. You give yourself a better chance of being successful if you do it more often. Try to change your sleep schedule so that more days than not you are going to bed early and waking up early. If you try to wake up early one day, then sleep in the next, etc., your body will never get used to the schedule and it actually becomes much more taxing on your body. Even on days where you aren’t working out, try to wake up at a reasonable hour so that it makes it easy for your body to continue your new schedule. Also, give it 21-30 days. It takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so commit to waking up early and going to bed early for at least 3 weeks. And of course, be sure you are getting to bed early too. Insufficient sleep will not make you a happy camper when that alarm goes off! Do what you need to do to eat dinner earlier, bathe the kids earlier, etc.

4. Recruit a Partner in Crime

Misery loves company, so recruit a friend to join you in your morning workouts. Although at first you will likely be complaining to each other about how tired you are, soon you will realize that this partner in crime is actually your accountability partner, and is equally important to your success in becoming a morning camper. I highly recommend carpooling with your accountability partner. Knowing someone is coming to your house to pick you up is a huge motivator for getting out of bed and even more so if you’re the driver that day! You can’t bail on your partner!

5. Reward Yourself

Enjoy the rest of the day thinking about how your workout is already completed, and the day is yours! Alternately, the guilt you feel when you miss your morning workout is extremely heavy—and even heavier if that’s your only opportunity to workout all day!

*Note: Eating prior to the workout is important. If you are in the process of trying to become a morning camper, just get something light in you prior to the workout. Something like a banana, a Larabar, some oatmeal, etc. (full or half) are good, quick, light items that provide glucose for your brain and muscles to perform properly. Failing to eat prior to working out will leave you lightheaded and not feeling well. Also, what does your body use for fuel if you haven’t eaten anything? You’re likely to break down muscle instead of building it. As your workouts progress and depending on your body, you will likely need to eat something more substantial. This post is just to give you ideas on how to start small and work your way up!

I am humbled, proud and excited to finally OFFICIALLY announce that I am one of the newest Primary Trainers with Camp Gladiator! Now that my location has been nailed down, I can give everyone all of the details you need to put this on your calendars, share with friends, family, loved ones and strangers and of course SHOW UP TO CAMP!

I have been running boot camps for quite some time now, and I have to say, this opportunity is truly an amazing one! This company is filled with so many positive and influential people, I’m so excited to become part of this movement! I also couldn’t be happier to work for owner and American Gladiator Grand Champion, Ally Davidson. I met Ally several years ago, when we both took the same boxing boot camp class. She later went on to win American Gladiator, started CG here in Dallas then moved to Austin, and I went on to eventually teach that same boxing boot camp class (along with about a dozen others), move the ‘burbs, etc., so it’s truly awesome that our paths are crossing again. Now that I’ve moved to the suburbs of Dallas, I am so excited to be able to bring my knowledge, passion and enthusiasm to the Frisco/Plano community through CG! And it all starts next week!

If you’ve taken classes of mine before, they’ve likely been in the downtown Dallas area. However, I’ve recently made the move to the suburbs where I know…no one! That’s where you come in. I desperately need your help spreading the word to the Frisco/Plano community that there is a new CG location in the area ready to take their health and fitness to the next level! If you have family, friends, coworkers, etc. in the North Dallas area, please share this post with them and let’s get them to attend my FREE Preview week happening Tuesday, 4/16 and Thursday 4/18 at 5:30am at the Sports Authority in Frisco! (Camp officially starts Tues 4/23).

Info on Camp Gladiator

Camp Gladiator is the best outdoor fitness experience in the nation. No, seriously. It is a four week adult boot camp that provides a motivating and challenging environment for men and women of ALL ages and fitness levels to improve their physical and mental states. CG provides exercises to fit each individual camper, regardless of fitness level, experience or age. Campers can expect a total body workout that includes strength, cardiovascular, balance and functional training in the form of interval training, sprint and agility drills, plyometrics and more. CG is designed to increase your functional strength, speed, stamina as well as help you lose weight, tone muscle, burn fat, relieve stress and make friends! CG delivers results regardless of your goals! Check out this one of many inspiring videos!

My camp will run every Tuesday/Thursday beginning Tuesday, April 16th from 5:30-6:30am at the Sports Authority (parking lot) in Frisco. The first Tuesday and Thursday (4/16 and 4/18) are actually free workouts considered “Preview Week”. They do not count towards the 4-week camp, therefore if you were to attend you could actually get a 5-week camp out of the deal! Bonus! Camp actually starts on Tuesday, April 23 and will run for 4 weeks. If you miss Preview Week you can still try CG for free one time, but I can tell you that I will be offering a SUPER sweet deal to those that attend a Preview Week session. 🙂

What is the deal? I’m glad you asked! If you bring 3 people to Preview Week, I will give you a FREE CAMP. Totally serious. A four week camp normally runs $170 for a new camper, but I’ll waive that entirely.

All you need for camp is a mat, a set of dumbells, and a smile. Actually, you can come without the smile if you’d like—I know 5:30am is early—because I know you’ll leave with a smile regardless. 🙂 If you have questions, comments, concerns or just want to chat, you can reach me directly via cell at 214-794-3378 or via email at (my CG email is not quite set up yet). Let’s get as many people out to Preview Week as we can!

I can’t wait to see all of you on Tuesday, April 16th!

I Like How It Feels Video from campGladiator on Vimeo.


South Frisco/North Plano CG

Tuesday + Thursdays, 5:30am-6:30am, starting 4/16

Sports Authority (Frisco)
2930 Preston Rd #200-B, Frisco, TX

Sports Authority is on the East side of Preston Road just North of 121 (and just South of Gaylord). It’s very close to Buy Buy Baby, Office Depot, etc., in a strip mall set back off the road a bit.

Coming from the North (North of 121)
Take the Tollway South to 121
Go East on 121 to Preston
Exit Preston, go North (turn left)
Turn Right on Stone Crest Rd. and turn Left into the Sports Authority Parking Lot
Coming from the South (South of 121)
Take the Tollway North to 121
Go East on 121 (right exit), Exit Preston
Go North (left) on Preston Rd.
Turn Right on Stone Crest Rd. and turn Left into the Sports Authority Parking Lot* 
Coming from the East (East of Preston)
Take 121 West to Preston
Exit Preston, go North (turn right)
Turn Right on Stone Crest Rd. and turn Left into the Sports Authority Parking Lot*
Coming from the West (West of Preston)
Take 121 East to Preston
Exit Preston, go North (turn left)
Turn Right on Stone Crest Rd. and turn Left into the Sports Authority Parking Lot*
*You can also turn Right on Gaylord
Turn Right into the strip mall parking lot
Follow the parking lot all the way down until you reach Sports Authority on the end


I’ve attached a quick map for your reference, since if you google Sports Authority it doesn’t put you in the exact correct spot. For more information you can visit Camp Gladiator online. Please note that this new location has not been added to the website just yet.

See you April 16th, bright and early!

Facebook Event Link: Tuesday, 4/16

Facebook Event Link: Thursday, 4/18

Camp Gladiator Frisco Plano Sports Authority

Swivel kicks are one of my all-time favorite exercises. Although this exercise works your entire body, I love the focus it draws to your core, obliques, shoulder complex and glute muscles. The key to this exercise is to keep your hips “down”—as they are in the starting position—and to swivel your hips, pivoting on the ball of the foot that is on the ground.

how to do swivel kicks

How to do Swivel Kicks:

  1. Start out in high plank position with your abs contracted by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Your hips should be “down”—in between your shoulders and ankles—your body making a perfectly straight line. (No butts up in the air, no arching of the low back). Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders and your neck and spine should be neutral—concentrating your focus about a foot in front of your fingertips.
  2. Keeping the hips “down” (where they are in the start position), swivel your hips by pivoting on the ball/toes of your left foot. Kick your right leg outside of your left elbow so that the outside of your right foot is parallel to the ground. Hold here for two seconds. Be slow and controlled with your movements.
  3. Bring your right foot back to center, switch legs and repeat.
  4. Do 8-20* swivel kicks total, then rest. After 30 seconds – 1 minute of rest, repeat the set once more.

*The amount of swivel kicks you are able to do in one set will vary on your fitness level. Be sure you keep your hips down and abs drawn in. (If you cannot keep proper form, you should discontinue this set and rest. Note how many kicks you did, then try to get at least that number or more in the second set). 

Peace, love and favorite exercises,


If you’ve been coming to Live Whole Be Free’s FREE Boot Camp at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, you know that each week you have “homework.” Only being able to train most of you once a week makes it more difficult for you to make progress quickly. Therefore, I’ve elected to give out homework each week, consisting of one exercise that you do every day to help you get the most out of our time together. It also helps keep you in the fitness mindset, while strengthening and improving certain muscle groups each week.

The homework isn’t overly difficult, in fact it’s set up so that no matter what your fitness level is, you are able to complete it. If you are just starting out, you will begin to build your foundation and if you’re in tip-top shape you will continue to work on your stabilization which is ALWAYS important, regardless of fitness level. It’s also not incredibly time-consuming. In fact, it takes less than 2 minutes a day, maximum. So let me ask you, have you been doing your homework? If the answer is no, why is that? Are you SO busy that you don’t have 1-2 minutes to spare each day? Probably not. And we’ve already covered that it’s something everyone can do regardless of fitness level, so…what gives? Truthfully, if your health and fitness is important to you, you will find the time to do these exercises. Those of you that employ my services for Personal Training know that you leave each session/week with 4-5 exercises that you are asked to complete daily and it’s really up to you to do them. You could lie to me and tell me that you’ve completed them when you have not, but what good would that do? You are coming to this boot camp or personally training with me to achieve a certain goal, so why sell yourself short?

With that, the featured exercise (or “homework”) for this week is the side plank. It’s similar to a regular low or high plank, except—you guessed it—you’re on your side. This is a full-body exercise (my favorite kind!) that also really targets your obliques (waistline).

side plank level 1 + 2

How to do a Side Plank:

  1. Start by laying on your right side, right hip on the ground, in a straight line.
  2. Place your right forearm on the ground perpendicular to the rest of your body so that your right elbow is underneath your right shoulder. If you prefer to do the side plank up on your hand, place your right hand flat on the ground in front of you, underneath your right shoulder.
  3. Cross your left leg (top leg) over your right leg (bottom leg), anchor the sides of your feet to the ground, and lift your hips off the ground. Your body should form a straight line, with your hips in between your shoulders and ankles (if you were to draw a straight line from your head to your toes).
  4. Contract your glutes (butt cheeks) and your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Do not “let go.”
  5. Raise your left arm straight up in the air and hold for as long as you can on this side (shooting for 30 seconds – 1 minute), then switch sides.
  6. Repeat 1-2 times on each side.
  7. To progress this exercise to Level 2 in the photo, raise your left (top) leg in the air. Keep glutes/abs contracted and hold. If you cannot hold the contraction, lower the leg and stay at Level 1.

If you attend LWBF Boot Camp, fill out the homework card you’ve been given with the amount of time you can hold each side plank. If you do not have a card, you can email/message me your times at the end of the week. Remember, for every day of homework you complete, you are awarded one point. Each time you attend boot camp, you are awarded one point. In one week, you can earn a maximum of 8 points. The person with the most points on December 31, 2012 will receive a FREE Nutritional Consultation by me!

Let me know if you have questions! See you at 5:30pm on Monday for Boot Camp!

Peace, love and dedication to fitness,


We try to stay away from too many “personal posts” at LWBF, but as you all know, I spent four long months training for yesterday’s Half Marathon in Miami Beach, Florida, so a recap of the race is definitely in order! A good combination of a new training program and some nutritional tweaks made an enormous difference in my race day performance, allowing me to shave 12 minutes off of last year’s time and 22 minutes off my first half marathon time 18 months ago! Saying I got a PR (Personal Record) is an understatement!

White Rock Centennial Half Marathon (5/2011)

Rock n’ Roll Miami Beach Half Marathon (12/2011)

Rock n’ Roll Miami Beach Half Marathon (11/2012)


All meals for the past week:
Sea salt on everything, drink more electrolyte water.

Days 4, 5, 6 prior to race:
4g of carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight.

Days 1, 2, 3 prior to race:
10g of carbs per kg of bodyweight.

7:30 pm the night before:
Dinner: Kale salad with avocado, raw vegetables, olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette, brown rice pasta with homemade vegetable tomato sauce, basil pesto bread, water, water, electrolyte water, coconut water w/superfood and more water. We rented a condo in South Beach this year instead of a hotel so that we would be able to make our own meals, having more control over what we put into our bodies pre-race. We’ve been able to have our smoothies for breakfast, and now we are able to have Claude and Sarah over for a carb-up, relaxing pre-race meal. Totally worth it!

10:00 pm
Bedtime. I’m so nervous I could throw up. I’m doing everything possible not to think about the race, it’s difficult.

Race Day! 2:44 amMiami Beach Rock n Roll Half Marathon Medal 2012
Damn, not time to get up yet.

3:30 am
Nope, not yet.

4:15 am
Rise and shine! On the menu for breakfast #1: Gluten-free organic oatmeal with 1 Tabelspoon of raw honey (transported from Dallas) and a sliced banana. Rest and watch CSI Miami. (It’s all that’s on, I swear.)

5:10 am
Breakfast #2: Smoothie with peaches, banana, spinach, blueberries, coconut water, almond milk, water, superfood powder and maca powder.

6:00 am
1,000 mcg of B12 and we’re ready to leave the house! I feel like I have a disorder. “Babe, are you ready to go, it’s time to go are you ready to go we have to go we’re gonna be late we’re gonna be late.” Yes, it was all one sentence.

6:30 am
After a short 5 minute walk/jog to the start line from our condo in SoBe, we’ve checked our bags and are ready to go. But wait, I have to pee. And where’s Claude? We always meet up before the race! I’m sweating so much. I don’t think I should be sweating this much. What if my body is overheating?! Ugh, it was probably that 1.5 mile sprint to find a bathroom before the race. Dangit!

6:45 am
Start time! We’re at the front of Corral 2, ready to Rock n’ Roll (no pun intended).


The Race

Mile 1: I can’t believe I’m here, this is great. Gosh I hope I have a good race! (Praying)
Time: 7:25

Mile 2: I’m starting out fast, but not abnormally fast. I feel like this is a good mile 2 pace. I’m feeling good as we approach the Miami Beach Golf Course. It’s pretty.
Time: 7:37

Mile 3: Did I start out too fast? What if I did? Shit. Where the hell is Claude?! I’m about to hit the 5k mark. Oh man, I have people at home watching my time via text message. I hope they’re proud of me! I bet they’re not even awake yet! Crap my left hip flexor is really tight…
Time: 7:58

Mile 4: Ugh, the on-ramp to 195. Stupid hills. CLAUDE! Oh my gosh there you are! What? What is that you’re saying? Sorry, I can’t hear you and I can’t take my ear buds out because it ruins the suction. On we go! Slight cramping in the neck, means I’m using secondary muscles to breathe. Must get that straightened out.
Time: 7:51

Mile 5: Up and down the causeways. These aren’t as bad as I remember them. Maybe I’m being optimistic. Oh well, I feel good. I’m still running at a consistent pace and I’m burning by people on the uphills. Babies!
Time: 8:05

Mile 6: Man, my pace is on point! I found my rhythm and I’m doing great! Wait, we are still running in the opposite direction of the finish line?! Darnit. Time to take the GU out of my sports bra so that it dries off enough for me to open it at mile 7. Ball of my left foot hurts, hip flexor still tight. But feeling wonderful (it’s all relative).
Time: 8:09

Mile 7: Time for GU! I get 1/3 of the GU packet down with some water and pitch it to the side. I almost immediately regret throwing it away. I’m a little tired but this race is going by so quickly! Yay Miami!
Time: 7:34

Mile 7.5: Just puked a little. Ha. I probably shouldn’t post that.

Mile 8: Relay transition point. Bastards. Oh well, I feel like superwoman! I can’t believe I’ve kept up this pace! Or can I? Ah, who cares. Foot hurts, trying not to think about it. I occasionally press my finger into my hip flexor thinking it will help. It does not.
Time: 7:45

Mile 8.5: Oh thank heavens, a GU station! Yes, give me GU and water! I take another 1/3 of the packet, but this time I keep the extra in my sports bra as my “security GU.” I feel strong and man, this race is going by so fast!

Mile 9: Whoo hoo! 4 more miles! I can totally do this! Although this stretch of road is beautiful with these huge palm trees, I am not interested in looking at them. My foot is killing me, but I don’t care. I’d run right through a fracture right now I’m so determined.
Time 8:12 (that was a rough one apparently!)

Mile 10: What the hell?! I thought I was already on mile 10! I feel like I’ve been running FOREVER! This is the longest race ever! Ugh. Well, the faster I run the faster this is over!
Time: 7:51

Mile 11: Holy shit (excitement). I’m almost there. This is the LAST causeway. I’ve got goosebumps I’m so excited! All of this is about to be over! And I still feel good! Melissa stop, stop thinking and chill, it’s not over until you cross that finish line!
Time: 8:09 (lost focus for a bit)

Mile 11.3: I’d like to be done running now.

Mile 11.5: Okay, I’m happy again.

Mile 12: Um… OH MY GOD. Is that Claude?! I’ve never finished a race with Claude, he’s so fast! Maybe I can catch up to him! Use those long legs Melissa, use them! I tap Claude, smile and say “let’s go!” 🙂 Something comes over me and I take off. I remember this point of the race last year, I tried so hard to kick it into high gear, but I just couldn’t—I had nothing left, and everything was cramping. This time, I felt great! There was a lady ahead of me, she’d been ahead of me the entire race. I wonder if I can catch her? I’m going to try!
Time: 7:59

Mile 12.2: Holy shit… (excitement)

Mile 12.3: I’m about to DO this!

Mile 12.5: Caught the lady! See ya! I’m at my highest gear and loving it. Holy shit this is amazing. I love this!

Mile 12.8: Holy shit! (I think I might actually be saying this out loud at this point). I think I just actually flexed my bicep for the last photographer. I don’t care I’m SO happy!

Mile 13.0: Are you kidding me?! I mean ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Someone get a picture of this smile!
Time: 7:33

Mile 13.1: HOLY. SHIT. I’ve done it. Is this real? Did this really just happen? I just beat last year’s time by TWELVE minutes! And I’m still alive and my body feels strong! Well, that’s all relative but in this sense, yes, I’m in good shape injury-wise. My stomach, that’s another story (that you don’t want to hear) so I’ll leave that part out.

As I write this, it’s now 12 hours after start time and I feel relatively good, considering. In fact, I feel the best I’ve ever felt after a race like this. I did everything I could in the months, days, and even minutes leading up to the race. I took water and Gatorade at every station during the race to attempt to stay as hydrated as possible and afterwards, I drank the Gatorade and ate the GU (reluctantly, but I knew it was important), coconut water, water and ate the necessary food to refuel my body. I am still in shock that I was able to accomplish such an amazing time (considering I am not a long-distance runner)! I’m getting messages about the next race I’m running and I’ll be honest…this last four months has been totally worth it, but it’s taken a lot out of me mentally and physically. I think I’m going to bask in the glory of this accomplishment and wait a bit before signing up for the next one.

Melissa RNR Half Marathon Medal Miami 2012

To all of my friends, family and supporters out there, thank you. Your kind words and thoughts helped me more than you know. Words from class members and clients rang through my head as I was running, and the phrases that I use constantly, those were loud and clear as well. I absolutely practice what I preach. The announcer made a great point as he welcomed us to the 2nd Annual Latin Music Miami Beach Half Marathon.

“You’ve already done the hard part, now enjoy your victory lap.”

And I did.

Peace, love and hard work that pays off,



Fifteen weeks ago, I started training for the Miami Beach Rock and Roll Half Marathon. It’s hard to believe that the day I’ve trained so hard for is almost here! I started training for this race very early. In fact, I was concerned I was starting a bit too early, but was just too excited to wait any longer. This being my third rodeo, I was anxious to start working on implementing the changes I made after trainings 1 & 2. To recap: In my first half, I was probably running 1-2 times per week and maxed at 11 miles. Considering I am not a distance runner and I have a laundry list of injuries, finishing 13  miles that day (a year and a half ago) was a sheer miracle by my standards. Looking back, my time was nothing to write home about, but that didn’t concern me. I was just happy to finish! For my second race, I trained a bit differently. I ran 2-3 times per week, and maxed at 12 miles. I hated every bit of those long runs, but had a goal time I wanted to crush. Come race day, I beat my goal time by 2 minutes, crushing last year’s race time by more than 9 minutes. So I’m on a roll, right? I mean, I must have this training all figured out! Unfortunately, this is not the case. After both races, I got incredibly sick. The first time with exercise-associated hyponatremia, the second time with severe dehydration. Both of these instances caused incredible cramping and abdominal pain that I just can’t put into words, (nor would you want me to try), both times lasting a full 8 hours. Something has got to change.

So this time, I have a new goal(s). First—have a good, strong race and feel amazing the whole way through. Second—not get sick after the race! I looked up several running plans, this time settling on Nike Running’s Race Coach Programs. I downloaded all three Half Marathon Training Programs: Level 1: Finish a Race, Level 2: Set a New PR (Personal Record) and Level 3: Lead From the Front. After reviewing all three plans, I decided I would base my training programs off of a combination of Levels 1 & 2, taking my teaching schedule into account (11 classes/week). I printed out blank calendars from August through November, and wrote down the low and high ends of the mileage for each week. I figured I would at a minimum follow Level 1’s program, and if I could, I would try to get as close as possible to Level 2.

As it turns out, I was able to stick almost perfectly to the Level 2 program, which means I maxed at 35 miles weekly and a 14 mile long run. That is the furthest I’ve ever run! Don’t get me wrong, it was not easy. There were SEVERAL weeks where I just really, truly did not want to go and could have justified not doing that long run. Knowing that I could get away with maxing at 11 miles and still have a good race made it difficult to keep on pushing. But, if training were easy, it wouldn’t be worth it! I ran in the rain and the cold (if you know me you know I despise cold weather), replaying the same phrases in my head that I tell my clients and group exercise classes —

“When you’re tired—this is where the training starts.”

That was key for me this training. My training STARTED at 11 miles because know I can do 11 miles. I needed to push myself PAST those boundaries. I wavered back and forth about whether or not I was

going to hit that 14-miler. But when it came down to the day to do it, I realized I had not worked this hard to give up now! So I did it. I felt great during the run, but ended up in an ice bath and very sick shortly after. I was devastated. The reason I have been training so hard was to avoid this sickness! What was I doing wrong?! After much research and with the help of my Doctor, we’ve so far concluded that it’s tied to my chronic thirst. I tend to avoid sodium but it is also an essential electrolyte. After realizing just how little sodium my diet actually contains, I think we may have found the answer!

RNR Miami Half Marathon

I eat an incredibly clean diet, but this lack of sodium proves just how important proper nutrition is. I’ve spent the last week and half consciously consuming increased amounts of sodium, with great pleasure I might add. I can finally eat salted pistachios without guilt! I hope this makes a difference come race day, but no matter what, I’m going into it knowing that I’ve done everything possible to prepare myself for this race, and that’s a fantastic feeling! I trained hard, I trained smart, I ate right, I rested well and got the proper care for my body when needed. Now fifteen weeks of training all comes down to one. single. race. Or does it?

In all honesty, I accomplished things in this training that I never thought I could. I ran 3-6 times per week with a schedule some can’t fathom having to deal with. I ran 12 miles several times, I ran 13 miles and I ran 14 miles. I got sick, I got better, I got smarter. Whatever happens on Sunday, November 18th, it’s okay—because I feel like a winner already! (But I wouldn’t mind if y’all sent me some good runner vibes from about 5:45am CST to 7:45am CST)!

Here’s to a strong, happy, fabulous race! Cheers! (I’ll drink to that…after the race of course!)

Peace, love and lots of electrolytes,


I want to personally thank everyone that came out Monday night for LWBF’s inaugural Boot Camp at the new Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas! It was a huge success! For those of you who weren’t able to make it—not to worry—we will be there every Monday at 5:30pm!

For those of you who did make it, how are you feeling today? Are you sore at all? During yesterday’s class, we did about half interval training and half stability/core work. In the upcoming weeks, this will shift more towards interval training as we increase the intensity of class. If you found yesterday’s class intense enough, don’t worry! As you saw, there are modifications for every exercise allowing people of all ages and fitness levels to participate. And for the elite athletes out there, we’ll also ensure class is tough enough for you!

If you received one of LWBF’s gifts for being one of the first 20 to RSVP, let me know how you like your deodorant! I made the switch during the hottest part of the summer and never looked back. It works better than commercial, toxic products, and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals! Check out all the Tips and Tricks for the All-Natural Deodorant. I can’t wait to hear how it works for you! And if you’d like to purchase more (they make great stocking stuffers…) you can buy them online via Etsy.

Lastly, don’t forget your homework for the week. One minute of push-ups, everyday.You’ve got your little notecard, so jot down your number, hold yourself accountable for your results. Next week, we will have different exercises and of course, different homework!

LWBF Boot Camp Klyde Warren Park 2

So bring yourself, bring some friends, bring some strangers, bring everyone to Live Whole Be Free’s Boot Camp in the Park! Mondays, 5:30pm. Be there!

Peace, love and FREE Fitness,

Melissa Villamizar, CPT

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I am so humbled and excited to announce this very exciting news. Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, the New York City consulting firm responsible for programming for the new Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, has asked me to teach boot camp classes at The Park coming this Fall!

This park is unlike any other in the city of Dallas. Spanning 5.2 acres in the heart of Dallas, Klyde Warren Park covers several city blocks between Pearl and St. Paul Streets over Woodall Rodgers Freeway. It includes a performance stage, restaurant (coming soon), shaded walking paths, dog park, children’s garden, great lawn (i.e. boot camp area), water features, an area for games and much more. I am so excited to have access to such a beautiful space bringing people together downtown! The Park’s programming is truly outstanding and includes music, fitness, education, games and art, with a constant stream of free daily activities open to the public, complemented by signature special events. There will be something for everyone at The Park, and I’m thrilled to be able to be a part of it!

The free grand opening of the Park will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 27th and 28th, followed by Live Whole Be Free’s first FREE Boot Camp class on Monday, October 29th (and every Monday after that) at 5:30pm! As far as what you can expect from LWBF’s Boot Camp—you can expect to get 60 minutes of “you” time that you will not regret! Those of you that have taken my classes for years know that I offer a fun and challenging workout regardless of your fitness level.

I hope that you will join me every Monday at 5:30pm! This is an amazing opportunity to make a commitment to yourself and to your health/wellness without costing you a dime. It’s also a great way to support the City of Dallas and small businesses like myself. Although not required, participants are encouraged to bring a set of dumbbells in a weight appropriate for them as well as a small towel and some water. If you do not have dumbbells—not to worry—you can still participate in boot camp and you will still get a terrific workout! Read more about what you can expect at Boot Camp!

I can’t wait to see you all at Klyde Warren Park on Monday, October 29th! If you plan on attending, please RSVP to melissa [at], as the first 20 people that RSVP (and show up on Monday, 10/29) will receive a free gift!*

* An RSVP for boot camp is not required but sure is helpful!

Peace, love, health and fitness,


I’ve been teaching Group Exercise classes for quite a while now and I have to say—the thing that irks me the most—is when the same people find excuse after excuse not to try your class when they actually really want to. I know people that for over three years now have used the “I have to get in shape before I come to your class” excuse. Or there’s the ever-popular “your class is too far away”…(I teach all over the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex), or “I’m busy that day”…(I teach 10 classes a week, you can’t honestly tell me you cannot make any of those), the list goes on and on.

Three years ago, these people were overweight, out of shape, unhealthy and unhappy. Their plan was to “get in shape”, and then come to my class. Again, that was three years ago. If they had just come to classes regardless of being “in shape” or not, I can guarantee you that they would not be in the same physical and mental condition that they are today—stuck.

I think sometimes the classes and instructors are taken for granted. Not in a bad way, just that it is assumed that certain classes will always be on the schedule and these instructors will forever teach classes at that particular club. Nothing is ever certain. Lives change, people change, the needs of the gym change, the only thing that is not changing—is you.

Yesterday you said tomorrow nike

If you live your life saying “I’ll do it tomorrow”, you’ll have to accept the possibility that there might not be a chance tomorrow, for whatever reason. I urge you to do it today. No more excuses, no more waiting. It’s funny—it wasn’t that long ago that I considered myself quite the procrastinator when it came to silly day-to-day duties. Call the plumber, return so-and-so’s phone call, pay this bill, return an email. I would hit ignore on the phone because I was too busy to deal with whatever phone call was incoming. But the truth is, that only created MORE stress in my life. Now not only did I need to return that email, but I needed to remember to return the email, put it on my to-do list so I wouldn’t forget, but then I would forget to put it on the list, so it would get missed entirely! Today, I’m much better about handing things as they come. It’s easier to get them crossed off the list before they even make it to the list!

Nike says it best…”Yesterday You Said Tomorrow.”

A quick reminder of my current group exercise class schedule, which may soon change…who knows! 🙂 Please inquire for personal training schedule. (Revised 12/31/12)

Peace, love and action,


For up-to-the-minute updates on classes, follow Live Whole Be Free on Facebook!

Reason #97 why you can’t lose weight…because let’s face it, there are potentially quite a few things contributing to the fact that you can’t lose weight. It’s supposed to be easy, right? Burn more calories than you consume and you “should”, in theory, lose weight. But what if you don’t? Well, there’s a myriad of reasons why this could be happening. Without a full blood panel, it’s impossible for me to tell you exactly why that is, since it could be related to thyroid issues, hormone imbalances, etc.). However, something you may or may not have heard of as being a culprit is called homeostasis.

Human homeostasis is derived from the Greek, homeo or “same”, and stasis or “stable” and means remaining stable or remaining the same. In other words, your body is going to attempt to maintain stability within its internal environment when dealing with external changes. This is most often discussed in terms of survival, whereas the liver, the kidneys and the brain help maintain homeostasis by metabolizing toxic substances, regulating blood water levels and excreting wastes. Another example occurs as our body regulates temperature in an effort to maintain an internal temperature around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. We sweat to cool off when we are hot and we shiver to produce heat when we are cold.

However, homeostasis also plays a role in terms of weight loss. As your body starts to change, it will also try to “hold on” to what it’s known for so long. For example, if you have been 30 lbs. overweight for the last say…10 years and you are beginning to lose that weight, your body will fight to get back to that 30 lb. overweight “place” because that’s what it’s known for so long. This is just one more reason why to truly lose weight and keep it off for good, you have to make lasting lifestyle changes, not temporary fixes. Short-term, lose weight quick diets will only hurt you in the end, messing with your mental state as well as your hormones and metabolism.

We all know that there are a bizillion (yes, a “bizillion”) reasons why it’s difficult to lose weight. However, the more responsible, knowledgable and committed you are as you embark on your weight loss journey, the more successful you will be. There will be roadblocks, obstacles, plateaus and the like, but be aware, be smart and be persistent and you will minimize this homeostasis issue.

Peace, love and responsible weight loss,

Melissa Villamizar, CPT