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!

It had been a really long day at the office. I was tired. It was late. I was hungry, grouchy and did I mention tired? It was 8:15pm, the sun was already setting and I just didn’t feel like running. I work out all the time, I’m going to work out tomorrow, I’m injured, I’m pregnant… No. I’m not really, I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. 🙂 Point is—I had a million reasons to justify why it would be okay to take the day off from working out. But I put my trusty Nikes on, grabbed my iPod and left. I ran into my husband outside. “What’s wrong” he asked. Me, with a frowny face acting like the world was ending, “I’m tired and I really don’t feel like running.” “Oh well,” he said. “You’ll feel better afterwards.” I knew he was right, after all, that’s why I had my darn shoes on even though all I really wanted to do was eat something and sit on the couch for a bit.

So off I go on my run. About three minutes later, I had completely forgotten that I almost didn’t go. Even better, I figured I’d arrive home thinking “that wasn’t so bad.” Instead (as usual), I arrived home and thought “man, that was awesome.” I got a quick 2.5 miles in, finished with some pushups, bridges and planks, and called it a night. Although it’s a lot less than I normally do, I consider tonight a success. Tonight I got up and did something when I truly did not want to and had all the excuses in the world to slack off.

I say it all the time, but sometimes the toughest part of a workout is actually getting off the couch or walking through the gym doors. Tonight, that was definitely the case. I never regret working out after I’m through and tonight was no different. I feel so much better now—my mind is reset, some calories have been burned and some toxins have been eliminated from my body.

The next time you’re wavering about whether or not to workout, put your shoes on and just do it!

Peace, love and dedication,




As a Group Exercise Instructor, one of the excuses I hear most often for not coming to class is “I have to get in shape before I come to your class.” Um… color me confused, isn’t that what class is FOR? It is indeed. There are numerous people I can think of who have fed me this excuse…. years ago. They’re still not in any better shape than they were the day they spoke those words to me. If they had just come to class instead of procrastinating, who knows, they might be in a better place than they are today. As with everything in this world, you have to WANT to make a change before it will ever happen. You have to want to come to class yourself, I cannot force you. You have to want to lose weight for yourself, get healthy, make changes, etc. Although I wish these things for many people, unfortunately I cannot do anything for them if they don’t want to help themselves first.

The excuses for not coming to class got me thinking, and I realized they all have one thing in common. They are all some form of a procrastination. “I have to get in shape first”, “I have (insert obligation here) tonight”, “I’m tired today,” etc. In all of these instances, people seem to be waiting for the perfect conditions to exist before they make a change, in this case, trying a group exercise class. This theory can be applied to anything, really. Trying a new class, changing jobs, going back to school, having children, etc. In all instances, people always seem to be waiting for the stars to align. Sadly, this is never going to happen. Although if it does, will someone please call me? 🙂

Once you realize that these perfect conditions you are waiting for never exist, you have cleared a huge obstacle. A class member and friend of mine recently experienced a chain of frustrating events, where she could easily have skipped her workout with VERY good reason—but she did not. I absolutely love this story and had to share. Here is her message to me:

You will be so proud to know that it is midnight here in Milan, after only about 5-6 hours of on/off sleep in the last 24 hours, one of Joe’s bags still MIA from the airport (where is tennies are), me with the worst case of IBS, we did 30 min NTC app our skinnies in the hotel room!! Lol…pure dedication to fitness!

That is the perfect example of someone who wanted something to happen, so they put all excuses aside and just made it happen—plain and simple. It’s perfect.

The truth is, you will never have enough time, money, this or that to do anything if you don’t REALLY want to do it. So ask yourself what the true reason is that you are procrastinating, and be honest with yourself. If you are not coming to class because you “want to get in shape first”, ask yourself “why?” Why do you want to get in shape before coming to class? You will get in shape IN CLASS, I assure you. So is that you are afraid that you will be tired during class? Won’t make it through class? Who cares?! If you don’t try, you will never know! Maybe you are embarrassed about being out of shape—no problem, I know the perfect place to help remedy that! I can also guarantee you that you will lose more weight if you just come to class TODAY rather than taking a month or two or twelve to “get in shape” before you do come to class.

Take a moment to think about the things you have been putting off lately, and make a promise to yourself to complete the first thing on your list. Then move to the second, etc. But quit waiting for those perfect conditions to arrive and just do it!

For my current group exercise teaching schedule, visit the “about” section on my Facebook page.

Peace, love and motivation,


Finally! The holidays are over, you’re full swing into your new year’s resolution… and then it arrives… Superbowl Sunday. The first “holiday” of the year, synonymous with laziness and an overindulgence in food and alcohol, here to test your willpower. Maybe for you, it’s no big deal, but for the majority of Americans, this is the biggest day of the year. After all, the Monday following the Superbowl has the highest number of people call in sick, more than any other day of the year!

So what is your plan for the big game? Lots of chips and queso? Wings and beer? If you’re wondering how you are going to get through this game without falling off the wagon entirely, hep is here! You can absolutely stay on track with your healthy resolutions without depriving yourself of a good time. And let’s be honest, avoiding the guilt and bloating that accompanies overindulgence isn’t half bad either!

The Playbook:

  • Get some exercise in before the big game. If you are not currently exercising, a nice walk will do just fine. If you are engaged in a regular workout program, go get in a killer workout! Keep in mind, however, just because you exercise does not mean you can eat whatever you want. Nutrition is a bigger piece of the weight loss/health puzzle than any of us realize. If you work out every day, and eat shit… you will not lose weight. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Okay, you might lose a little, but you’re definitely not on a path to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Eat in moderation. What?! Moderation?! On Superbowl Sunday?! Yes. You’ll feel better afterwards, I assure you.
  • Moderation applies to alcohol as well as food. If you’re going to drink beer, choose a light beer instead of a dark, heavy beer. After each beer, have a full glass of water. Before you go to bed, drink another.
  • Bring your own snacks to the party. If you’re going to be the guest at a party, offer to bring some snacks. Chances are good they will have plenty of snacks already, but chances are better that they will involve chips and salsa, queso, pizza rolls, and other processed crap. So bring some carrots, some hummus, apple slices and peanut/almond/cashew butter, cucumbers, zucchini (are you catching on to the raw veggie trend?), raw nuts (almonds, cashews, etc.), even pretzels are better than pizza rolls!
  • Cook a healthier version of your favorite recipes. Instead of ordering pizza, try making your own, and load it with veggies! Possibly even leave off the cheese. Yes, I’m serious, and yes, it’s still considered “pizza.” You’re just living outside the box, that’s all! Here are some ideas.
  • For heaven’s sake, say no to soda. ‘Nuff said.
  • Before you eat anything, ask yourself if you’re even hungry, or if you’re eating “just to eat”. Humans need food to survive, but we’ve made it so much more than that. The Superbowl party should be about the game, friends, family and good times, which doesn’t mean leaving the party 7 lbs. heavier than you arrived.

Remember, you are the only one in control of what you do or don’t eat. Every decision you make regarding your health, wellness and happiness are yours, no one can take that away from you. So enjoy yourself on Sunday, but don’t use the Superbowl as an excuse. If you decide you’re going to indulge, decide what you’re going to indulge in before you get there and how much you are going to have, then stick to it! Don’t ever let your hunger make the decision for you, since when you’re hungry, you’re likely to settle for less than nutritional food. And worst case scenario, if you do overindulge, all is not lost. Don’t beat yourself up over it, guilt is a stressor, which leads to increased cortisol levels, which leads to belly fat, so that’s not going to help at all. Just move on from it, and get right back into your healthy routine the next day. If you slip up, realize that you are human, and fix it. Now if you’re “slipping up” frequently… that’s another issue.

Peace, love and football,


Whether you are an all-star athlete or live a sedentary lifestyle, we could all use a little more movement in our lives. In the last several decades, our technology has advanced so much that it has rendered us inactive and lazy. Here are seven ways to help increase your daily activity, burning more calories and helping put an end to the obesity epidemic. Take advantage of these opportunities as often as you can, and it will pay off in the long run!

Take the Stairs

Opt for the staircase instead of an elevator or escalator all week (and longer if you’re really committed to a lifestyle change)! On your way to and from your place of business, take the stairs. At lunch or to get your energy level back up in the mid-afternoon, hit the stairs! Many of us experience that “2:30 feeling”… a way to combat that is to get your heart pumping!

Park in the Furthest Spot From Your Destination*

Every step counts, so quit waiting for the person in the closest spot to pull out. Just park and walk! By just finding a spot and walking, you will probably arrive at your destination at the same time you would have if you had waited for the closer spot!

*Please exercise (no pun intended) caution when in dimly lit areas, at night, or when you’re alone. Use your best judgement and if you don’t feel safe parking far away, please don’t. Your safety is paramount.

Ban the Cab

For those of you in big cities, put a personal ban on taking a cab and walk the distance instead. Ladies, if you’re in heels (which are terrible for your body, by the way), bring a pair of sneakers with you, throw them on and get moving!

Clean the House

You’ll be amazed the amount of calories you can burn by cleaning your own house, andthere’s that whole “saving money” concept again, ditch the housekeeper!


Same goes for the outdoors — use a push mower to mow your own lawn, rake the leaves by hand, shovel snow by hand and garden.

Start a New Routine

After dinner, instead of having dessert or plopping yourself down on the couch, go for a walk. Whether it’s by yourself, with your dog or with your family, just get up and move! It will aid in digestion as well! Bonus! You can also go for a stroll during your lunch break!

Ditch the Shopping Cart

Use a hand basket instead of the pushable shopping cart. You’ll get a nice workout from carrying your items through the store and possibly even save some money by only buying what you need, or will fit into your basket. And of course, carry your bags to the car.

Keep in mind that every little thing you do, no matter how small it might seem, will help get you towards your goal of a healthier lifestyle! Instead of thinking about the immediate gratification of the calorie burn (or lack thereof), think more long-term. I recently calculated how many calories I burn when I take the stairs to and from my office on the fifth floor. Going up and down five flights of stairs burns about 12 calories. Do it twice and you’re up around 25 calories, three times and you’re at close to 40-50 (calorie burn increases as heart rate increases). Although you’re only looking at about 50 calories for three flights of stairs, think long-term. In my time at HCK2 Partners, I have burned approximately 20,000 calories taking the stairs everyday… now that’s a lot of calories!

Peace, love and movement!


I bet you want to know what it is, huh?! Well, it’s not new. I just put that in the title to trick everyone who think sthere’s always something new and cool on the market that’s going to make them look like a supermodel or give them special powers. Sorry, this is not a new medicine. But it is the best medicine. So what is it? The best medicine is exercise.

Today was a very tough day. I decided to take my older cat to the vet this morning because she was acting funny and breathing heavily. It didn’t feel right. So I took her in, and things went from bad to worse extremely fast. I am ushered into an exam room and the next thing I know, they’re calling for immediate triage, putting her in an “oxygen box”, telling me they have to do a risky chest tap to pull fluid out of her lungs, that it’s such a stressful procedure that many don’t make it through the procedure, they might nick a lung, and they’re asking me if I want to pet her before they take her back?! What?! I just asked you for my wi-fi password so I could log on to check my work email?! What do you mean she “might not make it?” Enter stage 1: Denial.

I’ll keep this short. They drain the fluid which filled 1/3 of her chest cavity, find out it’s lymphatic cancer, there’s nothing a surgery would do to help since the fluid, tumors and cells would remain, and we could be in the same situation tomorrow. I’m told there’s not much choice. I call my husband to meet me at the vet to say goodbye. I call my Dad, he breaks down too. This is bad. Wait, is this really happening? No, surely it is not. My cat is 11, not 18, I should have at least 7 more years with her! And she was fine the other day! What are you talking about?!

Long story longer, I put my cat down this morning. My baby, my very first pet as an “adult”… who has been with me through many moves, many of the worst and best times of my life. I have seen this cat change and grow so much, just as I have, and she is a part of me. I cried all day. I mean, ALL day. I cried myself into a nap at one point. When I woke up, my brain didn’t have time to even realize I was awake yet, and my eyes were already filled with tears. I felt my husband’s hand on my head, and was so thankful, but so miserable. I realized I kept putting my hand to my chest… because my heart hurt so much. I’m not sure what I was trying to do… comfort my heart? It didn’t work. I barely ate, tears just streamed down my face all day. Time was barely ticking by, and I just wanted this horrible day to be over and erase it from my timeline.

The evening hits and I realize I’m so tired of my thoughts that I want to get out of my mind. I can’t box because I accidentally slit my thumb with a knife. I can’t go to yoga because I’ll be a hysterical crying mess. So I decide to try a new class at Equinox that I heard was super tough, MetCon3. Sounds perfect. I plan on kicking my own ass.

I checked my emotions at the door, and told myself that for the duration of that class, I would focus solely on what the instructor was saying, and give it everything I had. And I did. I worked so hard, and it felt so good. A dark cloud was lifted, life didn’t seem so bad, and afterwards, I could talk about it without breaking down… I felt better. Like, a LOT better.  I’m driving home thinking about my day and how horrible it was, but I’m thinking about it in a different light. I feel so much better after my workout, my head is so much clearer, I can’t even begin to explain what kind of a miracle exercise can be.

As I thought about how much better I felt (and still feel, by the way, even though the adrenaline has worn off), I realized that no amount of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, wine or food could EVER have made me feel better so quickly, the way this workout just did. It was amazing, just as I knew it would be. I tell people all the time that the hardest part of a workout sometimes is just getting through those doors, but once you’re there, it’s not so bad, and I absolutely practice what I preach. So you’d better believe that if I write a blog post about the top 7 excuses people use not to exercise, you will not seeing me use one! So I’m telling you this story to reassure you that everything I tell you, I whole-heartedly believe.

Depression is a very tricky thing. It is evil no doubt, and can be your worst enemy. But if you play it right, it can also be your best friend. Sounds ridiculous, I know. Tonight my depression was my sole motivator in getting my depressed butt up off of the couch and clearing my teary eyes and cloudy head. Use that sinking feeling you have and turn it around into something positive. Only you have the ability to do it though. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my cat. I miss her terribly. But I won’t let depression get me this time. I’m through stage 1 of this grieving process (denial) and have most definitely entered stage 2, anger. I’m pissed that my cat isn’t here anymore. And I intend to work those emotions out again tomorrow. I feel blessed that I have found a healthy outlet like exercise to release my stress and emotions. It can happen for you too.

I miss you Myla. I know you are in kitty heaven, you can breathe easily, there’s no fluid in your lungs and you are happy. And I will meet you in heaven one day. I hope… if I’m a good girl. 🙂 Rest in peace my love.


Peace, love and healthy outlets,


There are plenty of excuses (some may call them reasons, but I call them excuses) why you can’t get to the gym, can’t make healthier choices, etc. The truth is, they’re all a bunch of crap. If you really, truly want to make a change, you will. All the words you use to explain why you’re justified in not living a healthy lifestyle is just noise to the people that make it happen, day in and day out. So forgive me if the following post seems a bit harsh, but sometimes that’s the only way people will realize that they’re not special, they’re not the exception to the rule and they need put in the work like the rest of us.

1. I’m Far Too Busy

Really? So… you’re just the busiest person on the planet then? Throwing pity parties for yourself about how much you have to do won’t get you anywhere. You may need to take a look at how you’re utilizing your time. Make a journal, and document how much time you spend on different activities during the day. For instance, how many times do you use social media a day? It’s quite possible that if you refrained from updating your facebook status, you could get your work done more quickly, allowing you to leave work sooner and get to the gym before you head home for the day. Maybe it’s not social media that is your time suck. It could be the TV, long lunches, rush hour traffic, the list goes on and on. The point is, take a look at where you could save some time, and figure out a new solution. If you have work commitments, remember that scheduling time to keep yourself healthy is important. If someone thinks it’s selfish, they clearly don’t “get it” and we feel sorry for them. If after assessing your schedule you really, truly do not have time to hit the gym, do the stairs and/or go for a walk during lunch, but do something! Anything is better than nothing.

2. My blank* Hurts

*Insert body part of your choice here. First off, I’m not surprised. You are an adult (or at least you’re old enough to read this blog), so chances are good that at some point in your life thus far, you have sustained some sort of injury. We all have. Rub some dirt on it, and get your butt up off the couch. You’re not the only one. As a GroupX Instructor, many times people assume that I have it easy. I am somehow invincible, I have no injuries and endless amounts of energy. I’m flattered that some view me as a superhero, but sadly, I am not. I am human, just like the rest of the world. I am bruised, broken and I get burnt out. In fact, some would be surprised to know that I actually have 2 herniated discs, an inverted coccyx (tailbone) from a bad fall, I’ve had knee surgery and two ankle surgeries, including a complete reconstruction of my right ankle. They sawed off my heel bone, moved it over 10mm, and put a large screw in it to put it back together. Point being, I’ve had my share of serious injuries, but I managed to recover, and you can too. You just have to want it. No one can do it for you, it’s all you. Also, if you have been sedentary for awhile, chances are good that you are in a lot of pain, not necessarily caused by an isolated incident. The truth is, disuse of your body can actually cause pain. Yikes. Coach potatoes, you’re screwed!

3. I Hate the Gym/I Can’t Afford a Gym Membership

Millions of people hate the gym. They are divided into three categories. Category 1: They go anyways. ‘Nuff said. Category 2: They find somewhere else to work out (outdoors, yoga studio, basement, etc.). Category 3: They do nothing. If you fall into category 3, I want you to remember something — you’re not alone! No one will force you to go to the gym if you don’t want to. Nothing good will come out of that. What you need to do, however, is find another means for staying active, something that you enjoy. There are hundreds of options for exercise. You can do just about everything outdoors: Walk, run, play catch, play frisbee, play with your dog, play with your kids/grandkids, yoga, swimming, the list goes on and on. Try as many things as is takes until you find something that interests you. Try yoga. There are a ton of different kinds of yoga, try them all. There are classes that are mommy and child friendly, where you can bring your child and your stroller and walk with a group of people. Guys… flag football interest you? There are leagues everywhere! Heck google “things to do outside” if you’re out of ideas. Google solves everything!* Keep in mind too, that even if you do hate the gym, giving it a try for a month will be worth your while. You’ll either come out realizing there’s actually quite a few benefits to going to the gym (first day/week jitters will go away, don’t worry) or you’ll come out knowing that you do truly hate the gym, and you will have to resort to option 2, finding a new place to exercise.

*Note: This is not actually true. I’m just being funny.

4. I’m Too Tired

Well, I could take this in quite a few different directions, but I’ll keep it short. What are you eating? Sugar? Caffeine? That will contribute to you being tired. Are you sleeping enough? Maybe not. Many of you reading this have newborns, and are cursing me right now because you’re not sleeping at all. Okay, that might be a legitimate excuse. Still, you will feel better if you get a chance to release some endorphins and relieve some stress. So pump that breast milk ahead of time, arrange for your kids to go with your husband, mother, or a sitter, and go get your sweat on. Even 20 minutes is better than nothing! (Although ideally you should shoot for 60). However, if it’s 20 minutes or zero minutes, I’ll take 20 minutes every time! Those of you without kids… try to get to bed earlier so that you will be better rested for the day ahead of you. It will make a world of difference, I assure you. Try to find out if you’re a morning workout person or an evening workout person. Keep in mind, it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so give it a full three weeks before you decide which one you are! Try evenings for 3 weeks, then mornings for 3 weeks, and see which you prefer. Also, have a healthy snack before you hit the gym, it will fuel your body properly and you will feel better before, during and after your workout.

5. I’ll Go Tomorrow

“Yesterday you said “tomorrow”” — Nike

6. I Feel Fat

Ummmm… really? Well you’re just going to continue to feel exponentially fatter unless you do something about it, so quit whining and go for a walk! And just a quick fun fact, take a look around at all the “in shape” or “skinny” people around you, and know that a good amount of those people have likely been overweight or struggled with their weight at some point in their lives. Another common misconception, being a GroupX Instructor, is that I couldn’t gain weight if my life depended on it. Wrong-O! I gain weight like the rest of the world, I just know better than to let myself go! I’ve learned from my mistakes and I will never, ever go back! Once you get healthy too, you’ll say the same thing. I guarantee it. You will feel so good, that you will wonder who that person was… that other person… that person you are now… say goodbye to them! And if you’re self-conscious because you know people at the gym, just remember, sitting around thinking about going to the gym burns between zero and zero calories. You have to start somewhere.

7. I Don’t Feel Well

Assuming you don’t have a bacterial infection and/or something contagious or life-threatening, you will feel better after a workout. 99% of the time, after I hit the gym, regardless of my complaint (headache, stomachache, cramps, etc.), I feel like a new person after my workout. Working out, elevating your heart rate and sweating releases endorphins which pretty much make you feel amazing. Your brain actually blocks pain while you workout, so if you have a terrible headache and are looking for some relief, a workout will do you better than any pain medication.

*Note: Please consult your physician before starting a workout program. I am not a Doctor and do not claim to be one.

What I’d like everyone to take away from this post is that regardless of your excuse, you’re not the only one. There is someone out there that is busier, sicker or poorer than you that is able to get to the gym, make healthy choices, etc., so stop the excuses, they are just noise. The moment you stop thinking that you’re the busiest person on the planet, you will have made a step in the right direction. Remember that anything is better than nothing. So make yourself go to the gym, and promise yourself you will give it 5 minutes on the bike/elliptical/treadmill/etc. Chances are good that after 5 minutes, you’ll stay a little bit longer. And if you don’t… remember that 5 minutes is better than zero minutes.

If you do currently go to the gym, but you’re getting tired of your workout routine, I urge you to try something new. Try a Group Exercise (GroupX) class, and try several of them. Each one will vary on the format and the instructor, so find one that you like. Even the same format will be different when taught be a different instructor. If you prefer to workout on your own, try a new routine like Tabata! Regardless, make sure you switch up your workouts every so often as to keep your mind fresh and to keep your body from hitting a plateau. Our bodies are amazing, they will adapt to whatever we do to them. That means we have to constantly push ourselves out of our comfort zones to continue to achieve results.

In closing, remember, if it was easy, everyone would be fit, everyone would be healthy. So it might take a little work and a little commitment, but it will be well worth it.

Peace, love and mental toughness,