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Practice Makes Perfect…I Hope!

13 weeks out….

Wow! We made it to July! I seriously can’t believe we’re past the halfway mark of 2019. Perhaps even more unbelievable is in four days, I’ll be just 12 weeks away from stepping on stage for the NPC Brooklyn Grand Prix!

During this past week my coach, Jen, was kind enough to meet with me before a well-deserved vacation to start teaching me the ropes in what I consider the most terrifying part of this entire process: posing. Let’s just say I need all the help I can get!

This is completely different from maintaining poise and composure in front of a camera even in the sweltering heat or bone-chilling cold during my TV reporter days. This is about mastering a routine that includes four poses in a blur of 10 to 12 seconds. That’s the amount of solo time I’ll have in front of the judges. The poses themselves are totally foreign to me, and then there’s the added challenge of executing those moves wearing four-and-a-half inch platform heels and transitioning between each move as gracefully as possible. (Oh, and of course, I need to do it all with a smile!) Needless to say, I was a little overwhelmed during that first hour of practice. However, Jen encouraged me to simply practice, practice and practice some more. If you want a good laugh on this first Tuesday of the new month, click the play button on this video to see how I did.


Who says you can’t eat healthy at the beach?

All you pros out there know I have a lot of work ahead of me! However, I hope sharing this not-so-perfect video serves as a gentle reminder that anytime you try something new, you can’t expect to be perfect right out of the gate. Whether it’s a new job, maybe even a totally different career; a new fitness or nutrition program or a new hobby, we can put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. We’re usually the first to beat ourselves up when we slip and fall. So, I’m going to try and remind myself to do what my coach and so many other people who’ve been through this competition prep have told me: trust the process. So, I may stumble and fall – literally! – practicing my posing routine, but I’ll get up and try again. I’ll keep the faith that with some serious effort on my part and the ongoing support from my family, friends, my coach and the fitfam universe, I can make this happen!

I close with a wish for everyone to have a safe and Happy 4th of July! (Click here for a reminder on how to get through what could be a long weekend of food-filled fun without totally falling off the healthy lifestyle wagon.) As for me, the holiday will be my last real “cheat” day before crunch time begins. That doesn’t mean I’ll go totally crazy with the food and drink. I’ll get to the gym super early, eat a couple of my prepared meals before heading to the annual pool party my family and I look forward to every year and I’ll choose my “cheat” foods with care. (I do see a cheeseburger and one or two cocktails in my holiday future…) I’ll also be sure to drink my gallon of water or more throughout the day.

Here’s to celebrating America’s birthday, a fitastic July and all the opportunities ahead to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Happy 240th Birthday, America!

iStock_000020109046SmallHappy 4th of July!

It’s hard to believe this Motivation Monday brings us to another birthday celebration for the good ol’ U.S.A. Hoping you’ll spend this holiday enjoying time with family and friends rather than surfing the web, this week’s post will be super short and sweet.

First, click here for a reminder on how to make it through that all-day BBQ without throwing your healthy habits out the window. Second, I leave it to some of our founding fathers to offer a patriotic twist on my weekly wish for you to get out there and attack those plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

“We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.” – George Washington

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

“A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue.” – James Monroe

“Well done is better than well said.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.”- Benjamin Franklin


Bring on the BBQs!

iStock_000020109046SmallOn this last Motivation Monday of June, I’m excited to welcome the start of my favorite month of the year! I love July because it’s snack in the middle of my favorite season. Toss in Independence Day, fireworks, lots of daylight and all the opportunities for get-togethers, and you have my recipe for a great 31 days ahead.

While we tend to lighten up at this time if year by wearing less clothing and trying to savor more carefree moments with family and friends, barbecue season can offer some tasty challenges when it comes to keeping our healthy habits in check. The good news is you can enjoy the grilled fare along with some summer libations and still feel good in your favorite bikini or sundress.

Here are my top five summer party survival tips:

frozen drinks1) Lighten Up the Libations:  Orange, cranberry and pineapple juice are great mixers, but they’re loaded with sugar and unwanted calories. A better bet is to pick your poison and mix it with seltzer and lots of ice. Then add a couple of slices of fresh oranges, lemons, limes or even some pineapple chunks for flavor. The same goes for soda and energy drinks. Pick the zero-calorie versions when mixing them with alcohol. A At home, I always have a pitcher of Crystal Light in my fridge. When I add vodka, I measure the serving with a shot glass to keep tabs on how just how much alcohol I’m drinking. Finally, whether you’re partying at home or at a friend’s house, throw back water, seltzer or diet soda for every other drink to stay hydrated and keep the calorie intake under control.

2) Have a Snack: You never want to arrive hungry. That’s a surefire way to dig right into the chips and dips or other high-calorie platters. Have a snack with some protein about an hour before you head to the celebration. My go-to is usually a fat-free Greek yogurt with a handful of almonds, berries or a banana.

3) Weigh Your Options: If it’s on the menu, grilled shrimp is a great protein choice. Chicken has less calories than a cheeseburger or hot dog. By the way, I’d never tell anyone NOT to have a cheeseburger or hot dog if that’s what you really want. Just fill your paper plate with veggie or salad options first so you don’t have too much room for more than one burger or dog.

4) Be a Kid Again: Popsicles are a lower-calorie dessert option than cookies, cupcakes and other sweet treats.Maybe you even opt to bring a box or two along with the fruit salad or other dish you brought your host or hostess.

5) Get Moving: If your gym is closed for the 4th of July or you just can’t get to your normal workout spot because of time constraints, you can still go for a walk in your neighborhood or pop a DVD in the TV to get some exercise. If you know your party planner usually likes to get a good game of volleyball or if you’re the person the kids like to play, be sure to have a pair of sneakers with you for whatever action pops up.

Whatever your plans are for the month ahead, a little planning and a lot of common sense can make all the difference when it comes to staying on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Motivation Monday: Beach Edition


I can’t believe how quickly the 4th of July weekend fun flew by. Hopefully, you all got to enjoy a little downtime and beat the heat with family and friends.

I am happy to report I got some great workouts in not only inside the gloriously air-conditioned gym, but I also broke an extra sweat at my favorite place on the planet: the beach. So on this Motivation Monday, I offer a simple idea for the next time you spend some time on the sand to take a typical beach walk to the next level.

Walk at a brisk pace and then 10 minutes in, try a sprint Tabata. Any of you repeat readers will know the Tabata is my favorite four-minute express workout with a very simple formula:

*20 seconds of work
*10 seconds of rest
Total= 8 rounds

So, run at a high speed for 20 seconds, then slow down to a walk for 10 and pick it up again. I use my UltraTimer Tabata interval app to keep me in track.

When you’re done with that Tabata, you can go back to walking and then after a minute, why not try a squat, tricep dip or plank Tabata, too? Just remember, if you do more than one Tabata, be sure to rest for 60 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

The bonus of my beach workout is that spending time listening to the crashing waves and feeling the sea breeze fill my lungs gives me time to clear my head and focus on my mental fitness, too. With the summer season in full swing, I hope you find lots of ways to mix up your routine and find new ways to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Smart Summer Sizzle

Happy Birthday, USA!

Nothing screams summer holiday celebration quite like a BBQ. Whether you’re firing up your own grill or the guest at a backyard, beach or poolside party, the good news is there are ways to enjoy the food and fun and not hate yourself tomorrow.

Here’s my list of simple tips to help you sail through this year’s 4th of July bash, and any other party that pops up this summer:

  • Get Moving! A 7:30 am holiday workout has become part of my prep for one of my best friend’s annual 4th of July pool party. Riding the endorphin rush all the way to the party keeps me from negating my hard work by heading straight for the heavy foods. If I do go a little overboard (and I admit, I usually do), it helps knowing I burned some serious pre-splurge calories. However, if you’re the type who’ll use a pre-party workout as a license to go hog wild, adding some time to tomorrow’s workout may be a safer bet.
  • Do NOT arrive hungry! This rule applies to any party at any time of the year, along with happy hour or a late dinner out. Eat as you normally would before heading to the party. Make an effort to have several servings of fruits and veggies in case there aren’t many to choose from among the burgers,hot dogs and mayo-rich salads. If you find your stomach is rumbling as you’re headed out the door, grab a piece of fruit or serving of almonds for the trip.
  • Bring Some Healthy Grub! Be the health-conscious guest who shows up carrying veggie crudite with hummus or a fruit salad with non-fat Greek yogurt as a dip. If you’re great in the kitchen (unlike me!) you can even do something creative like scoop out the inside of a watermelon and then use the shell as a bowl for the fruit salad. For a dessert, why not bring a tray of individual servings of red and blue jello as non-alcoholic shots? Speaking of booze, don’t be shy about bringing lo-cal margarita mix or bottles of seltzer and diet sodas, including tonic water, to mix with vodka, gin or rum.
  • Follow the Every-Other-Drink Rule! This is one of my favorite tricks for any social event. Have a beer, glass of wine or cocktail and then for your second beverage, switch to water or another non-alcoholic non-sugary option. Then if you go on to beverage number three, you can go back to your libation of choice and continue from there. Having a plastic cup filled with something in your hand also helps shrug off the peer pressure when friends say, “oh come on, have another one!”

At the end of the day, if you end up having that second hot dog or realize you’re the one who ate half the plate of seven-layer dip, don’t sweat it. Sometimes you have to be a little bad to get back to being good.

So for today, have fun celebrating our nation’s independence and whatever you do, please remember to designate a driver. That’s the best way to ensure you and yours will get home safely and face tomorrow with a renewed spirit to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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