grace filled fitness

sometimes you just need a little grace with fitness

#motivationmonday 10/5/15!

Happy Monday everyone!  Fall is officially here!  Hayrides, hot apple cider, pumpkin carving, roasted pumpkin seeds, football and well, everything pumpkin!!!!

Along with all the fun of fall comes lots of times to spend with kids or at least interact with them while doing fun “fall” activities.  Most parents want to show their kids a uniquely fun time picking the perfect pumpkin, navigating a corn maze and understanding the game of football.  What we don’t realize is that our kids watch our every move.  Everything we say, everything we do and every little action and reaction we have to things our kids see………and then try to imitate because we our their superheroes!  But this should get us thinking a bit….

All the times we curse at the TV for a bad call during a play, constantly are stuffing 7-layer taco dip in our mouths without any control and even consuming a high amount of beer or alcohol….our kids see this.  They also see us eating candy out of the trick or treat bowl without any self control and indulging in all those super sugary pumpkin drinks from Starbucks frequently.  Unfortunately as adults, we do this all too much, instead of infrequently.  And guess what?  Our kids start to think that is normal and they should be doing it too!😦

I want to challenge all of you – those with kids AND those without – to be a little more conscious while around kids this season.  Remember, you are an example to those kids and to the habits they develop as they get older.  Our country isn’t really headed in the correct direction when it comes to health and we as the current adult generation need to be equipping our kids with the tools to be healthy so our country can turn its current trend around!

This also applies to working out….sometimes motivation can come from being a great example for your kids.  Showing them your strength to push and continue on physically and mentally gives them something amazing to look up to and look forward to becoming.  Take care of yourself for your kids – so they can grow up to be strong and healthy!

Have a wonderful week everyone!


My Friday Fave for 9/25/15!

Today I’m going to share my little secret to keeping my skin looking fresh and even at the gym: Mary Kay CC cream!  This stuff is incredible!  I am so grateful my mother convinced me to try it one day.  I will never go back!

Mary Kay CC cream has been out for a little while now.  The first time I tried it, I was so astounded how much it covered, but yet it’s literally a tinted moisturizer!  I mean, I almost looked like I put on foundation!

This has been my go-to now for well over a year and I literally only put that on my skin in the morning before heading to work at the gym.  I love that it stays on thru sweating all day, and still lets my skin breathe.  Breakouts can happen easily for anyone, but its always worse when you have on a full face of make up and are sweating it out in Zumba class!  That’s asking for a serious, angry, red pimple to pop up on that forehead or chin!

What’s more astounding is that I find myself even using the CC cream when I’m not headed to the gym – I put it on before running errands or heading to church on Sundays (I just amp it up with more makeup around my eyes so it looks like I tried that morning!🙂 )  It gives me enough coverage to even out my skin tone versus looking like I just rolled out of bed!

If you want to give Mary Kay CC cream a try, email me at – I can put you in touch with someone who has access to the CC cream and so much more!  Hopefully you will fall in love with this easy fix that lets your skin breathe and you will never go back to taking so much time to do your makeup in the morning!



#motivationmonday 9/21/15!

Happy #motivationmonday everyone!!!  This week I am challenging all of you to get out a try something new….what if you CAN do it?!

I have two examples I want to touch on for this….the first example is my friend who is running her first marathon ever in Chicago in a few weeks.  She is such a great example of this #motivationmonday post!  She basically went out, found a coach and has trained for her first marathon all by herself!  She has hit every goal placed in front of her and despite her ups and downs during the training, has come out more excited and empowered than ever in her abilities as a runner.  For many years she said there was no way she could run a marathon and never tried.  Now she’s on her way to a full 26.2 miles in style!  Proud of you girl!🙂

My second example is about not being so successful (which happens when you try new things), and it has to do with my own ability to wake surf! Now to give myself credit, I was trying water sports for the first time ever this weekend.  I tried about 10 times to get up on the surf board and did it twice – AND then promptly feel down back into the water a split second later.  I was SO TIRED after those 10 tries too!  But I will be honest, after watching my husband try for all day Saturday getting the hang of it, then actually getting up, I knew I would be mad at myself if it didn’t at least try!  Here’s a shot of him surfing:

Tyler Surfing

At least I tried🙂 We will have to wait until next year to practice again!  With warmer water!

You never know what you are capable of until you try.  You may even fail, but you definitely will learn from the experience. Take a step outside your comfort zone and give yourself a chance to surprise yourself!🙂

XOXO Pamela

Friday Fave 9/18/15!

I am so excited to do a little loving on Old Navy today for my Friday Fave!  I recently discovered their active wear line has been upgraded – and I mean UP-GRADE-ED.  Their workout clothes have fast become my new staple for so many reasons!

I could go on and on about ALL of Old Navy’s active wear, but I’m going to stick with telling you how much I absolutely love their workout pants.  First of all, check out the picture above – can you say awesome?!  That picture I took from online today (so those are the actual sale prices of those pants currently!) and it’s only showing you a few of the green and blue colored pants.  They have a lot more colors and even styles!

I have been in fitness long enough to state that the staple workout clothes not too long ago was a pair of cotton shorts rolled at the waist paired with an old, cut-up t-shirt.  It was so boring!  In fact, you kind of avoided going out in public in those clothes (unless you just really didn’t care) because you knew you weren’t making the best impression!

I am so excited that Old Navy has taken the time to tap into their workout line and make their clothes so STYLISH!  For someone who works in fitness, I don’t always get an opportunity to show off my personal style – and this active wear line is FINALLY allowing me to do that!  Plus the styles are cute and fit the way they should, so I can feel comfortable in public.

Outside of stylish, I have now gotten the opportunity to test out these pants.  I have worn them all day long thru 3-4 sweat-session classes, thru health evaluations and interacting with members at the fitness facility I work at.  These pants hold up to all that, as well as hold you in in all the right places, stay where they are supposed to (aka, not constantly hiking them up over and over again) and actually do wick away sweat and dry quickly!  Plus the patterns are fun and constantly draw compliments.  I could not be happier with an opportunity to have stylish, functional workout clothes at an awesome price!

Take an opportunity to check out these pants, as well as their entire workout line.  I promise you will be impressed with the style, quality AND the prices!!!!!



Stroller Workouts – how to include your little one on an adventure outside!

Events this week made me decide to take a week-long haitus from weight lifting to discuss a fun topic – Stroller Workouts!

I recently got the opportunity to catch up with one of my best friends who lives far away from Chicago.  Outside of the usual friend chit-chat topics, we dove into discussing workouts.  After chatting with her, I felt prompted to start putting together fun workouts for my friend that would include her young son.

Before I move on, I have to give a quick shout-out to my amazing friend.  She is such a strong woman, with a husband deployed overseas for the Air Force and a dog that is once again just a few weeks away from having another litter of beautiful and adorable puppies.  Amongst everything else she does as a stay-at-home mom, she tries to be active with her son.  I am so proud of her and delighted that she is showing her little boy some good habits.  It’s so important that we show the next generation how to take care of themselves and problem prevent!  If we don’t, their future is very bleak when it comes to health in this country!

To inspire her, I wrote 6 stroller workouts to give her a challenge and break the monotony of the everyday jog!  The workouts include all different types of exercises to strengthen muscles, work muscles not normally used, as well as challenge the most important muscle of all: the heart!  My hope for my friend and anyone else that tries these workouts – either moms, dads or even babysitters – is that they will be challenged but also have fun trying something new, while including the little one!

There are a total of 6 workouts written – one for 6 days of the week, with a 7th rest day.  That rest day is SUPER important.  Your body needs a day to recover from the physical challenges you may place on it.  If you have to do something that day – just go for a walk.  But keep it nice and easy!

There is also a “recovery” workout written that should be worked in as one of the middle days of the week, in between the other interval workouts.  This recovery workout will still challenge your body and heart a bit, but give your muscles an opportunity to not be pushed so hard.  Overdoing it can lead to extra muscle soreness – which can be avoided very easily!  All you need to do is give yourself easier days – like a “recovery” day/workout and a day with no exercise once a week.  Your body will thank you and you will avoid a setback from injury or being over tired!

Each work out also includes a warm up and a cool down.  They are short – only 5 minutes long each, but extremely important!  Avoiding injury and extra soreness is easily preventable with a proper warm up and cool down – especially as the weather starts to get colder up here in the north for the impending winter!  Give yourself the opportunity for the best workouts possible by including these.

Check out the workouts below and give them a try.  Maybe even grab a friend for more motivation and a fun time challenging each other!  Please feel free to email me with questions:



Interval I

Time Exercise
5 min. Walk – warm up
3 min. Jogging
1 min. Running
1 min. Powerwalk
25 min. (5x 5 min.) Repeat jogging, fast run and powerwalk
5 min. Walk – cool down

Interval II

Time Exercise
5 min. Walk – warm up
3 min. Jogging
1 min. Lunge walks
1 min. Fast reverse walk
25 min. (5x 5 min.) Repeat jogging, lunge walks and reverse walks
5 min. Walk – cool down


Interval III

Time Exercise
5 min. Walk – warm up
2 min. Jogging
1 min. skipping
1 min. Walk recovery
30 seconds Forward butt kicks
30 seconds Forward high knees
25 min. (5x 5 min.) Repeat jogging, skipping, walk and knee work
5 min. Walk – cool down


Interval IV

Time Exercise
5 min. Walk – warm up
2 min. Jogging
30 seconds Side shuffles
30 seconds Opposite side shuffles
2 min. Running
25 min. (5x 5 min.) Repeat jogging, shuffles and running
5 min. Walk – cool down


Challenge Running Intervals

Time Exercise
5 min. Walk – warm up
5 min. Jogging
3 min. Running
1 min. Fast as possible!!!!
1 min. Powerwalking
25 min. (5x 5 min.) Repeat jogging, running, sprint and powerwalking
5 min. Walk – cool down


Recovery Cardio

Time Exercise
5 min. Walk – warm up
3 min. Powerwalking
2 min. Jogging
25 min. (5x 5 min.) Repeat powerwalking and jogging
5 min. Walk – cool down


#motivationmonday 9.14.15!!!!

Happy #motivationmonday everyone!  I met an amazing woman this weekend at my PiYo certifcation who told us the reason she is in fitness is because it saved her life – literally.  At 25, she was diagnosed with a thick Mitral Valve, so she would go thru times where she felt as if she was having a heart attack from a lack of blood flow from her left atrium to left ventricle in her heart.  Can you imagine how she must have felt at that age to experience that?!  Well, long story short, she got a gym membership, fell in love with classes and now is obsessed with training, motivation people and teaching fitness courses.  She was in that gym literally to save her life.

You may not have that sort of circumstance – I certainly don’t – but every day I make the time to take care of my physical health by exercising and being active, I am ensuring that I can live longer and be healthier for longer!  I’m saving my life in my own way – for me and my friends and family!

I hope you can find that same sense of accomplishment from this statement and take the time to save your life everyday!🙂


Friday Fave 9/11/15!!!!

Hi All!  I have decided to start a Friday Fave post.  Each Friday I will post something that I truly love from the world of Fashion – especially fitness fashion!  (Which is finally so much better than a pair of shorts and a cut-up t-shirt!)

Since today we are remembering the 14th anniversary of 9/11/2001, I am sporting my American Flag infinity scarf at the Fitness Center.  And yes – I’m wearing it with my workout clothes🙂 Not only is it super simple to dress patriotic with this scarf, but it’s easy to be festive for each American holiday with this one fashion piece!  It is made of a light material so it is wearable year-round and is also a slightly distressed version of the American Flag, which goes well with pretty much any outfit.

I found my infinity scarf at Dry Goods very early last spring and unfortunately it seems to not be available anymore.  However, below is a link for a scarf that is exactly the same on Amazon for literally half the price!  I dropped about $25.00 on my scarf, but Amazon and Riverberry are selling them for only $7.59!!!  And bonus if you’ve got Amazon Prime – your shipping is free🙂

Here is the Link:

Enjoy everyone!


Wait – Lifting weight will actually help me look thinner?! (Part I)

We’ve all heard this myth: that lifting weight makes you bulk up and look chunky.  Honestly, that is true, depending on how you are lifting.  What tons of women miss is that lifting – and lifting a certain way – will actually aid you in weight loss and overall make you appear thinner, despite a higher number on the scale.  Hold up!  Seriously?!

Yes Ma’am, weight lifting is so good for you – for so many reasons!  Not only does it ensure that we are keeping our bones strong, it allows us to increase our lean mass and make us more efficient at burning off our fat mass.  Take a look at this picture:

muscle vs. fat

Woah – that’s a lot of fat in comparison to muscle!!!!

What I am referring to is called Body Composition: the amount of fat weight on your body versus the amount of lean weight on your body.  Lean weight is comprised of your bones and muscles combined.  Your goal is to always increase your lean weight and lower the fat weight.  Though the number on a scale may stay close to the same, you actually will find yourself shrinking in size because there is more muscle on your body!!!!  AKA – totally toned babe!!!🙂

Okay so now you’re probably really curious to see how you can get on this lifting bandwagon.  Now I’m not talking about going to the gym and pumping iron like all the meatheads you see at your local gym hang out. You can lift in SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS!!!!  While flat out pumping iron is one way to do it, even just lifting your own body weight is going to increase that muscle.  In fact, most of the time your own body weight is more than the dumbell you would choose to pick up at the gym! Which is good – the higher the weight, the more the muscle gain.

So in the rest of this post, let’s talk about body weight exercises.  These exercises require nothing other than you.  That’s it! (And maybe some space to do them in.)  Some basic examples of body weight exercises are pushups, squats, lunges, tricep dips and planks.  I’m sure some of you just cringed a bit because you already know there is no way you can do those things!  Well I’m here to tell you that you can!  Here’s how: modify them to fit what you can do!  There are so many ways to modify exercises – but most people don’t know about them at all.  Below is a chart of exercises with modifications for you to try out.  Do each exercises as many times as you can until you cannot do anymore (or hold it for as long as you can)!  Try to get them all in 3-4 times a week.  Make these work for you so you can get that muscle mass up!  Next week I’ll get into some more actually weight lifting exercises!

Email me with questions!🙂

Much Love


Exercise Description Easy modification Difficult modification
Pushups Be balanced on your hands and toes, lower to the floor and press back up to starting position.  Keep head aligned with spine Same movement, only drop to your knees with your heels all the way up by your bottom Same movement, though alternate lifting each leg as you lower to floor
Squat Keep weight in heels and lower down as if sitting in a chair, then stand back up.  Bend knees to about 90 degrees keeping hands in front of you.  Do not allow your knees to go in front of your toes! Place a chair in front of you for balance and assistance.  Complete same movement, but only bend knees to a maximum of 60 degrees.  Keep weight in heels! Same movement, but raise one leg straight out in front of you and squat into the heel of one leg.  Alternate legs!
Reverse Lunges Step back in one leg and lower almost all the way to the floor. Alternate sides.  Make sure your step is large enough to ensure your knee does not go over your toes on the front leg! Same movement, but place a chair next to you for assistance.  Only lower half way to the floor and decrease the size of the step back slightly.  Still ensure that your knee does not go over your toes on the front leg! Same movement, just make them more high intensity: aka jump them.  Switch your feet at the same time, so you are getting a split second of air time as you swap foot placement.  Make sure that your lunge is still big!
Tricep Dips Use a chair or the floor – whatever you have access to!  Place your hands on the edge of the chair and drop your bottom down to the floor, keeping your elbows as close together behind you as possible!  Push back up to your starting position Move your feet closer to the chair.  Complete the same movement and do not dip down as far As you complete each dipping movement, raise a leg.  Alternate sides.  OR – feel free to hold a leg out straight and dip multiple times before raising the other leg!
Forward Plank Get into the push up position described above.  Hold!!!  You also can hold his from your elbows. Once again lower to your knees as described in the push up easy modification above.  You also can lower to your elbows to help with hand discomfort Same static hold – just add in leg lifts or even arm lifts!  Just ensure that you lift your arm with your thumb in a thumbs up position!
Side Planks Same type of static hold as a forward plank, just hold your body up on one arm and face the side with the other arm extended up to the sky Same hold, just feel free to put on knee down and/or drop to your elbow Hold as described but raise your top leg up in the air so you look like a sideways star!

How to make that cardio equipment not so boring!

We’ve all done it – gotten on a treadmill, elliptical, etc. and travelled along at the same pace for a long, long period of time with out adjusting any of our original settings.  A lot of times this is the most simple for many reasons….we want to be in control of the machine, we don’t know what else to do or even that’s practically the only machine that seems available!  Or maybe even we are trying to get the machine that is right by the TV because your show is on soon and you’re at least going to try to be productive instead of sitting on the couch!  Kudos to you!

The problem we gradually face – usually in a short period of time – is we get bored.  FAST.  Or even lazy, especially if we are reading or watching TV.  Pretty soon we find we are so bored that we do not have any desire to get onto that piece of equipment and continue plugging along towards our goals.  So how do we keep this from happening?  How can be make cardio not boring?!

There are so many ways to make cardio fun!  Working it out with a friend by your side, taking your cardio outside if it is a nice day or even changing up the type of cardio machine – within the same workout – can all keep you interested.  But there is another very successful other way to keep things interesting: interval training!

Now I’m willing to bet some of you just cringed big time!  Interval training over the years sometimes has gotten a bad rap – mostly from people who push others too hard so they are afraid of trying it again.  There’s always going to be that bad apple in every thing and I am here to let you know that interval training is a great way to help you reach your goals!

Before we get into how to actually do interval training, let’s take a quick look at why it is a better way to improve your fitness level.  First, interval training forces your body to work at training the different types of energy expenditure.  Without going all human physiology on you, let me explain that you have different ways that you utilize your energy in your muscles; three ways to be exact.  When you are doing basic consistent cardio at the same pace, you are only training one of these energy sources.  That one energy source, called aerobic, is the one that actually causes your body to maintain fat to a certain extent- because that’s how that system works.  Running long distances requires fat stores for energy to run that long.  There are two others: anaerobic threshold and anaerobic.  When you train at these levels – which is the same a sprinter trains at – you actually keep less fat on your body.  This is something people miss!  Distance runners actually keep a higher percentage of fat on their body than sprinters because of how they train!  Sprinters look super muscular, but that is because of how they are lifting; their body fat is significantly lower than distance runners.

The second point of interval training that is super cool stems from newer research that has come out recently about how interval training affects your metabolism.  Interval training has been shown to raise your metabolism higher than regular, consistent cardio AND keep it higher for a longer period of time – up to 36 hours after your stop!  Now if that isn’t a reason to try out interval training, I don’t know what is!

So here is how interval training works: after you warm up, you take a period of time to workout on that machine at a comfortable pace; say about 4 minutes. After that time period, ramp things up for a bit, say about one minute and challenge yourself. Once that minute is over, go back to that comfortable pace for another 4 minutes. Repeat that cycle until you reach a total of 30 minutes and then take about 5 minutes to cool down. You will accomplish more in that 30 minute period of time that a full hour at a consistent pace!

You can adjust the time as you see fit with this: maybe you want to workout at an easy pace for two minutes and then push yourself for 30 seconds. You can set the time however you want! Word of advice though: make sure you choose a time at a comfortable pace to allow recovery, but not a FULL recovery! You want to be challenging yourself while doing this workout. If your time at a comfortable pace is too long, you body will not improve as quickly.

Take the time to try this method out this week and let me know how it goes! I welcome questions and will be happy to help you out individually if you need advice! Have fun!

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