Category Archives: Personal

New Year’s Resolutions – 2018

Some time ago I changed my New Year’s Resolutions turned into goals I want to accomplish during the year. Last year I nailed my fitness goals and then some, but they were pretty vague. I wanted to become healthier and more fit and I did that.

I lost weight, lost inches, and got stronger. I’ve pushed through arthritis and tendinitis and come out the other side healthy and strong. I can even run again! I have to keep it “slow” and the time “short” but I can once more get lost in the running world. Not only that but I got certified in 4 more formats of group x classes, renewed my cert as a general group x instructor, and became a personal trainer!

I’d call that a successful year, wouldn’t you?

My fitness goals for 2018 are similar to 2017.

2018 Goals:

  • Run longer/faster
  • Increase overall strength
  • Get to a green belt in tkd
  • Complete 2 running races

Why not more races? Because they cost money and I don’t have an unlimited supply. I figure I’ll limit myself to 2 paid-for races this year. This won’t include events like the Couch Potato Triathlon that starts at my local YMCA Jan 8th. I’m doing the employee version so I don’t actually pay for it. Of course, this also means I don’t get the shirt that paid-for members get upon completion. But I will have the knowledge and the pride that I put in the miles and was able to do it. That’s enough for me.

Click the picture for a link to a registration form

I want to lose weight along with getting stronger but it’s not really a goal for me. I’m not going to actively attempt to “lose weight.” Losing weight happens differently with everyone and I find the best way for me to lose weight is to focus on my other fitness/health goals. When I do that, the weight drops on its own. When I focus on my weight, all I do is stress about the number on the scale. Stressing about it makes me want to eat more and my willpower with food can get pretty bad. If I focus on getting stronger etc, then I don’t worry and I don’t overeat and I lose weight. It doesn’t work for everyone but it does for me.

It’s important to find what works best for you and stick with it. There will always be people who will try to convince you another way is better or that your way is wrong. Unless your habits are unhealthy/unsafe, don’t listen to them. If you’re enjoying your method of strength gain and weight loss and it’s working for you, don’t listen to the naysayers.

ie: People telling you that running is the best way to lose weight but you hate running…DON’T DO IT. People pushing fad diets on you that you don’t like or feel hesitant about…DON’T DO IT.

As for my taekwondo belt…I’ve spent months trying to get through the orange belt stages to green belt. You’d think it’d be simple…I thought it’d be simple to get my green belt by January or February, but I’m not even halfway through. I still have 3 tests to go. An injury back in August/September prevented me from testing and then life got super busy so I wasn’t able to attend enough classes to get through more than 1 testing. So, while it theoretically should be easy to get to green belt before the summer, who knows if I actually will. In any case, I’ll be able happy if I reach it within the year.

I feel confident I can meet these goals. An ultimate goal is to be able to run a 35-min 5k again but I wouldn’t put any money on that one and I’m not aiming for that in just this year. My knees come first and I’m still working on getting under 40 minutes. I’ll be running and cycling a lot more with this Couch Potato Triathlon though so I have reasonable hopes of noticeably increasing my pace.

We’ll see!

What are your resolutions or goals for 2018?



To start with, I should probably explain a bit about what I’m doing exercise-wise these days. My leg muscles are much stronger now than they were before and the arthritic knee pain has mellowed so that I can push harder. Knee braces are a thing of the past. Ice packs are used sparingly (when there’s a hint of pain but there isn’t usually). Life is good physically…for the most part. I won’t go into the details.

Point is, I’ve started running again. After a bit of slow training on my own (and a week or so with the ZR5K app), I signed up for a Total Solar Eclipse Virtual Race to see where I stood with my abilities.

My 5k finishing time was 40:12. Considering I hadn’t dealt with hills or headwinds on my treadmill workouts and I hadn’t managed a full 5k distance before then, I was quite proud of myself. It also gave me a solid time to beat in October when I do the Halloween Virtual Run from the Zombies, Run app.

Because I don’t put the best thought into safely running on my own, I’m using the ZR5K app (Zombies, Run! 5k Training). It’s an 8-week running program. The first 3 weeks are free but you have to pay $4 for the rest. I was worried I wouldn’t like it but I knew it would help get me in running shape so I kept an open mind and loosely did the first 2 weeks when I had time. Yeah, those 2 weeks actually took me about 3-4 weeks. I’ve buckled down though and have a set running schedule that works pretty well. Today I bought the rest of the app (because I LOVE it!) and started Week 4.

Each week they give you a running routine that you have to do 3x (on 3 different days of course).

Week 3:

  • 5 min Walking
  • 5 min Free Form Run
  • 1 min Run, 1 min Walk, 10r Knee Lifts – REPEAT 5x
  • 8 min Free Form Run
  • 2 min Stretching
  • 8 min Free Form Run

I don’t stop to stretch during that 2 minutes. I slow to a walk to rest and give myself a break. I hit the full 5k each run for Week 3. By Week 2 I was able to run the full 10-min free form run at the end. Week 3’s 8-min free form runs were harder but I still managed to run both of them with the help of that 2-min bout of walking in the middle.

Week 4:

  • 5 min Walking
  • 5 min Free Form Run
  • 10r Knee Lifts, 1 min Slow Walk, 1 min Fast Walk – REPEAT 5x
  • 1 min Walking, 30s Running – REPEAT 5x
  • 15 min Free Form Run

When I saw the routine for today, I thought it would be easy and it was…until the end. I knew that 15-min run at the end would be difficult but I thought I could push through at least most of it because of how well I had been doing in the previous weeks.

My speeds had increased the last couple weeks. My walking was 4.0mph and my free form running ranged from 4.5-5.5mph. Today my Slow Walk was 4.0mph while my Fast Walk was 4.5mph. I had tried to walk at this speed before, yes, but can only keep it up for a short period of time. My shins get super tired and it’s easier to use that speed as a jog. But for 1-min intervals it was doable. And the walk/run intervals were almost too easy.

However, when I got to the 15-min run at the end, I felt at once that I couldn’t keep up my normal 5.5mph. Not even a minute had gone by before I started drooping so I switched to 5.0mph for awhile. 3 minutes later and I switched to 4.5mph which is normal for me but I was struggling more than I should have been. I try to scale through those speeds in an effort to keep going. If I’m running at 5.5mph for 2 minutes, 5.0mph feels easier so I can then keep that up for another 2 minutes. Then moving to 4.5mph is almost easy so that, by the time I’m done with those 2 minutes, I have the energy to shoot back up to 5.5mph and do the whole thing again. Obviously I couldn’t manage that plan this time.

By 5 minutes my energy was shot and I still had 10 minutes to go. I slowed to a 4.0mph walk. I started up again at 5.0mph but could only last about a minute before I had to slow again to 4.5mph. I spent the rest of the run at a 4.0mph walk and a 4.5mph run. Around 10 minutes my head felt detached and my body felt strange. Probably the first time I’ve ever noticed this precursor to being lightheaded. I tried to walk more but I still pushed myself to run when I felt I could.

I hit 5k before the end of the routine. It was my slowest 5k (in this training) at 43:12. My run by the end was 3.55 miles at 49:54.

Yes, the routine was long. But why I would feel so tired/weak and have such trouble with the final run when I hadn’t been working very hard beforehand, I don’t know. I had an Isagenix shake for breakfast and it powered me through Week 3 Run 3 last week beautifully. Was I expending more energy than I thought with those initial walking intervals? Because my initial 5-min free form run in the beginning was at my normal speed and almost at my normal energy level.

Maybe my body was overheated? I try to turn the treadmill fan on when I run but the treadmill today didn’t have a fan and the extra big fan wasn’t on. I should’ve paused my run when I first felt overly sweaty and turned it on, but I thought I was being silly and that I should tough it out. I wonder now if that wasn’t the case and I should’ve turned the fan on.

If anyone has any other ideas as to why I was so much weaker toward the end than I usually am, please feel free to comment. I’m learning as I go and I want to train smart so I can stay healthy and injury-free and eventually help others do the same.

My First HIIT Class!

I taught my first HIIT class! Every Saturday there’s an hour-long HIIT class from 9-10am. We have a rotating instructor schedule so the class format is always changing based on who’s teaching it. For those who don’t know…

  • H – High
  • I – Intensity
  • I – Interval
  • T – Training

Now, an hour is QUITE a long time for a HIIT class. A good HIIT workout can you leave you exhausted after just 30 minutes. I thought I had seen another instructor shorten their cycling class (another rotating instructor schedule) to 45 minutes so I thought I’d do the same. Now, it’s been almost a year since I went to that class so I’m probably not remembering that correctly. Anyway, I pushed and wiggled my way into the HIIT rotation schedule and my director finally agreed!

And then she told me I had to keep it to the full hour.

This was pretty much my reaction:

Yep. In instances like this, when I’m in doubt, I smile and fake it. I was freaking out a bit on the inside, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. Let’s face it, the longer the class, the more the money. And then being able to do that intense of a class for a whole hour?? Yeah, I was happy and super nervous.

Well Saturday came around and BAM! I nailed it! I was really wanting to do a PIIT class but, as you know, that’s a paid-for program so that would be a big no-no. Stealing is a bad thing. But they gave me permission to make it my own. PIIT wouldn’t have worked for an entire hour anyway.

I kept with the intervals of cardio and strength training moves but obviously did more with it. I can’t work the lower body for an hour at that intensity. What about the rest of the body? Nope. Not happening.

My HIIT plan:

8 moves in a round alternating cardio and strengthening. 6 rounds total: 2 rounds for legs // arms // core. 45s for each move with a break between each move and each round. Warm-up in the beginning and Stretching at the end. In an added attempt to change it from PIIT, I made sure the moves I used were moves you’d find in other classes/workouts.

I didn’t bother timing the breaks. Just long enough for me to show the next move and then enough time to get some water between rounds. My students came in a bit late so I had to cut up the 2 rounds of core to stay in our 1-hr time frame. Stretching still knocked us over but there was no class after ours so it was okay.

After class I was all…

I definitely want to do that again! Turns out my hubby was really anxious too. I had told him it would be a difficult class (I was right, it was) so he was worried for me. Now we’re both proud I can kick people’s butts without killing myself in the process.

Next time I’ll do 30s each move to accommodate for any longer breaks that might accidentally happen (or students arriving late) so I don’t have to cut into the rounds of core. I’ll also do harder core moves (cardio moves that incorporate the core more) because my core wasn’t sore or tired at all. My arms were pretty darn pooped though. I may incorporate weights sometime in the future too. I like body weight moves but we’ll see.

Warrior Dash Training Plan

New fitness training plan! Because in my heart of hearts I want to be a ninja like Jessie Graff. I mean, how can you beat a real-life superhero? You can’t. End of story. My son and I both love her and think she’s beyond everything. My husband thinks her physical prowess is amazing. Every time we see her doing something (it’s always a physical thing like scaling a wall or leaping around like gravity is meaningless), we’re motivated to do an impromptu workout right then and there. Why fight it? So we do some pull-ups (or assisted in my case) and push-ups. Not much. Just enough to get our arms warm and a sense of productivity to make us feel good.

With my bad joints, there’s no way I can throw myself into ninja training though. I’ll most likely never be able to do that. And that’s okay. That doesn’t mean I can’t aspire to be stronger though.

“Be Your Own Superhero”

I read that on signs and shirts people had at American Ninja Warrior lately. Jessie Graff fans. I love that idea. It makes me want to work harder at my goals.

So! I may not be ninja quality, but I’m currently satisfied with becoming a Warrior. I saw there was a Warrior Dash race here in Nebraska just outside of Omaha. July 15th. HA! That is NOT happening! However, I can start training now for 2018. With that in mind, I took a look at their training plan and am trying to incorporate it into my weekly plan.

I have to modify nearly everything but you have to start somewhere and this gives me something to work toward while I wait. My goal is to not modify anything by the time the Nebraska Warrior Dash race comes around in 2018. And, yes, it’ll take me that long to safely train because my shoulders, having been injured in the past, are my weakest point.

Here’s what I did today:

Cardio & Strength Circuit 1

Warm-Up: 30s each, 1-2x (I did 1x)

  • Squat
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Squat to Reach
  • High Knees (walked for low impact)
  • Reverse Lunge Rotation (realize now I did wrong – only a reverse lunge with a twist)
  • Butt Kickers (walked for low impact)

Obstacle 1 – Crawling 10r each, 90s

  • Army Crawl (on my knees)
  • Frog Squat Thrust (walked through instead of jumping)

Rest 30s // RUN! 90s

Obstacle 2 – Pushing 10r each, 90s

  • Tricep Dips
  • Med Ball Slam (no med balls available and I didn’t want to slam anything down, switched to Kettlebell Swing…which I realized afterwards was not a good substitute because it worked my legs rather than my arms. I’ll find a new substitute later.)

REST 30s // RUN! 90s

Obstacle 3 – Jumping 10r each, 90s

  • Bench Lunge Step Ups
  • Tuck Jumps (modified to squat with calf raise)

Rest 30s // RUN! 90s

Obstacle 4 – Pulling 10r each, 90s

  • Pull-Ups (equipment not available, substituted with shoulder presses…a pull-down machine would’ve been better but I was in the wrong room and didn’t feel like running all over the building trying to find it again)
  • Squat Thrust to High Pull

Rest 30s /// RUN! 90s

Obstacle 5 – Agility 10r each, 90s

  • Jump Rope (did without a jump rope)
  • Over the Bench

Rest 30s // RUN! 90s

Obstacle 6 – Balance 10r each, 90s

  • Squat on Toes (used a bar for balance)
  • Plank with Ankle Touch

Rest 30s // RUN! 90s

I desperately needed some stretching after this so I added in the Core & Flexibility Workout as well.

Core & Flexibility Workout

45s each, Rest 15s between each

  • Squat Chop (I messed up and did a squat with a twist)
  • One Leg Front Bridge (alternated between on my toes in plank and on my knees in modified plank)
  • Twist (no tubing available, used a 10lb BodyPUMP weight)
  • Dead Bug
  • Glutes Stretch
  • Side Bridge Crunch (on one knee)
  • Alternating Superman
  • Scorpion Stretch
  • Lower Back Stretch
  • Hamstrings Stretch
  • Hip Flexors Stretch
  • Quadriceps Stretch
  • IT Band Stretch

Felt good up till the end with the IT Band Stretch. I remember that move from physical therapy. OUCH!! My legs desperately needed it though. I haven’t used the foam roller in forever! It made me feel professional. Feel free to laugh at me, I am.

That core workout wasn’t really big for core moves but wow! That stretching felt good. I’m definitely going to be incorporating that a lot more from now on.

If you’re interested in this training plan, click on the picture below:

Instructor Change


You have a class you regularly go to. You love the class, you love the instructor. One day there’s a sub. That’s okay, you still go, but it’s not the same. The sub is just as good a teacher, probably even better qualified for all you know, but she’s not YOUR instructor. Personalities are different. The feel of the class is different. Even the music is at a different volume. Boredom creeps up on you. Motivation is seriously lacking but you push yourself for as long as possible during the class until you can’t take it anymore. 30 minutes out of an hour is still a respectable workout. You’ve worked enough to be plenty sore the next day.

The original teacher has to leave for awhile and there’s no sub available so the class is temporarily cancelled. NOOOO!!!!

Months later you see there’s a new sub so you check it out again. SURPRISE!!! They’re funny and motivational and the room’s energy is beyond awesome. You start coming again…only to arrive one day and find yet another sub who’ll be taking over. Your energy plummets. Everything is dull again. 30 minutes later you’re out the door just as before. This new awesome sub will not be coming back not because of any issues but because that was the time agreed upon behind scenes.

You’re left in the same situation as before except with tons more muscle and a much deeper feeling of disappointment because you don’t want to lose that hard-won strength but neither do you want to struggle through an hour of boredom 2x/wk.

What do you do??

This is the dilemma I’m currently facing with BodyPUMP. Let me be clear that it is NOT the instructor’s fault. I’ve experienced 6 different BodyPUMP instructors and they ALL rocked. They knew their stuff, their form was on target, they were all nice and friendly and energetic. I don’t know what it is about an instructor that makes me want to take their class. I can go to a boring class but if I click with the instructor, I’ll keep going. Likewise, I can go to an awesome class but if I don’t click with that instructor, I won’t keep going.

I considered getting certified in it and teaching the darn thing myself cuz I always have awesome fun teaching fitness classes. It’s like a win/win – I get moving (sometimes I get worked seriously hard too), I motivate others to exercise and be healthy, and I get paid for it! Learning the choreo etc wouldn’t be all that difficult. I mean, it would take a lot of time, but it’s totally doable. It’s the training itself that’s not doable. A couple days of intense training and it’s not guaranteed that people pass that workshop to even get to their eval videos.

Unfortunately, I’m not physically strong enough to do that. I’m tons stronger than I used to be, but I’m not yet strong enough to tackle that monster. But it is a certification I’d like to get at some point because the class can be super fun and it works soooo well.

I’m not the type of person to push myself through an hour of fitness boredom (part of the reason I stop my workout plans so often) so I won’t be going to BodyPUMP class anymore. However, that doesn’t mean I’m s.o.l. Here’s my tentative schedule to make up for this loss:

  • M – Walk/Jog Intervals // Tone It Up
  • Tu – SilverSneakers Cardio Circuit // POP Pilates
  • W – HIIT or PIIT
  • Th – SilverSneakers Cardio Circuit // POP Pilates
  • F – Walk/Jog Intervals // BodyPUMP??
  • Sa – HIIT or PIIT
  • Su – Rest

That schedule is subject to change on any given day but it’s the basic idea of what I’m currently planning on. My doctor said I shouldn’t be running at all because I have mild arthritis in my knees. However, I’ve been reading articles about it. They all differ of course but most seem to concur that osteoarthritis isn’t a 100% game breaker for running. If I was an athlete whose job was running etc then, yes, I’d be done. But there’s a possibility that cross-training and keeping it mild etc along with RICE blah blah blah…Maybe I could start running again. Nothing big, but maybe I’d be able to do 5k races again with the proper precautions?

I’m probably grasping at straws here, but I miss it so much. My legs are much stronger than they were too…I’ll have to talk to the doctor about it. He might relent and point me to a physical therapist or personal trainer who could help.

Anyway, so in lieu of BodyPUMP classes, I’ve made a new schedule. That’s what I do when I lose classes or instructors I really enjoy. I’m excited about starting this new schedule too. I love changing up my workouts! Except now my son’s school is out for the summer so I’ll have a mini-me in tow wherever I go. Oh joy. Oh rapture. At least he’s being a good sport about going to all of my classes etc and so well-behaved when we’re there! I’m lucky I’m in a gym where I can legally do that for the most part.

April – 3rd Week of PIIT28 1.0

Sooooo…this week sucked with PIIT28. I took the weekend off as usual but by Monday I was feeling super unmotivated. My son was out of school for a late Spring Break so he was out of school on Monday. All I wanted to do was stay at home and relax with him.

So I did.

Tuesday rolled around and everything was back to normal. It was easier to get my butt in gear because I had to teach fitness classes and it was going to be a super busy day so I was in GO mode the whole day. Luckily, my POP class was canceled (no students) so I was able to get PIIT28 in early and have extra time to recuperate at home.

PIIT28 1.10 Fat Burn Fest

Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4:   

My POP Pilates class was canceled so PIIT28 was easier this time around. Nobody POPed so I PIIT…ed…hmm…Anyway, the title would suggest that it’s a cardio workout but, in actuality, it’s the 2nd total body workout in the program.

As you know (or now know after you read this), there are 11 workouts in PIIT28 1.0. Here’s how they’re broken up:

  • 1 Cardio day
  • 2 Core days
  • 2 Upper Body days
  • 4 Lower Body days
  • 2 Total Body days

I know it seems like the lower body has more work than the rest of your body but…Yeah, it’s true. Your legs work more than 4x as much as the rest of your body will, but that’s because your thighs have the biggest muscles. The more you work the big muscles, the bigger the calorie burn.

The moves are different every day so you’re not working them the exact same way 2 days in a row. However, because you are working them so strenuously 6 days a week, if they start feeling not so good, LISTEN TO THEM and take appropriate measures to prevent injury. Our bodies feel pain for a reason. Pay attention to it. Don’t ignore it.

PIIT28 1.11 Bubble Butt

Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

During the 1st round I was super bored. I didn’t want to exercise, I just wanted to take a shower and relax. I was at home, my bicep hurt from taekwondo the night before, and I had already done 20 minutes of hula. I pushed myself to get that 2nd round done and sometime during that round I was cool with doing the whole thing. But man! My butt hurt by the end!!

Afterwards I went on IG and did some temporary videos saying Bubble Butt. Try it. It’s super fun overemphasizing the B sound. Bubble Butt.

And that’s all of the workouts in PIIT28 1.0! From here on out is the struggle to do it all again in order to complete the 2nd half of the program. I know the moves and the modifications. Now I just have to power through it all again to finish. Am I going to finish is the real question.

Only halfway through and my strength and endurance are way up while my measurements are already down. My mental stamina though…Fighting against that mental weakness can be harder than fighting through physical weakness.

PIIT28 Flat Abs 1.0


Yeah, I was supposed to do 1.1 Abdomination but I was feeling super blah. There are 2 bonus workouts you have the option of including if you’re in your Round 2 (or above) of PIIT28 1.0 – Flat Abs 1.0 and Stronger 1.0.

Round 2 = You’ve already completed the entire 28 days of PIIT28 1.0 and now you’re doing the whole thing again.

It’s optional and there in case anyone finds they’ve gained so much strength that they want/need more.

I thought perhaps if I did Flat Abs 1.0 first then it would help motivate me to get my PIIT workout done as well. It kind of did but didn’t at the same time because I was feeling super blah. But I did get up to start 1.1 Abdomination so I was going to do it. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you see it), some POP students walked in at that moment.


Teaching POP Pilates put me in a better mood but then I was tired because that class is all about core work and the last thing I wanted to do was another bout of core work so I packed it up and rested. And also went back into blah mode until after dinner.

I wonder if it’s the sugar from all that rotten Easter candy. I’m feeling pretty blah again today but I’m more determined to do 1.1 Abdomination. I hate getting halfway through the month and then quitting because I don’t want to do the same thing for the next 2 weeks.

I need to get off my butt and just do it.

If you want to try the Power Pack and get all programs (1.0-3.0), click the above pic!

April – 2nd Week PIIT28 1.0

We’ve moved into the 2nd week of PIIT28 1.0 and already I did an oopsie. Saturday was a rest day, sure, but Sunday I was supposed to get back into things with 1.6. Yeah, I didn’t do it. I suck at pushing myself to exercise on the weekend. But, ya know what? My knees really enjoyed the extra day of rest and on Monday I was back to being able to push myself to the max again. So I guess I needed that extra day after going past my limits on Th/F.

From now on I won’t stress about resting 2 days in a row. Stress is NOT what this program is about. It’s supposed to be a stress-RELIEVER not a stress-MAKER. So forget it. This means it’ll take longer for me to get through the program however I’m still on the fence about repeating that 1.5 cardio workout considering it wasn’t really cardio for me since I had the modifications aren’t intense.

In fact, I was considering not repeating the workouts at all. I have all 3 programs and I’ve already done 1.0 the whole way through. I’m considering going through all 11 workouts in 1.0 and then, instead of repeating them for the 2nd half of the month, doing the 11 workouts from 2.0 to finish the month. It would be so fresh! So new! I’m really liking that idea. Other people who have been doing these programs for awhile combine all 3. Of course, you need to complete each program before you can do this.

I get bored easily and I remember getting bored in the 2nd half of the month with 1.0 last year. Switching to 2.0 for the 2nd half might be just what I need to keep pushing to make it through.

Anyway, here’s the 2nd week of PIIT28 1.0!

PIIT28 1.6 Booty Lift

Round 1:   Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4:

Work that booty! Uh huh. My butt is seriously sore and on fire. I’m glad I saved it for Monday else I’d be more sore. Good way to start the week! I like it when Mondays start like this. Productive and butt-burning in a non-hemorrhoidal sort of way.

PIIT28 1.7 Core Crusher

Round 1: Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

Sometimes exercise is super fun, sometimes it’s not. I wasn’t feeling it today to be honest. Tons of crunches. Though every crunch move was “different,” they were all crunches so I got super bored in the very first round. Not my favorite workout (PIIT or otherwise). We all have off days and this was mine. It happens. We move on.

PIIT28 1.8 Dancer’s Legs

Round 1:   Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4:

HOT DAWG!!! Easily my favorite PIIT workout so far. This was so much FUN!!! Sometimes I moan and groan and count the seconds till I’m done. Not this time. Each move was like a whirlwind. Time whooshed by till I was done and going “I’m done? HELL YEAH!!! WOO!!” My legs were on fire the whole time but in a good way.

BodyPUMP served as my warm-up (yikes!) but the format used was much easier on the legs than usual so the two complemented each other wonderfully. Instead of hopping with squats/plies/etc I would squat/plie and then lift up on my toes when I stood. Excellent calf work! My calves are gaining so much muscle and definition! I’m super excited about this.

PIIT28 1.9 Sleek & Sexy Back

Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

Oooooh this was hard. So so hard. Did I give up though? Hell No! My back is looking better than it has in month because of all the POP Pilates. I want it to look EVEN BETTER!! And what did I get for my efforts? There is a move called a Piked Hop where you start in plank and then hop your feet forward a bit (it doesn’t have to be much) and as you hop you pike your butt up into downward dog.

When I first did the 1.0 program I couldn’t really do this move. First I had to find the groove of how to do it. After I got that part done, I found I didn’t have the strength to hop so I’d have to walk my feet forward. By the end of that first month, I could do a Piked Hop and I could do it the whole way through a round or at least close to it. Fast forward a year later and I’m attempting the Piked Hop again. I know the groove already but no longer have the strength in that first week to do the full move the whole time. 2nd week later (only the SECOND WEEK LATER) and I’m rocking the Piked Hop the whole time!

Just 1 week into this program and I’m blasting through Piked Hops for the entire 45 seconds during all 4 rounds! DAMN! I’m a power house! I was so psyched by the end of the workout that I took a muscle selfie.

Damn! Demi Lovato's song Confident was playing as I finished my PIIT28 workout today. It inspired me to take a pic of my arm muscles. I am proud and confident these days. I'm building muscle and, instead of wondering if I can accomplish something, I go out and do it! At one point I had despaired of ever getting my muscle back but look at that arm and shoulder! That's some crazy definition for me! Life is good. No one showed up for my POP class today (which I expected). After practicing some tracks for later I thought, "All right. If no one wants to POP, I'll PIIT and get home sooner." And I did. It was crazy hard but I stuck with it and rocked the whole workout! #piit28 #bodypump #poppilates #poparmy #popsters #goodvibesonly #blogifam #strength #musclegain #fitness #confident #demilovato #piitprincess #piitsters #ymca #hastings #hastingsymca #nebraska

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I won’t go through this next round of 1.5 Cardio Camp again. Suffice it to say that I will be doing it rather than skipping or replacing it. My knees are feeling awesome strong this week, but I promise to hold myself back and be responsible in today’s PIIT28 activities.

By the way, here’s a little something Blogilates has been working on a video for PIIT28 (I can’t seem to embed the video from FB here so the link is just sending you to the video)…

Niiiiice! Proof that you really can do PIIT28 anywhere you go! Well, maybe not in the grocery store or other such public places. People might get a little grumpy with you if you bust out in plank jack donkey kicks there. And especially don’t do it in a movie theatre. Interrupting movies is bad and the floors are super nasty. But, you know, at the park, at home, at your kid’s baseball/soccer/etc game or in some other non-crowded safe place. You get the idea – you’re not confined to the gym.

I’m usually at the gym doing my workouts but that’s because I work there so it’s convenient. The days when I’m not teaching a fitness class, I’ll do my PIIT28 workout at home. I have my mat to keep my sweaty back off the carpet. If you live in an apartment and don’t want to go outside, find an appropriate time during the day to do the workout instead of 10pm or 2am etc. A little consideration goes a long way with people.

Happy PIITing!

If you want to try the Power Pack and get all the programs (1.0-3.0), click the above pic!



1st Week of PIIT28 Round 2

PIIT28 1.2 – Perfect Legs

Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

There should be a dead and twitching emoji. I would’ve put that for Round 3 if I could have. This was SO hard!! I remember Perfect Legs being easier? Maybe I’m remembering the 2nd go at it in week 3. Of course, I had also taught 2 classes prior to this so I was pretty tired already. But can I get round of applause for sticking with and doing my PIIT28 workout after teaching 2 classes AND having a cold?? Booyah baby! If you could see me, you’d see me flexing and striking strength poses…and then laughing my butt off at how silly I most definitely look.

Here’s where I die though. When I woke up the next morning I thought for sure my legs were broken. I did the whole icing and rolling out yesterday afternoon, but there was no getting around the ultimate soreness the next morning. But did I stop? Pfft. As if I’m that nice to myself.

PIIT28 1.3 – Ultimate Upper Body

Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

Why on earth would I have such positive emojis for a workout I remember as being one of the toughest??

It’s simple – I didn’t do the whole thing.


Before you freak out and call me a cheater, let me explain. My shoulders are injury prone, as are my knees. I woke up feeling like death but I pushed myself to go to BodyPUMP anyway cuz I had told the instructor I would and I had been looking forward to it since last Friday. I told myself to suck it up and ended up feeling AMAZING by the end of class!

BodyPUMP is an intense workout for your entire body and I went as heavy as I dared on most of the arm tracks. Almost too heavy on the chest track (holy freaking push-ups of death!!). I maxed out my upper body during the class and rather than push further and injure my shoulders…again…I took someone’s advice to cut the strength moves out of the PIIT workout and stick with the cardio moves. That brought the workout down to 4 moves for 4 rounds. But I couldn’t do the jumping because of my knees so I had to modify to the low impact versions…which are a lot less intense.

So while I got a good workout, PIIT28 by itself today wasn’t all that intense. HOWEVER, by the end of all that, I saw signs of having maxed my legs out as well. The rest of the day included resting, icing, and elevation to counteract my cruelty.

PIIT28 1.4 – Lean Body

Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

Despite this workout having come after having taught 2 fitness classes, I totally rocked it. I may or may not have gotten a little too gung-ho during that last round and did the high impact version of one move. I’ll try to take it easier tomorrow and see what happens.

Lean Body was beyond awesome even with the moves modified for low impact. I swear, my butt seriously felt the burn and I was sweating and out of breath even before round 1 was over.

PIIT28 1.5 – Cardio Camp

Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

Yeah, I paid for that gung-ho stint at the end of 1.4. Knees are none too good. I thought it would be fine but even my front kicks had to be modified. Instead of kicking toward someone’s chest like I usually do, I had to be satisfied with causing shin pain. I couldn’t even put enough power behind to break shins; I had to satisfy myself with bruising them. Sigh.

Let that be a lesson to everyone out there who know their limits but try to push past them anyway! If you have bad knees and you KNOW you’re not supposed to do high impact moves, DON’T DO THEM!!! Your knees will turn to poodoo and you’ll end up heavily using RICE for who knows how long.


  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compress
  • Elevate

Okay. Lecture over. These moves were seriously too easy as low impact to count as cardio…except for the mt climbers. Those are always killer. Darn plank moves. Thank goodness I did this workout after a full hour of BodyPUMP. I most DEFINITELY got a good workout there!

Next week when 1.5 is due again, I’ll have to see how my knees are doing. If they’re doing better, I’ll be able to put more effort into the moves so get a better return. However, if my knees are poodoo again, I’ll consider combining other cardio moves such as nasty plank moves. Or I could, ya know, be careful next time at sticking with low impact moves rather than pushing past my limits.

I hope everyone’s first week went well! Despite this hiccup at the end, mine went REALLY well! I’m feeling super strong and super confident in myself. Oh! And I was watching myself in the mirror in BodyPUMP on Friday and noticing how much more muscle I have now in my arms and back. And my squats are so deep now! I’m SO happy!!!  

Click the above pic to buy the Power Pack (1.0, 2.0, 3.0)…or any of the programs

PIIT28 1.0 – April Attempt

Here I go again! Fingers crossed that I make it through the month this time. Last time I had to stop because my hip flexors couldn’t take it. It sucks but I’d rather stop and heal than make pain worse. I feel really good now minus a groin injury that I’m nursing. It’s only really affected certain stretching moves though so I don’t foresee a problem from that area.

I’ll be posting each week like I did the first time a year ago and give feedback on every workout in this program. We’ll see how different everything feels a year later. I’ve been regularly doing POP Pilates 2-5x a week since June/July of last year and have gotten a lot stronger because of it.

Here are my current measurements to start the program off:

Measurements 2/2/17:

  • Weight – 179.2 lbs
  • Arms – L 12 1/4″, R 12 1/2″
  • Thighs – L 23 1/4″, R 23″
  • Waist – 35″
  • Lower Belly Pooch – 41″
  • Hips – 43″
  • Chest – 32″
  • Bust 40″

One thing…Yay for finally getting back into the 170s! I’ve been flitting in and out for 2 months now. Technically I still am but at least this month I’m starting off there instead of 180 or 181. Woohoo!


Round 1:  Round 2:  Round 3:  Round 4: 

I did it! Woohoo! Two cardio moves in particular kicked my butt as they always do because they’re in plank. Anything in plank and it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll be switching to my knees at some point. However, I did my best to go back to the full move whenever I could rather than stick with the modified version. After all, my body was tired, not injured. If you don’t push yourself, you won’t get stronger.

The core moves were surprisingly easy. I mean, I got tired doing them but it wasn’t like with the cardio and it didn’t leave my core feeling tired or sore afterwards. Last year this workout was super hard on my core. POP Pilates has done its job and really strengthened those muscles. WOOHOO!!!

I didn’t use the warm-up or flexy moves given in the PIIT28 booklet. I got bored of those a long time ago. No point in sticking with them when they could be my breaking point of not wanting to do the workout. Instead I did the POP 8 Kick Butt Cardio track twice to warm up. To cool down I did the POP 8 Flexibility track once. I wanted to practice a new song to see if it would work with that track and it does. Yay! I’ll add it to my class playlist tomorrow.

At the end of this week, I’ll write up how the other workouts for this first week went. I’m super excited about this. It’s a really good start to the month! Good luck to everyone doing PIIT28! If it’s your first time or you’ve done it so many times that you’ve moved on to 2.0 or 3.0, GOOD LUCK and HAVE FUN!!!

Click on the above picture to buy the PIIT28 program


January Dietary Challenge Ends + Confession

Thank goodness January is done! The beginning of Cassey Ho’s dietary challenge was super easy. I didn’t completely cut anything out (except alcohol which I already cut out years ago) but instead cut back on everything.

My normal daily eating habits included several slices of American cheese, a ton of French bread, summer sausage, cookies, misc pastries, coffee etc. And then there were the special meals where we went out for eat – Burger King, Jimmy Johns, misc diner, Subway. Really, I think Burger King is the worst one there and we don’t do it all that often because I’m in love with Jimmy John’s sandwiches. I only get the sandwich but it’s still too big for one meal so it becomes 2 meals. I’d say that’s healthy enough and if it’s not, I don’t really care.

So I did my best this month to cut out desserts, cut out that cheese, bread, and summer sausage. We still went out to eat every weekend and I didn’t change my coffee because the sugar content on that is as low as I’m prepared to make it. When we did go out, I tried to keep it to Jimmy Johns as that is the tastiest and healthiest. Some might argue and say Subway is but I get pizza when I’m there sooooo…yeah…Could be better, could be worse.

Let’s shrug it off.


To buy the 28-Day Reset meal plan, click above – Eat Healthy, Be Healthy

On top of the dietary changes, I added in at least 30 minutes of exercise. It was cardio and it wasn’t intense because I don’t like to be intense these days but it was 4-5x a week. I’m doing a Couch Potato Triathlon challenge at my YMCA so I’m working my butt off trying to get everything in.

My cardio:

  • swimming
  • cycling
  • walking

Strength training:

  • POP Pilates (30-min, 45-min classes)

Every day opens my eyes to a new sore spot. It’s good though. I tell my students that that pain is weakness leaving. It’s screaming and holding on for dear life and that’s why it hurts so much – it’s putting up a fight. But we master it with every workout, every class. And we’re getting stronger and stronger so it hurts less and less.


Before/After measurements from eating cleaner (not clean, just cleaner). On the left is 1/1/17, on the right is 1/31/17, in bold/italics is the difference.

  • Weight – 182.4 lb // 180.6 lb ( – 1.8 lb)
  • Arms – L 12 1/4 in, R 12 5/8 in // L 12 in, R 12 1/2 in ( L – 1/4 in, R – 1/8 in)
  • Bust – 40 1/2 in // 39 3/4 in ( – 3/4 in)
  • Chest – 32 in // 32 in ( 0 )
  • Waist – 36 in // 35 in ( – 1 in)
  • Lower Belly Pooch – 42 in // 41 1/2 in ( – 1/2 in)
  • Hips – 44 in // 43 3/4 in ( – 1/4 in)
  • Thighs – L & R 23 3/4 in // L 23 1/2 in, R 23 1/4 in ( L – 1/4 in, R – 1/2 in)

And to think these numbers would have been even better had I not had junk food over the weekend and on Monday. Bloating is bad if you’re only worried about the numbers.

Here’s my confession…

To be honest, I was seriously stressing this last weekend over what to eat because I wanted to give the best possible numbers here. In fact, I was stressing about it so much that I realized I wasn’t eating.

If you know me, you’ll know that that is sooooo NOT like me. I love food. That’s why I’m overweight – I LOVE food and I LOVE to eat. Now, during the month I wasn’t stressing about it and I was only focusing on eating healthier. When I was hungry, I ate something and I was happy. It was just at the very end for about 3-4 days when I started stressing about it. By Monday I realized I was skipping meals and only lightly snacking. I was constantly hungry and I was depressed because I was hungry and because I wanted my numbers to be as low as I could get them. I wanted to be as small as I could be in my After pictures.

My body was not feeling good after all the salt from the nuts, and the celery and PB was not leaving me feeling good because I had eaten so much of it (and I was worried about running out before I could go grocery shopping again). The Kind bars were only upping my blood sugar levels because I wasn’t eating anything else so I wasn’t feeling good from that. Nothing I ate made me feel better.

I didn’t know what to eat because nothing was making me feel good anymore. I was surrounded by snack foods along with food for sandwiches and I didn’t want to eat a sandwich because then I would be eating processed foods, dairy, and gluten on non-cheat days. For 3-4 days, I was afraid to eat. I wanted actual food and I wasn’t seeing it. All I was seeing was snack food and then I thought if I didn’t eat, my numbers would be smaller so then I was doing things to distract me from eating and it was working all too well.

Monday I realized what I was starting to do and I had forgotten that the challenge had ended on the 29th so I thought I was still in the challenge. By Monday I was dizzy and tired. I’ve been drinking plenty of water so it wasn’t that. I gave in and had 2 hot dogs (no buns…we don’t have any) wrapped in American cheese. Damn did that taste good. And damn me if my dizziness didn’t go away soon after I had finished eating.

I realized then how stupid I was being putting numbers before my health so for lunch I had a sandwich. Raisin bread, mayo, a slice of American cheese, and some honey ham. It…felt…AWESOME! And so did I.

And now for my pictures!


I see a difference in both shots but only a good difference in the front shot. From the side I can see that I’m bloated from what I ate yesterday. And you know what? I’m okay with that. It beats being dizzy and hungry. I didn’t like seeing it at first but then I thought back to what I ate yesterday and I’m okay with it. I needed actual food in my stomach and that sandwich, while I knew it would bloat me, was exactly what I needed.

Don’t punish your body. Don’t skip out on meals to have better numbers. It’s just not worth it. I was miserable for those few days. I can’t imagine what it’s like for people who actually have eating disorders and have to deal with this sort of thing every day of their lives.

I’m all for being happy. If I’m fat and happy, that’s fine. At least I’m happy. But if I’m starving myself to look better on social media, then I’m not happy and that is not okay. Not only does it affect me but it affects my family. My kid shouldn’t have to feel bad because I do. He’s a kid. He should be happy. But if I’m starving and tired then I get super cranky and emotional and I can’t handle anything as well as I should be able to and then he suffers for that. Not to mention the strain it puts on my husband. That’s not fair to anyone.

Don’t do it to yourself. Don’t do it to others. Just don’t do it.

P.S. I’m not belittling people who do have an ED. I know their struggle is real  – unbelievably real – and I wish them all the luck and strength in the world. This was meant for those people who don’t have an ED.