Always on your a game! Or not?


You know that feeling when you are On Your A Game? Everything is going right; no bumps in your day; no forgotten passwords;  you're on time for everything; you remember all of your to do list items and have completed them too; you've worked out, made all of your meals from home and even gotten out of bed in time and gone to bed on time. It's a great feeling isn't it? How often do you have a day like that? Everyday, once a week, a couple of times a month or several times a year? Can you remember what it felt like? Do you ever reflect back on why you might have had a day like that and how can you repeatedly do that? What were the contributing factors to being on your A game.

I know I've had those days and since hiring a Lifestyle coach several years ago I have definitely taken time to reflect when I have those great days. There is a certain high that you get when it happens that's hard to explain, but what I can tell you is that is in infectious. Some might even call it OCD, but I call it just being productive or better yet On Your A Game! It's what propels an athlete to stardom, or an actor to a winning role or an entrepreneur to greater success, or a student to an A! 

Who wouldn't want that right? Just about everyone we know would want that but at what price? Are you willing to give something up in order to have that feeling? Because that is what it takes. Is it the morning latte you give up so that you save money or have that extra 15 minutes to meditate instead of getting the latte? Is it the night out with your friends so that you can get your workout in at the end of the day? Is it giving up time on social media so that you can write that blog article that you've been promising your marketing expert you would do? There are so many choices we have to make when we decide that we want something bad enough. 

I have two teenagers, a 15 year old girl and a 17 year old boy. Each of them come with their own strengths and challenges. At this moment I am working hard on helping them to see the value of hard work. I myself am a daughter of a Navy, Irish, Catholic father. Need I say more..... With that being said, it has always been ingrained in me to be on time for everything, say my please and thank you's, care for others even if they don't care for you, speak clearly and don't add extra words and to spend carefully. I'm thankful for this and have tried to teach these same lessons to my children. I think it's much tougher when you are a teenager to understand "Always being On Your A Game" because much of your success at a young age has to do with relying on adults and others to help you get to where you want to be. There is not as much control when you are a teenager.

So how do we instill this into ourselves as well as others? I believe it comes from asking them to reflect on what it was that contributed to their attentiveness that day. Were they well rested? Did they eat or drink something different that gave them high energy? Did they have an awesome weekend with family and friends or did they rest and recuperate? Make a list and keep track of it daily, weekly and monthly. Habits are tough to start and they are tough to break. Being on your A game is not just luck, but most of the time a clear attempt to set yourself up for success. Remember the 7 habits of Highly successful people? It was one of the first business books I read and I still refer back to it often. 

Whether you are 15 or 70 years old, you can be On Your A Game most of the time. You just need to understand what got you there in the first place! 

To be or not to be

I have had a life coach for the last 4.5 years, a business coach for a couple of years and I pride myself on being kind, energetic and positive. All of these things have helped me reach some gigantic goals and helped me improve my ability to let go of things that aren't benefiting me.

I recently came across a few articles and videos that basically were against mindfulness and staying positive. In a nutshell they were saying its better to just say what you are thinking and not waste time overthinking and trying to be mindful. I have a few things to say about this.

What the heck are they talking about?

Why wouldn't you be mindful, meditate, try to think positively and be grateful? As a matter of fact, doing so does take work, dedication and discipline. This, in the end,  just like any endeavor that takes work,  will be worth it in the end. 

Mindfulness doesn't mean trying to fix It. 

When we are mindful, we are not trying to fix everything.  Instead, we are trying to listen to our emotions.  We are not trying to get away from them or change them. When we are mindful we are allowing ourselves to feel it, create space for it and then move on. You decide what you will do or not do with your emotions.

Mindfulness is about learning to be.

I believe that any time we try to listen to our inner-self and just learn to BE, we can improve our quality of life. Whether we are trying to make a major change in our life or just try something new, I believe that adding meditation and mindfulness into every day should be added to anyones health and fitness program. It is not just about what is on the outer self that makes us feel good, we need to feel good inside ourself too! 

So, go ahead and BE positive, have GRACE and be mindful in everything you do! You can't lose when you follow these rules!

The Truth About Fitness Professionals

When you see a fitness professional, whether it is during your weekly Pilates class or at the grocery store, what are some assumptions you make about them?

Fitness professionals never cheat? Yeah, right!

I have heard several assumptions over my years as a fitness instructor.  I have heard that fitness and healthy eating comes easy to some.  I have had students assume that I never fall off the healthy eating wagon.  I have even heard people hint that I am always happy.

Clearly, no one is always happy and while there may be exceptions very few people eat healthy every day of their lives.  And let me tell you, although I have worked in fitness my whole life, fitness and healthy eating doesn’t come easy. Fitness and healthy eating takes commitment.  But even the most committed can fall off the wagon sometimes.

Happy Birthday to me!

For the past two months, I have celebrated my 50th birthday.  You heard that right, two months.  Instead of having one big birthday celebration, I found myself celebrating with friends and family at dinner parties and weekends in Ocean City, D.C. and North Carolina. 

My Favorite Cheat Foods

While many people like to believe that a cheat day for their fitness professional might be too much kale or a single cookie, I am here to tell you I did a great job of celebrating. When I have a cheat day or in this case a cheat month, wine is my choice. Sauvignon Blanc to be exact and maybe a little Rose or Prosecco and amazing margaritas at Mothers in OC too. My idea of eating unhealthy? Big fat greasy smash burgers and grilled potatoes, corn dip with tortilla chips, and red velvet cupcakes.  There’s more, but that’s the gist of it.  What do you think? Pretty good, huh?

Worth Every Minute

The extra calories and even the sluggishness I felt were worth every minute of the time I spent with friends and family.  But I knew I was going to have to commit to a clean eating program of my own as well as a change in my fitness routine. What I didn’t remember was just how bad my body would feel after eating so poorly and this feeling would mean getting back would take more commitment than ever.

Back On The Wagon

For the past week, I have been focusing on getting back on the wagon.  I have been focusing on clean eating and getting back to my regular fitness routine.  My fitness plan involves Pilates 5 days a week, TRX 2 days a week along with kettle bell exercises and plenty of stretching and cardio.  I have been able to add in the Pilates, TRX, kettlebells and stretching but I haven’t been able to get back into the cardio yet.  I will but I am learning to be kind to myself and ease back into things.

I am also back on the healthy eating bandwagon, eating whole foods and planning my meals to meet my nutritional goals.

Being a fitness professional does mean I must live a life of healthy eating and daily exercise but it doesn’t mean I am perfect.  It doesn’t mean I never eat a big juicy smash burger or a heavily iced cupcake.  It means I do it knowing I will have to come back to the lifestyle I have created for myself.


Be kind, compassionate, attentive, inclusive and eat a burger and cupcakes once in a while.

Finding Balance

balance food.jpeg

As I reflect on a weekend I just spent with clients and friends in North Carolina I remember why I do what I do..... being a personal trainer you are a role model for health and fitness but many times you become a friend. 

The Honest Truth

While hanging out with friends this weekend we talked about how tough it can be to maintain your health and fitness. I shared with them that it isn't always easy for trainers either. One thing that I have always told my clients is that you need to have balance.  But everybody needs variety as well.  I tell my clients to not be too hard on themselves.  If getting fit and staying fit were easy everyone would be healthy and fit.

Recently, I have had a scare with my health and truth be told, it's not over. But this is the first time in my entire life that I've had to think about what could happen if I didn't stay healthy and take care of myself.  

What Do You Control?

There are some things that are out of our control and there are some things that are in our control. One of the things we can control is our diet and our choice to workout.  No, it's not easy. It takes work

Find Balance

But sometimes, like this weekend for me, you have to give yourself a break and enjoy a cinnamon roll or some wine or some chips.  I have had all of the above in the last 30 days celebrating my 50th birthday.  And yes, I will admit it,  I do feel a little bad. And yes I'm going to get back on the bandwagon, but reflecting back on all of it I think I needed to give myself a break.  I needed to not be constantly thinking about my weight, what I eat, what I drink or how I look.

Be Kind To Yourself

That's not why people love me. They love me for me and that hasn't changed. I have so enjoyed getting to know my clients and I have become really good friends with many of them. I am real when I am with them. I am never fake.  I believe is why my clients still come to me. They don't want to get yelled at when they make a mistake and eat something unhealthy. They don't want to get yelled at or feel bad about themselves if they've gained a few pounds. Because I am honest with them they know I understand taking some time off, adding variety and adding a little balance.

Too Much Of A Good Thing

We all have those times when we need to let our hair down.  Now, don't get me wrong, we should keep it all in check and not get out-of-control.  We have all worked hard to stay fit and healthy and don't want to lose that.  But remember, balance is the key. Too much of a good thing is still too much of a good thing. 

Something's Got To Give

Have you ever been told you couldn't, shouldn't or can't do something? Or have you heard this?....It's impossible, no one succeeds doing that, you'll never make anything of yourself doing that? Why would you want to do that? 

I'm sure you've read or heard plenty of positive literature stating that you should not listen to those people. Stay away from the nay sayers. Avoid negative people, etc. 

Well, it can be hard at times. I'm 49 years old for only a few more weeks and I'm telling you that you can do just about anything you want to do. It truly depends on how badly you want it, what you're willing to do and just as importantly, what you are willing to give up in order to get it. Yes, I said what are you willing to give up! In order to get something that you really want, something has to give. Whether it's time, money, vacation, sleep or food. 

When I was about 24 years old I was told by an orthopedic surgeon that my neck injury was so bad and because it would be chronic I should give up being a personal trainer. He actually told me to find a new profession! Can you believe that? I understand that maybe at some level he was trying to help, however that was never an option for me. I have suffered through a lot of pain, chiropractors, PTs, masseurs and the best.......pilates workouts.

In other words, I did what it took to get past the debilitating pain and made a profession for myself. I am a Fitness professional. I teach pilates every day, I instruct clients on how to exercise correctly and make it fun at the same time. I train trainers to do what I do. It's a lifestyle and a profession. Imagine if I had listened to what that surgeon said. Maybe I would've found something else to do, but it wouldn't have been my passion. I'm glad I have faith and an inner strength that guided me to stick with it.

Have you ever had someone tell you you couldn't do something that you ultimately achieved? Please share it with me. 

Getting Healthy After Injury

Getting healthy after an injury or illness is not an easy then to do. It’s hard enough to find time to workout on a regular basis, let alone trying to fit in rehab on top of that. That’s where a knowledgeable personal trainer comes in handy.

Once a client has been released from rehab/PT, it is incredibly important to find a trainer that can understand the contraindications that come with the injury and how to progress the client correctly. The last thing someone wants to do is spend all of that time rehabbing to then get hurt working out by themselves or even with a trainer.

Many trainers today have backgrounds in corrective exercise and post-rehab training. This is important to know. Clients want the trainer to be able to discuss his/her program with the Physical Therapist once they are released. It will save time, money and recovery. It will also increase the trust between the client and trainer, as well as bridge the gap between fitness and Physical Therapy.

I always recommend that clients do at least 5 sessions with a trainer before going off on their own. If the client wants to go to a gym or do the program at home, it is best for the trainer to know what equipment the client has access to. With today's technology you can always Facetime or Skype, if there isn’t enough time to actually see each other in person.

Just remember that it’s important to spend the time and money now so that you won’t have to spend it later!