Customize Your Fitness


Lots of people ask how I lost my baby weight and how I keep it off. I freely share the tips that worked for me, but I rarely see people who actually try them. When it comes to eating and exercise you have to do what works with YOUR body. All the numbers out there used to calculate what your body needs are just estimates. They could give you numbers so far away from reality that it could hinder your fitness. Take the Max HR for example. There are several “equations” to calculate your Max HR. You’ve probably seen this equation Max HR = 220 – age, but I find it very unlikely that EVERY 20 year old in the world has a max HR of 200 bpm. So lets start with the tip that I recommend to EVERYONE – do metabolic testing.

Most gyms and fitness spas offer metabolic testing and it’s usually $100-$200. These tests will tell you what YOUR body needs. Knowing things like your VO2 Max and resting HR are important because it will teach you how to exercise for your body In addition to those, you’ll also learn how your body burns calories and in what HR zones. The first time I did metabolic testing I was on a very strict low calorie diet only to discover after the test that I wasn’t eating enough to support my body. Once I added more calories to my routine I started seeing great progress. I like to get tested twice a year in order to stay current on my fitness levels. The numbers from this test will change with your fitness levels so you’ll have to re-test to see where you are.

My second tip AFTER metabolic testing would be WEAR A HR MONITOR. How are you supposed to exercise efficiently when you have no idea what level your body is at? I am someone who tends to exercise too hard and it has caused me to suffer from “overtraining” on more than one occasion. I admit that my idea of ‘exercise’ is quite dysfunctional so I never exercise without wearing a HRM. I can use the information from metabolic testing to keep me on track and avoid injuries and plateaus. This information is out there for everyone so why not obtain it? I recommend Timex and Polar HRM with chest straps.

Thoughts Of A Sleep Deprived Mom


Sleep, what a topic! It’s common knowledge by now that when you become a parent sleep becomes a distant memory. Most people dread this part of being a parent because it is one of the harder things we have to deal with physically. When you are pregnant with your first baby people tell you what to expect, but expecting doesn’t prepare you for the physical toll. Some people think ‘I’ve been without sleep for a few days, or maybe a week so I will be fine’ but the loss of sleep could last for YEARS! Tom always liked to say “I used to work 36 hour shifts in the hospital without any sleep. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again”, but he conveniently forgets that he did it 20 years ago!! Lucky for him I did 100% of the night care with Audrey and I’ll do it with the next baby too.  It’s like being anorexic, only with the zzzZZZ. Parents are ‘sleeporexic’! If you don’t eat properly it will take a toll, just like not getting adequate sleep. Who can function without sleep? Well parents try, what choice do we have? I’m at the point now where I’m always tired. I love the idea of getting a nice restful sleep, but it never seems to happen. My hubby is wonderful at letting me sleep in (9am) on the weekends, but my body isn’t. My mommy brain has to decide between sleep and getting something done. Do I want to take advantage of an early bedtime or wash another load of laundry? Most of the time I choose to get something done. Sometimes when I get a “normal” amount of sleep it makes me slow all day. It even gives me a headache! So I long for more sleep but when I get it I don’t feel well. Ahhhh long gone are those pre-baby days where sleep was plentiful. Being a parent is a new phase of life and lack of sleep is part of it. I do miss the pre-baby days, but those days came and went like they were supposed to. I don’t feel like I let them go too soon, timing was great. It doesn’t mean that I don’t drool when I imagine how easy sleep used to be.

Schwinn 420 Elliptical

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We recently purchased this Schwinn 430 from Wal-mart because after our move we decided to cancel our gym membership. I love going to exercise classes, but the gym became such a hassle. It took hours to drive to the gym, check Audrey into the daycare, drop my stuff off in a locker, get to the class and set up, actually complete a workout……etc. Plus the gym membership here in San Antonio was going to be MORE expensive than it was in Denver. The Schwinn 430 was $577 plus tax. We considered that if we stayed with a gym not only would we have driving costs, we would also pay $150/month for our membership. Back in Denver we owned an older model Schwinn 430 elliptical that we sold before the move. I LOVED my old elliptical. It was light and easy to use, so I knew I wanted to get another one eventually.

This newer Schwinn 430 has a lot more features than my older one did. It has speakers, a fan, can keep memory for 2 users, more programs, larger foot pads, flash drive plug to transfer data, and I think it’s cheaper than the older one was. Compared to the older model, this one is definitely heavier and a bit bulkier. It’s still a good size for in home use though. I like having a fan in the monitor, that and a larger holder for my water bottles/remotes. The stride length is 20 inches vs. 18 inches on the older model. This also has a manual incline that you can adjust if you like, but I haven’t felt the need to use it. My husband set it up by himself with a few basic tools. It took a few hours and once it was set up we discovered that the monitor sat crooked and the heart rate monitor wasn’t working. I contacted Schwinn the next week and they were SO helpful. I just explained to them what was wrong and they shipped us new parts. Unfortunately the heart rate still wont pick up so I called them this week and they were just as nice as the first time. They sent out a whole new digital monitor that I hope will fix the problem. I am super impressed with their customer service.

I don’t really have any cons for this elliptical. I suppose I wish the poles were a few inches taller. It was awkward at first, but I’ve started to get used to them. They definitely give my arms a workout so I can’t really complain too much about their design.

I’m very happy with our decision to start exercising at home. It’s given us more family time because Tom exercises in the morning and I exercise in the afternoon which allows us to spend our evenings together instead of at the gym.

Forever 21 Athletic Clothing

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I’ve been buying my workout clothes from Forever 21 for a few years now. I’ve tried SO many other brands from higher end Lulu Lemon to Walmart and Target. You bang for your buck when it comes to Forever 21 athletic clothing. The exercise stuff I’ve purchased there has lasted for years. Actually the first thing I bought was a pair of exercise capri pants on clearance. They were like $8 because the hem was coming undone…..and guess what I still have them! Today I had to go back and return a pair of running pants that started to come apart after 1 wear (they were my first pair made of cotton – I don’t recommend). It was past the 21 day window and the pants didn’t have tags anymore. I took in the pants and the receipt to show the manager. Lucky for me they were very nice about it and they gave me store credit. I ended up buying this set. The pants were $21.90 and the top was $15.90. This top is SO cute, and I can actually exercise in it because the sports bra is sewn in. Another win for Forever 21 athletic wear!

Camping In Our Home

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Well today is officially one week since we have been here in Texas. Unfortunately Tom had to go back to Denver so Audrey, Baron and I spent the first weekend here all alone. I have been finding it increasingly difficult to camp in this house. We have an air mattress and a pack and play, plus suitcases with clothes and toiletries but not much else. We brought some basic cooking utensils……not enough. I’ve been to Wal-Mart almost every day since we arrived. I hate buying things that I know we already have like foil or cleaning supplies, but it seems like I’ll have to. Our pods were packed up last Friday the 14th and picked up Monday. I guess they just arrived in San Antonio on the 19th. I am HOPING I get a call tomorrow to schedule a Tuesday delivery………….. Our timing was just so off for this move. I want our stuff to arrive before I go insane. Tonight I bought Audrey some markers to color only to go home and discover that we had NO PAPER! The most frustrating part is probably cooking. I don’t like eating out too often, but I start cooking a meal only to discover that I have no spatula or a can opener. Lord PLEASE send our stuff to our new house Monday or Tuesday. I have to make mashed potatoes and a banana berry pie for our family Christmas dinner in Houston, BUT I DON’T HAVE ANY SUPPLIES! I saw a $14 mixer at WM tonight that I may go back and buy it. An up side to all this is buying new furniture! We bought a bedroom set and a dining table. Tom also got a new car wohoooooo. I guess after 4 months of moving and living on the basics I’m anxious to get everything back. I’ve already forgotten half of what we own….. Good thing there is a Goodwill donation center down the street. I have a feeling we are going to be getting rid of a lot of things we didn’t know we had.