FML. My battle with NASM

So you all know that I’ve been studying for my NASM exam. What you don’t know is that I failed it once. And then guess what? Yesterday, I failed it again. Woo! Winner city over here!

NASMFailMy shiny badge of honor. I needed a 70 to pass

I’ve been really down on myself about it. It’s hard not to feel discouraged after studying for months and failing, and then studying even HARDER only to fail it again. I know confidence is key and you have to believe in yourself, but it’s sort of hard to not feel like a total loser.

After I cried my eyes out on the car ride home and had myself a nice little pity party yesterday afternoon (which included Real Housewives of BH and chocolate chip cookies, not on the GYST Detox) I knew I had to snap out of it. I took a step back and started to think about why I’m doing the NASM and why I can’t seem to get it down. Sidenote- this post is sort of hard for me to write because I’m admitting that, much to my dismay, I am not  perfect at everything. I figure that there are a lot of people out there who may be trying to pass this beast of a test as well so wanted to share my story and struggles. Hopefully I will have a post up soon about me PASSING the f-ing thing. Anyways, here’s what I’ve come up with:

I am a total right brainer. My whole life, I’ve been the artsy chick. Give me some Sharpies and charcoal and I am happier than a pig in shit. Algebra? Science? Equations? Logic? Not so much. Science and math just never made sense to me. I remember vividly in second grade arguing with my teacher about the < and > signs. I kept asking her “well, how do you know which number you’re looking at it from? How do you know I’m not looking at the RIGHT number, and it’s telling the LEFT number that it’s bigger than it?” It took me weeks to figure that concept out. My brain just doesn’t work that way.

I was able to drop math and science classes my senior year and took more art and history classes. When it came to applying to college, I either wanted to go for fitness or for design. Ultimately, I chose design not only because I loved it and was good at it, but because I was scared shitless of having to navigate through biology and anatomy if I got a degree in Exercise Science. I don’t regret my decision to go to art school for a second. I loved all of my classes, was challenged creatively and did really well.

When I made the choice to do fitness full time, several sources advised me to take the NASM because it would give me the most understanding of exercise science, kinesiology and anatomy. So, I figured, what the hell, this won’t be so bad. And then my brain was all like “Hey, Emily. You went to art school and haven’t taken a science class since you were 16. Have fun trying to get me to memorize this shit!! Jokes on you!” (how many time have I said shit in this post?) The bottom line is- it is REALLY HARD for me to wrap my head around this stuff. I have read the entire book, watched all of the videos, made a mega study guide, flashcards, you name it. After I failed for the second time, the test practitioner said “isn’t there a book or something you should have read?”. Thanks, wench. Thanks for that advice.

But, I need to keep stepping back and reminding myself that this is not my forte. This is a huge challenge for me, and I can’t just expect to “get” everything instantly. Just because I can’t pass, doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. I just have different strengths. No, NASM, I can’t tell you off the top of my head where my sternocleidomastoid muscle is, but I CAN tell you at one quick glance that the font on the front of your textbook is Gotham Medium. And while your musculature drawings are really intricate and sexy, I can tell you that you should have invested some more time and money in choosing your stock photography (ok, now I’m just bitter).

To finish up this brutally honest post, I’m not even sure if NASM is the right certification for me. I’m never going to think in terms of how they want trainers to think- it’s all very mathematical, which is not me. I’m human. When you’re doing squats, I will say “put the weight in that booty” not “Please, eccentrically decelerate your gluteus maximus down to the ground”. I will say “pick it up, pick it up, little harder, come on!” not “Ah, I see at this point, according to my calculations, you should be working at 85% of your max heart rate. Kindly, pick up your pace”.

At this point, I really just want to pass it because it’s pissing me off that I CAN’T pass it. I don’t like to be told “I can’t”. And also because I’m just pooping paychecks over to NASM. Seriously. But I’m going to give it one more shot. 3rd time is the charm..? And if I don’t pass it, I’m going to look into other certifications that are more up my alley and realistic. I shouldn’t stress about it- I already have a full time training job and am certified in the model in which I am training, but it’s just like GAH. This is a challenge. And I want to be able to say that I DID it, so I can show the left side of my brain some love. Even though it’s a betch.

Any NASM winners or losers out there? Would love to hear your experiences with the beast!



The “Common Sense” Detox

I’m feelin’ all fired up and positive today. Fihahed up baybee! I had a great weekend, full of friends, family, Tommy Boy (my man, not the movie) sleeping, spinning, relaxing. This was the first weekend in months that I didn’t have every second accounted for, and it was nice to be able to relax and do things last minute. Dare I say I was being spontaneous?!

Anyways, I’m doing a little reset with my eating habits. Ever since the Sugar Detox, I’ve been indulging a little too much. Just being lazy really. Not really even with sweets, just with stupid things, like gluten free tortilla chips, cheese, this ridiculous chicken salad from this deli that is 100% not Paleo. Dumb things that are making me feel not so good. Shocking, I know. We are going to Bermuda in 4 weeks so I figured that’s plenty of time to shed this little layer I’ve packed on. I’ve been pretending I’m a bear, and it’s winter, so I need to have an extra coat of fat for me to live off of. Right…

So what is this plan I’m doing for the next 4 weeks? Is it a Whole30? 21 Day Sugar Detox? Juice cleanse? Nope. This is self made by me, and I’ve decided to call it the “Common Sense” aka the “Get Your Shit Together” Detox. Here’s the thing: EVERY time I’ve done a detox, I’ve gotten sick. I think I stress myself out so much and think about food way too much and get overwhelmed and anxious and I make myself CRAZY. At this point, I know my body like.. (I was about to say the back of my hand, but that is my body, so that’s a great analogy. Way to go, Emily). I know my body better than ever before. Since I’ve cut things out of my diet, I know what makes me feel good, what makes me feel like shit, what makes me gain weight, what makes me maintain/lose weight. Get ready to have your mind blown…

I’m only going to eat and drink things that are good for me and make me feel good and will make me lose the few pounds I would like to lose. OMG WHAT?! Say WHAT?! I am being logical? Since I’ve gotten into the full time world of fitness, it is really mind boggling to me that nutrition and people’s diets becomes a foreign language to them. It’s not that difficult: eat well, lose weight, feel good. Eat shitty, feel shitty, gain weight. Boom.


Ok, so apple cider vinegar makes me feel not so great but I can deal…

So what’s the plan? Here’s my “Get Your Shit Together” plan that I’ve come up with:

– Cut out processed sugars (no dark chocolate nibs every night. Wah!)
– Eat more protein, especially in the morning
– Drink more water (if that’s even humanly possible)
– Don’t buy dried mangos (because you will eat the whole bag, every time)
– No booze (gonna have to cut out that one drink per month…)
– More fish, less beef
– More veggies as snacks, less fruit
– No “gluten free” garbage
– Vitamins, fish oil and apple cider vinegar every day


So there you have it. I will be keeping you all updated with progress! I’m not weighing myself before/after because I frankly could care less what the number on the scale says. I’ll know if I did a good job by how I feel in my bikini!

Anyone down to do this with me? How do you get yourself back on track?


I’m Baaaaack!

I’m back b!tches! Just kidding. I love you all. But, seriously, I’m back! The last couple of months have been tough and I had to take a break from blogging. But here I am, refreshed and ready to go! I want to give a super big thanks to Emily for holding down the fort yet again. I owe you some paleo cookies or at least  a paleo stuffed banana. 


The last couple of months have been weird. I got a new job, bought a house and went through this weird workout funk. I think at one point I took two weeks off the gym. Which is weird and awkward for me. I don’t know what caused it or why I literally wanted to do anything but CrossFit. Has that ever happened to you? Needing to take a break from something you love for absolutely no reason? No? I am the only weirdo? Okay then…

CrossFit is literally the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about before going to bed (this might have something to do with the fact I go to the 5:30am class, but whatever). So, wanting to take a break blew my mind. I felt unmotivated, uninspired and just plain old crappy. I would look at the WOD in the morning and think about how I couldn’t do it. Then, I would look at the whiteboard at night and be jealous of everyone who kicked ass that day. Weird? Yes. Slightly creepy/obsessive? Probably.


Finally, after a couple of weeks I figured it was time to end my pity party and HTFU. Laying around and feeling bad for myself was not getting me anywhere. I went back to the gym the next morning and rowed 500 meters for time. I thought I was going to cry 50 meters in.  It was 2 minutes of pure suck. But it was just what I needed. I felt alive again. I was hungry. I wanted more.

This weird funk reminded me of the importance of perspective. Just because one cart falls off the track does not mean the whole train needs to derail. We all have so much to be thankful for; our health, family, friends, career etc. I think it is far too easy to lose sight of what’s truly important to us these days. Sure it seems a lot easier to give up and make excuses when the world gets us down. But we owe it to ourselves to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and continue to move forward. We deserve to make the life we were given completely awesome. So, next time reality deals you a big ol’ FU, take the FU and throw it right back in reality’s face. We don’t have time for that, sucker.


10 Lame Reasons Why I’ve Been M.I.A

Well hi there. It’s me, the queen of “no excuses” with 10 perfectly lame excuses as to why I haven’t been blogging lately. Want to hear them, and then yell at me? Okay, let’s go.

1) New job, new schedule: It’s funny, because I thought for sure I would have tons of free time to dedicate to blogging once I started my new job. Turns out it’s the complete opposite. Really pathetic that I spent so much time at my old job when I was supposed to be working, blogging. Ah, the cushy corporate life.. how I miss thee.

2) Afternoon naps: This is sort of a joke, sort of serious considering I’ve taken two naps since I started working. But the point is, I get home from work at 1, eat lunch, and want to veg. My brain needs to turn off for a few minutes, and sometimes a few minutes turns into a few hours, and then I’m rushing out the door to spin. And the afternoon is gone. Whoops!

3) Studying for NASM: When my brain IS on, I’ve been busy studying for the NASM certification. I took the test once and missed it by 4 questions (don’t even get me started) so I’m trying a new studying technique so I can be sure to nail it the second time around. If any of you have taken this beast of exam, you feel my pain.

4) Trashy TV: And sometimes, when my brain is OFF, I watch trashy TV. Yep, I’ll admit to it. Afternoon marathons of Sex and the City? Thanks a lot, E, way to really make me feel like a stay at home wife. And I’m very thankful that Vanderpump Rules is finishing up next week because I hate myself for watching it… but… can’t…. stop.

5) Other blogs: I’ve been cheating on you, SEGR. I’ve been doing the blogging for the spin studio over at Being Recycled, and this has been the biggest roadblock in my own personal blog. I’m not complaining because I really enjoy doing it, but I need to find a happy balance to be able to maintain both. I’m looking forward to being back over here because I can express myself a little more freely. And say things like shitballs and assface.
… Shitballs. Assface.

6) New clients: We are opening a new spin studio that has a sweet personal training area, so I’m starting to see clients on my own. Which is awesome! But scheduling and making new workout routines takes up precious blogging time… but I will start sharing these workouts with y’all 🙂

7) Laziness: Sometimes, I just want to come home and sit on my ass and do nothing. That is all. And I do just that.

8) Over-scheduling myself: As I’ve said before, I thought I would have all of this glorious free time with my new job, and it turns out I’ve been trying to occupy every free second of my day. From now on, I’m making a conscious effort to come home after work (or yoga, if I can get myself back over there) sit down, blog, make new playlists, and catch up on emails. I neeeed to do that.

9) Uneventful life: Even though I’ve been really busy, I feel like I haven’t had anything ground breaking or insane to share. But then I remember the point of this blog isn’t about anything exciting or insane, it’s about my life. So I’m going to tell it as it is. Try not to bore yourself to death reading…

10) Questioning my life and future of this blog: That’s a little too deep… but I’ve really been trying to figure out what I want to do with this blog. I was posting 5x a week earlier, and I just can’t maintain that. So is it fair to only post 2-3x a week? Do I have time do to that? Do I have enough content to do that? Do I want to? Will my readers hate me? It’s been a month and I haven’t blogged?! WTF?! These are the things running through my head. But the truth is- I really do like to blog, and I do think on occasion I have interesting things to say, so I’m going to stick with it.

I apologize for the hiatus and the ultra lame excuses for not being around. Honestly, sometimes life just gets in the way. But I’m back, whether you like it or not. And I’m going into serious kick butt mode the next month with nutrition and being uber Paleo, so #noexcuses mode is back in full effect.

Watch out bitches…

What’s been up/Monday Rant

Oh hi there. Long time no see!

I forgot to mention last week that I moved and have been without internet access so haven’t been able to post. Don’t even tell me to use my iPhone to do a blog post. Have you tried creating a blog post on an iPhone? My thumbs are way too fat to do that much typing. I actually still don’t even have internet at the new apartment, I’m writing this at work because it turns out no one is psyched to get up and work out at 6AM on a holiday. Who knew? I’m here people. Get your butts out of bed!!

Speaking of beds, we now have the most amazing bed at our new place and it is extremely difficult to get up in the morning. I really think I am going to become more of a hermit with this new bed, if that was even possible. Seriously, if you don’t see or hear from me for 3 days, I have probably drowned in happiness in my huge, fluffy pillows. Our goal was to make it look like a hotel bed, and this bed kicks any hotel beds ass. I will post pictures of the new place and best bed in the world as soon as everything is 100% finished!

Speaking of things I’m obsessed with… (this is the theme of the post.. “speaking of..” AKA welcome to Emily’s Stream of Consciousness”)

photo-104Why yes, that is a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk that is on it’s way to becoming our coffee table and no I did not pay an absurd amount of money for it. It was at Tom’s mother’s house, and she didn’t want it. She actually didn’t realize how cool this thing is, and I was trying to be casual about it when she said “do you guys want it?” but in reality I think I started shrieking. HOW COOL IS THIS THING? We’re both obsessed with history and traveling, and this thing is covered in old travel stickers from all over the world. It’s my favorite part of the new place, and can’t wait until we get a piece of glass fitted for the top and can start using it as a coffee table.

SPEAKING OF… new places. Even though moving is a pain in the ass, the feeling of a new apartment and decorating and making it your own and starting fresh is so exciting. We really lucked out with our place- it’s my friend’s old apartment that her parents are now renting out, so it is really comforting moving into a place that you sort of already know about. Does that make sense? I don’t know, it just feels less foreign. You see so many apartments that just seem… impersonal? Random almost. Like a train of people just go in and out of living in this one space. And with this one, it just feels like home, because I know the people who made it their home already. I’m a weirdo, I know. But it really was the first place we looked at and I thought “this feels right”. It’s so fresh and new and exciting and fun being in this amazing neighborhood where we can walk everywhere. I’m actually looking forward to going home and finishing getting settled and jumping in that BED.

SPEAKING OF… going home. Last night, we went to Tom’s mother’s again to pick up some more of his stuff (and try to steal more trunks…). Naturally, we ended up coming home way later than we anticipated and I was naturally super cranky about missing bedtime. We were schlepping in loads of boxes in the freezing cold at 10:30PM, I was being a certified bitch, complaining the whole way, and complaining we had to go move my car (I’m really pleasant when I’m tired). After the last load, we headed outside to move the car and played the fun game of “Do you have my keys?” “No, I thought you had them?” “No, are you sure you don’t have them?”

And then the realization sunk in that I had in fact, locked them inside the apartment. So, I did the logical thing and bursted into tears and started freaking out and obviously assumed we would have to sleep on the streets or in a homeless shelter. Tom took the less logical approach, Googled a 24 hour locksmith, and we were able to get inside about 30 minutes later. The moral of the story is- karma came around to bite me in the ass for being such a little bitch about my bedtime.

Anyways, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Apparently Erica is also still alive and is promising a post soon so stay tuned!




Q&A with the ARD

Since it’s the New Year, I’m sure many of you are resolving to get back on track with nutrition and are resetting the ol’ system after the holidays. I thought it would be an appropriate time to sit down with my fellow spin instructor and friend, Katie, who is on her way to becoming a registered dietician. (And by sit down, I mean email back and forth. You could not pick two people with more opposite schedules! We pass each other coming on and off the bike) Anyways, I’ve been getting really interested in nutrition lately as I’ve been working at a gym that primarily focuses on weight loss and nutrition, and wanted to pick Katie’s brain about how she got started and what it’s like working full time in the nutrition field. Get ready for some serious knowledge to be DROPPED up on yo face.


What inspired you to become a registered dietitian? Did you have an “a-ha!” moment to find your true calling?

Well, I guess you could call it an “a-ha” moment – but I think of it as more like an “a-ha” explosion! I was working in corporate finance and had been traveling like a mad-woman. Although I knew I wasn’t in the right field, I never had any time to sit down and think about what I really wanted to do. When the financial market crashed in the fall of 2008, I suddenly had some free time on my hands. I was really interested in fitness and nutrition and found myself reading nutrition blogs with gusto. But I was frustrated by the amount of misinformation out there. I couldn’t believe that people with little to no education or background in nutrition were making blatant recommendations for lifestyle changes on their blogs! That really got my you-know-what in a wad. I thought, “we really need someone who can both understand the science of nutrition and communicate it to the public.” And that is what I call an “a-ha!” explosion.
What’s the biggest challenge you face when working with patients? 

Wow – that’s a loaded question! It really depends on what patient population I’m working with. It’s challenging to work with people who don’t believe that nutrition has a place in the hospital setting. It’s challenging to work with people who think it’s “too late” to make positive changes in their lives. But the most challenging people to work with – and this isn’t limited to patients! – are the people who just don’t believe that nutrition is based in science. While I hope that is slowly beginning to change, it is very challenging to sit down with a patient who plans to educate me about proper nutrition. I compare it to showing up at my accountant’s office and trying to do his taxes 🙂

Being a spin instructor and fitness junkie, I’m sure you’ve heard tons of people say “well I work out all the time, so I can eat whatever I want”. What do you have to say to the nay-sayers?!


Ah if only it were so simple! Our bodies are such complex and impressive systems, which makes it challenging to maintain or lose weight. It is never one simple fix but rather a lifestyle approach that will make a significant difference in the long-term. Sure, you could be one of those blessed individuals who can eat a ton of junk food, hit the elliptical for 30 mins, and maintain a svelte physique. But have you ever thought of your health from the outside-in? You’ll find individuals with heart, liver, or lung disease who may look “healthy” from the outside, but are far from it on the inside. It is so common, especially this time of the year, to get wrapped up in quick fixes, that we forget how important it is to balance both food and exercise for overall health. Guilty admission here – I used to be a Special-K bar, Light and Fit yogurt, sugar-free anything junkie. And while that food may have helped me maintain my weight, it wasn’t nourishing my body the way I know it should. Whole health is a balance of food and exercise, and I can’t imagine giving up either!
What advice do you have for people that have a busy lifestyle, but want to have a healthy diet?
Great question. And one I feel very qualified to answer because my lifestyle is sometimes more than I can handle! There are a couple ways to ensure that your healthy diet doesn’t get overlooked, and I categorize them based on your personal lifestyle:
– If you like to cook: Keep healthy frozen and pantry items on hand at all times. There should always be a couple dinner options available for nights when a trip to the store for fresh ingredients isn’t in the cards.
My go-to’s include Rising Moon Organics frozen tortellini, Amy’s canned soups, Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers, baked beans + frozen perogis and veggies, and homemade grilled cheese with whatever vegetable happens to be lurking in the fridge.
– If you like to eat out: Remember if you’re eating out every night, it isn’t aways a “special occassion.” When I lived in NYC, I ate out probably 5 nights a week, but I had to remind myself that it was because I didn’t have time to cook, not because it was my birthday! Think of how you would prepare a meal at home – do you have a bread basket AND an appetizer AND wine AND dessert? Probably not – pick one and leave it at that. In terms of your meal, control your portion by ordering 2 appetizers or sharing an entree with a friend. And use the Balanced Plate method – half of your meal should be veggies and the rest of your plate should be 1/4 lean protein (fish, beans, chicken, pork, lean beef) and 1/4 starch (whole grains, squash, potato, sweet potato). Skip the heavy cream sauces, fried entrees, and pretty much anything stuffed with something else 🙂
– If lunch is a challenge: Consider brown bagging it! It is so easy to overdo it during the day if you’re grabbing what’s available on-the-go. Even if you can’t pack an entire meal or don’t have a fridge or microwave to use, always keep some hearty snacks on hand for times that your options will be limited.
My go-to’s include: KIND bars, Larabars, Biena Roasted Chick Peas, Stonyfield Smoothies, Chobani yogurt, and Babybel cheeses.

What’s a RD’s favorite unhealthy, splurge meal? 🙂


I should have known you’d ask this 🙂 I’ve never been a sweet tooth, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a guilty pleasure. My favorite indulgence is good New England seafood. Lobster rolls, fried oysters, clam chowder are all at the top of that list. I grew up spending a couple weeks in the Cape in the summer and some of my favorite memories are of eating seafood. Here in Boston, I am constantly heading to B&G Oyster or Neptune Oyster in the North End for side-by-side comparisons 🙂
Oh, and you haven’t lived until you’ve had the Spicy Scallop roll at Sushi Seki in NYC. To. Die. For. I’ve been known to eat 3 in a sitting (shhhhh…)
You and I have talked about Paleo before, but would love for you to share your opinion on it with our readers. The good AND the bad. We’re ready for it…! 

Ah, the question of the hour! While I rarely like to soap box about nutrition issues, the hoopla around the Paleo diet definitely deserves some attention. If you are unfamiliar with why dietitians have issues with Paleo, I definitely recommend checking out my girl Rachele’s post on the topic:
Rather than restate all of her well-documented points, I will highlight the ones I feel most strongly about:
– It is literally impossible to follow this diet as prescribed because the food no longer exists in the same form. Period.
 – Removing certain food groups from your diet, such as dairy and grains, will have outcomes that you may not see, but you will certainly feel down the line. Most North Americans are already vitamin-D deficient, so removing the only dietary source (other than fatty fish) of vitamin-D can lead to complications like osteoporosis (especially for ladies). Unfortunately I can’t prove this point to you in the short-term, but once you’ve started feeling the effects of vitamin-D deficiency later in life, it is too late to reverse the outcome.
We enrich grains in this country because they are the food group we consume in the highest volume. I believe we all over-consume grains, but regardless, if you remove these completely from your diet you are no longer consuming the thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and iron that the grains are enriched with. While you can absolutely find the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin) and iron in protein foods, folic acid is only in legumes (off limits), citrus fruits (off limits) and leafy green veggies. That’s a whole lotta kale.
An important note – the enrichment act is in place as a way to ensure women who are pregnant or going to become pregnant have enough folic acid. Why? Having enough folic acid can prevent major birth complications like spina bifida or anencephaly, which is when a baby’s brain doesn’t develop properly. Women who are deficient in folic acid can also develop anemia, which is also common in pregnancy due to increased blood volume.
Removing these food groups without considering these long-term implications can have serious consqeuences that often aren’t discussed. It is important that you understand that these foods play a role in your health.
– Finally, the protein issue. This is a big one because I feel it is so misunderstood. While the Paleo diet clearly states that high fat meats should be avoided, I have yet to see someone following this rule. Instead, I see pork shoulder wrapped in bacon, burger wrapped in bacon, asparagus wrapped in bacon, and bacon sandwiches…wrapped in bacon. This brings me back to the point I made in the beginning about things that frustrate me – the science is there folks! A diet high in saturated fat has been associated with heart disease, obesity, and certain types of cancer. While Paleo sites tout the benefits of saturated fat, I have yet to see a scientific basis for those claims.
All that being said, I know that people commonly experience positive outcomes from “going Paleo.” However, I often hear these outcomes associated with a gluten sensitivity or undiagnosed lactose intolerance. Naturally if you cannot digest lactose and you remove from your diet, you will feel better! But that’s not because of a miracle diet. That’s because your body was trying to tell you to avoid dairy.
Paleo is a diet, and it has its faults just like any other diet. While I certainly like some aspects – reduced sugar, lean meat, unprocessed foods – I am more apt to just make those recommendations than prescribe a set of standards to live by.
What’s been the most satisfying experience in your job so far?
The crazy part of the dietetic internship is how different each experience is. Sometimes I feel really effective and sometimes I just feel plain frustrated. But the most satisfying moments for me, whether at the hospital or at the studio, are when a client or patient tells me I’ve helped them make a positive change. Even if that means eliminating one negative habit, or getting them comfortable trying single taps in a spin class, I know I’ve done something positive for that person’s health and future. And nothing could be more satisfying than that.
If you don’t already follow Katie’s blog, check her out at The Aspiring RD. Great posts, way more informative than mine, not to mention she has the cutest French bulldog puppy, who she posts pics of on the reg. Informative AND cute puppy pics? WIN.
Thank you Katie!!

Dear CrossFit: It’s not you, it’s me

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been posting about CrossFit lately, and there’s a reason for that. I’m done with CrossFit. Not like forever, but just for now. Since I started my new job, I was unable to make WODs with my new work and spin schedule.

A lot of people have been asking what I think about CrossFit lately so the point of this post is to provide an honest, non-biased opinion (there are so many CrossFit fanatics out there that will just tell you “CROSSFIT IS AWESOME!!!!!” but not really give any insight.. soo I’m hoping to rectify that).

I was nervous to start CrossFit. I had heard about the workouts- I knew they were going to be intense. I knew I was going to be doing things I had never done before, and that I was going to be sore constantly. But I was excited about the challenge and genuinely loved every single one of my workouts. I felt like I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and others around me were pushing themselves just as hard. It’s an incredibly inspiring environment. And- you do something different every day. Your body is constantly being challenged, challenged, challenged. I really don’t think you could ever hit a plateau doing CrossFit because it is so varied. Overall, I surprised myself with how much I loved CrossFit.

But despite my love for CrossFit, I’m not doing it anymore. I’m so thankful to have experienced this new workout phenomenon and will take many aspects of the WODs into my own personal workouts and training sessions with clients, but physically can’t keep going to the box. Here’s why:


via Someecards

As much as I enjoyed the workouts and how hard I was pushing myself, at this point in my life, it’s not sustainable. If I wasn’t spinning 5-7x a week, I would probably try to continue doing it, but it was just too much on my body. I wasn’t giving myself proper rest and really can’t risk not being able to teach since it’s now a big part of my income. My goal for the upcoming months is to focus on yoga and becoming more flexible, rather than building muscle. Speaking of which- in my 5 months at CrossFit, I gained muscle. A fair amount of it. Now, I know there are so many people out there who say “CrossFit girls don’t get bulky” and I agree with that. But guess what? CrossFit doesn’t make you bulky, your BODY makes you bulky! I know plenty of girls who CrossFit who are petite and not bulky (Erica being example #1). But I have the type of body that puts on muscle fast and furious, which is a blessing and a curse sometimes. I remember when I did cross country for a semester and was totally psyched about losing all this weight by running all the time and I ended up gaining 15 lbs of muscle, straight to my thunder thighs. Yes, I know this is a totally vain reason for not wanting to continue a specific workout but I’m really not trying to add any more muscle than I already have. One of my good friends told me “well, just don’t lift as much when you go” which is easier said than done. Of COURSE you want to be pushing yourself and lifting heavier each time you go in there. I’m not going to go to CrossFit and pick up 10lb dumbbells to deadlift, let’s be serious.

That’s the other thing about CrossFit- you can’t just casually go sometimes. You need to GO and commit to it. You’re not going to get any stronger, faster or better by just going once a week or every other week. It’s sort of an all or nothing approach. And I’m sort of falling into the “nothing” category. Womp womp.

And finally, one of the biggest reasons why people stay away from CrossFit- the cost. I simply can’t afford to go. I was lucky enough to have a free trial through my awesome Fitfluential family, but on my own, I wouldn’t be able to sustain it. That being said- I TOTALLY understand why Crossfit is so expensive, and don’t think it should be any other way. You are essentially getting personal training, gaining incredible skills and have a huge support system that holds you accountable and motivates you. You push yourself way harder than you would on your own, and that right there is priceless.

So there you have it.  If it wasn’t for my new job, my spin schedule, my stupid traps and thunder thighs and a bigger wallet, I would still be CrossFitting. Please don’t be sad, CrossFit. It’s really not your fault. It’s me. Maybe at another time and place we can be together, but for now, I regretfully have to break up with you, and truly hope our paths will meet again one day.

Has anyone else experienced this painful breakup?



How to stay (relatively) healthy on vacation..

I was debating titling this post “How to stay healthy on vacation” but then I realized that having mudslides and ice cream doesn’t exactly qualify as a golden standard of health. BUT, I do have some tips that I think are worth sharing for people that travel a lot (like me). I’m lucky that I always travel for pleasure, but I think that also makes it harder to commit yourself to staying healthy (relatively).

1.) Bring workout gear… and WEAR IT!



I’m really not sure why I’m sharing this picture with you all because I look like a psycho. I most definitely scared people away in that gym. Seriously. I did a CrossFit-style workout and was grunting, sweating profusely and just being a little too intense for the soccer moms dabbling on the treadmils.

So when you’re packing- pack workout gear! It sounds simple, right? Okay, next step- WEAR THE WORKOUT GEAR! Don’t just have it sit in the bottom of your suitcase. I packed 3 workout outfits- I was away for 6 days, so figured working out 3 times was enough of a break on my body, but still enough to not make me feel like a total slug. My Reebok RealFlex sneaks are perfect for traveling because they’re so light and bendy that they fit anywhere, and I am OBSESSED with my new workout arm band. Seriously, it’s the only one I’ve had so far that fits the best and doesn’t slip. And it came with Bose headphones, so the sound quality is bomb diggity. Oh, and don’t spend 2 hours in the hotel gym. Do a quick, high intensity circuit that will get you out of there and on the beach ASAP. I did…


3 rounds of 12
Alternating dead lifts (35# dumbbells) and sit ups
Alternating overhead air squats (8# medicine ball) and V-sits
Alternating side kicks with 8# medicine ball press and bicycles
Alternating bicep curls (10# dumbbells) and planks (30 seconds each)

Boom. I started off with 10 minutes on the treadmil (2 rounds of 3 minutes walk, 1 minute incline sprint) and was done with the workout in about half an hour. And was so sore the next day and felt really accomplished.

2.) Pack snacks



The theme of the day is to post embarrassing pictures of myself. Don’t you worry, there are more coming. Whenever I travel, I load up on snacks beforehand. Biggest things- protein, protein shaker, trail mix, dried mangos, and perhaps some plantain chips. Vega has individual protein packs that I brought which were AMAZING. After my workouts in the morning, or for breakfast, I would just shake it up with some water. And it would hold me over until my Mudslide during lunch #counterproductive #notsorry. But for real, having snacks on hand will help you get through the day and let you indulge in things you actually want to indulge in (mudslides, ice cream, etc. This girl doesn’t need to waste calories on a breakfast pastry buffet, thank you).

Oh, and don’t eat all of your snacks on the plane ride down. That may or may not have happened before. To me.




Would you believe me if I told you that there’s coconut water in that coconut? Because that’s all it is. I was very intrigued about the idea of drinking out of a coconut, but thought you had to only order a fru fru drink to get one, then the waiter told me I could get it with straight coconut water. Since I’m so cool and prefer water over alcohol, I went for that, and it was delish. Just ignore my lazy eye, and imagine how awesome it is to drink out of a coconut. Why do I live in Boston again?

It’s hard to constantly be drinking water when you’re out of your normal routine and easy commute to a water bubbler, but always try to have a bottle on hand. It will help you stay full throughout the day and keeps everything in your system moving along. It sounds like a dumb thing to say, but sometimes something as easy as drinking as water gets forgotten when on vacation.

4.) Relax! 

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Don’t beat yourself up too much if you want to indulge and splurge a little bit. You work hard all year round, so kick back a little. Just don’t get tooo far off track because then it will suck when you come back and will be even harder to get into your normal routine. Some people say I’m crazy to workout on vacation, but when you’re used to working out 6x a week, your body sort of needs it. So do a little working out, a little splurging on food, and a lot of enjoying yourself 🙂

Puerto Rico was amazing, I had such a good time. If you follow me on Instagram you were probably cursing me for posting tropical pics during the middle of a snowstorm up here, so I apologize for that. But now it’s back to reality, back on track, wompity womp womp.

Does anyone have any holiday travel tips? How do you stay on track on the road?