Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Where are you from?

As I  embark on transitioning this journey from Los Angeles to San Francisco I wonder, where are you from? 

I was born in Chicago IL , raised in Cleveland OH. I have lived in Pittsburgh PA, Farmington CT. NYC, LA, and now heading to San Francisco CA. I would not change a moment, I have met so many amazing souls along my way that I call dear friends. These people I have met along my way have shaped who I have become, and I am constantly evolving.

Where is home for you and does your city offer a lot of tools to make your fitness goals a reality?
Happy Tuesday to everyone, near and far on this beautiful globe of ours.Today is day ten of the first three months of Melissa Bender's Bikini Competition series. I got this.
Me with my first NYC friend and soul sister for life
Up the street from my current West Hollywood home
May 2014

Love and Light

Monday, September 29, 2014

MONDAY 9-29-2014

Good morning to all and a very Happy Monday. yesterday I switched my rest day of today and took it yesterday instead. So tonight I am doing Melissa Bender's Day 8 Fitness Transformation workout #2 in the first month of the three month series that she did to prep for her bikini competition. Here is a picture of me last December and now. I took a picture in the same wrap dress, but I pulled it much tighter to fit. I am going to lose another 40 lbs, but definitely 20 lbs. I now weigh 164 and I feel far from done yet proud at how far I have come. I use the sit down test. If I sit down and I feel like my belly spills out a little, I am not fit yet. On my way, but not there.

Melissa does some exercises in plank that requires you jump. I modify such exercises since I have a toe injury. I can plank, but not jump in plank on my toe. I make it through the routine and the rounds, I just adjust what she does to my own personal needs. I am finally seeing a Dr next week.

Moving is crazy, in weeks I will be in San Francisco. Working out has helped me keep my sanity. I am so excited to begin anew in another city. I love LA, and I absolutely adore the community of West Hollywood. Today was the day four years ago we moved from NYC to LA so this is all very bitter sweet for us. I must not compare though, I will embrace the city by the bay and all of the brand new opportunities. I am going to take this project to a new level.

Off for now. Love and light to all and a big thank you to my best friend Melissa Bender. She has been an amazing friend and we have not lived in the same city since 2005 when I left Pittsburgh PA for CT. She has taught me true friends are just a mere heartbeat away. A shout out to all of my loved ones near and far. I am all about the love.

Love and light

Sunday, September 28, 2014


My body is my temple, my spirit is my paradise within

Happy Sunday to all. James my husband suggested I change the look of my blog, a fresh look for a new year and a new life in San Francisco. This is what I have decided on for now. I may change it again, but I do like the zen quality of the color of sea foam green. I am taking everything to another level and a fresh face lift on my blog is just what I need.

Today is day 8 of month one of the three months of Melissa Bender Fitness Bikini Prep workouts. I will also do my cardio. It is a sleepy Sunday and I have not taken a rest day in over ten days. I finally made a Dr. appointment for next week to have my toes looked at. I have one injured toe on my right foot, and I actually lost a toe nail on my left foot and the one underneath is bruised too. I think my shoes are too large and it may be causing me major issues with my workouts and cardio. Challenges do not slow me down though. I adjust and get through the obstacle courses that come my way. 

Off for now. Wishing everyone a beautiful and zen Sunday.
Love, Light, and Peace

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Check in Day Seven....Melissa Bender Fitness: Tummy Toning Fat Burn

The first year is behind me,  45 lbs are lost....onward and upward to the next forty and all of my fitness goals.

Checking in on my routine. Day seven of Month one is today, and yes I workout on a Saturday. Today I am going to the gym to do the treadmill as well as day seven. I am also doing home yoga until I move to San Francisco and when I get situated in will be back in the studio. I am doing all three months of Melissa Bender's Bikini Competition prep, the workouts she did to compete in a bikini competition. She has and always will be so inspiring to me, and I am always so grateful to her for being such an amazing  best friend as well as role model to many. 

Much love and light to all and a big thanks to Melissa Bender for helping me during this transition period. 



Melissa Bender Fitness: Tummy Toning Fat Burn: *Workout Video and Breakdown Below Hi Everyone! Who is up for some tummy time? Everyone wants a strong core, and sexy abs. This w...


Here is a poem I wrote when I began my yoga practice a few years ago. Happy Weekend to all. xo

Coming from me, a poet and former ballet dancer,
yoga combines the cerebral aspects of my brain with the physical reality of my body;
stanzas gesturing in motion.
As I transition from asana to asana, my mind poses that
age old question; am I one with the universe?
The answer is always a definite yes.
I feel as if I am the salt of the earth below my toes, the clouds hovering above my head.
I realize not only am I one with the earth and the universe, I am so with all creatures;
and one with my sometimes puzzling psyche.
By the time I reach the elusive state of savasana I feel as if I am floating above my body.
I finally return back to earth in prayer pose to recite that final namaste,
in that belated moment of clarity I am reminded of the gratitude I have for being heaven sent yet earth bound.
Rose Bruno Bailey

Friday, September 26, 2014


Thank god it is Friday. This moving mess is unreal, and it is truly the hardest move we have ever navigated. Forging forward with my work out goals, which makes dealing with the unease and stress so much easier. Endorphins really do have a factor on your mood.

Today is day six of Melissa Bender Fitness Bikini Prep workout, month one. I am also doing about 45 minutes of cardio today as well. I am going to shoot for two rounds. 

I had a few weeks of slowing down with the moving stress and this week I am working on my strength. Next week I will do three rounds.
I am doing her 12 week series, and also incorporating my own cardio and Body Pump Classes from 24 Hour Fitness. I will start Yoga as soon as I get situated in San Francisco.

I need to eat a bit more. I eat mostly clean but sometimes I do not eat enough. I was reading all about what Melissa eats and it puts me to shame. I definitely need to eat more. Not eating slows your metabolism and does not fuel you enough for working out.

Breakfast today was non fat Greek yogurt with no sugar no salt peanut butter, raw oats and a banana. I was out of my usual protein bars. 

Off for today. I work and I will be working out this evening.
Love and Light to all

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Melissa Bender Fitness: My First Bikini Competition Prep: Month 1 Workouts...

If you  look up, clouds will guide your way

Good morning to all. Here is the complete list of Month one, which I am following. I am on day five of Month one. I need this now more than ever, the moving stress level is through the roof. The relocation red tape is unreal, and there is always a chance that we could stay in LA, so back to being in limbo. We wait, and I workout to keep my sanity and push harder than ever. Whether here in LA or in San Francisco I am taking my project and my fitness goals to another level.

In the meantime work calls after my second cup of coffee. Cue breathing.



Melissa Bender Fitness: My First Bikini Competition Prep: Month 1 Workouts...: This is Month 1 of the workouts that I have done to prep for my bikini competition. This is the order I completed the workouts in...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Good Morning to all. Today is hump day, and I so look forward to the weekend.  My days here in Los Angeles are numbered, but it does not feel like it yet since we still have to secure an apartment. I have been working out hard, and I did the last five days and today is supposed to be a rest day according to the schedule of Melissa Bender's Bikini Prep workouts for month one, week one. I may take a Body Pump class though, or go swimming. I pushed my cardio the last five days and yesterday my toe started bothering me again. I iced it and if I feel fine I will take the class, and if not I am going swimming.

Last night I made the mistake of  taking aspirin before bed on an empty stomach, which made for a stomach ache, a sleepless night and nightmares. It is so important to get at least seven hours of sleep. I will not do that again.

So for today Wednesday:
-Day four from week one, month one of Melissa Bender Fitness Bikini Competition workouts.  Day four is a day off.
-light cardio for an active rest day

That is it for now. Each day I will be recording what I am doing to get the the second round of my goals, with a breakdown every Monday for the full week.

Have a wonderful day

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


As soon as we find a place, San Francisco will be my next home

Finding an apartment from afar is challenging, and I swore to myself through this crazy move I would keep up my workouts and push harder than ever. I have stuck to that vow, and I feel amazing. I slacked off for a few weeks from the stress of waiting to find out if we were moving or not, I have never liked being in limbo. When we moved cross country from NYC to LA it was a smoother transition. James was hired rather quickly, and we moved in three weeks. This time it is such a dragged out process, it almost makes you wonder if it will happen. Even though they wanted him in San Francisco by October 6th, we are hoping for the third week of the month. Too much to do too soon.

I am blogging more about what I am doing to get to the next half of my goals. The first year is done and behind me. I have lost 45 lbs, changed my body and I have helped numerous charities and did a few interesting items off my bucket list. 

Now I am beginning anew, another 40 lbs to go, and as soon as I deliver my books before the move to Reading to Kids I will be working on my next ten lb charity. I will of course wait til I get to San Francisco to pick and announce it. I am also going to take "new" before photos soon. Lots of things to do in San Francisco to add to my bucket list too. One of the first things I want to do is to walk the pedestrian path of the Golden Gate Bridge.
On Mondays I will post my weekly workout plan and anything else I am doing to get to my goals, and each day I will make a little post for that day. I am trying to eat more, and eat as clean as possible. Tons of water helps too.

Today is a day three and a day off from Melissa Bender's bikini fitness competition workouts for month one so I am just going to do cardio and yoga.  I downloaded new music to get me going.

Being in a new city is going to challenge me. I have to find my gym, and learn my way around. I am nervous but excited. I have a friend there who goes to the same gym I do, and she wants to work out together. I also have a few other friends there, who have reached out and have been very supportive and welcoming which I need now. It is a lonely feeling to pick up and move.

Off for today, a lot on my mind and I am just trying to let it all be.

Monday, September 22, 2014


I think this is San Francisco. I will find this spot.
One of my goals, to take yoga pose photos
all over the bay area,

Good Morning to all. Today is Monday, yes again. I like to look at Monday's as a new beginning. I have a lot of new beginnings coming my way with my upcoming move to San Francisco. Finding an apartment is the most challenging step. Once we secure a place it will be full steam ahead.  I am trying to figure out when my last day of work should be. I have not put in my two weeks yet, but I need to soon.

I work today, and I plan on working out after. I am doing my Cardio and day two of Melissa Bender Fitness Bikini Competition workout series of month one. I may take a Les Mills Body Pump Class tonight if I get out of work in time. 


I am so happy my gym membership for 24 Hour Fitness allows me to attend any 24 Hour Fitness. They are all over San Francisco.

So my plan for this week is:
Week one of  month one of Melissa Bender Bikini Competition Series. One Round to begin, 20 reps.
Cardio five to six days.
Body Pump Class two to three days.
Anything else I may squeeze in

I am going to try to keep my diet as clean as possible. I do allow myself a piece of dark chocolate if I want it. Just one, and I totally savor it. I love Trader Joe's.

Off for now. Soon I have to start cleaning, purging, and packing. Change comes on slow than runs you over.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Melissa Bender Fitness: My First Bikini Competition Prep: Month 1 Workouts...

Melissa Bender suggested I do this series, so today was day one of month one. I also did my cardio. 

I will be posting more about how I am getting to my goals each day. Day one, done. I am not competing, but these are challenging workouts and I am excited.

I will be doing other exercises and workouts on my quest for fitness, and I will also post as I go and progress. I am beginning anew amongst the chaos of moving to a brand new city. 



Melissa Bender Fitness: My First Bikini Competition Prep: Month 1 Workouts...: This is Month 1 of the workouts that I have done to prep for my bikini competition. This is the order I completed the workouts in...


With the wind comes a change in direction, and I am adjusting my compass and blowing in the breeze. The sea is below to catch my fall. I will never falter, it sometimes it takes me longer to get to my destination. Loving the journey just the same.

With everything going on with the move, I realized I need to push harder than ever. I have decided to blog more about what I am doing each day to get to my goals, and when I get to San Francisco I will not feel like I have fallen behind. Friday I did cardio for 45 minutes and took a Les Mills Body Pump Class. I am still sore from that. Saturday I went speed walking outdoors for over an hour.

Today I am going to do about an hour of speed walking outdoors. I am taking advantage of this amazing weather, I hear San Franciso is much cooler. I am planning on speed walking for now. I have slacked off a bit, so I am starting with that so I do not make my toes any worse. I am also seeing a Dr. before the move. Running will come as soon as I feel back in the swing of things.

Today I am also going to do day one of Melissa Bender Fitness Bikini Competition workouts. She suggested I add those to my routine a while back, and it is so amazing to work out with my best friend even if it is virtually. She is such an inspiration and I do not know where I would be without her.  I plan on going through the routine twice, after my cardio. I plan on doing 15-20 reps.

I struggle with lunges, so that will be the most difficult part for me. I can do her routine at the gym or at home. I have been watching the videos and writing down the breakdown so I can do it at the gym without the computer. They have all the equipment I will need.

That is it for today. I downloaded brand new music from the 70's and 80's to keep me moving. It also makes me happy and energized. With this move I need to keep my energy high. Onward and Upward.

Love and light to all
Happy Sunday

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Moving is full speed ahead, as soon as we are able to secure an apartment. This is very difficult from afar since we are both still working our present jobs. A lot of stress and it is easy to fall of the wagon. Yesterday I decided I would find time to work harder than ever, to keep my momentum going despite of the stress. I will be on my own in the city by the bay, without the security of having my trainer Mike push we twice a week. I need to reset my goals and plan for what is to come in a new city. Mike will still be helping me with my fitness bucket list and I know he will help me from afar as much as he can.  My husband James said Mike gave me the keys to fitness, now it is up to me to open new doors in my new city.

I took a Body Pump Class yesterday, I think it will be perfect to help me transition in San Francisco. I am working out and pushing myself, and downloading brand new music to get me moving to a new upbeat tune. I ran into my dear friends at 24 Hour Fitness in West Hollywood, and was so grateful we could capture a photo. 

James wanted Chinese, and what's a girl to do? Steamed chicken, vegetables and brown rice, and I only ate half a portion with some fruit. I have a piece of dark chocolate for later, after I work out. It is so important now more than ever that I stick to my healthy lifestyle.
Off for today, we need to start going through our belongings and purging and donating what we do not need.
Love and Light to all

Steamed brown rice, veggies, and chicken with no sauce. 

I love Peter and Agatha, They swim daily

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I do Love LA

I have been very quiet here, and it is because I felt I had nothing to say. September has been full of uncertainty and transition. My husband James took a job up in San Francisco last week, a position he was interviewing with for about a month. In that period, I did not know if we would stay or go. We were in limbo, and the waiting was so stressful. All of the goals I had for September were put off, after all how can you sign up for classes if you are not sure you will still be here? 

At this same time my trainer Mike was going through transitions of his own, moving into a new apartment and we were not able to work out. I still kept up walking, running, and yoga but I found the more I got stressed out about my possible move the more I slacked off a little. My diet is still on point, right now that is the only arena in my life I have control over. I love my LA home and I am very sad to go, but on the same note I look forward to a brand new adventure in San Francisco. I am so proud of my husband James, he truly is a determined go getter and relentless when it comes to getting what he wants in his career. 

There is a quiet kind of loneliness when you find out you are moving to a brand new place. I cannot explain it, but all of a sudden for a fleeting moment you feel very alone in the world.

I knew with Mike's transitions and my own impending move that our workouts would be coming to an end soon, I felt that this possible move to San Francisco would happen and it did. It was exactly four years ago James and I made the move from our beloved big apple to the city of angels. NYC to LA in a span of three weeks time in September 2010. The timing was just too similar, and I felt that this would happen exactly like it did back in 2010. My intuition was on par as usual. At the time I was so sad to leave NYC behind, but I felt it was time for a change. I grew to fall in love with sunny Los Angeles. Leaving is not as effortless now.

My trainer and friend Mike and I will keep in touch, and we are still planning on working on my goals from afar, and I plan to come down to LA to take my surfing lessons, trapeze classes etc. I also have a lot of goals for my new life in San Francisco, to begin this project with a new city and that iconic Golden Gate as my backdrop. I will talk more about my  new goals in the near future. I am forever grateful to my Mike who began as a stranger I worked with and hardly knew, to trainer, coach, and friend. Now I consider him a friend for life. Distance does not take that away. When I become close friends with someone, I am that forever. I thank him for his patience, time, and kindness, and for giving me the keys to fitness. 

Mike my trainer and friend and  adorable Apollo

My last ten pound charity is wrapping up, I received more books from a generous friend Mary who delivered them to my work. She is a lovely soul I met one day at work, and we have kept in touch. Even though her life is busy, she took the time to deliver a bag of beautiful books for children. I will deliver all the books to Reading to Kids before we make the drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to our new home by the bay.

beauty by the bay

So much to think about my head is spinning. I may just go to the pool today and erase the day.
Love and Light
across the miles always

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I am still doing my book drive for Reading to Kids, and I am taking my time to get the most books. I will pick and announce my next ten pound charity within a month. I am so grateful for all the book donations from friends and new friends. Today I received a box of children's books from someone I met at the nail salon. We began a conversation and I told her what I was working on, and she did not hesitate to offer to help by donating books.  In a mere moment in a nail salon I am granted a new friend. I am so grateful. I look forward to treating her to coffee and cake in the near future. Be kind to others, and sometimes being kind rewards you with new friends.

Children's books are magical

On the subject of the kindness of strangers and strangers becoming new friends. I have to give a shout out to my wonderful friend Amy. She and I also met in a nail salon, she approached me when she heard I too was from NYC. When she tells the story she makes me cry, because she explains it was my kindness to the staff at the nail salon that caught her attention. In return I was gifted an amazing friend and I am so thankful she said hello to me on that sunny afternoon. Amy is one of my dearest friends and my first friend in California. 

Amy and me. 
Off for now. Tomorrow is my first workout with Mike my trainer and friend. He had to move so we took a break, and I look forward to getting back to the grind. I have been doing yoga and cardio but I have slacked on weight bearing exercises. I will be sore, this I know.

I am also grateful to Mike for taking the time out of his busy schedule and move to train me. His kindness definitely never goes unnoticed. It is amazing how people you meet become your good friends, people you may never have expected to be. You never know who you may meet around the corner or around the world. I love that about life. 

Love and Light

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Good afternoon and hello to all. I am still here, working on all of my goals. Collecting books for my latest ten pound loss and working out. It has been a stressful few weeks since I did yoga on a heli-pad, and I felt like I do when I get writers block and cannot write my poetry. I had a blog block. A lot of things are going on personally, and I will talk about them soon enough. In the meantime I felt like I had nothing to give or say, until the answers to my personal riddles become clear. At the end of the day, I am still my same optimistic self. Forging forward to help better myself and help others too. All with a little help from my friends.

Today my husband James and I are going on a long walk, and doing some shopping for healthy meals. It is going to be a scorcher here in LA but I kind of want to make some healthy soup. Comfort food plus it is healthy and full of vegetables. It is a low key day since we have been overwhelmed the last few weeks. 

Off for now, hitting the reset button and getting back on track. I am at 165 lbs and working on my book drive. I will announce my next 10 lb charity soon. I will finally be in the 150's.

Happy Weekend to all
Love and Light