4 Fit Mommies: What Your Trainer Isn’t Telling You

Have you ever wondered what your personal trainer is really thinking?? Here are 10 things your trainer wish you knew.

1. Do not arrive at a training session in any of the following states: hung over, on an empty stomach, on 2 hours of sleep, or coming off the flu. It wastes your time and ours if you aren’t fueled up, hydrated and ready to rock.

2. If you paid attention as closely to us showing you how to do an exercise as you do to Hugh Jackman shirtless, you would be able to perform the exercise perfectly.

3. Yes, we know you are eating more than you are telling us.

4. Yes, we know you are drinking more than you are telling us.

5. It takes more than hiring a trainer to be healthy and fit. It’s what you are doing in between your training sessions that really will determine your success. If you aren’t committed, no trainer can help you.

6. If you can talk non-stop for 10 minutes telling us the latest celebrity gossip as if you are Giuliana Rancic on E News Live!, you aren’t working hard enough.

7. There is a HUGE difference between pain and burn. PLEASE be honest with us on how you are really feeling. If you are pushing yourself so hard you get hurt, no one wins. On the other hand, if you are acting like you are going to die when really you are just feeling some burn, no one wins.

8. No, you cannot text and put 100% into your workout. Yes that includes the Elliptical.

9. PLEASE cancel your session if you are sick. We do not want to get sick.

10. Showing up late to a session wastes your money and our time. Using excuses like “I need to fill up my water bottle” or “I just want to walk for a few minutes” wastes your money and our time. You hired us for a reason. Please let us do our job. We do actually know what we are doing.


4 Fit Mommies: 5 Signs You Need to Change Your Workouts

What to do when your workout isn’t working for you??? Let me guess, when you started exercising your motivation was super high right? You were very excited to get going, you looked forward to your workouts, you talked about it with your friends. But then slowly things started to change. It started to be not as much fun. Not as exciting. What happened? What went wrong?

Chances are it’s time to switch things up. We are of course creatures of habit and change can sometimes be a bit scary. But when it comes to exercise, our body NEEDS change. Here are my top 5 Signs You Need to Change Your Workouts:

1. You are no longer seeing changes to your body. Uh oh , you’ve hit the dreaded plateau!! Now what? It’s simple, it’s time for a change. Just as you get bored doing the same things over and over again, your body adapts to the same exercises so they don’t offer the same benefits any longer. Variety is the spice of life when it comes to your workouts. A good rule of thumb is to change your routine every 4-8 weeks. This will keep your body challenged and guessing, and the results will keep coming.

2. Your workout bores you. If you’ve been doing the same routine for a few months I’m not surprised your getting bored. With so many different types of workouts available these days, why wouldn’t you keep changing things up? Try taking your workout outside, adding speed intervals, maybe incorporate some kickboxing or some spinning to your cardio? Change can help keep your workouts fun and interesting, giving you motivation to keep doing it.

3. You are feeling more tired and sore. Exercise should be giving you energy and making you feel good, not sore and rundown. A little sore yes, so sore that you can’t function? No. This could be a sign that you are overtraining. Your body does need time for rest and recovery. This allows the body to build strength and endurance, and allows your muscles to repair themselves. If you have been overtraining I suggest taking a week off. Reevaluate your workout program to avoid this from happening again.

4. Your workout is feeling too easy. Maybe you aren’t sore at all! Now would be a good time to start changing up how many reps and sets you are doing. Maybe instead of lifting lighter weights with more repetitions, you start to increase the weight and cut back on the number of repetitions. If you’ve been doing circuit style training, now might be a good time to try super sets or compounds. Maybe you’ve been doing all cardio and now might be a good time to start weight lifting. You might also think about adding some time onto your workouts. Instead of shooting for 30 minutes on the elliptical, you might try for 40 or 45.

5. Your workout is your time to catch up with your friends. While yes it is a good idea to have a workout buddy to help keep you accountable to your workouts, that workout buddy should also be pushing and challenging you. If your workout pal is bringing you coffee it might be time to reevaluate that relationship. Set some goals for both of you to reach, try out a new class together, watch a new workout DVD at home, train for your first 5K together. And keep the coffee (or the wine) for AFTER the workout 🙂

4 Fit Mommies: My Top 7 Diet Tips

I get this question all the time – “How do I lose weight?”. That is quickly followed by “How Many Calories Do I Need?”. Well my friends you have come to the right place! After over 10 years of experience as a Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach, along with a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science, I have learned a few tricks. Here are my top 7 diet tips.

1. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. And I do mean everything, what you eat, when you eat it, what you drink, when you drink it. This includes water, alcohol and any treats (yes one bite of a muffin or a donut needs to be written down). There’s a few reasons for this. Number one, knowing that you will be writing it down tends to persuade you against that one bite of muffin or donut. Number two, you get to see what your patterns are. When are you reaching for the not so healthy snacks? Are you eating mostly carbohydrates? Are you consistently wanting something sweet at the same time each day? When you know your patterns you can then start to fix your problem areas.

2. USE A CALORIE TRACKER. I use My Fitness Pal but there are many to choose from – Calorie Counter, Calorie King, Lose It, etc. I will talk mostly about My Fitness Pal since I am more familiar with that. Each day I enter in what I’ve eaten, the amount and any exercise that I have done. I then can see a pie chart that will show me not only how many calories I’ve had but the breakdown of those calories into fats, carbohydrates and proteins. I cycle my carbohydrates which means that I have one day that I include carbohydrates into each meal followed by two days of all protein and veggies. Seeing the breakdown of my calories helps to keep me on track. It’s also useful to see how many calories you are eating daily. A good rule of thumb for weight loss is to be between 1400 and 1800 calories. I recommend cycling that as well. What that would look like for me is on my carbohydrate days, my calories are closer to the 1800 mark. On my protein and veggie days my calories are closer to the 1400 mark. This constant cycling and change keeps your body guessing and prevents it from hitting plateaus.

3. INCORPORATE ONE CHEAT MEAL EACH WEEK. I know there are others who recommend a whole cheat day each week. I do not think that is a good idea, you end up feeling sick at the the end of the day and it’s very difficult to get back onto track the next day. One cheat meal is plenty. I usually will do my cheat meal on the weekend. I LOVE Mexican so it’s usually nachos or burritos or something like that. Occasionally it might be pizza depending on what we are doing. Eat whatever you like and don’t worry about it!!

4. THREE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES PER WEEK MAXIMUM. And I do mean maximum. Alcohol is poison to your bodies my friends. It does nothing good when it comes to trying to lose weight. Every gram in alcohol counts for 7.1 calories. So that equates to 150 calories for a light beer, or a glass of wine. Mixed drinks can count for thousands of calories depending on what the alcohol is mixed with. After your first drink, your body starts to get rid of the alcohol quickly by converting it into acetaldehyde, which gets broken down into acetate. These by-products are seen as dangerous so your body wants to use them as fuel to get rid of them even faster. What does that mean for you? It means your body will significantly slow fat-burning close to 75% after just one drink. You will burn 75% LESS FAT when you drink alcohol. That’s huge!!

5. IF YOU DON’T LIKE PROTEIN BARS OR SHAKES DON’T EAT THEM. I’ve heard this sooo many times from people, that they try and try to have protein bars or shakes for their snacks but they end up choking them down for a couple days before saying to heck with it and having a snickers instead. If you don’t like it, don’t eat it. It’s that simple. I don’t like cottage cheese. I can’t get over the texture. I have tried it a few times because I know it’s a good snack but I just can’t do it. So do I force myself to eat it? Of course not!! I replace it with another higher protein snack like Greek Yogurt. I’m an adult, not a child. I don’t need to clean my plate of food that I don’t like. There are plenty of other things out there that I do like. My higher protein go to snacks are:

Greek Yogurt

Natural Turkey Lunchmeat

Cheese Stick


Low-Sodium Beef Jerky

Hard Boiled Eggs

6. WATER, WATER AND MORE WATER. Water is essential for weight loss. Essential. Dehydration slows down the body’s ability to burn fat efficiently. Burning calories creates toxins and water helps to flush those out. Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume; a reduction in blood volume causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles; and a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles leaves you feeling tired which is not helpful when you are trying to exercise regularly. Drinking water with your meals may make you feel fuller sooner, and satisfied by eating less.

7.  DO NOT LET A SLIP UP DERAIL YOU. It’s Friday night, you’ve done great all week, you already had your cheat meal earlier in the week but you are prepared with a healthy dinner at home. Then your husband asks you to go out to eat. Still ok, you will get yourself one huge, healthy salad. But then you actually are at the restaurant and oh man does that burger and beer sound amazing to you. You go for it, then you tell yourself you might as well get dessert too, I mean you’ve already ruined your diet right? Well you might as well get a few more beers while you are at it!! DO NOT FALL into this trap!!! It’s ok to slip up here and there. The problem happens when you continue to put unhealthy things into your body because you slipped up. Break this cycle. One burger and beer with not kill you. Stop the mind games. Enjoy your dinner and MOVE ON. Get back on track.

Super Scary Halloween Decor

M&J Blog

Looking to really freak out your party guests this year? You’re not alone. These terrifying decorations are sure to scare the living daylights out of your Halloween party pals.

DIY-halloween-head-crafts-unleashed-1024x682Nothing screams Halloween like a creepy severed head. When it comes to Halloween, cheesecloth is one of your best tools.

6c3efd2881dc7260e55c56c5767e53cdAnd you thought turning off the lights was scary! Turn them on for a creepy-crawly cockroach surprise.

Scary_Monster_on_the_Ceiling.img_assist_customYour guests won’t believe their eyes when they look up at your ceiling. All you need for this terrifying decoration is a blood-curdling mask, a wig and a sheet.

DSCN3040Spiders have their secrets too. Let the mysteries of their secret lives unravel in these creepy cocoons.

photo-craft-diy-1009-deKeep the creepy all in the family with these ghastly portraits!

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4 Fit Mommies: My Guide to the Perfect Halloween

I’m not going to lie, Halloween is actually my birthday, so I might be a smidge biased when it comes to this holiday. But aside from that, I LOVE Halloween! I love the fall and all the colors and the crisp air. I love the Halloween decorations, and the scary movies (the cheesier the better). I love seeing all the kids in their costumes, running around on Halloween night without a care in the world. And I mean any day that I get candy can’t be all bad right?


So here are my tried and true traditions that make Halloween in my family absolutely perfect.

1. As soon as the weather gets to the perfect fall like weather (you know, when it’s sunny outside but still kinda chilly and the leaves are turning and falling off of their branches) it’s time for the orchard trip. We typically go to Klackle Orchards in Greenville. The kids love the hayrides and the big trucks they can climb through. We also really enjoy the petting zoo area and riding the horses.

2. Time to decorate!! Since it is my birthday, I typically will get at least one new Halloween decoration each year. I don’t always use everything I own. Here are some pictures of the inside and outside of my house

front door decor 5 decor 4 decor 3 decor 2 decor

3. Pumpkins, pumpkins and more pumpkins!! Finding the perfect pumpkin is crucial to fully enjoy this time of year. One that is perfectly round and very little bruising. We will pick some pumpkins when we go to the Orchard, but then I will also add a couple small ones when it gets closer to Halloween. These are the ones that my kids will paint and decorate.

4. Scary Movies. Since my kids are little I only watch scary movies at night after they are in bed or maybe during their naps. My favorites:

Halloween (the original)

Friday the 13th (the original, and I like the 7th one too)

The Fog (the one from 2005)


The Exorcist

(Yes I like the old school movies the best)

5. The Candy. So we start stocking up on candy for the big night wayyy early. Why? Because it’s cheaper earlier? Because there’s a better selection earlier? Nope. Because we start eating it early and have to keep adding to it. Halloween candy is like ice cream; it’s a filler so it totally doesn’t count.

6. The costumes. I don’t know about you but I find figuring out what costumes to get my children to be difficult. The sizes are usually way off. Sometimes they like masks sometimes they don’t. You never know what the weather will be like (we are in Michigan) so it could be beautiful and warm or it could be snowing. I try to find something that is warm enough that if it is cold the whole thing won’t have to be covered up with a jacket. This year Ethan will be Spiderman and Jacob is Captain America.


7. Family and friends. I LOVE Halloween night. Family and friends will come over, we get some pizzas to have before we go out trick or treating. Then some of us will go take the kids out in the neighborhood and others will stay at my house to pass out candy. My neighborhood has tons of kids that trick or treat. We actually have people drive into our neighborhood from more remote areas. So we get hundreds of kids. SO FUN!!!

What are your Halloween traditions?

use all of what I own

No Carve Pumpkin DIYs

M&J Blog

Everyone loves decorating pumpkins for fall, but do you know what nobody loves? Dealing with pumpkin guts. That’s right! Having to clean up the ooey-gooey  insides of gourds is probably the least fun activity of autumn. Our solution? A bunch of pumpkin decorating DIYs that don’t have to be carved! Another added bonus? You pumpkin stays in tip-top shape too!pumpkinfeature1Add feminine flair to your fall decor with this floral and glittered pumpkin from PBTeen!

006-stringartpumpkin-dreamalittlebiggerThis string art pumpkin from Dream a Little Bigger ensures you can still make the creepiest pumpkin on your corner, without dealing with all of that cleanup.

6a017ee3c48414970d01b7c6f2c73b970b-800wiThese gold leaf pumpkins from The Home Steady are beyond elegant, and are beautiful enough to earn a spot on any dining table!


If you love the look of metal on pumpkins, check out these copper-accented beauties from Home Oh My!

final3Have a talent for typography? Take a…

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4 Fit Mommies: Potty Training 101

I don’t know about you but I cannot believe how much poop talk is in my life now that I have kids. Especially now that I have toddlers. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t talk about it. And I am not one of those people that thinks “butt” jokes are funny. I don’t want to talk about farts, I don’t need to know how big your “load” was today, I certainly don’t want pictures (anyone else’s husband send pics of their dumps to their friends? Um yes I am serious with that question because I literally think my husband is crazy).

Then enter children. My two year old is not potty training yet; I will keep him a baby forever. I will throw myself over his crib if you attempt to put a toddler bed in there. I will hang onto his diapers for as long as possible. I will cuddle, rock, kiss and make a fuss over him for as long as I want to!! (Can you tell we are done having children??).

Anyhoo, I also have an almost 4 year old who has been potty training for close to a year now. Number one, good to go. Number two? We are struggling!! He will go into the corner of a room and sit, so we know he’s trying to poop. So when I see this, I tell him to get up and go into the bathroom. What does he do? He sits there, turning bright red, and stares at me as he poops right there. He’s turning red, not because he’s embarrassed by any means, but because he’s pushing!!

When I ask him why he’s not pooping in the potty, he tells me it’s not fun to. I make him clean himself up completely when he poops his pants. He has to flush everything, he was to rinse everything, the whole 9 yards. He thinks that’s fun!!

I then try rewards for pooping in the potty. He can take them or leave them (and I’m talking chocolate here people, who in the world can take or LEAVE chocolate??).

I then make him sit on the potty every 30 minutes and try to poop, since if I can’t trust him to tell me when he’s gotta go, I have to make sure he goes the right way. He sits in there and sings!

I then start to take toys away from him when he keeps pooping in his undies. I took away his bike, his Power Wheels, his favorite movie. . . . HE DOES NOT CARE!!

So then I use the “disappointed” approach. I tell him how disappointed I am that he won’t poop in the potty, when he knows exactly when he has to go. I tell him how happy it makes me when he does go in the potty on his own. I think this he cares about, but not enough to make him go on the potty.

I of course read all the books and use all the tried and true techniques –  “Potty Train Over the Weekend”, “2 Days Until Potty Trained”, “How to Potty Train in a Week”, etc. No dice.

Now why would I title this Potty Training 101 if I am obviously failing? Because I learned something VERY valuable in all of this. You can read all the books and be super prepared and know all there is to know about potty training your child. But if they aren’t ready, it won’t work.

Did you hear that? If THEY aren’t ready, IT WON’T WORK.  IMG_6839

Every child is so different in so many ways and this is no different. I have friends who’s children were potty trained in 3 days at age 2. I have friends who’s children were potty trained over the weekend at age 3. And then I have friends who, like me, their child or children “isn’t getting it”. But, is it really that they aren’t getting it? I don’t think so. I think they understand what they are supposed to do. I just don’t think they are ready to do it.

Every child ages differently. No matter how much we push them or plead with them they will advance when they are ready. Don’t sweat it, don’t get all worked up over it, don’t think your child or children are are going to be in diapers when they are in kindergarten. They will do it, just not when you are ready but when they are. They have little minds of their own. They have little personalities of their own. They have their likes and their dislikes. Why would we think we can “push” them to potty train? Everything else they do when they are ready, why is this different?

Society seems to tell you that if your child isn’t potty trained by the time they are 2 or 3, there is something wrong with them. All of these potty training books that are popular right now tell you if it doesn’t happen within the week or 3 days or whatever, there is something wrong with them. Or with you, maybe you aren’t doing it right. Maybe you aren’t following directions exactly.

I say RELAX!! Respect your child’s wishes and needs; wait until your child is ready; don’t force the issue of potty training. All that will do is frustrate you and your child!! Just relax and use pull-ups, your child will use the potty and be potty trained when they are ready to do it!!

Now you’ll have to excuse me, my son is in the corner 😉