Ending My Gym-Cation

I’ve never been shy about telling you guys how much I don’t enjoy working out.  Heck, even Jillian Michaels mentioned that she doesn’t love killing it in the gymThanks for that reality check, Jill.

As part of this healthy living community, I know that I am definitely not the norm.  My social media feeds are peppered with folks that are leveraging those endorphins every single day.  Some of them do it for a living, some of them are conquering new and exciting physical challenges (Yes — I’m talking about you, Alan!,) and some seem to be wired to work out overcoming all odds.

Many of you are going after it every single day in the most impressive of ways.  Thank you for sharing your stories, posting your pics, and displaying your positive mantras.  I’ve wanted to be inspired by you.  I’ve wanted to use your sweatie selflies as an inspiration for me to put on my sneakers and get to the gym.

But… I didn’t, and I haven’t for a while.  While I’ve been hitting up yoga at least once or twice a week, it’s been a long time since I had that super-sweaty, adrenaline-filled night at the gym.  The hardest part… I haven’t had the desire to be there AT ALL.

If you’ve met me and or know me even a little bit, you likely know that I don’t do anything that I truly don’t want to do.  Yep, that’s me.  I’ve been stubborn about this.  I’ve justified it in my head… and I’ve taken a break.  I told myself that I would maintain my weight (and lose a little) solely through managing my food consumption.

So… How’s that Going?

I am a FIRM believer (refer back to the stubborn paragraph above, if needed) that your weight story is told in the kitchen, not in the gym.  For example:  It is VERY hard to work off an extra 500 calorie snack you indulge in every single day.  It can be done, but to me, it makes better sense to just choose the 100 calorie equivalent of said snack, and move on.

This is why I am wildly passionate about cooking, why I am a huge volumizer on the Jenny Craig program, and why I allowed myself to (pretty much) take a month off of working out…

I absolutely know that I can lose/maintain weight by just eating better.  I have for the past month with Jenny!  While the program is working for me, I need a little “wiggle room.”  And, I get wiggle room from adding in physical activity.

Truth be told, I don’t feel great.  I miss those endorphins and the sense of accomplishment associated with even walking through the door at the YMCA.  I also feel like I’m holding all my stress in as opposed to releasing it.  This isn’t good for me.  I can also feel that in my body.  Lastly, summer is JUST around the corner.  Even though we’re expecting snow this week (AGAIN!), I will be in a swimsuit soon, and I want to feel fabulous.

Right now, I don’t feel fabulous.  I truthfully feel like I’ve entered a self-approved form of laziness.  Meaning, I accept it and I don’t judge myself for it… since I wrote myself a permission slip a month ago to take a break.  However, it’s time to tear up that pretty piece of paper.

It’s time to end this gym-cation!  Does this mean that I’ll be at the gym every day?  Probably not.  Does this mean that I’m going to make an effort to add more activity every single week?  Yep.

One last confession:  The idea of doing this… it doesn’t sound exactly fun to me, but neither does saying no to a slice of cake, a piece of pizza, or a second glass of wine.  But sometimes, you just have to do it.  It’s time.

So, starting this week, I plan be there.  I’ll be on the treadmill, lifting weights, and maybe even in that new class I’ve wanted to try.  I may not be the peppiest about it, certainly not the fastest, nor the most excited about it… but I’ll be burning calories and doing something great for my body at the same time.

I’m in Phoenix for the next few days, and I have workout clothes with me… and I plan to use them.  I need this.  It’s time.  I’m choosing me.

Have you ever taken a “gym-cation”?

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An Evening with Jillian Michaels

A long time fan of the Biggest Loser, you can only imagine my excitement about having a chance to attend the Jillian Michaels Maximize Your Life tour here in Denver.

An Evening with Jillian Michaels | No Thanks to Cake

I also got to attend it with these two lovely ladies.  Lauren and I had planned to attend the show together.  When I found out Crystal was coming into town, I invited her to join us as well!

An Evening with Jillian Michaels | No Thanks to Cake

Jillian chose Denver to be the first stop on her tour… and I’m so glad she did!  The show was held at the lovely Paramount Theater.  It’s a smaller venue, just off the famous 16th Street Mall in Denver, and has the most beautiful marquis.

An Evening with Jillian Michaels | No Thanks to Cake

Jillian took the stage, and spoke for about 2 hours.  The topic being near and dear to me, it really felt like about 30 minutes…  She was eloquent at times, funny in moments, overall very entertaining, and… well… foul-mouthed!  Leave the kids at home and take good notes!

An Evening with Jillian Michaels | No Thanks to Cake

So… what did she talk about?  She talked about Biggest Loser, she spoke about losing weight, and mostly, she offered tips reminded me of why I do what I do, and why I’ve been working so hard for the past three years.  I’m going to share with you today the moments that resonated with me.  While I took a load of notes, there were a few things that really really stood out to me.  That caused me pause.

About Being Overweight

She talked about how when she was overweight, she was just miserable.  (Yes, Jillian was overweight at one point, if you didn’t know.)

An Evening with Jillian Michaels | No Thanks to Cake

This is one of the things that I love most about her.  She speaks from a place of KNOWING when it comes to speaking about losing the weight and transforming her life.  I find that so motivating!!!

One thing that stood out was her comment about how she would think about running into a pole on the way to work.  What??? She said she never did it, but she certainly thought about it many times.  I can totally relate to this… that feeling of being so unhappy in your skin.  I’ve been there.  Just to clarify, I’ve never considered ending my life, and I don’t think that’s where Jillian was going with her comment… instead just pointing out that she DIDN’T CARE, and that she didn’t have that much to live for.

She countered by sharing that now, she’s not perfect… but she’s winning more than she’s losing.  And, when the hard times come around, it’s love in her life that helps her through.  I couldn’t agree with this statement more…

About Why You’re Good Enough 

“I’m going to tell you… without a doubt you can change this sh*t,” she said…

An Evening with Jillian Michaels | No Thanks to Cake

She went on to say that calorie counting is a pain, but she boldly stated you just have to do it.  She encouraged that you can skip tracking the “green food” indicating that it’s free, which should lighten up the tracking burden!

An Evening with Jillian Michaels | No Thanks to Cake

Losing weight, after all, is a mathematical equation…. move more, eat less.  Creating a deficit is how you lose the weight!

You owe it to yourself to live the best life… to be happy… to be healthy… and to see all those precious moments of the future.

So… why not you?

About Fitness 

Jillian doesn’t love it… and OMG, I didn’t expect to hear that from this fitness guru!   She went on to say… she never regrets a workout.  I’d have to say she’s right on the money with that.  It takes everything in me to get me to the gym (especially lately… more on that soon)

Jillian encouraged us to know your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and to use it to calculate how many calories you burn.  (Click here for a quick calculator.)  She also mentioned, if you are not at your Maximum Heart Rate, you need to move your a$$ more!  Thanks, Jillian…

Surprisingly, Jillian gave all show attendees a free week at Curves. Jillian has been working with them for some time, and I think I’m going to try this out.  I’ll let you know how that goes…

Curves Jillian Michaels | No Thanks to Cake

She also mentioned to find an exercise that you like.  If you don’t love your workout, you’re not going to go.  Yep I can relate to this right now too.

About Finding Your Why

This is when the sirens went off… and the bells rang.

An Evening with Jillian Michaels | No Thanks to Cake

Jillian shared that the #1 question she is asked is “why am I stuck?”  Answer:  You haven’t defined your WHY.  In order to successfully accomplish your goals, you have to understand and commit to WHY you are doing it.

An Evening with Jillian Michaels | No Thanks to Cake

My HUGE takeaway from Jillian’s session was that I have to understand my WHY.  I don’t know that I’ve necessarily identified it through this process.  I simply took a mad dash in the direction of my weight loss journey and took no prisoners, but did I really identify WHY.

An Evening with Jillian Michaels | No Thanks to Cake

She later drew a parallel to the Biggest Loser contestants.  Their life on the ranch is close to hell on earth.  They are confronted on every level.  They have to know their why.  Without the “why”, it feels like punishment.

I really don’t see myself as any different… I have challenges.  I have things I want.  I need that why.  I’ll be sharing more about this in upcoming weeks…

I will be defining it… meditating on it… and frankly, making it happen.

About Ending the Fear

We all know that it is often fear that holds us back from greatness… and Jillian reminded us of this, challenging us to take hold of our dreams and honor our why.

An Evening with Jillian Michaels | No Thanks to Cake

To say I needed this “Evening with Jillian” is a complete understatement.  Jillian’s energy on stage, passion for what she does, and belief that we all can capture our dreams was incredibly moving.  And, I needed it!

Although I may write a “weight loss” blog, I have moments where I’m not as comfortable in my skin as I’d like to be… and not as confident in my weight loss pattern.  I am so glad that Jillian came to Denver to kick me in the butt… and spark some action.

Thanks, Jillian!

To check out Jillian’s tour schedule and see if she is coming to a city near you, click here.

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Fashionable Workout Gear

Those of you who have been reading NTTC for some time know that I sometimes need a little push to get to the gym.  For me, that can be a friend going with me, a new class to try a the gym, or sometimes, even a new look.
I’m not going to say that I wear makeup when I’m working out or that I fix my hair for the occasion… but I do like to look cute when I’m getting my sweat on.  Especially after dropping 65+ lbs, I don’t like to be in loose t-shirts and sweats anymore.  I like to be in form fitting clothes when I’m working out.  That way, my clothes don’t get in my way… or slow me down!
I also love to accessorize.  At the gym, that might mean a new sparkly headband, a new pair of yoga pants, or even a new pair of shoes!  It’s the little things that help complete my workout look, and check out my newest pair of shoes.  So excited about them!
Heidi Klum for New Balance | No Thanks to Cake
These shoes are part of Heidi Klum’s new fitness line for New Balance.  These shoes are just the beginning of what’s available!  Click here to see the full line.
Heidi Klum for New Balance | No Thanks to Cake

Now, let’s talk about these shoes.  These running shoes are super sparkly – - more sparkly than any other sneakers that I’ve worn before.  They have a shimmery, iridescent look as well… so incredibly fun!

Heidi Klum for New Balance | No Thanks to Cake

At first glance, I was a little concerned that these shoes may be more for fashion than for function, but I was wrong.  They’re lightweight, but designed to be really supportive.  They look great peeking out from under a pair of yoga pants, or with leggings.  Click here for more details and to order your own pair!

 Heidi Klum for New Balance | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve been pinning some of my other favorite Heidi Klum New Balance Gear… Click here to follow my Pinterest Board.

Heidi Klum New Balance | No Thanks to Cake

How do you stay fashionable while at the gym?

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Heidi Klum for New Balance through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Heidi Klum for New Balance, all opinions are my own.

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WOW: Strength Training for Beginners

It’s been a long time since I posted a “Workout Wednesday” post… but in my effort to get more focused on physical fitness in 2014, I plan to bring this feature back again.

WOW: Strength Training for Beginners| No Thanks to Cake

I’ve got my sights set on spending some more time in the weight room, but this is not my area of expertise by any means.  As a result, I called on the lovely Caroline (AKA The Trendy Trainer) to offer some tips to all of us on how to get started with strength training.  Thanks, Caroline, for sharing your expertise here on NTTC!


I am so excited to be guest posting on NTTC! My name is Caroline, and Kelly and I met at FitSocial last year in Denver, CO. I have loved staying in touch and being able to catch up through our blogs.  I can’t wait to reunite at FitBloggin’ this year.

The Trendy Trainer | No Thanks to Cake

I live in Boston, MA and just recently was able to pursue my passion for blogging and now work full-time as a fitness content writer for the Boston-based media publication, BostInno. I began my fitness journey through personal training and teaching classes.  I’ve always loved being able to help people visualize and ultimately achieve their goals.

So without further ado, let’s dive right into my 5 top fitness tips for anyone beginning a strength routine.

The Trendy Trainer | No Thanks to Cake

1. Don’t Fear the Strength Room. 

All the time I see women too afraid of venturing to the “other” side of the gym. Whether it’s out of confusion or fear, we must begin to break that habit. Check out what your gym has to offer, you may be surprised by the variety of options they have. From Kettlebells to Bosu balls, modern gyms are typically stacked with the newest and coolest fitness gadgets. So go check it out, then move on to tip #2.

2.  Just Ask. We Don’t Bite. 

When I was working at the gym full-time, I was amazed at how many members would come in, walk around, and then leave without so much as touching a piece of equipment. As a fitness professional standing in plain view, I grew confused as to why no one would ask me for assistance, for guidance. And then it dawned on me: people hate to ask for help. Well, I’m here to tell you, ask!  You’re not likely to get a free training session, but a simple ‘what is what’ around the gym floor is a perfectly acceptable question.

3. Try a Class!

Most gyms offer a variety of group exercise classes. From Zumba to bootcamp, these classes are a great way to learn new exercises and get ideas for your own workout. If you’re not feeling motivated, begin taking strength classes 2x/week so it becomes routine. When you feel confident you can train on your own, hit the floor with all the moves you’ve learned in class.

4. Don’t Quit. 

Speaking of motivation… the number one reason why people quit an exercise routine is because they aren’t seeing the results they want. Make sure you’re not only challenging your body, but also putting in the time and allowing for proper recovery.

If you’re just starting off on a workout routine, go slow. Don’t bombard your body with two-a-days and logging millions of miles. You’ll burn out and most likely get injured. Like they say, slow and steady wins the race.

5. Recover, Recover, Recover. 

After your workout, it’s easy to put your feet up and call it a day. But before you hang on the couch or go sit at your desk, make sure you’ve properly stretched and fueled your muscles for proper recovery. Within 30 minutes of exercising, aim to take in a small serving of protein and carbohydrates. Hydration is key as well. If you’re not used to exercising, you’ll need to make sure you’re replacing the fluids lost during that sweat session!

For more tips on fitness and maintaining good health, visit Caroline over at The Trendy Trainer.  You can also follow her on Facebook (The Trendy Trainer), Twitter (@trendytrainer) and Instagram (@trendytrainer)

What is your best tip for a beginner looking to incorporate strength training?

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