Archives for posts with tag: working out

I am still here being a mom, eating clean, working out, and doing the other million things I have to do each day. It has been a little hectic. I haven’t gotten a new recipe up because my computer was not working. Well, it was working, but storage was totally full so it couldn’t even load Facebook. My husband had to transfer a ton of photos over for me. I have a little habit of taking thousands of photos! Then there is something up with our cable/internet. It has been going in and out randomly all week. We have a technician coming by today. Here’s to hoping I can finish this post. I started it a couple days and ago and then bam, connection lost.

Last week I made a shrimp dish that I meant to share on here. This was before I knew about my computer. I sat down to get it all typed up only to realize that I never wrote down what I came up with. I must have planned on remembering it for the following day. I do not remember it now a week and 5 days later. Whoops!

My 30th birthday is mixed into this time slot. As well as two sick kids (really, again? I know, I feel the same way!) I have just been making tried and true recipes. Sometimes that is simpler.

I have been making strides in my post baby core recovery.


I have been working on this plank into pike since Alexander was born 7 months ago. I have been able to do it but not with the form, grace, control, and strength I knew I was capable of. Yesterday that all changed. I felt incredibly confident when I went through this move. I am not sure if I get more excited when my old clothing fits after baby or when I start being as physically strong as I used to be. I have my spring load on 1R 1B. My goal is to continue to build up my strength and let my abdominals and core continue their healing process. I will work on dropping the spring load to get deeper into those muscles. With this particular move, the lighter the spring the more challenging it is.

That is one thing I love about Pilates. It does take a knowledge of the work and the equipment. There is no general rule for every move. Sometimes a lighter spring assists you and is a modification. Sometimes a lighter spring challenges you and is a variation. The same goes for heavier springs. Bicep curls with 1R 1B? Yowza! Plank into pike with 1 R 1B? Thanks for the love, Reformer! It all depends on what you are doing. It is a fluid process. It exercises your mind as well as your entire body.

I will hop off my long box now! (Ha, Pilates nerd over here!) It is the day before Mother’s Day. My house is quiet, my coffee is hot, and my internet is working! That is almost a trifecta of a mother’s morning. How rare is that? I am going to either run or play with my new toy the Motr. It was a birthday gift from my husband and kiddos. I haven’t tried it yet because it just arrived the other day. I also ran two days in a row but I have been digging running the past few days. I may hop on the treadmill again. I have not committed 100% to either decision yet. These are tough decisions to be made on a foggy Saturday morning.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommas out there reading this. I hope your weekend and your day tomorrow is filled with sleep, peace, and quiet (it is what we all REALLY want, anyway!)

A common theme I see out in the mommyhood world is that we never have time to care for ourselves. I am usually rather baffled by any post regarding this. Since the birth of Jackson nearly 4 years ago I have never once left the house unkempt or in pajamas. That is just not my style or how I want to present myself out in the world. I am not saying it is effortless to get us all out the door cleaned, dressed, and coiffed. It takes a lot of balancing, rushing, and using our time down to the minute.

On that note, how does one maintain a fitness schedule with children in the home? That is also simple for me. I choose to do it. Since Jackson was 3 weeks old I have been working out in front of him. Alexander was around 2 & 1/2 weeks old when I started gentle workouts. I bring them to my Pilates room and they hang out. Jackson has started to take interest in trying things himself, so sometimes I train myself and him.

He is so used to it that the first place he looks for me every morning is my Pilates room. He leaves his room, walks across the hallway, and opens the door to see if I am in there already. For him, working out is just a normal part of our day.

I also own a jogging stroller. Around 5 months old I started taking Jackson on runs with me. This continued until the fall before I got pregnant with Alexander. During this spring and summer my jogger was used for walks with Jackson. Once spring rolls around and Alexander is 5 months old I will start going for runs with him after taking Jackson to school on Wednesday and Friday.

We also own a treadmill. We keep it in our basement, which is filled with the boys’ toys, a pool table, and a tv. Both my husband and I run on it while the kids are awake. They will hang out in the basement. There are all kinds of things for Jackson, and eventually Alexander, to do while one of us runs.

I feel it is so important that the kids see you taking care of yourself, especially through fitness. Children learn through example. You can talk until you are blue in the face sometimes, and they seem to ignore you. However, you will find that they will easily repeat things you say and act in ways you act. Fitness is no exception. Jackson has asked to go running with me, something we will start this spring as well. He always wants to try new Pilates moves. He has showed his classmates Pilates, and that was when he was 2 years old! So working out in front of your children is very beneficial for the whole family. The kiddos will want to be fit and healthy if they see you wanting to be fit and healthy.

I want to mention another important factor in our family fitness balancing act. Both my husband and I do not mind taking over the duties while the other one works out. Sometimes you want a quiet workout to yourself. That is when the other one steps up if they are home and keeps the children distracted. There is nothing wrong with wanting a little time to yourself and if you have your spouse there to help with that, then take advantage of it! All parents can use a little mind clearing peace and quiet from time to time.

There are many mornings where I set an alarm to wake up early enough to get that workout in. Things are a little different with a 6 week old, since his schedule is all over the place, but before he was born I knew what time to get up to get a workout in before we had to leave for the day. Now I adapt it around feeding times and getting out the door. It is all a balancing act of priorities. It is a priority for me to be in shape, so I make the time to maintain that.

That is how we do it in our home. That is how I manage to workout 6-7 days a week. I just adapt my schedule and incorporate my sweet boys into my workouts. I am raising the future generation of fitness fanatics. I am taking care of myself. I am taking care of my family. We are having fun. Which is the most important part!

Pilates with the boys

Pilates with the boys

Yesterday was my very first run while 8 months pregnant! Over 31 weeks along. I cannot express how much joy that brings me. I set a goal for myself to run throughout this entire pregnancy, until this baby boy is delivered. I know that is a rather big goal, as you never know what can happen on this 40 week journey, but it is what I have wanted to do.

When I was told about a month ago that my pelvis is separated, I really thought my running days might be numbered. I didn’t really speak of it in those terms, but in the back of my mind I was slightly panicked. This wasn’t my plan! However, I have good days and I have bad days. I am seeing the Chiropractor two times a week and it has helped immensely. On bad days I behave myself and I skip running. I turn to Pilates and swimming instead. Sometimes, even long walks with my older sweetheart. Yesterday was a good day, so I hopped right on that treadmill of mine. I have had to give up outside running because of the hills. Hills really can flare up my pelvis, which continues to separate even after being readjusted. My OB said this was likely going to continue to happen until after I give birth. At which point, when the hormones have cleared my system, she thinks it will return to normal. Even walking up a hill too quickly can cause some pain. So I modify.

I feel thankful to be a Pilates instructor. It has helped me to adapt to my situation. I am comfortable with modifications and understanding how the human body, specifically mine right now, works. It really touches into all aspects of my life. I understand anatomy. I read voraciously about all aspects of what I am dealing with, about Pilates, running, prenatal fitness, really anything I can get my eyeballs on.

Yesterday while stretching after my run, I could see how my right leg was aligned differently than my left. It was crystal clear to my eye. Which helped me to remember to change my gait and positioning to try to help the situation. I am feeling good again this morning. Nothing flared up from my run and swim yesterday. It is a good day. I was going to get another run in until I discovered that for some reason we do not have any water pressure this morning. Not just low water pressure, but literally, none. Nothing comes out of an faucet. I am taking a rest day at this point. I am not sure when my actual last one was. If I can’t shower I don’t want to be run stinky, I would rather try to be less stinky all day! Ha! I am sure I will get into the pool at some point though.

I have wanted more control over this pregnancy. I was so unsure with my first. I had no idea what to expect or what I was getting myself into, good and bad! I felt a little blind and nervous. This time around I feel so confident. I feel like a seasoned veteran. Things have been entirely on my terms. Same with my labor and delivery plans. I want it to be on my terms as much as I can this time. I am not afraid. When I walk into that hospital I won’t be scared like I was with Jackson, thinking “I don’t think I can do this!” Nope. I know I can do this. I have done it before. It is no big deal. It was over before I knew it. I wish I had this mentality with my first, but you live and learn. In order to grow we must experience. With this baby I do what I want. Please add a sassy head shake to the end of that sentence.


It’s the 3rd Trimester! I am one day into it, actually. Yesterday was the official 28 week marker. I have said this about 100 times this pregnancy, I cannot believe how FAST it has flown by. I should probably stop saying it. Ha!

I am still keeping up with all my fitness. I am still running. As a matter of fact I celebrated the start of my 3rd trimester with my fastest run since probably early on in the 1st. I even managed to go for an outside run yesterday. Instead of my treadmill.

On Thursday I ran over 2 miles, went to the Children’s Museum for the better part of the day, then swam in the pool before dinner. I did a Prenatal Jumpboard class on Friday. It was amazing. That is one Reformer accessory I don’t have yet and I will be purchasing one this week I think. Yesterday I ran and swam. Needless to say, today will be a rest day. With a swim, though, I am sure. I rarely get away without swimming almost daily. When you have an indoor pool and a 3 & 1/2 year old who has been swimming since he was 3 months old, it is hard to skip a day of swimming. I am not complaining though!

This was from the 4th of July. So I was just shy of 7 months.


July 4th. I am clearly pregnant!

July 4th. I am clearly pregnant!

You can see the 3 & 1/2 year old swimming his heart out in the background! My little sweetheart fishy. I am assuming this one is going to be the same, since he won’t know life without a pool to take a dip in. I plan to introduce him into the pool as early as I did Jackson, if not earlier. We are swimming people in this family.

I am still maintaing my clean eating. With occasional cheat moments. Which is kind of normal. By this I mean, I allow our family to have pizza night from time to time. Or I will indulge in some kettle corn. But for 98% of the time I am making my own meals and keeping it nice and fresh and healthy.

My husband is about done with painting the baby’s room. Today he will put together the crib. I have to order a mattress and a dresser. We are waiting on the glider to be shipped. It is all coming together.

Jackson keeps me busy as ever. He loves to do things and go places. And when he has had enough of our activities he will tell me he just wants to stay home for the day. I love being able to communicate with him so easily. Preschoolers are great that way. They are so honest and can tell you exactly what they are thinking. Sometimes it makes life interesting but for the most part it makes life a little easier. He is so excited to be a big brother. I didn’t really want a second child for the longest time. I planned on him being an only child. But now that I am 12-13 weeks away from having a 2nd, I know this was the right choice. Our first was born to be an older brother. He kisses my belly and rubs my belly daily. Here is he is giving me a check up, another thing he does all the time . “I want to check your baby”


A few weeks ago on a walk to the park he said “I just wonder what his face will look like mom.” I think that every day! What a mature thing for a 3 & 1/2 year old to be thinking about. His heart is so warm and big that I feel we are giving him one of the greatest gifts. The chance to be a big brother and have that sibling relationship. I am aware not every moment is going to be sunshine and butterflies. I have two younger brothers of my own. I remember the brawls and fights between the 3 of us. Heck, sometimes we still go at it, but overall, that is a good love. Jackson is always thinking of Alexander. He wants to buy things for him. He gets worried if we have enough blankets for him and other baby items. Recently he asked me if we had any baby diapers. When I said we didn’t yet, he was very adamant that “We need to get some baby diapers!!!” Out of nowhere he asked me that. We were not even talking about diapers. These are the things his mind thinks of.

I mentioned I did my fastest run in months and trimesters. The time is not what I would consider fast on a normal run. As a matter of fact, if I ran a mile that slow while not pregnant I wouldn’t even talk about it. I was in the 12 minute/mile range! Yikes. I am normally in the 8:30ish range. So accepting how much I have slowed has been hard. I actually don’t talk about my time much anymore. I even turned off the voice update on my running app yesterday. When I am on the treadmill I usually have my iPad over the screen and just slide it over to see how far I have run. I know once I have the baby and start retraining myself I will get my times back to normal, since I have done it once before. So I try to not overly focus on my current snail’s pace. My trainer asks each week how much I run. Whenever I tell her I usually say something like “Oh only 2-3 miles each run” The other day she said “You say that like it is no big deal, but it is because you are 7 months pregnant!” I hadn’t thought much about it that way. I am 7 months pregnant and STILL running multiple miles a week! That is a great achievement, no matter how slow those miles end up being.

Before my run at 28 weeks exactly

Before my run at 28 weeks exactly

I am looking forward to the rest of this trimester and eventually holding my sweet baby boy in my arms. And eventually cuddling on my couch with my two little sweethearts.

I flew over a huge hurdle yesterday! I had been asked to sub for another Pilates instructor. Three Reformer classes needed to be covered. 8:30, 9:30, and 10:30 in the morning. A Saturday morning. Saturdays are busy at my studio. I said yes. I decided to just go ahead and do it. I knew my master teacher would be in the building. I just wouldn’t have another instructor sitting by free to help or answer my questions. I have always had that crutch to lean on. Also, I have never taught three classes in a row. I considered all of this after I had been asked. My parents happened to be over. I discussed it with them and my husband. The consensus was that I needed to do this. I was capable of doing this. I am meant to do this. “Rip the band aid off” is my husband’s favorite phrase. He told me to do just that.

I am SO glad I did. It went really well. There were no major issues or hiccups. I got a lot of positive feedback. From my master teacher/boss and from the clients. I love the Mermaid. I love it on the Mat, Reformer, and Chair. There is rarely a day that goes by where I don’t do some version of the Mermaid. I included it in my classes yesterday. I had a few clients rave about it. Saying they had never done it before. They LOVED it. I explained my passion for the position. They replied that they think it needs to be in every class they take. Well, I think it is safe to say I have found my signature move at this studio. “If you take a class with Nicole, you will more than likely do the Mermaid in some way!”



I feel so empowered. I know that practicing Pilates can empower you. I have been empowered by it. I am empowered by it. Teaching Pilates can also empower you. Being able to help people. Seeing them find the work. Listening to them tell you how great that move felt on their body. Lately, every time I leave the studio after teaching a class I am riding on this high. I feel so great, happy, energetic. I am not even working out. I am just working. I am doing what I was born to do. I left after my last class and drove home. I thought along the way, this is clearly what I was born to do. This is my career. I have never been so sure of that in my life. Besides being a mom. I always knew I wanted to get married and have a family. Other than that I  have never quite made up my mind. Nothing made me feel this way. Nothing until I started teaching Pilates. I am about halfway through my Reformer teaching hours for certification. Chair will likely be conquered in the fall when my boss adds more chairs and then adds some chair classes. I love Chair. I own one and I practice on it pretty much daily. I know a lot of people loathe it but I feel that is because it is intimidating. It doesn’t have to be. It can be so tailored to a client that gradual increase in strength can be achieved  I also have a potential offer from my boss to teach at Lulu on Saturday mornings. If it does happen it is supposed to start in early May. It is not 100% yet but I am excited that she even thought of me to do that. I will bring the same passion I just wrote about along with me to the store. I will turn people on to the love of Pilates. I will hopefully be able to convince new people to walk into the studio that is my home.

It feels good to find your place in the world. I have found mine. I am Nicole. I am a mom, a wife, and a Pilates instructor.

What/who are you?

Do you prefer to work out in the morning or the evening? I personally prefer morning workouts. It just starts my day right, I have more patience in general, and I feel great all day long. I am flexible though. I will work out in the afternoon or evenings if I have to. I used to have a pretty set routine with my workouts, until I became a mom.

Since having Jack, over 16 months ago, I have learned to be entirely flexible with my workouts. Especially at first in those crazy newborn days. I started workouts again 3 weeks after delivering him. I usually used one of his nap times that I was awake for. That lasted for much of the 1st year. People have asked how I do it or sometimes make other comments regarding my fitness regiment. Flexibility is key and so is dedication. If I were not as dedicated to it, the rest would not come. I FIND the time, morning, noon, or night. The thought that “I don’t have time to do this” never ever ever ever enters my head. I make the time. Even 20 minutes is better than 0 minutes.

NOW he sleeps until nearly 10. So I have lots of time to workout in the morning. The only time I don’t is when I have my Barre class on Tuesday nights and if I want to go for a run during the week. I usually wait until Jason gets home for that. He is pretty supportive of my passion for fitness. That also helps. I could go running with Jack and the jogger but he really wears me out sometimes and that alone time is nice. Selfish? Maybe. But I tend to live entirely for him so a little selfishness is ok from time to time. When it comes to my workouts, yes I can be selfish! It is important to me that I take care of myself. That Jack can look up to me and think wow, my mom works really hard to stay in shape. I hope I rub off on him in that aspect. That he SEES hard work is good for you. Another thing that drives me to keep up with my fitness.

But when it comes down to it I really love a nice early morning workout. As a matter of fact after I post this I am off to workout. We have no classes or plans today so I don’t have to rush around so much.

What do you prefer? What are your secrets to keeping up with your workouts?

I am always looking for fun new moves or techniques to incorporate into my routine. Sometimes the same old moves can get boring. And while I never get bored enough with working out to skip it, something new is always refreshing.

I discovered this one through the new app I am using, Daily Burn. I plan to do a review on it when I have used it for over a week. But I also found the move on Women’s Health when I decided to write this post.

The Spiderman Pushup.

Oh my it is fun! Change up the same old pushup with a little spice. As usual I included a photo and the instructions below. You can always click on the link above to check it out directly at the site though.

“Assume the standard pushup position. As you lower your body toward the floor, lift your right foot off the floor, swing your right leg out sideways, and try to touch your knee to your elbow. Reverse the movement, then push your body back to the starting position. Repeat, but on your next repetition, touch your left knee to your left elbow. Continue to alternate back and forth.”

I admit at first I was a little hesitant to try it. Not because I thought it was stupid, but I can be uncoordinated. I pictured a disaster of me falling because my balance didn’t hold up. I found it to be surprisingly easy to manage. Tough on the muscles but I was able to do it without face planting! That is always a plus. It is a move I will be using often in my routines. Fun and challenging. Two great things!

This week has been so busy. I have been doing a million things. We got a job for a photoshoot though Medela. They selected two mom/baby models to come that day. They made their final decision about who to shoot the day of. They went with the other pair (we still got paid!) because I am blonde and the last momma they used was blonde and we resembled one another. The other girl that came down that day had dark hair and her son had a lot of very dark hair. Little Jack has such light blonde hair that he looks bald. It is ok though. I was super disappointed but my hubby pointed out, we got paid and didn’t have to work. That is smart!

Walking around downtown

We had to go downtown, where we used to live. So we showed Jack the city and our old neighborhood. He seemed to love all the sights to see. We stopped at our old condo. Well we still own it but we obviously do not live there anymore. I think we had a blast showing him around. He even got to see what would have been his bedroom.

in our condo...want to buy it???

It turned out to  be such a fun day together. He was so wonderful too. He was going with the flow. He was happy after catnaps. He never got a luxurious nap in like he normally does at least once a day. He didn’t seem to mind not being in familiar surroundings. He will be 5 months on Monday. He is really starting to grow up. I am enjoying it but I am also sad about it.

On the balcony with Dada

Yesterday we had a vet appointment for the kitties. This meant Jason stayed home again. We also had another fun day together. It was Gymboree day as well. Jason got to come with us for the first time. Jackson seemed to enjoy having us both there. It was wonderful for Jason to get to be involved in some of this fun stuff instead of always being at work while we run around doing activities. I also enjoyed watching him interact his own way.

Parachute time

I even stepped back and let them play without saying “no do it this way or no the song goes like this” GASP!!!! I know, I actually relaxed and let him take total control. Ok, so I didn’t do it RIGHT away but after a few minutes into class I did. That is a huge step for me. I am kind of a control freak, especially when it comes to my only son/child. I like things done a certain way. I know I need to give up some control, but not right now.

So happy to play with Dada

I have a million things to do today. Our house is a disaster since we really weren’t around much. I probably shouldn’t even be writing, but I decided to take a few moments to unwind this morning. I have been getting all of my exercise in despite being so busy. I haven’t missed a day! Today will probably be a pilates day, unless the temps stay under control then I will go running. I treated myself to some more new running gear yesterday. It is incredibly motivational to have new things to wear. I just want to put them on and use them right away!

This weekend is going to be even busier than the past couple of days. We have company coming over tomorrow and Sunday. Monday I have my 5k! AHH I DO need to get cleaning! YIKES! See you all next week!

I am always looking for new core workout tips or moves! This article has some moves that are supposed to be beneficial to runners. The study that was done showed when done regularly these moves helped to shave some time off of 5k runs.

5 Ab Exercises For Runners

I provide the actual link, but I also placed it in this post. I like that they also include moves to up the intensity. That will come in handy once these moves get old and repetitive.

I have done a few of these moves before, a few are new though. I will be adding these to my bag of tricks. I have done a lot of reading throughout the years about how strength training can really increase your running abilities. I have tried to incorporate both into my lifestyle. Plus, I like the look of my nicely shaped arms and abs hehe…well I LIKED them…we are getting back there…slowly but surely! Happy running!

By Dena Stern

According to a recently published study “runners who did these moves four times a week shaved a minute off their 5K times in six weeks.”

Whether you are training for an endurance run or just looking to improve the quality of your weekly jog these ab moves are a must.

Directions: Perform two sets of 12 reps of each exercise.


Instability Crunch

Begin by lying on your back on a exercise ball with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. To be safe you can anchor your feet under a stable object. Place your hands behind your head and extend your elbow out as you roll your upper body forward and up. Roll

For more of a challenge try: Weighted Ball Crunch

Hip Lift


Lie on your back with your hands at your sides, palms down, and your legs bent on top of a exercise ball. Press your heels into the ball while raising your hips toward the ceiling. Your body should end at a 45 degree angle to the ball. Lower your hips to the floor and repeat.

For more of a challenge try: One Leg Hamstring Dips

Back Extension


Lie on an exercise ball with your belly button over the center of the ball and your arms and legs extended. Contract your abs and raise your upper body off the ball until your body forms a straight line from the top of your head to your ankles. Lower and repeat.

For more of a challenge try: Medicine Ball Hyperextension

All Fours


Begin with your hands and knees on the floor, shoulder and hip width apart, facing downward with your back straight and parallel to the floor. Raise your right leg and extend it behind you as you lift your left arm and extend it in front of you. Hold this position for about five seconds, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

For more of a challenge try: All Fours with Weighted Balls

Russian Twist


Begin by lying on your back on top of a exercise ball with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms toward the ceiling and bring your hands together. Keep your arms straight as you twist from side.

For more of a challenge try: Russian Twist with Weights

This morning I did a pilates weight session. 25 minutes. I squeezed it in during Jack’s nap. Which it ended up being an hour and fifteen minute nap! lol If I would have known that I would have done a longer workout.

BUT this afternoon Jackson and I headed out to the store and I bought some brand spankin new running shoes! I could not WAIT to use them.

Jason got home a bit early today because of something with our boat. I decided I could not wait until Saturday. It has been out of control hot today, I am sure it hit the 100’s at some point. I went for a run around 5ish. It was 94 out when I left. Holy banana it was hot out! I pulled through though and ran my little heart out.

The shoes made it feel like I was running on marshmallows! It was great! My right knee feels amazing. Not that I have any diagnosed knee issues, but my right knee was hurting a bit. The last time that happened was before I bought my last pair of shoes. So I knew it was time.

I bought the Nike Dart 8, white/blue/silver. They aren’t super expensive or anything. I got them on sale at Kohls! They feel great and I am very happy with my purchase.

So in 94 degree heat I ran

2.7 miles in 27:31

I did wimp out a bit and didn’t do the 2.8 I have been, but this heat is brutal and I am happy with my time and distance!

Overall it was a fit day. Pilates in the morning, a trip to Target wearing Jackson (I used the stroller at Kohl’s), and a 2.7 mile run! 🙂 What will tomorrow hold??? It is like running and I haven’t skipped a beat!