Category Archives: Blog

Training For The Color Run With YouFit! Plus: tips for your first 5k!

Only 12 more days until I run the Happiest 5k On The Planet- better known as The Color Run!

This will be my second Color Run. I ran my first with my mom a couple years back and we had a great time. This year, not only will they have colorful foam and unicorn medals, but they’ve partnered with YouFit Health Clubs, the gym I go to and love! Count me in!

The Color Run is the kind of race where no one is aggressively darting to the finish line, but rather, people are enjoying the run and I even dare say, sometimes stopping along the way for a selfie! It’s the kind of environment that makes a person feel no pressure, but still offers a great opportunity to push yourself and get a great workout (kinda like YouFit!) It offers high vibes and is usually my first suggestion when someone tell me they want to prep for their first 5k.

If you’re getting started with fitness or in a rough patch of your fitness journey, running a 5k is a good idea. It gives you a goal to focus on that isn’t just the number on the scale. Not only will it feel amazing to achieve that goal, but it’ll help to open up your mind to doing other things you may have previously written off as impossible. I always say that losing over 100lbs is not what changed my life; doing the things I never in a million years thought I could, is what changed my life. Running a 5k can help you to do just that. And the icing on the cake is that in order to do this successfully, you will need to follow a training guide, and the switch up of your training routine will likely help you to reach some of your numerical and physical goals too.

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Training for a 5k is important for both mental and physical reasons. If you train, running the race is going to be more enjoyable. In the last few years I have just showed up to plenty of 5k’s without adjusting my workout schedule to prepare for them, and I am always more winded and have to stop to walk. It feels like the route is so long and I just cant wait for it to be over. When I have trained, I am not only able to breath and jog or run better, but it’s easier to smell the roses and actually enjoy what I am doing.

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I highly encourage making a real commitment to yourself not to skip any runs because if you truly follow the schedule you cannot let your mind convince you that you won’t be able to finish. Your body has trained and prepared for this. It is ready to do this. However, if you slack off in training, you probably won’t show up at the start line with the same sense of conviction.

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Like most of my 5Ks, I am training for this one at YouFit. They have new facilities popping up all the time and my Lime Card allows me to work out at any of them. Plus, many locations are open 24 hours and a membership only costs $10-20 a month. Oh, and did I mention they have fans on the treadmills? I do make sure to run outside at least once a week though, since at the end of the day, the race will be outside, without the luxury of YouFit’s energy efficient air conditioning.

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How Do I Train?!

YouFit offers simple 4 week training guides for any fitness level. You can download and print or screenshot! And with the photo markup capability on most smart phones these days, you can check off your completed training and share your progress on social media super easily! #TeamYouFit

Beginner Training Guide
Intermediate Training Guide
Advanced Training Guide

Just Do It!

The morning of my first 5k I was so nervous and making a million excuses (which I told myself were “reasons”) as to why I should just stay home. It was rainy. I didn’t sleep well the night before. My stomach hurt and I hadn’t pooped yet. I might finish last. I might get laughed at for walking. I realized I was scared, and decided to feel the fear and do it anyway. I showed up and it didn’t rain! I didn’t have to poop! Most of the people there actually ran in intervals too! I didn’t finish last, but if I had, at least I’d have finished! None of my fears came to fruition. Don’t let yours hold you back! Use the tools and opportunities available and conquer those fears!

Now go sign up for a 5k and commit to doing this for YOU! You’ll thank yourself later! <3

Did Beyond Meat Sell Out To Tyson Foods?!

Bikini Birthday Party

Each year around this time, a friend of mine and friends of his throw a huge birthday party in celebration of Scorpio season. The first year I attended was in 2011. It was 3 months before my the beginning of my lifestyle change. I had just colored my hair back to red and was finally beginning to crawl out of the nightmare of a life I had created for myself in the previous few years. 

Scorpio Bash 2011

Scorpio Bash 2011

I was starting to feel a little bit better about life,  not even knowing how awesome it was about to get, and went to the party. I knew most of girls in attendance would be models as the guys hosting the party were mostly musicians, artists, and photographers. I had fun with my friends that night but I would absolutely be lying if I didn’t admit I was very insecure. Even so, I did have fun, but I avoided full body pictures and am pretty sure even though I was drunk, I didn’t dance. 

I didn’t go in 2012  because I had just crushed my 100lbs down goal and was trying to get to a 50% weight loss. A night out drinking, most likely followed up with greasy food to prevent a hangover, was not going to contribute to my goals, so I opted out. 

I didn’t go in 2013 because I was officially half my starting weight and felt entirely insecure about my loose skin. At that point I was trying, and failing, at accepting this was just the way my body was going to be from now on. 

I didn’t go in 2014 because I was only 5 weeks post op beltectomy and thigh lift and could barely stand up straight and walk at a normal pace. Partying was the last thing I needed to do. 

I didn’t go in 2015 because I had put on 10lbs in the year after my surgery and spent that fall feeling incredibly insecure and embarrassed that I had gained weight.

But when this year came around I was back to what I weighed when I went in for skin removal, completely healed, and out of excuses not to go. I committed to my friends I would be there.

When I got the official invitation it read that this years theme was “bathrobes and baewatch.” It would be a pool party and the invite said “dress code is robes or bathing suits- no exceptions.” 

When I saw that, i considered not going. I go to the beach (the nude beach, even) all the time but I am surrounded by normal people at the beach. At this party I’d be surrounded by super hotties.  So then I thought, maybe I should go but just ignore the dress code. I figured because my friend was hosting, he would let me in anyways. But the more I thought about it, I realized it was an opportunity to get over myself. If I showed up in a regular outfit not only would I be allowing fear and insecurities to continue to dictate my decision making, but it would be the equivalent of wearing a sign that says “I am too insecure about my body to wear a swimsuit in public.” I didn’t want to be the one woman there, not in a bikini, and also look like the most insecure woman there as well. I posted my plans on Facebook, for accountability so I couldn’t bitch out, and got to picking out a bathing suit. 

To my surprise, I was one of the one women who wore a damn bathing suit!  If this had been last year, or any other year for that matter, I’d have been mortified. None of my friends ended up wearing bathing suits as most of them are new moms still adjusting to their new bodies,too. A couple girls wore bikini tops. Another couple girls wore g-strings and see through lingerie that showed off their giant boobs and high nipples and their cellulite free giant asses. So here I was, in the middle of a party, looking like I was the one out of dress code. I couldn’t help but notice I was pretty much the only woman who wasn’t wearing pants that was covered in cellulite and scars. 

And to my surprise…. I didn’t care. I had my bathrobe and a sarong with me just incase I felt insecure and I never took them out, until after I was cold from going down the water slide at 3am, anyway. I talked to and danced with strangers. I confused people who had met me pre-lifestyle change and had no idea who the hell I was. I went in a hot tub with 6 people I’d never seen before in my life. I danced on a stripper pole while waiting for the bathroom. I let my thighs jiggle and didn’t worry about keeping my cover up closed to hide my stretch marks, fake belly button, and thigh lift scars. And I had a freaking amazing time. 

A few years ago if I was one of only a few people to show up at a party nearly naked and the only one who’s body didn’t look like society’s standards of beauty, I’d have hopped in the first uber home. This past weekend, I didn’t care. 

For the longest time I have been chasing this feeling of not giving a shit what anyone thinks about my body. Intellectually I know it doesn’t matter, but emotionally, it bothers me to feel judged. To overcome this I post photos of it on the internet, I go to the beach in teeny bikinis, I go to the beach entirely freaking nude, and yet I still feel vulnerable in places that my mind has previously decided are reserved for “hot girls.” But this weekend I went to the “hot girl” party and felt like I was one of the hot girls. I posed for pictures and didn’t feel the need to hide behind anyone or suck it in or change my outfit or any of that BS.

The party’s intention may have been to celebrate some birthdays and Scorpio season but for me it was a celebration of finally, truly, not giving a shit about anyone’s judgement of my body because I am finally proud of my body. I know it doesn’t fit everyone’s beauty standard but I also know how hard I work for this body. I know how strong it is and what it’s capable of. I know a strechmark or a scar or a couple dimples doesn’t undo all I have done to earn this. Next time I get invited to a party, I might just show up with no pants regardless of dress code. ☺️😋


looking like im about to drop a mixtape 😂 not my best pic at all, but the point is- i didnt run and hide in the back lol

that crowd is looking mighty clothed lol

Doctors told me not to run. I didn’t listen. 

From the very beginning of my fitness journey back in Dec of 2011, I’ve had the desire to run. The first time it came over me I was going for a walk, part of my newfound fitness routine at the time, and for the first time in life the desire just kind of came over me. It was totally out of character and surprised this girl who was “not a runner” and “not a fitness person” on top of that. But within a few months of getting started, I was jogging small increments regularly.

The first time I went to the doctor after getting started, I was excited to share this. My doctor was thrilled I was losing weight and when he asked how I told him I was counting calories, doing a workout tape in my living room, and jogging outside. He was excited for my progress but warned me that jogging may not be a great idea for me. Because I had been obese for 23 years, I had “loose joints” which make me more likely to get injured. He suggested that if I wanted to run I only do it on the treadmill as to decrease my risk of injury by staying on an even surface.

I did not like this suggestion. I didn’t have a gym membership and frankly was still too intimidated to get one. (I didn’t get a gym membership until almost year in and 100pounds down) I didn’t have money to buy a treadmill or space to store one even if I found a cheap, used option. I felt like I had just taken myself out of this box I never thought I’d be out of, and the doctor had thrown me back in it, for the sake of playing it safe.

I’ve never been one to play it safe. So I started working with one of my clients at the salon, Cyndee Krantz, who happened to be an exercise physiologist. I didn’t have a lot of money at the time and she was willing to offer me a rate I could afford simply because she wanted to help me. An exercise physiologist is an expert in how the body moves during exercise and physical activity. Unlike a family doctor- movement is this persons specialty. I wanted to take my doctor seriously, but I knew his advice was likely something he had read in a book in medical school once…. not actual first hand experience. As a primary care physician his job is to know a little bit about everything and when necessary, refer you to a specialist who knows more about your problem than he does. In order to save his own butt and not be in a position where he gave a patient advice that could cause harm, it is his job to play it safe and practice caution. Kind of like how doctors always discourage herbal supplements and natural medicine. It’s not that they know it’ll definitely hurt you….. it’s just that they don’t know enough about it. They have to tell you not to use it because of the unknown.

Doctors however, do not give orders. They give advice, even if the language and tone make in seem like an order. I chose not to take my doctors advice. While working with Cyndee, she taught me how to stretch and warm my body up, properly. She taught me how to foam roll. And she taught me how to strengthen my muscles without hurting my joints, using proper form and lighter weight with more reps vs heavy weight and a couple reps just to say I had done it. she taught me about compression and proper footwear (or lack there of lol) She gave me he foundation i needed to run safely.

Since then I have ran in countless 5ks (3.2 miles), placed 3rd in my age group in 10k (6.4 miles), finished 3 half marathons(13.1 miles) and one full marathon(26.2 miles), and completed a dozen Spartan and obstacle races.

Today I decided to go for a trail run for my exercise and it was just glorious. The weather here in Miami has cooled down and there was a light breeze. I ran without headphones and could hear birds chirping and the occasional small animal scattering as my foot steps came too close. The ground is so uneven when trail running, it’s easy to focus on watching your step and for me, this becomes the most glorious moving meditation. It’s like every conscious thought shuts off and I am never more present than then. Trail running and running in general have become favorite past times of this ex 300 pounder

The moral of my story is not to just ignore any advice a doctor gives you and to behave ignorantly and put yourself in harm. The moral is not to allow anyone to put you in a box- even your doctor. Whether they’re telling you that you can’t run, or you have to give up your new favorite sport, or you won’t be able to lose weight without cutting up your organs, it’s okay (and recommended) to get another opinion. Even better if that other opinion is from someone who’s an expert regarding your particular issue!

Spooky Secret Sale on TeamiBlends & Reebok!

Check out the savings here!!

Are you counting your steps? Let’s get paid for it then!

Are you using an activity tracker or app to count your steps? If you’re not, it’s something I highly suggest, so much so there’s a note about it in my eBook!

Not only does using an activity tracker help a person to know how much they need to eat because it can be compared to the activity level of our personal body, but having step goals to reach really gets me moving! There have been plenty of times I’ve gone for a walk or even jogged in place before bed, simply because i was so close to hitting my step goal. All those extra calories burned add up! 

The people over at DietBet realize this because they’ve started a new game- StepBet– and I’m lucky enough to be one of the first to host! This 6 week game starts Aug 22 and will challenge players to reach a step goal (determined by syncing with your activity tracker. each persons goal will vary depending on the amount of steps we already average.)

If you’d like to join in on this game use this link to request an invitation to download the app be sent to your phone. For more information about how the game works, check out the FAQ!

Hope to see you in there!

Why Vegan?

You may or may not know that I am a plant based eater (better known as a vegan, but I don’t like people to assume I hate them if they eat meat lol- I don’t) I’ve been eating vegan for more than three years now and I’ve survived 3 years of “bacon” comments! Lol but I’ve also lowered my cholesterol, cured an ulcer, & gotten off anxiety & depression meds after 12 years on them. I made this choice for the health benefits, but along the way I have learned so much about animal welfare and the effects of veganism on the environment, putting me in a position where it’s not possible to ever turn back. Here are just a few facts that make a plant strong and cruelty free life easy for me!
-the average American’s cholesterol is 210, the average vegan’s is 146. This is because cholesterol is only found in animal products
-3 months of vegan eating mutates over 500 genes within the body, turning off many of which that contribute to cancer & heart disease
-vegan bodies have a higher metabolism, resulting in 16% faster calorie burn
-appx 1,300,000,000 people could be fed with the amount of produce american livestock eats. It takes 16lbs of grain to produce 1lb of meat
-Americans consume appx 3 million lbs of antibiotics per year. American livestock consumes 17.8 million lbs per year
-80% of cases of food poisoning are a direct effect of contaminated meat
-the American Dietetic Association confirms vegans have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, prostate, colon, breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer
-plants yield 10x more protein than animals, per acre
-by not eating animals, a vegan conserves 600 gallons of water a DAY
-methane from cow poop makes up for 18% of greenhouse gases… More than cars, trucks, planes, trains, and boats combined
-vegan diets are known to increase libido and cause the body to produce sweeter “secretions” due to a change in body chemistry
-cows & pigs cry.
-commercial farms are torture factories. Google “meet your meat”
-“the cavemen did it” is a silly excuse. We have evolved so much since caveman days. More highly evolved people are proven to be more intelligent.

I know many will think “i could never”- know that nearly every single vegan once thought that too. Additionally, you don’t have to eat vegan to make a difference. If we all just ate less animal protien we could improve our bodies and save our planet! Want to know more about my stance on veganism and get tips on transitioning? Check out this post!

Discounts on Len & Larrys!


Are you as in LOVE with the complete cookie as we are?!

This all natural, vegan, power cookie is filled with fiber and protein but tastes like a treat! They’re available for individual purchase in store but are cheaper in bulk. Plus, we’ve got a discount for ya!

When ordering be sure to use this link and then choose whichever discount code applies!
$10 off $50+ order: 10AMB50
$20 off $100+ order: 20AMB100
$40 off $200+ order: 40AMB200


I made a “vegan” Instagram post that wasn’t well received. My reaction & self analysis!

ATTN: Gym Molesters & Women Everywhere!

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