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Posts from the ‘Motivation’ Category

Motivation101: Haters Gonna Hate

As your social media gal- I spend a considerable amount of time searching for imagery to help motivate and lift you up on a daily basis. I enjoy the current advertising campaigns from Nike and Under Armour-  I love how encouraging they are of every person and body type.

I also follow several fitness blogs.

And of course- Pinterest.

Recently, however, I have noticed a disturbing trend on these sites.  People are constantly making snarky comments about a person’s weight loss journey or success stories.

“There’s no way that’s real- PHOTOSHOP!”

“Ugh please- like anyone could lose that much weight. Liposuction.”

“Please- if I had the money I’d look like that too- 90% plastic.”

It’s unbelievable to me how hard hearted we have become towards people who have done the hard work! Instead of celebrating the success, we degrade others to make ourselves feel better.

But does it? Does hating someone for success make you any better? Healthier? Skinnier? Funnier? Friendlier?

No. Jealousy does nothing but fester like a sore, keeping your from your goals.  And it does nothing for the person who has spent months working on themselves and their self-esteem to see and hear these comments.

Our lovely Livia -before

Livia After losing over 60 lbs. and completing a MARATHON!











We have multiple success stories at the gym. Individuals who have lost shocking amounts in weight and inches. Who have had their body fat go from scary to fitness-guru. Members who have gone from housewives- to instructors in the best shape of their lives.

We have SO much to celebrate. Every person who walks through those doors is defying the overwhelming epidemic of obesity affecting our nation.  They are putting in the work. Whether it be on the cardio machine or pumping iron in the weight room. Maybe they are doing partner training with their best friend and seeing results.

We have a responsibility to be congratulatory to everyone we see making a difference in their lives. We need to cheer on those who have distances yet to go to their goals.  We need to be nice.

And we need to ignore the haters.



The Olympic Spirit: No Excuses

As you all know I proudly wave my South African flag high. I am a dual citizen of both South Africa and the United States (as of several years ago and an EXTREMELY long citizenship process). And so when the Olympics roll around I tend to put both flags high in the air and cheer for whomever is in the race, reppin from my country, at the time.

Except in the case of the 400m sprint. That race is where I am proud to be South African still- because we got to watch a man overcome incredible odds, to be the first “disabled” Olympian in the actual Olympics.

His name is Oscar Pistorius and he is 25. He was born without fully developed limbs below his knees and so his mother made the decision to amputate when he was a child. In an interview on NBC, Oscar stated that he was never told he was disabled, just different. “Mom would tell my brother to put on his shoes, and for me to put on my legs- and that was the last she wanted to hear about it.”

He trained for running with able-bodied runners his entire life. In fact- his first experience running against those with disabilities was at the Para-Olympics in Athens in 2004 when he was 17.

He set his sights on the actual Olympics from that moment forward. Except- he was banned from competitive running in 2008 because other athletes and coaches considered his “blades” an advantage. He missed Beijing- but he was victorious when scientists worldwide, including MIT professors, proved that the technology was not capable of producing the kind of times that Oscar was putting down. That the man himself was the reason behind the success.

Oscar Pistorius has made history- as the first “disabled” runner to compete int he Olympics.  But he has done more than that. He has shown the world that there is nothing that can stop you from achieving your dream.

In his heat he placed second with a time of 45.44 seconds- guaranteeing him a place in the semi-final. The “BladeRunner” as he is know competed valiantly in the semi-final, against the world’s greatest.

He finished in 8th with a time of 46.54 seconds.

And then something completely amazing happened.

The first place competitor of the semi-finals Kirani James- asked to trade name tags with Oscar, in a show of true Olympic spirit- and history in the making.

Now Oscar, is not the only example of the “Never Say Die” Olympic Spirit.

Niger’s Hamadou Djibo Issaka had only 3 months of rowing experience prior to coming to compete in the Olympic games. He is part of the Olympics program that allows developing nation’s an opportunity to compete- and he did. He was slow and steady- and he did not win. But his spirit was overwhelming. And it was HIS name that people were screaming for as he crossed the line last.  Djibo Issaka had previously rowed in a boat made only of materials found in his home town of Niamey, Niger’s capital. These did not include the modern rowing essential of carbon fibre.

Eric Moussambani or “Eric the Eel” swam in Sydney’s 2000 Olympics. He had only ever practiced in a short hotel pool and he had learned to dive, stroke and more simply from mimicking the American swimmers when they practiced. He completed his race in one minute and 52. 44 seconds. He had to stop at one point, he was so overwhelmed with nerves, in order to tread water before completing his race. But he finished it. And he’s worked hard to not only improve on himself- but to provide swimming lessons and coaching to those in Equatorial Guinea who may have hopes of the Olympic’s themselves.


The Olympic spirit is an amazing thing. It’s a never say die, no excuses, where there is a will there is a way- essence. It is what allowed 4 Jamaican’s to qualify as a bobsled team. (Cool Running’s anyone?)

It is what gave men like Eric and Hamadou opportunities to compete in a life changing and breath taking moment in history.

And it is what drives the “BladeRunner” to promise faster times for Rio, where he promises to be.

This essence is what should motivate all of us. It should make us hold not only our country’s flag high, but also our heads.

It should force us to MOVE and to want to do it- because frankly, if a double amputee, a man who had never rowed before, and a boy who learned how to swim from watching others can do it. Why can’t we?


Motivation101: Self Worth

We spend a lot of time here encouraging you to be the healthiest version of who you are.

We demand that you make time to prioritize the gym and we yell its benefits.

We want you to know that we do recognize that it’s a sacrifice.

And that you may struggle with emotional baggage.

Losing weight doesn’t necessarily mean that you lose the feelings you had before.

Insecurity can come in the buff or the skinny just as much as it can in the overweight or curvy.

We know that looking at that scale, in that mirror, at your wardrobe can ignite a flurry of doubts, mixed feelings, excitement and anger. And that those feelings can either push you through your next workout or keep you from it.

We know this because we’ve been there.

You’d be surprised to know that many of your staff were former “ugly ducklings”.

Some of us took a very slow and steady approach to losing weight. Others buckled down with grit and determination and forced the weight to leave.

But we’ve been there. And we understand. It is hard work. It DOES take time.

But we know you can do it.

We see you do it every day.

We see you overcome insecurity.

We see you exult in a smaller dress size.

Or grin over the new “guns”.

And we celebrate with you. Because we know how much love for yourself it had to take to get there. And we know that once you deem yourself worthy of health and love and a strong life- you can’t go wrong. You CANNOT be stopped.

So if you are having a rough day- check in on your self worth meter. Are you running low? Do you need a reminder?

Well here it is:

You are great.

You are worth it.

You CAN and WILL do this.


Now smile.

And get your butts to the gym.


Motivation101: New Workout Gear

Ladies, This one is for you.

Let’s face it- there is nothing better than getting new clothes. And what better way to boost your fitness love then with some new fitness gear?

Let’s Start with Tops:

1. LuluLemon Tame Me Tank in Menthol $

2. Dick’s Sporting Goods $65

3. Dicks $25

4.  Target $25


1. LuluLemon Excel Crop $78.00

2. Forever 21 $14.06

3. Nike $35

4. LuluLemon In the Sun Crop $88

Always look at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx for last season’s items  at a ridiculous discount as well.

Take some time to ramp up your wardrobe and feel refreshed and renewed and raring to go!  I just some examples of clothing that’s a little more summer friendly- and in colors that match the current season. There are some amazing athletic finds all over the place now- from Old Navy to LuluLemon- there is something bright and affordable and fun to add to your workout gear.

So get shopping. Get moving. And Get into the gym! We only have 4 weeks until pools open!


Motivation101: Color Me Rad

This race looks AWESOME!

You run a  5k in a white t-shirt and you get colored cornstarch thrown at you or rubbed on you (by your own hands) during the race at several different “color zones”. So in the end- you complete the race looking like a rainbow sherbert mixture from Sweet Frog.

Wondering if you should consider it? Check out their amazing “Why Should I” answer on their FAQ.

Well, why should I?

As you pass through this life you’re faced with thousands of choices that shape who you are, what kind of person you’ll become, and how successful you’ll be. These decisions either build or destroy character and can be life changing for you and those around you. Sometimes you’re faced with a decision so important that everything hinges upon you choosing correctly.

Well who cares, right? This run has nothing to do with that. Color Me Rad is the best time you’ll have all year. Plain and simple. It’s like a food fight without food. It’s a race with no glory for the victor and no shame for the loser – only large slops of color plastered all over you and your friends’ smiling faces.

It’ll brighten your day literally and figuratively; it’ll liven up your Facebook page, give you hours of new conversation and fond memories, and you will eventually move on to become the next President of the United States. That’s our personal guarantee.

And let’s be honest, when was the last time you acted like a 12 year old? Unless you are now 13 years old, this was probably a long time ago. If you’re 13, you’re not our target demographic anyway. Don’t you have homework to do?


Plus with your registration you get an awesome t-shirt:

There are openings for the Virginia Beach race coming up on May 6th, 2012. And again for the Richmond race on July 21st, 2012.

Sign up here: Color Me Rad




P.S. Ashley Gibbs, Brittney Popelier, Emily Hall, Morgan Rose, Erin Cutright and more are going to do it as a huge team! So make sure to comment if you want to join the fun!



Motivation101: Thursday with Pinterest

Ok! Wednesday’s workout was AWESOME. A great 30 minutes.

In between each set we alternated:

1. Side Plank 30 seconds to each side

2. Squats with pulses for 30 seconds

3. 30 seconds of side lunges

Also- feel free to run through this twice. Especially if you are not doing anything in between each listed exercise.

And here is Thursday’s Workout for those of you who need a workout plan:




Motivation101: Wednesday with Pinterest

It’s Wednesday! Which means you get to be updated on how our Tuesday workout went.

It was great. We alternated one lap between each set or 30 seconds of plank and then finished off with 30 seconds of pulsing squats.

It took about 30 minutes and it felt great.

Here is Wednesday’s workout for those of you who want to get a head start:





Motivation 101: Tuesday with Pinterest

Monday’s workout was a success. It actually took about 20 minutes total so I ran through it twice.  It’s a great item to use in your own home if you don’t have a full hour to work out. Run through it once- then later again in the day or at lunch and then again after dinner. It’s not super difficult but it definitely gets your heart pumping.

Definitely modify the workout to fit your body – for example I can’t do split jump lunges because it hurts my knees so instead I did sumo squats. And feel free to increase the difficulty of each exercise if you do not feel like you are being pushed enough.

Add some weight to your standing calf raises, so that it’s your body weight plus ten pounds in each hand.  Or If five push-ups is too easy- make it fifteen!

Here is Tuesday’s Workout, try it out and let us know what you think!

Motivation101: A week of workouts with Pinterest

It’s Monday- and we’re all looking for some motivation. So I turned to my new obsession/favorite motivational site ever: Pinterest.

And I am going to spend the entire week doing workouts from the site.

I encourage you to try them along with me or comment on what you would do differently/ what working for you.



I will update tomorrow with how I feel and Tuesday’s workout!

Yours in Fitness,



P.S. Don’t know a move? Ask a  Personal Trainer for a demonstration.

Motivation 101: I thought I was tired but then I just ran harder.

I want to congratulate you! You made a decision to sign up for a 10k. And you’ve stuck with it.

You have been running on a regular basis and honestly- it hasn’t been so bad with the gorgeous weather we have been having.

You have been training with friends, hitting the classes extra hard. You have been changing your diet so that you have more energy. You may have even come up with a costume.


You’ve had blisters, but your feet are now completely deadened to those, and instead are the tough feet of a runner.

You have family lined up to cheer you on.

You are READY.

And we will be there too! Look for staff running in AFF Shirts or fellow Gym members! We can’t wait to share the good news of your achievement!


Send in your pictures and your time and we will post them in the club for all to see.


Good Luck and happy running (and I will see you out there!)