Monthly Archives: September 2014

Where are you from?

As I  embark on transitioning this journey from Los Angeles to San Francisco I wonder, where are you from? 

I was born in Chicago IL , raised in Cleveland OH. I have lived in Pittsburgh PA, Farmington CT. NYC, LA, and now heading to San Francisco CA. I would not change a moment, I have met so many amazing souls along my way that I call dear friends. These people I have met along my way have shaped who I have become, and I am constantly evolving.

Where is home for you and does your city offer a lot of tools to make your fitness goals a reality?
Happy Tuesday to everyone, near and far on this beautiful globe of ours.Today is day ten of the first three months of Melissa Bender’s Bikini Competition series. I got this.

Me with my first NYC friend and soul sister for life
Up the street from my current West Hollywood home
May 2014

Love and Light

MONDAY 9-29-2014

Good morning to all and a very Happy Monday. yesterday I switched my rest day of today and took it yesterday instead. So tonight I am doing Melissa Bender’s Day 8 Fitness Transformation workout #2 in the first month of the three month series that she did to prep for her bikini competition. Here is a picture of me last December and now. I took a picture in the same wrap dress, but I pulled it much tighter to fit. I am going to lose another 40 lbs, but definitely 20 lbs. I now weigh 164 and I feel far from done yet proud at how far I have come. I use the sit down test. If I sit down and I feel like my belly spills out a little, I am not fit yet. On my way, but not there.

Melissa does some exercises in plank that requires you jump. I modify such exercises since I have a toe injury. I can plank, but not jump in plank on my toe. I make it through the routine and the rounds, I just adjust what she does to my own personal needs. I am finally seeing a Dr next week.

Moving is crazy, in weeks I will be in San Francisco. Working out has helped me keep my sanity. I am so excited to begin anew in another city. I love LA, and I absolutely adore the community of West Hollywood. Today was the day four years ago we moved from NYC to LA so this is all very bitter sweet for us. I must not compare though, I will embrace the city by the bay and all of the brand new opportunities. I am going to take this project to a new level.

Off for now. Love and light to all and a big thank you to my best friend Melissa Bender. She has been an amazing friend and we have not lived in the same city since 2005 when I left Pittsburgh PA for CT. She has taught me true friends are just a mere heartbeat away. A shout out to all of my loved ones near and far. I am all about the love.

Love and light


My body is my temple, my spirit is my paradise within

Happy Sunday to all. James my husband suggested I change the look of my blog, a fresh look for a new year and a new life in San Francisco. This is what I have decided on for now. I may change it again, but I do like the zen quality of the color of sea foam green. I am taking everything to another level and a fresh face lift on my blog is just what I need.

Today is day 8 of month one of the three months of Melissa Bender Fitness Bikini Prep workouts. I will also do my cardio. It is a sleepy Sunday and I have not taken a rest day in over ten days. I finally made a Dr. appointment for next week to have my toes looked at. I have one injured toe on my right foot, and I actually lost a toe nail on my left foot and the one underneath is bruised too. I think my shoes are too large and it may be causing me major issues with my workouts and cardio. Challenges do not slow me down though. I adjust and get through the obstacle courses that come my way. 

Off for now. Wishing everyone a beautiful and zen Sunday.
Love, Light, and Peace

Check in Day Seven….Melissa Bender Fitness: Tummy Toning Fat Burn

The first year is behind me,  45 lbs are lost….onward and upward to the next forty and all of my fitness goals.

Checking in on my routine. Day seven of Month one is today, and yes I workout on a Saturday. Today I am going to the gym to do the treadmill as well as day seven. I am also doing home yoga until I move to San Francisco and when I get situated in will be back in the studio. I am doing all three months of Melissa Bender’s Bikini Competition prep, the workouts she did to compete in a bikini competition. She has and always will be so inspiring to me, and I am always so grateful to her for being such an amazing  best friend as well as role model to many. 

Much love and light to all and a big thanks to Melissa Bender for helping me during this transition period. 



Melissa Bender Fitness: Tummy Toning Fat Burn: *Workout Video and Breakdown Below Hi Everyone! Who is up for some tummy time? Everyone wants a strong core, and sexy abs. This w…


Here is a poem I wrote when I began my yoga practice a few years ago. Happy Weekend to all. xo

Coming from me, a poet and former ballet dancer,
yoga combines the cerebral aspects of my brain with the physical reality of my body;
stanzas gesturing in motion.
As I transition from asana to asana, my mind poses that
age old question; am I one with the universe?
The answer is always a definite yes.
I feel as if I am the salt of the earth below my toes, the clouds hovering above my head.
I realize not only am I one with the earth and the universe, I am so with all creatures;
and one with my sometimes puzzling psyche.
By the time I reach the elusive state of savasana I feel as if I am floating above my body.
I finally return back to earth in prayer pose to recite that final namaste,
in that belated moment of clarity I am reminded of the gratitude I have for being heaven sent yet earth bound.
Rose Bruno Bailey


Thank god it is Friday. This moving mess is unreal, and it is truly the hardest move we have ever navigated. Forging forward with my work out goals, which makes dealing with the unease and stress so much easier. Endorphins really do have a factor on your mood.

Today is day six of Melissa Bender Fitness Bikini Prep workout, month one. I am also doing about 45 minutes of cardio today as well. I am going to shoot for two rounds.

I had a few weeks of slowing down with the moving stress and this week I am working on my strength. Next week I will do three rounds.
I am doing her 12 week series, and also incorporating my own cardio and Body Pump Classes from 24 Hour Fitness. I will start Yoga as soon as I get situated in San Francisco.

I need to eat a bit more. I eat mostly clean but sometimes I do not eat enough. I was reading all about what Melissa eats and it puts me to shame. I definitely need to eat more. Not eating slows your metabolism and does not fuel you enough for working out.

Breakfast today was non fat Greek yogurt with no sugar no salt peanut butter, raw oats and a banana. I was out of my usual protein bars. 

Off for today. I work and I will be working out this evening.
Love and Light to all

Melissa Bender Fitness: My First Bikini Competition Prep: Month 1 Workouts…

If you  look up, clouds will guide your way

Good morning to all. Here is the complete list of Month one, which I am following. I am on day five of Month one. I need this now more than ever, the moving stress level is through the roof. The relocation red tape is unreal, and there is always a chance that we could stay in LA, so back to being in limbo. We wait, and I workout to keep my sanity and push harder than ever. Whether here in LA or in San Francisco I am taking my project and my fitness goals to another level.

In the meantime work calls after my second cup of coffee. Cue breathing.



Melissa Bender Fitness: My First Bikini Competition Prep: Month 1 Workouts…: This is Month 1 of the workouts that I have done to prep for my bikini competition. This is the order I completed the workouts in…


Good Morning to all. Today is hump day, and I so look forward to the weekend.  My days here in Los Angeles are numbered, but it does not feel like it yet since we still have to secure an apartment. I have been working out hard, and I did the last five days and today is supposed to be a rest day according to the schedule of Melissa Bender’s Bikini Prep workouts for month one, week one. I may take a Body Pump class though, or go swimming. I pushed my cardio the last five days and yesterday my toe started bothering me again. I iced it and if I feel fine I will take the class, and if not I am going swimming.

Last night I made the mistake of  taking aspirin before bed on an empty stomach, which made for a stomach ache, a sleepless night and nightmares. It is so important to get at least seven hours of sleep. I will not do that again.

So for today Wednesday:
-Day four from week one, month one of Melissa Bender Fitness Bikini Competition workouts.  Day four is a day off.
-light cardio for an active rest day

That is it for now. Each day I will be recording what I am doing to get the the second round of my goals, with a breakdown every Monday for the full week.

Have a wonderful day


As soon as we find a place, San Francisco will be my next home

Finding an apartment from afar is challenging, and I swore to myself through this crazy move I would keep up my workouts and push harder than ever. I have stuck to that vow, and I feel amazing. I slacked off for a few weeks from the stress of waiting to find out if we were moving or not, I have never liked being in limbo. When we moved cross country from NYC to LA it was a smoother transition. James was hired rather quickly, and we moved in three weeks. This time it is such a dragged out process, it almost makes you wonder if it will happen. Even though they wanted him in San Francisco by October 6th, we are hoping for the third week of the month. Too much to do too soon.

I am blogging more about what I am doing to get to the next half of my goals. The first year is done and behind me. I have lost 45 lbs, changed my body and I have helped numerous charities and did a few interesting items off my bucket list. 

Now I am beginning anew, another 40 lbs to go, and as soon as I deliver my books before the move to Reading to Kids I will be working on my next ten lb charity. I will of course wait til I get to San Francisco to pick and announce it. I am also going to take “new” before photos soon. Lots of things to do in San Francisco to add to my bucket list too. One of the first things I want to do is to walk the pedestrian path of the Golden Gate Bridge.
On Mondays I will post my weekly workout plan and anything else I am doing to get to my goals, and each day I will make a little post for that day. I am trying to eat more, and eat as clean as possible. Tons of water helps too.

Today is a day three and a day off from Melissa Bender’s bikini fitness competition workouts for month one so I am just going to do cardio and yoga.  I downloaded new music to get me going.

Being in a new city is going to challenge me. I have to find my gym, and learn my way around. I am nervous but excited. I have a friend there who goes to the same gym I do, and she wants to work out together. I also have a few other friends there, who have reached out and have been very supportive and welcoming which I need now. It is a lonely feeling to pick up and move.

Off for today, a lot on my mind and I am just trying to let it all be.


I think this is San Francisco. I will find this spot.
One of my goals, to take yoga pose photos
all over the bay area,

Good Morning to all. Today is Monday, yes again. I like to look at Monday’s as a new beginning. I have a lot of new beginnings coming my way with my upcoming move to San Francisco. Finding an apartment is the most challenging step. Once we secure a place it will be full steam ahead.  I am trying to figure out when my last day of work should be. I have not put in my two weeks yet, but I need to soon.

I work today, and I plan on working out after. I am doing my Cardio and day two of Melissa Bender Fitness Bikini Competition workout series of month one. I may take a Les Mills Body Pump Class tonight if I get out of work in time.

I am so happy my gym membership for 24 Hour Fitness allows me to attend any 24 Hour Fitness. They are all over San Francisco.

So my plan for this week is:
Week one of  month one of Melissa Bender Bikini Competition Series. One Round to begin, 20 reps.
Cardio five to six days.
Body Pump Class two to three days.
Anything else I may squeeze in

I am going to try to keep my diet as clean as possible. I do allow myself a piece of dark chocolate if I want it. Just one, and I totally savor it. I love Trader Joe’s.

Off for now. Soon I have to start cleaning, purging, and packing. Change comes on slow than runs you over.