Monthly Archives: April 2015

Don’t bully your body

I started practicing yoga back in 2011, and I was still overweight at that time. I am a former dancer and I believe I was a yogi in soul and heart before I ever stepped on a mat, just like I was a poet before I ever penned my first poem. Some gifts are just part of your spirit, it just takes time for your body and mind to play catch up.

I was walking down the street at that time, and ran into a friend of mine, who was with a friend of hers. Her friend was a stranger to me, and when I mentioned I practiced yoga she shot out, you do yoga?

That hurt me deeply. I believe yoga is for everyone, whether you are overweight or in the best shape of your life. I did not understand the comment because to me yoga was about the mind and body connection, not who looks the best in their lululemons. Yes, I was over 210 lbs, but who was this person to question my passion for yoga.

Flash forward to present day, after my fifty pound weight loss. I sent my photo to a magazine calling for meditation photos in nature and I was really hoping this photo would be picked. It was not picked, and that opened the flood gates of not feeling good enough, or that my body did not fit the norm of what a yogi looks like. It brought back that comment from 2011.

I love this photo because I was simply stretching my back on this beautiful uprooted tree, and Melissa Bender from Benderfitness snapped it without me knowing. What I really love about this photo is it is me in my element. I love trees and water, and I was perfectly at home stretching and finding my serenity on that pillar of wisdom with the bay as my backdrop.

Even though I lost 50 lbs,  I am far considering myself an after, I am more like a work in progress. I have so many fitness goals/fitness milestones to accomplish and I wish to be stronger and in the best shape of my life. With that I also would love to believe my view of my own body has improved and that I no longer bully my body. I am human, and far from flawless and sometimes I do succumb even after my weight loss to feeling like I am not good enough or I do not fit in the circles of yoga and fitness.  I felt like I was rejected and started to really bullying my own body. I let a moment of rejection take away the beauty and stillness that was meditating on that exquisite fallen tree.

I realized I was negating all of my hard work and sacrifice and not showing gratitude to my healthy body. I went back to that photo, regained my composure and realized what such a moment in nature felt like to me.

I am grounded and centered, and when my zen is uprooted, I connect back with the earth below my feet and find my balance once again. I am a work in progress.

I am a work in progress,
Do not let any rejection reflect back to you in a negative way. You are beautiful, you are uniquely you. Perfect in every sense. Just like the tree, we come in all shapes and sizes, and we should own our diversity instead of trying to conform to be what everyone else is. 
Love and light to all
Rose Bruno Bailey Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

How To Make Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

When I think of soups, I think of healthy comfort food. I love all kinds of healthy soups and  I used to make soups all the time when we lived in West Hollywood.
They are healthy, easy, and there are usually plenty of leftovers for the next day. I like to cook, but with my busy lifestyle I like to cook things that do not keep me in the kitchen for long.
My husband requested Split Pea soup this week, and if I do say so myself this soup was my best ever. When I make my Split Pea Soup I always choose to make it vegetarian style. The garlic and vegetables give it enough flavor, and I never puree it.
My husband ate so much of this soup there was hardly any left over for the next day. I serve it with a lovely romaine salad with lots of colorful vegetables. If you choose to indulge a little, warm a crusty whole grain loaf in the oven. Healthy and so satisfying. Does healthy eating get much better than this?
I cheated and bought my vegetables pre-cut. I am all about convenience. More time for me to go running.
Ingredients for Split Pea Soup
1 bag dried green split peas
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
I used to containers of mirepoix mix, or a generous 2 cups of celery, carrots, and onion
7 cloves of garlic chopped
2 cartons of low sodium or regular vegetable broth
half bag of shredded carrots
salt, pepper, basil
This is so easy
In a large pot warm 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
add mixture of celery, carrots, and onions
cook until translucent
add chopped garlic
season with a generous amount of pepper and basil, and a couple shakes of salt
add bag of green split peas
half bag of chopped carrots
2 cartons of vegetable broth
Bring to a boil on high uncovered, and then lower temperature to simmer, and cook for one hour covered, stirring frequently. Enjoy and try to save extra for the next day.
Such a simple soup yet a soup that truly warms your soul.
Now I want to make it again.
Love and Light
Rose Bruno Bailey Climb That Wall

What do you do when you hit a wall?

You climb over it. Right? Right.

I have been pondering obstacles as of late. I sponsor a charity with every ten pounds I lose, and I have lost 50 lbs and helped numerous charities. But I have not lost a pound since October. I seem to have hit the worst plateau and it is very frustrating. It is not like all of a sudden I am sitting on the couch eating bon bons. Quite the contrary I have been working just as hard as I did to lose that 50 lbs. I am running more than ever before, training for a few 5Ks to begin. If you saw my post yesterday, I ran across the Golden Gate Bridge — and back. I’m running and working. I have just hit that wall.
What’s a blogger to do when the theme of her weight loss/charity blog is losing weight and the weight loss has stalled?  I was thinking of changing things up for my change for a ten. Maybe sponsoring a charity with every fitness goal I achieve, or running miles for charity or maybe combining the two ideas and eventually when I start to lose weight again going back to the original format. I can do my change for a 10K so to speak.
In the meantime, I am loving running. I ran with music for the first time since I started running again. I run without stopping for about one hour three times a week to begin. I am running about 3 miles each time and I am working on running farther and training for a few upcoming races. 5K’s to begin but eventually I want to tackle a half marathon. BenderFitness said she wants to help me get there and I know with her help and belief I can go farther, after all she taught me to run slow so I can keep going and it has made me a runner. At first I am taking baby steps with my running progress. One foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking out the door, one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be running across the floor.
One foot at a time. I am open to suggestions for helping charities.
Love and light to all

Runner’s High on 4/20 day


It has been about four weeks since I started running seriously. I admit it took me this long to fall in love with running. I am finally there, and thanks to BenderFitness I am officially a runner. Melissa taught me how to run to maintain my pace and achieve distance without stopping or walking.

Yesterday I achieved a fitness milestone, running over the Golden Gate Bridge and back again. It is a total of 3.4 miles. It was the most euphoric feeling and I am so happy to have shared the moment with one of my dear friends Kristina who visited over the weekend from NYC.

Kristina is running a half marathon in Brooklyn NYC in October and that has inspired me to do a half marathon in November instead of the 10k. I know I will really have to train and Melissa Bender and I are in the works coming up with a training program to get me there.

The sky’s the limit. It was national 420 day and I earned my runner’s high and crossed an item off my fitness bucket list. It was the most amazing moment and next I plan to run over it four times and do a few 5K’s as I train for the bigger races. I am so in love with running and cannot believe it took me this long to get there. Better late than never.


Love and light





Here are the Bender Fitness videos we filmed in the Bay Area

Hey guys,

Sorry for the delay in posting this week. As you know if you read my last couple of posts, my friend Melissa Bender and my other friend Nicole were out in the Bay Area (where I currently live) last week. We essentially had a one-week fitness-focused boot camp. My big takeaway was learning to love running (which I normally hate). I can now run about 3 miles without stopping to walk (intense for me) and I can do it without music (right now, I like to focus on my breathing and pacing).

We filmed a bunch of videos while Melissa and Nicole were in the Bay Area, and those are below; you can find them all at the Bender Fitness YouTube channel as well. I hope you enjoy. Oh, and hey — I struggle in a few of these (LOL), but remember I often ran right before filming them. We’re all human, right?

I’ll be posting some workout plans, recipes, and potential 5K plans in the coming weeks. I hope you keep coming back!

Love and light.





5 Things BenderFitness taught me about running



1. Pace yourself, and start slow. I used to fear running even though I did a 10K last year. It was such a proud moment for me but I had to stop and walk/run. I never fully embraced running like I am now. I want to keep going and see how far I can go. Run a marathon someday? Why not. It is all in the pace.
2. Listen to your breath and turn off the tunes. Ok this was a hard one for me and I resisted. I am a dancer and I love my music, It motivates me. Now I find I am motivated by running for the sake of running, not drowning out the sensations with music. There will be a time when I become a seasoned runner when I can listen to music as I run, but for now I run and listen to my breath.
3. Keep Moving, sounds so simple and so difficult, but honestly if you just keep moving you can do it.
4.Dress for the weather, and have on layers that can come off if you get hot. Here in the Bay Area it can feel cold with the wind but as you get moving you become warm.
5. Start with a small race. I am signing up for a 5K in a few months. I can already run over 3 miles and I will definitely be ready. Once I have a few under my belt I will graduate to a 10K and then maybe a half marathon.
I am really loving running now, and I am so grateful she taught me how to run the correct way. Now I feel like the sky’s the limit. I also discovered after I run I have this incredible zen like euphoria that relaxed my whole mind and body. It really is helping me handle the day to day stress.


No one is a failure who has friends. I underscored that last week.

This past week I was at home in the Bay Area, but essentially on a fitness retreat. My friends Melissa (of Bender Fitness) and Nicole came to town to spend the week with my husband James and I. It was truly a special week — full of sightseeing, reuniting, fitness and fun. I learned so much to take with me as I progress in my fitness goals and weight loss endeavors.
Everything I learned I will be sharing all week: what we ate (along with recipes), my new running and workout schedule, and all of the fitness forward things we did.  Most of all I reunited with my wonderful friends and I learned a lot about myself. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to see my friends and have eight days off and rejuvenate my mind, body and soul.
Going public with a weight loss and fitness journey can put you in a vulnerable state of mind. When I began working out with my Los Angeles trainer Mike in 2013, I was at first intimidated  and feeling embarrassed  if I could not do all the moves he asked me to do. Soon after we got into a rhythm and I realized there was no embarrassment; he just wanted me to do the best I could.
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Flash forward to this week. I learned a lot about how I view myself, even after losing fifty pounds I am still a work in progress; coming back from a broken toe and a difficult move from Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area. I am now a BenderFitness Ambassador and I want to really progress and do the best I am capable of.  I had a couple of self-bashing moments that I quickly tried to check at the door. I realized that I am not letting anyone down, especially myself. Having role models — and friends who believe in you — makes all the difference in the world. I will continue forward and realize I am human, and I have come a long way. I have said from the beginning no one is a failure who has friends. That’s my favorite quote from the film It’s A Wonderful Life.
Here is one of the videos we did this week, in my new running spot by the Bay. I am so motivated and inspired from this week, and I am ready to conquer the next phase in my weight loss/fitness journey. I am grateful to Melissa for really pushing me always and believing in me, and Nicole as well. Beautiful ladies, inside and out. This was one of the best weeks I had in a very long time, and saying goodbye was not easy.
When you believe, you achieve. It helps to have friends who also believe in you. I am surrounded by the best of friends.
Love and Light to all

My love-hate relationship with running

I have a love/hate relationship with running. When I first started this program in 2013 in Los Angeles, I resisted running with my trainer Mike. He would try to get me to run, and I would hem and haw and take my time transitioning from walking to running. He was incredibly supportive even when I whined about running.


When I signed up for my first 5K, I actually missed the turn and did the whole 10K, and it was the best feeling ever crossing the finish line. It was such a sense of accomplishment and a natural high. I was so proud of myself but there were times when I had to walk/run. I had never developed my running pace and my running was inconsistent. Soon after I broke my toe and my running schedule was off and on. I remember that high I felt and I have been inspired to push my running to a new level.

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Now I am running again, with the help of Melissa  Bender of BenderFitness. She is in town and not letting me rest on my laurels. I am her fitness ambassador and I want to make her proud, and push myself farther than I have before. I am only competitive with myself and I am ready to take it to the next level. I am appearing in a few of her workout videos and I have a new sense of motivation.
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Melissa is also my running coach and we have been running now all week. She really is pushing me and I did not think I could do what she got me to do.  Melissa and Nicole got me to run the first day for 1.3 miles nonstop run, and another 1.3 run/walk. On Wednesday afternoon we ran a total of 3.1 miles, the equivalent of a 5k. I am so proud that I can do this. Again, I hemmed and hawed and gave Melissa looks that could kill the whole time she pushed me. I did it, and I am so proud and this is just the beginning. I plan on signing up for a race this summer and I am beyond excited.
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I will be sharing my workout program and schedule soon.  I plan to run three days a week. of course the beautiful bay front park that we discovered in my neighborhood  makes my destination worth every mile. I was so sore afterwards and later I was caught crawling up my stairs. Soreness will not stop me though and I am looking forward to working harder for all of my fitness goals.
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When you believe you achieve, even if afterwards you have to crawl up stairs.
Just one step in the staircase to my goals.
Love and Light to all
Melissa Bender Rose Bruno Bailey

Melissa Bender’s in town, and we’re both learning new things

It can be frustrating when you are on a roll losing weight — and then, all of a sudden, your weight loss comes to a complete halt.

My move from Los Angeles to San Francisco (about six months ago now) has caused some struggles, yes, but I have found a new sense of motivation. Melissa Bender from BenderFitness is in town with our friend Nicole — and it is so amazing having such wonderful company. Melissa is really breathing new life into my routine. I did my first workout video with her and it was challenging yet awesome. I now have a new barometer where to begin and I will be posting my new fitness plan in the near future. Working out on video is completely different but she makes it look so easy. I was able to watch it and see how I am actually performing the exercises. It is amazing I thought my squats were low enough and the video was a real reality check. I will not be hard on myself though, I had a broken toe and I slowed down yet I never once stopped. First fifty pounds is off and I am now working on my next 40 lbs. I know I can do this, and it is wonderful to have such a support network. I love fresh starts.


Rose Bruno Bailey and Melissa Bender

Melissa and I.

I am also eating a lot more — healthy of course — but my meals are definitely more consistent. I have learned some amazing recipes and I will post the recipes. Melissa Bender made me the most amazing cauliflower mashed mock potatoes. I am seriously obsessed with them and I love them cold too. I will post my recipes as well as some of the recipes Melissa shared with me. I understand to lose I need to eat more, a concept I know yet I fail to follow it on a regular basis.
I am well into the second phase of my project and blog and pumped for what is to come. Losing weight is no easy feat yet I believe I am up for the challenge. I am taking my next forty pounds on and I will not give up.In a way this is like starting all over, and the beginning is always the most fun.
Love and Light