Category Archives: workout with a trainer


I am beginning again with my fitness journey, and I have a few experts helping me along my way. My inspiration is always my best friend Melissa at #benderfitness. I always turn to her videos, for workouts, yoga especially. She always helps me and gives me amazing advice. If you love home workouts you can find her here. She’s a total professional.

I also realized need someone in person to motivate and kick my but. When I began this blog back in July  2013 I worked out with my friend and trainer Mike, and it made all the difference. Sometimes we need someone in person to push us to be our very best. I got extremely stagnant over the Pandemic, and I’m really back at square one.  I knew I had to make a change. I posted in a local group and luckily I found the perfect person. 

Introducing my NASM certified personal trainer Kristi Burr Blount. Kristi started training me a few weeks ago, before my return to this blog. I can’t express how thrilled I am to be working with her, TRX, weights, functional training etc.  Our sessions have been amazing and challenging, and she knows when to make a session more difficult than the last. She really takes care to insure you do not get injured and that you are using proper form in your movements. This is just the beginning. I’m absolutely thrilled to be training with her.

You can find her here.

As I go forward I will be sharing everything I’m doing, to help others as they start over. It’s not easy to begin again, but it’s so much better than staying stagnant.
Here’s to brand new beginnings.
love and light,





unnamedThe other day two young guys gave me a random compliment, they saw how spirited I was and they told me they were “vibe-ing off my energy.” It is a new word and I like it. Think about it, we are all energy based. Positive not only attracts positive but it also negates negative energy and can turn it around. A bad day can become worse with negative thoughts, it spirals out of control the minute you decide today is a bad day. So if you tell yourself today is a good day it will be. It may seem simple and cliché’, but it is also absolute truth and the law of the universe. If you see someone loving life, make sure to “vibe” off their energy. Their positive energy does not mean their life is perfect, it just means they find the beauty of living despite the obstacles life throws at us all. After all you are alive, so how about acting fully alive.

My blog became challenging two years ago when I found out were relocating to San Francisco. I knew I would no longer have a personal trainer at my convenience and I was afraid I would undo all of my hard work. On top of that I loved LA, I did all my charities in LA and I didn’t think the bay area was a fit for me. I did make it work while I was there for what I call my year and a half sabbatical, and my blog continued in the time I was living there. I even made some life long friends and mentors, hit some fitness milestones and volunteered and helped raise food for the hungry at The Second Harvest Food Bank. I survived a personal crisis and a spontaneous move back to LA recently.



Through it all I woke up each and every day not only with a smile for myself, but for everyone I encountered along my travels. It helps you cope when you just slow down and remember to first be kind first. Sometimes it takes effort when all you wish to do is hide under the covers, but keeping a positive attitude even on the hardest days has helped me survive. In hindsight if I would have kept to myself and sulked, I never would have met the many wonderful bay area souls that have inspired me and touched my life.

It has been six months since we arrived back in LA, and three months since I began my countdown until my 50th Birthday. In this six months leading to The Winter Solstice I am eating completely clean and not cheating or having a cheat meal. It is a huge undertaking, considering we tend to want to splurge when life throws us disappointments. Yesterday was such a day, I am hoping to have my book signing here in LA at an esteemed book store but I let some time lapse from the first moment I corresponded with the book store due to my move back and all of the commotion of getting a new job and settling in. I am not going to jump to conclusions, but I may need a back up plan if this particular book store turns me down. Again I have to reach into my little bag of positive tricks and truck on forward.

This leads me to how often we reach for food to dull the ache in the pit of our stomach when things do not exactly go our way. It is not hunger we feel, but that need for comfort and soothing that we get when we treat ourselves. My husband James said “let’s get cake, no one will know.”  I regress, I will know. Back to the four agreements, “always be impeccable with your word.”

So no cheat day for me. This is teaching me to face my feelings and deal with them in a non food manner. I work in a world famous deli with the most amazing food and homemade bakery so this is extra difficult for me but I am standing by my commitment. I am a work in progress, moving forward despite everything that comes my way. I am leaning on my energy and attitude to keep me going. That and morning coffee.

They say life does not have a dress rehearsal, and this is it. So I continue to vow to be grateful and joyful an to not let obstacles chase off my dreams, and I vow to keep going.


I am vibe-ing off the energy of the beauty of being alive. 




5 Things I Did To Start Losing Weight

One of my next items on my fitness bucket list is to surf in the Mighty Pacific. I would never have attempted this if I did not lose weight. I feel completely ageless.Here I am in my first very own wetsuit.

I meet a lot of people, and I talk to everyone. I met someone the other day who was so upset about his weight gain, and after speaking to me he later emailed me about his new resolve to do something about it. I explained to him it is only weight, we can gain weight and we can lose weight. To lose weight just takes a choice, and then action. Now he decided to take action, and I believe he will be a success.

Everyone has that light bulb moment when they decide the time is now to lose weight and become fit. I had two of those moments, but for me it was the second moment that struck a chord. My first moment was in 2011. I went to a Dr. in Beverly Hills who basically fat shamed me to the point of tears. I was walking home weeping and I was stopped by the Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino. He wanted my business card, he said he was interested in putting me in his latest movie. I was crying about the Dr. and blew my one moment. I did not have a business card with me, and because of how belittled I felt from the previous moment I just shared my name with Mr.Tarantino. This is why confidence is so important, opportunity will walk right past you if you do not have the confidence to bring your dreams to a fruition.
Rose Bruno Bailey Before Pictures
My second moment was the one that stuck in 2013. It was 2 years after the Quentin Tarantino moment, and I went to an open mic to read my poetry. I felt great, and I thought I looked great. My friend took a photo of me at the microphone, a photo that made me really look at myself for the first time in a long time. I did not think I was thin or fit, but I had convinced myself I was just a little chubby. I was beyond chubby, I was obese and the scale would soon cement my heavy weight of over 210 lbs. It took a few months but it was that moment when I decided to combine my weight loss efforts with helping others. Two years later, fifty pounds lighter and happier than I have been in a long time. Oh, and I put off my opportunity of getting my poetry book published back in 2013 because I lacked confidence. I am happy I will be a first time author in a few months. No more waiting for life to find me, I am finding life.
As I am busy finding life I am also trying to break a plateau and move forward with my fitness goals and philanthropy. I have maintained my weight loss and exercise routine. I am now looking into all kinds of adventures as I move forward. It was that  2013 aha moment and the new routine I developed for myself that made me stay the course.
Here are the five things that kick started my weight loss journey
1. It sometimes takes a vulnerable moment to make you change. Do not wallow in the moment, use it to motivate you. Get on the scale, face your demons and tackle those pounds one day at a time. Start today!!
2. Find your tribe. I was in a Richard Simmons video, which introduced me to so many inspirational new friends. My best friend Melissa Bender was my biggest supporter. My new friend Mike Morello offered to help me and train me and he stuck with it even when I whined and complained. The list goes on and on but I never did any of it alone. Do not be afraid to get a little help from your friends new or old.
3.Find what works for your body in regards to exercise and nutrition. I began with Weight Watchers, and soon enough figured about how to eat. I did not really love running until this year thanks to Melissa Bender Fitness and being 50 lbs lighter. Before my weight loss I enjoyed speed walking.  If you love what you are doing you will stick to it. Exercise and eating right is like brushing your teeth. Daily movement and healthy daily eating are the keys to success. Lace up those sneakers and get moving. I once crawled in the dirt and I was horrified, and now I am not only 50 lbs lighter but I am no longer afraid to get dirty and be one with nature. Your journey may change how you view yourself.
4. Weekly weigh ins and keeping a food journal. This will keep you accountable and you can track how you are doing. The largest weight loss is in the beginning.
5. Believe you can do this, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Keep going, keep moving, and love yourself. Love the body you are in today and know you are headed in the direction of health and self confidence. Trust me it feels amazing.
With love to all enduring the struggle, it is just weight. It comes on, and just as easily it can come off. You just have to work at the weight loss and fitness part. You can do it. It really is all about the work, but the rewards are magnificent.


As you know, I am a former dancer and a poet, and I have my best friend Melissa Bender to thank for suggesting I write poetry in 2005, as well as getting me dancing again when I thought I was getting too old and that ship had sailed. When I started this project to sponsor a charity with each ten pound loss, I just assumed I was speed walk and diet and eventually lose the weight and take dance classes again.

Instead I found myself with the help of a trainer Mike turned dear friend ( who I feel indebted to).  Mike gave me his support, time, and expertise and granted me the keys to fitness; which opened up a whole new world to me. My best friend Melissa continued to inspire not just me but the masses with her incredible workouts, and I used those for my home based exercise and yoga. Melissa was my biggest cheerleader and kept me going even though she was on the other side of the country.

I promised myself I would be completely authentic, and I was open about everything. I became fearless and ageless and I have so many fitness goals and items on my fitness bucket list. I may not be ready for all of my dreams yet, but I will be. When I shared with Melissa my desire to do a ambassador program for a fitness or yoga website she suggested I be her very first fitness ambassador. It was perfect timing, and a completely natural fit. 

I navigated a move from Los Angeles to San Francisco and I will be beginning anew as a Benderfitness ambassador with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge as my new backdrop. I will be sharing every detail of the next three months. I plan to do Melissa Bender Fitness three month Bikini prep workouts and yoga videos to build a solid home practice, cardio and I plan to follow her diet plan. She used the plan to prep for her bikini competition.

 I also just found out Melissa plans to come my way at the end of the three months and we are shooting a video and tackling one of the items off my fitness bucket list, Trapeze Classes. Now I have to become stronger than ever, since I am not near ready to take a class. I am so excited and thrilled to take on this challenge, and happy I have Melissa to train me and help me go into 2015 with a bang. I also plan to do raffle for charity on my site, and I am looking into non profits who do not get a lot of funds. Helping others as I help myself, with a little or a lot of help from my best friend.


Melissa who won trophies for her bikini competition

I am in good hands


Love and Light





Happy New Year to all.  I am really looking forward to accomplishing all of my goals in 2015, and I am extremely excited for what is to come. I feel to move forward it is always good to take a glance behind and know where you are coming from. I am a firm believer in reflecting on what was so you can learn from your successes and failures.

Here are a couple photos from my 2014, mostly photos to show my weight loss and fitness accomplishments.  I am grateful to all who helped shape my journey and I feel blessed to have encountered so many amazing souls. My trainer Mike pictured below with his dog Apollo, changed my path for this project. I assumed I would exercise by speed walking, take some dance classes and help make a difference by sponsoring a charity with each ten pounds I lost. Mike offered to train me and opened up my mind and introduced me to a fitness world beyond my dreams, and I am forever grateful to him for his time, expertise, and friendship. Now it is time for me to go forward on my own. A new direction but still on the same journey,  Onward and upward in 2015. 

Love and Light





Happy Monday to all. I have been out of town and off the grind for a few days. To make matters a little more difficult my router for my wifi is out at home. I will have that fixed in a few days. Tomorrow it is back to the grind and back to my workout schedule with a workout with Mike my trainer.

Love and light to all. My internet my have temporarily stopped but I will not follow suit, I will not stop for anything. I have fitness goals to accomplish as well as more charities to assist and weight to lose.

Love and Light to all.


Summer 2014 and now. New pics from Arizona in a few weeks.
Where I was last year. I will never let myself go again.

Good morning to all. I am up and drinking my morning coffee and contemplating a lot of things. Yesterday was my Tuesday workout with Mike and it was a lot of fun. We did push ups, core work, and a lot of boxing and kicking which I actually find to be a blast. I planked for one minute and a half. I need work with my punches, but hey I am a work in progress.

I ran around the track once and walked once. Mike told me our goal is to get me to be able to run around the track four times. I am still very intimidated with running, but with my new ipod it is a lot easier. It was cool and my lungs felt irritated because of the weather and allergies, so I did not push it. I am always careful with my joints and I listen to my body. I told him I am with him on this goal, and I believe I can make it happen even if I have been somewhat of a timid runner. A big thanks to Mike for being so patient with me and for being a great trainer, but also for being one of my first motivators.  I wonder if we had not started working out if I would have been so dedicated. Sometimes it just takes one or two people to say you can do it to make it a reality. The other person is of course Melissa Bender, my best friend and a fitness dynamo. She tells the masses they can do it, and she always pushes me even when I do not see it in myself. Melissa is the first person who made me believe age is just a bunch of digits and it does not define you. A big thanks to all of my friends, family and followers for always cheering me on in this quest, supporting me with the charities and being there for me. I never wish to forget I am not in this alone.

My 5K is two weeks from this Saturday. This is the first item I am crossing of my fitness bucket list, which keeps evolving as I move along in this journey. I have changed it a bit, so this is the new list.

I saw a ballroom dance opportunity back east, something I have said to my friends I wish would happen, and it has but I am no longer living in NYC. This got me thinking and planning. I want to dance Ballroom bad, get shoes, get a partner and compete. I am going to find a way to make this happen. Last night James downloaded a lot of music to inspire me on this quest. One of the biggies on my fitness bucket list and the music inspires me to run too, so I can listen to it on my 5k.

Tonight I am going to do some serious cardio. I am trying to step it up so the scale reflects my hard work. I am almost in the 160’s. Pushing forward yet looking back.

FITNESS BUCKET LIST  REVISITED…One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to continue on my journey. Part of my fitness journey is conquering my fitness bucket list. I may add things as I go along. My first 5K is in a little over two weeks,I am doing The Seal beach 5K on April 5th 2014. I will run/walk it so I put on this list I want to be able to run around the park 4 times. I am working on my distance. 
Happy dreaming

1. Trapeze Classes at the School of Trapeze in Santa Monica

2. Synchronized swimming classes at Aqualillies in Los Angeles

3. Michael Cornell Ballet Classes at  I am doing this very soon.

4.Ballroom Latin Classes at 3rd Street Dance in Los Angeles   I want to get shoes, get a partner and compete down the line.

5. Go to Pittsburgh, work out with best friend at Melissa Bender Fitness

6. Go to San Diego, take yoga and aerial yoga with one of my best friends Tracy Gittens at Galaxy Lifestyle, Fitness, and Aerial Yoga. Grand Opening July 19, 2013.

7. Surf if I am not too afraid of sharks…. I have an update on this, Mike my trainer has offered to teach me when I am ready and when I can do a good push up, and I will take him up on that. He said next summer when the water is warmer. I am excited to do this and I have really been working on my push ups to prepare. I think I may go swimming too.

8.Run around the park 4 times. 

9.Some type of Yoga Retreat by the ocean.

10. Be in or on the cover of Weight Watchers Magazine or inside the magazine. (Hey, a girl can dream and they use real people all the time). 

11. Do a 5K in 2014. I am doing The Seal Beach 5k in April 5th with a team from Seasons 52.

12. Practice my yoga and get into the difficult poses I am struggling with. Do inversions, backbends, and anything to do with my leg behind me. This means gaining more flexibility in my quads. I want to take photos by the trees I love in yoga poses and I can now do dancers pose. I think I will do the poses and photos this summer.

13. Do a 30 day yoga challenge, and do yoga every day for 30 days in a row.

14. Swim with dolphins, not really fitness related but is in a way. I would love to have this experience.

15. Learn Tai Chi or some sort of Martial Arts.

16. Get some sort of certifications down the line so I can pass on my new knowledge and help those who need it. Maybe volunteering for the needy.I am going to do this through ACE, The American Council of Exercise and a yoga certification.

17. Take Fire Dancing classes at Firegroove here in Los Angeles. Francie did it and it sounds amazing, maybe a little dangerous but that makes it even more intriguing.

18. Aerial Yoga here in Los Angeles.

19. Take a reformer Pilates class.

20. Take a Burlesque dance class.


Good morning to all. It is Tuesday and I am up early having my coffee and protein bar and banana. I told my trainer Mike I would eat more, so today before I leave I will eat some Greek yogurt or a few egg whites. I am a work in progress. I know sometimes during the day I do not eat enough, and there have been times I have showed up to my workouts and really struggled. Water and food, it is a no brainer. I bought some mini cans of tuna packed in water, those should help me when I need protein on the go.

Tonight is my workout with Mike, he is back in town and that means back to the grind for me. Last week on Thursday I went with my friend Francie to Equinox for a gym version of ballet and a stretch class. I tried to hide in the class, but the teacher would have none of it. During turns he called me up front and said out loud that I have done this before. To me that was the proof I needed that my years of training were not in vain. I have not lost it, so I will be taking a studio class in the near future, I was just getting my toes wet so to speak. 

I have to step it up a few paces, so I will give myself by the end of March to really progress even farther. I have done well but I can do so much better. I am grateful to Mike for his support, expertise and patience. I feel like the last eight months have been a warm up and now I can really excel. I know he feels I can do more, and I will.

Not sure how I feel about  taking vitamins. I was sick all day yesterday. I went walking for one hour and my stomach was doing somersaults.  Does anyone else get nauseous from taking vitamins? It is not worth the awful feeling, and it really slowed me down. 

Wishing you a beautiful day full of wellness, health, and happiness.
Love and light,


Good Thursday Morning to all and a very Happy Birthday to my husband James. I owe so much to him, and everything I have evolved to be is because of his influence. We are two adventurers of life, never knowing what destination we will call home. I love living life like it is a big adventure. Happy Happy Birthday Jamesy!!

We are Palm Springs bound tomorrow, so I will take lots of photos and share them. I am so excited to have a get-a-way, and I look forward to eating healthy yet delicious. I did promise my husband James I would eat some Birthday cake, even though he wants to me indulge more with him but I am not giving in. My first real cheat day is Thanksgiving. My healthy lifestyle does not slow down for weekend get-a-ways. That does not mean I will not enjoy myself, but within reason and with healthy and delicious choices.

James and Rose 1998 at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio

Yesterday was my workout with Mike, and it is now getting harder. He actually said he has never seen me sweat like that. No complaints though, I know when things start to get too easy or simple it is so important to climb to the next level even if the challenge makes you feel like you are right back to being a beginner. We did the circuit machines and the TRX, and I planked on my arms with the TRX in my legs. I thought I was so good at planking, and then a new challenged fed me humble pie, it was so so hard. We ran, and we keep running more and more each time and I think I may be improving. I still struggle with my breath but I think it may be getting a little better.

I love the park at that time of night, it is dark but the whole park is illuminated my lights. People are there doing their own personal workouts or practicing softball. There is the distraction of dogs everywhere. As we were running my eyes caught this beautiful black lab leap mid air for a softball. Right there was inspiration, grace in motion from a canine. There is a feeling of camaraderie, that spirit envelops the air you breathe and you almost feel like you are a kid playing outside after hours. I am so grateful for Mike, not only does he take the time to train, motivate and teach me, but working out with him is just plain fun with lots of laughter and it never feels like a chore. 

I love feeling like a kid again, and I believe since I have moved here to Southern California I have truly become the epitome’ of a Californian. I wonder if a lot of the New Yorker in me is fading. I am a true outdoor girl now. I am making progress and that makes me very happy indeed. Life is always evolving, and it is never ever to late to learn something new and be a better version of yourself. I will continue to always have this zest for life no matter how old I get. I love life, living, and the people and animals that make it so worthwhile.

Tonight I am just doing some cardio after work than getting ready for our weekend trip, and hanging out with that cats and James. 
Wishing everyone a beautiful Thursday of love and light.