How to lose those last 5lbs…

Those last 5lbs!  Ugh, the hardest to get rid of.  The most stubborn.  It’s like they’ve been there so long and just refuse to leave!  Because they’re comfortable and so are you.  I know no one wants to hear this but the only way to lose those LAST five, very stubborn pounds is to LOCK IT UP & TURN IT UP!  That means somethings gotta give and whatever you’re doing right now needs to change.

For me personally, I know exactly what that means.  It means not ordering two extra munchkins for myself at the DD drive thru when getting some for the kiddos.  It means, no late night snacking on the couch with the hubby just because it’s our only time to actually sit and chat. It means, more water and less iced coffee.  It means a little less eating on the go and more preparation when planning an active day out with the family.  You know, like packing a healthy lunch with some fruit instead of stopping for ice cream on the way home! It means, kicking my workouts into high gear. Adding in some high intensity interval training to my workout schedule or an extra day of training in general, since I’ve been slacking and only working out 2-3x/week lately. Yikes!

Essentially, I need to….

lock it up & turn it up

Now maybe you’re thinking those little things don’t sound so bad. But it’s those little things every week that are holding me back from pushing pass my current comfort zone.  What does it mean for you?  When was the last time you switched up your routine?  How often do you indulge…even just a little? Remember, somethings gotta give.  Just because you’re still sweating during your workouts doesn’t mean you’re getting the same results you once did.

LOCK IT UP & TURN IT UP!  Here are some tips on how…

  • If you’re always doing cardio, hit the weights at least 2x/week.
  • Be sure to change things up every two weeks.
  • Add 15-20 minutes of intervals at the end of a strength workout.
  • Get off the eliptical and jump on the stairclimber.
  • Are you a runner?  Try cycling instead, and vice versa.
  • Keep the workouts short but intense.  (see below)
  • Focus on adding lean protein to every meal/snack.
  • Aim to drink 90 oz of water each day.
  • Stop snacking on anything that comes out of a wrapper.  And, last but not least…
  • Limit the alcohol (Bummer, I know) but I didn’t say eliminate just reel it in a bit 😉

TRY this short but effective workout at-home or at the gym.  No equipment needed and sure to get your heart pumping!  Want more workout ideas like these?  Follow me on Pinterest.


And, if you don’t want to lock it up and turn it up, well, that’s ok too!  😉

But if you need some extra motivation staying committed to your fitness goals and need new ideas on how to turn things up this summer, join my FREE 30-Day Fitness Challenge.  Starts August 1st. Results in just 30 days?  Yes, please!

With much fitness love,

Nina M.






How to Find Time to Workout.

As a mom of two young boys, who works full-time training clients in-person on top running my own online Coaching business (didn’t know that? Check out  I’m often asked, “So, when do you workout?” “How do you find the time?”  The answer is simple….
I DON’T. I don’t find time.
I have to MAKE it.  Simple as that.  I know that sounds easier said than done but we are ALL SO BUSY!  We all get a measely 24 hours to work, raise a family, go to school workout, meal prep, have a life, play candy crush, watch TWD, and of course, get a full 8 hours of sleep!  So, if you keep trying to find the time, you simply won’t!  There will always be something else that will get in the way.  Something that will at the time, seem more important….you name it; laundry, dinner, dishes, dogs, kids, work, nail appointments, quality time with the family, commute time, work, work and more work! I mean seriously, why is work always getting in the way of our fitness anyway??
With all of that going on, it seems as though we can always and very easily justify skipping a workout.  But in the end, it really comes down to our priorities.


For example, I always MAKE time for my Make Time instead of trying to Find It.workouts but haven’t had my nails or eyebrows done in months because I just can’t seem to FIND the time! Even though getting my eyebrows threaded literally takes 10 minutes, soooo… I really NOT have 10 minutes??  Mmmmh, priorities.  Sometimes I’m picking my kids up from school still wearing my sweaty clothes because I squeezed my workout in with just enough time.  Gross? Eh, maybe, but whatever at least I made the time to get it done.
Here’s some TIPS on how to MAKE time….

  1. Plan ahead, don’t wing it.   Take a hard look at your calendar and figure out exactly how much time you will need and plug it into your day(s).  Don’t wait to see how your day pans out to decide if and when you’re going to hit the gym.  You’re never going to find  yourself sitting around with absolutely nothing to do, and think “huh, what do you know,  looks like I just found a whole 2 hours of spare time.  Maybe I’ll go workout now.”
  2. Make it a non-negotiable.  Once it’s in your calendar, don’t you dare move it.  Would you cancel a doctor’s, hair, nail or massage appointment because you’re busy at work or because you’re not in the mood?  Hell to the freakin’ NO, right? So treat it like an appointment.  That’s your time, and its just as important as any other appointment on your calendar.
  3. Need help?  Ask for it.  Do you need family/friends/sitters to help with the kids so that you can workout.  Just ask.  I promise the only one judging you for wanting to make time to go to the gym, is you!  Don’t have a village of people who can help?  Find a local gym with a babysitting room.  Your kids will play and you will sweat.  Win, win.
  4. Work with what you have.  You don’t need an hour or two…got 20 minutes?  Great, you’d be amazed at what a short & sweet workout could do for you each day.
  5. Last but not least, don’t be ashamed of wanting to make your workouts a priority.  Instead of  “I’d like to go the gym today” say “I AM going to the gym today!”  with confidence.

Will you commit to making the time instead of trying to find it this week?  Feel free to comment & share with all your super busy friends whom need a little extra help making themselves a priority.
With much fitness love,

Nina M.
P.S.  Keep your eyes peeled for my 21-Day NO Sweets, JUST Sweat Challenge that will be starting soon!

How to Stay On Track When Life is Crazy

So, how did I stay on track with my fitness goals while I relocated my whole family into my parent’s 1,000 sq foot ranch home, in which I shared a twin size futon with my 5 year old, left my personal training business and started all over again at a new studio while waiting for our new house to be completed?  Well, I didn’t.  I didn’t at all, like barely, not even in the slightest could I get it together…at least not in the beginning.

You see, at first, I kept telling myself it was just short-term and that a little slacking was no big deal.  Our new situation was stressful, we were all over the place and working out/meal prepping just wasn’t on my priority list at the time, and that’s ok!  However, what was suppose to be a 30-day stay at my parent’s house turned into a 60-day stay and then a 90-day stay and then another month, and then another!  So needless to say about two months into our 4.5 month sleepover, I wasn’t feeling at all like myself and realized if I allowed myself to keep going down this path by the time we were in our new house I was going to be in a very unhappy place.

So I started beating myself up about getting back on track.  Like, why couldn’t I just get it together??? I know what to do, how to do it, for goodness sake I do this shit for a LIVING!  And suddenly, out of no where, it hit me…. I realized there was NO getting back on track!


Because the track I was on, no longer existed.  I was on a whole different track, a different living situation, and different work schedule, sleeping arrangements., etc.  EVERYTHING was different!  And, yet I kept expecting myself to get back to doing all the things I did before, for example…

Meal Prepping; I use to do this as part of my Sunday ritual while my kids napped.  I kept expecting myself to do this again when really that made no sense.  There was no room in the fridge for all of the foods I would normally feed my whole family. It wasn’t my house, my kitchen or my fridge.  Not to mention, Sunday turned into the day we did “house” stuff…met with contractors & realtors while taking several trips back and forth to Home Depot, and you know, if we had time….Bed, Bath & Beyond. 😉  <— Old School movie reference, get it? No? Ok, moving on.

Breakfast;  I think I missed this the most.  Since my days start so early, I always, always, made a protein smoothie every single morning and drank it on the way into the gym to meet my first client.  At my old house, this wasn’t a problem…our bedrooms were on the 2nd floor, kitchen on the first and it had these nice French doors that I would close just to ensure the noise from the blender wasn’t too loud.  Well, I couldn’t do that with our new living arrangements.  I mean, sneezing was too loud! I’m pretty sure I woke people up several mornings by just turning on the Keurig, but hey, somethings cannot be compromised. 😉

Workouts:  I use to be able to squeeze in a workout in between clients at the gym.  But I no longer worked in a gym setting, I now work at a small training studio which I love, but it’s different. There aren’t any treadmills, stairclimbers, elipticals, spin bikes, etc.  And, since I was no longer teaching group fitness classes either, I essentially said good-bye to all of my cardio workouts for a while.  😦

Sleeping; I use to get myself to bed by 9pm every night.  Although I was still able to manage this, I never got a good night’s sleep.  NOT. ONCE!  Both of my kid’s had a hard time adjusting so when it wasn’t one it was the other.  My youngest completely regressed and started waking up several times a night, and did this every single night for the first two months.  And, then just when I started thinking ‘YAY! Sleep!’  My oldest started claiming he was scared and couldn’t sleep alone.  Nothing like sharing a twin size futon with a 5 year old who grinds his teeth, and apparently fights crime in the middle of the night.  😐


So, why did I keep trying to do the same things I was doing before?   Habit, I guess.  I knew what had always worked for me and at the time, I think it was the one thing I didn’t want to change.  I needed to adjust to my new situation and carve out a new normal.  When I finally realized that I needed to create new habits because clearly my situation was not going to change anytime soon, I was able to get back to feeling like myself again.

Here’s what I did…
1.  Got up even earlier so that I can make and eat my breakfast at work before my first client rather than hitting the closest DD on the way in. 🍳☕👍
2.  Joined a local gym.  I have not paid for a gym membership in over 7 years so this was a BIG deal for me, haha.  💪💧
3.  Took afternoon naps with my little guy to help catch up on sleep so that I wasn’t completely exhausted every single day.  Never under estimate the power of sleep and what it does for your body every day. 😴
4.  Traded all of the coffee for more water.  Because I was so tired from the lack of sleep my body was constantly craving sugar and caffeine which I initially gave into but realized it was getting me no where fast.  The increase in water also created an increase in energy levels, which in turn decreased the look of exhaustion on my face! Yay for water!

These small changes helped me get back to feeling a little better and helped me refocus my priorities without completely stressing over gaining a few extra pounds, ahem, yeah…let’s just keep it at that.

When the going gets tough, instead of bitching about how things aren’t the same (not that I did any bitching at all  😉), take some time to step-back, re-prioritize and put together a new game plan.  There is always a way, we just need to be willing to do the work and make some adjustments.  Change is good, right?

It feels good to be back and I look forward to sharing more with all of you about my personal fitness journey.


With much fitness love,

Nina M.
Trainer, Coach & Mom.


The Summer SIX!

We’ve all heard of the Freshman Fifteen, right?  Well, I’m calling the extra pounds people sometimes gain over those warmer weather months, the SUMMER SIX! Hahaha.  Well, at least that’s what I’ve gained this summer.  Yup, that’s right in the last couple of months I’ve gained about six pounds.  Now, maybe some of you are GASPING!  SIX POUNDS??

But I’m not, and I’m pretty proud of that!  HUH?  What?  I don’t feel like complete crap and hate myself for gaining 6lbs?  I mean, as a fitness professional, I should clearly be ashamed of myself, right??  Well, the old me would have been but not anymore.  But before we get to that, let’s rewind a bit.

HOW and WHY did I gain 6 pounds over the summer months?  To be honest, I just really enjoyed my summer!  Plain and simple.  Not that I don’t normally enjoy my life because I do.  However, I decided to really indulge this summer without thinking twice.  I never thought twice about skipping the gym to hit the beach with my boys.  I never thought twice about sharing munchkins with my kids on a long car ride or maybe even a short car ride. ☺ I never thought twice about having ice cream sundaes for dessert and maybe even dinner. 😁 We ordered take out, grilled burgers and ate chips! (gasp!)  Ok, when I say “we” I mean my husband grilled burgers, not me.  Definitely not me.  I don’t think I’ve ever laid my hands on the grill before.  But anyway, the point is…like most, I tend to socialize more in the summer.  It’s not an excuse, it’s just what I did because I wanted to.

So, why am I ok with this?  Well, here’s a few reasons….

  1. I made a decision to eat what I ate, drink more summerand workout less.  Soooo…I’m really not surprised. At. All!  It was a conscious decision.  Nobody made me chose a burger over a salad, I wanted to.  I could have said “not this time” to a request for ice cream but I didn’t want to.  Being aware of your decisions and how they  will affect your body is the first step in  learning how to find the right balance.  I’m always surprised when I hear people say, “I have no idea how I gained “x” pounds?”  Um, really?  If  you stop and think a little harder, I’m sure you can find the answer.  #justsayin
  2. The summer months are so short and I enjoyed every bit of it.  I eat well and according to my training ALL the time, with random cheats and indulgences of course.  But for the most part, I like to eat to fuel my body, so I wanted a break from that. The only thing I regret is not taking more pictures of these sweet summer memories.  I wish I had more pics of ice cream dripping down our chins. What’s better than sharing a messy, melting ice cream with your little humans? Nothing.
  3.  I am more confident in my body now than I ever have been.  Yeah, so I gained some weight, whatever.  I am strong. I am fit. I am healthy and happy.  I am committed to being fit for life so a few extra pounds DO NOT define me.

Number three is actually the part I am most proud of.  If this was five or so years ago, I would be so pissed and mad.  I’d be disappointed in myself for not having more control and allowing myself to fall so far “OFF!”  Totally beating myself up.  Well, not anymore.  I refuse to do that.  Part of living a healthy and fit lifestyle is being MENTALLY healthy and fit not just physically and it has taken me a long time to understand that.  Being mentally fit has become more important to me since becoming a parent.  I NEVER, EVER want my sons to hear me call myself FAT, or grunt and sigh after over indulging in a meal because I am instantaneously regretting my decision. I don’t want the word “diet” to even be a part of their young vocabularies.  I want them to know that healthy food and exercise is good for you, gives you energy and makes  you strong.  And that it’s ok to enjoy sweet treats too sometimes.  This is truly what it comes down to, finding that balance.  It’s not easy but it can be done.  It takes time and is always a work in progress, a true journey that has its ups and downs but it’s all about learning.  So, I’ve gained some weight.  No biggie.  School is back in session, the weather will cool down and I’ve got 9 months to work on my summer 2017 body! 😉  Ha. summersix

Did you gain a few pounds this summer?  Don’t beat yourself up!  Instead use it as a learning experience in finding the right balance between fitness, food, friends and family.  Need help doing so?  Or not sure how and where to start, get in touch!  I’d be happy to help guide you in the right direction.

With much fitness love,


Nina M.

  Visit, for more details on my online training programs.




That Time I Moonlighted as SECURITY.

Long story short, I have a cousin who worksIMG_4290 in the music biz and is co-owner of a booking
company, JKB Entertainment Group and she asked for some extra security help at an upcoming show.  Initially I thought I was just going to stand outside of the band’s dressing room door all night but that quickly changed to manning the stage. Um, ok.  So, of course, being the total old lady that I am now,  I immediately started thinking….wait, what kind of band is this? What is the crowd going to be like?  Heavy metal? Rock?  Are there going to be a bunch of drunk shit heads acting like fools?  Well, the answer was ‘no.’ None of that.

Phew, thank goodness.  I mean, I know those muscles look tough and all….😂😂😂

It was actually a medieval band called, Blackmore’s Night.  Did you know there were medieval bands?  Yeah, me neither.  But apparently, the lead guitarist use to be a rock star and has a HUGE and very dedicated following.  I mean, these people are dedicated.  Have you ever been to the King Richard’s Fair?  Well, picture that.  During the opening act, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was thinking, ‘really?  people actually listen to this?  Like, where?  In their cars?  Do they listen to it while working out?’ I mean people were dressed in costume.  There was a guy in the front row who had flown in from Texas and was literally crying during the first song he was so excited.  Yup, crying.

This definetely wasn’t MY type of music.

But shortly after the band came on something happened.  What the HELL was happening?  My FOOT!  My foot was taping.  Then I realized my head was bopping too… I quickly stopped.  What the hell was I doing?! I even caught myself clapping at the end of a set!  What the….?  What was happening?  Was I suddenly a fan of medieval music?  Was I the next Ritchie Blackmore groupie? The answer…NO.  Not even close.

However, I have to admit they were indeed super talented.  The lead singer had a gorgeous voice.  The music was upbeat, and together they were energetic, enthusiastic and honestly put on a really great show!  And, what happened was the minute I allowed myself to relax a little bit. And stopped being so DAMN judge-y  😩

I found myself ACTUALLY enjoying it!  I mean, who would have thunk it?!

Ok, so what the hell does this have to do with fitness???  Well, it got me thinking.  When was the last time you tried your hands at something outside of your comfort zone?  I see it all the time at the gym.  The same people on the same piece of equipment day in and day out.  The same participants week to week in each class.  It’s typical, we like what we like.  Or if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?  That may be true but there’s nothing wrong with fine tuning things a bit along the way.


Are you a cardio queen?  Well, you would be surprised at what some strength training will do for your running game!  Or how yoga isn’t just about “relaxing” and has SO many more benefits and can truly help improve  your overall fitness. And, did you know that punching a bag or throwing a medicine ball as hard as you can, can literally solve any problem?  That pilates has got some of the best moves to flatten and strengthen your core?  How often do you workout on the gym floor to help improve what you do in the group studio? You may be stuck in a rut and not even know it.  When was the last time you switched up your routine?

I know what you’re thinking.  But, I know what I like and it works for me.  Ok, fair enough. But no one’s asking you to trade your yoga mat in for a pair of running shoes, or  your running shoes in for a pair of boxing gloves!  But it certainly can’t be a bad thing to  take a step back….relax and open your mind to something completely new or maybe even something that once; just wasn’t your thing.  Who knows?  You might even find yourself reluctantly enjoying it.  🙂

Now, excuse me, I have some new music I need to download! 😉

With much fitness love,


Nina M.

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Why I Will Never Tell Another Woman That She Will Just “BOUNCE BACK”…

“Oh, you’ll bounce back in no time,” “You’re fit, you’ll bounce right back!”

I heard these two statement very regularly during my first pregnancy when I worked full-time at an all women’s fitness club.  And, after that I vowed to NEVER say that to a pregnant woman again, EVER!

Everyone is different. Every single pregnancy is different.  And, although I understand that there are some woman who truly do look as though they’ve “bounced back” after just a few short weeks from giving birth….that wasn’t ME!  And, I knew it wouldn’t be.

I am not naturally thin, I haven’t been an athlete my whole life and certainly didn’t come from good genes.  I’ve always had to work hard at staying fit and after gaining a whopping 60lbs during my pregnancy….NO, that is NOT a typo.  Yes, SIX. ZERO! Sixty pounds NOT sixteen…60!  I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and I certainly wasn’t going to just bounce back.  There IS NO bouncing back from that, ha!

With that being said, I felt so much pressure to make it happen.  I mean, I was a fitness professional.  I worked in a fitness facility full-time…people were expecting me to BOUNCE BACK!  I know they were because I heard it all the time.  I heard it from members, co-workers, friends and family.  Everyone was telling me that I would, so I had to, right?  I felt this overwhelming need or responsibility to be some sort of crazy role model for pregnant woman everywhere.

I’ll never forget the time a fellow spin instructor told me that she was “back in the saddle cycling” just THREE days after giving birth!  Like, WHAT?! Three days?  Who the hell is thinking about spinning and sitting on that, oh! so uncomfortable seat  the minute they arrive home from the hospital?  I mean, to each its own and more power to her but certainly not me.  But these were the types of stories I would hear quite frequently.  So, of course I jumped right back in the “saddle” just 3 weeks after with at-home workouts and mommy & me classes.  I started teaching my regular classes 6 weeks post-baby and was subbing extra classes any chance I got. At one point, teaching up to 3 spin classes in one day. And that was on top of training hard at the gym and tracking all of my calories. I weighed myself every morning and every night.  Everything I did was focused around my weight loss.  I needed to lose the weight! FAST! I needed to bounce back.

In fact, I often wondered and worried about whether people were judging me.  Were they shocked that as a fitness professional, someone who loves to workout and pretty much does so for a living that I hadn’t bounced back yet?  Were they disappointed in me?  I mean, it did take me a whole 5 months to get back to my pre-baby weight (gasp!).  Of course, I realize now that, that is such a short time frame but at the time, it felt like FOR-EVER. I mean, that clearly wasn’t what all these women meant by “bouncing back” right?  Or was it?  I don’t know.

What I do know is that I put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself, during a time that should be cherished not rushed.  I look back and feel sad that I literally have no pictures with my very first, newborn son.  Why?  Because I didn’t like the way I looked.  I hated my very real post-baby body.  I was big and swollen and didn’t look like myself and  hated the way I looked in pictures.  I wanted only amazing pics of my normal fit self holding my newborn baby and wasn’t happy until I started losing the weight and looking more like that person again.

May 2012 (2)

What I do know is that I will never tell another mama-to-be that she will just “bounce back.”  Maybe she will. Maybe she won’t.  But it should be the last thing she worries about in those first few months at home with her very new baby.

Don’t misunderstand, I think it’s important to get your body moving again after baby.  And there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to get back into the swing of things once you get clearance from your physician, I can totally relate.   Working out is important to me and makes me feel better on so many levels and just being able to do so was a big part of feeling like myself again after baby.  But no one should ever feel pressured to do so. Or pressured to lose the weight and look a certain way after putting your body through the toughest thing it will ever do.

There are way too many other things on our plates to worry about, you know, like taking care of that beautiful new baby, getting back to work, trying to sleep or function without it, remembering to eat and wash your hair, the list goes on…

So, I will never tell another expecting mama  that she will just bounce back but what I will say is, “It’s a process. Muscle memory is a beautiful thing and that you CAN and WILL feel great again.”

With much fitness love,


Nina M.

Want help feeling your best again after baby?  Let’s chat!




Six years later & 17lbs. heavier…

This is not a post about my transformation.  This is not a ‘before’ and ‘after.’ This post IS about my weight & body composition…


Let’s review, here I am at very different times in my life wearing the same exact bikini.  On the left, it was 2010 and the week of my wedding in Mexico.  I was 29 years old, and weighed approximately 122lbs.  I know, because that number was important to me at that time.  I had been working my butt off to get into “wedding” shape and it was the lowest I had been in a while.  On the right is a pic I snapped of myself just the other day.  I am now 35 years old, a mom of two boys ages 4 and 9 months and weigh approximately 135lbs! <–Did you catch that part? ONE HUNDRED THIRTY FIVE POUNDS!  Wait. What?! Seventeen pounds heavier and still fitting into the same exact bikini?  I mean, that shouldn’t be possible, right?  Well, let me tell ya, that scale so many of us have come to rely on…she’s a tricky little bitch.

My body composition is clearly different in these pictures. I felt good then and considered myself to be fit but I am definitely fitter now, have more muscle and feel even better two kids later, 6 years older and 17lbs heavier!  After years of constantly fluctuating 5-10lbs, I finally had the guts and the confidence to stop worrying about the number on the scale and instead, started focusing on my overall fitness.

Now, I’m not going to tell you to throw away the scale completely because I know most likely you won’t…and I get that.  In all honesty, I won’t be getting rid of my scale either.  I tend to weigh myself anytime I sense a change; whether my clothes are fitting differently or I wake up feeling lighter or maybe more sluggish than normal…it provides me with a sense of accountability.  But what it doesn’t do is….DEFINE ME! Or my mood!  Or my fitness level!   I don’t obsess over it!  I get on. I take it in. I get off.  Sometimes it’s up and sometimes it’s down, either way it is what it is.  For the first time in my life, I don’t have a goal weight. What I do have is a bin filled with some pre-baby summer clothes that I would love to feel comfortable in again no matter what my weight is.  And, what I’ve realized is that I don’t have to wait until I weigh ‘x’ to try them on again.  Heck, I might try them on this weekend, maybe I already fit into them, maybe not, I may never fit into them again, who knows?  But if they don’t fit me, I will not beat myself up over it.  I refuse to.  Instead it’s an opportunity to donate some pretty cute clothes to someone in need and take myself on a SHOPPING SPREE!  😉

So, although I’m not telling you to get rid of the scale…I AM asking you to shift your focus.  Shift away from, I want to weigh “x” or lose “x” pounds and towards I want to feel ____ (fill in the blank).  Focus a little more on making better choices; eating clean, training to change your body composition by increasing your strength and endurance, building muscle tone and shape and a little (or a lot) less on watching your weight and you might just find yourself  stronger, healthier and happier!

With much fitness love,

Nina M.

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