Just roll with it

When Chris sent us the ins and outs of the Modelfit workout program, including suggested equipment, a foam roller was on the list. Now when I initially looked at this “thing”, I pictured myself using it as a swim toy. You know, like one of these babies:


Little did I know I’d look a little more like this:


Oh darn.
But all joking aside, I had NO idea what a foam roller was, what it’s used for or even how to start using it. Chris had provided some foam rolling basics, but I’m a visual and kinesthetic learner. I need to see and manipulate something new until I fully grasp the activity. So together, with Chris’s instructions, online demos, 100’s of Youtube videos, and a little playing of my own, I was able to start using the roller successfully! Of course, I’m still learning, but I feel a lot more confident than I was when I first laid eyes on this “thing”. Check out a few of Chris’s workout videos on how he has suggested I use the foam roller:

Mobility routine

Step #1: Foam rolling– Perform 30 full rolls up and down the muscle.  Front of leg   Side of leg   Foot   Calf   Hip                              

So what IS foam rolling? Here’s the downlow from Fitsugar.com: Wouldn’t it be nice to end every active week with an intense deep-tissue massage to help ease your muscles? But since we can’t always spring for a trip to the spa, here’s what we can do — use the foam roll at the gym. You may have seen people in the gym foam rolling and think it’s just for serious athletes or gym rats, but that’s not the case. But there are many reasons why massaging out the tight knots in muscles is an important part of your workout routine, even if you already stretch regularly. Why? Because no matter how much you stretch, the build up of fascia that creates muscle knots that won’t go away, which can lead to many different problems. (Read the rest of the article here).

The cool thing about foam rolling is you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get started. Something as simple as a tennis ball can get you on the right track. Amazon.com has great deals on foam rollers of all shapes and sizes if you decide to try your hand at this “new to me” flexibility workout. Beware, however, if you have pets at home. Foam rollers and tennis balls may become toys to the little darlings.

Here are a few other great foam rolling resources to read through:

  • http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/lookup/filter/equipment/id/14/equipment/foam-roll
  • http://www.nationalthrowscoachesassociation.com/Forms/FoamRoller.pdf
  • http://www.livestrong.com/physical-therapy-foam-roller/
  • http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/self-myofascial-release.html
  • http://fitknitchick.com/2011/06/11/hurt-so-good-adventures-in-foam-rolling/
  • http://www.bradgouthrofitness.com/my-stretching-routine/
  • http://running-tall.com/home/2012/4/19/why-you-should-be-foam-rolling.html

Do you foam roll? Any advice or success stories you’d like to share? Oh, and would you like to WIN a foam roller of your own? Check out my recipe contest later today for details!


*I am not a fitness professional. I just blog about my own fitness adventures! Please chat with your doctor before starting anything physical.


Modelfit week 3 (aka the crybaby week)

Overshare alert! Overshare alert!

It’s that time of the month.
That miserable time where I’m ravenous, irrationally emotional (just ask my loving, patient boyfriend), and overall cranky. Luckily the whole PMS thing typically only lasts a day or two, at the most. Unfortunately, I didn’t psych myself up enough to get survive the Modelfit eating and workout program this week.

No, no, I didn’t cheat. I’ve been on track this week after a few sneaks at the beach house this weekend (and that beer from last week’s DMB concert that I refuse to talk about :P, heh.) But I did cry. Well, almost. I’ve talked about my body frustrations on the blog before- the whole thing about how I can envision myself doing more than I’m actually capable of in this body at the moment. For the sake of injuries, I have to accept that although I’m working towards a goal, I’m not there yet, and there are limitations to how much and how far I can push my body safely. Deep down, I get that. I’m a science teacher. I’m logical. Too bad my tear ducts haven’t gotten the message.

Maybe it was the hormones. Maybe I was annoyed with myself. Maybe I was frustrated. Whatever the reason, while Chris was going through some basic foam rolling techniques with me, I just couldn’t manipulate my awkward body to mimic his actions. There’s no way I’d ever actually cry in front of my trainer, but let me tell you, those tears were welling, and my voice was quivering, and if he hadn’t given me a few accommodations to work with, I would have totally gone all crybaby.

Aside from my little internal meltdown, the workout was fantastic. I lifted weights, shuffled, skipped, pushed (up), and even threw a really big ball (which I’m sure is the accurate term for that particular workout). 😉 And in the end, I was tired, sweaty and my muscles were quite shaky. Success!

Many of you have asked me if I’m seeing any results from using the Arbonne protein shakes paired with the Lean Body Modelfit nutrition and workout program. Well, let’s let the data speak for itself:

Week 1 stats                                Week 3 stats

Weight 302                                    Weight 291
56in.    waist                                  55in.    waist
61in.    hips                                    60in.    hips
32in.    thigh (L)                             30in.    thigh (L)
33in.    thigh (R)                             31in.    thigh (R)
18in.    bicep (L)                             17in.    bicep (R)
16in.    bicep (R)                             16in.    bicep (L)
55in.    chest                                  54in.    chest
18.5in. calf (R)                                18in     calf (R)
18in.     calf (L)                                17.5in calf (L)


By the way, here’s a peek of the equipment I’m using at home for the days I’m working out solo. It’s been a slow learning curve, but I’m catching on quickly! (thank goodness)

(Foam roller, tension band, peanut roller, and of course the Modelfit workout binder!)

What have YOU done for yourself this week? What healthy choices have you added to your routine?

Steph 🙂


Aquagear Review

I never thought I’d be doing a review on an online swim shop. Nonetheless a pair of goggles. I mean remember this?

I’ve come a long way since those tear filled swim days, and although it’s taken almost three years, I feel like I can call myself a swimmer (finally). If triathlons have been on your mind (or bucket list!) lately, Aquagear is a great place to start. When I first got the idea of swimming in my head, I really didn’t have a clue where to begin. I literally recall going to my nearest sporting goods store, getting little actual swimming advice on what to purchase, and just stood there, wide-eyed and clueless. I ended up picking something random, and felt very uninformed on my purchase. A complete shot in the dark!

Aquagear eliminates all of that by providing shoppers with a plethora of knowledge on the products they offer.

From the website: AquaGear® Swim Shop is a family owned and operated boutique out of West Palm Beach with a focus on fast, responsive, and helpful customer service. Founded in 1992 by Joanne Bullock, an Aquatic Personal Trainer, Life Guard, and Swimming Instructor, our swim store has gained a substantial following in the aquatic community for it’s unique selection, and commitment to the highest level of customer service. We stock a huge selection of Swim Goggles, Swim Caps, Swim Fins, Water Floatation Belts, Kick Boards, Swim Training Equipment, Snorkeling Gear, and much more. We carry Aqua Jogger, Aqua Sphere, Barracuda, Finis, Hydro-Fit, Hydro-Tone, Speedo, Water Gear, and many other water exercise and swimming products.

The website is extremely easy to navigate with search options that include letting shoppers browse by product, brand or water activity. Each product has an area with customer reviews, product pictures are crisp and detailed, and the information available on each product is thorough. I love how specific water activities are mentioned in the product profile like in the information on these Speedo goggles:

Their selection is wide and diverse. It’s not just eye-wear they offer, but so much more. From kickboards and snorkels to caps and flotation devices, Aquagear has it all. Prices are low, shipping is affordable, and with a 24 hour turn-around, shipping is lightning fast. I received my package within 3 days of ordering! And throughout the process, if at anytime you have any questions about ordering, shipping or the like, Aquagear offers a live chat feature where you can ask your questions and get a quick response. After hours you can email a representative and they will promptly answer your question via email. They offer a 30 day low price guarantee and a 60 day return policy if you’re not satisfied with any part of your purchase!

I ordered a pair of the Speedo Rift Pro goggles seen here

I took these out for a spin this weekend while we were at the beach. I’m so used to the suction cup eye socket goggles that when I put these on, and felt how comfortable they were, I knew I would never be a slave to sore sockets ever again! These fit my high cheekbones perfectly. With a cushiony gel layer around the eye, adjustable straps with the click of a button, and anti-fog UV lenses, let’s just say I was hooked at first swim. I wasn’t the only one who loved them. Brian asked to try them out and I watched him jump, swim and turn in the gulf with these babies on like he was a regular ol’ fish. (Guess I’ll be heading back to Aquagear for another pair!).

I also ordered a kickboard! Can’t wait to get into the pool and try my new Finis Alignment Kickboard (pictured below from Aquagear.com).

I highly recommend this site for all your swimming needs. Look for weekly specials too! Right now my Speedo goggles are on sale, so head over to the site and start shopping!

What’s your favorite online shopping website for fitness gear? Would you rather buy online or in person?

Steph 🙂

*I was compensated for my opinions on Aquagear.com in the form of complimentary merchandise. The reviews and opinions are my own.


Catch a wave

This is my view for the weekend.

Family is staying over on Indian Shores beach, so Brian , my cousins Chris and Jayle and I packed our bags and set out for a weekend of relaxation at my godmother Laura’s vacation rental house.
We swam, we frolicked; fished, played games, prepped yummy dishes and even the pups came along for the mini-staycation. And there’s still tomorrow! Who knows what we’ll get into.

(If you’re a foodie like me, you must play this game!)
(Look for a post tomorrow on my new Speedo goggles!)

This is my view for the evening. See you tomorrow!


Eat Drink and be Merry

Confession. Wait, everybody already knows about my little love affair with a man named Dave.

And a man named Boyd.
And a man named Carter. Stefan. Jeff. Rashawn. and Tim.

I’ve been a fan of The Dave Matthews Band for a very, long, time. In fact, this was my 11th time seeing the guys. However this time around was special.
1. They took a year off from touring for 20 years straight (well deserved, I guess), so there had been quite the gap between the time I had seen them live.

2. Brian was coming with me, and this was his first big concert! I was totally stoked that DMB had that honor.

After sitting in the grassy area of the Ford Amphitheater 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheater (cringe) time and time again (even getting completely drenched one year!), I decided that it would be time for this “grown up” to graduate to actual seats.

(If you’ve never seen a concert here, you MUST!)
(I may, or may not have downed this. Shhhh, don’t tell my trainer).

After much anticipation (an opening band, then 45 minute wait time before the boys took the stage), I was just about ready to crawl out of my skin when the lights dimmed and the stage went dark. The thing that differentiates Dave Matthews Band concerts from other ones I’ve been to (and I’ve been to everything from Garth Brooks to Def Leppard) is the energy from the crowd.

You can feel it rumbling through your bones. It deafens your concentration. It shakes you to your core and changes you as a person. It’s a feeling you would never understand without living it, feeling it, being it.    

I love that Dave started with Minarets. I had never experienced it live and so the excitement level was that much greater. I also adored the little nod to Tampa. Although I don’t know if intentional, I like to think that he specifically chose Minarets as an ode to the University of Tampa. 😉


From that song on it just got better and better. I heard songs that in all the years of Dave concerts, I had never heard before.


He pulled out rarities like The Song that Jane Likes and Halloween, which I was FLOORED by. I can’t believe I got to see Halloween after being years out of the song rotation! What a cool moment that was to hear this song live. Even better news? He transitioned right into Billies, a crowd favorite, and a song that makes anyone want to shake their booties.

And although I’ve heard Lie in Our Graves at almost every Dave concert I’ve attended, each time I’m blown away by Boyd’s (the violinist) performance. There’s one moment of the song where the lyrics fade, and it’s just a man and his fiddle, sizzling away at the strings as he sings with his instrument.
It was sweaty.
It was loud.
It was magical.
It was everything I expected of a Dave Matthews Band concert and more.
And I got to share this with my love.
It doesn’t get any better than this, kids.

Would you not like to be, sitting on top of the world with your legs hanging free?
Steph 🙂